Please read all of this even though it???s long. I need help. I don???t know what to do. When I started this weight loss journey I weighed almost 500 pounds. I???m now at 342 pounds. Pretty much all of this weight loss happened before I even discovered paleo though. I was doing the typical calorie restriction diet and eating loads of processed foods and foods laden with artificial sweeteners. In the past I have also been known to lose weight through other more dramatic means. At one point, I pretty much lived off less than 800 calories a day, for months. I was starving myself. My hair was falling out like crazy and I was constantly fatigued and weak. I lost around 80 pounds during this time, in less than 4 months. Of course I gained all that weight back and then some.
I also attempted to do a 30 day juice fast after watching fat sick and nearly dead???within two weeks into the fast I had lost thirty pounds. At that point I stopped the fast because that is exactly how I felt, fat, sick, and nearly dead. So as you can see I have a history of disordered eating. I use to be the type of person who thought in black or white. It was either all or nothing for me. If I was on a diet I was restricting like crazy to lose the weight. If I wasn't on a diet I was binging and eating tons of junk. I was always on either end of the extreme at all times.
I guess this yo-yo dieting has wreaked havoc on my metabolism because I just can???t seem to lose weight on paleo. I have been eating this way for over a year now and I haven???t lost more than ten pounds I keep losing the same water weight over and over again. A lot of this is my own fault because in the beginning I was doing paleo all wrong. I was eating tons of paleofied foods and I???m pretty sure my calorie intake was way high because of it. In the past few months I have stopped that and started to track my calories on an app. I???m now around 2200-2500 a day. I eat around 50% fat, 30% protein, and 20% carbohydrates. I get around 100 grams of carbs of day from tubers. I have lost weight in the past eating tons of carbs but limiting my calories. I tried a higher fat intake and lower carb but I actually started to gain weight like that.
I know some may recommend ketosis but I don???t feel that great without some sort of carb. I have some symptoms of adrenal fatigue or thyroid problems. My hair is really thin. I suffer from insomnia most nights also. Sometimes I can???t get to sleep because I feel so alert. Like my adrenaline is pumping at night or something. I feel wired. I would feel extremely tired in the day and have to take constant naps. Went to the doctors and she said that my progesterone levels are extremely low too. Of course she just stated the obvious like all doctors do when they see me. Lose weight. I get extremely bad premenstrual symptoms also. It???s like I turn into a different person during that time and have really severe mood swings. I don???t know what???s wrong with me. Here is my current diet. I eat the same things every week. I buy some but not all of my foods organic. I definitely cant afford to by grass fed or organic pasture raised meats at this time so those are almost always conventional. The only added fats I eat are coconut oil, butter, or evoo.
Breakfast- two eggs with a half tablespoon of butter
Lunch-probably like 6-8 ounces of meat with 3 cups of leafy greens
Dinner- five chicken thighs or legs with the skin on or 8 ounces of ground beef, pork, or chicken. 300 grams of starchy tuber, two cups of broccoli or some other low carb veggie, and an avocado.
Sometimes I have a few berries as a snack. I do eat dairy sometimes but only as a garnish and in small amounts, less than an ounce. My dairy is always grass fed-organic and/or raw. I also only eat sea salt and it doesn't contain any iodine so i'm guessing my iodine levels are pretty low which aren't helping my thyroid if I do have thyroid issues. I plan to purchase some sea vegetables soon to help with that though. Could this be a major contributor to me not losing weight? I'm currently working on adding some wild planet sardines and grass-fed liver into my diet every week (even though I hate the thought of both). I just want to get healthy.
I also take Saint John warts every day for depression and pms (been taking it for about six months now). I???m pretty much sedentary also. I know that is a problem and I???m trying to make it a habit to walk everyday outside. I have a gym membership but I don???t use it. The cardio that I was doing there made me completely crash and burn. I literally felt like a zombie after and all I could do was sleep. My upper thighs were hurting really bad after the treadmill. At one point I was going really hard with the cardio at the gym and I actually started gain weight. I was completely stumped..I'm guessing this has something to do with my out of wack cortisol levels.
