I just finished a 30 day challenge on Paleo and made it through unscathed. I feel good, skin looks good, and I dropped a few pounds. Even though my husband and I told ourselves we could "cheat" when we finished the 30 days, I really don't want anything but fruit, which I am trying not to eat. A couple of weeks into the challenge, I had only lost a couple of pounds and read that I should probably cut fruit in order to lose weight, so I cut them down a lot. I might have 1/2 an apple or one mandarin orange a day, but that's it. I also cut my nut intake a lot. Most days, I am under 50g of carbs. As for other foods, I had read to eat fat, so I tried to overcome my long-held fear of fats and started using more coconut oil, coconut milk, and animal fats. My stomach was upset at first, but now I am feeling better.
My major concern is that I still want to lose around 15 pounds. I am female, 5'7", 34 years old, and around 167 pounds and 30% BF. I like to be around 155 pounds and 23-24% BF. I am a long-time Weight Watcher, and what I liked about it was knowing that if I followed "the plan," I would lose weight. What I didn't like about it was that a lot of people do WW on a junk food diet. I wanted to lose weight on real food, so I decided to give Paleo a try, but now I feel confused about what the Paleo plan really is. I came to look for advice and find everything from not watching macros to major calorie restriction, from all lean meats to a lot of animal fats, from zero carb to moderate carb, etc...I am more confused than ever.
What I want to know is how I can speed up my weight loss. At the moment I am not even sure I am still losing. I started 31 days ago at 170, hit 164 several days ago, and this morning was 167. I don't know what I am doing wrong, but would really appreciate some troubleshooting.
High fat or low fat? How many carbs? What sources of protein? Restrict calories? What would be a good target?
Any other suggestions on how to do this more successfully? I really want this to work, but am feeling discouraged that the scale is not moving decidedly downward. (And no, I am not gaining any muscle). Thanks!
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Hey KM, relax! Weight loss does not follow a steady straight line. If you could survive 30 days of paleo, try to imagine what you'll look like in 180 days.
Note that water weight fluctuations can be substantial. Also, if you take it easy on nuts and fruit, there is almost no way you'll stay the same weight. Just give it some time. What's that quote about patience? Oh yeah..."Patience. It works." (p.s. not a real quote) Paleo is almost self-regulating. Paleohackers hacks mostly because it's fun and interesting, not because hacking is essential to lose weight or have a healthy diet. Our ancestors, for example, did not have internet forums.
Any of these 17 things apply to you? http://www.marksdailyapple.com/17-reasons-youre-not-losing-weight/
Every person is different, so what works for one person may not work for another. I weigh myself quite often.. not because I am stressed about why the pounds are not melting off as fast as I would like, but I am curious as to how the fat-burn cycle is working for me. It is not uncommon for me to lose a pound a day for 3 days, and then jump back up to where I started. Then, I may gain a pound or two, and the next day Voila! I am down 7 lbs. I've only been paleo for about 2 months now, but I have lost 26 lbs, which I think is pretty darn good. What is better is that I FEEL amazing. I have boundless energy, and even my self confidence has taken a sharp turn for the better. I like who I see in the mirror, and the best part about it is that it gets better every day. I still have a long way to go. I am female, I just turned 30, and I now weigh 228. I am 5'7", and I have many lbs to shed, still.
You will get there. Just give yourself time. Besides, if you are like me, it took many years to get to that ultimate low point before making a change. You said you feel good and your skin looks good. Those are amazing achievements. Don't sell yourself short. You're doing an amazing job, and you will continue to get better yet. Don't give up so easily! :)
Did you take measurements prior to your whole30? You may be losing inches.
Lots of good answers here. I'm glad you only got a little bit of "paleo is not meant for weightloss." I see that repeated all the time, and it's disingenuous at best. Almost all of the leading luminaries in the paleo world advertise it as being designed for weightloss. Here is the cover of Wolf's book:
and here is the cover of Sisson's:
Both mention weightloss right up front, and so I hope this "paleo is not designed for weightloss" meme will be allowed to die, or else the stars of the paleo movement should alter their claims.
Eating paleo/traditional will help you avoid food toxins and stay nourished, which will keep you healthy and within an acceptable weight range. However, if you want to be leaner for aesthetic or performance reasons then you need to take some extra steps.
