2

votes

How long do you wait to see if diet "tweaks" are working?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 22, 2012 at 7:16 AM

I've tried the "popular" paleo tweaking suggestions of adding more fat and red meat into my diet for about a month, but I am actually doing worse. My weight has sky-rocketed to a place where it hasn't been in about 1.5-2 years. I have a small frame, and I am very uncomfortable with this weight gain. I am about 13 pounds from the weight that I feel really great at. I feel better and function better as a whole at a lower weight. My body was definitely designed to be at a lower weight.

I don't really enjoy red meat, but I eat it because I think that it is supposed help me since I got so many comments about how eating a nice steak helped with binging. I don't like chowing down meals with more of fat, but I do it because I feel like it's supposed to help with binging because I was convinced after reading all the suggestions that it would help. It doesn't. I've kept the calories about the same as before I made the tweaks, but then when I do binge, who knows how much it ends up being.

The only way I ever maintained a lower weight in the past was lots of vegetables, high protein and low-fat and some fruit. I know others here eat like this, but why do I feel like it's such a sin to not want to slab butter on everything or chomp down steak?

Should I take this as a sign that my body handles a low-fat diet better? Or am I supposed to give it more time? I was having trouble binging before, but without all this extra weight gain. Higher-fat and change of protein type made it worse.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 23, 2012
at 05:08 PM

This may not be a direct analogy, but I've noticed that when I change a variable affecting sleep, it frequently takes six to eight weeks to notice results, and then sometimes the change occurs rapidly. Similarly, when I went back to lifting weights, I started noticing a change after about two months. Now, sleep and exercise are not food, so my n=1 may be of limited usefulness to you, but there it is. The body takes time to change.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on April 23, 2012
at 11:57 AM

If I get too much fat, I get the runs and worse to be blunt! :) I might have a sluggish gall bladder? not sure but to avoid that, I just keep it around that number and no more. If I eat a whole avocado I'm in for trouble! Coconut products in large quantities also give me trouble, not sure if its the fat or the die off? I'm working on all that now, hope to eventually have it sorted! Hang in there, be patient with yourself and it'll all get clearer!

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 22, 2012
at 11:25 PM

Thank you very much. I've seen such great results here with that percentage, and I wanted to make it work. Thanks for your input on how it affected you. I always love when you comment:). You kind of won me over the day you expressed interest in cricket farming!

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 22, 2012
at 09:07 PM

Thank you. I've received lot of good comments, and I also agree that I'm throwing too much out at once...trying too many things at the same time, which makes it harder to figure out.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 22, 2012
at 09:04 PM

You are absolutely right with changing just one variable at a time. I switched to more red meat, upping fats, AND experimenting with IF. So thank you for bringing this to my attention.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 22, 2012
at 09:04 PM

Thank you so much for your comment. My fat is about 65% right now. How did you not "do well with high fat"? It seems to work well with so many people, but it's good to hear that others might not feel so good on it. It's also encouraging to read that it takes some people several months to figure things out.

4d19018c899ad4e4c8a8bff5515449e1

(242)

on April 22, 2012
at 07:57 PM

I just want to add that I believe high fat high protein worked for me because I ate fewer calories in the long run and I probably didnt exceed my recommended fat intake.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6244)

on April 22, 2012
at 04:57 PM

Are you using FitADay to see what your nutrition is or a daily log of food?

1133603ea602c6824da56e8b596c9754

(614)

on April 22, 2012
at 02:30 PM

Timely for me that you post this. I added more healthy fats to my diet last fall and put on 5 pounds. My stress increased also, so that was a contributing factor. I am now using an app to track my intake to see what I am doing in order to better see how to tweak things. It seems my macro ratio is fat 55%, carb 22%, protein 23% or something like that average over the last week, but I have already made some changes. I think eating too much can still be an issue, lower-carb or not. Thanks for the link also daz.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 22, 2012
at 02:28 PM

I'm just frustrated, because from a physiological standpoint, increased fat makes logical sense. So I have having trouble wondering why it's not working for me. I would like to try and get into ketosis so I don't know if eating the way I was before is going to help. I was hoping increasing fats would do it, but it is doing the opposite of what its supposed to be doing. Sorry, if my question wasn't phrased right. I'm just so frustrated.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 22, 2012
at 01:34 PM

Thanks, daz!!!!

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 22, 2012
at 08:51 AM

Hi Sunny Beaches, have a look at the info here; http://paleohacks.com/questions/79120/fat-adapted-lower-need-to-consume-fat "Fat adapted -> lower need to consume fat?"

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

9 Answers

5
51acbea34cdfbe9b94f4847b8b24bfb9

on April 22, 2012
at 08:34 AM

Unless you post a food diary for at least a week there's no real information to go on. There are so many factors to consider that just posting an observation is not enough to make a real assessment :-)

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 22, 2012
at 09:07 PM

Thank you. I've received lot of good comments, and I also agree that I'm throwing too much out at once...trying too many things at the same time, which makes it harder to figure out.

