2

votes

Why I am not losing weight?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 20, 2013 at 4:08 PM

I started Paleo on Dec 31st and was 415lbs, by Jan 3rd I was down to 408lbs (most water, I peed like crazy the first day or two). From Jan 3rd to Jan 20 I have stayed in a range of 406-407.5 and not losing any weight. Here is what I'm doing:

I'm pretty consistent on Paleo principles, eating organic and grass fed meat, veges, about 1oz of cheese a day, and about 1-2 oz of walnuts, almonds, or cashews a day. I have been tracking my food intake and my averages are:

Calories - 1800-2300 || Carbs - 50-75 (mostly from 1-2 fruit a day which is about 20-40g and rest from veges) || Protein - 160-200 (bacon, chicken, beef, pork, salmon, talapia)|| Fats - 120-140 (olive oil, coconut oil, and fats from food)

The only thing I haven't stopped yet is Diet Pepsi, I am still drinking mostly diet pepsi (4 cans a day, ice tea w/ aspartame 2 times, water about 16oz).

Pros so far on diet: No hunger at all except when I may occasionally get busy and go to far between meals. All my cravings have stopped, no desire to cheat or binge. Energy is high. Glucose is down. Overall I feel great.

Cons so far: Not losing any weight

Exercise: I swim for 30 minutes twice a week (about 500 cals burned each time); Lift Weights about 2 times a week (nothing huge, just about 6 machines and 2 sets a piece for 12 reps, arms, chest, back, etc then some legs/abs/stretching), Do treadmill for 2-3 times a week for about 30-40 minutes each time. Other than those periods of exercise I am pretty sedentary, just sitting and working on computer.

Meds: Metformin 2000mg (diabetes); Exforge (bp); Levothroyxin (hypothroyd); Simcor (cholesterol); Alluporin (uric acid); Lovaza (omega-3); Zyrtec (allegies; over counter); And just this week I started taking a Dr. Weil Multi-vitamin as from my tracking I wasn't getting enough of most nutrients and minerals from the paleo diet (D, B6, K, Biotin, Copper, and many others). (with the meds all my BP/thyroid/cholesterol/uric acid is under control. Since being on paleo I was able to drop 1 diabetes med pioglitazone because my glucose has dropped from morning reading of 120-130 to now 94-100 (which is still high but only in the pre-diabetes range which is great).

Between my RMR and exercise I am "supposed" to be burning 3700-4000 calories a day, I am eating 1800-2200 a day and that should be 3-4lbs a week. In the past when I did diets if I was able to do 1800-2000 calories a day and exercise like I am I consistently drop 2-3lbs a week. But since I have been on paleo the past 3 weeks I have dropped NONE. The only thing new I am doing is the weigh lifting as I figured that is important as I wanted to maintain muscle and make my body realize it couldn't reduce my metabolism.

So my question is what am I doing wrong? Why am I not losing weight? I don't feel my clothes fitting better so I don't feel like the weight is being transferred from fat to muscle and staying the same.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on January 21, 2013
at 04:31 AM

I guess i dont think those RMR estimates are right, they weren't for me.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 20, 2013
at 09:26 PM

People do starve to death and they get skeletal before doing so. It's a popular diet myth that eating below BMR means you stop losing weight. Technically you might, but you're still metabolizing fat and muscle for energy, but experience fluid retention associated with starvation (Google kwashiorkor, for an example)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 20, 2013
at 09:23 PM

My apologies, I read "1 diabetes med" above and my brain made it into type 1 diabetes...

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on January 20, 2013
at 08:50 PM

I agree with what miked and Matt have said. Non caloric sweeteners can increase appetite and caloric intake: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9023599 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8451310

88c82a46d0c35cb4a8cd41d487a2884a

(98)

on January 20, 2013
at 06:04 PM

Could this be some sort of starvation response since his RMR is 3700 and he's ONLY eating 2200 a day. Seems to me that would really shock his system into holding onto as much fat as it can until the "famine" of much lower calories than his body is used to is over, or he does this so long that his body is forced into ketosis. He might need to even eat MORE to see the weight come off more easily without blatantly entering high ketosis. Anyone?

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:55 PM

Yeah, sorry Bigman, but the maths don't add up. I'd suspect #2 as well. Keep at it, and good luck.

E2168bd5f5406ee51cc43d3f33a497ce

(40)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:40 PM

I'm type 2 diabetic

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:25 PM

Stephen, the point of that study was that diet sodas drive hunger which ultimately causes overeating. Not that there's anything "magic" in the soda that causes weight gain. He's type 1 diabetic as well, so there's no insulin to produce.

E2168bd5f5406ee51cc43d3f33a497ce

(40)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:22 PM

That is what I'm hoping it is and I plan to stick to it as I feel great. If what you say is true it has to break at some point. My concern is my body did a metabolism reset and put me down to 2000-2200 daily burn and not sure what to do if that is the case. Only thing I can think is lift more weights, build more muscle and make the body start to burn fat?

