Apologies if I should be posting this elsewhere, or if it's been covered -- this is my first post (feel free to direct me to the appropriate area).
After several years of strict vegetarianism/always eating vegan at home, I went completely vegan about 7 months ago. Here's the issue: I've gained about 3 pounds and lost muscle tone despite the fact that I'm doing more strength training (not a ton -- just curls/lateral raises/etc w/ 8lb weights, crunches, squats and lunges a few times a week, but I rarely strength trained at all before). I'm also hanging on to more fat in weird places (e.g. belly weight, which was never a problem before, even at 10+ lbs heavier than I am now).
I run 3-7 miles 3 or 4 times per week (I'm currently training for a 15k and then my fourth half marathon). I'm a much stronger runner since going vegan -- my endurance is better, I'm a bit faster for longer distances, and recovery is quicker than ever, even after tough runs. But I can't seem to lose even a single pound, or even just drop some of the fat and build some new muscle, no matter how hard I try. I feel like those few pounds and the loss of muscle tone are keeping me from fully realizing my fitness gains.
I'm female, 28 years old, 5'1" and 125 lbs. I'm a pretty healthy eater (all fruit/veg smoothies in the morning, salads or veggie sandwiches for lunch, stir fry type meals for dinner and very few snacks). I net around 1400 calories per day, and I hit my protein goals (50-70g) most days. My intake is usually around 60% carbs, 16% protein and 24% fat.
I know the obvious answer is to eat more protein, but that doesn't seem to be helping. Has anyone experienced this? I'm super frustrated and I'd welcome any and all suggestions.