Eating a high(er) protein diet - gaining weight and not feeling satisfied, but clothes fit the same?

This is probably going to sound like a moronic question here, but I'm getting different answers from different sources so I'm confused.

I'm a 45 year old woman, 5'11", about 20 lbs heavier than this time last year due to sheer laziness and diet fatigue... at some point I just stopped counting calories and allowed my portion sizes to slowly increase. Now I'm working to get my weight back down. I started up again January 2018. Last year, I was only counting calories... I didn't pay attention to protein, and only worked out maybe 1-2 times a week, and it was cardio only. I was losing weight steadily until I slipped off the wagon.

This time around, I'm working out more (3-4x a week), doing a combination of cardio and weight training. I'm also focusing on reaching or exceeding my protein goal every day, since I've been reading that protein can help with weight loss and aid in satiety. I'm also watching my sodium more closely, although I sometimes go over my daily limit. I'm vegetarian leaning towards vegan (my diet is vegan probably 85 - 90% of the time) so my protein sources come from tofu, seitan, TVP, tempeh, nutritional yeast, etc.

Here's what is puzzling to me.... my weight is not going down. In fact, I've put on 5 lbs :( BUT.... I'm wearing the same clothes I wore last year. Everything I've wore so far seems to fit the same. I'm not a hardcore weight lifter.... I train for probably 2 hours a week with the rest being cardio (elliptical or P90X classes, which does include some training with light weights). I have not measured myself since last December... as irrational as this sounds, I'm kind of afraid to.... I don't want to face the reality that I'm getting bigger, I guess :( I don't look "ripped" or anything like that... I look the same, from what I can tell.

It's baffling that my weight is not going down. And... the protein is not helping ease the hunger. I still find myself battling hunger at the end of the day. If you look at my diary, you'll see that there's a crapload of bread under snacks today. That was actually a midnight snack from last night, after my workout. I try to get as close to my fat limit as possible - again, so I can feel a little more satisified - but the hunger is there. I don't eat back my exercise calories.

Maybe I need to set my profile so the exercise calories show up, and start eating some of them back?

ETA: I have a genetic propensity to put on muscle mass quickly... just about everybody on both sides of my family are what you would call "hearty stock" and even the women are rather substantial... but I'm not lifting much. I'm new to this so I'm only doing maybe 30-40 lbs for arms and shoulders and around 100 lbs for my legs. Trying to take it slow and build up. So, I am having some trouble believing that it could all be muscle mass. I dunno. Sorry for rambling.

Replies

  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,135 Member
    How long have you been doing the new workouts?

    Do you use a food scale?

    What is your daily calorie goal?
  • PrincessTinyheart
    PrincessTinyheart Posts: 677 Member
    Yes, I use a food scale and I weigh all solids. I measure liquids and powders.

    I've been working out since about mid-February of this year, so not very long.

    My daily calorie goal is 1510 / day. (want to lose 1 lb/wk). I set my profile to Sedentary.
  • PrincessTinyheart
    PrincessTinyheart Posts: 677 Member
    I weigh everything in ounces when I'm at home. That entry for avocado you saw was from a restaurant I visited. I had to estimate based on the portion. I need to correct that, yes, but I had to estimate that because it was at a restaurant. I've been eating more avocado because, if I don't, my diet will be extremely low in fat and I was of the understanding that fat helps with satiety as well? I've been trying different things to help with that... some people have even suggested that I eat MORE fat (eep!!!)

    I am trying to lose 1 lb a week.

  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,135 Member
    I meant how much weight in total. 10 pounds? 137 pounds? It makes a difference to the answer.
  • PrincessTinyheart
    PrincessTinyheart Posts: 677 Member
    I'm trying to lose 20 lbs.
  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,135 Member
    I'm stumped - if you truly are weighing and logging everything you eat/drink, no cheating, skipping or forgetting.

    It may be time to get a doctor's appointment.

    kuk4c3couajw.jpg
  • JMcGee2018
    JMcGee2018 Posts: 273 Member
    High protein vs. low protein doesn't make a difference in regards to weight loss, because weight loss all comes down to calories. You do want to make sure you get enough protein to prevent muscle loss as you lose fat, but beyond that there isn't a benefit to high protein. Once you hit (or try to hit) your daily goal for protein (.36 grams/pound of body weight), eat whatever mix of protein, fat, and carbs keeps you satisfied.
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,491 Member
    I'm stumped as well. I have not ever seen a diary all weighed in ounces like this (not to say others don't do it) and wondering if there is some variation between the ounce entries and gram entries would could be found.

    5 pounds gain being in a deficit could be a 'little' muscle (but these will taper down over time), could be an accumulation of water retention from the working out, perhaps where you are in your cycle, hydration etc. Have you been 5 pounds heavier for 4+ weeks?

    Protein alone satisfies some but others its needs to be with a combination of other macros. Play around with macros to get the best balance for satiety, also use meal timing to see if eating at your hungriest times of the day helps. Get the hungries around heavier exercise days, during ovulation and/or menses? Working through the next monthly cycle work through these so you can create a strategy that works well for you.

  • PrincessTinyheart
    PrincessTinyheart Posts: 677 Member
    Some people on a different site suggested that I may be going through body re-composition of some kind. I won't know for sure until I swallow my pride and start measuring myself.