E2168bd5f5406ee51cc43d3f33a497ce

(40)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:19 PM

My biggest issue before seems to have been carb craving. Looking at my daily tracking prior to Paleo I was eating between 3000-4000 calories a day and about 550-600g of carbs. So that was maintaining as I have been about 415-425lbs for about 10 years even with some yo-yo diets in-between. On Paleo as I mentioned by removing processed carbs and sugar I have no cravings and feel really satisfied with no hunger and lots of energy. But just no weight loss even with that deficit. It's like my metabolism just shut itself off. The only thing I can figure is my metab went down to 2000?

Ee6932fe54ad68039a8d5f7a8caa0468

(2668)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:17 PM

stephen, i don't go to fat head as a source for anything. i don't think my comment comes anywhere close to irresponsible, but i disagree with you on most things here.

E2168bd5f5406ee51cc43d3f33a497ce

(40)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:13 PM

I do plan on dropping the diet sodas, didn't want to go cold turkey at the same time I started cold turkey on rice, beans, processed foods, sugars, etc, etc. So over the next 3 weeks I'll go straight water, but I don't think it should have that much of an impact given the calorie deficit I am doing now for 3 weeks consistently without one slip.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:13 PM

I agree with mike completely. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20075358-10391704/new-study-is-wake-up-call-for-diet-soda-drinkers/ . Jake, In fat head he discusses rats that died fat because they metabolized their organs and muscles instead of their fat because of ?insulin I think. If that's true then your comment is misleading and borderline irresponsible.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:11 PM

He's already eating half of what it takes to maintain, he needs to cut more?

E2168bd5f5406ee51cc43d3f33a497ce

(40)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:10 PM

At most I'm about 10-15% off on the calories. Since being on paleo I don't have cravings not really that hungry and between vege's, fruit, and good quality meats counting calories is not really that hard. I find it hard to eat more than 2200 a day now as I'm simply not hungry but completely satisfied.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:07 PM

Agree on counting calories, it is a hassle to monitor and weigh everytthing but it is surprising how many calories are in a handful of nuts for example. Try being really strict about it (including weighing everything) for a week or two just to make sure you are eating what you think you are.

Ee6932fe54ad68039a8d5f7a8caa0468

(2668)

on January 20, 2013
at 04:48 PM

i don't think diet drinks are healthy, but they're not going to prevent you from losing weight if you're in an actual energy deficit. i don't buy that.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 20, 2013
at 04:47 PM

At 400+ pounds, he might not know the difference. There's quite a few people that fail to lose weight on paleo because they can overeat on "healthy" food. He's lost weight in the past, so it's hard to know what's going on here.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on January 20, 2013
at 04:31 PM

I disagree about the measuring and counting. If you're trying to lose "that last 10 pounds" then you might have to get crazy any measure. But at 400 lbs, just cleaning up the quality and knowing the difference between your mouth and a vacuum cleaner is sufficient.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 20, 2013
at 04:22 PM

Give it time, you probably want to lose 200ish pounds, that's going to be a multi-year task. Fretting after 3 weeks isn't going to help. Measure portions, count calories... you're on the right track.

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9 Answers

7
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on January 20, 2013
at 04:29 PM

Gotta stop the diet drinks. Even thought they're non caloric, they still have an insulin and weight gain effect. Especially at 4 a day!

Until you're doing the spirit of a Paleo inspired diet 100%, you really can't ask the "why am I not losing weight" question. The reason there's a prescription is that is what works. Doing only parts of it won't work (for thereupon interventions - if you're healthy, you have more leeway).

Ee6932fe54ad68039a8d5f7a8caa0468

(2668)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:17 PM

stephen, i don't go to fat head as a source for anything. i don't think my comment comes anywhere close to irresponsible, but i disagree with you on most things here.

E2168bd5f5406ee51cc43d3f33a497ce

(40)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:40 PM

I'm type 2 diabetic

Ee6932fe54ad68039a8d5f7a8caa0468

(2668)

on January 20, 2013
at 04:48 PM

i don't think diet drinks are healthy, but they're not going to prevent you from losing weight if you're in an actual energy deficit. i don't buy that.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 20, 2013
at 09:23 PM

My apologies, I read "1 diabetes med" above and my brain made it into type 1 diabetes...

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:13 PM

I agree with mike completely. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20075358-10391704/new-study-is-wake-up-call-for-diet-soda-drinkers/ . Jake, In fat head he discusses rats that died fat because they metabolized their organs and muscles instead of their fat because of ?insulin I think. If that's true then your comment is misleading and borderline irresponsible.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on January 20, 2013
at 08:50 PM

I agree with what miked and Matt have said. Non caloric sweeteners can increase appetite and caloric intake: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9023599 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8451310

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:25 PM

Stephen, the point of that study was that diet sodas drive hunger which ultimately causes overeating. Not that there's anything "magic" in the soda that causes weight gain. He's type 1 diabetic as well, so there's no insulin to produce.

