I have been trying to lose about 10-15lbs since right before I had my 2 kids. I gained 45lbs with each pregnancy. It took me about 6 months to lose the baby weight after each pregnancy. My problem is that I am stuck at 145lbs. It's as if my body just likes this weight and it is driving me insane. I started paleo 5 weeks ago along with crossfit in the hopes that I will be able to lose this weight and get fit.
I did weight watchers off and on for about a year and half. I'd lose a little then gain a little, so I never really lost anything at all. WW is based on the "fat is the devil" philosophy.
My question...how do I get out of the mindset that fat is bad? I know it's not, but I still have a fear of it. I eat it, but I'm wondering if I'm eating enough.
Second question just in case anyone might have some insight on this...I just realized that the 10-15 lbs I gained was gained in the year following giving up red meat and pork. Could there be any correlation? By the way, I am considering adding grass fed beef back in...maybe.
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Ugh, I'm sorry for the length of this reply, but you triggered something for me. And anyone who has read any of my postings here knows brevity is NOT in my toolkit. On the other hand, no one has to read it.
I can't really offer better suggestions than others about what to do or read or eat, and you're already doing the right things by reading the books mentioned, etc.
But I read your question as "how to get out of a certain mindset," and I'm more interested in that than your macro-nutrient ratios or your bodyfat. It's not about fat, carbs, pounds, and eating--not really, is it? I think it's more about your expectations and hopes and fears.
And it's about your (our) culture.
I don't know exactly how you can convince yourself to not feel bad about eating more fat, nor about being more fat. Most of us here would agree that our current twisted food culture has deranged us, and I don't care how easy some people in Paleoland act like it is: it's really hard to resist one's culture. Food culture itself, discretely, is especially difficult to resist because of the myriad ways it's woven into all of our traditions and our survival. Our food culture is part of our essential identity as human beings, and each human culture has unique food culture.
Your feelings about fat come from your culture. Sociologists call violating cultural norms "deviancy," which sounds like a dirty word, but it's really not. We're all conditioned to avoid deviancy because deviancy is typically punished. It's positively ironic that eating more fat is deviant behavior in a culture where simply eating MORE and MORE of EVERYTHING (more fat, more sugar, more corn syrup, more refined horror-show) is perfectly normal. And obesity is also becoming perfectly normal.
But normal is just a description of what is, not what should be, or can be, or ought to be. And you want to do something that's not normal, so you're feeling like a deviant. No wonder you feel weird about eating more fat. Feeling weird about it is totally normal!
And it seems like being normal isn't serving you well, and you don't like it. The type of deviancy you are contemplating isn't criminal, it doesn't hurt anyone else, and it's perfectly consensual. It seems like a little thoughtful, deliberate deviancy is in order here.
It seems like you are relatively young (child-bearing age, anyhow), so barring tragedy, odds are good that you have a lot of time on your side to experiment and see what works for you. So if you look at it that way, why not just try something different from normal for awhile and see what happens?
If you imagine you might live to be 80 or 90 years old--maybe older than that--then what happens in the next 6 months might not seem quite so terrifying. You're in this for the long haul. You're going to want to see what it's like to be grandma. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Can I run a marathon today? No. In six months? Probably. Between now and the marathon is training and conditioning, experimentation and experience. You have time. Take your time.
What is the worst case scenario? You eat gobs of fat, gain a few pounds and find out that more fat isn't the magic bullet for you and something more might be required? Is that scenario truly unbearable to a person who, after all, has endured pregnancy and given birth (twice!) and lost 45 lbs each time? I'm guessing you'll survive any small setback just fine. (45 lbs in six months is an excellent rate of weight loss, by the way--obviously your body knows how to lose weight.)
Or....perhaps you'll start losing. Maybe you'll start losing very, very slowly. Maybe it will melt away like grass-fed butter on a hot cast iron skillet. Maybe you will experience other benefits that will start to make the weight loss seem less important, and then suddenly when you're focusing on other things, you lose weight anyway. So many possible variables, therefore so many possible outcomes. This is going to take some experimenting--and some time. Which you have plenty of.
I guess I'd just suggest a little psychological triage here, try to remind myself of the level of urgency of things. A pound--or even ten--gained is not an emergency. Not losing weight (at least at your level) is not an emergency. The definition of "not an emergency" is that you have time to deal with it, so don't freak out right now. You have time to make course corrections along the way.
So, if it's not an emergency, and you're not freaking out, and there's really no one else besides yourself to punish you for deviating from the norm, then in the interim, why not try something new and see what happens?
Hi Mandy:) I also had a lot of trouble with eating more fat. I was worried because fat has more calories per gram and I was worried that it was easy to accidentally go over. However, I just reminded myself to visualize mentally fat as a form of fuel for my body. I went easy at first, with foods I found "safe" in the past. Eggs were really easy to use on top of salads, and I liked avocado as well. To help myself get over my fear of fat, I read comments on here. I read blogs. I read about Omega-3s and tried to focus on the positives of fat.
