25

votes

Female Fat-loss Strategy Compilation

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 29, 2011 at 1:10 PM

From leangains to IFing there are so many examples of men losing fat/gaining muscle, but as women's bodies are playing a different game (or so it seems), I'd love to compile the successful strategies that have worked for Paleo females.

What fat-loss strategy do you swear by? How did you lose weight? How did you get those abs? Which way is the beach?

Medium avatar

on February 06, 2014
at 08:49 PM

No, it really varies per person and by sex what works and doesnt work. It is not one size fits all. IF can actually be dangerous to some women because it tells their body they are in survival mode... that messes with fertility and stress hormones. Men do not have the same problem with intermittent fasting. There are very different hormone balances at play between men and women and diet and exercise are all about balancing those things.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

@ Cliff even though I agree the basics are the same, fat loss isn't as easy for us- the female body usually "wants" to hang onto fat much more, we're smaller with less lean mass and need fewer calories, and our hormonal environment is kind of stacked against us. Don't underestimate the effect those things can have.

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on October 17, 2011
at 02:44 PM

and I am 5'5 145 lbs

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on October 17, 2011
at 02:44 PM

I would like to add that I have to eat much less than 2000 calories to maintain or lose weight. I tried low carb high fat and put on weight steadily. Now cutting that out and doing something more standard. I think <1500 might get me to lose weight but I have never calorie counted before, just watched on fitday what the numbers were.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:58 PM

100% glad you tackle the mind first !!!!

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:53 PM

Mallory - I will hound you until you agree to talk to Andro about dong Super Human Radio - I am a fan and would LOVE to hear your voice there:)))))

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:47 PM

i like my carbs at night too. :)

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 30, 2011
at 12:05 PM

this is a great thread. I've always been interested in women's control of their bodies, especially in light of the skinnyfat imagery that is blanketed over our society. Anyhoo, all the answers sound great. I'd just like to mention that keeping up and reading everything below I am seeing that every answer could have been written by a man. Not arguing the validity of the thread at all, just that its interesting to note that I hear very similar things from doods.

D5096ff5baffc0ba5d20b21346414a7a

(1112)

on June 30, 2011
at 12:18 AM

I use dietpower software (not dependent on internet) and plan out my next day. Then I change it as real life unfolds, but as melissa said it helps to hit your ratios that way. I have also used fitday and fitnesspal free online. I like to look at averages for the week and month as I tweak my eating goals.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 11:51 PM

I like to plan my breakfast and lunch the night before, then dinner/snacks are more up for grabs. It makes it easy to hit my ratios that way. I do a bunch of smaller meals, but I am not the norm.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 29, 2011
at 11:44 PM

Naw, thanks for sharing--I like hearing people's stories! You look fantastic- it's hard to believe there used to be so many extra lbs on that torso! Nice WORK!

Bd271299b2d4d9b2e3da9c252fef058c

(2854)

on June 29, 2011
at 11:17 PM

What would you ladies say is the best way to count calories? Thru the day as you go? Plan the night before? And little meals or big ones?

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 29, 2011
at 11:01 PM

The weights, including HIIT, and a Paleo type diet helped me to get where I am - and I did this through two pregnancies as well. So, yes I was obese, and yes this is the type of plan that worked for me. Prolly this was waaaaay more than you wanted to know.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 29, 2011
at 10:59 PM

I was an obese child - back in the day when obese kids weren't so common. In the seventh grade I dieted down and joined cross country. I became skinny fat. In college I ballooned up again - I think I weighed 50 pounds then more than I do now. Again, diet chronic cardio = skinny fat. Post college I did what any rebellious young thing does and shacked up with an older man, acquired a broken heart and ballooned again. After that I joined a hardcore old school weight lifting gym, got a job in a well known supplement store chain and started implementing bodybuilding type diet and exercise...

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 29, 2011
at 10:50 PM

meredith, were you overweight? Or is this your get fitter/stay fitter plan?

