4

votes

Anyone else stuck at the last 5-10 lbs? Is exercise the key?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 07, 2010 at 2:50 PM

I've shed (and maintained) about a 30lb loss for the last 5 or so years. However, I still have about 5ish pounds of body fat hanging around that won't budge. I'm 5'2", about 22% body fat at 114 lbs.

My initial weight loss was extremely sloooowwww, I suspect because I had a lot of damage from gluten etc to heal from. My excess body fat is mainly around my middle, with some in the usual lady spots (bum, thighs)

Currently the way I eat is more 'primal' that 'paleo' as I am including some dairy. I've eaten no-dairy, super high fat, VLC, ZC, IF, you name it. (I IF naturally all the time) Am I correct in thinking that at this point, the key to leaning out further is exercise? I am not very active. Ok... I am about as active as a tree sloth.

33eae4fd8b255252902c6479c0a6fa2e

(-4)

on November 17, 2011
at 05:31 AM

Yeah kettlebells. They work awesome for fat-burn and building that ... back side.

33eae4fd8b255252902c6479c0a6fa2e

(-4)

on November 17, 2011
at 05:30 AM

There are two main (emphasis on the main) schools of thought that I've come across in IF. Either fast6 24 hours once a week, or do the 16/8 pattern you are currently doing. Fasting longer may not be helpful; you want to keep your metabolism going.

33eae4fd8b255252902c6479c0a6fa2e

(-4)

on November 17, 2011
at 05:28 AM

Intermittent Fasting has been great helping me lean past some long-held thresholds. (reminds me that I should write another update post)

Cfccbcf3450ac4919311ded8ef162d49

(2312)

on August 31, 2010
at 11:15 PM

2nd this advice.

8564091e3cf82ea53843c0dbcf57857a

(990)

on August 31, 2010
at 10:11 PM

I'm 5'2 and trying to gain to get up to around 115. Are you sure you need to lose weight? Maybe exercise will help your body composition.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on July 11, 2010
at 02:48 PM

HIIT, cardio and low carb help me to control hunger. The thing is with low carb, ZC, and IF (and excess caffeine *URRG*) our insulin resistance physiologically sometimes go up unless there is a balance with energy demands. Putting energy demands on the body will sensitize the insulin -- the more intense, the more sensitivity, and higher the BMR. You don't engage in HIIT? HIIT + exercise work REALLY well synergistically I think if there is any insulin resistance.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 08, 2010
at 05:33 PM

Ok, going to try high intensity intervals/sprinting (not sure how I'll do in the heat, but we'll see) and actually eating MORE. I think I've been under-eating accidentally. Been eating much more these past few days and even in the heat my energy levels are way up. Might go back to trying IF eating windows as well, extending the fast one or two days a week, but keeping calories up.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 08, 2010
at 05:29 PM

Sleep is good, stress levels are also good. No birth control, gave up the pill years and years ago. Interesting about the fasting differences. I've noticed that far more often than not, it's women who have trouble shedding the last few pounds or getting to desired bodyfat levels. I should start working out... I used to and enjoyed it. Actually you may be on to something about lowering my BMR, as I don't feel as energetic as I used to. It's been really hot these past few days, and my appetite has suddenly increased and energy is waaaay up. Maybe I've been undereating...

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 08, 2010
at 05:25 PM

I really think adding exercise is a big part... dammit! But ppl have made some good points about tweaking the IF thing as well, which I think I'll try.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 08, 2010
at 05:23 PM

Sprinting would be fun, and do-able... I think fiddling with IF may help as well. Thanks!

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 08, 2010
at 05:22 PM

I did various stints on ZC ranging from probably 2-8 months at a time... no difference for me!

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 08, 2010
at 05:21 PM

No nuts. Used to, but honestly I can't be bothered, plus I don't snack.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 08, 2010
at 05:20 PM

Ahhh, thanks Chris.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on July 08, 2010
at 02:54 AM

I love Taubes, but come on. Does the guy looked ripped...? There are some great mitochondrial biogenesis articles on exercise... both chronic and HIIT.

Cbf9ad6e645dc8d655259658fc972e58

(321)

on July 08, 2010
at 12:18 AM

You know the whole "thermodynamic" thing doesn't actually hold any scientific water, right? Read Gary Taubes. Like, today.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 07, 2010
at 11:26 PM

Longer 20-30 hour fasts are much more effective for what you're going for. Also high intensity intervals will increase your insulin sensitivity.

