21

votes

An Inconvenient Truth #2- If weight loss isn't happening, why not reduce fat intake bigtime (e.g. by steaming)?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 30, 2011 at 7:50 PM

There are many paleos who either

  1. Lost a bunch of weight and are no longer losing weight
  2. Are gaining weight

Why not cut the fat, and even count calories for a while? I understand that fat is good. But let's do the math, which is really just me stealing from Paul Jaminet and Shou Ching Jaminet's Perfect Health Diet:

  • We need ~150 grams of sugar to run nervous system, red cells, etc
  • We need ~60 grams of protein for structure, enzymes, etc
  • We need a tiny amount of omega-3 and omega-6, and some saturaturated or monounsaturated fat (perhaps from extra carbs, or from dietary fat) for cell membranes, etc etc.

If you add these calories up, you get somewhere around ~1,000 kcal. Put some padding on to prevent muscle breakdown, keep you from amennhorea (if you are a woman, obvi), etc. Maybe this bumps you up to 1200 kcal. But is there a real good reason to add butter, coconut oil, chocolate, etc to this diet if you can't lose weight? Not that I can see.

My feeling is that there are a lot of paleos who are of the mindset "This paleo thing is supposed to make me automatically lose weight. Why am I not losing weight?". Sometimes this is just because people want results faster, and get impatient. Other times, I think paleos forget that fat has a lot of calories. If you want to lose a lot of weight fast, eat your bodyfat, not added fat. Steam your veggies. Slow cook your meat. Don't add extra butter.

Have you been unable to lose weight despite a very low calorie diet? Do you suspect leptin might have something to do with it? Thyroid? I'm interested in very-low-calorie people who have meticulously tracked their calories over many weeks or months, and continue to not lose weight or gain weight. How much fat did you eat? What other things do you hypothesize were going on?

Medium avatar

(19479)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Binging on Paleo is much less likely than SAD. For example, you would have to consume ~5 cups of whole fruit to approximate the fructose/calories in a single can of soda. Many people can down three sodas or more no problem (I've talked to plenty that down closer to 3 liters/day) but I have yet to encounter someone who eats 15 cups of fruit per day (except those 30 bananas/day people).

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on October 13, 2011
at 07:49 PM

though, listening to all the helpful hints from other members at the meetings using low calorie processed food is painful.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on October 13, 2011
at 07:48 PM

As an update I've lost a total of 6 pounds in 2 weeks doing weight watchers. I'm eating around 2000 cals a day (breastfeeding adds "points") and since they made fruit and veggies "free" I'm having no issues using my points for animal foods and tubers. I think the old program would be hard but since they recently started encouraging protein, it's a lot easier.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 02, 2011
at 02:12 AM

@pbo, I became defensive because your tone and answer are condescending.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:21 PM

Great answer -- carb cycling seems to rarely fail as a dietary "strategy". And strategy is only loosely applied here, as eating what your body needs is just aligning yourself with reality rather than a dieting plan.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:19 PM

I agree that low calorie low-fat diets work temporarily. But I think failure is not necessarily the long term result with paleo. That's because it's harder to binge if eating truly paleo once you get back to a normal calorie diet, as opposed to an SAD dieter. What do you think?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:17 PM

Here's what the thought experiment is for: some people seem to be saying that an obese person, or a formerly obese person, would not lose weight even if they essentially stopped eating. I don't get it. While metabolism can slow down, like from 100% to 80%, it can't go to negative 20%, right? If we are living, basal metabolic rates are always not only in the positive, but fairly high for any non-comatose creature. The issue of appetite control for obese and formerly obese seems much more difficult and complex to me, but the above issue confuses me.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:00 PM

@sherpamelissa not sure why you are being so defensive, I was merely saying that is fine, meaning I do not think it backwards like you mentioned. It's exactly what you mentioned ... what works for you. Sorry for agreeing.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:51 PM

I also am a firm believer in the idea that individual results are just that, individual. There will always be outliers that respond much differently than would be expected.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:49 PM

The type of diets that I was speaking to were the low fat and low calorie ones. The fact that you've been able to sustain your weight loss for 7 years is a testament to "moderate fat" being superior over low/no-fat.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:45 PM

I have been doing low calorie (1200) and moderate fat for going on 7 years now. I realize I am in the minority, but it CAN work. I can switch my macros any way I want to and if I go over 1200-1400 calories regularly I will GAIN weight. Always