Anyway, this is all that I eat plus tons of water and I???m not losing weight. I feel like I may have to go really low calorie to lose any more weight after the crap that I have put my body through. I think my metabolism is shot and I don???t know how to repair it other than eating right and walking maybe. What scares me the most is that heart disease runs in my family. Literally every year another person in my family is dying of heart disease. My cousin just suffered from multiple hurt attacks and had to have triple bypass. My brother has congestive heart failure. My dad has diabetes and high blood pressure. Most of my dad???s siblings are dead from heart attacks or strokes. His sister just died from one a few months ago. Most of them died in their thirties. A friend of the family just had a stroke that left her completely incapacitated for the rest of her life. She can???t walk, talk, or do pretty much anything. Before this she was a normal (besides her diet) hard working woman. She has two young children. She was only 42! This could be me at any time! I feel like I???m doing everything that I can but nothing is working.
Don???t get me wrong, I will never stop eating paleo. This is it. No more dieting for me. I believe that everyone should eat a paleo TEMPLATE. Even though I???m not losing weight I know that I???m putting healthy nutritious foods into my body. Processed foods, refined sugars, grains, are not a part of my life anymore and they never will be again. For the most part, I have the healthy eating part down pact, I just need to lose some weight. I don???t want to be another statistic. Any suggestions? Things that I should do or tweak? btw im 25 years old and African American if that helps.
asked byAmplifiedHeart_ (0)
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on June 04, 2014
at 12:48 AM
You mentioned a lot of about your history of fad diets, and yoyo-ing, but you made no mention of any form of exercise at all, or how many calories your consuming currently (a caloric deficit is a requirement for fat loss, paleo or not). Your diet seems like a LOT of calories and fat and if you are that obese, believe it or not you have A LOT of stored body fat to use for energy. Carbs are short term energy that you can deplete daily... if you exercise. If you don't exercise, you really have to watch your carbs. If you have a lot of fat to lose, you really do have to watch fat intake as well because why eat all that fat when you could be burning your own?
Paleo dogma states that eat fat to burn fat. Actually this is false- it is only a reduction in carbohydrates that is associated with increased lipolysis, NOT an increase in fat. So, you should of course be reducing carbohydrates in an effort to reduce calories, but you should of course be reducing fat as well. Keeping protein high is smart because it increases satiety, and your body does not convert excess protein calories to fat very easily if at all. Also, since you are so obese, you can more readily deal with extreme deficits, where as an already lean person cannot maintain one very long. So, if you want you can do an "aggressive fat loss protocol" (very low calorie diet...they work if you can stick to them), and then you can "reverse diet" your way out of it as you reach a weight that is at least moderately healthy.
I'm not a doc or anything, but it really is a matter of will power. It's a rare person who genuinely enjoyed dieting for fat loss. It's hard. It's grueling at times, but it pays off if you stick to it. And, lets get this straight, you're not broken. You're simply eating too many calories. I'd gain weight on that diet fast (even if it is LOW CARB!) I'd get fat, or skinny fat actually cause not only is that too many calories for me, it's also a horrible macro-ratio for building muscle without excess fat. You really do NOT need more than 25% of calories as fat. Absolutely you don't. Try reducing fat to 25%, protein to 200 grams, and the remainder of your diet as carbs, which you can manipulate based upon your exercise. Just earn your carbs and eat them around your workouts...pre and post workout only.
Follow this, stay in a deficit, and I GUARANTEE you will lose weight and fat and improve your health. You're not broken. The only question really is do you have it in you to follow a program that ensures you are in a deficit, has you moving, and has a good macro ratio conducive to fat loss and body comp improvements.
EDIT: and when I say carbs pre and post workout ONLY, what i mean is fruits or any starchy carbs. You can eat as much salad as your heart desires (but watch the oil/dressing!). Also choose filling foods that give you a lot of bang (volume) for your buck (calories). Apples, strawberries are great fruits. Sweet potatoes are great starches (post workout ONLY!). Chicken breast and white fish are high in protein and low in calories. Lean cuts of beef/steak are good for this zinc but so are shellfish which have even fewer calories. Salads/non starchy veg is good too for micros and bulk/volume without significant caloric impact. It really is all about calories in the end.