1.) Keep insulin low through high fat, moderate protein,low carb by sticking to eating mostly animals, healthy fats, and non-starchy vegetables. Skip a meal and fast sometimes also.
2.) Manage your cortisol by reducing stress, sleeping, and relaxing/enjoying yourself
3.) Manage leptin sensitivity by overeating safe starches and fruits once a week.
4.) Count calories (ya I said it, so what, wanna fight about it =) ). To make sure you lose weight count the calories your eating and make sure it's around the ballpark to provide a reasonable caloric deficit.
5.) Exercise by lifting weights 2-3x a week and early morning fasted walks are nice too.
There you go, if you don't get lean with this then go see a doctor and/or get bloodwork done.
Hi KM, congrats on your new lifestyle! I am curious about how much weight your husband lost if any? I can tell you what I do to lose weight most effectively, however, this is all about what works best for each individual and sometimes you just have to try different things to see what works for you.
My most effective weight loss strategy for most females is high fat, medium protein and very low carbs. Personally, I am on 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs (under 20 net per day of carbs minus fiber) of all grass-fed, no-antibiotics, no hormones, all organic stuff, etc., unless I eat at a restaurant. This means no fruit, no dairy (because of insulin response,) and few nuts if any. I also IF a few days a week.
My big question is what are you doing for exercise? Paleo and short intense exercise go hand in hand.
Congratulations on making it through the first 30 days!
There are a lot of great answers on here. I hope they help.
I have one little suggestion - don't get so caught up in the scale. Pick a pair of jeans, shorts, or a dress that doesn't fit well, and try it on every week. The pounds may be going up and down daily but if you're burning fat, you'll see and feel the difference in the clothes.
I agree about relaxing and giving your body some time to adjust, but I will also throw out a few suggestions.
Track your food for the next two weeks while you are waiting for your body to adjust. If you don't start to lose weight again, drop the calories by 10-20%, calorie restriction will probably work for you if unweighed/unmeasured is not working.
Add in some HIIT workouts. You can find some great 15/20 minute workouts on the internet and they can seriously boost your metabolism. I usually just do 3 workouts per week and it helped speed my weight loss along. You don't need any equipment, body weight exercises work great for this. If you want some suggestions, please let know.
Work out fasted if you can. I am a morning workout person, so it's easier for me to do.
If you're really serious about losing weight, you should be exercising, too. While muscles may put on a few pounds at first, they're important to have and will make your skinny self look sooooo much better. As someone else said, it's not about what the scale says, but how you look and feel.
Give yourself a break. You may be in a hurry, but your body needs time to adjust to its' new state. Especially being female, weight is cyclical, and as many have said before, the human body gets really good at saving energy when it gets into freaky new stressful situations (like major diet change). This means it becomes really efficient at holding onto the energy stores it has. Try continuing paleo (I lost 60 lbs over a year) and up your carbs to between 50 - 100g per day, then do 3 day periods every 2 - 3 weeks of little to no carb intake. This can get you out of the deprivation rhythm that a steady diet tends to burden you with. Be kind to yourself. Walk for an hour per day if you can manage it, and do 2 interval training and 3 weight training sessions per week.
I would also suggest taking pictures and measurements - I hadn't realized how much my body had changed before I looked that my "before" and "during" pics!
Also, if I fruit one day (even just a small portion) I am bloated for 2-3 days after that and I gain 5+ lbs right off (water weight/bloat?) Try nixing the fruit altogether and see how that works out for you.
Don't underestimate the power of hormones. And along those lines, don't underestimate the power of sleep.
I suggest getting to bed at a reasonable time (b/w 9 and 10?) and waking up with the sun or just early (depending on your latitude). Upon waking, get outside and walk or run or do burpees or whatever.
Basically by doing this, you're sending hormone signals to your body that it's time for energy. The hormone cycle will run its course and then when it's time for bed, you'll be much better able to let the nighttime hormone cycle run its course too!
All this should help curb sugar cravings as well as speed weight loss.
Reading material: Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival
Annie-my husband lost 11 pounds. Thanks for the responses so far. I will have to respond in the morning. Gotta get my Paleo sleep!