8347d512bca9b034d53da40dab8cd21c

(2517)

on July 07, 2010
at 05:28 PM

@MikeD -- Robb Wolf *just* commented on that with his latest podcast, re: nuts. He tells people who scarf down nuts to only eat ones that they have to shell themselves (i.e. like the Paleo folk!).

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on July 07, 2010
at 04:44 PM

what about nuts? i find eating lots of nuts can stop progress. but they are soooo delicious.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 07, 2010
at 04:29 PM

Low carb is how I eat all the time, so no problem there. I don't eat much in the way of fruit... summertime I'll eat strawberries and cherries when they are in season. I lost my weight without doing much exercise, but I suspect at this point it would help with my body composition.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 07, 2010
at 04:27 PM

I do IF. My average is anywhere between 12-18 hours most days. I don't schedule it, I just eat when I'm hungry and don't eat when I'm not hungry. I used to do scheduled eating windows.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 07, 2010
at 04:25 PM

Coconut oil, ghee, all sorts of animals (no, not grass fed), krill oil.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 07, 2010
at 04:24 PM

@ScottMGS, thanks! And no... I'd love to shave it off, but it isn't anywhere ear a problem other than, well, sheer vanity! @CT, no details really (sorry). I eat when I'm hungry and don't eat when I'm not hungry. That may mean I go anywhere from 8-24 hours without eating. Completely random.

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on July 07, 2010
at 03:15 PM

Can you give more detail on your IF routine? How often, length of fast, etc

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on July 07, 2010
at 03:13 PM

But is that last 5 to 10 pounds a problem, really? Does it prevent you from doing the things you want to do? Also, good for you for keeping 30 lbs off for 5+ years! I've lost 120 in the last year and I feel *much* better and can do so much more than I could. While I also have more to lose I don't know how much more capability that will give me so in some ways I'm not (as) worried about that last 10-20 lbs.

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13 Answers

best answer

1
1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on July 07, 2010
at 05:21 PM

You seem to have made a lot of progress. So I'd just make little adjustments, trial and error. Sprinting for me is great bang for your buck. Even one 20 mins session a week perhaps. I'd definitely fiddle with your IF too. I do a weekly 40 hour fast and love it. Dinner Sunday to lunch Tuesday. Finally, you may just need...more time. I've read many weight loss testimonials where the last few pounds took forever, but this makes sense from an evolutionary perspective right? It would be bad if our body gave up its last reserves too cheaply!

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 08, 2010
at 05:23 PM

Sprinting would be fun, and do-able... I think fiddling with IF may help as well. Thanks!

4
3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on July 07, 2010
at 06:46 PM

How is your sleep and stress levels? Some of the stubborn fat often is from stress and lack of adequate deep (primal) REM sleep. Hormones are the rest. Are you on birth control, which halts wt loss by affecting insulin/cortisol?

I totally agree w/the above (when I feel like a guy) however... I think girls have gender-based responses to fasting... we don't trigger as must testosterone and lose as much weight. This study appears to shed some light: http://drbganimalpharm.blogspot.com/2008/06/control-insulin-control-plaque-and.html Girls had DECREASED energy expenditure when insulin resistant compared to insulin sensitive folks and to men who were insulin resistant.

(carbs are necessary for testosterone responses -- the study is in men but true for women too insulin resistant or sensitive) http://drbganimalpharm.blogspot.com/2008/10/beautiful-things-sexyback.html

Try... --eating more carbs prior to a work out 10-30 grams --start working out? really it's not that bad wink --reduing the intermittent fasting since you are doing it most days and it is not working anymore. you may have essentially forced the body to reduce BMR (basal metabolic rate) I'd suspect --stop/reduce nuts, all nuts temporarily --aerobic exercise start slow 20-40min most days at NO MORE THAN 50-65% of max heart rate (sprinting for 1-2min at the end is however fine -- be warmed up all over first)

This works for me. You should see results in 2 wks. Eating some carbs 1-2 hr prior to a workout relieves the adrenals from pumping out cortisol and adrenaline to support some carbs that are necessary for the first few minutes of cardio. Fat burning cardio is low intensity. You might also consider tweaking higher protein and... blasphemy low fat on the higher carb days...