Best of luck to you.
on June 18, 2014
at 04:22 AM
Do you weigh and measure your food so you truly know how much you're consuming? Lots of times we grossly underestmate our serving sizes, so what we think looks like a certain amount can be twice or even three times as much! Also, physical activity will give you more energy and endorphins. Start small- an evening walk in the beginning, like you said, and then increasing until you're able to do more intense physical activity.
on June 18, 2014
at 04:03 AM
You have to make sure you're eating enough calories to stay alive first,,,if you don't, your body will go into starvation mode and cling to dear life for fat reserves. Don't go under 1200 calories per day if you want to keep your metabolism from slowing down. Also, as other people mentioned, exercise. Walking is a good place to start, but make sure you try a physical activity that you really enjoy to keep yourself motivated about doing it.
on June 09, 2014
at 08:19 PM
Hi Amplified. First off, congratulations. You are moving in the right direction.
Second, the take home message of all the good advice above is to experiment and find what works for you. More food? Less food? More fat? Less fat? Etc. For sure, try sardines, liver and sea veggies.
Finally, yes, as you know, you need to get more exercise. It doesn't have to be intense. It would be better to get up at least once an hour and do something, than to go to the gym once every two days to do cardio. Does your gym have water aerobics? It's easier on your joints than land exercises and the people in the class will mostly be us overweight people. Note, gaining weight from exercising can mean that fat, which is light, is coming off, and lean body mass (muscles, bones, connective tissue), which are heavy, is increasing.
on June 09, 2014
at 02:31 AM
Maybe you could try eating your breakfast for dinner and your dinner for breakfast as looks like you eat lots for dinner and not much for breakfast - if you eat more at breakfast and less at dinner your body should have more time to burn it off - if you eat lots at night then your body might just want to store it rather than use it. Maybe also swap half the starchy tubers for some coconut milk or a fresh coconut or something? - to get more fat and less carbs but still feel good.
Maybe add some fat to your lunch too - like maybe more avo?
Hopefully if you try that and a bit of exercise it should be all good (maybe on your walk you could stop by a kids play park and play as well - lots of cool stuff there - can do pull ups, balancing etc) - Don't give up - you have lost loads of weight and are doing super good - sometimes bodies do have plateaus for a min - don't worry and keep going - Love the idea of getting there in the end and then writing a book about it for other people - excellent idea - Keep going for yourself and to inspire your family and other people as well - Good luck - you can do it :)
on June 04, 2014
at 09:23 AM
1. Don't lay down and die. Find your cure, get healthy and write a book "From 500 lb to 150" (You can credit me in your book, by the way).
2. There is a reason why you gained so much weight. Things to check out: insulin, leptin, prolactin, glucose before and after a meal, glycated hemoglobin, thyroid, etc. I hope you have a very good doctor!
3. I have a solution that you can try. Whether it will work or not for you, I do not know. It worked for me. If you are willing to try it for a week, could you come back and report your progress? I would love to know if it worked for you.
Breakfast: 1-2 cups of bone broth
Lunch: beef liver and 2 tbs of raw sauerkraut
Dinner: vegetables (raw or cooked, whatever works) - green leafy, carrots, onions with some fat and acid (lemon juice and olive oil or sour cream or whatever works for you).
Let me know if your weight goes down.
MAKE SURE TO EAT MORE CARBS EVERY THIRD OR SECOND DAY TO PREVENT THYROID PROBLEMS.
on June 04, 2014
at 01:11 AM
I really dislike your reply. It is this sort of harmful magic pill or food that leads so many people into fad dieting and gimmicks, rather than saying eat at a calorie restriction, eat fresh fruit, veg and meat and have hard work and accountability at the forefront of your change.
To the OP. Dude! You need to just eat fruit meat and veggies. find a reputable online calculator, one that has exercise and body fat adjustable calorie calculators rather than the athlete based benedict formula.
Find your maintenance calories and eat 5% - 10% or 15% below that depending on how fast you want to lose fat.
Broken? That is not true, it is an excuse.
You need to break out of this self pity pathology and I say this as someone who has been fat, skinny both numerous times.
I got extremely fat before, got in great shape, got really fat again, then in great shape. I have had fat people who were as fat as me tell me they just couldn't get fit, they had bad genetics, they were metabolically broken, they were ruined and it was because of grains and soda and not their metabolism could not handle food and they could not exercise and they were sooooo trying but they somehow could not lose weight despite being 200 plus pounds.
It is just nonsense.
If you really can not be bothered to figure out your maintenance calories and do what you need to do to be successful then do this one thing.
