I have been doing paleo 5 months, 90% of the time strict (though with some full fat dairy). In May when I started, I weighed around 167lbs, 32" waist. In July I got down to 160 lbs and a 29" waist. Today I measured for the first time since then and I was 165lbs and my waist was 30." I am devastated. I thought for sure I had lost some more. It was a slap across the face to find that I've gained. I'm female, 26 years old, 5'8, and have been quite active all my life. I used to lots of Crossfit and play rugby, but now I follow Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint Fitness. I do hill sprints 1 a week, lift heavy-ish (I only have access to my own bodyweight and a 45lbs weightbag) 1-2x a week, sprint/HIIT 1x a week, and walk slow 5-7+ hours a week. I don't eat fruits or starchy veg, and am probably at around 50grams of carbs a day, eat 2-3 meals a day, and I IF regularly. My work includes several hours of manual labor (shoveling, moving heavy stuff) 2-5x a week.
For an example of how I eat, I'll tell you what I have eaten today: -1/2 cup coffe with 10-15mls heavy cream (have this only a few times a week if I'm not eating breakfast) -cereal bowl of sauteed (in butter) red cabbage, leek, celery, radicchio, and spinach, with a 100 gram can of chicken and some paleo mayo. -Dinner will be some fillet steak, salad, and some cauli mash. -Dessert is 2 little squares of green and blacks 85% dark chocolate (have this only a few times a week)
I don't know what I am doing wrong. Both my parents have lost weight doing Paleo. In one month my dad lost 15lbs and my mother 7lbs (she isn't very big to start with) and my boyfriend has lost 55lbs over 4 months. I don't understand why it works for them in terms of weight loss and not me? I understand since I wasn't "too heavy" (according to other people, though I disagreed and still do) to begin with that I can't expect drastic results, but some fat loss would've been nice by now! My goal is 150lbs and 28" waist. I know this is possible as I was that small in my early twenties and I wasn't even eating paleo. Is my metabolism so screwed up? What am I doing wrong that it isn't working for me? If I go low fat and low carb, I notice losses (that's how I got the 160lbs/29" waist in July) but it's not very satisfying nor very pleasant for long term and my energy wans. Any help would be much appreciated. I am just feeling very frustrated right now. I love the paleo way of life, but I'd like to see some visible results by now! Thanks!
asked bytgc8 (5)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on October 02, 2012
at 03:34 AM
Throw away your scale. You say a 28'' waist and 150 lbs is your goal. What if you had a 28'' waist and weighed the same? The only thing the scale tells you is your relationship with gravity. Waist circumference, bodyfat% etc are the measurements you need to worry about.
You are putting your body through a LOT of stress with the HIIT, IF, and attention to detail. Your stress level sounds through the roof! You can't fight your hormones and if you are eliciting a strong cortisol response, it's an uphill battle. Think about it. Your diet is clean. Your workout is good for the equipment available to you. Try this: Don't look at the scale for 30 days or better yet, never again. Loosen up on the protocols, do something recreational that is just for FUN!
You know the principles, but you are being too hard on yourself. I know it will be VERY hard to ease off (I'm the same way). Try to do three fun recreational activities a week in place of the workouts for a month and see what happens. Let me know.
on October 02, 2012
at 05:51 PM
You aren't eating a tremendous amount, and those workouts along with a physical job probably requires more food. Eating too little and low carbing, being stressed, IFing, and busting your butt working out/doing manual labor might be popping your cortisol and making you put on belly fat. That sounds like the perfect recipe for it to me. Add some safe starches, seriously. Have some berries, have a small sweet tato' with dinner. Only sprint once a week, if you HIIT for 30 mins, do it for 15 instead. Get some rest days in there!
on October 02, 2012
at 02:16 PM
I would consider tracking the actual calories you consume to get an idea. I use fitday and really like it. Good job on your results so far! To me it sounds like your doing everything right.
on October 02, 2012
at 08:59 AM
Instead of being 90% Paleo, why not try being 100%? There's a lot of bad stuff in that 10%. Something like the Whole30 is really good for highlighting (and hopefully eliminating) the "non-optimal"parts of your diet.
I find I lose weight much quicker if I eliminate dairy (and especially cream) from my diet.
on October 02, 2012
at 03:40 AM
Hey girl, I know this isn't what you are hoping to hear but from the information given, it sounds to me like your body is at it's healthy set point and doesn't want to lose more. Being as active as you are and eating regular meals to satiety, your body would probably be releasing excess fat if it was there to give up. Now, that's not to say that you can't lose any more fat- you could always try implementing something like carb cycling/TKD, but you have to dedicate to yourself to that kind of overthinking/effort to make results sustainable. If you want to take a simpler, more relaxed lifestyle approach allowing dinners with your family, etc, you might want to really think about how much losing that extra inch matters to you.