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 08, 2010
at 05:29 PM

Sleep is good, stress levels are also good. No birth control, gave up the pill years and years ago. Interesting about the fasting differences. I've noticed that far more often than not, it's women who have trouble shedding the last few pounds or getting to desired bodyfat levels. I should start working out... I used to and enjoyed it. Actually you may be on to something about lowering my BMR, as I don't feel as energetic as I used to. It's been really hot these past few days, and my appetite has suddenly increased and energy is waaaay up. Maybe I've been undereating...

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on July 11, 2010
at 02:48 PM

HIIT, cardio and low carb help me to control hunger. The thing is with low carb, ZC, and IF (and excess caffeine *URRG*) our insulin resistance physiologically sometimes go up unless there is a balance with energy demands. Putting energy demands on the body will sensitize the insulin -- the more intense, the more sensitivity, and higher the BMR. You don't engage in HIIT? HIIT + exercise work REALLY well synergistically I think if there is any insulin resistance.

2
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on July 07, 2010
at 05:38 PM

High Intensity Interval Training for Hormonal Adjustment

And check your sleep

2
8347d512bca9b034d53da40dab8cd21c

on July 07, 2010
at 04:13 PM

  1. Exercise
  2. Stay low carb.
  3. Cut down on fruits with high glycemic load

Exercise would definitely be a huge help, but remember that "you can't out-train a diet." If you're going to start seriously exercising, make sure you eat right before and after so it helps you and doesn't hurt you in the process.

8347d512bca9b034d53da40dab8cd21c

(2517)

on July 07, 2010
at 05:28 PM

@MikeD -- Robb Wolf *just* commented on that with his latest podcast, re: nuts. He tells people who scarf down nuts to only eat ones that they have to shell themselves (i.e. like the Paleo folk!).

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 08, 2010
at 05:21 PM

No nuts. Used to, but honestly I can't be bothered, plus I don't snack.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 07, 2010
at 04:29 PM

Low carb is how I eat all the time, so no problem there. I don't eat much in the way of fruit... summertime I'll eat strawberries and cherries when they are in season. I lost my weight without doing much exercise, but I suspect at this point it would help with my body composition.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on July 07, 2010
at 04:44 PM

what about nuts? i find eating lots of nuts can stop progress. but they are soooo delicious.

1
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 07, 2010
at 05:02 PM

I'm a ZC advocate, though I haven't been at it long enough to know for sure about the last 5-10 lbs problem. In fact, I'm on the last 10 myself (but it hasn't been that long, so I'm not drawing conclusions yet). How long were you ZC, and did that seem to make a difference?

If you are going to try exercise, I would suggest high intensity weight training (i.e. low volume, high weight). I think this is the most effective way to change your body composition.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 08, 2010
at 05:22 PM

I did various stints on ZC ranging from probably 2-8 months at a time... no difference for me!

0
D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

on September 01, 2010
at 11:34 PM

I am using this method, posted by Dr. Kurt Harris:

http://www.paleonu.com/panu-weblog/2009/8/27/how-to-lose-weight.html

I find the heavy cream and butter nourishing, strengthening and comforting. Other than that I follow Dr. Harris' 12 Steps very closely:

http://www.paleonu.com/get-started/

Am using Barry Groves' plan of eating, large breakfast and lunch and a tiny supper:

http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/diabetes-6.html

Peter Dobromylskyj's blog and this post in particular are of great help to me:

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/search/label/Weight%20loss%20when%20it%27s%20hard%201.

0
04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

on September 01, 2010
at 05:21 PM

I think you body sounds great! but I would suggest target exercises for your trouble areas. Do some squats with or without kettlebells, and some tummy exercises. I was interested in your post because I don't "LIKE" to exercise, but I do swim for an hour a week.

I tell my self while I am doing the yard work, "This is primal, this is exercise." lifting, bending, walking around the yard, cleaning the deck is all my lil primal exercises. I do a lot of walking just naturally.

33eae4fd8b255252902c6479c0a6fa2e

(-4)

on November 17, 2011
at 05:31 AM

Yeah kettlebells. They work awesome for fat-burn and building that ... back side.

