4

votes

Hack my wife's frustrating start to paleo...

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 06, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Ok, I don't want to hit the panic button just yet, but I'm looking to help my wife out. She has jumped on the paleo wagon I've been on for the past several months and is beyond frustrated. I've had good results with mind and body, so I know it can work well.

Her goals are weight loss and general health improvements. She has been a big fan of diet soda and typical grain-based comfort foods. She's also a somewhat picky eater, whereas I'm the anti-picky eater.

She's about ten days in on a strict 21 Day Challenge (I know, I know... too short to tell) but hasn't lost any weight. She's totally frustrated because she expected some basic results relatively quickly. I keep telling her to ignore the scale and pay attention to how her body FEELS, how satiated she is between meals, and other subtle factors. But, she's a stress magnet and is becoming a slave to the scale.

She typically eats three meals per day with a couple small snacks. Mornings are usually a two/three egg meat/cheese omelet or a smoothie that I make (eg: 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 3/4 banana, 1 scoop protein powder, tbs almond butter, 5-6 almonds, ~2-3 oz coconut milk, 3-4 oz full fat Greek yogurt, ice, water). Lunch is varied, but she's struggling because she's picky. Dinners are varied with meat, veggies, and good fats (coc. oil, butter, ghee, olive oil). I do about 1/2 of the cooking overall, so I'm pretty sure the meals are on target. She has dumped the diet soda for the most part and is drinking a lot of water and tea. She has been reducing her fruit and nuts in recent days because she is afraid they were hurting. She currently feels very restricted (no soda, no grains/legumes, minimal fruit/nuts, etc).

Her activity level has been relatively low but slowly ramping up the past couple months. She's been recovering from some ankle and back issues but has been doing some low to moderate intensity exercises (~20 minutes/day 4-6 days/week). She used to be a frequent walker before the injuries, but hasn't been doing that much lately.

I know she should stress less and relax more, move more, and keep at it.

What I'm looking for are ways to reassure and calm her so she can embrace the process of repairing herself. Also, looking for things to try or tweak to lose that first few pounds... create that carrot dangling in front of her.

Thanks so much,

Jim

Medium avatar

(0)

on September 10, 2013
at 12:15 AM

hi... does anyone know a good protein powder that doesn't have sugar or insulin causing "spikes"? i would just like to have something just in "case" i'm travelling and can't find a healthy alternative.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:30 PM

I take your comment seriously. I do, especially since I say these same things to clients to their faces!Its called tough love. Actually, my"attitude" tone was for your benefit, not for your wife. You were being "jerked around "by your wife. I was trying to do some "male bonding with you". You just are so immersed in her drama, that you couldn't even tell! I was trying to support you! Reread my answer and you'll see it. I was trying to say to you wife what you obviously can't .So I played the bad cop. Google "bad cop" ...I'll even do phone consultations with you two for free. How's that?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:53 AM

+1 for hanging in there! And I see what you did there with giving your own answer the green check mark. :-))

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:28 AM

I down-voted your answer due to the aforementioned reasons.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:27 AM

It's been about seven weeks since I posted this question and I've occasionally thought about addressing your response. I think I will now. There is ample room for several forms of critique and commentary when someone asks for assistance in an open forum. Accepting the possibility of positive and negative feedback is part and parcel with soliciting feedback from others. Your answer may have raised a few legitimate questions, but your delivery led a lot to be desired on several levels. You might consider tempering the attitude, negativity and insulting tone. It doesn't reflect well on you.

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on February 20, 2012
at 05:53 PM

Vivalapaleo -- Why the yelling? We're not actual cavepeople.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on January 21, 2012
at 11:37 PM

@jimsiff http://jensgonepaleo.blogspot.com/2010/11/mini-frittatas.html something like this would be a great thing for breakfast :] maybe squish up some avocado and put it on top +salt and pepper??? mmmmmm

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

(1288)

on January 10, 2012
at 06:24 AM

I went to see my Naturopath because I could not shift the weight - we went down to 15 carbs and about 800 cal per day and still no real loss so we are keeping at that point to keep my adrenal rested and working on Sleep and stress ( BTW I would not say that I am stressed but treating me for stress seems to work ) There is no real treatment for adrenal fatigue other than diet and rest vita d - I did the leptin reset - I still do weights had great response to it - Lost 10 kg but I loved the exercise too much and started showing signs of stress again so on a break for 2 wks.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 09, 2012
at 07:15 PM

Thanks for sharing your experiences. So your current dietary intake is setup for addressing adrenal fatigue, or insulin and leptin resistance, or all?

