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Weight Gain =/

Blog Forums Raising Metabolism Weight Gain =/

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    I guess this is as good a place as any to start. I did detail my dieting history in the other forum about Dieting Sucks. But here I want to give more recent info and also get some feedback on perhaps some glaring error(s) I could be making.

    Keep in mind, I’ve been low carbing since 2007 – at times severely. Like Zero Carb. In the past two years I began eating occasional fruit, nuts and berries, more salads, more sat fat…more toward Paleo. I never got really strict with Paleo for more than a week at a time though.

    My eating has been pretty much moderate carb (probably under 100 most days) and slightly more omnivorous in the past year with emphasis on skipping meals and avoiding sugar and high gluten containing foods (read Wheat Belly). I’ve developed a bad habit of having tea or coffee for breakfast only, followed by a small lunch around 1-2 pm and then sometimes nothing til dinner. I usually eat a fairly decent dinner but it varies widely. I eat when hungry and stop when I’m satisfied. I tend to work until I’m starving…stomach growling hunger. I skip meals a lot. Drives my husband crazy, he doesn’t understand why I have any weight issues AT ALL the way I eat.

    A “meal” to me could be anything from an apple and some cheese to celery and hummus, to a steak and caesar salad to leftover spaghetti with Dreamfield pasta. In other words, highly variable in content and quantity. I would have to say also that at times I get too hungry and binge on something nummy, and feel horrible later. Then I skip a few meals after that to “balance things out”. I do that when I eat a good big meal at a restaurant, too. <<sigh>>. I’m askeered of food, but I’m a foodie…ironic but there it is.

    What got me started with Matt’s philosophy was reading Cheeseslave’s blog. I downloaded the Kindle version of “Diet Recovery” and read it about 2 weeks ago.

    I’ve gained weight steadily since beginning to RRARF and yeah, it’s got me upset. Mind you I was starting at 185 lbs! I hit 190 a couple days ago. I was at 178 a year ago.

    Some stats:
    *My morning basal temps have always been low, last time I was checking them consistently I averaged between 96 and 97. Started checking again after reading the book, and they ran about 97 for a week, then began to jump up to 98 where they are now consistent for a week.

    *I began taking Thytrophin PMG 2 weeks ago. Seems that accounts for the higher basal temp.

    *I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (autoimmune hypothyroidism) treated with Armour Thyroid, but not quite enough. I supplement the prescription with an OTC thyroid glandular product I get online – my dr. doesn’t know it. (more on that later if necessary) trying to keep my FT3 reasonable and TSH near 1 or 0.

    *Post menopausal since 2001. No hormones except testosterone (see below) since 2007

    *Bedtime has been out of control: husband works nights and we’re both natural night owls. We’re working on this. Trying to get to lights out by 11:30 now. Taking 5-HTP (100 mg), 9 mg of melatonin and GABA to sleep. Take lots of Ester-C, usually 2-3 gm per day along with a variety of other health supplements.

    *I don’t get a lot of exercise. I stay pretty active/busy (home business to run) and like to walk about a 2 mile stretch a few times a week in nice weather… but vigorous exercise rarely happens except for about 3-4 days per month when I have to carry multiple loads of heavy containers up and down stairs or something like that.

    That’s all I can think of for now that might give insight.

    So…the weight gain. I don’t know anything about my cortisol levels or adrenal status. I do get bioidentical testosterone pellets inserted 3 times a year. I thought that was supposed to help me get “mean and lean” but honestly I believe it’s causing me to gain – esp. belly fat! What I’ve noticed the past year or so was, it seemed like one day I’ll get on the scale or try on old jeans and see some loss. Unexplainable. So then eating my normal, healthy way I would begin to slowly drop a few lbs per month as the pellets wear off. Go and get another T dose and bingo….3-4 weeks later suddenly the weight is packing back on. No real serious dietary changes. This isn’t consistent with what I know about testosterone therapy in women.

    You might imagine, I’m at that point now. So adding more food and you have this sudden and fast weight gain. I admit it’s bothering me a lot. When I lost 35 lbs in 2011/12 I gave away all my fat clothes and swore I’d never be a size 18 again.

    So let me have it! I’m all ears.

    The Real Amy

    Nvr2L8, you have been through a lot it seems. Here are some thoughts:

    1) Testosterone – yeah, I would imagine that could cause all manner of issues in a woman. Who is giving it to you? An endocrinologist? Is it because of a documented testosterone shortage in your body? If not, I would be very hesitant about taking it. You are likely right about the weight gain if that’s what your intuition tells you.

