2

votes

What's happening to my body?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 14, 2011 at 11:15 AM

I am 2 weeks into focussing on getting as close to 100% Paleo as I can manage. I'm loving the food, resisting putting crap in my mouth, and feel great. My belt is the loosest it's been for ages, I can feel tighter round the waist, more trim. I'm exercising moderately (3 times a week combined cardio and strength). I'm alert during the day, hardly ever feeling like a nap during the day.

But here's what I don't get: my weight and my fat % are stable. Haven't budged. Nothing. Nada.

I know I'm impatient (2 weeks in and some slip-ups - nobody's perfect!), that feeling great is it's own reward and all that...but I want to also drop weight and fat% and don't get why it's not happening, given all the other evidence/indications. And I will persist and maybe it will just come in time once my body is properly adapted to a new way of eating. I feel like I'm on a classic weight-loss plateau, but it can't be that (I've been broadly stable at c. 250 lbs for the last 6 months).

But does anybody have any bright ideas what else might be going on?

EDIT My "normal daily intake (as requested): Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 rashers bacon, some veg (peppers, mushrooms or tomato), sometimes 1 slice German rye bread (ie no wheat, no yeast) Lunch: Fish or chicken salad, or a protein shake Dinner: Red meat and veggies, maybe some yogurt Snacks: very little, sometimes a handful of nuts Drinks: too much coffee, not enough water, keeping off the alcohol Exercise: normally at lunchtime, before I eat (fits to my work schedule)

I'm avoiding IF at the moment (as rec by The Quilt - I am more than 30lbs overweight).

EDIT 2: 4 inches off my waist measurement over the last 6 months!!!

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on March 29, 2012
at 10:59 PM

even if you don't do it daily, even monthly is enough t cause issues with plenty of folks

1321554fbe74ad09e97c6e8c354021cc

(524)

on December 14, 2011
at 09:17 PM

A big part of paleo is shifting the weight around from bad places, to good places. You'll probably keep getting compliments from people if you're eating right and still plateauing. Sometimes, that's the best feeling, when you haven't lost any weight, but still look better!

6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on December 14, 2011
at 06:36 PM

Thanks. Funny but my wife always says similar stuff to your doc...I have spent 44 years getting to where I am...might take a while to change! Funny but people have been commenting to me the last couple of weeks too - and I am so embarrasssed because I haven't moved weight. Maybe I need to be PROUD that I look thinner without having to lose weight...

813a7bf445878358f7fe31722d9f2b62

(30)

on December 14, 2011
at 06:00 PM

I agree...try sweet potatoes instead of bread if you feel you need the extra carbs. My energy levels crashed when I first went paleo, and sweet potatoes were my savior. Getting rid of grains completely will really help with inflammation & improve digestion.

6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on December 14, 2011
at 05:20 PM

Thanks Jules. I have considered (and asked here) about the bread. It's about the only starch/gluten thing left and I don't have it every day.

6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on December 14, 2011
at 05:17 PM

Thanks...very good answer. At the gym at lunchtime I asked my trainer to measure my maximum waist...and it is 4 inches smaller than last time I did it! Just weird that I'm a couple of pounds heavier than then. It has to be my recently re-found guns and shoulder muscles, I reckon!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 14, 2011
at 02:28 PM

It's also possible that some of the fat lost is being replaced by water in the fat cells. It's very difficult to base progress just on weight, because weight has so many factors other than fat mass. Tape measure, looseness of clothes are much better tools to assess how you're doing.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on December 14, 2011
at 12:25 PM

Written before seeing Gary's edit.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on December 14, 2011
at 11:45 AM

Coolio, inflammation is a contributing cause to being over weight, and it can take a bit of time to lower inflammation and promote fat loss - so keep your diet on track and see how it goes - as you said 2 weeks isn't a whole lot of time :) Have you had your C reactive protein checked recently? It's a good marker for systemic inflammation. Also if you edit your post and add in what your daily food intake looks like it may help people to hack what's going on. It's possible that you may be simply eating too much food.