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 09, 2012
at 07:11 PM

Thanks SuZQ. We're experimenting with some new breakfast foods she found recipes for and staying positive. I think she's doing great, but it's certainly a process.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 09, 2012
at 07:09 PM

Thanks for your advice... all great information.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 09, 2012
at 07:08 PM

Thanks for the great ideas. We have the equipment to do proper measurements if she likes. I really like your last paragraph... positive reinforcement is a necessity! :)

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 09, 2012
at 07:06 PM

Thanks Mike. She has dumped the smoothie for now, and I was incorrect about the soda. She has completely dumped it and is sticking with water and tea.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 09, 2012
at 07:05 PM

@Michelle and @pantelimon, thanks for the clarifications on why/why not for yogurt, and other dairy. She's decided to dump the smoothie for now and we're experimenting with some other delicious breakfast recipes.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 09, 2012
at 07:02 PM

Matt, good point... logging, even for a few days or a week can provide a good frame of reference for calories per serving of our foods. I'll keep it in mind.

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 09, 2012
at 09:49 AM

A caveman would eat fruit

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

(1288)

on January 08, 2012
at 11:48 PM

Protein is needed here not sugar!

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

(1288)

on January 08, 2012
at 11:45 PM

Wow that's harsh

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:12 PM

PH'ers don't like to say it, but keep a log, track calories, nutrients and see where she's at now. The numbers do matter, and not logging keeps you both in the dark as to what to do.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on January 07, 2012
at 04:09 PM

I agree. This is a much better answer than "eating too much."

559a1bf85bfe38a0fbbf56377c7278b4

(1548)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:25 PM

The lady in question (the OP's wife) is disappointed that her weight loss has stalled, so perhaps the starchy carbs and dairy are not working for her (even though they work for other people). The exact amount of carbs (minimum and maximum) that we can tolerate varies from person to person, but my own experience (sadly) is that if I am to maintain my weight loss, I need to keep carbs and dairy as low as I can. The OP's smoothie recipe sounds delicious! But I would gain weight on it.

559a1bf85bfe38a0fbbf56377c7278b4

(1548)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:16 PM

It's very easy to see the results of eating fruit (or anything else) by checking blood glucose levels with a meter. I know from experience that Fruit in the morning would give me cravings for the rest of the day, and meter shows ery clearly why it's not a good idea for me.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 07, 2012
at 03:50 AM

@jimsiff, I don't like the taste of retail club soda, so I bought a Soda Stream to carbonate my preferred spring water and I love that, with or without a wedge of lime. It still tastes like the spring water, only with the bubbles we all love, and I can make a glass any time I wish.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 07, 2012
at 02:45 AM

Fruit in the morning would just make me want to eat and eat and eat all day.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:04 AM

...it contains lactose (a sugar) which many can not handle well (hence lactose intolerance). Humans are the only animals to continue consumption of milk after infancy (and definitely the only ones to use another species for it) so many people lose their ability to tolerate lactose...so thats why it can cause some problems. I love it, and luckily have no issues with it because mommy made me drink milk every night at dinner since childhood. Moderation is key with dairy. Have you considered unsweetened almond milk? check out MDAL: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dairy-insulin/#axzz1iWe6yTd1

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on January 07, 2012
at 12:59 AM

The thing with dairy is that we want it in moderation (if you choose to include it). I include dairy in my diet, but only a little...ill have a small cup about 20/30 minutes PWO, some heavy cream in my coffee (we have cream that isnt pasteurized at all and has NO carrageenan or other thickeners) and yogurt MAYBE 1-2 times a week. Sometimes I will get cheese, but that may be 1 time a month b/c ill eat ALL the cheese at once. the thing about dairy is that it is essentially "BABY GROWER!" A real source of dairy (i.e. grassfed, organic) has awesome benefits (fat, protein, calcium, etc.) but...

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on January 07, 2012
at 12:35 AM

I agree w/Travis. Eating that much food and snacks in between ain't gonna make her lose weight. She needs to get her appetite under control and at this stage the ony thing I can suggest is avoiding all sugar and starch. She's probably metabolically deranged so anything other than low carbing is probably not going to work. She can start bringing the carbs back with safe starches after the weight loss. That means no legumes, starches, fruits, and nuts. As for diet sodas, it should not really be an issue ... I drank diet sodas as a transitional product to wean myself from regular sodas.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 07, 2012
at 12:05 AM

Amen to "obesity can't be solved by just eating less. You have to change your hormonal environment..." Thanks for your observations!

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 06, 2012
at 11:31 PM

Good info... I have wondered about the smoothie being too carb loaded. Can you explain why the whey protein powder or yogurt would be insulinogenic? The macro profile for the powder is 27g protein with ~4g carbs per 1 scoop serving. It's the Costco bagged protein by Cytosport. The yogurt is full fat, no sugar added... 130 cal, 120 from fat per serving.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on January 06, 2012
at 10:15 PM

And there's also the subtext of if she's trying to compare her progress to yours, one of two things will happen: it'll stress your marriage and/or frustrate her! I don't know if getting hooked into PaleoHacks would work for her, but there are lots of women here who can commiserate! Or you can point her at something like Strong is the New Skinny: http://strongisnewskinny.blogspot.com/ Plus one for inspiration!

