Leangains/IF Diet not working for me? HELP :(

So I have a good friend who swears by leangains.
I can see why, he's dropped 20lbs in little over 2 months and looks like pure lean muscle (he was never fat to begin with. but he lost weight and leaned up, now is planning to bulk)
Seeing his results my boyfriend (Ed) and I decided to hop on the wagon.
I have a lot more experience with healthy dieting then my boyfriend. So molding into this diet was no challenge for me at all.
I had to teach Ed a few things here and there but with the help of the food scale and being macro conscious, he got the hang of it in no time.

We've been true to our macros and training for a month now. We eat the same meals (w/ the exception of my smaller meals than his to fit my macros)
Ed lost 10lbs. I haven't lost ANY. :(
What am I doing wrong?
Some specifics:
(Our macros were calculated by out leangains fanatic friend)

Ed- (naturally thin guy with a pot belly skinny/fat syndrome) Height 5'11 Started 167lbs, now down to 157.
His macros are as follows:
((Rest)) Pro: 150g Carbs: 35.5g Fat: 92.8g 1577cals
((Training)) Pro: 150g Carbs: 430.4g Fat: 38.5g 2669cals
Ed hasn't stalled on any lifts so far I believe.

OK Let me be a little more specific when it comes to me.
I jumped into a healthy/fitness lifestyle at a very early age. I was 16 and I learned tons about different diets, workouts, and lifestyles. I suggest everyone read "In Defense Of Food" by far one of my favorite books. I've always been a thin and lanky girl.
I did HIIT for 4 years and then my body plateaued during the same time I gained the "freshman 15". My skinnyfat body was back (potbelly, some celluite, main weight around buttocks and lower belly and upper thighs, really thin upper body and legs)
HIIT was not working anymore so I decided to decrease my daily intake to 1,000 and never ate over 30g of carbs in grains.
That didn't work. Now I'm 20 and I haven't had over 1700cals in over a year until Leangains.

Oh I forgot to mention. I'm a model. (lets not have anorexic stereotype comments, I am FAR from it)
I used to always weight about 110lbs naturally. My goal weight is to be 116lbs. So being this thin is NOT unnatural for me.

Current stats:
Heights 5'9.5 Weight 124.4lbs Bust 32in Waist: 25.5in Hips: 36in

When I started leanings I was shifting between 122-123lbs (morning weight) My weight today was 124.4 I haven't noticed any difference in tone. According to my weight scale I have also gained bodyfat. Im not sure how accurate the scale is but anyway, I started at 17% bf now I am up to 19% .
My leangains fanatic friend changed up my macros 2 weeks in when I was telling him that I was not seeing results. He "prescribed" more fats as women tend to need more fats. My macros didn't change much at all (about a 10g difference in fat and carbs)
My macros as of last week:
((Rest)) Protein: 120g Carbs: 30.8g Fat: 70.6g 1239cals
((Training)) Protein: 120g Carbs: 309.7g Fat: 41.9g 2096cals

Protein was a little tough at first, but now Im able to reach an easy 140-160 esp on training days.
I went over my carbs on restday a little the first week in but I've been hitting my macros pretty close ever since.
ALSO, it is difficult for me to even 300g of carbs for training. I havent gone higher than 270g so far.
I'm not as active as I used to be (standing job) and I follow the 5x5 STRONG LIFTS workout like Ed.
Except I stall often. Esp on over head press and bench press. My upper body is way behind compared to my lower body strength (80lbs on squats now versus 45lbs on overhead press)
I've considered the possibility of me having bad form but I'm pretty spot on thanks to my previous years of proper bodyweight workout form. (I can do one legged squats mind you ;)

I am incredibly discouraged seeing Ed progress so much faster than I am...I mean I haven't shedded a single lb and all I want to lose is 7-10 lbs which Ed was able to do in one month.
Maybe I calorie/carb restricted for too long prior leangains but thats the only thing I can think of.

Please send me your second opinions, lovings, and advice.
I really want this to work and I don't want to have to resort to extreme calorie depletion to lose at least 7lbs. :(
I can post pics if any of you think that would help.
Thank you sooooooo much for your time.



