I have been Paleo for about a year, lost 55 pounds, and work out pretty hard. Weight training and some cardio. But I have completely stalled out, folks. I can't seem to lose any more fat, and can't seem to add any more muscle. I feel super lost at this point because up until a month ago, I've steadily lost weight and gotten leaner and leaner. I know very little about intermittent fasting, but am wondering if that could hold the answers to my Paleo plateau? Any suggestions?? I would be oh so grateful!
asked byDee_12 (5)
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on December 28, 2012
at 01:51 PM
Dee, couple of things.
First, I would really concentrate on why you have hit a plateau. During my weight loss, I hit a plateau a couple of times, at one point I added some carbs (in the form of roots and tubers) and that worked wonders. At the next point I realized that adding dark chocolate to my green yogurt was probably not helping. I cut that and went right back to loosing weight. Finally, when I hit my lowest weight, it took about three weeks for my body to transition from weight loss to weight gain (this time lean mass). So sometimes a plateau is a plateau, sometimes its a transition.
Look at what you are eating, are you cheating too often? Are you too low carb? etc.
Look at your exercise, are you working out too much? are you doing enough active recovery? consuming enough protein? etc.
and Look at your lifestyle, are you approaching a healthy weight? (weight loss is harder with lower body fat). Are you sleeping enough? Do you have too much stress? etc.
Second, IF can be very powerful in maintaining and losing weight. I did a routine IF for about 4 months, for me I could not eat enough calories in that window and felt famished. Now I typically skip breakfast on days I lift and eat according to my hunger on other days. seems to work well for me, IF didn't. Finally, there are some who thinking IF for women is not a great idea ( http://www.paleoforwomen.com/shattering-the-myth-of-fasting-for-women-a-review-of-female-specific-responses-to-fasting-in-the-literature/ ) read up and make your own decision.
on December 28, 2012
at 01:45 AM
on August 14, 2013
at 04:15 AM
About six months I wanted to increase muscle and decrease fat-intermittent fasting has worked so far.
My version of intermittent fasting is a little different because throughout the day I'm eating very small meals that are basically protein and high quality fat, like two scrambled eggs with a lot of coconut oil. I also start my day with something called bullet proof coffee.
The reason for the high fat throughout the day because it keeps my mood stable and doesn't effect my mental acuity. I've noticed low carb diets any form of fasting sometimes makes me a little agitated. Consuming things like grass fed butter with a little kale, or eggs with coconut oil satisfies the tummy which stabilizes my mood because and tricks my brain into "feeling full".
on January 04, 2013
at 07:51 AM
Hi Dee, here are my thoughts based on my experience, nothing more, nothing less. I think everyone is different, but here is some stuff that helped me, stuff I've discussed w/ my brother and some other paleo friends who have had similar issues. (also, w/out knowing exactly what your current weight/body is like now, and what you would like to achieve):
I would suggest, just for a few days, to look at your calories and your carbs, and maybe more importantly, your fats. Write it all dwon. I found that when I raised my fats up higher (daily avocado, olive oil, cocounut oil, etc.) that weight peeled off. I also do not eat low carb. In this same arena, have you tried bulletproof coffee? This can greatly aid in raising your fats, and letting you fast. There is a really good article from Robb Wolf about this:
interesting post by Robb Wolf on how low carb paleo isnt optimal for athletes and possibly everyday life in general. Eat your carbs, just not the processed kind. http://robbwolf.com/2012/12/19/carb-paleo-thoughts-part-1/
In terms of exercise: when I truly began committing to mixed martial arts, with an emphasis on brazilian jiu jitsu, weight started peeling off, too. WIth that said, I will throw in some stand-up (muy thai) if I am getting stale. And this gets back to carbs. I need more because I train to fight and compete. Maybe you aren't eating enough?
Sleep. pure, and simple. Sleep. This recovery time is important for the body, and think of it as fasting time, too.
Vitamins/supplements. Watcha taking?