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 06, 2012
at 10:15 PM

I'm not sure it's this straightforward. Is your comment based on practice or theory? I have suffered crashes at times, but never from fruit for breakfast. I get it after I eat too much starch at other times. I think if you only ate fruit all day then you would start to crash, sure, but as the day goes on, if you bring in meat and other vegetables it shouldn't be a problem.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on January 06, 2012
at 10:12 PM

Travis translated: she's eating too much. In other words, it sucks to be a heavier woman ;).

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 06, 2012
at 09:28 PM

I do agree that a slight fat deficit each day is desirable for weight loss as well as a slight carb deficit. It's all about slight for me. Anything under 70g carbs triggers cravings so I stay at 80-100g for steady weight loss.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 06, 2012
at 09:27 PM

I do agree that a slight fat deficit each day is desirable for weight loss as well as a slight carb deficit. It's all about slight for me.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 06, 2012
at 09:26 PM

"bananas are a starchy carb which will slow fat loss, and things such as yogurt and whey protein are highly insulinogenic" should really have the words "for some" or even "for many" but my major weight loss disproves your declarative statements.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on January 06, 2012
at 09:20 PM

Her diet has too high an energy density for her TDEE. She ought to give lean meat and plain tubers a try for a couple weeks and see how it goes.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 06, 2012
at 08:42 PM

Thanks Nance! I think you and many of the others are on point with the "eating to a schedule vs hunger" concern. Also, your last two paragraphs are huge. I will continue to support her however I can.

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:50 PM

I'm the opposite. It'd be disaster if I ate fruit for breakfast. I'm protein+fat.

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 06, 2012
at 07:31 PM

Maybe controversial, but: I find it hard to believe that fruit makes you fat. It comes wrapped up with all these nutrients for processing the sugar - I think it just gives me a load of energy (sure, a sugar rush and crash can happen), but on days where I mostly eat fruit, I get slimmer.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:29 PM

Thank you! I will look into the Leptin Reset, though I don't think she'll be up for another strict change until she gets some momentum going.

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:26 PM

Yeah, I think it also might help explain why girls in committed relationships tend to pack on a few pounds at first. Glad you found it helpful!

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:25 PM

Great advice... thank you!!

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:24 PM

I'll ask her to see if she's interested... thanks!

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:20 PM

If she's over 200 lbs. she's likely insulin resistant and will get big blood sugar swings (grouchy, moody, HUNGRY) from a fruit breakfast.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:17 PM

Instead of Always hungry? Not eating enough change to to Always hungry? Not eating enough protein or fat, &/or eating too many carbs.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:16 PM

Great advice! Thinking about it, I do think my smoothie is too much for her. She generally has about 60-70% of what I have. I'm a lot more active currently, so I'm sure that what I need and what she needs is vastly different.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on January 06, 2012
at 07:15 PM

A couple of us have experienced the reality that you need far less calories than what common wisdom might suggest. What's been great for me is that I'm not hungry despite eating ~1200 cals a day (my breakdown is more like 120 cals for breakfast and divvying the rest between lunch and dinner). The other thing that has worked for me is to have what I want once a week ... I call it a cross between the Jaminet's PHD and Tim Ferris' Slow Carb Diet. Been doing it nearly a year ... has helped me do this for the longer haul!

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on January 06, 2012
at 07:11 PM

Well, I like the upvoting love ... just not sure about being compared to sensible shoes ;).

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:10 PM

Thank you Beth, great advice! She's really just getting started towards her goal. She had lost about 20 lbs over the past four months or so, but on a typical grain-based diet. Since the paleo transition, she's stagnated. She hasn't specifically said what her hunger level is at meal time, so I will ask.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:06 PM

She's about 5'8", low 200's, and I don't know her specific weight loss goal... she likes to keep the numbers private. I'd say probably 50 pounds would be in the ballpark.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:05 PM

+1 - Beth's answers are like sensible shoes. Just good solid advice. (How's that for some post-holiday upvoting love?)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 06, 2012
at 06:51 PM

Could you include her height, weight and how much she wants to lose?

  • A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

    asked by

    (434)
  • Views
    6.4K
  • Last Activity
    1259D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

21 Answers

best answer

3
A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:35 AM

I'd like to revisit this now that it's been several weeks. Thank you all for the suggestions and assistance. There were several who had suggestions that were helpful so I couldn't pick just one 'answer'. My wife has settled into a routine that seems to be working for her. Ultimately, the answer for her was/is a combination of factors:

  • patience
  • reduce fruit and nuts (not completely removed)
  • dumped my breakfast smoothie (I did too, and leaned out a couple pounds)
  • 80/20 rule to reduce the stress and feeling of 'restriction'
  • patience

Our diet is still a work in progress but there is good progress. It's all a journey and our health is improving due to our efforts. That makes our changes a success to this point.

Thanks again...

Jim

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:53 AM

+1 for hanging in there! And I see what you did there with giving your own answer the green check mark. :-))

10
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 06, 2012
at 11:06 PM

Based on the answers so far, it seems like we've really come full circle, and in the obesity realm, that's not a good thing.

Obesity can't be solved by just eating less. You have to change your hormonal environment. This will set what your body wants to do with the calories it gets.