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:42 PM

What I'm trying to say is Paleo made me healthier (dropped bp meds/water pills) but it did not allow me to eat more. At all.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:41 PM

I have been doing low calorie (1200) and moderate fat (20%) for going on 7 years now. I realize I am in the minority, but it CAN work. I can switch my macros any way I want to and if I go over 1200-1400 calories regularly I will GAIN weight. Always.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:38 PM

I'm not sure what your thought experiment is looking for? Most obese people, that had previously not tried to lose weight, would lose weight on pretty much all of those scenarios. A previously obese person, it would depend.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 04:20 AM

Also. Counting. Yes. I know it makes some people crazier, but I think for some of us eating disordered people we need the structure because we can't trust ourselves. Our way of thinking about food is just so different from someone that's never had the problems with it. I never did WW, but I have been tracking for years and know it's key to my success.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 04:19 AM

Yep, BV, totally get it. Not bulimic, but formerly eating disordered (binge eating) and only eating when hungry is not something that I even can wrap my brain around. I wish it was. I asked an awesome question here about satiety and got some fantastic answers explaining feelings that I've just never had.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:39 AM

I really started to overeat the butter, I was losing far too many calories per day that way.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:29 AM

I love this answer! BUT, it's way too logical to attract a great following.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:29 AM

I'll need to search to find the sources, but I have read quite a bit of information that suggests that nutrient needs, particularly those stimulated by acute stress (exercise, illness, etc) go beyond "what you've done that day". Protein, fat, or carbohydrate demands "today" could be the result of things that you've done yesterday, the day before, etc.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:26 AM

More chewable food FTW! Coconut cream and butter go down like, well, butter. Sometimes I'd catch myself looking askew at a stick of butter and wondering what I could bathe it in.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:57 AM

Not really. Maybe I will once a week or so after a while. For about 5 years I did HIIT several times a week on this plan, but I crashed. I buy Rosedale's take that burning sugar isn't ideal for longevity. So recently I switched to doing heavy lifting and walking. This is a great combo for this diet, and probably for longevity. In the future I may do Hiit twice a week at most.

183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

(1716)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:56 AM

Too true PBO - fat loss is a holistic thing, rather than just food choices :) Currently I am very strickt with my sleep - in bed at 9.30, waking up without an alarm clock. I do bodyweight exercises a couple of times a week and plenty of leisurely walking. Also using techniques to manage work/career stress.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:48 AM

Uh, thank you Pbo for validating me? I really don't need to be told I'm "fine", thanks. I answered a question, thats all. After losing more than 100lbs and keeping it off, I'm pretty comfortable that I know what works for my body, even if I don't understand why.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:46 AM

Remember, your bodyweight is influenced by more than just your diet. Diet may have the largest impact, but if you are stressing your body via lifestyle .. work, family, etc, not getting sleep, then that could be what is causing you too keep your weight. Don't underestimate your body's ability to adjust to the environment you expose it to. What else are you doing in your life to support a healthy lifestyle besides adding coconut oil?

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:44 AM

That is totally fine. If that is the case, then continue to eat real food, up your carbs for more energy, and just make sure they are from good "paleo friendly" starches (ie. sweet potatoes, white rice, etc).

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:42 AM

Do you do any intense workouts? What are your carbs like if you do?

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:35 AM

koolaid is high reward!

2d4ff23c8ce7fb00708fa88ceffd4087

(408)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:32 AM

Coincidentally, the zone macros are the ones that make me feel the best.

2d4ff23c8ce7fb00708fa88ceffd4087

(408)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:30 AM

Kamal, you said exactly what I have been wanting to say. Plus 1.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:29 AM

He's been drinking someone's kool-aid. I just can't figure out whose.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:27 AM

I live by the motto "You gotta earn your carbs".

183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

(1716)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:24 AM

So true about the volume eating - Fat does not satiate me at all - butter like you said, as well as spoonfuls of coconut oil. I can eat 1kg of fatty lamb shoulder chops a day, easy peasy. But a big old stirfry with lots and lots of veg will hit the spot and induce the "finally cull" feeling...

