I'm writing to ask for some help with my diet. I'm 40 years old, 5'6', fairly active and strong and fit but not lean...at about 135 lbs and I'd like to lose 15 or so. I maintain an almost daily 2-hour Ashtanga yoga practice (with lots of strength moves like arm balances) (note that most Ashtanga practitioners get really lean and light)and I think I'm probably pretty ripped under this layer of pudge, judging by how strong I am and the fact that I can see a glimmer of a 6-pack underneath this damned muffin top...but at 40 years I really want to lose this extra baggage once and for all! I've recently started adding in more weight training, things like pull-ups and squats and some free weights. I also bike alot. I am hoping the weight training helps move things along, as I've been eating paleo for some months now and nothing seems to be shifting in the mirror...
In my seriousness at wanting to manifest real change in my physique I've decided to further tweak my diet, and I'm writing to ask for advice regarding this plan.
What I eat:
-eggs, hard-boiled or scrambled with coconut oil -skinless chicken breast (previously was eating with skin) cooked in a little coconut oil or poached with herbs -big salads, lots of different veggies- with some olive oil and lemon/ACV (should I lose the EVOO?) -fish -some grassfed beef, usually ground, with vegetables cooked in the same pan in the fat -cultured vegetables -kombucha on occasion, lots of water, some coffee and green tea.
QUESTIONABLE? FOODS treats that I wonder if I should attempt to eliminate completely
-sweet potato, should I eat this plain? I like to put a bit of coconut cream on top, and cinnamon
-sugarfree chocolates made of coconut oil and raw cacao powder -fruit- usually berries but also some apple, apricot, plum, or citrus -nuts or seeds- favorites are macadamia, walnut, pumpkin seed, sometimes with a few dates (but rarely)
Looking at this list, it seems pretty ideal to me, but as I said the jeans are still too tight! Am I eating too much fat, in the form of EVOO, coconut cream and oil, and nuts? I'm ready to cut out the nuts, but the oil makes a huge salad so much more palatable, and the coconutoil/cacao treats help me with the munchies and keep me from actual sugary treats...should I switch these out for fruit, or should I eliminate the fruit? Do I have to ditch the fruit, the coconut, the evoo, the salt? I feel eating these things help me stick to the general paleo plan. Must I consume protein upon awakening?
I'm guessing I need to get more consistent with my Cronometer use, and restrict some calories (to 1500? 1800?), and minimize the oils and salt. Any tips or advice?
I'm really determining now to finally do what it takes to get the body I want (and used to have!) I have a long history of overeating, compulsive (night-time) eating, sugar-craving, and veganism (including fruitarianism- that was a bad idea) so it is frustrating to eat so cleanly and still be chubby.
I know this or similar questions get asked again and again, so I appreciate any input. I know it takes time and I'm patient, but would really like to see difference. I've read a lot on this site and others, but feel as though good advice given directly at me could help inspire me to make some lasting and significant changes.
Thanks all for the time to read this and share!
asked byLove (55)
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on July 20, 2013
at 08:25 AM
maybe you're exercising too much. because of that almost daily 2 hour yoga and the occasional weight training or whatever you're doing, your body is probably holding onto the fat for energy.
do your yoga only a COUPLE of times a week... give your body a rest.
I don't see anything bad in your diet. Relax. :]
on July 20, 2013
at 03:25 AM
At this point, you want to get your hormonal balance sorted. Calories aren't really the issue, though you may want to play around with your macros. Some women, including me, do better with lower carbs. You will have to experiment!
Dial in your D3 blood level, and get more nutrient-dense foods in your diet. Liver, oysters, bone broth...
Also, be careful not to over-exercise, which can cause high cortisol in some women. Ashtanga is pretty intense, so make sure not to add in too much biking.
How is your sleep?
on July 20, 2013
at 02:55 AM
I'd have to agree with ivymcivy & SUSTAINED fitness comments just below the original question.
At 40, 5'6" & 135 seems pretty good, unless you're substantially under-muscled and have a LOT of belly fat?
Check out http://home.fuse.net/clymer/bmi/ as a first cut at BF%.
Waist size (where your body creases when you bend sideways) is decent metric and it will give you a ballpark indication.
But a more accurate BF% determination will tell the tale.
Simple suggestion? I like simple (one item) changes...they may not work quickly but when they do, you can attribute the change to that single item.
Just dial back on the nuts alone. Macs, almonds & pistachios have caused me to gain & not lose...but I love them! The addition or subtraction of small handful of nuts every day can make a world of difference.
If that change works...great! If not, stay dialed back on the nuts & dial back on the fruit.
Of course you can do (or have it done for you) a hardcore macro input audit along with an exercise audit. These things are doable but you can hack this problem without them. It will just take more time.
Unless I missed it..you don't mention how long you've been eating clean, your starting point (waist size is important) & elapsed time. Are we taking about weeks or many months?
It took me ~ 7 months to go from 219 to 190 (6'male) and it wasn't a straight line down...plateaus, a bit of up & down but now I have it dialed in better. I never did a rigorous exercise audit (there was little to audit). I did do some semblance of macro counting to make sure I was getting enough protein. But I did use my tape as much as my scale....more as I approached my settling point. I was lucky, in that, with sufficient protein & a reasonable amount of fat my hunger was non-existent and I lost weight easily.
I slid sideways into Paleo via The Blood Sugar Solution and then 4 Hour Body. I lost the bulk of the weight very quickly w/o exercise beyond self weight 4 Hour Body stuff & walking by eliminating "fast carbs" (juice,grains,fruit), dairy & being careful with nuts. Now I eat pretty much Paleo & am stable at 190 for months. Unfortunately what works for an guy may not work as well for a woman.
I'm wondering if maybe you're working out too hard?
on July 19, 2013
at 07:18 PM
Many post-menopausal women, or those close to it, do better upping their carbs just a bit. I am not recommending counting calories, but maybe adding sweet potato, or a little more fruit might help. If you bike a lot, combined whit the Ashtanga Yoga, you might have high cortisol levels, causing you to hold on to fat. Doing some lifting with heavy weights, sprints intervals, or HIIT might give you the hormonal boost your body is needing.
on July 19, 2013
at 07:05 PM
Based on what you write I would say that if you feel you are doing about as much as you can to lose weight and still having a hard time then go see a doctor to make sure you do not have any underlying physical issues BEFORE getting advice from a forum.
The vague question of "How do I lose fat" can really only be answered if you have glaring problems with your diet or amount of exercise. So unless you are omitting problems in your diet or exercise my best advice is to check a check up.
on July 19, 2013
at 11:56 PM
ok. after a lot of calculating, I figured out what your daily calorie intake should be based on your age, weight, height, activity level, and weight loss goal. I don't feel like typing out all the equations but here is what I got.
1955 calories per day.
also, I notice that high intensity interval training is great for fat loss and muscle gain instead of working out for a hours on end.