Eat 2500 calories or below a day. Use myfitnesspal and log all your kcal's.
It is impossible for you not to lose fat. So ask yourself, how hard are you really trying?
on June 04, 2014
at 12:56 AM
Personally, I think you have to eat MORE. You are not getting adequate calories or micronutrients considering your current size, and that may be what's causing your thyroid to down-regulate--slow your metabolism to try to maintain homeostasis. That's the reason some people have trouble with low carb, it's not the lack of carbs, it's inadequate calories and nutrients because of the appetite suppression in ketosis.
I think you need more fat in your diet, more vegetables following the Wahl's protocol, which calls for NINE cups of vegetables a day in addition to meat, bone broth, natural fats. Three cups of veggies should be leafy greens (cooked, since you have thyroid issues, you don't want to be eating raw cruciferous veggies), three cups of colorful fruit and veggies (berries, tomatoes, beets, carrots, purple cabbage, etc.), and three cups of sulfurous veggies like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, garlic, etc. Be sure to have plenty of fat with these veggies--it will make them taste great AND it will help you absorb the micronutrients. (Highly recommend reading the Wahl's Protocol--it's skewed toward Multiple Sclerosis, but it applies to EVERYONE).
When your body is getting adequate nutrients, it will revv up your metabolism and help you burn the fat. When increasing calories and nutrients, add fat and some protein, not much more starchy/sugary vegetables and fruits.
Your entire metabolism will do much better if you feed your body adequate nutrition first and foremost. Only then will it be safe to let go of the excess body fat.
on June 04, 2014
at 12:14 AM
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on June 03, 2014
at 06:16 PM
Hey man I am a fat guy who has in the past gone as low as 120lbs as a vegan who was into long distance running to 210 pounds currently being a slob.
Dieting is really really easy as long as you stay accountable. You have done great work losing the weight and should be proud of yourself.
But I think you are greatly over thinking this. Just get it into your head you have a bad relationship with food. You need to stop being emotionally and psychologically attached to it and rather see it as fuel for your body.
I recently went paleo because I had been having some bad reactions to grains and dairy for the first time in my life and wanted to try a paleo diet.
I have like £2.00 a day to spend and thanks to some posters like @CDone I have managed to put together a pretty good diet for cheap that fuels me through workouts and makes me feel great.
I have been doing this for a week or so to lose weight and I would imagine you could benefit from the same thing.
Mornings - 2 hours stretching and conditioning. For a heavier guy you could do 1 hour walking fasted and another hour doing some stretching. I find having got fat my legs, shoulders and back have become very tight from the bad posture that comes with obesity.
So I get back and I make myself a coffee and blend it with about 50g of butter or 30g of coconut oil.
At dinner time I do my workout which because of my high weight at the moment consists of band supported chinups, sit-ups, band supported dips, band supported front levers. Basically some stuff I saw recommended by people too fat to do Ido portals workouts but wanted to get back the freedom to really utilise their own body.
After the workout I have a smoothie of a few berries that I but soft on the reduced isle. I blend them with coconut oil, ice and it tastes pretty amazing.
Lastly before bed I eat the small stew I have had on the go for a few hours in my slow coked. A few onions, some garlic, a bit of cheap stewing steak and some leafy greens on the side with olive oil as a side salad.
You know what you need to do and while I do understand the emotions and crappy reality of being a fat guy we did this to ourselves, not from eating grains and drinking pop but by having zero will power and control over our consumption. Whether its because we were depressed or felt worthless or were bullied or had faced abuse or just because we were careless.
But now we want to change ourselves and improve and as long as you are determined losing weight and losing it fast, especially with paleo, is easy. Don't feel sorry for yourself feel proud you are working to improve and simply do what you know you need to do.
on June 03, 2014
at 06:10 PM
It took a lot of courage to write this, thank you. I'm in my 40s, white and have struggled all my adult life with weight. I also have PCOS, or I had it before I went HFLC. When I was a child, it was an addiction to join the next tryout for a sport, and the next... It was great fun, but now that I'm an adult, there is no planned exercise and I miss that. I also got away from my traditional ancestral foods, and for me, that's Hungarian food, which is surprisingly HFLC in some aspects - if you avoid the pastries and dig around for the methods of cooking that predate the French influence. When I lost my traditional diet and stopped exercising, that was the killer for my health. Within a few years I was sick enough to be hospitalized for an illness and after that, I was on meds, meds, meds.