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:20 AM

Thought experiment: If we took someone who was obese, put them in a room equipped with only a water cooler, and left them there for a week, do you think they'd lose weight? Now ratchet it up a step--add an IV drip of 1200 kcal mixed macronutrients. Would this lead to weight maintenance or even somehow weight gain? Probably not. Ratchet it up one last time and replace the IV with 1200 kcal of whole foods.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on September 30, 2011
at 10:51 PM

Plus one for "do I really need to lose weight?" "Paleo" to me is about health, not 6-pack abs, tight "buns", etc. The assumption that "Paleo = weight loss" is erroneous and weight loss too complex an issue to be reduced down to diet alone.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on September 30, 2011
at 10:40 PM

as an addendum, I just need to say that I had bulimia for 5 years and have never quite got a handle on "only eating when hungry" thing. to I know a lot of you guys feel this magical lack of cravings/etc when you go high fat paleo but it has yet to happen for me. I'm not hungry, but that's not the issue.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 30, 2011
at 10:35 PM

Maybe not quite Ornish, but this is looking really close to Barry Sear's 30%p-30%f-40%c Paleo-Zone. Could" Dr. Psuodo-science" have actually backed into the truth fifteen years ago. Personally , I've always been comfortable living near Barry's Zone. Just need to substitute ruminants for his crappy skinless, boneless poultry.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on September 30, 2011
at 09:00 PM

By the way, I've already lost 30+ pounds but I did have several times where weight loss stalled and I realized I'd been emphasizing veggies over meat.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on September 30, 2011
at 08:58 PM

Kamal, I've found my body reflects what I ate in the last day or two. On several occasions, my response to the protein/fat meal was elimination of cravings, increased energy and resumption of gradual weight loss that had stalled (from one week to the next.) I'm not trying to paint this as anything other than a personal anecdote; I'm just saying reducing fat doesn't seem to work for me.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 30, 2011
at 08:43 PM

Hope you have more luck with this than I have, Kamal.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 30, 2011
at 08:41 PM

Paleobird did this successfully over on MDA. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread29501.html

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 30, 2011
at 08:28 PM

Nance- you ate a huge protein/fat meal and weight loss fired up? How is that ascertained? Bodyweight changes take a while to happen, and water weight can drastically alter the scale. Also, leptin resetting takes at least a few hours if not days, and is primarily determined by carb intake.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on September 30, 2011
at 08:04 PM

if it works, fine, but I've found the opposite. Each time I've plateaued, I've realized I had accidentally decreased my fat intake. I ate a huge protein/fat meal and weight loss fired up again.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on September 30, 2011
at 08:00 PM

Simmer down, Meredith. Always remember, kepp relaxxe!

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on September 30, 2011
at 07:57 PM

Ohhh, it's the 1,2 PUNCH! (I bet you makse straught A's!)

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10 Answers

14
C7e3ba0ed51a6195ae022822a8f056ac

(673)

on September 30, 2011
at 09:00 PM

This answer somewhat inconveniently addresses both of your recent inconvenient questions:

I've been following following the recent debate as well, and can't help but think that its looking more and more like cyclical diets/eating habits will be touted as being most beneficial (from the perspective of an already somewhat lean paleo individual).

That is, you cycle carbs/fat based on what you've done that day.

Heavy lift day or CF-metcon? Eat high carbs and protein. You've taxed your muscles and glycogen stores, then replete them.

What? A rest day you say? Well, relax and have a fat steak (literally). Keep the carbs low(er), because you're resting and not really doing much to tax your body.

And this basically follows a simple premise, you are eating to best re-fuel your body for the activity you've done.

Quazi related side note: I view things like IF, meal timing/frequency, maybe even post workout nutrition, more along the lines of flexibility. My body won't waste away if I don't eat 4.1456 minutes directly following a workout, nor will i disappear if I haven't eaten for 24 hours. Things like IF are definitely beneficial in the effects on my body, but more importantly they give me the freedom to make a wider array of choices.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:29 AM

I love this answer! BUT, it's way too logical to attract a great following.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:29 AM

I'll need to search to find the sources, but I have read quite a bit of information that suggests that nutrient needs, particularly those stimulated by acute stress (exercise, illness, etc) go beyond "what you've done that day". Protein, fat, or carbohydrate demands "today" could be the result of things that you've done yesterday, the day before, etc.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:27 AM

I live by the motto "You gotta earn your carbs".

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:21 PM

Great answer -- carb cycling seems to rarely fail as a dietary "strategy". And strategy is only loosely applied here, as eating what your body needs is just aligning yourself with reality rather than a dieting plan.

