4

votes

Can't lose weight!!!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 22, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Hey folks, I need some help. I am a very muscular 5'4 female, but my weight is striking. I wear a size 8-10 and weigh about 170. I eat very strict Paleo, which I will outline typical day below to see if anyone can help figure out what i might be doing wrong. I don't look fat - and I am strong (Crossfitter) I can run 7:15 min miles, do pullups, pushups, etc. I do 3 days of hard crossfitting with one day off, then 3 on, one off, etc. I also supplement with yoga to stay flexible. I am hypothyroid and i use acupuncture and a natural supplement so that I don't have to stay on synthetic meds. The problem is my astounding number on the scale. I have the type of body where even though I am short, my ideal weight (very very lean) is 145-150. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Breakfast: about 3-4 oz Viking hash (sweet potato, organic eggs, bacon, onions) or spinach and egg omelet with fresh bell peppers and coconut oil with black coffee, sometimes 2 scrambled eggs with onions and peppers and a small amount of sausage

Snack: 10-15 baby carrots or celery sticks and 1-2 tbsp almond butter or - dried apple rings (organic, zero sugar) or a handful of almonds

Lunch: 4 oz grass fed steak with squash and zucchini with coconut or olive oil, or organic beef stirfry with spinach, tomatoes, onions, garlic, or grilled chicken breast or fish with fresh spinach, lemon, olive oil, and some type of fresh veggie

Dinner: Same as lunch

I sometimes will have a handful of almonds here or there (5-10) as snacks. I drink about 2-3 cups of plain black coffee every day and about a gallon of water. I have recently gone to no sucrose or fructose and am having better results from that even though the scale has not budged. I do use a lot of olive oil and coconut oil when I cook. What gives?

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 15, 2013
at 07:48 PM

We need more information. Have you had your body composition measured? What is your actual body-fat percentage? Chasing an arbitrary number on the scale is a bad choice if you're already in shape. If you are already sub 15% body fat it is a better choice to get your advice from a place like Bodybuilding.com. You will get much more useful knowledge on the precise work of cutting down to abnormally low bodyfat percentages.

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on November 23, 2011
at 03:16 PM

+1 for getting body fat % measured. I'm planning to do this because I too focus on that number on the scale. As I CrossFit more (I was sedentary at baseline), the weight loss slows. I know intellectually that I'm losing fat, muscle weighs more, etc; and subjectively I think I'm looking less fat, but I really like the clean objectivity of a NUMBER. Hoping that BF% will give me a new number to measure my progress/assess where I'm at.

E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 23, 2011
at 01:01 AM

sorry but you are wrong. Eating one meal =/= starving ( eating one shitty meal? maybe... so don't eat one shitty meal) Just eat, and then stop. simple.

C59f469d51da372100083ff164e8f943

on November 23, 2011
at 12:47 AM

While I do appreciate the advice, I think eating once a day would be detrimental to my health. I spent years starving myself by doing just that which led to my hyothyroid condition.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on November 22, 2011
at 11:27 PM

How could eating more non-paleo foods possibly help?

B36613e945134be5813e6526f9a3a86c

(499)

on November 22, 2011
at 07:53 PM

If you're actually healthy (and it sounds like you are), using a number on a scale as an indicator that you're unhealthy seems slightly backward, no?

Cfc7dee889a66db9cd76c4f348109294

(1652)

on November 22, 2011
at 07:23 PM

I'm very anti-scale number, so I mostly agree with the other posters if you look/feel great. But, you could try more protein, lightening on the crossfit (for cortisol reasons). You could try subbing in some protein for the almond butter some days (although, I'm guilty of pounding a jar/week of that stuff...).

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on November 22, 2011
at 07:15 PM

"I am hypothyroid and i use acupuncture and a natural supplement so that I don't have to stay on synthetic meds." That sounds like an obvious thing to look into. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and take "synthetic meds" if your body isn't working right. Armour thyroid (which I'm on right now) is dessicated pork thyroid. Over the counter thyroid supplements are notoriously all over the place in regards to potency.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 22, 2011
at 06:43 PM

How's your sleep and cortisol levels. Both lack of good sleep and high cortisol levels block fat loss. That much crossfit could be raising your cortisol too high - just sayin'.

C59f469d51da372100083ff164e8f943

on November 22, 2011
at 06:11 PM

Excellent advice, Krisha I will try that! I might cook some chicken breast and eat them as a snack too.

A1a0baccef58499acf9ceb3c874997f2

(675)

on November 22, 2011
at 06:09 PM

I don't want to be disrespectful, but it worries me that one would use the military's paradigm of "healthy" as a model. If starving yourself before a weigh-in was the norm, that is not healthy, and I absolutely don't blame you for feeling self conscious now when you even think about a scale. Be a radical and smash that thing with a sledge hammer because what matters is how you feel physically and emotionally. I wish you luck and a happy paleo-thanksgiving!

