Frustrated & Gaining Fat - Help?
I'm looking for some advice on how to tweak my food intake to start maximizing results.
Before I get into the frustrating parts, I'll start with the positive. I started doing Body By Science weightlifting a month ago. I went from a fairly "standard" 3 day per week protocol, which I had plateaued at long ago, to once a week and I'm considering adding another day or two between. After just four super intense lifts of the 5 core movements (okay I'll be honest, I added resisted abs as the 6th move) my weights/strength have increased significantly, to the tune of roughly 5-10lbs per lift each week! That part has been exciting and I'm certainly noticing increased muscle mass.
However, now for the bad news. I seem to be gaining fat at a rather rapid rate, especially on my stomach. Rewind back to early April. I'm a 5'10" male and weighed 185lbs. I did my first ever Master Cleanse for 12 days and dropped down to 175lbs. My jeans fit great and my face looked much thinner. I felt good. Then I went on a cruise..... Now to be fair, I've been pretty strict Paleo eating (after 1 year of 4HB / Slow Carb prior) for over three years now. I'm not a carboholic and have been quite strict when it comes to proteins, veggies, and almost zero carbs. I'm in sales so I consume alcohol quite frequently, 3-5 nights per week but rarely more than two.
For comparison, I lost 25lbs in 60 days when I first went Paleo a couple years ago and I was drinking wine every night. I wanted to see if it was possible to lean out while still enjoying my lifestyle. It worked amazingly well! However, back then I was at the gym 3-4 nights per week. I was doing HIIT sessions (even after I had plateaued I kept going--got hooked on the feeling) and I was running a hard mile as a warmup. Well, hard for me anyway, at about a 7:10 pace, trying to shave a few seconds off each week. I ended each weight training session with an interval on the bike--12 minutes with 30 seconds all out and 90 seconds rest, 6 total intervals with a couple minute warm up and cool down.
Back to the cruise...I consumed more white rice and a bit more alcohol than normal but was still doing an intense cardio interval for 20 minutes every other day. I knew I wasn't as strict as normal, but didn't think much of it. We come home and I had ballooned back up to 183lbs and was feeling pretty down. My girlfriend, who is 5'6", 110lbs, and also strict Paleo, she ate more food and worse food than I did, but didn't gain a pound. I'm jealous of the way her body processes carbs when she binges.
In any event, that's when I stumbled across BP and got excited about the potential. There's so much in common with what I had been doing for years (Paleo) prior that it seemed like a natural transition, essentially increasing fat intake while decreasing protein just a bit.
I bought MCT Oil, KG butter, and started BPIF. I love how I have absolutely zero cravings and it's actually difficult for me to eat dinner sometimes because I'm just not that hungry. Anyway, I stopped drinking alcohol entirely for three weeks and consumed nothing but the following (no deviations whatsoever):
9am - BP Coffee (1tbsp mct & 1tbsp butter)
11am - BP Coffee
1pm - BP Coffee (some days I'd have the 3rd cup while others I wouldn't)
2 or 3pm - 3 egg omelet (spinach, mushrooms, peppers, sauteed in olive oil with half an avocado and salsa)
8pm - 100% grassfed ribeye steak, ground beef/lamb, or a wild caught fish (sockeye salmon season here in florida ) with steamed asparagus, brussel sprouts (butter and apple cider vinegar with a little salt), and an average sized sweet potato--200g.
Supplements: (all taken first thing in the morning right before my first BP coffee)
- 7000 IU Vitamin D
- 400mg Magnesium Citrate
- 250mg Glutathione
- 648mg Betaine HCl
- 1tbsp Metamucil
I followed this for three straight weeks with just the one day a week of lifting and then walking at least 10,000 steps per day. I live in a downtown environment so I started walking 30 minutes in the morning and evening every day. I'm a desk jockey that works from home so I definitely do not have an "active lifestyle" during the week.
All went well as far as mental well being is concerned. I was sleeping great, felt really sharp mentally, and just felt great overall. However, I only lost two pounds, which is much slower than I'm accustomed to when it comes to being really strict with the diet.
I then went to a bachelor party weekend with a group of friends. To call it a "cheat day" would be putting it mildly, but after 3 weeks of strict protocol, I decided to let myself "refeed" with some carbs and plenty of tequila. I've always been paranoid about "cheat days" and have never done them. Seems like every time I do, I pay the price in fat gain. Well, this was no exception, that was 5 days ago, so I know it's not just food still inside me, and I'm still carrying 3lbs more than I was a week ago and look noticeably chubbier in the mirror. It took me 3 weeks to lose those couple of pounds and 3 days to gain it all back even after returning to strict BPIF this week.
FYI, I don't have any medical conditions that I'm aware of and I'm rarely ever sick. I consume a ton of green vegetables and don't smoke. In general, I feel healthy, but this increase in body fat is bumming me out!
So...I'm looking for advice. I'm pretty frustrated. Any comments would be appreciated, but here are a few questions I've been thinking about:
1) Do I simply need more activity? If I start doing daily 20 minute cardio intervals again or even every other day with the off day being a 30 minute yoga routine, will that kick start things? I keep thinking about when I lost those 25lbs when first going Paleo and it makes me want to work out more, but I was really wanting to give BBS protocol a fair shake combined with simply taking a couple long walks every day.
2) Do you think a master cleanse, where you're living off of 700-1000 calories of maple syrup for two weeks did anything negative to my body? I felt awesome doing it and losing 10 pounds in less than two weeks was certainly encouraging and motivating, but did it come with a price?
3) Are most people disregarding calories entirely while BP? I ask because with MCT + butter, each coffee is 240 calories * 3 cups = 720 liquid fat calories prior to my first meal. Again, I feel awesome and very sharp mentally, but my omelet is about 500 calories (mostly due to the avocado), and my dinner is around 700. That's only 1200 calories from food for the entire day plus the fat in the coffee gets me up to about 2000, which for a guy my size has always been a rough target.
4) Am I drinking too much BP coffee? 2-3 cups okay? Or are you only supposed to have 1? Dave's article on BPIF says you can drink as much BP coffee as you want, but 500-700 calories of pure fat freaks me out. (I know I know, it's the 90's calling and I should drop the mindf*#k, but it's hard to do when you're gaining fat and can't figure out why.)
I realize this is crazy long but it seems like some of these threads go on forever and ever with people asking probing questions to really understand the issue before trying to help. I'm hoping to save that time and put it all out there now.
Thanks in advance for the help!