She will be much more likely to succeed if you take away the fruit and nuts (including coconut milk) and the dairy. Reduce carbs to 20g or less. It's not a 100% guarantee, but if it is going to be so hard, you might as well give it the best chance of succeeding.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 07, 2012
at 12:05 AM

Amen to "obesity can't be solved by just eating less. You have to change your hormonal environment..." Thanks for your observations!

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on January 07, 2012
at 04:09 PM

I agree. This is a much better answer than "eating too much."

10
724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

on January 06, 2012
at 07:02 PM

I think sometimes it's hard for couples to switch to a certain way of eating together, just because girls need so very many fewer calories than guys, and when food is totally new to you it's hard to eyeball whether you're eating too much or too little (i.e. a bowl of cereal and skim milk is probably much less food than the lovely smoothy you were describing, plus liquid calories are really really hard to eyeball, so maybe she only needs 1/2 or maybe she should stick to eggs & meat).

So, I'd say she should give it some time so she can get used to telling when she's hungry/full and how much food is too much food (which is hard to tell sometimes with new foods until suddenly you realize it's 16 hours later and you're still full).

Sometimes it's just hard to eat with dudes, because it's natural to subconsciously eat just a touch less than whatever they're eating. But if I ate 2/3 of what my husband eats, I'd get fat in very short order.

BTW, I'm not saying she should start counting calories and weighing her food, I'm just saying that in the transition phase, since she's eating with you a lot, she may just not quite have figured out how much food she actually wants to eat. It comes with time.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:16 PM

Great advice! Thinking about it, I do think my smoothie is too much for her. She generally has about 60-70% of what I have. I'm a lot more active currently, so I'm sure that what I need and what she needs is vastly different.

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:26 PM

Yeah, I think it also might help explain why girls in committed relationships tend to pack on a few pounds at first. Glad you found it helpful!

9
Df7cf48be85c91165f9f39f1fe462e41

on January 06, 2012
at 06:57 PM

I know I'm fairly new at this, but if she's wanting to lose weight it will come off much easier if she doesn't eat fruit, nuts and dairy. I know you said she's picky, but following a pretty strict regimen is what will work best. And also maybe trying the Leptin Reset.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:29 PM

Thank you! I will look into the Leptin Reset, though I don't think she'll be up for another strict change until she gets some momentum going.

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 06, 2012
at 07:31 PM

Maybe controversial, but: I find it hard to believe that fruit makes you fat. It comes wrapped up with all these nutrients for processing the sugar - I think it just gives me a load of energy (sure, a sugar rush and crash can happen), but on days where I mostly eat fruit, I get slimmer.

9
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on January 06, 2012
at 06:56 PM

How close is she to her goal? I really, really like this SuppVersity post on how you need to adjust your way of measuring depending how close you are. And even if she's not close, for women it's a little bit more tortoise than hare.

That said, I think the biggest problem women have is finding that sweet spot between eating too little (and thus raising cortisol, slowing metabolism) and eating too much (and thus thwarting fat loss efforts).

I've been lately talking about using hunger as a guide. Never hungry? Probably eating too much. Always hungry? Not eating enough.

We're all different, so it will take some time to figure out what works best and the right kind of exercise to make this work (and hint ... it's not chronic cardio, so don't let her get any ideas from watching the Biggest Loser!).

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on January 06, 2012
at 07:11 PM

Well, I like the upvoting love ... just not sure about being compared to sensible shoes ;).

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:17 PM

Instead of Always hungry? Not eating enough change to to Always hungry? Not eating enough protein or fat, &/or eating too many carbs.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on January 06, 2012
at 07:15 PM

A couple of us have experienced the reality that you need far less calories than what common wisdom might suggest. What's been great for me is that I'm not hungry despite eating ~1200 cals a day (my breakdown is more like 120 cals for breakfast and divvying the rest between lunch and dinner). The other thing that has worked for me is to have what I want once a week ... I call it a cross between the Jaminet's PHD and Tim Ferris' Slow Carb Diet. Been doing it nearly a year ... has helped me do this for the longer haul!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:05 PM

+1 - Beth's answers are like sensible shoes. Just good solid advice. (How's that for some post-holiday upvoting love?)

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:10 PM

Thank you Beth, great advice! She's really just getting started towards her goal. She had lost about 20 lbs over the past four months or so, but on a typical grain-based diet. Since the paleo transition, she's stagnated. She hasn't specifically said what her hunger level is at meal time, so I will ask.

6
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 06, 2012
at 08:22 PM

Many of the answers already given include good tips.

If anything, I would add eat a good meal and don't eat again until you are truly hungry. Eating 3 meals plus 2 snacks means you're eating to a schedule rather than physical hunger.

And I must say, if she's stressed and not enjoying her first phase of the change one of 2 things will probably happen: either she'll decide she's not ready for this and go back to comfortable ways of eating or she'll get stubborn and make a true commitment to the new lifestyle.