8
Medium avatar

(19479)

on September 30, 2011
at 10:39 PM

"The Taubes" covered this subject (the efficacy of low-calorie/low-fat diets for weight loss) in exhaustive detail and my personal experience backs up his conclusions.

Low calorie low-fat diets work, temporarily. They decrease all tissue types (lean and adipose) and ultimately fail because of the persistent hunger and metabolic backlash experienced while on such regiments .

Sure, calories count, but some count more than others, and the same calories count more in some people than in other people! It's all very dependent on the individual.

Does the person really need to lose weight? Is their metabolism too far gone? What is their genetic predisposition? What is a "healthy weight"?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:42 PM

What I'm trying to say is Paleo made me healthier (dropped bp meds/water pills) but it did not allow me to eat more. At all.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:19 PM

I agree that low calorie low-fat diets work temporarily. But I think failure is not necessarily the long term result with paleo. That's because it's harder to binge if eating truly paleo once you get back to a normal calorie diet, as opposed to an SAD dieter. What do you think?

Medium avatar

(19479)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:49 PM

The type of diets that I was speaking to were the low fat and low calorie ones. The fact that you've been able to sustain your weight loss for 7 years is a testament to "moderate fat" being superior over low/no-fat.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:51 PM

I also am a firm believer in the idea that individual results are just that, individual. There will always be outliers that respond much differently than would be expected.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:41 PM

I have been doing low calorie (1200) and moderate fat (20%) for going on 7 years now. I realize I am in the minority, but it CAN work. I can switch my macros any way I want to and if I go over 1200-1400 calories regularly I will GAIN weight. Always.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:45 PM

I have been doing low calorie (1200) and moderate fat for going on 7 years now. I realize I am in the minority, but it CAN work. I can switch my macros any way I want to and if I go over 1200-1400 calories regularly I will GAIN weight. Always

Medium avatar

(19479)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Binging on Paleo is much less likely than SAD. For example, you would have to consume ~5 cups of whole fruit to approximate the fructose/calories in a single can of soda. Many people can down three sodas or more no problem (I've talked to plenty that down closer to 3 liters/day) but I have yet to encounter someone who eats 15 cups of fruit per day (except those 30 bananas/day people).

7
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on September 30, 2011
at 10:29 PM

I eat a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet a la Rosedale. It works so well for me that I am hardly ever hungry. I have no cravings. The only time I feel weird eating this way is if I overdo the intense exercise, which ain't really optimal for longevity (overdoing it I mean).

I suspect my lack of apetite has to do with leptin because that's the whole premise of the Rosedale diet - increasing leptin sensitivity. Whether it does that or not I don't know for sure since I've never been able to convince my Dr. to test for that. BUT what I can say is that when I have tracked my calories for the heck of it while eating this way, they have come in embarrassingly low. BUT I think they are low only because, for me, the combo of high fat and low carb make me not want to eat so much. Even Robb Wolf this week mentioned that he has never really seen people gain weight on high fat low carb ketogenic diet. In fact, in people who eat high fat low carb, (I am paraphrasing Robb) he has a hard time keeping weight on them.

My macro breakdown is prolly 60% fat, 25% protein and about 15% carbs BTW.

I should also say that I don't eat a ton of saturated animal fats (even though I do eat a lot of animals). Saturated fats do tend to put weight on me and make me feel bloated. So mine come from coconut oil and nuts mostly (I know all about o6 people - leave me alone on this).

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:42 AM

Do you do any intense workouts? What are your carbs like if you do?

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:57 AM

Not really. Maybe I will once a week or so after a while. For about 5 years I did HIIT several times a week on this plan, but I crashed. I buy Rosedale's take that burning sugar isn't ideal for longevity. So recently I switched to doing heavy lifting and walking. This is a great combo for this diet, and probably for longevity. In the future I may do Hiit twice a week at most.

4
66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

on September 30, 2011
at 08:08 PM

kamal, have you gone ornish!?!!?!? gtfoh :-)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 30, 2011
at 10:35 PM

Maybe not quite Ornish, but this is looking really close to Barry Sear's 30%p-30%f-40%c Paleo-Zone. Could" Dr. Psuodo-science" have actually backed into the truth fifteen years ago. Personally , I've always been comfortable living near Barry's Zone. Just need to substitute ruminants for his crappy skinless, boneless poultry.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:29 AM

He's been drinking someone's kool-aid. I just can't figure out whose.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:35 AM

koolaid is high reward!