I too struggled with what the right diet was for me, and I still struggle with weight, but at least my body feels much better and I'm off most of the meds. As an added benefit, I no longer suffer from PMS or PCOS. But that took years of being very low carb (Atkins low, that's about 20g/day), and sometimes forays into ketogenic to get today's state of grace. Fish oil also played a massive role in my recovery. I also force myself to experiment with cooking fish every week, and I have developed a taste for certain fish. I had not eaten fish since I was child and my mom made it. Scallops are also great for omega-3, as are other shellfish. Making "tuna salad" with my current favorite poached or steamed fish is an obsession with me.
I don't know what's right for you and wouldn't presume to tell you what to do. But what worked for me was ancestral food and keeping an eye on lowering carbs. If you decide to try ketosis, probably a good idea to get authors, Phinney/Volek's advice on how to formulate a healthy ketogenic low carb diet and look around for methods that will protect you from side effects, but since you're not open to that idea right now, I only mention it because I know desperation can drive a person to try anything. I also tried the 800 calories per day diet (actually I went as low as 500), and I still fast, even today, but not so much for weight loss as to reduce the overgrowth of gut bacteria.
I think you deserve congratulations for your current weight loss and I know it can be hard, but have faith and it will hopefully work out. Nothing else but hope faith and charity matter, even charity to yourself. If you are destined for illness at 40ish, then at least be able to say you live well and tried your best. This one aspect of your life is not the only one.
So let me ask some questions that might give you some ideas for where to go from here:
Have you seen Denise Minger's book, "Death by Food Pyramind"?
Do you make "soul food"?
Do you dance? (it's exercise :) )
Is there a shuffle / line dance in your town that is attended by people you like?
What did your great grandmother make for every meal? What kind of cooking ingredients?
Have you considered "The Zone" diet? Which is very low in fat, but otherwise, I think it makes sense.
Is chromax/ chromium picolinate part of your plan? (it's not "for energy" so much as to make insulin work better, and it has a side effect of stopping cravings for some people)
What kind of fish is your favorite? (old French cookbooks have great recipes for cooking fish, check the library)
What if you swapped tubers out or just reduced them, and added greens and reds only as a carb, just for a week?
Have you been to pubmed to research DHEA?
DHEA is something I like to take if I feel I have too much cortisol running around. But if you're on a hormone like birth control, DHEA can mess with it (not deactivate it, but it might spike hormone levels), so check with a health professional about options. It has some interesting effects though, like lowering TNF which is great if you have an autoimmune disorder. GABA can also be calming, but there are 3 forms of it... only the regular one is OTC, the other two, baclofen and gabapentin are drugs. The diff between them seems to be how well they cross the blood/brain barrier, but if you just want calm, then regular will be fine. Taurine is calming.
Exercise is painful if you're obese because it temporarily increases inflammation (this helps form muscles), but if you have an inflammation issue, then it can boomerang and hurt you. Fish oil, aspirin (helps create resolvins and deactivates inflammation enzymes permanently not just temporarily), and some supplements like turmeric or ginger can help with inflammation. Your doctor may also give you a safe to take daily anti-inflammatory especially if they know you are trying to exercise and getting too much inflammation, not just the minor stuff that thin people get.
on June 03, 2014
at 05:45 PM
Thanks for the response! Yes I do need to incorporate more physical activity into my life. I plan to start walking every night after dinner and I love the idea of finding something to do to make an otherwise sedentary activity active. Brilliant. When I think of exercise I usually think of dragging myself to the gym or doing something outside but it doesn't have to be that way always or at all! Thanks for the encouragement!
on June 03, 2014
at 05:23 PM
You didn't mention physical activity at all in your post. I would incorporate more physical activity if I were you. This does not necessarily mean a gym membership. Even walking around your neighborhood or on a treadmill in your living room is a great start! Good luck in finding what works for your body! No reason to lay down and die yet, you are still very young and have potential!
I'm not overweight, but something I'm considering doing to be more physically active and to feel better is using a little exercise mini bike that I can plop in front of my couch while I watch TV or use the laptop. This is a great way to make an otherwise sedentary activity Active!