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Can't Lose Weight!
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I was diagnosed with Celiac just over 9 months ago. I am used to being very small and fit (was 103 pounds at 5'3 with 12% body fat when diagnosed!). About four months after going gluten free I started to gain weight and got close to 120. I have since then leveled out around 114-115 with 16% body fat. Before my diagnosis I ate about 4,000 calories of crappy food a day, so moving down to a normal caloric intake was pretty hard for me. Currently, I am eating 200-300 calories every 2-3 hours throughout the day and making sure every "meal" is protein packed. If I eat something that is full of carbs, I eat it for breakfast. Most of the food I eat is "clean food" meaning organic and nothing man made that has chemicals or additives (except for my after workout protein shake). I drink a gallon of water a day and do 30 minutes of hard cardio 6 times a week, as well as lift 6 times a week (alternating different muscle groups). I have been doing this for a month and have not lost an ounce and my body fat is still the same as it was a month ago. What gives? Has anyone else had this problem? I know if I was not eating this healthy and working out like crazy I would be gaining weight. Is this just my body continuing to recover from all the damage gluten caused? Will it ever stop trying to put every calorie I eat straight to my hips? I am trying to train for a figure competition, which will require me to be down to 10-12% body fat, but I am getting discouraged by the lack of progress I am seeing after all my hard work! Not to mention that all my summer clothes from last year no longer fit!

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Whoa...whoa, whoa, whoa. You don't need to be losing any weight. 103 at 5'3" isn't healthy--it's underweight. 115 is a very nice, slim number. 120 is normal. 16% body fat is something any athlete would be proud of and it is far below normal numbers.

You weren't fit at 103--you were seriously sick (from celiac.) Only 9 months after diagnosis, you need to be focused on being healthy and fit and getting readjusted to what normal is for you, body wise.

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I know that I am healthy and look good already, but working out and training for figure competitions is a hobby of mine. To be in competition shape, we are required to be around 10-14% fat, which is quite low for a woman, but that's how it goes. It used to be really easy for me to go into "training" mode for a competition and cut my body fat, but now it's not budging! This is the first competition I have started training for since I was diagnosed, that's why I was wondering if my lack of progress has anything to do with having Celiac.

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I know that I am healthy and look good already, but working out and training for figure competitions is a hobby of mine. To be in competition shape, we are required to be around 10-14% fat, which is quite low for a woman, but that's how it goes. It used to be really easy for me to go into "training" mode for a competition and cut my body fat, but now it's not budging! This is the first competition I have started training for since I was diagnosed, that's why I was wondering if my lack of progress has anything to do with having Celiac.

Luckily, I put on quite a bit of muscle about 6 months after my diagnosis 2 years ago. But that was a function of a bunch of different things. First of all, I was working full time at a vegetarian company and probably not getting the proper amount of protein.

The good news was that ALL of the food was free from my employer, it just wasn't high in protein. The other good news was that it was an organic food company, so I have been eating clean for years. And final good news was that my villas (lower intestine) were growing back and absorbing all of the protein and nutrients they weren't before.

The second issue that helped with my muscle gain was the fact that I was actually working out TOO much (6 days of straight weight training & running every day). Yes, that sounds strange but it's true and I found that out from an ex-Marine-work-out partner. I simply wasn't giving my muscles time to heal/grow. And, that's where the real muscle growth and definition begins!

I personally think that you need to:

* Re-examine your carb/fat/protein ratios (I can help you with that)

* Balance your cardio and weight training days

* Work on multiple muscle groups per each day of training

* Provide me with the heart rate range that you are at during your 30 minutes of cardio (My pilates instructor tells me to keep it between 135-145 is where the real fat burning occurs for what that's worth)

Let me know your thoughts and you can always send me a direct message as well.

The GlutenGladi8or

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This is a sample of what I would eat on a particular day:

1: Soy latte with no flavoring and 2 servings of dry organic cereal

2: two hard boiled organic eggs

3: 1.5 servings of almonds

4: an organic orange or apple with 2 organic string cheeses

5: protein bar or shake (post workout)

6: steamed vegetables with baked tilapia or chicken breast (no butter or oil added to either)

To handle sweets cravings I just have a jolly rancher or two after dinner. For my workout routine, I work out legs, butt, abs one day, then the next day I will do arms, back, chest, and abs.

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This is a sample of what I would eat on a particular day:

1: Soy latte with no flavoring and 2 servings of dry organic cereal

2: two hard boiled organic eggs

3: 1.5 servings of almonds

4: an organic orange or apple with 2 organic string cheeses

5: protein bar or shake (post workout)

6: steamed vegetables with baked tilapia or chicken breast (no butter or oil added to either)

To handle sweets cravings I just have a jolly rancher or two after dinner. For my workout routine, I work out legs, butt, abs one day, then the next day I will do arms, back, chest, and abs.

By a quick glance, I think we need to "sneak" a little more protein into your diet and eliminate a small portion of the carbs.

* Instead of the morning organic cereal, opt for Fat Free Greek yogurt with berries (20grams of protein per serving. I personally like FAGE brand)

* Go from 2 hard boiled eggs to 3, but toss the yolks and eat just the whites

* Try and eat your dinner as early in the evening as possible. I actually like your ratios for dinner.

* For sweet cravings, try a square or two of extra dark chocolate.

As for the work-outs, I would try and spread them out more throughout the week and get even MORE targeted for each day (separate arms into biceps and triceps). Example:

* MON - Bi's & back

* TUE - Abs, butt, cardio (heart rate 135-145)

* WED - Light chest & triceps

* THUR - all legs and maybe some abs (give the butt a rest)

* FRI - Shoulders

* SAT - Cardio, butt

* SUN - Rest

Good luck and keep the board posted.

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