2d4ff23c8ce7fb00708fa88ceffd4087

(408)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:32 AM

Coincidentally, the zone macros are the ones that make me feel the best.

4
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 30, 2011
at 07:57 PM

The tragic truth is that some "paleo" foods are "superstimuli" too, particularly now that some talented bakers have gone paleo. I don't think things like chocolate, sweet potatoes fried in lard, or "luscious" lemon squares are bad and I do eat them now that I'm thin, but if I had had access to them when I was overweight, it's likely I would still be overweight. In retrospect I was saved by living in graduate student housing. I only had access to a steamer, water boiler, and a microwave. I ate very plain unappetizing foods.

3
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on October 01, 2011
at 12:15 AM

I feel backwards from so many Paleos, but keeping my fat lower has worked better for me. It allows me to eat more chewable food for my fairly low calorie limits. It also seems like I have more issues with overeating when I am eating more fat. I cannot keep Kerrygold on the counter without nibbling at it over and over while cooking and eating. The heavy cream goes down too easy. I am comfortable at 50% fat and sometimes lower.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:00 PM

@sherpamelissa not sure why you are being so defensive, I was merely saying that is fine, meaning I do not think it backwards like you mentioned. It's exactly what you mentioned ... what works for you. Sorry for agreeing.

183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

(1716)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:24 AM

So true about the volume eating - Fat does not satiate me at all - butter like you said, as well as spoonfuls of coconut oil. I can eat 1kg of fatty lamb shoulder chops a day, easy peasy. But a big old stirfry with lots and lots of veg will hit the spot and induce the "finally cull" feeling...

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 02, 2011
at 02:12 AM

@pbo, I became defensive because your tone and answer are condescending.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:26 AM

More chewable food FTW! Coconut cream and butter go down like, well, butter. Sometimes I'd catch myself looking askew at a stick of butter and wondering what I could bathe it in.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:44 AM

That is totally fine. If that is the case, then continue to eat real food, up your carbs for more energy, and just make sure they are from good "paleo friendly" starches (ie. sweet potatoes, white rice, etc).

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:39 AM

I really started to overeat the butter, I was losing far too many calories per day that way.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:48 AM

Uh, thank you Pbo for validating me? I really don't need to be told I'm "fine", thanks. I answered a question, thats all. After losing more than 100lbs and keeping it off, I'm pretty comfortable that I know what works for my body, even if I don't understand why.

2
183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

on September 30, 2011
at 11:58 PM

How timely, I have decided to go on a lower fat route after having a frustrating time with bodyfat levels over the last couple of years. Went Paleo in Feb 2010 - high fat, lowcarb. I ate a lot of lamb and used butter/cream liberally. The weight certainly didn't melt off, rather it was an extremely slow thaw. Even trying 1000 ~ 1200 cal a day with high fat foods did not noticeably effect the rate of bodyfat loss. Lost my period somewhere in the middle and added back some starch for a period of a few months.

1.5 years later and I'm still chasing some stubborn fat deposits - belly is still very puffy with no definition at all. So I decided to cut the amount of added fats, fatty meat, all dairy products and eat more chicken, fish, shellfish etc with a ton of veggies. Still using a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil each day, and if nothing happens in a month I will cut that too. I don't see how I can use up my own bodyfat when I'm supplementing with it so much - yes, it's a CW way of thinking but it can't hurt to try it out for a while.

So nowadays literally the only foods I subsist on are - lowfat whole meats, coconut oil, non starchy veggies, a little bit of coco powder + coconut milk (about 1/4 cup a day) teas and spices. Daily I hit around 1100~1200cal (satiated) - Lets see what happens :)

Or maybe fat loss is supposed to take a few years for some people, and I'm just being impatient...

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:46 AM

Remember, your bodyweight is influenced by more than just your diet. Diet may have the largest impact, but if you are stressing your body via lifestyle .. work, family, etc, not getting sleep, then that could be what is causing you too keep your weight. Don't underestimate your body's ability to adjust to the environment you expose it to. What else are you doing in your life to support a healthy lifestyle besides adding coconut oil?

183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

(1716)

on October 01, 2011
at 12:56 AM

Too true PBO - fat loss is a holistic thing, rather than just food choices :) Currently I am very strickt with my sleep - in bed at 9.30, waking up without an alarm clock. I do bodyweight exercises a couple of times a week and plenty of leisurely walking. Also using techniques to manage work/career stress.