I really related to your comments on meat: "I just didn't want to eat something that was tortured so I could eat it. I'd have been more likely to eat venison...at least I'd know it had lived a life."
YES YES YES. It wasn't until paleo that I looked into pastured meat. I'm extremely sad that I never knew about it. I too, would rather have had venison over any form of factory-farmed meat. I think factory farms are disgusting and could never support such an operation.
I had a post about having grass-fed, certified humanely raised meat last week for the the first time ever!! It was a good experience. Taste-wise, it is completely different than the conventional ground I've had in the past (like you, I also cut it out of my diet). I think I actually trust pastured beef more than I trust chicken. I only see "free-range" chicken and "organic chicken" in stores around here and that's not good enough for me. Knowing that the meat I eat is "certified humane" helps a lot. I believe in paleo and believe that we are designed to eat meat. However, I don't think we are designed to eat animals that have lived their lives in stress and torture.
When I sit down and eat my meat, I can eat it with so much more ease. It is a little more expensive, so I get the cheapest ground instead of fancy steaks. I mentally visualize it nourishing my body--the protein and the fat and it helps me eat. It is worth EVERY PENNY.
Good luck on your paleo journey:)
The documentary "Fat Head" - can be viewed on Hulu or Netflix.
The book "Eat Fat, Lose Weight" by Sally Fallon & Mary Enig (just learn about how to use fat, especially coconut oil to fuel weightloss). My take away with this book: consume 1-2 Tablespoons of coconut before each meal (you don't have a lot to lose, so 1 T is plenty). I melt it in warm water and down it. Medium Chain Triglycerides speed up metabolism, and it will help you feel full faster and support the immune system.
"Primal Body, Primal Mind" by Nora Gedgaudas - my go to Primal book.
Before I started Paleo, I was TERRIFIED of fats. I absolutely abhorred them. Both my dad and I have ulcers, and every time he drank cream to help heal his ulcer, I was repulsed. No way on earth this low fat vegetarian would ever dare to do something so drastically "dumb." Meanwhile, as my dad lost weight eating bacon and butter, I just kept getting sicker and sicker. One day I just gave up. Once I started eating mostly fats I found that I wasn't hungry all the time anymore. I just didn't overeat period. When your body gets what it needs, it'll regulate itself. Trust me on this one- you are doing more harm to your body by avoiding them.
What kind of fats do you eat now? If animal fat makes you cringe with guilt why not try more coconut oil for example to start off.
I think if you give it a try Paleo will work well for you, and yes, get back to eating grass fed beef because it satisfies you for longer and you will probably eat less overall between the beef and the added fats.
Use less carbs like potato, rice and carby veggies until your weight is off. Eat more salads, kale, swiss chard, etc. and skip all gluten products like bread and pasta.
I found these to be a good read:
If you know fat isn't the problem, but still have a fear of it due to past bad info, that's a tough one.
I would suggest find the topic on Jaminet and listen to the program, about how mammals bodies are fueled by 65% fat. But, maybe you knew that!
Why not google for Paleo blogs that show big BBQ and big bacon breakfasts, and look at the before and after pics for inspiration? You are making a big and important step and made the right choice. Get motivated!
You are just getting started, so don't worry. You definitely need to reincorporate meat into your diet, though. Putting off going fully paleo is only slowing you down.
I have been more-or-less paleo for about a year pretty soon, and if you're afraid of fat my daily diet would make you faint. Normally for breakfast I eat 1/2 lb of bacon, or 4 sices with 2-3 eggs over easy. For lunch or dinner I might have 1 or 2 full-fat burgers. I use several servings of coconut milk in my tea every day, and I eat coconut oil on top of that. I primarily base my diet on veggies and fat. I would guesstimate that my saturated fat intake is between 3 and 5 times that of the RDA. When I still did dairy I was 'worse'.
I was 120 lb before starting the paleo diet, and I've pretty-much stayed the same weight the whole time. I actually weight 118 lb as of today at the gym, and considering that I've been lifting weights a lot I would say I've replaced most of what little fat I had with muscle. I keep getting stronger, but I don't get much bigger (unlike my SAD friends).
How about egg yoks / eggs? There is a lot of fat in 3-4 eggs each day.
I also have issues w eating fat--but I find that some types bother me more than others. And paleo isn't JUST about eating fat. What if you focus on the parts that you CAN do. Can you cut carbs? Can you increase protein? How about increasing good, healthy veggies in great volume and variety? Are there any fats you don't fear? Maybe avocado and coconut? You don't have to embrace all aspects of paleo at once--try some of the aspects, see how they work for you, and if you're happy with the results, add in a few more, little by little. Everyone does this lifestyle a little differently, so you'll have to experiment and see what works for you!
Mark Sisson's "Definitive guide to the Primal Eating Plan" does a great job of giving a rough outline of just how much of each macronutrient you should try to get. When it comes to fats, the basic rule is if you're hungry and you've reached your goal for protein and carbs, eat more fat.
It's pretty much what the paleo crowd has always said. If you're hungry, eat. As long as you're not stuffing yourself when you're already full, the sky is the limit on fats.