4
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on April 22, 2012
at 08:27 AM

no matter how long a change has been implemented, for me weight gain ends it. i recently tried adding fruit back into my eating and it has been a disaster. who knew an apple a day could inflame my binge reflex?

do what feels right- i stopped adding fat to my food when i couldn't feel good about it.

3
3c7150f971f65f52bb066bf21baa0f1d

on April 22, 2012
at 11:21 AM

After two months of high fat, high protein, much greens, low carb (less 50-60 gr) strictly paleo, no cheats ever, I didn't gain weight...I gained fat and maybe lost some muscle due to the mad crossfit workouts, more stress, bad recovery and so no increase of my lifting!

Than I switched to high carb, right fat (mostly from natural cut of meat or fish), normal protein...I reintroduced fruit in large amount, pumpkin, chestnut flour and white potato (sometimes), also whole organic milk!

This paleoWay works for and help me. Anyway you must have patience with your body and don't stress your mind!

2
4d19018c899ad4e4c8a8bff5515449e1

on April 22, 2012
at 09:39 AM

I am not trying to sound mean, but your Description of your question is kind of "leading" like you want a specific answer. So I can feel however I want about your experience, but if you are unhappy then by all means do what you did before. If the way you ate before didn't make you happy, then I need a more specific question about something you desire and will be open to ideas about. It would help if you posted an edit or new question stating exactly what you want, what you have been doing, and what you really don't want to do.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 22, 2012
at 02:28 PM

I'm just frustrated, because from a physiological standpoint, increased fat makes logical sense. So I have having trouble wondering why it's not working for me. I would like to try and get into ketosis so I don't know if eating the way I was before is going to help. I was hoping increasing fats would do it, but it is doing the opposite of what its supposed to be doing. Sorry, if my question wasn't phrased right. I'm just so frustrated.

4d19018c899ad4e4c8a8bff5515449e1

(242)

on April 22, 2012
at 07:57 PM

I just want to add that I believe high fat high protein worked for me because I ate fewer calories in the long run and I probably didnt exceed my recommended fat intake.

1
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on April 22, 2012
at 10:21 PM

for me, 65% fat would be obscenely high. Anything above 40% results in diminished body composition and athletic performance, as well as mood. That is just me though. do what makes you feel good and keep doing it until it doesn't any more.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 22, 2012
at 11:25 PM

Thank you very much. I've seen such great results here with that percentage, and I wanted to make it work. Thanks for your input on how it affected you. I always love when you comment:). You kind of won me over the day you expressed interest in cricket farming!

1
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on April 22, 2012
at 08:34 PM

You sound a bit like myself, I'm 5'2 and very small boned, I started Jan 2011 with Primal, trying to go Paleo (dairy free) but not very good at it. I'm allergic to beef so I eat pretty much everything else (chicken, fish, seafood, turkey/duck, limited pork) and I was about 25 lbs over weight, that is over my comfortable weight

In the first month I was off gluten and lost about 8-10 lbs, from there it was very very slow going. After 3 months and off processed foods and processed sugar, still very slow shedding weight. I'd say it was on average of 1/2 lb per week. I was impatient so this wasn't cutting it for me, but in hindsight I see it was probably very healthy. I limited nuts to max 2 oz per day and made dark chocolate treats with coconut, honey, nuts...just to keep myself happy. Alcohol limited to the weekends, max 2 glasses wine no more than 2 nights, that kept me happy as well. At some points no alcohol just because I was seeing results.

After 3-4 months and continual tweaking of %/s and grams I was onto what made me feel good and seemed to work (was seeing some weight loss of 3 lbs wk). I don't do well with high fat so I learned that 55-60% fat is best for me, keeping good carbs to no more than 50g per day, and fruit limited to berries mostly and trying not to eat too much fruit in general

At around month 4 I started entertaining the idea of IF'ing. Up to that point I'd been reading about it but wasn't quite ready to IF, I love to eat. I began IF'ing by just getting my meals in during the day and cutting it off at 4pm and fasting until the next day 9-10am. As I began adjusting to that, I began to fast for longer periods, but never going over 18 hours, like I said, I like to eat!!

Between the previous tweaks and IF'ing, withing 2 months I had shed most of the weight and was really slimmed down. Actually at that point, the weight really didn't matter anymore because I was happy with the fat loss.

I think if you have the time to figure out what works best for you, its worth taking your time, giving yourself time to see results, time to adjust and tweak, try new things. Its mico-management, but if thats what it takes to figure it out, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!!!

best of luck to you! don't worry, just take control and monitor and in time, you'll see what works.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 22, 2012
at 09:04 PM

Thank you so much for your comment. My fat is about 65% right now. How did you not "do well with high fat"? It seems to work well with so many people, but it's good to hear that others might not feel so good on it. It's also encouraging to read that it takes some people several months to figure things out.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on April 23, 2012
at 11:57 AM

If I get too much fat, I get the runs and worse to be blunt! :) I might have a sluggish gall bladder? not sure but to avoid that, I just keep it around that number and no more. If I eat a whole avocado I'm in for trouble! Coconut products in large quantities also give me trouble, not sure if its the fat or the die off? I'm working on all that now, hope to eventually have it sorted! Hang in there, be patient with yourself and it'll all get clearer!