Only she can make the decisions here; I think your best role is love and support as she works through what she wants and what she's willing to do to get there.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 06, 2012
at 08:42 PM

Thanks Nance! I think you and many of the others are on point with the "eating to a schedule vs hunger" concern. Also, your last two paragraphs are huge. I will continue to support her however I can.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on January 06, 2012
at 10:15 PM

And there's also the subtext of if she's trying to compare her progress to yours, one of two things will happen: it'll stress your marriage and/or frustrate her! I don't know if getting hooked into PaleoHacks would work for her, but there are lots of women here who can commiserate! Or you can point her at something like Strong is the New Skinny: http://strongisnewskinny.blogspot.com/ Plus one for inspiration!

5
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on January 07, 2012
at 03:50 PM

Lots of good answers already here. But I want to reiterate the protein shake is a bad idea - eat real food! And giving up diet soda "for the most part" doesn't sound like she's being all that strict. If she's serious about weight loss she need to get her hormones fixed which means being strict and not cheating until she's healed. Once you get your body back to normal you can start being less strict. But until the the little cheats pretty much negate the good stuff.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 09, 2012
at 07:06 PM

Thanks Mike. She has dumped the smoothie for now, and I was incorrect about the soda. She has completely dumped it and is sticking with water and tea.

5
4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:26 PM

her body needs to heal itself...she's not just magically going to correct any metabolic issues in a few days, or even weeks on the diet. i'm paleo / primal over two years now, and i'm still discovering that i'm getting 'better' and it's getting easier to maintain the diet with those changes. she should relax, cut out the big culprits, and eat the foods that will most quickly nourish her body back to health. she'll get there :-)

5
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:10 PM

My guess is that she's eating too much. And if she's still occasionally slipping with the diet soda then that could be having a disproportionate influence. Often it's necessary to work your way into it, that's partly why cheat meals used to be popular - eating cleanly 4 out of 5 days of the week is better than slipping up a little every other day. There's a lot to be said for giving yourself permission to improve slowly. Every decision to forgo that soda or treat is positive movement. Writing those 'non-food' decisions down, along with what she did actually eat may provide a useful focus to see how her diet is improving, and there are several other motivational approaches that may help give her confidence in what she's doing.

At the other end of the scale, I'd be very surprised if she didn't see some movement with IF. Fasting can be a great way to break old habits and form a enw relationship with your body's needs, but there are risks to tackling it before you have control over what your diet will be when you start eating again.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:25 PM

Great advice... thank you!!

4
8838443ac82e9f98e4ae9daf80d50eb5

(896)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:18 AM

Are you taking her measurements or are you only using a scale? She may be loosing inches but gaining muscle, therefore, her scale numbers aren't changing drastically.

When I started using kettle bells my weight really started to melt off big time. I really enjoy the workouts because the movements are interesting and they are a good stress reliever.

My only other tip would be to tell your wife you are really noticing her improvements. Make sure to pick something specific and tell her what you like. This will make her feel good and it could encourage her to keep trying harder. As I got compliments I would get excited, and it made me more strict with my eating habits and it got me to push harder in my workouts. Sometimes its all about encouragement.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 09, 2012
at 07:08 PM

Thanks for the great ideas. We have the equipment to do proper measurements if she likes. I really like your last paragraph... positive reinforcement is a necessity! :)

3
3fa1da906c426b335569644f8a908024

on January 07, 2012
at 06:24 PM

My introduction to Paleo included a 21-day strict program about 7 months ago. It's not for rapid weight loss. I noticed inches coming off much more than any weight in the beginning. I'm also a picky eater, and had to re-introduce red meat into my diet, after giving up all grains and legumes. It was really difficult - it's very easy to not eat enough of the right foods when you're picky. Like the others said, eating more eggs and meat for breakfast would definitely be a step in the right direction. And, substituting the diet sodas for tea, espresso, coffee or mineral waters would be a big help. I had no idea how much a silly diet coke was keeping the weight on for me. It is the difference between losing and maintaining for me.

Honestly, I don't have the experience or credentials some of the others here have, but to me I don't see that she is eating necessarily too much food. It sounds like her body needs to shift from the low fat/grain based stuff... which I think definitely takes some time. If she can think about her effort to try this new food lifestyle as an experiment to help her body transform the way it processes foods, that might help. It's not a diet as we all know, and the quick weight loss we see with low fat, high sugar/carb diets, is not permanent. It will always creep back - which has recently been cited in some studies. Our bodies will feel starved after some period of time, and our brain chemistry will trigger the urge to overeat. So, she's doing the right thing - it's an investment in long term and real change.

And, if she's detoxing from sugar, that is a big deal. She may be struggling with cravings and physical withdrawls. The shift really will take the 21 days.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 09, 2012
at 07:09 PM

Thanks for your advice... all great information.

