Last I posted I asked about keto. I tried it for 4 Weeks and ended up gaining 5 pounds, despite my tracking of macros, calories and whatnot. I decided keto was not for me because of my Crossfit. I have moved on to try IF and have been IF-ing for about 3 weeks now...and have continued to gain weight.
Eight weeks ago I was about 152...I currently sit at 162. While I am sure a good bit of this is muscle, I have yet to drop an ounce of body fat. I am getting to the point where no matter what I do I cannot seem to drop body fat. What would you recommend I try?
I started Paleo at about 150 in May of last year. My goal is to get my body fat to around 20% (I'm about 28% now). I am 20 years old. Female. Crossfit 5ish days a week. Walk 2 miles about 5 days out of the week with my dog. Ride horses and have an active job. I can't continue to get any bigger, this is getting out of hand. I really need help.
I eat lots of protein, have adequate levels of fat, and good sources of carbohydrates. I do not eat dairy often, however I do use kerrygold butter weekly.I drink lots of water, and alcohol is usually a glass of wine or two once or twice a week...if that (occasionally I'll partake in the stereotypical college nights...but not often)
What would any of you recommend I try? Should I get my blood work done? Hormone levels tested? Any suggestions?!
'Crossfit 5ish days a week. Walk 2 miles about 5 days out of the week with my dog. Ride horses and have an active job.'
Cortisol could be the problem. If you are over training and/or stressed, that would do it. I know if I had your program I'd be cooked!
I have no qualification to make any recommendation but I have a different position to Todd. I agree wholeheartedly with his advocacy of 8 hours sleep, and with other comments here saying that you are doing too much exercise, but I think you may be eating too much protein too! I suggest you reduce your protein intake, especially in your last meal of the day. Excess protein converts to Insulin too so you would still be creating a high blood insulin level on that diet. I was doing this for a while when I plateau'd. I figured this out and have started to drop again now. Hope this might help.
Right away, it sounds like too much exercise. CrossFit 5x a week, plus an active job and horseback riding is a lot. Without carbs and with that workout schedule you're likely doing youreself a disservice.
What do your daily meals look like?
"college nights", are you also a student? Full time, part time? Sleep? You mentioned hormones, are you on any? If so, how long? My guess is that cortisol could slow your progress, but probably isn't causing the problem. Somewhat of a last option, but maybe try a food diary and count calories. It sounds like it might be time for testing as you suggested.
I agree with the advice to get less exercise and/or more food. If the body doesn't think it's getting enough nutrition for the amount of work it's doing, it will go into survival mode and start hoarding weight instead of letting it go.
I'd also like to point out that 25% - 28% body fat is a normal range for women of childbearing age. (Scroll about halfway down the article.) So you're not "fat," you're normal. Granted, many female athletes get down to under 20% body fat--and some get down to 10%--but many also experience loss of menstruation and other interesting health developments when they do. (Not all do, mind you; the body's amazingly complicated that way.)
Also, trying a diet for three - four weeks and then giving up is another form of yo-yo dieting, which doesn't do your body much good. You've done that at least twice now (first with the keto, and now with the IF.) While the diets you've picked so far may not have been a good fit for your activity levels, I hope you'll do a little more research on what you really need, then pick something, stick with it, and "tweak" it until it works for you.
And finally, you never mention your height? Can't tell if your current weight is really such a disaster, or if it's the high end of normal, like that body fat.
I understand that you certainly don't want to go on gaining forever; of course that would be unhealthy! And I believe some of the suggestions here will help with that. But I also hope you'll take a good long look at what "normal" is, and listen to your body to discover what it really needs.