1
870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 22, 2012
at 03:53 PM

I agree with the point about the food log and the lack of information we have.

I feel constrained to add that, when you engage in self-experimentation, it helps to change one variable at a time. You say that you changed your diet in two ways: you increased red meat AND you increased fat. Assuming for the sake of argument that these were the ONLY two changes in your life, you still can't say with any confidence which change produced the undesired result, can you?

The classic example of an elimination diet requires one at the start to drop to a bland baseline (so yeah, this is changing a bunch of variables at once) and add potentially problematic foods back in one at a time.

I think meaningful self-experimentation is actually quite time-consuming if done right. I certainly get impatient sometimes and change multiple things at once, but it makes my outcomes more difficult to interpret.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 22, 2012
at 09:04 PM

You are absolutely right with changing just one variable at a time. I switched to more red meat, upping fats, AND experimenting with IF. So thank you for bringing this to my attention.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 23, 2012
at 05:08 PM

This may not be a direct analogy, but I've noticed that when I change a variable affecting sleep, it frequently takes six to eight weeks to notice results, and then sometimes the change occurs rapidly. Similarly, when I went back to lifting weights, I started noticing a change after about two months. Now, sleep and exercise are not food, so my n=1 may be of limited usefulness to you, but there it is. The body takes time to change.

1
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 22, 2012
at 03:47 PM

Morning, Sunny!

Starting with your specific question, I usually try a routine for 1-2 weeks. I will say I don't use a scale because there are no positive outcomes for me--just the frustration and anxiety from my amazing fluctuations from day to day.

I use my clothes and a tape measure, but the real test is how I feel when I wake up in the morning. I believe if you wake up alert and feeling "lean" (not necessarily hungry right away) then you're doing fine. If you don't feel empty with that body state that says "time to go hunt/gather" you're either eating too much or you ate the wrong mix of foods sometime in the last day or two.

I'll summarize a typical day so you can see how we compare. Please note, I'm not one of those who makes weight loss a job--my loss has been slow and natural, with weeks or months when I stayed the same and weeks or months when I noticeably lost. After a year, t-shirts and pants that were too tight to wear in public are now hanging on me so I've done something right in my view.

My daily "breakfast" is 3 mugs of slowly-slipped coffee with heavy cream and honey--total cream is 3-4 tbsp. Again, I want to feel hungry during this time but I don't satisfy my hunger until at least mid-day. I don't eat until I'm "starving" because I want to eat until I'm full--I'm not a nibbler.

I don't always do so, but it's very clear that I do best when my first solid food of the day is meat. A 4-6oz portion of beef chuck steak, a can of sardines in olive oil, a small can of wild salmon, 1/2 of a Cornish game hen, etc. Since all of those qualify as "fatty" meat I don't add any other fats. And for me, meat that already has fat is better than dry meat to which other fats are added. Since I'm only 5'4", that serving of meat is plenty for the day and some days I skip meat.

Now that we're in the warm season, my vegetables and fruits are raw; I call it my "tear and crunch" meal and I sprinkle lightly with vinegar and olive oil. For a large bowl, I use 2-3 tbsp olive oil.

Not all days are the same. What I actually ate yesterday was 1-2 cups of cubed watermelon and a banana. I'm still adjusting to the warmer weather and I wasn't very hungry. Surprise, surprise, today I'm definitely hungry and I have a Cornish game hen in the oven--I'll eat at least half and I'll have some mix of fruit and veggies later.

I think it's silly to go out of your way to either avoid or over-eat fat; for weight loss, I just try to go completely unprocessed. The more fresh and whole my meats, fruits and vegetables are the more satisfying they are and the more work my GI tract has to do to digest them.

1
F03dc3c461d749c573bb81603aff796b

on April 22, 2012
at 02:55 PM

Hi Sunny beaches! When I first went Paleo we were visiting relatives that were already doing the paleo diet. I was amazed at the amount of food that we were eating. During that week on vacation I lost about 6 lbs! The trick is to eat the right foods and avoid the bad foods that become sugars in your body such as grains, beans and sugars themselves. When your insulin system is presented with these carbs it goes into save mode and produces more insulin that saves fats and sugars for later usage. Eating foods that are natural and unprocessed are the best way to loose weight and you never have to worry about gaining weight as the fat just falls off. I might suggest getting a copy of "The Primal Blueprint" by Mark Sisson to help you get a good start and an understanding of just what is happening to your body as you go paleo. Best wishes!

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!