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New to Paleo & Crossfit - feeling frustrated!!!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 13, 2013 at 6:23 PM

I'm confused and frustrated, and I don't really know where to begin. Here's a little quick history on me: I'm a 28 year old female, 5'3", currently stuck at 145 lbs. I've always been naturally very muscular (& tend to weigh more than those that are the same size as me or even bigger than me). I have 2 kids (both c-sections unfortunately), and I'm having SUCH a hard time breaking below 145 lbs & losing the rest of the weight from having my second child. In the past, I've been as low as 120 lbs when I was avidly running & was SUPER lean (don't know what my BF% was, but I'm sure very very low). But my goal right now is to get to low 130's because I'm finally starting to embrace my muscular build. I just started Crossfit, am 2 weeks in (although started doing "at-home" WODS for a couple weeks before I started in a box), and I've been doing a clean-eating diet which slowly turned into a Paleo diet (about 80%) for the past month or so. I've drastically changed my diet (cut out my 4 Diet Cokes a day & drink a ton of water only, NO more fast food or eating out at ALL, no junk food, no grains, no dairy, etc) and drastically increased my exercise through Crossfit.

Here's what's frustrating. I feel like I'm doing everything by the book (I'm a perfectionist) and being very strict with my diet/workouts. The scale won't budge, but I've been trying to not weigh myself so much & just focus on how I feel/how my clothes fit/how I look. However, my clothes fit EXACTLY the same. NO difference in one month. I understand it takes time, especially for women, but I keep reading SOOOO much conflicting info (here & other places): "Eat less fruit", "Sweet potatoes are great!", "Cut out sweet potatoes!", "Veggies are great!", "Limit starchy vegetables/nightshades"... Not to mention protein/carb/fat ratios, counting calories or not, timing of eating, incorporating IF, adding (or changing) cardio... AHHHH it's all so confusing!!!

Can anyone give me some guidance here? I apologize if this is something that's been discussed before or whatever- I'm new to all this. I just feel like I've made all these great changes & all I'm feeling is constantly sore from Crossfit and deprived of all the bread I keep seeing everyone around me eating! Help?!? Advice??? I'm SO uncomfortable at this weight & desperately want to feel good about myself again!!!

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on June 14, 2013
at 01:02 PM

They may not be accurate, but in my experience they are quite precises. And what you want is a trend. Precise measures are great for trending.

89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

(2097)

on June 13, 2013
at 09:58 PM

LOL Totally relate on the conflicting info..but you cant let that stop you from putting the theories into action and testing them for yourself. If youre letting the noise get in the way of trying things in fear of not being "perfect" then youll just continue spinning your wheels. Go with a middle of the road strategy as far as the conflicting ideas and then adjust either up or down (left or right or upside down) after testing it out.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on June 13, 2013
at 09:13 PM

Yeah ... calipers and tape are basically "more-accurate estimates". However, they are *way* more accurate than the home scales with electrodes, and easy/cheap to acquire.

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6 Answers

4
3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on June 13, 2013
at 06:37 PM

One of the transistions you'll probably have to make eventually is learning how not to be a "perfectionist" about everything. We all learn eventually that not only is everyone different, but our bodies may react differently at different times, making exact numbers difficult to hone in on.

Having said that, one thing to start learning is how to stop emphasizing the scale so much and start concentrating on health in general. For example, as I've upped my exercise level and ate less, I've gained 8 lbs (last year). I've also gone down three belt sizes. A lot of what you are doing is building muscles, which adds weight. You are probably burning fat off as well. In my case, I added more muscle than the fat I lost (in weight) so I had a net weight gain. Oddly enough, it keeps me in the "overweight" zone, but I feel better and I'm getting compliments on how I look all the time. I think that is a good thing.

The other change I made was to workout less frequently. I now only strength train once a week and HIIT once or twice a week, and walk leisurely almost every day. I make the exercise tough (not crossfit level!) and less than 50 minutes and have seen better results than when I worked out more.

Just be careful not to overdo it and really assess if your lack of weight loss is good or bad. I feel it's probably ok and not as important as how you feel. If you're sore all the time, step back. Enjoying life is more paleo. (oh, and you start getting used to not having bread all the time. Just remember what it can do to your body and look at the shape the people are in that eat the bread. Use unhealthy people as your motivation).

2
618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on June 13, 2013
at 07:51 PM

The reason you read such conflicting information is because this isn't a one-size-fits-all "DIET" - it is a lifestyle shift that includes taking personal responsibility for your choices and observing the way you eat, what you eat, how you move, and how you sleep - all of this affects the way you feel. Your perfectionist tendencies are working against you. Nobody here will be able to TELL you what to do. You can glean info from what other people post that might work for you if their issues are similar to yours, but you will still have to work hard, observe your reactions to foods and exercise, and change things when you need to.

Be patient. If your body needs to lose weight after you have made the changes YOUR body wants, the weight will come off. Best of luck!