E2168bd5f5406ee51cc43d3f33a497ce

(40)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:13 PM

I do plan on dropping the diet sodas, didn't want to go cold turkey at the same time I started cold turkey on rice, beans, processed foods, sugars, etc, etc. So over the next 3 weeks I'll go straight water, but I don't think it should have that much of an impact given the calorie deficit I am doing now for 3 weeks consistently without one slip.

2
363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:58 PM

I think the body needs some time to get used to the real nutrition, and your metabolism probably has a lot of correcting to do. I would drop the diet pepsi as far as chem load goes, but something that affected me more when I was doing classic Atkins style low carb 6-7 years ago were the nuts. I could eat all the high fat dairy and sugar free soda, but nuts stalled me. Don't know why, even just 1 ounce a day. Obviously, everyone is different, and some people here have lost a lot of weight while keeping nuts in. Even if my net carbs were down to 10 per day and my cals were in check, if I had any nut other than macadamias, my weight would stall out. They can be such a relief though, and definitely better than going for something worse, and are thankfully available almost anywhere, but cutting them out made a huge difference. So if you can't drop the pepsi yet, maybe try the nuts? See what happens in a week?

Good luck on your journey!

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on January 20, 2013
at 05:05 PM

Overall I think your diet and exercise look pretty good and consistent with the Paleo diet.

When I first went Paleo I was 6' and about 229# and went very low carb, less than 25g per day. By comparison a banana has about 20-22g so that is not much. I found that this greatly reduced my appetite and I was fine with little or no hunger pangs eating about 1100-1300 calories per day. According to those BMI index calculators and such I could eat 1800-2000 calrories but honestly I have trouble eating that much of truly Paleo food, it is easy to get that many calories eating starches or junk food but not meat and salad. I find it easy to skip meals, I often skip breakfast or lunch. Based on this (you didn't mention your height) your calorie intake of 1800-2300 sounds high. I think you should cut carbs a bit, cut out fruit and nuts, and experiment with some fasting, i.e. skip a meal here and there, and try to drop a few hundred calories per day.

The diet soda can sabotage a diet, it isn't the calories (there are none) but some studies and anecdotes have shown that the sweet flavor can trigger insulin and hunger responses and slow down weight and fat loss. I used to drink a lot of diet coke but eventually gave it up, there are a ton of chemicals and crap in it too. The only liquids I drink are tea, coffee, water, and occasional alcoholic drinks (only when I am at my target weight). Maybe challenge yourself to drink nothing but water for a few weeks and I bet you will lose your taste for the sodas.

IMHO the best exercise for burning fat is brief, high intensity exercise that hits your largst muscles. That is what worked for me. This can mean squats (with or without added weight), lunges, lifting heavy things with your full body (i.e. deadlifts, kettlebell swings), etc. I used to run a lot and when I dropped that and switched to only strength workouts and walks, I immediately started losing weight and fat (this was after running 12-14 miles per week). Essentially the cardio exercise was keeping the fat on. The swimming and treadmill are a lot better than being sedentary obviously but you might try either very low intensity (long walks) or high intensity, which are both best for burning fat.

Good luck!

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on January 21, 2013
at 04:31 AM

I guess i dont think those RMR estimates are right, they weren't for me.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:11 PM

He's already eating half of what it takes to maintain, he needs to cut more?

0
Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on February 15, 2013
at 02:48 AM

With regards to the Diet Coke, it took me a really long time to give it up too! Even now, I am often just not in the mood for bland old water. I have a few suggestions that helped me wean myself off of diet soda:

  • lemon water
  • make some fruity herbal tea and stick it in the fridge if you want a cold drink
  • add cinnamon to tea. it has a slightly sweet taste and is also good for fat burning
  • Stevia is a safer, natural sweetener. it is kind of bitter and takes some getting used to, but it might help you get away from diet soda
  • seltzer water...a lot of people like the fizziness of soda. just make sure it isn't sweetened

0
6b90651dd14682a376d45075a481378d

(0)

on January 21, 2013
at 04:02 AM

It took me about five weeks for my body to adjust to the Paeleo lifestyle. I lost a few pounds at first, then nothing, then it started to fall off about week five. Be patient. If you still have trouble, lower the nuts and keep the fruit low. Also keep an eye on your root veggie intake. The High intensity work out (plyo style) works well for me. KEEP WITH IT. I have lost 45lbs in 5 months, got cholesterol in check, and feel great. FYI, I still enjoy my diet Dr Pepper. Less than 1 a day. Good luck