Another option to try out would be taking a PHD-approach to fat loss - try taking in 100-150g starchy carbs a day (I like potatoes, some so white rice), and lowering fat to balance energy calories, with 15-20% protein. Eat your starch with meat, and veggies as part of a regular meal to keep blood sugar in check. Many people find that eating enough glucose to cover the body's requirements but not enough to store much (100-150g) while lowering dietary fat enables the body to tap into its own stores. This is particularly true if the subject is reasonably lean/fit to begin with, which it sounds like you are.
Hope it helps, good luck!
ETA: I agree that you sound stressed. Don't be afraid to skip some workouts and use that time to rest your body and your mind: take a nap/sleep in an hour longer, take a bath, read a book, listen to relaxing music, etc. That seems to be when the magic starts happening.
on October 07, 2012
at 02:13 PM
When I first went Paleo, I also went very low carb (< 25g per day), and for a long time couldn't lose weight eating 50g or more a day. That has since changed somewhat, but I need to stay low carb. If you haven't already, you might try low or no carb for a while.
That said, I have heard of people having great success by having one big high carb cheat day per week. There is a theory that your muscles are better replenished by infrequent carbs. Some diets have carb cycling and such. I never did that because it is too complicated for me. However, I have noticed that after about 18 months on Paleo I do need more carbs than I used to. You might try carb cycling or varying your carb intake.
The meals you mention sound fine, though you didn't mention portion sizes, or maybe other days you eat more? You migh try entering everything you eat into fitday.com for 2-3 weeks just to be sure you are aware of the calories and nutrients you are eating. For example, when I was first losing weight, I was a little surprised to find that I was eating only about 1200-1400 calories per day (I was 6' 225# at the time). Many estimates and metrics say that I should be able to eat 2000+ calories per day without gaining weight, but that is absurd, I would balloon. Some folks here say that calories don't matter, but in my experience they do, when you are trying to lose weight. So you might check that you aren't eating more calories than you think.
I have read about people that have a hormonal imbalance such as low thyroid that makes it very hard to lose weight. That is unusual and is usually correlated with low energy which it doesn't sound like you have, but you might get that checked.
Overtraining is another possibility, especially if your job involves physical work. I found that I lost weight fastest when doing HIIT workouts just 3-4x per week, and besides that only long walks. I think the body needs time to recover from workouts, otherwise it can get into a mode of storing extra energy expecting constant workouts.
Finally, I hear that you want to be smaller, but as others have said, it could be that you are near your body's ideal weight. I am now 6' 207#, down from 228#, have lost nearly 6 inches off my waist and feel great. However, according to typical BMI calculators, I am still overweight to obese. According to those I should weigh no more than 185#. But there is no way I could lose another 20 pounds in any sustainable way. Unless you are carrying around a bunch of fat, I would no worry too much about weight and consider how you feel and look as your primary metric.
on October 06, 2012
at 09:14 PM
Well, I'm going to say what several others have said ~ in a different way ~ if your primary goal is to lose weight, you are seriously overtraining.
I teach qi gong (it's a bit like tai chi) and I don't get many people your age in my class, because it's way too calming & not exercisy enough, but here's the thing. The one or two that I have had are killing themselves with exercise.
Nowhere is there any evidence that people who work out heavy and fast 4-6x per week on top of doing a manual job live long and healthily.
If you look at professional athletes the ones involved in explosive sports reach a peak around 27 years of age. I've got some bad news for you. It doesn't get any better than this. Over the next 10 years you will lose speed and agility. I won't even mention what happens after that. Of course you can still remain seriously fit, but you are going to have to adjust and maybe your body is telling you to do so now.
So if you're serious about getting down to 28" I would suggest doing one heavy lifting session a week and nothing more strenuous than your job and some walking on your off days. I would expect your overall energy to lift and with your dedication to paleo, the body transformation should continue & the weight should fall off.
You'll know within a month whether I might have a point. What have you got to lose? (Pun intended)
on October 02, 2012
at 12:28 PM
You sound freaked out by the scale, I wish they never had invented those darn things. Women's worst enemy. We have been brainwashed. Muscle weighs more. Toned females weigh more than women who opt to starve. Remember what you are doing is healthy and everyone is different, so try to not compare. Measure don't weigh. I agree with MissBrenna. Magic happens when you are just going along doing what feels right.
on October 02, 2012
at 03:39 AM
Are you buying organic or pastured meat, dairy, and other animal products? Hormones can reap havoc on your body making it difficult to loose weight. Pesticides on your fruits and vegetables have hormone disruptors, so do a lot of chemicals in normal skin/hair care and makeup. There are also endocrine disruptors in cleaning products, plastic (water bottle and eating utensils), new carpet or new car... the list goes on. If I were you I would focus on detoxifying everything in your life systematically. Your body will take a while to detox but it will reset after a few months.