1

votes

2 months of Paleo, but not feeling any different. Help please!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 01, 2013 at 11:04 PM

Happy New Year everyone! So the last 6 years or so I feel like I can't find any answers- doctors are no help. The short story: was overweight through college (200 lbs at 5'4"), started running, lost weight down to 125, decided to do a marathon, and ever since then, I have been gaining weight (am now at 160). I'm sure I messed up my metabolism- I was marathon training on 1600 calories a day. Since then I've also been diagnosed with a whole host of auto-immune issues- hypothyroidism, PCOS, insulin resistance, etc. I keep trying different ways of eating, eating more, eating less, exercising more, exercising less, and nothing ever makes a difference. Even through this I did 3 Tough Mudders. So here I am, struggling to find something to help. I started the Paleo diet after being gluten free for a month in hopes that it could help. I'm desperate to lose a little weight and feel good again. But even though I've been pretty strict (with only some missteps for chocolate and nuts), but I haven't noticed any difference. I still feel bloated, I still am gaining weight... I just don't know what to do! For reference I strength train 3 times a week, run 1-2 times, and do sprints 1 time per week. I eat about 1400-1500 calories, no legumes, no dairy, no fruit (basically eggs, non-starchy veggies, meats, and fats like coconut oil, avocado). Sorry for the long post! Any ideas?

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 07, 2013
at 05:22 PM

There is tons of information over at www.paleoforwomen.com. She has several posts covering pcos, weight, hormones, etc. If you want to take some time to do some reading, there is more than enough info there.

A5127d60bca783084f191f38ffa357a6

(687)

on February 07, 2013
at 07:27 AM

Im sure shes had most of these tested by her endo, Jennifer get the print out and keep them for your records so you can see how your doing/ what makes you feel better.

B6d501e9e6c26bf7721a39dc508cb6c1

on January 03, 2013
at 07:24 PM

Thanks for all those thoughts. Let's see- I avoid nightshades, my chocolate doesn't have soy, I use sea salt, I eat salmon a few times a week and tuna too. I do drink coffee and occasionally tea. I cook with coconut oil and olive oil and I do keep a food journal. I do crave the sweetness, not the texture so much.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 02, 2013
at 01:51 AM

+1.. I saw a bunch of doctors last year who only tested my TSH to see if I had a thyroid problem (I had many typical symptoms) and none of them did anything in depth until I saw a really good endo, and finally got real details, and also saw that, while my TSH wasn't higher than the standard threshold, it was still high, and I had hashimoto's antibodies. Wild. I don't have them any more, or the symptoms, but still, it would have helped me so much if a doctor had done a real thyroid panel! Good luck.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 02, 2013
at 01:47 AM

I have no idea why, but even when I am watching calories and carbs, if I have nuts (other than macadamias.. they are the exception) my weight loss totally stalls out. I am better off with something outright small and sweet and won't stall. Nuts and chocolate can be such easy fall backs. Maybe try to cut them out for a week and replace with berries if need be? I hope you get where you want to be, I have had up and down weight struggles as well. It sucks to get where you want and then to lose ground. Wishing you the best!

B6d501e9e6c26bf7721a39dc508cb6c1

on January 02, 2013
at 01:17 AM

Thanks. I do have a number of doctors (endocrinologist, rheumatologist, etc) who check some of these levels but I will ask about all of them.

B6d501e9e6c26bf7721a39dc508cb6c1

on January 02, 2013
at 01:16 AM

I do take metformin and synthroid. I do avoid soy though. I sleep a lot 8-10 hours a night though I stress easily.

B6d501e9e6c26bf7721a39dc508cb6c1

on January 02, 2013
at 01:14 AM

Nuts everyday though I try not to eat too many, and regrettably 70-90% dark chocolate most days. I have a horrendous sweet tooth in the evening.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 01, 2013
at 11:14 PM

How often do you have nuts or chocolate? Are you getting in enough carbs? Some contend that low carb isn't good for the thyroid, not sure what you've tried and how it has affected you.

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10 Answers

3
00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on January 01, 2013
at 11:30 PM

One word: testing. As a woman, your hormonal system has a lot of parts, any of which can malfunction and cause others to malfunction.

A basic set of thyroid tests are described at the Stop the Thyroid Madness site. They include the following:

  • Free T3
  • Free T4
  • Reverse T3
  • TPO AB
  • TG AB
  • 4-collection cortisol collection test (for assessing adrenal status)

These tests will help ferret out the 3 most common hormonal problems in women:

  • Poor T4 --> T3 conversion
  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
  • Adrenal insufficiency

Unfortunately, most MDs and endocrinologists won't do these tests. You can order them yourself, but it's best to work with a supportive, knowledgeable medical professional to help you interpret the tests. A naturopath (ND) is probably your best bet.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 02, 2013
at 01:51 AM

+1.. I saw a bunch of doctors last year who only tested my TSH to see if I had a thyroid problem (I had many typical symptoms) and none of them did anything in depth until I saw a really good endo, and finally got real details, and also saw that, while my TSH wasn't higher than the standard threshold, it was still high, and I had hashimoto's antibodies. Wild. I don't have them any more, or the symptoms, but still, it would have helped me so much if a doctor had done a real thyroid panel! Good luck.

B6d501e9e6c26bf7721a39dc508cb6c1

on January 02, 2013
at 01:17 AM

Thanks. I do have a number of doctors (endocrinologist, rheumatologist, etc) who check some of these levels but I will ask about all of them.

A5127d60bca783084f191f38ffa357a6

(687)

on February 07, 2013
at 07:27 AM

Im sure shes had most of these tested by her endo, Jennifer get the print out and keep them for your records so you can see how your doing/ what makes you feel better.