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 29, 2011
at 10:20 PM

@Olivia - who knows, what works for you might stay nearly the same; for sure you're doing some mitigating, as you say. Kudos, lady!

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 29, 2011
at 10:18 PM

For women, the visibility of the abdominals depend much more on body type and muscle tone, than total body fat. I have 17-20% body fat but I have defined abs (and bony shoulders/chest) because I carry most of my fat between the top of my pelvis and my knees. There are plenty of women who simply don't gain fat in their midsection, even if they have quite a high body fat percentage - it's hormonal and genetic.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 29, 2011
at 09:53 PM

@ Annie actually in high school before paleo I used to do way more cardio (thanks to sports) like 3-4 hours every weekday. You can bet I was skinny-fat and overtrained and hungry for a lot of that time.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 09:48 PM

Hahaha. Okay, meredith. My arms may look good, but I will never, ever have abs to show.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 29, 2011
at 09:38 PM

In high school before paleo I used to do way more cardio (thanks to sports) like 3-4 hours every weekday. You can bet I was skinny-fat for most of that time.

D5096ff5baffc0ba5d20b21346414a7a

(1112)

on June 29, 2011
at 09:36 PM

glad to see this discussion. I am 5'7" 64 yr. old female. I have lost 50 lbs. several times in my life. I am now stuck at 162 lbs. (40 lb. loss) I eat VLC but I upped my calories to about 1400 and actually I have gained 4 lbs. So..my conclusion is the same as yours. I have to stay at about 1200 to lose. I am not hungry though because of the VLC paleo...exercise has been limited due to broken foot for six months..but I still lost steadily at 1200 calories. I keep my ratio close to 60% fat, 20% protein, 20% carb.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 29, 2011
at 09:31 PM

And additionally, I'm not trying to lose weight, just stay on the lean side and be as fit as I can.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 29, 2011
at 09:24 PM

Grenadine I'm 18, almost 19. I'm totally aware that what works for my body will probably change as I get older, but I kind of hope that at least it will be mitigated by the fact that I won't have decades of bad eating habits to undo, unlike most people my age who are still eating tons of crap because, well, youth is very forgiving : I might also add that I have genetics on my side because everyone in my family is slim and my mom (who I'm basically a shorter version of, body-type wise) has stayed thin even after kids and more recently menopause..don't know how significant that is.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 29, 2011
at 09:23 PM

I might also add that I have genetics on my side because everyone in my family is slim and my mom (who I'm basically a shorter version of, body-type wise) has stayed thin even through menopause and multiple pregnancies...don't know how significant that is.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 29, 2011
at 09:17 PM

@Grenadine I'm 18, almost 19. I'm totally aware that what works for my body will probably change as I get older, but I kind of hope that at least it will be mitigated by the fact that I won't have decades of bad eating habits to undo, unlike most people my age who are still eating tons of crap because, well, youth is very forgiving :)

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 29, 2011
at 08:15 PM

Oops, Bracketed statement is @Olivia. :)

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on June 29, 2011
at 08:06 PM

i totally disagree with this. The toughest outs for me in clinic are the formly morbidly obese females. I have to help repair their minds first, leptin second, and all the other hormonal issues that come next and then deal with the loss of hypothalamic neurons from the obesity damage. Tough outs. Guys are way easier to manage because they are not as hormonally complex.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 29, 2011
at 08:02 PM

@Annie, I think part of it may be age difference. [Doing a great job, i might add.] If i had been living that healthy in my late-teens/early-twenties maybe I wouldn't be in the half-sunk boat i'm in now. Heh. I was hot-stuff back then, (albeit 'skinny-fat') but rocknroll took it's toll! Sigh. I guess i can also blame gluten and hormonal birth control.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 29, 2011
at 07:58 PM

I'm 5'1" and 110 lbs but when I lift heavy I can get to 118 and remain in a size 1. I'm small framed obviously. I'm convinced smaller people don't need as many calories but exercise certainly is a factor. Pre paleo I hate about 2100 calories and though I always ate clean I was hypoglycemic and always hungry.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 29, 2011
at 07:34 PM

I am intimidated by your fabulously jacked arms - and your impressive score -:) generally I see you as one of the cool kids - but I am neurotic and just have to get over it. :)

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on June 29, 2011
at 07:16 PM

Funny how different everyone is. Lower fat, higher carb just leaves me hungry and if I were going to exercise that much, I would need way more food (calories).

