Saturday, December 28, 2013

Weight gain(but fat loss?) in weight maintenance Dec 2013 scoop

In the month of Dec 2013, I've weighed the most that I have in the last two years. Frustrating since I've been keeping a good food template.

The six year old "me" stomped my feet and thought, I deserve better results, I've earned a different outcome!!!... I let that go on for about 5 whole minutes. Pretty ineffective stuff. ;)

Effective action:Then I switched gears to outcomes based on solid processes review, planning and re-framing. That's were real change happens in my new normal.
The good news:
1. I've stuck to my good low inflammatory food template and exercise.
2. I've lost 2-5% body fat, according to my cheap home scale
3. I've stayed well from a colds and flu
3.5 Antibiotics are working for my ear infection (see the inflammation from 12-4 to 12-19-2013?)
4. My clothes still fit fairly well, the fat loss seems to be from my belly, which for overall health goals away from the scale is soooo important, in my opinion.

The scale bounces during transition

 Root cause consideration: I could be making excuses guessing here, but addressing 1 or more of these WILL work. Might take a little time, but the answer will reveal itself. Better to guess and be wrong and keep trying than to put my head in the sand and not address issues.

1. I stopped tracking my food for 3-4 months. I quite likely shifted my carbs a little higher this time- little larger fruit serving, etc.
2. The 2 infections- one in November, one in December and the antibiotics could be just part of the gain.
3. Fat loss vs weight loss. This is the first winter of me being really fat adapted, and I've noticed lower belly fat with a little bit additional subcutaneous fat on my hips. I get bone chilling cold on and off all winter, I have since a teenager. This could all be part of fat adaption. I know my weight drops like a rock in the summer. It all is connected to sleeping temperature. Warm days in So Cal, but cold nights.
4. My strength training has been spotty at best. It's habit, I know!

 Action Plan:

1. I'm back to tracking food at my fitness pal for my carbohydrate levels. Looks like getting my carbs to the 40's range is effective for me.

1.5 I don't worry about calories at all. If I'm hungry, I can trust my signals now. I eat. I stop when I feel full. I just don't don't do it with fruit. I do eat protein, fat, and lower carb veggies (PFC- Dietitian Cassie has taught me well!)I've gotten super good at picking out emotional eating from true hunger. Key weight maintenance skill set!!!

2. Getting off antibiotics and getting my gut health back will be key. I have to have patience on this one. Bone broth, pro-biotics, enough sleep, and stress reduction, too.

3. All I can do is hold tight and data collect on the cold sleeping. No trips to warm sleeping places anytime soon. Maybe this is the new normal and I'll thank my lucky stars for the fat loss. Time will tell and patience is also a key weight maintenance skill set!!!

4. Strength training.
     A. Getting back to putting stickers on a calendar, like the 6 year old me, is key. This time instead   of earning candy bars (this happened in second grade for book reading!) I will be earning iTunes.The six year old me is happy and can't wait to see the stickers.... funny.
     B. Taking another person with me on my work out. Jr. Family member will be joining me soon. Whoot!!! :)
     C. Using the Lift app to cement my strength training habit. Halting bone loss is at the top of my 2014 priority list and lifting and moving will be key to my goals.

Nobody seems to teach this stuff in most support groups in weight maintenance. It's very individual, too. The template is your own.

What did not work in the past
1. Not tracking weight or food
2. Not connecting a low inflammatory food template to colds and flu (infections, different animal for me)
3. No critical thinking on the root causes.
4. Not enough effort on the right habit changes. No systems and rewards.

That's it. I'll check back in on Jan 3, 2014 for my 23 month maintenance with my progress. Onward. The fine tuning does not end in weight maintenance. I thank my lucky stars for using the tools that I need to connect the dots and take fast corrective action. I might guess wrong, but I will stumble upon the answer if I keep going.

Discuss: How do you reverse gains? Does your weight vary in the winter?

Still rocking my jeans 12/26/2013


  1. I think identifying what the gain IS, is key. If it's muscle then you just welcome it and pat yourself on the back. :D

    1. So true, Maren, if this is muscle- I will be high fiving and patting myself on the back. Time will tell over the next few months. If it is muscle, I will re-set my weight goals.