C59f469d51da372100083ff164e8f943

on November 22, 2011
at 06:09 PM

I only have the yams a couple of times a week and only for breakfast, and the dried fruit is a once in a while thing. Mostly veggies. I have large chest and butt areas, and a little padding on the stomach, but no rolls there if that makes any sense.

C59f469d51da372100083ff164e8f943

on November 22, 2011
at 06:00 PM

Nance and Jesika, Maybe you all are right. I wante to get some opinions just to see if it was something wrong with what I am eating. I know the workouts are not the problem and never have been. I don't weight regularly...partly because it makes me self conscious...but maybe the right answer is to continue to eat paleo healthy and just be myself. Great advice - thanks :)

C59f469d51da372100083ff164e8f943

on November 22, 2011
at 05:54 PM

Thanks Hannah, and actually that is good advice. I guess I just worry that it might be an unhealthy number for someone of my height. When I was in the military I would have to starve myself for weeks before my PT test and weigh ins, just making me feel just awful. I do feel much better and more energetic now, but just think 170 ias too much weight for my height, even with my bone and muscular structure.

Frontpage book

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

11 Answers

best answer

4
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 22, 2011
at 05:55 PM

I am 5'4" and over my lifetime I have weighed in on the scale at a range of 118 to 225. If I am not muscular, 120-130 is a good range. If very active and fit, I easily topped 150. Unless you have really tiny bones, which is unlikely at your weight, 8-10 is a great size for us.

I echo hannah's comment that the number on the scale is meaningless. It has to do with how much muscle vs fat you are carrying on your limbs and trunk. Pounds are meaningless; I happen to think the only measurement that matters for women is your waist size. As your waist grows or shrinks, the rest of the body is changing in very predictable ways.

Another thing: I believe women are particularly prone to a "shut down" of metabolism if we don't eat enough. We become super-efficient. Therefore, over time you should vary how much you eat--small quantities of more dense food one week, large volumes of mixed density foods the next. If you are too predictable, your body will adapt and hoard your body fat.

C59f469d51da372100083ff164e8f943

on November 22, 2011
at 06:00 PM

Nance and Jesika, Maybe you all are right. I wante to get some opinions just to see if it was something wrong with what I am eating. I know the workouts are not the problem and never have been. I don't weight regularly...partly because it makes me self conscious...but maybe the right answer is to continue to eat paleo healthy and just be myself. Great advice - thanks :)

7
A1a0baccef58499acf9ceb3c874997f2

on November 22, 2011
at 05:50 PM

It sounds like you feel good, look good, are strong and energized. Why do you care about the number on the scale if everything else seems to be awesome?

A1a0baccef58499acf9ceb3c874997f2

(675)

on November 22, 2011
at 06:09 PM

I don't want to be disrespectful, but it worries me that one would use the military's paradigm of "healthy" as a model. If starving yourself before a weigh-in was the norm, that is not healthy, and I absolutely don't blame you for feeling self conscious now when you even think about a scale. Be a radical and smash that thing with a sledge hammer because what matters is how you feel physically and emotionally. I wish you luck and a happy paleo-thanksgiving!

C59f469d51da372100083ff164e8f943

on November 22, 2011
at 05:54 PM

Thanks Hannah, and actually that is good advice. I guess I just worry that it might be an unhealthy number for someone of my height. When I was in the military I would have to starve myself for weeks before my PT test and weigh ins, just making me feel just awful. I do feel much better and more energetic now, but just think 170 ias too much weight for my height, even with my bone and muscular structure.

B36613e945134be5813e6526f9a3a86c

(499)

on November 22, 2011
at 07:53 PM

If you're actually healthy (and it sounds like you are), using a number on a scale as an indicator that you're unhealthy seems slightly backward, no?

4
2e841984c55e1f346f6e38f60c1620a6

(540)

on November 22, 2011
at 06:03 PM

I am Hypothyroid as well and while I hate to say it, It is almost impossible to lose weight when your hypo even is you are treating it with homeopathic remedies. I know because until I was put on Armour thyroid and got my levels stable I was unable to lose weight at all. I would go to a bio-identical hormone doctor and have them pull a full thyroid panel and get a better picture of where your at levels wise. You sound healthy so I think I would focus more on that to get the scale moving again.

4
1602b293fe5211cc1792056c182361be

on November 22, 2011
at 05:52 PM

You are who you are and some things about ourselves we can't change! You are healthy, muscular, and fit. You are alive! And you have the body your mamma gave you. Love it and be happy with it. ;) Outside of starving yourself, it sounds like you are right where your body wants to be.

2
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on November 23, 2011
at 12:07 PM

I'm in a similar boat although a bit larger, heavier and having been considerably more obese in the past. I've come to peace with it because I'm STRONG and at almost 50 able to do things I could not do at 35. My only issue is stress on my knees and ankles that, as I see it, is a function of the pounds and doesn't care what kind of pounds they are. So at some point I want to tackle the weight again. (When you get nowhere for a year and a half of trying different things, etc., it is far more mentally peaceful to just enjoy maintenance and not try for something my body does not seem to want to do -- hopefully yet!)