6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on December 14, 2011
at 11:36 AM

Thanks. I have a fat monitor scale that in the past has given consistent and understandable readings (even though I know the absolute level may be flawed). Good idea on the tape measure though - haven't checked that recently... And I'm not new to strength training...

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9 Answers

5
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on December 14, 2011
at 12:46 PM

I don't know if this will help with your issue, but I'd consider dropping the bread- it's wheat free, but I believe rye is a gluten grain.

6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on December 14, 2011
at 05:20 PM

Thanks Jules. I have considered (and asked here) about the bread. It's about the only starch/gluten thing left and I don't have it every day.

813a7bf445878358f7fe31722d9f2b62

(30)

on December 14, 2011
at 06:00 PM

I agree...try sweet potatoes instead of bread if you feel you need the extra carbs. My energy levels crashed when I first went paleo, and sweet potatoes were my savior. Getting rid of grains completely will really help with inflammation & improve digestion.

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on March 29, 2012
at 10:59 PM

even if you don't do it daily, even monthly is enough t cause issues with plenty of folks

4
B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on December 14, 2011
at 11:31 AM

If your belt is loosening but you're weight stable then it's fair to assume that your body is recompositioning. You're likely adding muscle from your workouts and losing fat.

Most common methods of measuring body fat percentage are highly flawed - how are you calculating it?

If you're feeling better and the belt keeps loosening I would recommend ditching the scales and continue what you're doing. If you want to be a bit more scientific about it measure your waist with a tape measure and monitor that.

Assuming your a novice strength trainer gains will come easy to become with, and once this period has ended your weight will likely drop as you burn fat faster than you build muscle.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 14, 2011
at 02:28 PM

It's also possible that some of the fat lost is being replaced by water in the fat cells. It's very difficult to base progress just on weight, because weight has so many factors other than fat mass. Tape measure, looseness of clothes are much better tools to assess how you're doing.

6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on December 14, 2011
at 11:36 AM

Thanks. I have a fat monitor scale that in the past has given consistent and understandable readings (even though I know the absolute level may be flawed). Good idea on the tape measure though - haven't checked that recently... And I'm not new to strength training...

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on December 14, 2011
at 11:45 AM

Coolio, inflammation is a contributing cause to being over weight, and it can take a bit of time to lower inflammation and promote fat loss - so keep your diet on track and see how it goes - as you said 2 weeks isn't a whole lot of time :) Have you had your C reactive protein checked recently? It's a good marker for systemic inflammation. Also if you edit your post and add in what your daily food intake looks like it may help people to hack what's going on. It's possible that you may be simply eating too much food.

1
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on December 14, 2011
at 03:54 PM

You're absolutely burning off fat otherwise you wouldn't have noticed your belt size shrinking.

Likely you're gaining muscles that are hidden by fat and you're not noticing it.

EDIT: Dude, take out the protein shake, yogurt, nuts, and bread - even if it's gluten free. All of these are insulogenic. Yes, even the protein shake. The fat intake is good, but add extra virgin coconut oil (unless allergic). You don't have to do IF since you're doing a leptin reset, that's fine, but stick to mostly meats - even for snacks. Here's one for you since you eat peppers: cut a bellpepper in half vertically and remove the cap, seeds, etc. Fill it with sliced meats and say, lettuce. Or go with Jerkey or pemmican, or hell, even deli meats, or just a carrot or stick of celery. Bacon is perfectly fine too.

Also, if you have coffee, have it black, or just with coconut oil in it, and don't eat anything when you drink coffee - coffee opens up our fat cells apparently, so if you have loads of calories in your bloodstream, they get stored, if you don't,

Fat does weird things when it burns. You can be burning tons of fat and your scale won't show it as the structure fills up with water, until some point when it decides to let go the water, and then you see an overnight drop of 3lbs. So daily fat loss won't usually affect your scale weight.

