1

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information overload! need help with paleo and weight loss

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 31, 2012 at 3:01 AM

Hi! My name's Amanda. I'm 22 years old, 5'5 and weight 144 currently. Halfway through November I did the 30 day Paleo challenge and had great results! I lost 10lbs and got down to 140lbs. But after the 30 days ended, almost instantly I plateaued at 144lbs. It's been 2-3 weeks since the 30 day challenge ended and I haven't been able to lose any more weight.

I've been researching this like crazy, so I feel like I have an information overload. I guess I kind of want to know (in simple terms) what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong. Here are a few changes I've made:

-For the past week or so, I've cut my carbs down to 50g or less. Raised my fat to 100g and protein to 120g (all approximate)

-I started counting calories (1700 is my daily limit. I eat 1700 every day depending on if I exercise that day or not)

-For exercise, I'm walking for 30-45 minutes about 3-4 days a week. I just started doing the 30 day shred and am aiming to do it every other day for some strength training.

-I've read a lot about ketosis, which is why I've really upped my fat intake and lowered my carb intake. Like I said, I've just started this about a week ago, so it may need more time to sink in and start working.

-I'm a wedding photographer, so I've been fasting for 8-10 hours while I'm shooting the wedding, just because there are no paleo friendly meals at weddings and it's a huge pain to pack a billion snacks. Plus I've read that fasting helps with ketosis.

-I started taking Fermented COD Liver Oil pills twice a day to help with acne and weight loss.

Now, I'm not trying to do a speedy weight loss or anything, I am happy to do it slowly so that it can stay off, but it feels like I've had better success with weight loss before I ever even started Paleo. I'm just getting very frustrated that I'm not seeing any results. Here are a few questions I have:

-Am I not giving everything enough time to start working? Should I just be patient?

-Should I fast for longer periods of time and more frequently (Weddings right now are about once a month, but in the summer they'll be every week)? I usually eat a huge breakfast right before I go to a wedding and then 8-10 hours later eat a big dinner when I get home.

-I can't tell if I'm eating too much or too little. A lot of people I've read about say that on ketosis, they feel as if they could go all day without eating anything. I feel super full right after I'm done eating a meal, but then about an hour later my stomach starts feeling hungry again. It's not huge hunger pains, so I can usually hold off until my next meal, but there's still that urge that makes me want to eat more and all I end up doing is thinking about food until my next meal.

-I've mainly cut out fruits and nuts, but an apple with cashew butter seems to be my favorite food right now. So about every other day, I've had a small apple with about 2tbsp of cashew butter. It's within my carb/protein/fat limits, but I hear so many people say to cut fruits and nuts completely. I'm wondering if it's still okay to eat if it's within my limits?

Any other tips/advice? I can include a typical day's food, too, if that helps.

Thanks so much! I've been reading so much on PaleoHacks and you've all been extremely helpful. :)

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on December 31, 2012
at 12:45 PM

Good answer. At 5'5" and 144, the OP doesn't have all that much weight to lose, and things tend to slow down as people get closer to goal. And I agree--probably too many different strategies going on at once. Amanda -- give it some time. Your body's still adjusting and yeah, you might well be losing inches but not pounds. Don't worry about the scale so much...the numbers can be wacky sometimes. Your clothes will tell you better how you're doing.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on December 31, 2012
at 04:44 AM

That sounds like a good idea, anytime I strip things down and clean things up (even if I keep something in like your cashew butter and apple) I still have an initial loss and get moving in the right direction, which is great. Good luck and keep us updated!

89df8105192440cbe748676600ccfbee

on December 31, 2012
at 04:12 AM

Thanks for the advice Jackie! I might give what I'm currently doing a few more weeks and if nothing is happening, I'll cut the apples and cashew butter. I didn't weigh myself at the beginning of this week because I was too scared since it was after Christmas. I weighed myself 2 days ago though and it was still at 144. But I might have gained and then lost a pound or two since Christmas, I'm not sure. Thank you again :)

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3 Answers

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1
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on December 31, 2012
at 10:33 AM

"Am I not giving everything enough time to start working? Should I just be patient?"

Yup, that's more or less it.