2
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on September 30, 2011
at 10:34 PM

I have to admit. I initially lost 40 pounds doing the low carb fat fest and have been sitting on the remaining 50 pounds for about a month now and even gained 6 pounds. I just joined Weight watchers 3 days ago but am continuing to eat real food/ no grains and I've lost 2 pounds in just 3 days. Obviously that is partly water, but after a 4 week plateau I'm sold. I'll probably add the fat back when I'm ready to begin maintaining but for now I need to count calories, eat more salad, and cut back on the butter. I'm keeping it paleo but I need to count something and Weight watchers, for now at least, is giving me the structure I need to stay on track. It has worked well for me back when I ate SAD, but the problem was I just ate processed low fat crap so when I went back to no longer dieting I gained it all back. I'm fairly confident that my commitment to clean eating will prevent that from happening this time around.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 04:19 AM

Yep, BV, totally get it. Not bulimic, but formerly eating disordered (binge eating) and only eating when hungry is not something that I even can wrap my brain around. I wish it was. I asked an awesome question here about satiety and got some fantastic answers explaining feelings that I've just never had.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on September 30, 2011
at 10:40 PM

as an addendum, I just need to say that I had bulimia for 5 years and have never quite got a handle on "only eating when hungry" thing. to I know a lot of you guys feel this magical lack of cravings/etc when you go high fat paleo but it has yet to happen for me. I'm not hungry, but that's not the issue.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 04:20 AM

Also. Counting. Yes. I know it makes some people crazier, but I think for some of us eating disordered people we need the structure because we can't trust ourselves. Our way of thinking about food is just so different from someone that's never had the problems with it. I never did WW, but I have been tracking for years and know it's key to my success.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on October 13, 2011
at 07:49 PM

though, listening to all the helpful hints from other members at the meetings using low calorie processed food is painful.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on October 13, 2011
at 07:48 PM

As an update I've lost a total of 6 pounds in 2 weeks doing weight watchers. I'm eating around 2000 cals a day (breastfeeding adds "points") and since they made fruit and veggies "free" I'm having no issues using my points for animal foods and tubers. I think the old program would be hard but since they recently started encouraging protein, it's a lot easier.

2
2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on September 30, 2011
at 09:38 PM

I've done the whole low calorie thing in the past. Sure it worked... or did it? I was down to 147 lbs (6 foot male). I was losing way toooo much muscle. My body was starting to eat itself. Not to mention my body was screaming at me demanding it I feed it. I was craving sugar, irritable, depressed, had low libido, super low energy, on and on. Not good. The weird thing too was that I still had some flab in my abs. My body just kept taking from muscle and fat from other parts (like my face).

Low calorie does not work, because in the end you can't trick your body. At the end of the day, your body needs energy to survive. If you do not supply it with enough, the body will find a way to regulate, otherwise, well... you die of starvation.

This is why I am very interesting in hearing more from Stephan Guyenet and the concept of food reward.

If you have a few pounds to lose, then sure, it might be a good idea to start tracking your food intake and seeing where you really stand calorie wise. But it might not even be your diet... it might be stress, lack of sleep etc. Context is key here.

One thought of caution: you may need to ask yourself, do I really need to lose weight? I see plenty of people unhappy with their weight, when they are at a perfectly healthy lean weight. A lot of us have a case of body dysmorphia.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on September 30, 2011
at 10:51 PM

Plus one for "do I really need to lose weight?" "Paleo" to me is about health, not 6-pack abs, tight "buns", etc. The assumption that "Paleo = weight loss" is erroneous and weight loss too complex an issue to be reduced down to diet alone.

1
273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on September 30, 2011
at 07:58 PM

you know, i was just thinking the same thing not 5 minutes ago. i originally lost appx 6 lbs only to gain it back with muscle at crossfit BUT no bf change since that original 6. i have been vlc for a few weeks now, with no change...id expect a little weight loss after 3 weeks of vlc after being lc and working out as much as i do. i began thinking...what if i increase my (good) carbs...i.e. veggies/fruits...again cut back on the fat and increase the lean protein and see if it helps. as thats how i originally lost 10% BF was when i didnt worry about how many carbs i was eating and had less fat...even though it was still a decent amount. i will definitely be following this thread.

i think once you become leptin sensitive and your body is able to burn fat efficiently, i think reducing the amount of fat and increasing carbs a bit(IF you exercise and are able to use these carbs) it could be another approach to fat loss.

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