If you really want to check, get a scale that measures not just weight but also %fat, %muscle, %water, %bone. But even these can be off by 10%-20%; even so at least you'd get a regular measure to compare against. I would measure at the same time each day, say in the morning before breakfast and after taking a dump, for example.

I'd avoid measuring after you eat as it's possible it'll measure what's in your stomach too, not that they're very sensitive, but rather that they're inaccurate enough to begin with so the less variables you have to deal with the better.

One thing to be aware of, fat can and does aromatize (name of the enzyme that does this is called aromatase, has nothing to with odor) testosterone into a form of estrogen. You'll probably want to take an estrogen blocker such as DIM to block this process, or at least eat lots of broccoli from which it's made. Don't try to raise your testosterone levels too high until you remove a lot of that fat as (or use a blocker) as it'll just turn back to estrogen.

To raise it, you can use Maca, and ZMA. There are other things that help too, but those are the two that I use and have noticed effects with.

While I don't know whether I should believe in some sort of "set point" theory, I seem to hover around the same weight, though composition has changed. There are events that have caused major changes, such as going on a cruise, followed by taking a VMWare class that provided lunch, etc. that caused me to gain about 20lbs (this was before going paleo.)

And then a strict VLC paleo diet until now, but even now, I seem to be back to the same weight I was before that first cruise, though of course, the body composition is very different, with a lot more muscle and far less fat. And it seems to want to hover around there.

So perhaps there is some sort of preferred body weight, but if it is, it can be modified by the types of food we eat, and type of lifestyle (stress, sleep, play, fast/binge). Or it could all just be a big coincidence and it's meaningless. :)

6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on December 14, 2011
at 05:17 PM

Thanks...very good answer. At the gym at lunchtime I asked my trainer to measure my maximum waist...and it is 4 inches smaller than last time I did it! Just weird that I'm a couple of pounds heavier than then. It has to be my recently re-found guns and shoulder muscles, I reckon!

0
1321554fbe74ad09e97c6e8c354021cc

on December 14, 2011
at 09:15 PM

Before going Paleo I was a solid 250. Sometimes up to about 260, sometimes down to 245, but mostly about 250. I've been Paleo since October of this year and now I'm down to 221.

Here's what I did when I started:

No Grains, No Gluten No Dairy. Very High Protein, Moderate Fat, Very Low Carbs.

Then the lbs started melting.

I kept this up for a few months until I plateaued. Then, out of frustration, I added some Greek Yogurt to my diet and began eating a few more carbs and supplements (not powders, just Vitamins & Oils).

For some reason, adding some more carbs to my diet kickstarted my weightloss again.

I'm not saying that this will work for you, but you never know. The tricky thing about this lifestyle is that you just have to experiment until you find your flow. Its all well and good to ask advice here, but you'll get a ton of different answers. Take them all in, then see what fits your life, schedule, eating preferences and desired goals the best.

Also, yes. Be patient. You'll probably hit several plateaus. Its pretty natural.

But definitely kick the Gluten to the curb.

0
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on December 14, 2011
at 06:12 PM

If you can be very strict about the 'no grain, legumes or dairy' then you can be less strict about other things.

Even if you lose the weight fast, it will still seem slow while you are doing it. So, you must relax a bit about plateaus. The plateau is really tilted ever so slightly in the right direction. I lost 113 in about two years- that is averaging 1.08lbs a week. That is fast weight loss, when I was doing it I often felt stuck. This is just the psychology of weight loss.

This is my thread on the Shangri-La diet forums the first post pretty much explains what I did. I added paleo as I learned of it.

0
6bfbc7e749d378c510c49bfee774f457

(110)

on December 14, 2011
at 05:16 PM

The exactly the same thing happened to me when I began Paleo. The best advice my naturopathic doctor who prescribed paleo to me told me was "remember, you have years of metabolic, hormonal and cellular sluggishness to repair. It isn't going to happen overnight. It will take time depending on the extent of repair your body needs to do." I noticed my body composition change way before the numbers on the scale started to move. People were saying I looked like I had lost a lot of weight when I had only lost 2 lbs! Paleo isn't an overnight miracle diet, its all about repairing your body. Around the one month mark is when I noticed the weight start to come off. You're doing all the right things, the weight and fat will come off - promise.