2
19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on January 02, 2013
at 02:54 AM

The fact that you're bloated tells me that your gut isn't healthy. Try having homemade chicken or beef stock everyday. Maybe try making pro-biotics like fermented ginger carrots, radish and carrot, or maybe coconut kefir. No sauerkraut since you're hypothyroid.

I have stock everyday by using it instead of water whenever I cook. Having stock everyday doesn't mean it has to be in soups.
Nuts and chocolate are gut irritants and could be why your gut isn't healing.

Avoid eating nuts and chocolate everyday, make them a weekend treat. When you do eat nuts, make sure they've been soaked in water overnight, like you would do with barley or beans. But honestly if you're experiencing bloating, I wouldn't eat nuts or chocolate at all until you're healed.

Speaking of gut irritants, do you drink coffee?
Nightshades (potatoes/eggplant/peppers)?


Have you tried to find out why you have a sweet tooth at night? Would you be satisfied with carrot or sweet potato sticks cooked with chicken stock and powdered ginger instead of nuts and chocolate? Carrots, sweet potatoes, and ginger are what I use when I have a sweet tooth. A good alternative is acorn squash cut in half and microwaved with 2-3 tablespoons of butter in each half, with a pinch of salt. I microwave for 8 minutes (ancient microwave!). I swear it's better than Ben & Jerry's, try it!

The way I avoid having a sweet tooth at evenings is to eat a huge breakfast and lunch, with lots of fat and protein.

Next time you have a sweet tooth, pay attention. What in particular are you craving? Is it really the sweet taste, or are you craving the creamy/fatty texture of nuts and chocolate?

Does the chocolate you buy have soy as an ingredient?
Do you salt your food well? Do you use a real salt?
How often do you eat fish and seafood, specially fatty ones like sardines or anchovies?


Would you consider keeping a food journal? The reason I ask is because a lot of people say "Oh I've been paleo for x months, why am I still fat and sick???", then we ask what they eat and... it's chicken breast cooked with no fat on a non-stick pan and steamed vegetables everyday... no wonder they're still sick and fat! It's not enough to just eliminate "the bad stuff", you also have to add in the good stuff like saturated fat and cholesterol, along with gelatin-rich chicken or beef stock and fermented foods.
A healthier alternative would be chicken drumsticks cooked with 2-3 tablespoons of tallow, lard, or chicken/duck fat, and some vegetables cooked with 2-3 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil, then using chicken stock to de-glaze the pan and make a sauce.

B6d501e9e6c26bf7721a39dc508cb6c1

on January 03, 2013
at 07:24 PM

Thanks for all those thoughts. Let's see- I avoid nightshades, my chocolate doesn't have soy, I use sea salt, I eat salmon a few times a week and tuna too. I do drink coffee and occasionally tea. I cook with coconut oil and olive oil and I do keep a food journal. I do crave the sweetness, not the texture so much.

2
51c66d8a6f3005628535a50a950b1c61

(1003)

on January 01, 2013
at 11:31 PM

You sound like you train pretty hard still. I'm betting you might need more cals/more carbs, but probably in the form of something like sweet potatoes, winter squash, etc.

Are your thyroid levels being controlled my meds? That can certainly be difficult to get right, especially for women. If your thyroid is still underactive, it can be pretty impossible to lose weight.

Also, I would make sure you absolutely avoid soy, all forms of tea, and minimize goitrogenic foods like crucifer vegetables, etc. (and when you do eat them, make sure they are cooked). I know it's a pain because so many of these foods are yummy and typically on a healthy paleo plan, but if you've got hypothyroidism, they can definitely contribute.

Some more things to look at are stress levels, sleep quantity/quality, and hormonal status (age, birth control pill, etc.).

Good luck!!!!

B6d501e9e6c26bf7721a39dc508cb6c1

on January 02, 2013
at 01:16 AM

I do take metformin and synthroid. I do avoid soy though. I sleep a lot 8-10 hours a night though I stress easily.

1
2269146f97958bc4001818d1cea848e9

on January 02, 2013
at 01:38 AM

You might think those nuts and chocolate aren't doing you any wrong, but try and cut them out completely and see if you notice a difference. I would check your carb count, too. If you're training that hard you're going to need to eat enough for your body to function. A lot of the time with Paleo you just have to be patient and let your body find it's natural order again. I've heard of stories where people didn't truly heal until 2 years in. Just commit and try what works for you. If you ignore your sweet tooth for at least a week I promise you, your body will get used to it. Also, the fact that your craving sweets in the evening is telling me you're eating super low carb, so up the anty and you should be on the right track to find out what's really going on with your body.

0
B7b503a8fe916f7e67b20afc4137e9f6

on February 07, 2013
at 04:58 PM

I am just testing this, lets see if this post works....

0
A5127d60bca783084f191f38ffa357a6

on February 07, 2013
at 07:26 AM

Don't train as hard, My autoimmune conditions would flare up when I over-trained, swimming hard for an hour and a half straight then working out maybe 1 or 2 times after that.

0
C1cf65d9a5daa3e2ea009b224acb97dc

(0)

on February 07, 2013
at 07:22 AM

Google functional medicine & find an M.D. in your area .

0
6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on January 02, 2013
at 04:39 AM

Checkout this video. It's worth watching.

Dr. Terry Wahls - Minding Your Mitochondria

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjgBLwH3Wc

0
57fe410364322da1273494ded305c742

on January 02, 2013
at 01:37 AM

I agree with Megan that you should try more calories!

Good luck :)

0
394492a4bc534ad39091792287fddd96

on January 02, 2013
at 01:31 AM

Look into auto-immune protocol Paleo. There is great info to be found via The Paleo Mom site and the Practical Paleo book. If you have an AI condition (or a few of them) it can take longer to heal your gut, manage symptoms and feel relief.

Good Luck!

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