2
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 13, 2013
at 07:01 PM

Crossfit + some women's hormones = recipe for weight loss failure.

2 workouts a week max, gentle walking the rest of the time, optimize your D3 level, good sleep and positive self talk will help you to reach your goal.

Read "Why We Get Fat" by Gary Taubes for more info on fat loss and hormones.

2
C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

on June 13, 2013
at 06:55 PM

Honestly, I'm largely conflicted on Crossfit. I think the principles it espouses (functional strength and movement) are critical, but the way most gyms go about it is really wacky. Most of the crossfitters I know will do 2 or 3 days on with only one rest day in between, doing either HIIT or full-body compound lifts or both. At least for me, that simply wasn't sustainable; my body started to break down just from lack of rest.

For what it's worth, I'm not sure Crossfit is the best way to go about weight loss, simply because the sheer amount of stress it puts on your body may be stalling weight loss. Cortisol is a pretty big stressor and can prevent your body from utilizing what stored fat you have; I'd recommend cutting your workouts down to just one or two days a week of HIIT and 3X a week of heavy lifting at a slower pace and adjust your eating to match (calorie count if you'd like, but you may find your appetite will naturally decrease to match the decrease in activity). But there a LOT of approaches to losing weight, so this is by no means the only way to go about it.

2
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on June 13, 2013
at 06:38 PM

I know it can be frustrating, but you are only two weeks - one month into this. Your BMI (yes it is fallible, but it's all I have at this point) is right on the board between normal and overweight.

Personally I wouldn't be that concerned with the number. I would be more concerned with trying to get to 20%-25% body fat (see pictures here: http://www.builtlean.com/2012/09/24/body-fat-percentage-men-women/).

To do that you can do one of two things. (1) Get an accurate body fat measure (calipers are cheap and fairly accurate if you know what you are doing). (2) do the anthropometry method.

Personally I think anthropometry might be better -- just don't use the BF conversion calculators just look to drop measurements in the areas you want to improve.

As far as foods, you have to find what works for you. and you only get that through experimenting, and it takes time to re-baseline yourself before you move on to the next experiment.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on June 13, 2013
at 09:13 PM

Yeah ... calipers and tape are basically "more-accurate estimates". However, they are *way* more accurate than the home scales with electrodes, and easy/cheap to acquire.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on June 14, 2013
at 01:02 PM

They may not be accurate, but in my experience they are quite precises. And what you want is a trend. Precise measures are great for trending.

1
89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

on June 13, 2013
at 09:00 PM

So many of the questions here on weight stall also have crossfit /(glycogen depleting exercises) in the equation. In short i think youre overdoing it. Being a busy mom + 4 x crossfits a week is prolly just too much.

+1's to alot of the advice youve gotten already- re: rest/sleep/gearing down on your crossfit

Youre most likely not properly fueling these activities. When youre in a calorie deficit and doing low carb- this is when hormonally you get out of whack and weight loss stalls and all kinda other crappy things happen.

http://paleozonenutrition.com/2013/02/20/low-carb-paleo-crossfit-not-losing-weight-my-recommendations/

my n=1 I was doing too much HIIT + resistance training + walking and wasnt really getting anywhere. (with a calorie deficit and low-mod carbs daily)

I recently changed things up and starting focusing on weight training only 3 x week + walking on off days. ditched HIIT for now Basically following the leangains protocols (as well as adhering to some excellent advice ive gotten here on PH) in regards to carb timing and calorie/carb cycling. caloric deficit -Higher cals on workout days (-10%-TDEE) lower on off days (-30% )...etc etc.

martin berkhan- "If you're adding 2-3 sessions of HIIT to your 3 sessions of weights, it is almost comparable to adding 2-3 days of weights. Keyword is "almost", I'm obviously not drawing direct comparisons. That's all fine and dandy if you think working out 5-6 days/week is a good idea on a diet. But I don't think anyone - no matter what level of experience - needs more than 3 days a week in the gym when cutting. (Yes, this goes for competitors and beginners alike.

In conclusion, if conditioning is not terribly important for you, if your goal is really about getting shredded while keeping your muscle, I highly suggest limiting moderate to high intensity cardio on a diet - or ditch it completely. Save it for some other time when your recovery is good and not limited by your diet."

More is defintely not always better mobetterblues :)

As for me...finally some progress- I quicky took a waist measurement just today...1/2 inch lost on waist alone in just about 1 week and a half....clothes fitting looser...etc

Dont get frustrated and discouraged-just do some tweaking and youll start seeing some changes. Ditch the scale and take some measurements instead... and carb up when necessary!

~a decent article to read through and glean from- 3 parter~

http://www.jcdfitness.com/2013/05/how-to-build-muscle-womens-edition-part-3-setting-up-your-diet/

http://www.jcdfitness.com/2013/05/how-to-build-muscle-womens-edition-part-2/

http://www.jcdfitness.com/2013/05/how-to-build-muscle-womens-edition-part-1/

~ goodluck

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