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 29, 2011
at 06:59 PM

Don't feel like you have to answer this, but, how old are you?

Bd271299b2d4d9b2e3da9c252fef058c

(2854)

on June 29, 2011
at 06:18 PM

And baconbitch, what height/frame are you? (I ask bc I'm 5'7" and 1200 seems on tge low end to me.)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 05:54 PM

I'm 5'2" and I would say medium framed. I weigh 136lbs which is the high end of "normal" for my height, yet I fit in XS and 4/6 size clothes.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 29, 2011
at 05:43 PM

I'm so glad you posted the calories. I am very comfortable on 1200 day and don't care for people who say I'm endangering myself. I eat until full and full is not 2000 calories. Curious...how tall are You and what type of body frame do you have?

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on June 29, 2011
at 05:43 PM

And forgot to add that I walk about 45 minutes a few days a week to keep my slow twitch muscles from becoming/continuing to be insulin resistant.

922038b6c0ca6a051cc4858218931456

(392)

on June 29, 2011
at 05:28 PM

Low carb and very low carb cause me to plateau.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 05:13 PM

I think IF is a great tool to have in the arsenal, but I also think it's not be used until your body can handle it. You have to use it the right way. I know that previously "fasting" was just my word for the restrict portion of my horrible binge/restrict cycles. I had to learn to use it for the right reasons and not as punishment for "bad" eating.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 04:57 PM

Why would I intimidate you meredith? Everyone's opinion is helpful, people should look at all the options when trying to lose weight. I started from morbidly obese. I believe you started from already a healthy weight and were just looking for something more optimal for health/fitness. They are all valid points.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 04:56 PM

I haven't tried that to reset anything, but when I was actively losing I would cycle my calories. It worked best for me to cycle them higher on the weekends, but still eating good foods, then back down on weekends. Cycling the calories helped me mentally to not have to be so strict on the weekend, plus it seems to help with weight loss. I'm really only talking about going from 1200 to 1400 though for one day a week. When I really needed to hit a goal though, I stayed strict the whole time.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on June 29, 2011
at 04:28 PM

Melissa, I am curious about the strategy of "resetting" leptin/insulin receptors by high carbing (with Paleo foods) for one or two days every couple of weeks or so. Have you had any experience with this?

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:37 PM

I tries leaving you a comment melissa but it keeps kicking me out. I was reluctant to post anything here because your answer was so complete - also because you intimidate the hell out of me. Looking at your photo I think the ladies should just ask themselves WWMD (what would melissa do) and go with that. Also, calories are real - I don't think 1200 is unreasonable.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:18 PM

I don't think I am "normal" by any means. If a person has been mostly healthy/fit their whole life, they can tolerate so much more. I do think what I have experienced is pretty common for the formerly obese though. It's part of why so many people have such a hard time keeping off 100+ pounds. It's really not an issue for me. I am not usually very hungry and once in awhile I let go and don't worry about it so much, then get myself back on track. It's a lifelong commitment to stay fit though, that's for sure.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:17 PM

Thanks for the insight melissa

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:13 PM

I think this would work for pretty much anyone. Personally, I do better with snacking, but I do think it's more mental, being a former binge eater, than it is a physical thing.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:12 PM

I think I am stuck this way forever, honestly. I was eating 1400+ for a little while and I gained about 5lbs over 2 months. It was fun while it lasted, but a huge wake up call that my body just doesn't tolerate more food, even if it's 100% Paleo. I think I damaged my metabolism too much during my obese years. I lost most of my weight over 4 years, the last two have been losing the last 10 lbs and then maintenance, so if it was going to get better, I would think it would have happened by now.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:11 PM

