To begin with, a disclaimer: Please don't jump on me about tracking my weight because a poor indicator of overall health. Also, in this post I will reference using a calorie counting app on my phone. I understand calorie counting is rather dated and an incomplete / somewhat inaccurate way of monitoring your diet. That is not what I was using it for. Please read on.
I started paleo back in April of this year. I did this largely for health reasons, and to “rehab” myself from the desk job I've held for the last several years. At my peak (6-ish years ago) I was 135 lbs, lean and strong. At 165 and “insulated” I decided to do something about it. I lost about 2 inches off of my midsection, and dropped around 15 lbs.
I started going back to gym about a month and a half ago. School and work conspired to keep me sedentary until just recently, I was pleased with my progress so far on paleo so I didn't sweat it. After I started lifting (stronglifts 5X5) I had my expected early gains and again was pleased. This was supplemented by walking the dog for 30+ minuets 2X per day, and the occasional sprint/run/walk through the park. I have also started rock climbing and road biking on alternating Sundays.
Then I went on a cruise (late honeymoon.) I gained about 3 lbs over the course of the trip, eating mostly paleo to paleo-ish. I continue to gain weight. I would say this is (at least in part) due to new muscle growth from the workouts, but my lifts are all down and continue to drop. I have also added about a half an inch to my midsection.
I slept more and better than I have in a very long time. But when I returned things seemed to go south. I haven't slept well at all. I wake frequently throughout the night. I credit part of this to the fact that my bedroom isn't as dark as I'd like (wife likes the light) but my sleep quality is much less than it was before the trip. Also, staying asleep is not my only issue. I've battles my whole life with a nagging inability to fall asleep, but its been worse in the last few months. My mind just races when I try to fall asleep. The "mental clarity" that many report upon going paleo seems to be urging my mind into overdrive when I try to down-cycle it.
In an attempt to trouble shoot my negative progress, I started using a food tracking app on my phone. I found that I'm eating way less protein that I thought, usually less than 60g/day. My caloric intake is also below where I'd like it to be – often in the 1100-1200 calories per day range. I know this HAS to be part of the problem. But I'm not starving myself: I just don't feel hungry so I don't eat.
The bulk of my eating is done at breakfast, and my meals seem to drop off as the day goes on. My last meal is usually around 8:30 – 9:00 in the evening when my wife gets home (I cook for the both of us.) I go to bed around 9:30 – 10:00 and get up at 5:00am. Ideally I would stay asleep all night, but the last week and a half or so I've been waking 3-5 times a night. I've noticed the most frequent waking between 1:30 and 4:00.
My Plan Gym: Get my diet back on track by increasing protein. I don't fell I need to increase fat too much right now as appetite is not the issue. I'm going to start supplementing with protein powder in my drinks throughout the day to sneak in more of the stuff. Probably I will use a whey based protein as have no issues with dairy (I eliminated it for 30 days then reintroduced it without issue.) I plan to keep the workout consistent (its a proven program) and see if I can eat my way back into the “green.”
Weight/Size: Dietary solution again. My waist size and midsection size seem to have increased as my strength decreased, which to me suggests increase in body fat and a decrease in lean mass. Weight wouldn't be a concern except that I seem to be adding body fat. Before the trip I was starting to be able to see intercostal muscle, but I can no longer see it. I think increasing protein while leaving everything else in place should preserve the muscle while allowing lyposis to take care of the body fat.
Sleep: No idea. I know darkening the room would help, but I don't know why my sleep is deteriorating. If the environment stays the same, I would expect no change in sleep quality. This is not happening. Any guesses on this one would be welcome.
Well guys, that's about all I can think of at this moment, I'll edit in more details if I think of something significant. Can yall hack my problem apart and help me get back on track?
Looking at my food list below, I feel like there is more protein that what is being tracked by this app. But if there isn't a lack of protein, what would be the cause of my workouts crapping out?