6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on December 14, 2011
at 06:36 PM

Thanks. Funny but my wife always says similar stuff to your doc...I have spent 44 years getting to where I am...might take a while to change! Funny but people have been commenting to me the last couple of weeks too - and I am so embarrasssed because I haven't moved weight. Maybe I need to be PROUD that I look thinner without having to lose weight...

1321554fbe74ad09e97c6e8c354021cc

(524)

on December 14, 2011
at 09:17 PM

A big part of paleo is shifting the weight around from bad places, to good places. You'll probably keep getting compliments from people if you're eating right and still plateauing. Sometimes, that's the best feeling, when you haven't lost any weight, but still look better!

0
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 14, 2011
at 04:20 PM

Almost certainly dodgy measurements and expectations. In terms of actual fat loss, the amount you'd likely lose in two weeks is less than the variation in weight from morning to night. You're looking for less than 1% change in bodyfat which even the best methods would struggle to capture accurately. If you're using a scale that can be 10% off then it'll be hard to spot a trend in so short a time. Tape measure round the waist would be a better guide, but still subject to variation. And sometimes, you plain simply won't be losing weight. Give it time, avoid putting fat back on, and let the momentum build. And if you're really serious about it you need to avoid the slips - particularly early on when you're still adjusting to the whole idea of burning fat. They can set you back days.

Also, I don't know why you'd be avoiding IF. But getting comfortable with the basics of the diet makes some sense too.

0
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on December 14, 2011
at 11:46 AM

The driver for my weightless and body-fat reduction was doing a low-carb paleo. My staple vegetables are broccoli, spinach, salad-items and the occasional potato. I tend to only eat carbs before I workout or go to a dance class. This is normally a quick three eggs and fried banana. I then have my biggest meal afterwards which may include potato, but I tend to eat an entire head of broccoli, or whole bag of spinach.

I am now trying to increase my muscle growth and so have reintroduced diary in the form of greek yoghurt and about a glass or two of milk a day.

The reason I say all this is just to highlight that low-carb worked wonders for me, and that possibly you may be still eating diary which may be slowing the effect.

Again I am no expert in all this and am learning from trial and error about how my body reacts to different combinations. I have found a low-carb, higher protein and fat diet is getting me to my goals well and most of all I am feeling strong, fit and healthy.

Sidenote: I have also done of two weeks of intermittent fasting per the leangains.com guide, but tapered off due to losing weight very quickly. I want to increase my muscle mass first before reintroducing IF as I felt I was fighting against muscle loss over the body-fat reduction.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on December 14, 2011
at 12:25 PM

Written before seeing Gary's edit.

0
B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on December 14, 2011
at 11:42 AM

Perhaps your measurements are off? It's really the only thing I can think of since you say"your belt is loosest than its been for ages" - even if that's from previously retained water, you'd probably see a difference on the scale. Besides, weight is really a very complex thing which is why you shouldn't really rely on it (though its a good indicator tool, nonetheless); you could have gained muscle (you say you strength train?)/or perhaps you're eating a lot of salty foods (hint: bacon!) and retaining water?

If your measurements are right, remember that 2 weeks really isnt that long, and it takes about 2 weeks to switch from being sugar-adapted to fat-adapted. You haven't given much detail on your starting point, i.e. if you have metabolic syndrome, etc. It takes a while to get the metabolism adjusted, especially if you have some underlying condition.

You might also like to try intermittent fasting. It's a very effective way to break a plateau, and the easiest way to create a sizeable calorie deficit; you don't really detail the way you eat, so you might well be eating too much. If fasting seems daunting, try dropping any inter-meal snacks at first.

Good luck, and once again, don't stress much about the scale. Trust the mirror and your belt!

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