  • wolfchild59
    wolfchild59 Posts: 2,608 Member
    Despite having once weighed 110 pounds, you are underweight for your height at 124.4 pounds. So there are a few factors here:

    1. Women don't lose weight as easily as men
    2. When you only have a few pounds to lose, you should be eating closer to your maintenance, with a deficit of only 250-500
    3. You are underweight, so your body doesn't want to lose more weight, it's going to try to hold onto whatever it can to stay healthy
    4. You at at 1000 calories for a long time, jumping up in calories (while good for you), can cause a weight gain because the body is so excited to have food and calories again it's going to hold onto some extra until it gets used to getting that amount regularly
    5. Carbs naturally hold water in the body, if you are eating 300 g of carbs, that's about 900 grams of water, give or take. So you're going to have that extra water that your body is holding showing up on the scale.

    I'd say keep eating the higher calories and keep doing what you're doing. You need to add some weight to your body and if you're doing strength training, you'll add healthy lean body mass. So you may end up weighing more in the end, but you could still see your measurements get smaller.
  • As long as my measurments get smaller!
    (I want to go down 1inch so 32-24-34 is the goal)

    I totally understand and appreciate your concern about my weight already being underweight.
    But I can't tell you how many times I've had to explain that this actually the largest I have EVER been. (124)
    I've been so used to being 110 as that was my natural weight up until I turned 19.
    So I really don't think wanting to go down to 116 is unhealthy for me.
    After my initial weight gain I was feeling very lethargic and broke out in so much acne. And I can confidently say that I don't believe in the national Body Mass Index. Everyone's body is uniquely different in chemicals, composition, and genetics.
    Sorry I just feel like I have to say this to avoid negative stereotypes.
  • 5ftnFun
    5ftnFun Posts: 948 Member
    Please forgive me, but when you said your goal is 116 lbs when you are 5'9.5", I stopped reading.
  • Escape_Artist
    Escape_Artist Posts: 1,155 Member
    Hun, sorry to say but considering you are already very skinny, I doubt anyone here will give you advice on how to lose any more weight. I understand body composition differs from one to another but hell, I'm barely 5'2 and I weight more than you with no goal to lose any more than that.

    If you want advice on how to build muscle, which I think at this point is what you should be doing, well we'll be glad to help but here we encourage people to be work on being at a healthy weight and achieving this in a way that won't damage one's body.
    5'9 116lbs is nothing close to healthy.
  • I thought at a forum like this I wouldnt be judged let alone be accused of being unhealthy. Sorry I ever posted here. So much for open minded replies.
  • lilpoindexter
    lilpoindexter Posts: 1,122 Member
    Lift heavy. Do squats. Eat more to weigh less.
  • Helloitsdan
    Helloitsdan Posts: 5,568 Member
    Winter is coming. Bulk time!
    Lean bulking is probably the way to go.
  • laurelobrien
    laurelobrien Posts: 156 Member
    IF does not work the same for men as it does for women. We are more prone to stress-related retention (and fasting stresses your body). Women also lose weight slower and take longer to respond to exercise routines - it's called estrogen and having less relative muscle. If you don't like IF, don't do it, it's just one way of eating.

    You will stall more than him on a deficit for the same reasons. You are a woman. You cannot follow a man's diet and workout routine and expect to progress at the same rate. I personally IF and lift and enjoy it, and see results, but it is slower.
  • laurelobrien
    laurelobrien Posts: 156 Member
    Lift heavy. Do squats. Eat more to weigh less.

    This is poor advice for a female. :P
  • Escape_Artist
    Escape_Artist Posts: 1,155 Member

    This is poor advice for a female. :P

    Please elaborate?
  • You are not hearing what you want to because you are already too slim. I am a similar height to you (5'9) and I weigh 30 pounds more, yet my collarbones are visible. I can see my ribs sometimes. I understand that people carry weight differently but I think most people are struggling to believe that you are not emaciated.