  2. As soon as you said belly, I answered carbs, so was glad to see you figured that out too. Even if you are not eating the traditional carbs (that get people in trouble - potatoes, noodles, bread, cereal, etc) it is EASY to have your percentages get skewed. As you have started to track again, and you are remembering what you ate in previous months, do you think your carbs had gotten a little high? It doesn't take much to see it on the body. It is a good thing you are on the scale regularly. Either the habits (tracking, exercise, water, sleep) have to be spot on, OR have to be on the scale (in my opinion). Can do both, but can't do neither.

    1. Vickie, probably just too many servings of onions, cherry tomatoes, and not watching portions of my beloved blueberries. I eat an absolute truck load of even the non starchy veggies, so adding in fruit can really boost me over the maintain and into the gain region. So fast. So yes, I was in reality probably eating more in the 80-90's range on carbs. I need to be more 60-70 range. It's that tight of a range.

      I've dropped down to the 40 gram carb range and I'll stick it out for awhile. No beating myself up, just experimenting.

      I KNOW I would be back to other weight plateau's in a month or two. (121 and 128, and 132) if I had not been daily weighing. That was my old me digging my head in the sand in past attempts at maintenance. I would MUCH rather data gather with the scale and deal with the mental part of having a higher number.

      The mental part of digging my head in the sand was 5-10x as hard. I so deserve figuring this part out. I know it's popular to "throw out the scale" but this strategy will not be for me. The wisdom to know that is pure gold! Thanks for your 2 cents.

      Looking forward to more yoga in the new year- thinking that will also effect my belly fat as you have posted about before.

  3. Ahhh, weight training/lifting/resistance. I have the machine, but was waiting until/if I got firmly into the 120's, because I feared the weight gain from it. Silly Gwen.

    Sorry you got back-to-back infections. I swear antibiotics will kill me someday, so I imagine -since you are way more sensitive in so many ways than I am-that they are affecting your weight. Hopefully it will all clear up soon. :(

    Do you use an electric blanket? something to make your sleep a little snugglier/warmer? I keep mine only at 2-3, but it keeps the chill out of the bed/me. I am cold all the time this winter too; not nearly as much fat to keep me insulated. ;)

    Take care!

    1. Thanks, Gwen. I haven't even thought about an electric blanket (one with a timer or I will be forgetting to turn it off) in ages. I may have to try it. I think that I have hot flashes at night and wake up with no blankets and two cats camping out next to me. Nice for them, but I wake up pretty frozen.

      I may have to test it out. :) Thank you. I'll gladly buy clothing in a bigger size to account for muscles. Giving my inconsistent work outs, I'm skeptical.

  4. You are still looking good Karen.

    Any infection does not help with general health, fitness etc. I agree it is easy to have a slightly larger helping of food and the carbs can creep in. I'm confident you will 'fix things' so to speak.

    Take care

    All the best Jan

    1. Jan, thanks! I'm of the antibiotics and... I may still have the infection :( But the low level ketosis has me feeling well.

  5. Losing more stomach fat is the very best !!! Weight is not all about fat and perhaps your healthier eating is adding more muscle over time. I think my fitness pal is great for working out carbs and a really good way to know if too many starchy carbs are creeping in. I'll probably do that as well soon. You know you've got this, as I said to Leigh - I'm so glad you found the paleo way going forward. Moderation does not work for people like us.

    1. Lynda, I think you are right, I think that I am settling right where I need to be in a more Paleo style template. Loving MFP for carbs. Good reminder daily.

  6. I really do think tracking is effective no matter what the eating plan! You still look amazing

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog and inquiring about my daughter. I left a reply for you there. I love your scientific approach to the weight loss/maintenance issues we face. That is a side I do not delve into myself but it is interesting to know. Happy New Year!

  8. Hi Karen
    Many congratulations and well done to you. You have a recommendation on Jimmy Moore's Livin La Vida Blog
    Great Stuff - Keep up your great work

    All the best Jan

    PS Happy New Year

    1. Hi Jan, I saw the link on Jimmy's blog. Very nice. The majority of my site traffic was coming from people looking for Medifast recipes . Nice to see more traffic from low-carb/Paleo/Primal. It's all good, especially if the Medifast crowd is looking long term.

  9. Just wanted to leave a quick note to let you know how grateful I am for having discovered you and your blog. Happy New Year to you and yours!

    1. Hils, glad to see you back in blog land. Here's to an easier 2014. :)