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 07, 2012
at 05:19 PM

Time for my bad cop. Every one is being way too nice here. Your wife needs some tough love. drum role...... First, why are you writting this question? Where is she? She can't type? Answer: you care way more than she cares. ...She "started" the diet, but still is including 3 meals a day and two snacks, Wow! Still includes fruits and nuts. STill includes diet soda "somewhat", Feels" very restricted"..... If she wants to feel really "restricted" she should come over to my house. I'll show her "very restricted" ! :) :) The smotthies have to go... and the Lunch is "varied". Wow , what does that mean? ( I'm guessing McDonalds/ Burger king). Lunch should be the same as dinner. Meat and veggies! (brought from home in a cooler) And last , but not least she's "picky" OMG! Picky equals looking to fail. .....You are fighting the "good fight", but do not expect to win this one. Every tell tail sign is against you and "victory". My thoughts are with you......................... Edit: I'd like to return again to the original premise of your question: She "started "paleo..... For the above mentioned reasons, I think not! What she has done is started "Paleo Theater". You are in the first act of your five act play together. Hopefully not a tragedy.

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

(1288)

on January 08, 2012
at 11:45 PM

Wow that's harsh

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:27 AM

It's been about seven weeks since I posted this question and I've occasionally thought about addressing your response. I think I will now. There is ample room for several forms of critique and commentary when someone asks for assistance in an open forum. Accepting the possibility of positive and negative feedback is part and parcel with soliciting feedback from others. Your answer may have raised a few legitimate questions, but your delivery led a lot to be desired on several levels. You might consider tempering the attitude, negativity and insulting tone. It doesn't reflect well on you.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:28 AM

I down-voted your answer due to the aforementioned reasons.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:30 PM

I take your comment seriously. I do, especially since I say these same things to clients to their faces!Its called tough love. Actually, my"attitude" tone was for your benefit, not for your wife. You were being "jerked around "by your wife. I was trying to do some "male bonding with you". You just are so immersed in her drama, that you couldn't even tell! I was trying to support you! Reread my answer and you'll see it. I was trying to say to you wife what you obviously can't .So I played the bad cop. Google "bad cop" ...I'll even do phone consultations with you two for free. How's that?

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:18 PM

I drank ice cold club soda to ween me off of diet sodas. I didn't flavor it or use sweeteners. It still felt like a treat.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:24 PM

I'll ask her to see if she's interested... thanks!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 07, 2012
at 03:50 AM

@jimsiff, I don't like the taste of retail club soda, so I bought a Soda Stream to carbonate my preferred spring water and I love that, with or without a wedge of lime. It still tastes like the spring water, only with the bubbles we all love, and I can make a glass any time I wish.

3
57588f7cc5e910aa7175e2d2dbe2e010

(109)

on January 06, 2012
at 06:59 PM

I think the best way would be to reduce carbs and increase activity for general weight loss. Try counting the calories for the day and make sure they're about less than 2000.

Also tell her of all the other benefits of paleo and tell her it's a lifestyle and it's also best for the long run. By the way you're describing it she seems impatient and could use some more convincing.

Medium avatar

(0)

on September 10, 2013
at 12:15 AM

hi... does anyone know a good protein powder that doesn't have sugar or insulin causing "spikes"? i would just like to have something just in "case" i'm travelling and can't find a healthy alternative.

2
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:57 AM

I can't provide a lot more than has already been said, except to offer some encouragement. I started this run 2.5 years ago, at 450 lbs. it took almost 3 months before any weight loss showed on the scale, so my neurologist told me to stop getting on the darned thing. He is the one who got me started on quarterly weighing... Enough time to stop the obsessing that was making me miserable, but often enough that, if things did go bad for me (like they have this past winter), I am in a position to catch it before it gets too far out of hand.

If your wife were a friend of mine, I would tell her that it's easier to do the hardest thing first. So if you're going to put in the effort, go for it with gusto and push as far as you can. Go for the VLCs or the Leptin Reset. Give your body the best chance of showing results by believing in yourself and giving yourself high expectations... But not expectations based on the numbers on the scale. Look at measures like the Happiness scale, and the Gee, I can do that this month and I couldn't last month scale... Or the Gee, I never thought I'd actually LIKE that scale... These are, in my opinion as a formerly life-suckingly sick person, a much better way of measuring the overall value of ancestrally-minded eating than depending on arbitrary numbers on a scale.

Who knows... Maybe someday she'll find this amazing community of supportive folks and we will be friends... Then we can compare notes about how tough, but rewarding, some things are like letting go of self-hurting ideas, and trying the tough version of new things, and ripping off band aids in one swift yank.

Best of luck to you both.

2
164ed7cd8d84c926bc66f366619bf853

(495)

on January 07, 2012
at 09:56 PM

I'm no expert by any means, but I'd say hide the scale first. Then, is she consuming too many calories?

I ended up looking up lists of "paleo friendly foods" & mentally taking note of what I like/would eat, don't like/won't eat & those I'd try/never had. I was amazed at how much food I liked/was willing to eat. Maybe making a visual list of foods she already likes/can eat & is willing to add to her new lifestyle could help.

Knowing - as a female - she's gotta come to terms that men/women lose/gain weight differently, at different rates & understand that even one month in isn't indicative of anything.