Low cals/moderate carb + HIIT = \o/

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:05 PM

melissa, do you think it will be that way forever? or do you expect someday your body will become maybe a little not-so-sensitive where you wont gain so easily? why do you think it is? just curious! xoxo

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:04 PM

yeah, i think general rules apply, of course, but when it comes to hacking the details its not as straightforward- even day to day- as it is for men.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:00 PM

Nope! I've been doing it for 6+ years. I am formerly obese and 1300/1350 is maintenance, 1400+ causes gains.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on June 29, 2011
at 01:59 PM

You notice no negatives keeping your cals that low?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on June 29, 2011
at 01:53 PM

I agree but the strategies that work for men should work for woman. IF'ing gave me the same results as the OP yet I'm a male.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 29, 2011
at 01:51 PM

you cant overestimate the influence that womens hormones have on muscle gain and fat loss. i think its a pretty different ballgame.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 29, 2011
at 01:50 PM

great question!

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on June 29, 2011
at 01:38 PM

AS far as losing weight go's it depends on the person, it can vastly vary from person to person. What seems to work for most people is to focus on building muscle while eating enough calories(starving yourself will just sabotage long term weight loss). The more muscle you have the easier it will be to get to your ideal weight and eventually you will come to a balance.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on June 29, 2011
at 01:35 PM

I guess it depends on your muscle. 8-12% is the minimum essential body-fat for women, if you had a decent amount of muscle you could probably see your abs at the very minimum amount. That's the bear minimum though, the optimal range for women is more like 15-25%.

Bd271299b2d4d9b2e3da9c252fef058c

(2854)

on June 29, 2011
at 01:19 PM

I disagree! I think it's definitely possible to have abs at a healthy bf%. I guess I'm interested in hearing what has worked here for the ladies and seeing if and what the difference from men is. For example, IFing and/or eating one big meal a day doesn't work for me.

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7 Answers

9
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:10 PM

In my personal experience I had success prioritizing exercise in the following way:

  1. Heavy weights

  2. Intervals - sprints

  3. Bodyweight circuit training

  4. lots of walking and hiking with my kids

Things that helped with diet:

  1. no booze - yes water, yes coffee, yes green tea

  2. no snacking - yes three distinct meals

  3. no fasting - except when I sleep of course.

  4. carbs - yup, very low carb as a "lifestyle" doesn't work for me. The time that carbs work best for me is at night.

Again, this is what works for me personally.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 04:57 PM

Why would I intimidate you meredith? Everyone's opinion is helpful, people should look at all the options when trying to lose weight. I started from morbidly obese. I believe you started from already a healthy weight and were just looking for something more optimal for health/fitness. They are all valid points.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 29, 2011
at 07:34 PM

I am intimidated by your fabulously jacked arms - and your impressive score -:) generally I see you as one of the cool kids - but I am neurotic and just have to get over it. :)

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 29, 2011
at 10:50 PM

meredith, were you overweight? Or is this your get fitter/stay fitter plan?

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:37 PM

I tries leaving you a comment melissa but it keeps kicking me out. I was reluctant to post anything here because your answer was so complete - also because you intimidate the hell out of me. Looking at your photo I think the ladies should just ask themselves WWMD (what would melissa do) and go with that. Also, calories are real - I don't think 1200 is unreasonable.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 29, 2011
at 11:44 PM

Naw, thanks for sharing--I like hearing people's stories! You look fantastic- it's hard to believe there used to be so many extra lbs on that torso! Nice WORK!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:13 PM

I think this would work for pretty much anyone. Personally, I do better with snacking, but I do think it's more mental, being a former binge eater, than it is a physical thing.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 29, 2011
at 10:59 PM

I was an obese child - back in the day when obese kids weren't so common. In the seventh grade I dieted down and joined cross country. I became skinny fat. In college I ballooned up again - I think I weighed 50 pounds then more than I do now. Again, diet chronic cardio = skinny fat. Post college I did what any rebellious young thing does and shacked up with an older man, acquired a broken heart and ballooned again. After that I joined a hardcore old school weight lifting gym, got a job in a well known supplement store chain and started implementing bodybuilding type diet and exercise...