    It sounds like you are still very young (20). Women who are very slim as teenagers will often put on some weight in their late teens and early twenties as their bodies continue to develop after the growth spurt is over - this is natural and not a sign of failure. Just because you were comfortably 116 pounds as a teenager does not mean that this will be your natural weight for the rest of your life.

    Because you are already so underweight the chances that your body will give up any more (essential) body fat/weight without a Herculean struggle are virtually nil. The more you punish yourself the lower your BMR will go and the more muscle mass you will lose (regardless of your leangains program/protein intake) - this is probably why you are not seeing any progress.

    The fact that you became 'interested' in diets and fitness at the tender age of eating 16 raises alarm bells. Then there is the issue of you chronically under eating. Tall women - in particular, tall teenagers have much greater metabolic requirements. 1700kcal does not cut it at all. Most women your height eat a lot more than that and maintain their (natural) weight.

    If I were you I would forget about the scale, stop obsessively tracking macros and work hard at your lifting program. Eat what feels good for you and what your body craves. You will reach your natural weight - which may be even more than 124 - who knows, but you will appear slimmer.

    Of course what that means for your career is another matter, but I can't pretend to be objective about my loathing and hatred for the fashion and modelling world. Modelling has its pressures and I don't envy you one moment, but if you really want to hit 116lb and don't care what it takes to get there you WILL have to starve yourself and damage your body and psyche in the process and that's not advice that anyone on here is willing to give.
  • Lyadeia
    Lyadeia Posts: 4,608 Member
    Lift heavy. Do squats. Eat more to weigh less.

    This is poor advice for a female. :P

    That "poor" advice is what worked for me. I lift heavy 4 days a week, do minimal cardio, and eat more now than I ever did on previous attempts to lose weight. I now am wearing the smallest size clothing of my entire adult life...
  • Lyadeia
    Lyadeia Posts: 4,608 Member
    OP, have you considered eating closer to your maintenance and going for a body recomp? I would think that would get you to your goal more than dieting down would.
  • Beastette
    Beastette Posts: 1,500 Member
    OP, have you considered eating closer to your maintenance and going for a body recomp? I would think that would get you to your goal more than dieting down would.

  • soupandcookies
    soupandcookies Posts: 212 Member
    I thought at a forum like this I wouldnt be judged let alone be accused of being unhealthy.

    Really? That's interesting.
  • m76b
    m76b Posts: 1,502 Member
    Please forgive me, but when you said your goal is 116 lbs when you are 5'9.5", I stopped reading.

  • pincci
    pincci Posts: 2
    This drives me nuts too. I find I usually get this response from people who have more serious weight problems and have never really been thin. (Maybe a bit of jealousy) I'm very small boned and love being thin, but I'm not even close to being anorexic. Maybe I'd be called skinny fat; I don't know. But I absolutely hate it when I get this response, so I usually don't mention my goals to the average (more overweight) person.. I agree, I would think this would be a safe place. Too bad people can't get past their own issues to look at you objectively.
  • Showcase_Brodown
    Showcase_Brodown Posts: 919 Member
    Lift heavy. Do squats. Eat more to weigh less.

    This is poor advice for a female. :P

    The first two things are great advice for everyone. The last part... well, it seems to defy all established weight management science.
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,731 Member
    I've been so used to being 110 as that was my natural weight up until I turned 19.

    Your weight will change, it's what happens when you become an adult...
  • Showcase_Brodown
    Showcase_Brodown Posts: 919 Member
    Do you know what your maintenance calories are?

    That's an important part of the leangains protocol. On workout days (assume 3 a week), you add about 20% to maintenance. On rest days, you subtract about 20%. Over 7 days, that works out to be a slight deficit. Is this what you are doing?

    If your maintenance calories are not figured right, it could throw it off a little bit.

    I don't think there are very specific macros to hit, but generally high protein all days (30% of calories), high(er) carbs on workout days (40% vs 30% fat) and high(er) fat on rest days(40% vs 30% carbs). That's how I remember it going when I read the protocol a while ago.