I think you're making the following mistakes:

  1. Using the wrong metrics The only real measure of weight loss is how your clothes fit and how great you look naked. Weighing scales are a notoriously bad indicator of fat loss (especially over a month or two).
  2. Having unreasonable expectations: You've only been doing this for a month and a half and you've already "lost" 10lbs (and not regained it).
  3. Changing too many variables at once: Choose one plan and stick with it. If you try to go Ketosis-Exercising-Fasting-Calorie Counting-Paleo in one fell swoop, you'll easily get discouraged, and you'll never be able to tell what part of it is doing you any good. It also helps to leave a few things in your back pocket for when it really stops working.

Stop stressing, forget the calorie counting and ketosis, stick with a Whole30 type approach, and come back and thank us in 6 months when everyone is telling you how great you are suddenly looking. Do the right thing and this shit will take care of itself.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on December 31, 2012
at 12:45 PM

Good answer. At 5'5" and 144, the OP doesn't have all that much weight to lose, and things tend to slow down as people get closer to goal. And I agree--probably too many different strategies going on at once. Amanda -- give it some time. Your body's still adjusting and yeah, you might well be losing inches but not pounds. Don't worry about the scale so much...the numbers can be wacky sometimes. Your clothes will tell you better how you're doing.

1
5e82342cbcfb77219ee392a3c5b8127d

on December 31, 2012
at 06:49 AM

I've lost almost 80 pounds since last January, and I eat almonds almost every day (about 10 nuts). So I may be a special case, but I doubt a small amount of nuts will hinder your weight loss. I also eat a small apple every single day. As for other fruit, I don't eat as often. Bananas about 1x a week, grapes a few times a month, grapefruits 2x a week or so, etc. Much more in the summer though! And of course, lots of veggies.

I don't really fast, and have no idea how that would work, but I have lost my weight eating several times a day. I used to be a wedding photographer, and I know how hard it is to eat while on the job. I used to go for the piece of wedding cake and a cup of coffee (love good catered coffee). Obviously that would not be good while trying to lose weight! Anyway, If I was still doing it, I'd surely pack nuts, and other easy fast snacks to keep me going while shooting. I'd get too distracted by hunger otherwise.

I guess I'd say to make sure that on your non-fasting days, if you are counting calories, be sure to weigh/measure everything. That has helped me a lot. I do agree to not go overboard on the fruit, but berries and apples are so good for you, I'd say have a little (my apples are very small). Eat high quality fats, and get in some good strength training when you can. Drink plenty of water, and make sure you have it with you when you are shooting. See where you are at in a couple of weeks. Good luck and Happy New Year!

0
363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on December 31, 2012
at 03:51 AM

This seems crazy, but if I even have an ounce of almonds (accounting for total calories, carbs, etc.) I will stall out, but if I don't have nuts, my weight loss is really continuous. No idea why. Mac nuts are the only exception. Usually if I am trying to lose weight I do like to go keto for faster results, so that would include no fruit, other than a few berries here or there.

I would stick to your plan for a few weeks, don't worry about the fasting periods as much, just do what works well. I IF, but just because I don't feel hungry for breakfast, or anything really until 3 PM or so.

I always need a bit extra sleep when shooting for active weight loss, especially when exercising. Not sure why this is, but I imagine it is to put off any stress reaction my body might have to limiting calories, carbs, etc.

Maybe cut out the apple and nut butter for a week and see if you see the scale move to your liking, and if you feel good. In the past week of cutting down carbs to 50g, have you noticed weight loss?

89df8105192440cbe748676600ccfbee

on December 31, 2012
at 04:12 AM

Thanks for the advice Jackie! I might give what I'm currently doing a few more weeks and if nothing is happening, I'll cut the apples and cashew butter. I didn't weigh myself at the beginning of this week because I was too scared since it was after Christmas. I weighed myself 2 days ago though and it was still at 144. But I might have gained and then lost a pound or two since Christmas, I'm not sure. Thank you again :)

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on December 31, 2012
at 04:44 AM

That sounds like a good idea, anytime I strip things down and clean things up (even if I keep something in like your cashew butter and apple) I still have an initial loss and get moving in the right direction, which is great. Good luck and keep us updated!

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