922038b6c0ca6a051cc4858218931456

(392)

on June 29, 2011
at 05:28 PM

Low carb and very low carb cause me to plateau.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 29, 2011
at 11:01 PM

The weights, including HIIT, and a Paleo type diet helped me to get where I am - and I did this through two pregnancies as well. So, yes I was obese, and yes this is the type of plan that worked for me. Prolly this was waaaaay more than you wanted to know.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 09:48 PM

Hahaha. Okay, meredith. My arms may look good, but I will never, ever have abs to show.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:53 PM

Mallory - I will hound you until you agree to talk to Andro about dong Super Human Radio - I am a fan and would LOVE to hear your voice there:)))))

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:47 PM

i like my carbs at night too. :)

6
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on June 29, 2011
at 01:39 PM

I got my BF% down where I want it by concentrating on eating clean food and doing HIIT bootcamp style workouts.

I keep my calories right around 1200 calories per day. The ratios that work for me is Fat 50%, Protein 25/30%, Carb 20/25%. Also, no booze. Yes. None. That was when I was truly concentrating on a goal. For day to day maintenance, it's fine.

The HIIT work was mostly body weight type exercises, tabata style, along with some kettlebells thrown in occasionally. I did this 3 days a week for 20 minutes. You have to really believe in the HIGH INTENSITY part though and DO IT. You have to be exhausted when you are done and truly push yourself.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on June 29, 2011
at 01:59 PM

You notice no negatives keeping your cals that low?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:17 PM

Thanks for the insight melissa

Bd271299b2d4d9b2e3da9c252fef058c

(2854)

on June 29, 2011
at 06:18 PM

And baconbitch, what height/frame are you? (I ask bc I'm 5'7" and 1200 seems on tge low end to me.)

D5096ff5baffc0ba5d20b21346414a7a

(1112)

on June 29, 2011
at 09:36 PM

glad to see this discussion. I am 5'7" 64 yr. old female. I have lost 50 lbs. several times in my life. I am now stuck at 162 lbs. (40 lb. loss) I eat VLC but I upped my calories to about 1400 and actually I have gained 4 lbs. So..my conclusion is the same as yours. I have to stay at about 1200 to lose. I am not hungry though because of the VLC paleo...exercise has been limited due to broken foot for six months..but I still lost steadily at 1200 calories. I keep my ratio close to 60% fat, 20% protein, 20% carb.

Bd271299b2d4d9b2e3da9c252fef058c

(2854)

on June 29, 2011
at 11:17 PM

What would you ladies say is the best way to count calories? Thru the day as you go? Plan the night before? And little meals or big ones?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:18 PM

I don't think I am "normal" by any means. If a person has been mostly healthy/fit their whole life, they can tolerate so much more. I do think what I have experienced is pretty common for the formerly obese though. It's part of why so many people have such a hard time keeping off 100+ pounds. It's really not an issue for me. I am not usually very hungry and once in awhile I let go and don't worry about it so much, then get myself back on track. It's a lifelong commitment to stay fit though, that's for sure.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on June 29, 2011
at 04:28 PM

Melissa, I am curious about the strategy of "resetting" leptin/insulin receptors by high carbing (with Paleo foods) for one or two days every couple of weeks or so. Have you had any experience with this?