Do keep emphasizing on "how you feel" b/c eventually that will sink in b/c she'll notice some oddball improvement (energy, bowels, menses, sleep, cravings, mood, etc.).

Keep your chin up & be the loving guide by showing/expressing how this lifestyle change works for you.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 09, 2012
at 07:11 PM

Thanks SuZQ. We're experimenting with some new breakfast foods she found recipes for and staying positive. I think she's doing great, but it's certainly a process.

2
273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on January 06, 2012
at 08:53 PM

The smoothie is a sugar bomb...bananas are a starchy carb which will slow fat loss, and things such as yogurt and whey protein are highly insulinogenic...you may want to cut those out. have her start her day with protein and fat (maybe a 1/2 cup berries if you so desire). if shes having this instead of a smoothie in the mornings it should help to get things going.

this next part is up for debate...

i am working with a crossfit instructor in FL who successfully lowered her BF to 12% and she told me to keep in mind that while fats are good not to overdo it with one meal (where as many people say KEEP ADDING FAT!)...for example I would have coffee with cream, eggs, bacon, and avocado for breakfast, thats 3 different fats. she suggested ONE fat per meal and be moderate because if youre trying to burn fat...after all TOO much will still lead to weight gain. we want our bodies to burn the fat thats there.

try to keep carbs under 50 g. a day too

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 06, 2012
at 09:28 PM

I do agree that a slight fat deficit each day is desirable for weight loss as well as a slight carb deficit. It's all about slight for me. Anything under 70g carbs triggers cravings so I stay at 80-100g for steady weight loss.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 06, 2012
at 09:27 PM

I do agree that a slight fat deficit each day is desirable for weight loss as well as a slight carb deficit. It's all about slight for me.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 06, 2012
at 11:31 PM

Good info... I have wondered about the smoothie being too carb loaded. Can you explain why the whey protein powder or yogurt would be insulinogenic? The macro profile for the powder is 27g protein with ~4g carbs per 1 scoop serving. It's the Costco bagged protein by Cytosport. The yogurt is full fat, no sugar added... 130 cal, 120 from fat per serving.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:04 AM

...it contains lactose (a sugar) which many can not handle well (hence lactose intolerance). Humans are the only animals to continue consumption of milk after infancy (and definitely the only ones to use another species for it) so many people lose their ability to tolerate lactose...so thats why it can cause some problems. I love it, and luckily have no issues with it because mommy made me drink milk every night at dinner since childhood. Moderation is key with dairy. Have you considered unsweetened almond milk? check out MDAL: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dairy-insulin/#axzz1iWe6yTd1

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 06, 2012
at 09:26 PM

"bananas are a starchy carb which will slow fat loss, and things such as yogurt and whey protein are highly insulinogenic" should really have the words "for some" or even "for many" but my major weight loss disproves your declarative statements.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on January 07, 2012
at 12:59 AM

The thing with dairy is that we want it in moderation (if you choose to include it). I include dairy in my diet, but only a little...ill have a small cup about 20/30 minutes PWO, some heavy cream in my coffee (we have cream that isnt pasteurized at all and has NO carrageenan or other thickeners) and yogurt MAYBE 1-2 times a week. Sometimes I will get cheese, but that may be 1 time a month b/c ill eat ALL the cheese at once. the thing about dairy is that it is essentially "BABY GROWER!" A real source of dairy (i.e. grassfed, organic) has awesome benefits (fat, protein, calcium, etc.) but...

559a1bf85bfe38a0fbbf56377c7278b4

(1548)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:25 PM

The lady in question (the OP's wife) is disappointed that her weight loss has stalled, so perhaps the starchy carbs and dairy are not working for her (even though they work for other people). The exact amount of carbs (minimum and maximum) that we can tolerate varies from person to person, but my own experience (sadly) is that if I am to maintain my weight loss, I need to keep carbs and dairy as low as I can. The OP's smoothie recipe sounds delicious! But I would gain weight on it.

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 09, 2012
at 07:05 PM

@Michelle and @pantelimon, thanks for the clarifications on why/why not for yogurt, and other dairy. She's decided to dump the smoothie for now and we're experimenting with some other delicious breakfast recipes.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on January 21, 2012
at 11:37 PM

@jimsiff http://jensgonepaleo.blogspot.com/2010/11/mini-frittatas.html something like this would be a great thing for breakfast :] maybe squish up some avocado and put it on top +salt and pepper??? mmmmmm

2
Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 06, 2012
at 06:55 PM

I eat whole fruit for breakfast. I think it's the best thing. An energy boost to wake you up, and all the fluids in there and soft fibres to cleanse your digestive system. I can only suggest she tries that. Feel light in the morning.

For lunch I'll tend to have a salad with fish or meat in it. Some days I have a jacket potato with salad and meat (it just depends if I feel I need it or not depending on what I ate yesterday or the night before or whatever).

For dinner, unless it's a cheat day and I'm eating out, it's a massive salad or stew, without starches, so basically lots of veg and a good portion of meat or fish (usually organ or seafood).