Also, maybe you need a few days, hell, maybe a week w.out working out. Maybe you need to go eat some "cheat" foods for a few days.
Sometimes, if I don't train for say a week, just do some light dog walking, and my diet is about 60% paleo (I;m a sucker for Pho and good street tacos), I may be down a few lbs, too.
I think you just need to try a few things out, and not get hung up. Who knows, maybe you can get thru your plateau by getting into salsa dancing and going fishing?
on December 29, 2012
at 10:31 PM
Thanks y'all for the help!! So...details on what I'm doing...I am very low carb. I only eat carbs immediately after a hard workout. Fruit about twice a week. Root veggies ONLY immediately after a workout. I eat a variety of meats...everything from beef to fish. Limited nuts. I cheat on dairy only every now and then...an ounce of cheese a time or two a week. Other than that, I really stick to diary free. The only legume cheat I do is green beans very occasionally. But about 95% of my diet is strictly meats and low carb veggies. I do drink a little coffee everyday, but also pretty adequate water.
Workouts...I have been very consistent with P90X and P90X2. Even over Christmas break visiting family, I have been either doing strength training with my P90X videos or working outside with my Dad on the farm, or hiking. I do some form of physical activity about 6 days a week. I really feel comfortable with my activity, and feel like it's challenging and fun, but not so strenuous that I'm miserable.
The only Paleo area I think that I might be lacking recently is the whole sleep thing. I don't know enough about my own sleep requirements to figure out if I might be needing more recovery. ???
I have been stuck at this weight/plateau/physical limit for about 6 weeks. I haven't counted a calorie in over a year...should I? I haven't really counted a carb in 6 months...should I? I'm confused by all the info out there about caloric restriction/being on the verge of hungry for long periods of time. And then the other info that says simply...eat when you're hungry, and don't eat when you're not. <--That's more what I've been doing. Should I decrease what I'm eating? Increase? I feel lost and I'm getting kind of frustrated since I have at least 15-25 more pounds of fat on my body to lose.
Thank you all for any and all help and advice you want to pass my way!!! I am very appreciative!!!
on December 28, 2012
at 02:53 PM
If you post what you are eating in a typical day, your exercise plan, and how much more you want to lose, you'll probably get a bunch of helpful advice.
I did not lose as much weight as you but hit 3 plateaus during my weight loss. Going very low carb and full Paleo got the ball rolling but after about 10-12 pounds I stalled. Changing my exercise plan to drop cardio and switch to strength-based high intensity exercise made a huge difference. I went from running 3-4x per week to strength-building workouts 3x per week (a lot less time overall) and lost more weight.
On the flip side, some that were very low carb found that eating carbs infrequently, or "carb cycling", can help break through a plateau. You can use the search function to find more info on that here.
To answer your question about fasting, when I first went Paleo my appetite just declined naturally, and I found it was easy to skip meals, which really surprised me. These days (after about 20 months on the diet) I find that I can skip either breakfast or lunch pretty easily most days. I guess that is IF but I look at it as just not really wanting to eat all the time and being happy skipping meals. I have actually grown to enjoy being a little bit hungry, as it gives me some energy and focus, and find that I often work and do activities better when a little bit hungry.
Here is a story from a guy that lost a lot of weight and transformed his body by eating every other day, which I found fascinating:
on December 28, 2012
at 05:45 AM
Can you share what you are eating (how much, etc), what sorta exercise you are doing (frequency, intensity, etc.), and what your current height/weight is (and your goal). I think there are tons of tweaks that can be made so you aren;t so frustrated. IF may help, it may not. I've gone thru that in the past as well, and have had some great breakthrus. Here to help!
on December 28, 2012
at 02:48 AM
Don't bother. Its another internet fad introduced by a steroid taking fool who doesn't even follow his own diets.
Eat real paleo. Drop teh butter and whey and increase fruits and red meat. The fat will come off.
Every swinging dick with a web site is some kind of "genius" around here.