D5096ff5baffc0ba5d20b21346414a7a

(1112)

on June 30, 2011
at 12:18 AM

I use dietpower software (not dependent on internet) and plan out my next day. Then I change it as real life unfolds, but as melissa said it helps to hit your ratios that way. I have also used fitday and fitnesspal free online. I like to look at averages for the week and month as I tweak my eating goals.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:00 PM

Nope! I've been doing it for 6+ years. I am formerly obese and 1300/1350 is maintenance, 1400+ causes gains.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 29, 2011
at 05:43 PM

I'm so glad you posted the calories. I am very comfortable on 1200 day and don't care for people who say I'm endangering myself. I eat until full and full is not 2000 calories. Curious...how tall are You and what type of body frame do you have?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 05:54 PM

I'm 5'2" and I would say medium framed. I weigh 136lbs which is the high end of "normal" for my height, yet I fit in XS and 4/6 size clothes.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:05 PM

melissa, do you think it will be that way forever? or do you expect someday your body will become maybe a little not-so-sensitive where you wont gain so easily? why do you think it is? just curious! xoxo

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 11:51 PM

I like to plan my breakfast and lunch the night before, then dinner/snacks are more up for grabs. It makes it easy to hit my ratios that way. I do a bunch of smaller meals, but I am not the norm.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:12 PM

I think I am stuck this way forever, honestly. I was eating 1400+ for a little while and I gained about 5lbs over 2 months. It was fun while it lasted, but a huge wake up call that my body just doesn't tolerate more food, even if it's 100% Paleo. I think I damaged my metabolism too much during my obese years. I lost most of my weight over 4 years, the last two have been losing the last 10 lbs and then maintenance, so if it was going to get better, I would think it would have happened by now.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 04:56 PM

I haven't tried that to reset anything, but when I was actively losing I would cycle my calories. It worked best for me to cycle them higher on the weekends, but still eating good foods, then back down on weekends. Cycling the calories helped me mentally to not have to be so strict on the weekend, plus it seems to help with weight loss. I'm really only talking about going from 1200 to 1400 though for one day a week. When I really needed to hit a goal though, I stayed strict the whole time.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 29, 2011
at 07:58 PM

I'm 5'1" and 110 lbs but when I lift heavy I can get to 118 and remain in a size 1. I'm small framed obviously. I'm convinced smaller people don't need as many calories but exercise certainly is a factor. Pre paleo I hate about 2100 calories and though I always ate clean I was hypoglycemic and always hungry.

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on October 17, 2011
at 02:44 PM

I would like to add that I have to eat much less than 2000 calories to maintain or lose weight. I tried low carb high fat and put on weight steadily. Now cutting that out and doing something more standard. I think <1500 might get me to lose weight but I have never calorie counted before, just watched on fitday what the numbers were.

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on October 17, 2011
at 02:44 PM

and I am 5'5 145 lbs

3
1690fb81b9adec5e4fdc38e5d87f588b

on June 29, 2011
at 01:54 PM

Women's bodies and their response to exercise and food and not ENTIRELY different from men, but they do indeed differ. Having at once been over 300 pounds and now sitting at 150, I know that it took a lot of hit and miss to determine the right balance. I myself, had totally screwed up my adrenals/insulin and now to stay lean I have to take in protein at least every 3-4 hours, stay away from ANY simple carbs, and (like Melissa) no alcohol and I too keep my kcals at 1200 or under. For the fitness side, I vary my workouts, but always run (because I love it) 3 times per week. Interval (HIIT) cycle three times a week and lift (also interval) five days per week. Abs will show, but it does take effort.... Biggest thing to remember though, is that there is no ONE PERFECT WAY... you can read the advice, but you have to do the work and find what suits you.....

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:11 PM

Low cals/moderate carb + HIIT = \o/

2
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on June 30, 2011
at 06:37 AM

I have to be really low carb to lose fat. I eat lots of animal fats, no dairy except a little butter, rarely nuts and seeds, rarely fruit, lots of low sugar veggies, plenty of animal protein. If I start adding in too much fruit and/or nuts and seeds, I gain weight. When I have occasionally tracked what I eat, I'm always surprised at how few calories I consume(average of around 1,000). When I'm eating vlc, I'm just not as hungry as when I add more carbs. The largest I've ever been was when I'd been low fat/vegan while pregnant and then breastfeeding...I was so hungry all the time, and never satisfied. My metabolism is very slow from years of eating disorder and vegan/vegetarianism/low fat eating; and having done the higher carb paleo thing randomly interspersed with vlc over the past ten years and ballooning out every time, I imagine I will always need to eat vlc with a very occasional fruit/nut indulgence.