    Maybe it's just a sign that I'm getting older?
  • HoneyBadger302
    HoneyBadger302 Posts: 1,677 Member
    Unless you need the protein for your own reasons, play around a little with your macros and see if different foods help you feel more satisfied. For me, protein doesn't help much with feeling full, but it does last longer. Carbs help me recover a lot faster from my workouts than when I was reducing them, and I felt better and more energetic adding some back into my diet. Fats don't do much for me though other than add flavor (I did find I needed them to help with weight loss though as when I was losing primarily based off diet alone, I plateaued, and changing my macros and adding some fats back in helped get things moving again).
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,491 Member
    Some people on a different site suggested that I may be going through body re-composition of some kind. I won't know for sure until I swallow my pride and start measuring myself.

    Maybe it's just a sign that I'm getting older?

    Have you been at 5 pounds gained for 4+ weeks? The reason I ask is, instead of putting yourself in a deficit you have been eating in a small surplus and I could see some of this muscle gain. When we build muscle we gain fat too.

    However if this is just 5 pounds that have crept in the past several days its retaining water per se. If you are weighing, why not measure? Your measurements are a wonder tool to gauge progress. The scale is good for seeing a 'gain' or 'losing' trend over a set period of time (i.e. 4+ weeks); it can help us see if we are on point with our 'calories in'.

    Getting older will not prohibit us from losing weight, our calorie deficit or lack there of does this. I am nearing 50 :grimace: so that would only be the case of not being in a deficit to lose weight and/or accompanied by moving less in general.
  • PrincessTinyheart
    PrincessTinyheart Posts: 677 Member
    RoxieDawn wrote: »
    Some people on a different site suggested that I may be going through body re-composition of some kind. I won't know for sure until I swallow my pride and start measuring myself.

    Maybe it's just a sign that I'm getting older?

    Have you been at 5 pounds gained for 4+ weeks? The reason I ask is, instead of putting yourself in a deficit you have been eating in a small surplus and I could see some of this muscle gain. When we build muscle we gain fat too.

    Yes, I've been at 5 lbs gained for the past few weeks, Since about the 2nd week of March.

  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,491 Member
    RoxieDawn wrote: »
    Some people on a different site suggested that I may be going through body re-composition of some kind. I won't know for sure until I swallow my pride and start measuring myself.

    Maybe it's just a sign that I'm getting older?

    Have you been at 5 pounds gained for 4+ weeks? The reason I ask is, instead of putting yourself in a deficit you have been eating in a small surplus and I could see some of this muscle gain. When we build muscle we gain fat too.

    Yes, I've been at 5 lbs gained for the past few weeks, Since about the 2nd week of March.

    Its possible some of this 'real' gain and some is water retention depending you various factors of course.

    We gain weight by being in a calorie surplus, no bones about that. Its easy to over eat 100-200 calories if we are not handling our intake accurately. It creeps over time as I would get back to reviewing your weighing and food logging and the amount of exercise calories you eating back.
  • PrincessTinyheart
    PrincessTinyheart Posts: 677 Member
    RoxieDawn wrote: »
    RoxieDawn wrote: »
    Some people on a different site suggested that I may be going through body re-composition of some kind. I won't know for sure until I swallow my pride and start measuring myself.

    Maybe it's just a sign that I'm getting older?

    Have you been at 5 pounds gained for 4+ weeks? The reason I ask is, instead of putting yourself in a deficit you have been eating in a small surplus and I could see some of this muscle gain. When we build muscle we gain fat too.

    Yes, I've been at 5 lbs gained for the past few weeks, Since about the 2nd week of March.

    Its possible some of this 'real' gain and some is water retention depending you various factors of course.

    We gain weight by being in a calorie surplus, no bones about that. Its easy to over eat 100-200 calories if we are not handling our intake accurately. It creeps over time as I would get back to reviewing your weighing and food logging and the amount of exercise calories you eating back.

    I don't any of my exercise calories back. I can recalibrate my scale and check some other things too, I guess.

  • Lillymoo01
    Lillymoo01 Posts: 2,868 Member
    mywayroche wrote: »
    If you're eating protein powders then they're packed with carbs unless isolate. Carbs will make you hold water. People don't gain muscle mass in a calorie deficit period.

    She is not in a calorie deficit if she is gaining weight.

    As you appear to be measuring your food with reasonable accuracy I'd be taking some measurements but also look into going to the doctor for a checkup.
  • PrincessTinyheart
    PrincessTinyheart Posts: 677 Member
    edited April 2018
    Ok, thanks. I definitely need to break out the tape measure and make a dr. appt.

    I feel great overall. I'm kind of hungry at various times throughout the day, almost every day and have been for the past several months, but I have learned to accept this as part of the process. I know I'm only cheating myself if I don't measure and record things, so I don't (knowingly) skip out on recording my intake. I even measure my condiments on my veggie burgers whenever possible!!!

    I do use protein powders at times to help me reach my protein goal - not every day, but as needed as a supplement. I don't drink as much water as I probably should either. I need to start doing that.
  • Lillymoo01
    Lillymoo01 Posts: 2,868 Member
    Good news!! I have actually lost inches - .5 inches in my waist and a little over 1 inch in my hips :)

    I had to wear some tight, short bicycle shorts for a massage class I was taking, and I had a pair that had been in my drawer for over a year. I was dreading putting them on because I didn't know how they would fit. They were a little tight but wearable last time I put them on... but now they are comfortable and not tight at all :)

    So I guess I am getting smaller even though i weigh slightly more.

    Great news. Looks like that work at the gym is paying off and you are gaining some muscle. I just a wee bit jealous because the thought of the gym gives me anxiety but would love a bit more muscle. That and I hate resistance training.