I think living this way I get 95% of the benefit, without having to be so crazy about everything that it makes life hard to handle. I went from being fat and ill with poor digestion, to losing 15-20% of my body weight, mostly fat, looking loads younger and healthier, with good digestion and feeling better than I have done for about 8 years (I was 22, 8 years ago and in good health).

I say start simple (lose the main offenders) and then gradually bring in more changes as you like.

The best thing you can do for your health is give up grains and sweets.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:20 PM

If she's over 200 lbs. she's likely insulin resistant and will get big blood sugar swings (grouchy, moody, HUNGRY) from a fruit breakfast.

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on January 06, 2012
at 07:50 PM

I'm the opposite. It'd be disaster if I ate fruit for breakfast. I'm protein+fat.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 07, 2012
at 02:45 AM

Fruit in the morning would just make me want to eat and eat and eat all day.

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 06, 2012
at 10:15 PM

I'm not sure it's this straightforward. Is your comment based on practice or theory? I have suffered crashes at times, but never from fruit for breakfast. I get it after I eat too much starch at other times. I think if you only ate fruit all day then you would start to crash, sure, but as the day goes on, if you bring in meat and other vegetables it shouldn't be a problem.

559a1bf85bfe38a0fbbf56377c7278b4

(1548)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:16 PM

It's very easy to see the results of eating fruit (or anything else) by checking blood glucose levels with a meter. I know from experience that Fruit in the morning would give me cravings for the rest of the day, and meter shows ery clearly why it's not a good idea for me.

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

(1288)

on January 08, 2012
at 11:48 PM

Protein is needed here not sugar!

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 09, 2012
at 09:49 AM

A caveman would eat fruit

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on February 20, 2012
at 05:53 PM

Vivalapaleo -- Why the yelling? We're not actual cavepeople.

1
286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

on January 09, 2012
at 02:57 AM

For me its been very very hard - I have converted many people to Paleo to have them lose a ton of weight doing exactly the same as me and I am still struggling to drop the KGs!!!

For me many years of eating whole grain diet ( was instructed by drs and Nutritionists to help with my weight loss after having diabetes with pregnancy!!!) just sank my metabolism and now after seeing a Naturopath they think I have adrenal fatigue ( So insulin and Leptin resistant and then the next step!)

For me my diet is very restricted - just meat eggs and some salad/veg - I am on 15 gms of carbs a day - ketosis and the diet is also LOW FAT ( I struggled with that concept for ages but really when I drop the fat the weight does go too) I sup with protein soups and shakes - no carb and no more than 10 gms at a time ( to keep the whey from being insulinogenic for me) The reason for shakes and soups is that meat has fat and although I have eggs for breakfast and meat for lunch and dinner - adding in meat another 2-4 times a day adds to the fat count. So no dairy - yoghurt coconut milk or anything like that. Keep the protein up and treat her to very nice cuts of meat to make her feel like she is not being deprived - salmon and fish too!

The diet is to give my body a complete rest - I wont be eating like this forever just till I am well then I can drop the shakes and pick up the fat!

Thats not all SLEEP is the single most important thing she can do - a good 8 hrs at night no waking and when you are overweight its hard to get a good night in ( I take pregabba - really helps) Vita D seems to make a lot of difference too

Weight training - 3 times a wk - just for 20 min lift heavy weights on first reps and drop to lower ones really burning that muscle - this helps grow the muscle and that helps with the leptin resistance.

It takes a good 3 months for most women to reset - so early days but hit the gym and 3 times a wk for 20 min is easy for anyone! She will feel better even if not losing.

Sadly for women its a longer harder road we have estrogen to deal with along with insulin! Its so a mans world!

A5410f987b53c5dc97e8a457c6832ed7

(434)

on January 09, 2012
at 07:15 PM

Thanks for sharing your experiences. So your current dietary intake is setup for addressing adrenal fatigue, or insulin and leptin resistance, or all?

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

(1288)

on January 10, 2012
at 06:24 AM

I went to see my Naturopath because I could not shift the weight - we went down to 15 carbs and about 800 cal per day and still no real loss so we are keeping at that point to keep my adrenal rested and working on Sleep and stress ( BTW I would not say that I am stressed but treating me for stress seems to work ) There is no real treatment for adrenal fatigue other than diet and rest vita d - I did the leptin reset - I still do weights had great response to it - Lost 10 kg but I loved the exercise too much and started showing signs of stress again so on a break for 2 wks.

1
A942dbc90fe12f7f90744a68f9f223e2

(249)

on January 06, 2012
at 10:10 PM

If she hasn't read it already, The Fat Trap might help her get some persective. I recommend mindfulness meditation for the stress. Jon Kabat-Zinn and Daniel J. Siegel are a good place to start.

0
Medium avatar

on September 13, 2013
at 12:38 PM

Patience, planning, consider a Whole30 approach for a jumpstart/reset, bump up the protein and vegetables, and shoot for better than 80/20. Make 80/20 the exception rather than the rule. Sounds like things are coming together, though!

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!