2
7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 29, 2011
at 06:44 PM

Disclaimer: I have never been obese and am probably pretty genetically blessed when it comes to my weight. Having said that, this is what works for me:

  • More carbs, less fat. I eat a lot of sweet potatoes.

  • Lower calories, like 17/800 would be a very active day's intake. If I don't do much exercise I only eat around 1300. I'm only 5'2 and pretty small-framed so that's not as low as it would seem. I've heard that 30 years ago, the average woman ate 1500 kcal a day, which strikes me as reasonable.

  • Lots of walking, minimal sitting. I also have a fairly physical job right now.

  • Two meals a day most days. Large high-carb breakfast and a smaller dinner.

  • This is paleo sacrilege but regular cardio- I love it and it doesn't make me ravenous. No screwing around on the elliptical at level 1 though, stuff like 7-mile hill runs and speed intervals where my tongue is hanging out of my mouth at the end. Also fasted cardio a few times a week. Yes, I know I really really should do some lifting or at least bodyweight stuff, also.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 29, 2011
at 09:38 PM

In high school before paleo I used to do way more cardio (thanks to sports) like 3-4 hours every weekday. You can bet I was skinny-fat for most of that time.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 29, 2011
at 08:15 PM

Oops, Bracketed statement is @Olivia. :)

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 29, 2011
at 09:53 PM

@ Annie actually in high school before paleo I used to do way more cardio (thanks to sports) like 3-4 hours every weekday. You can bet I was skinny-fat and overtrained and hungry for a lot of that time.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 29, 2011
at 09:24 PM

Grenadine I'm 18, almost 19. I'm totally aware that what works for my body will probably change as I get older, but I kind of hope that at least it will be mitigated by the fact that I won't have decades of bad eating habits to undo, unlike most people my age who are still eating tons of crap because, well, youth is very forgiving : I might also add that I have genetics on my side because everyone in my family is slim and my mom (who I'm basically a shorter version of, body-type wise) has stayed thin even after kids and more recently menopause..don't know how significant that is.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 29, 2011
at 09:31 PM

And additionally, I'm not trying to lose weight, just stay on the lean side and be as fit as I can.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 29, 2011
at 10:20 PM

@Olivia - who knows, what works for you might stay nearly the same; for sure you're doing some mitigating, as you say. Kudos, lady!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 29, 2011
at 08:02 PM

@Annie, I think part of it may be age difference. [Doing a great job, i might add.] If i had been living that healthy in my late-teens/early-twenties maybe I wouldn't be in the half-sunk boat i'm in now. Heh. I was hot-stuff back then, (albeit 'skinny-fat') but rocknroll took it's toll! Sigh. I guess i can also blame gluten and hormonal birth control.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 29, 2011
at 09:23 PM

I might also add that I have genetics on my side because everyone in my family is slim and my mom (who I'm basically a shorter version of, body-type wise) has stayed thin even through menopause and multiple pregnancies...don't know how significant that is.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 29, 2011
at 09:17 PM

@Grenadine I'm 18, almost 19. I'm totally aware that what works for my body will probably change as I get older, but I kind of hope that at least it will be mitigated by the fact that I won't have decades of bad eating habits to undo, unlike most people my age who are still eating tons of crap because, well, youth is very forgiving :)

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on June 29, 2011
at 07:16 PM

Funny how different everyone is. Lower fat, higher carb just leaves me hungry and if I were going to exercise that much, I would need way more food (calories).

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 29, 2011
at 06:59 PM

Don't feel like you have to answer this, but, how old are you?

