So, I have been paleo for 6 months now. Since then I have not lost any significant amount of weight. I decided to get into ketosis and try that as well. I have been in ketosis for three weeks now, and still have that stubborn fat on my stomach. My diet consists primarily of meat, eggs, and leafy greens. I do 20 hour fasts twice a week.
The only problem is that I am in college, with a meal plan, so I cannot know exactly what is in all the food I eat, but I have been trying my best to get what I need.
I am an 18 year old female, 5'5" and 123 pounds. I lift weights about three times a week, and do minimal HIIT on the stationary bike.
Also I have been having crazy loud digestion, bloating, and constipation since starting keto, and I don't know if they correlate.
I feel like since I am pretty young, this should be easy, but it isn't.
Please help me if you can!
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Ketosis did not work for me either, and fasting made me gain weight -- my body does not like to be in starvation mode. Of course, everyone is different! You might try it for a bit longer to see what happens, but if it doesn't work, you might consider going back to a moderate carb diet, stop fasting, try to lower your caloric intake by a small amount (make sure you're eating enough fat & protein so that doesn't make you hungry) and move more. I find the amount of time I spend sitting to be a bigger factor than how much or how hard I exercise: if you spend a lot of time sitting, try to sit less. Just standing helps, but also any bit of movement: walking, slow jump roping, etc. If you can find a podium to do some of your school work standing up, that would undoubtedly help. When you're tired and must sit, try sitting on exercise ball so you can at least engage your core muscles. I've been amazed at how much more I can eat when I don't let myself sit down very much.
But, it may also be that even if you lose 5 more pounds (and given your height, seems unwise to go much farther than that) you will still have a layer of fat on your stomach. At some point you have to worry more about your health than your appearance. The few times I have dropped enough weight to get a reasonably flat stomach, my face has looked awful and I've not had the energy or immune function that I ought to.
A drastic diet will very likely be met with stubborn resistance. Wolframalpha says your B.M.I. is normal and your ideal body weight is actually 8lb heavier.
A more appropriate protocol is this- eat paleo, eat enough calories/nutrition and lift heavy things. You could sprint once or twice a week too- sprinting might be enough by itself. This will help body recomposition. You will stay at or near the same weight, but things will shift. You will put on a little muscle, but do not be afraid, you will not look too muscular unless you start using steriods.
One possible approach to the college situation is to eat paleo stuff like fruit,fish, eggs, the salad bar- all the extra lean stuff that they are unlikely to be able to hide anything in- and then bring your own saturated fat. I've got a jar of ghee on my desk right now.
At your height, your weight sounds fine. There has been lots of discussion here about whether fasting is good for women (many say no), how much tummy fat is actually good for women (we generally need some), and how tummy fat is the last to go. Search for tummy or stomach fat, and you'll see lots.
I'm not crazy about ketosis, unless it's for medical reasons. I don't think women should fast either. We need our body fat for making babies.
Abdominal fat can accumulate due to high cortisol levels, meaning your adrenals are out of whack. Are you tired in the mornings? Is your period inconsistent?
Warning: Big Wall of Text: Please read, I tried to write with little technical jargon, but please ask if you have questions and I will elaborate.
Ok, here's the low down:
Ketosis: This is a state of elevated ketone bodies within your body. What are ketone bodies? They are the byproduct of an incomplete free fatty acid break down. They raise the acidity of your blood.
A ketogenic diet is related to increased resistance to epileptic seizures. This is not relevant to you is it?
You know why ketosis results in fruity breath? Because your blood acidity is rising so high that the body tries to maintain the internal balance (homeostasis); you exhale extra CO2 and ketone bodies. It's a coping mechanism. Does that ring an alarm bell? It should. Therefore high levels of ketones should be avoided.
Do you want to lose fat? Dieting is not the way to go. What you need is a calorie DEFICIT. This means: Total energy expenditure (TEE) > Total energy intake (TEI). The best way to achieve this is through a combination of regular exercise and balanced diet.
Exercise at ~50-70% (moderate intensity) of HR max (HRM ??? 220 - age, therefore about 202bpm for you). This training zone is ideal for burning fat. Higher intensity, at the range of 80% and above will utilise mostly carbohydrate sources.
Eat carbs, protein and fats.
I can't stress enough how important it is to combine exercise and reduce caloric intake. Fat loss is the most effective then. You might not lose weight, because you gain muscle mass which is heavier than fat. You'll probably stay the same weight but become slimmer.
Just dieting and sedentary lifestyle lead to lean mass loss, not fat loss.
When not enough glucose or stored glycogen is available (reduced carbohydrate intake), the body will preferentially break down intramuscular proteins into amino acids, which are used in gluconeogenesis to produce glucose, the one and only energy source that the brain can use. (Ok, that's a half truth, after about 48hours of starvation, blood ketone levels rise so high that the brain will use this left over scrap food to keep functioning, in order to spare the scarce glucose).
Tips & Infos:
Big calorie burner exercises: rowing machines, HIIT, swimming, nordic skiing. I might be biased towards rowing machines since I'm a rower. But they truly are full body training, calorie annihilating monsters.
Fat has a higher chance of being stored as fat than do carbohydrates, protein and alcohol.
Female individuals have higher body fat % than men; it is healthy, as long as it isn't in excess. Everything in moderation, as they say.
I read you are in college; if you consume a lot of alcohol, then stop. Lot's of excess calories in alcohol that you don't need. Of course, a glass of wine every now and again has been shown to be beneficial ;)
Sources: Various specialist textbooks and journal papers. I am currently studying sports and Exercise Science (Biology, health related nutrition, exercise physiology etc), I row, am very lean with 7% body fat. That's almost unhealthily low, but I do eat a lot and am gaining lean weight as a result of resistance training in addition to aerobic exercise. I eat maybe 300g rice per day (dry weight). That's a lot of carbs. BMI = 21.
Ive beein messing around with IF for months and my hormones got way off. It doesnt seem to do anything different then when i just crossfit and watch my calories on a paleo diet. Ive read a lot about fasting for women, and you need to be careful that you dont fast too long. Women do better on short fasts, like a 12/12. maybe throw in a full day every other week or so. Fasting seems to work better with men. Listen to your body. If something isnt working, stop doing it. dont force it because someone else had success.
To lose weight, you just need to excercise more and eat less. Going very low carb is not healthy since your body needs adequate levels of all three macro nutrients. Take out a couple hundred calories a day and add a couple miles of running each morning and the weight will come off.
have you substantially increased the number of veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage and raw veggies while going into ketosis? for me, eliminating these and other high FODMAP fruit and veggies has made a world of difference in terms of IBS symptoms and I'm finally starting to lose that last bit of stubborn fat.
How is your sleep? College can be a stressful time and it appears that you are monitoring your food intake and fitness levels to point of causing yourself unneeded stress. This could possibly be compounded by any sleep issues you may be having (late night exam cramming and other fun stuff). All of these stressors coupled with fasting plus some high intensity exercise may be what is keeping you from your goal.
On a seperate note: What does your weight lifting routine look like?
When you are not hitting your goals adapt. I wrote about that today here: http://www.jackkruse.com/the-change-rx/
Then when your ready to adapt your template maybe consider this: http://www.jackkruse.com/brain-gut-6-epi-paleo-rx/
Good Luck and I hope this helps you.