Stuck on Nutrition - Gained +15 lbs in 4 months

I had such a strong year in 2017, working out x3's a week and eating clean - but 2018 is throwing at lot at me with work, school, diagnosed with skin cancer, surgery, and family changes. I've been in a good place mentally after the surgery for the last two months, but unfortunately, my weight has gone up 15 pounds in 4 months (started from 115 pounds up to 130 pounds) and I can't seem to lose the extra weight no matter how physically active I am.

I feel that I change it up a lot with my exercise routine - I lift weights 2-3x's a week, I do Corepower's hot yoga sculpt x2 week, run anywhere from 3-4 miles 3 x's a week, etc).

I never skip a meal, and I have no dietary restrictions.

I have no idea where to start with my diet, or how to lean up again. If I could get back down to 120 I would be over the moon. This extra 15 lbs feels like so much on my body, I don't fit into my clothes, and I'm losing motivation to keep up the physical activities because my body is carrying so much extra weight in my belly and arms.


  • Fifteen pounds in four months would be circa 500 extra calories a day, every day. That's a lot. Perhaps you're one of those 'comfort eaters' :). I suppose you'll have to spend an equal amount of time being a discomfort eater.

    Personally, I've found that simply laying off of processed foods, sugar, oils/butter and increasing high fiber foods is enough for me to lose weight. But, I'm not food motivated, so anything that doesn't taste too bad, and leaves me full half an hour after I eat, is good enough for me.

    Pillage, then burn.

  • @Sarahauldredge

    Thanks for sharing with us.

    A few things you may want to think about:

    • Did any of the medications you were placed on have a side effect of weight gain and/or altered appetite?
    • Have you had bloodwork completed to rule out a thyroid issue?

    Also, keep in mind that weight loss is 80% what we eat and only 20% exercise. In order to lose weight, you need to reduce your current calorie intake by anywhere from 250-500 calories per day (= 1/2 lb to 1 lb weight loss per week). It may be helpful to accurately track for two weeks (including measuring/weighing food) to see if there are any hidden sources of calories coming in. Things that I typically zero in on with clients' diets include:

    • Frequency of restaurant, cafeteria, or takeout meals
    • Liquid calories
    • Added oils/fats, sauces, spreads, dressings, etc.
    • Bites of food being eaten while making/cleaning up supper
    • Finishing kids' meals

    Lastly, keep in mind that your weight loss will likely be slow (which is a good thing!) so avoid weighing yourself more than once per week.

    Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
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