1
6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on June 29, 2011
at 04:53 PM

I think that men and women can be very different in terms of weight loss strategy. No, not always, but frequently. For instance, my husband has to eat at least 100 carbs per day in order to maintain his weight. I have to VLC in order to lose weight and not go over VLC by too much in order to maintain. For the women and men in my family, this rule of thumb has been consistent.

What works for me:

VLC (under 20 net carbs per day)

70/25/5 fat, protein, carbs

I don't have to worry much about calories. I eat until I'm full and land around 1700-2200 per day. If I cut calories, even upping fat, I will get hungry.

IF several days per week

Maintain muscle by lifting light weights

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 05:13 PM

I think IF is a great tool to have in the arsenal, but I also think it's not be used until your body can handle it. You have to use it the right way. I know that previously "fasting" was just my word for the restrict portion of my horrible binge/restrict cycles. I had to learn to use it for the right reasons and not as punishment for "bad" eating.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on June 29, 2011
at 05:43 PM

And forgot to add that I walk about 45 minutes a few days a week to keep my slow twitch muscles from becoming/continuing to be insulin resistant.

-1
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on June 29, 2011
at 01:15 PM

The basic stuff that works for guys should work for females.

I wouldn't get to concerned with trying to have Abs as having that low of a BF as a female isn't that healthy.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on June 29, 2011
at 01:35 PM

I guess it depends on your muscle. 8-12% is the minimum essential body-fat for women, if you had a decent amount of muscle you could probably see your abs at the very minimum amount. That's the bear minimum though, the optimal range for women is more like 15-25%.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 29, 2011
at 01:51 PM

you cant overestimate the influence that womens hormones have on muscle gain and fat loss. i think its a pretty different ballgame.

Bd271299b2d4d9b2e3da9c252fef058c

(2854)

on June 29, 2011
at 01:19 PM

I disagree! I think it's definitely possible to have abs at a healthy bf%. I guess I'm interested in hearing what has worked here for the ladies and seeing if and what the difference from men is. For example, IFing and/or eating one big meal a day doesn't work for me.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on June 29, 2011
at 01:38 PM

AS far as losing weight go's it depends on the person, it can vastly vary from person to person. What seems to work for most people is to focus on building muscle while eating enough calories(starving yourself will just sabotage long term weight loss). The more muscle you have the easier it will be to get to your ideal weight and eventually you will come to a balance.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

@ Cliff even though I agree the basics are the same, fat loss isn't as easy for us- the female body usually "wants" to hang onto fat much more, we're smaller with less lean mass and need fewer calories, and our hormonal environment is kind of stacked against us. Don't underestimate the effect those things can have.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:04 PM

yeah, i think general rules apply, of course, but when it comes to hacking the details its not as straightforward- even day to day- as it is for men.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 29, 2011
at 10:18 PM

For women, the visibility of the abdominals depend much more on body type and muscle tone, than total body fat. I have 17-20% body fat but I have defined abs (and bony shoulders/chest) because I carry most of my fat between the top of my pelvis and my knees. There are plenty of women who simply don't gain fat in their midsection, even if they have quite a high body fat percentage - it's hormonal and genetic.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on June 29, 2011
at 01:53 PM

I agree but the strategies that work for men should work for woman. IF'ing gave me the same results as the OP yet I'm a male.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:58 PM

100% glad you tackle the mind first !!!!

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on June 29, 2011
at 08:06 PM

i totally disagree with this. The toughest outs for me in clinic are the formly morbidly obese females. I have to help repair their minds first, leptin second, and all the other hormonal issues that come next and then deal with the loss of hypothalamic neurons from the obesity damage. Tough outs. Guys are way easier to manage because they are not as hormonally complex.

Medium avatar

on February 06, 2014
at 08:49 PM

No, it really varies per person and by sex what works and doesnt work. It is not one size fits all. IF can actually be dangerous to some women because it tells their body they are in survival mode... that messes with fertility and stress hormones. Men do not have the same problem with intermittent fasting. There are very different hormone balances at play between men and women and diet and exercise are all about balancing those things.

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