2

votes

weight loss slowing -- 3 potential fixes, which would you suggest?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 01, 2011 at 1:37 PM

I started eating paleo (or my version thereof) on a whim just about 3 weeks ago, and started feeling better in just about every way within a few days -- there's no question in my mind that this way of eating works for me and I'm sticking with it. However, I initially started in hopes of losing weight (I started out a good 40 lbs over my own idea of a good bodyweight for me; more like 60 lbs over the medical definition of "ideal"). The first week I lost about 8 lbs (?!?!), over the 2 subsequent weeks I've lost a total of 3 more lbs. Of course I thrilled to have dropped 11 lbs in 3 weeks, but I'm also curious why it has slowed so dramatically.

There are 3 things I eat regularly that I have read here and other places (Mark Sissson, Kurt Harris, etc.) can stall weight loss. I want to eliminate one of them for a week and see what happens. Which one would you recommend?

  • Dairy. I eat one serving (maybe 1/2 cup) of plain, full-fat yogurt (either Greek-style, or "normal" style from local, pastured cows) almost every day, usually for breakfast. I also use a few tablespoons of feta, blue cheese, or fresh parmesan as a condiment on salads, etc. periodically.

  • Fruit. I usually have 1-2 servings of fruit a day -- apples (hey, I live in Vermont and it's fall and they are freaking delish), peaches (picked from the same orchard we picked the apples at), or various berries. Often 1 of the servings are mixed into the breakfast yogurt. I never have notoriously high-glycemic fruit like bananas.

  • Nuts/seeds. (Not including coconut.) I'd estimate I eat probably 1/2-3/4 cup total in an average day -- sprinkled on top of my afore-mentioned breakfast, for a snack, as a condiment, ground up and used as "flour" etc. Mostly almonds and walnuts, but also pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.

Thoughts and suggestions very much appreciated -- thank you!

8d1ce78fe7071f2f60fd59365bf21cfc

(580)

on October 02, 2011
at 08:30 AM

This is also my recommendation. I know fruit might be problematic for some people, but nuts are calorically so dense that I personally find them "filling up" the daily calorie marker way to easily. Obviously this is only relevant for weight loss --> calorie restriction.

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 07:52 PM

Got it -- I thought there was some reason you thought dairy was less-than-optimal in New England autumn -- now I see you were just trying to save me my beloved apples -- thanks! One of the great things for me about paleo is that I truly do get pleasure from everything I eat, and I'm definitely not about to sacrifice that. And "eating with the seasons" seems/feels very good to me.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 01, 2011
at 07:21 PM

Oh...I was just recognizing that eating fresh local fruit/vegetable that is in season is optimal. If your ONLY trying to lose weight maybe cut the fruit too, but I would not forgo something that only comes around once a year that is so delicious AND nutritious. I guess I was just taking into account the pleasure factor.

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 06:29 PM

Thanks! I'm definitely not discouraged, I am freaking THRILLED by how much better I feel. Even if I never lost another ounce, I can tell that I'm getting healthier every day. It was nice to see those numbers drop on the scale so quickly, and I was hoping to approach that rate again -- I see now that that's very unlikely, so I may not go so far as to eliminate anything, just experiment with different tweaks.

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 06:22 PM

Thanks for your answer!

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 06:21 PM

Can you say more about how the time of year/place come into play with your no-dairy suggestion? I'm thinking maybe apple-a-day until the season's over, and then I'll see where I'm at. The nuts do seem like a really concentrated source of calories, so I'd probably get the most benefit from tweaking them...

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 06:18 PM

Thanks for another reality check! Rather than outright eliminating, I may just cut back on a couple of things, and see what happens...

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 06:17 PM

Beth, I do get hungry -- like ravenously, nearly-salivating hungry. I'm satiated quickly though, and don't hungry again for hours (unlike pre-paleo when I was hungry ALL THE TIME and never satisfied no matter how much crap I ate!) Thanks for the tip!

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 06:14 PM

Thanks for the reality check. I knew the 8 lbs couldn't have been pure fat loss (otherwise my pants would be falling off), but didn't realize that so much was likely just fluid. Hmmm. In that context averaging 1.5 lbs/week doesn't seem like much of a slow down.

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 06:10 PM

good point -- I'm definitely not attached to doing whatever it is for 7 days and 7 days only, but 7 days of anything is easy for me to tackle, and then I can go from there.

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 06:07 PM

Doris, thanks! The nuts do seem like they'd make the biggest difference, just cause I get so many more nut-calories than fruit-calories on an average day... I may just go ahead and cut back to apples-only for a bit anyway, because I honestly wouldn't miss the other fruit much.

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 06:04 PM

Ben, at baseline, I was somewhat active as part of my lifestyle, and was mostly functioning fine other than aches & pain & fatigue that I thought were normal (they weren't). In the past couple of weeks I've been increasing "programmed" activity, including starting a CrossFit on-ramp class, longer/faster walks, etc. Hormonally, I've been in surgical menopause for 2 yrs (I'm 40) and take anti-estrogen medication (I'm a breast cancer survivor) -- part of why I thought my discomfort & lack of energy was normal. I'm kinda leaning towards nuts, too -- thanks!