    2) Weight issues are always going to be more tricky for people with thyroid issues. Why are you taking not enough thyroid meds? Can your endo adjust them? I would get the thyroid figured out if I were you, unless you think it is good now between the meds and the supplement.

    3) Your meal patterns are likely problematic for your body. I would get onto a 3-meal a day schedule pronto. Make sure your body knows when to expect food, and roughly how much. This could be a small breakfast, a moderate lunch and a larger dinner; or the reverse – whatever works for you, but keep it consistent. I would recommend you read “French Women Don’t Get Fat” to learn moderation and how to “compensate” if you eat too much at one meal. It should not involve skipping meals, but should be natural. Like if you have a huge dinner out one night and overdo it, the next day you eat all 3 meals, but they may be smaller, lighter. Lunch could be soup and a roll instead of the usual sandwich, that sort of thing.

    4) I would not overfeed if I were you, especially based on all your medical stuff. Just eat 3 normal meals a day, on schedule. Go slow.

    5) If you can get to sleep before 11, it would probably be better but work down to it. I don’t know about 5HTP but I’ve heard anecdotally some get weight gain from it. Not sure. Can you try magnesium at night for sleep instead?

    6) A 2-mi walk a few times a week isn’t bad for starting exercise. If you can add in some weight-bearing exercises, like weights or yoga, it might help.

    Hope this helps!


    Hi Amy,
    To answer your questions:
    1) The testosterone pellet is because I was completely deficient in it.
    I’m a cancer survivor too, and testosterone in small therapeutic doses helps several things (or is supposed to): recovery of radiated pelvic tissues (it does), weight loss (um….well??), libido (it does), and other things as well. This is a link (hope it’s ok) to my actual doctor and her website.

    2) I don’t see an endocrinologist. This has been an ongoing battle for years. I know more than the average doctor about thyroid problems, seriously. The endos around here will insist on Synthroid ONLY which didn’t work for me. They will go by standard lab results (we all know how well that tends to work out) and nothing else. You could be flat out, gaining weight, hair falling out, eyebrows disappearing and unable to hold a job but if those precious labs say You’re Within Normal Limits, well, sux to be you. BTDT :( I do have good rapport with my GP who prescribed the Armour after I insisted she read some current studies as well as visit the site. When she saw my labs (post-endocrinologist visit in 2008) with a TSH of 28 on Synthroid, she agreed to work with me on Armour.

    3) & 4) I’m pretty sure you’re right on my meal pattern. The PA at Millennium Wellness (hormone doc) even fussed at me about the way I eat and so does my husband. I will work harder on this. I’m not overeating at this point. But I’m not watching calories either. I think my eating habits would best be described as Feast or Famine. Not good, huh?

    I guess I could resurrect my FitDay account to try and see my caloric intake and macro intake but CRUD!!! I thought Matt’s program was all about relaxing and not stressing/obsessing over every bite we put in our mouths. Another BTDT. Don’t want to do back to that but if you think there’s benefit in it, I can.

    5) Yeah, working on that. Husband agrees so we’re gonna keep each other accountable for a more reasonable bedtime than 2 am :-)
    I never heard about 5 Htp causing weight but nothing would surprise me. Will see what I can google up. I take 800 mg of magnesium a day already, but usually not at bedtime. I seem to have developed insomnia along with age. If I don’t take a Benedryl or the 5 HTP I do not stay asleep for more than an hour at a time. Melatonin alone doesn’t do it for me. I limit caffeine to one cup of coffee in the morning only. Never afternoon or evening.

    6) Just began working a 3 mile speed walking program DVD (Start Walking with Leslie Sansone) a week or so ago. I’m not a fan of this sort of thing (I own a Gazelle and would rather get poked in the eye with a fork than spend time on it, LOL) but with winter setting in I know I MUST do more than I’m doing now. Another area of discipline I need to work on. Having a home business (I’m an online retailer as well as doll artist) keeps me somewhat sedentary for periods of time and I can never really catch up with my work so taking time away from it to exercise has not historically been my biggest priority.

    I’m trying to rethink my priorities, believe me! I appreciate your help and hope others will continue to contribute to anything else that jumps out at them about my post. Thank you :-)

    The Real Amy

    Definitely don’t take my advice over a doctor’s! I imagine that as a cancer survivor, especially, your body may have been through more stuff than most of us here have been through. It sounds like you’re in tune with what’s going on with your body, which is great. Maybe your hormone doc can help you out with the testosterone as well as sleep stuff. Being able to sleep is definitely important.