0
37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on January 21, 2013
at 01:13 AM

What worked for me Bigman was when I started HIIT principles in my training, (High Intensity Interval Training) in which you mix periods of higher intensity into a medium intensity cardio workout. This sort of confuses your metabolism or maybe throws it into a panic, I don't know, but you continue to convert fat cells into protein for hours afterward while sitting on your ass. I was stuck at a certain weight which was higher than my target for 2 years, until I began sprinting the last couple of hundred yards of my jog, (or doing the closest thing to sprint I had the energy left to do). Initially it's hard to find that extra gear but once you do it also packs a nice endorphin rush. I attained my target in one summer after that. From a paleo perspective this probably works because it mimics the type of more varied, unpredictable activity our ancestors would have had to do on a daily basis while catching food. At any rate, I found personally that varied intensity worked much better for me than continuously moderate activity, which appeared to just burn my food and not my fat.

0
24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on January 20, 2013
at 06:01 PM

According to principles of the Atkins Diet, cut the two pieces of fruit & their carbs (for now, until you've made more progress). Along with the diet sodas, of course. The aspartame's poison, btw.

Ketosis burns off the fat more directly. I think at 400 lbs you're probably looking for a faster way than via Paleo alone... I'd suggest rigorously implementing Atkins principles for now, if you can (and which are pretty close to Paleo, in terms of weight loss), and ease to Paleo lifestyle as you approach your desired weight.

Btw, I recommend substituting green tea for the diet coke & iced tea. If you're like me, you've had a lifetime of drinking only flavored drinks and can't go back to plain water cold turkey. You'd want a flavored liquid as substitute, and green tea provide that bit of healthy flavor.

Edit: I don't know about so-called insulin & leptin resets taking 6 weeks and whatnot, but that's the type of timeframe my body/brain needed to adjust to a clean diet in such ways. If nothing else, allow your body the time acclimate to the new norm.

0
B2634bf90fa31b48a60e7c4f06761200

on January 20, 2013
at 05:18 PM

Another thing to consider is body recomposition. You can't always trust what's happening on the scale. If youre truly doing everything you say, then you're probably building up muscle at the same time youre burning up fat.

The most cost effective way to measure this is to do body circumference measurements (observing changes in how your clothes fit is an indirect way of doing this) and taking pictures of yourself to compare changes from before.

Sounds like you are well on your way. You can't trust the scale especially if it is discouraging you. Keep up with the diet and continue with the exercise.

My only other suggestion is to get up and walk around more at work. No amount of exercise can offset 8 hours of sitting in the office.

E2168bd5f5406ee51cc43d3f33a497ce

(40)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:22 PM

That is what I'm hoping it is and I plan to stick to it as I feel great. If what you say is true it has to break at some point. My concern is my body did a metabolism reset and put me down to 2000-2200 daily burn and not sure what to do if that is the case. Only thing I can think is lift more weights, build more muscle and make the body start to burn fat?

0
Ee6932fe54ad68039a8d5f7a8caa0468

(2668)

on January 20, 2013
at 04:51 PM

hi two guesses here, neither of which are particularly nice.

1) look into the meds. they can make stuff funny. but i'm going to reason two because, even with the meds, if you were holding to that kind of deficit - which is too extreme - you would still lose fat. so...

2) is that you're not counting calories properly / you're eating more food than you think or realize. sorry.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:07 PM

Agree on counting calories, it is a hassle to monitor and weigh everytthing but it is surprising how many calories are in a handful of nuts for example. Try being really strict about it (including weighing everything) for a week or two just to make sure you are eating what you think you are.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 20, 2013
at 09:26 PM

People do starve to death and they get skeletal before doing so. It's a popular diet myth that eating below BMR means you stop losing weight. Technically you might, but you're still metabolizing fat and muscle for energy, but experience fluid retention associated with starvation (Google kwashiorkor, for an example)

E2168bd5f5406ee51cc43d3f33a497ce

(40)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:10 PM

At most I'm about 10-15% off on the calories. Since being on paleo I don't have cravings not really that hungry and between vege's, fruit, and good quality meats counting calories is not really that hard. I find it hard to eat more than 2200 a day now as I'm simply not hungry but completely satisfied.

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:55 PM

Yeah, sorry Bigman, but the maths don't add up. I'd suspect #2 as well. Keep at it, and good luck.

88c82a46d0c35cb4a8cd41d487a2884a

(98)

on January 20, 2013
at 06:04 PM

Could this be some sort of starvation response since his RMR is 3700 and he's ONLY eating 2200 a day. Seems to me that would really shock his system into holding onto as much fat as it can until the "famine" of much lower calories than his body is used to is over, or he does this so long that his body is forced into ketosis. He might need to even eat MORE to see the weight come off more easily without blatantly entering high ketosis. Anyone?

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