0
C90eecdd76cf57a387095fa49de23807

(960)

on August 31, 2010
at 08:30 PM

I have been in a similar situation. I lost 30 pounds (from 135) on a CW low-cal diet (yes, it was awful awful awful.) And at the end of it I had those stubborn pounds. And then I went paleo and all the sudden sloughing off and maintaining a lower weight wasn't excruciating. But it was, and still is, difficult. What this has taught me is that even when I'm ZC calories are important. Or, rather-- "energy expenditures > intake" is important. The way that I lose weight if I ever think I'm inching back up the scale is not by practicing long fasts, which for me just reduce energy and (maybe) decrease my basal metabolic rate, but instead waiting an hour or so after I've gotten hungry each time I eat. And making sure to eat slowly and not over-compensate. This way, I know that I'm getting some of the fat-burn from simple fasting, but I'm not allowing my metabolism the opportunity to decrease in intensity. Something that helps with this incredibly (really, incredibly) is sprinting, as mentioned above.

0
9d741bcbe702044635f2ce3078043054

(1435)

on July 07, 2010
at 09:48 PM

Given a choice between eating less, or exercising more, I find it easier to add the exercise. Thermodynamically, you've got to do one or the other, but the math will show you don't have far to go: If you want to lose 0.5lbs of body fat per week, a reasonable rate, that is the same as 227g of fat per week. There are 9kcal per gram of fat, so that is equivalent to 2045 calories.

2045 calories per week is not that much. Less than 300 per day. You can get those kind of calorie consumptions with a decent walk or run, or with a high paced resistance workout. Alternating the two is a great idea.

Since your low carb diet means your body is already burning fat, this calorie deficit will go straight to the bottom line, so to speak. People on conventional low fat diets have to deal with their metabolism shifting, burning available carbs, etc, before the fat ever gets consumed.

Cbf9ad6e645dc8d655259658fc972e58

(321)

on July 08, 2010
at 12:18 AM

You know the whole "thermodynamic" thing doesn't actually hold any scientific water, right? Read Gary Taubes. Like, today.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on July 08, 2010
at 02:54 AM

I love Taubes, but come on. Does the guy looked ripped...? There are some great mitochondrial biogenesis articles on exercise... both chronic and HIIT.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 08, 2010
at 05:25 PM

I really think adding exercise is a big part... dammit! But ppl have made some good points about tweaking the IF thing as well, which I think I'll try.

0
C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7

(2269)

on July 07, 2010
at 09:31 PM

I'm dealing with the same thing... so if I were to do IF, and I've done it on a limited basis e.g. skipping breakfast and lunch and eating a good-sized dinner which is basically a 24-hr fast if you count sleeping, would it be of any benefit to go an entire day? Male, 48, if it matters.

33eae4fd8b255252902c6479c0a6fa2e

(-4)

on November 17, 2011
at 05:30 AM

There are two main (emphasis on the main) schools of thought that I've come across in IF. Either fast6 24 hours once a week, or do the 16/8 pattern you are currently doing. Fasting longer may not be helpful; you want to keep your metabolism going.

0
B940f737b64a9f2d381daa9997c7cd0d

on July 07, 2010
at 03:12 PM

What type of fats are you eating and which fat sources are you getting it from? I would agree exercise would help.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 07, 2010
at 04:25 PM

Coconut oil, ghee, all sorts of animals (no, not grass fed), krill oil.

0
1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 07, 2010
at 03:10 PM

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 08, 2010
at 05:20 PM

Ahhh, thanks Chris.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 07, 2010
at 11:26 PM

Longer 20-30 hour fasts are much more effective for what you're going for. Also high intensity intervals will increase your insulin sensitivity.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 07, 2010
at 04:27 PM

I do IF. My average is anywhere between 12-18 hours most days. I don't schedule it, I just eat when I'm hungry and don't eat when I'm not hungry. I used to do scheduled eating windows.

Cfccbcf3450ac4919311ded8ef162d49

(2312)

on August 31, 2010
at 11:15 PM

2nd this advice.

33eae4fd8b255252902c6479c0a6fa2e

(-4)

on November 17, 2011
at 05:28 AM

Intermittent Fasting has been great helping me lean past some long-held thresholds. (reminds me that I should write another update post)

0
B4aa2df25a6bf17d22556667ff896170

(851)

on July 07, 2010
at 03:08 PM

yes exercise would definately help burn that stubborn fat.. intermittent fasting also might be worth trying

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