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on October 01, 2011
at 05:25 PM

Agree. Low and slow is the way to go with weight loss. One suggestion: monitor your hunger. If you are NEVER hungry, it may be worth experimenting with dialing back portions just a tad.

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:03 PM

Ditto on the nuts, but my biggest benefits were after I cut fruit waaay back. I'm ready to have some apples, however because 'tis the season when they are the best, but I don't eat them the rest of the year. Maybe you can have fewer apples and only apples. I'm convinced i don't really need fruit, but enjoy small amounts.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:42 PM

How active are you? Do you feel strong and healthy and able to perform physical activities? I'm kinda sorta trying to get to your hormonal status? If you are in decent shape in that regard then it's mostly likely a matter of lowering your calories some. Those calories can come from anywhere but I'd say the nuts are an easy one to ditch.

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6 Answers

5
559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on October 01, 2011
at 04:15 PM

The first 5-8 lbs you lost was "water weight". Normal. Happens to everybody who reduces their carbs and/or drops crappy food. This might be tied for most-asked question, with "Is ____ Paleo?"

Don't expect to approach that pace ever again. 3 lbs in 2 weeks is not a stall. You're doing great.

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 06:14 PM

Thanks for the reality check. I knew the 8 lbs couldn't have been pure fat loss (otherwise my pants would be falling off), but didn't realize that so much was likely just fluid. Hmmm. In that context averaging 1.5 lbs/week doesn't seem like much of a slow down.

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 06:17 PM

Beth, I do get hungry -- like ravenously, nearly-salivating hungry. I'm satiated quickly though, and don't hungry again for hours (unlike pre-paleo when I was hungry ALL THE TIME and never satisfied no matter how much crap I ate!) Thanks for the tip!

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on October 01, 2011
at 05:25 PM

Agree. Low and slow is the way to go with weight loss. One suggestion: monitor your hunger. If you are NEVER hungry, it may be worth experimenting with dialing back portions just a tad.

3
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on October 01, 2011
at 01:41 PM

I have had the best results with dropping fruit, my body just reacts differently to the sugars in fruit.

You may want to keep in mind that a week may not be long enough to see results.

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 06:10 PM

good point -- I'm definitely not attached to doing whatever it is for 7 days and 7 days only, but 7 days of anything is easy for me to tackle, and then I can go from there.

2
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on October 01, 2011
at 04:01 PM

If you're still losing weight, don't fix what's not broken. Time will probably come when you have to give up more foods soon enough :(

11 lbs in three weeks? Awesome. Plateaus are several weeks without losses!

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 06:18 PM

Thanks for another reality check! Rather than outright eliminating, I may just cut back on a couple of things, and see what happens...

2
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on October 01, 2011
at 03:32 PM

I would remove the nuts for two weeks.

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 06:22 PM

Thanks for your answer!

8d1ce78fe7071f2f60fd59365bf21cfc

(580)

on October 02, 2011
at 08:30 AM

This is also my recommendation. I know fruit might be problematic for some people, but nuts are calorically so dense that I personally find them "filling up" the daily calorie marker way to easily. Obviously this is only relevant for weight loss --> calorie restriction.

1
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 01, 2011
at 03:03 PM

I would actually go with eliminating the dairy based on where you live and the time of year. Like you said its fall in Vermont! I wouldn't want to eliminate some of those awesome fruits at this time...maybe in the winter :). Cutting back on the nuts may help some too.

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 07:52 PM

Got it -- I thought there was some reason you thought dairy was less-than-optimal in New England autumn -- now I see you were just trying to save me my beloved apples -- thanks! One of the great things for me about paleo is that I truly do get pleasure from everything I eat, and I'm definitely not about to sacrifice that. And "eating with the seasons" seems/feels very good to me.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 01, 2011
at 07:21 PM

Oh...I was just recognizing that eating fresh local fruit/vegetable that is in season is optimal. If your ONLY trying to lose weight maybe cut the fruit too, but I would not forgo something that only comes around once a year that is so delicious AND nutritious. I guess I was just taking into account the pleasure factor.

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 06:21 PM

Can you say more about how the time of year/place come into play with your no-dairy suggestion? I'm thinking maybe apple-a-day until the season's over, and then I'll see where I'm at. The nuts do seem like a really concentrated source of calories, so I'd probably get the most benefit from tweaking them...

0
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on October 01, 2011
at 04:59 PM

paleo is neither a magic bullet or a quick fix. as grenadine said, a lot of those 11lbs would be water weight. if your change in diet eliminated foods that were inflammatory to you, it will take time for healing to occur and for your metabolism to adjust to your new way of fueling.

as for the changes you outlined, all three could yield results. you will have to try each yourself to see what works. pick one and try it for a couple of week. if you feel better, keep it and try the next. or not.

don't get discouraged by numbers; be encouraged by your improved health.

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 06:29 PM

Thanks! I'm definitely not discouraged, I am freaking THRILLED by how much better I feel. Even if I never lost another ounce, I can tell that I'm getting healthier every day. It was nice to see those numbers drop on the scale so quickly, and I was hoping to approach that rate again -- I see now that that's very unlikely, so I may not go so far as to eliminate anything, just experiment with different tweaks.

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