1

votes

How to Tweak my clean diet for fat loss?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 19, 2013 at 5:29 PM

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!

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

You have no idea exactly how many calories she needs per day, so to guess (if you want to call it that) is a waste. What if she eats 1955 calories of just carbs, what will happen? Or what about just protein? Or just fat. A calorie is a unit of energy that is nearly useless for human calculation. If your numbers are overestimated by just 10, she will gain 10 lbs by the time she is 50.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on July 23, 2013
at 08:06 PM

i'm 5'5". 135lbs and 51y/o....and my six pack is hiding under my belly fab. i gained it all while working rotating 12hr shifts for 3 years. i just moved to a new department and now work straight shifts. sleep is now my priority. get your 8 hrs; it really does matter.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on July 20, 2013
at 02:32 PM

Calories in versus calories out is a pretty basic theory that isnt hard to understand... Not sure why you're getting your panties in a bunch. Ive easily noticed weight loss and gain based on calorie consumption.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 20, 2013
at 01:33 PM

If you are counting calories, how many calories do you burn walking? What about when the temperature is colder or hotter outside? what about after a meal? Do you start to see the fallacy of trying to count calories. No other species on earth counts calories, yet stay virtually the same body composition in periods of famine, or periods of feasting. It is all regulated by hormones.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 20, 2013
at 01:31 PM

Thanks for the downvote. Now I know what type of character you have.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on July 20, 2013
at 03:29 AM

And some need more because their metabolism runs faster, YMMV.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on July 20, 2013
at 03:29 AM

No one can tell you how many calories you need, everyone's metabolism is unique and calorie calculators are based on a nutrient-poor SAD diet. Many Paleo/Primal women can eat far fewer calories with more nutrient-dense foods.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on July 20, 2013
at 03:17 AM

Ivymcivy, I am the same height and 125 lbs at age 50. If she is small boned like me, 120 is totally within expectations.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on July 20, 2013
at 03:11 AM

Sustained, its good to get an idea of your calorie needs. Im not going to figure out your example because its extra work for me to do. You could ask on your own post instead of hijacking Love's pot. Where are your manners?

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on July 20, 2013
at 03:09 AM

Sure, Love. No problem. It was just a daily calorie expenditure equation. I used the one i had in my fitness book.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 20, 2013
at 12:29 AM

Go get a simple bodyfat test. Most personal trainers will do it as part of a free first session. If you are near Boulder, CO I will do it for you.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 20, 2013
at 12:28 AM

Tell me how many calories I need to stay the same weight. I am 33, 5'7" 146, lift heavy weights 2 times per week, do a 30 minute HIIT circuit about once per week, rock climb 4 times per week, and go on a mountain hike/run once per week.

078fbca7ed4145156f8cbd5e2fd70080

(55)

on July 20, 2013
at 12:03 AM

Thank you for doing that for me! Ok, I will begin to add in some HIIT of some sort...

078fbca7ed4145156f8cbd5e2fd70080

(55)

on July 20, 2013
at 12:03 AM

not good enough!

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 19, 2013
at 09:06 PM

No offense, but doctors do not have a good track record of helping people lose weight.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on July 19, 2013
at 07:31 PM

5'6" and 135lbs? at 40 yrs old? And you want to lose 15lbs? That is a healthy weight even for a younger woman, it is amazing for a woman nearing perimenopause. If your body isn't losing weight on this restricted diet you've set up for yourself, it is happy where it is. Maybe you should think about adjusting your expectations and enjoying your fit, healthy body.

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7 Answers

1
52ad7ee5eef0d7339d0977bd7a2ceb8a

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. :]

1
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on July 19, 2013
at 11:10 PM

how's your sleep?

078fbca7ed4145156f8cbd5e2fd70080

(55)

on July 20, 2013
at 12:03 AM

not good enough!

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on July 23, 2013
at 08:06 PM

i'm 5'5". 135lbs and 51y/o....and my six pack is hiding under my belly fab. i gained it all while working rotating 12hr shifts for 3 years. i just moved to a new department and now work straight shifts. sleep is now my priority. get your 8 hrs; it really does matter.

0
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

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?

0
F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

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?

cheers Bob

0
C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

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.

0
A6c0a2f69724070db0eb3ea2d32d9d14

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.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 19, 2013
at 09:06 PM

No offense, but doctors do not have a good track record of helping people lose weight.

-1
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

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.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on July 20, 2013
at 03:11 AM

Sustained, its good to get an idea of your calorie needs. Im not going to figure out your example because its extra work for me to do. You could ask on your own post instead of hijacking Love's pot. Where are your manners?

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 20, 2013
at 12:28 AM

Tell me how many calories I need to stay the same weight. I am 33, 5'7" 146, lift heavy weights 2 times per week, do a 30 minute HIIT circuit about once per week, rock climb 4 times per week, and go on a mountain hike/run once per week.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on July 20, 2013
at 03:09 AM

Sure, Love. No problem. It was just a daily calorie expenditure equation. I used the one i had in my fitness book.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on July 20, 2013
at 03:29 AM

And some need more because their metabolism runs faster, YMMV.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 20, 2013
at 01:31 PM

Thanks for the downvote. Now I know what type of character you have.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

You have no idea exactly how many calories she needs per day, so to guess (if you want to call it that) is a waste. What if she eats 1955 calories of just carbs, what will happen? Or what about just protein? Or just fat. A calorie is a unit of energy that is nearly useless for human calculation. If your numbers are overestimated by just 10, she will gain 10 lbs by the time she is 50.

078fbca7ed4145156f8cbd5e2fd70080

(55)

on July 20, 2013
at 12:03 AM

Thank you for doing that for me! Ok, I will begin to add in some HIIT of some sort...

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 20, 2013
at 01:33 PM

If you are counting calories, how many calories do you burn walking? What about when the temperature is colder or hotter outside? what about after a meal? Do you start to see the fallacy of trying to count calories. No other species on earth counts calories, yet stay virtually the same body composition in periods of famine, or periods of feasting. It is all regulated by hormones.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on July 20, 2013
at 03:29 AM

No one can tell you how many calories you need, everyone's metabolism is unique and calorie calculators are based on a nutrient-poor SAD diet. Many Paleo/Primal women can eat far fewer calories with more nutrient-dense foods.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on July 20, 2013
at 02:32 PM

Calories in versus calories out is a pretty basic theory that isnt hard to understand... Not sure why you're getting your panties in a bunch. Ive easily noticed weight loss and gain based on calorie consumption.

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