    On the meals, I didn’t mean to start tracking calories or anything, but just set in your mind that your are going to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, and stick to a good routine every single day. Like breakfast before starting work each day, lunch at midday and dinner around the same time each night, and similar amounts each dinner, for example, rather than a massive dinner some nights and tiny dinner others. All so your body knows what’s coming.

    It does all take time, so definitely be patient and kind to yourself, and take the long view.


    Ok, thanks Amy. That sounds like sound advice!


    Well, here’s the progress so far.

    I’m up to 190 as of 3 days ago. That’s killing me, but I’m trying hard to just calm myself and say “this is temporary”. Hoping that “It too will pass”.

    On a better note, I had a moment day before yesterday when I was working at the computer, having just had a good normal size and satisfying lunch, and realized how really GOOD I felt. There was this sense of well being, no stomach growling, no headache, no heartburn, no fatigue, just felt energetic, contented and well fed.

    I also had a moment where I realized how afraid of or obsessed with food I’ve become. This sounds neurotic but maybe someone relates to that.

    I can’t really afford the time or money right now to buy more books, and with my business at it’s busiest right before Christmas not to mention all the additional $$ and time-suckers this time of year produces I would like to ask a few questions on these forums if that’s ok.

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around what I’m seeing on these boards about folks increasing carbs and – most of all sugar! And milk? Haven’t drunk milk in years. I had some yesterday with a fresh cookie and it tasted awesome :) Had some orange juice too. Mmmmm….the things I’ve missed.

    Q #1: Can someone explain in layman’s terms or point me to a good study about the benefits of sugars to our metabolism? I’m convinced that the low carb suppression effect on my thyroid must have a lot to do with my current problems. I do have my morning basal temps reading at a consistent 98 or 98.2* which I guess is a good thing.

    Q #2: What’s with Ray Peat? I’ve heard of him in passing but is he considered a credible source of nutrition science? Mind you, I’ve been worshipping at the altars of Eades, Cordain, Dr. William Davis, Gary Taubes and Chris Masterjohn for a number of years ;-)

    Q#3: What’s with eating sugar-laden cereal? I saw the article on Matt’s site this week. I think for now, since he and I can have nothing at all in common metabolically other than say, Venice Florida and we are both breathing, I’m going to consider breakfast cereals still taboo. But I do wonder who all does that now and what benefit there is to them.

    Thanks in advance :)


    …Just as a back up/for information…. Many many women are hormone deficient (mainly progesterone/testosterone-most women walking around have estrogen dominance issues) The birth control pill/other hormonal contraceptive methods as well as overexposure to hormone-affecting substances that we are becoming all too familiar with are partly to blame. For me, an otherwise healthy late 30’s female with NO history of any kind of hormonal issues (3 babies no prob, so fertile I couldn’t NOT get pregnant) DIETING made me deficient. I had virtually no testosterone and was low on progesterone, as well. I dieted for years and years and when my usual of weight contol didn’t work, I moved to low carb, then uber low carb which is where, I believe, my hormones shit the bed.


    Nobody ever had a bit of time to answer my questions above?

    Well, I have an update and mostly it’s not good news. I’ve stabilized my weight gain, I think. Up 10 lbs with a 2-3 lb per week fluctuation which seems dependent on salt intake/fluid retention. Seems I’ve developed pretty high blood pressure suddenly. It was 150/110 on the 4th during a doctor’s visit – NEVER been high before. I was shocked. It’s stayed high, although I immediately stopped taking the Claritin-D and some libido-enhancing herbal formula. I hope it normalizes again before I end up on some HBP drug :(

    I had a butt load of labs done since I last posted. Turns out I’m flatlining on most of my hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and worst of all, IMO, cortisol. I’m officially and medically adrenally-fatigued. Fortunately now I’m on some supplements and compounded bioidentical hormone replacement. Hopefully as I get these underlying things fixed, my entire system and metabolism will begin to fire on all cylinders, too!

    I wanted to also add that the temporary digestive woes seem to have straightened out. When I began adding some whole grains back, and some sugar, it was wreaking havoc. But I’m ok now, except for some gas (ah, I remember the old days living on high fiber breakfast cereal and having to take Beano with it, and Gas-X later to be socially acceptable). Fun times.


    ray peat is a god

    check out or

    the guy is my idol haha, truly a genious

    he is the science behind this rrarfing movement

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