One thing said here is something that I've considered: Go low protein to lose LBM. I have a theory that my lean mass, not my remaining fat mass dictates my appetite. The only time I lost weight after plateauing out was the first few weeks of IF when I was not only eating not a whole lot and relatively high fat -- thus maybe 40g protein per day. I lost 10 lbs in 2 weeks. I upped my protein b/c I was concerned I wasn't getting enough and lost no more. However in the two following months we did a lot of traveling/socializing and I had no problem maintaining the loss despite more alcohol and "cheats" than usual. So I toy with the idea of doing an intermittent fat fast type thing. I guess I'm not too worried about losing too much LBM -- if I lose my freakish strength then I'll worry. And maybe my bod just likes that particular makeup so to lose more fat I need to lose more LBM. Just thinking out loud there.

I agree with all the others. Throw your scale away and don't think about the number. It's how you look and feel. It sounds like you're doing great!

2
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on November 22, 2011
at 06:06 PM

Sounds like you look & perform great and eat healthy, but are stuck on the number on the scale. If you want to lose weight, you could lay off the workouts and let yourself lose some muscle, but I think that would be a shame!

With how are active you are though, I think your meals might be kinda small- do you feel satisfied from your meals? Maybe you aren't getting enough calories, or maybe it would be better to ditch the snack in favor of extra meat & veggies? I really don't think you're doing it wrong though- you seem much more disciplined than me! :)

1
2fdb7a6236b04bdfc3dacaf2bc236515

on November 22, 2011
at 10:41 PM

The scale means nothing. Go with how you feel. Maybe even get your body fat percentage checked--I'd be willing to bet that you'd be surprised at how lean you are.

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on November 23, 2011
at 03:16 PM

+1 for getting body fat % measured. I'm planning to do this because I too focus on that number on the scale. As I CrossFit more (I was sedentary at baseline), the weight loss slows. I know intellectually that I'm losing fat, muscle weighs more, etc; and subjectively I think I'm looking less fat, but I really like the clean objectivity of a NUMBER. Hoping that BF% will give me a new number to measure my progress/assess where I'm at.

1
724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

on November 22, 2011
at 06:06 PM

Agreed with everyone else. If you stopped working out, you'd lose a ton of muscle and you're weight would be lower, and presumably that's not really what you're going for.

You say you don't look fat and you feel like a rock star. So, who cares?

All that being said, if you actually do have some body fat you're trying to lose, maybe you aren't eating quite enough protein. It looks like you're eating about 8 oz. of meat and a couple of eggs a day. That's less protein than I eat, and I am most certainly not made of muscle and don't work out nearly as much as you (though I am taller). So, maybe try pumping up your protein a little (like, four eggs for breakfast or jerky as a snack) and see if that makes any difference. I know for some other women on this site that's done awesome things re: lowering body fat. (disclaimer: this is my second post today about protein and body fat, so clearly I'm on some kind of protein bender...)

Cfc7dee889a66db9cd76c4f348109294

(1652)

on November 22, 2011
at 07:23 PM

I'm very anti-scale number, so I mostly agree with the other posters if you look/feel great. But, you could try more protein, lightening on the crossfit (for cortisol reasons). You could try subbing in some protein for the almond butter some days (although, I'm guilty of pounding a jar/week of that stuff...).

C59f469d51da372100083ff164e8f943

on November 22, 2011
at 06:11 PM

Excellent advice, Krisha I will try that! I might cook some chicken breast and eat them as a snack too.

1
67f3387f0308b570c61944addedd183e

(112)

on November 22, 2011
at 06:02 PM

You cut out fructose but you are eating dried fruit and yam? Both have fructose, if not a lot in the case of yam.

Are you 'padded' anywhere? Belly? Big butt? Or just not skeletor? IF it were some belly fat I'd try decaf. But I just can't imagine those numbers being anything but healthy and bad-ass.

C59f469d51da372100083ff164e8f943

on November 22, 2011
at 06:09 PM

I only have the yams a couple of times a week and only for breakfast, and the dried fruit is a once in a while thing. Mostly veggies. I have large chest and butt areas, and a little padding on the stomach, but no rolls there if that makes any sense.

0
E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 22, 2011
at 11:06 PM

1) "very strict Paleo"

2) " breakfast, snack, launch, dinner"

3) snack, snack, snack,almonds,almonds,almonds.

Change that 3 points and you will drop the body-fat.

2 suggestions:

1) Eat fewer times a day. Once preferably. In the morning.

2) And don't be so "strict"

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on November 22, 2011
at 11:27 PM

How could eating more non-paleo foods possibly help?

E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 23, 2011
at 01:01 AM

sorry but you are wrong. Eating one meal =/= starving ( eating one shitty meal? maybe... so don't eat one shitty meal) Just eat, and then stop. simple.

C59f469d51da372100083ff164e8f943

on November 23, 2011
at 12:47 AM

While I do appreciate the advice, I think eating once a day would be detrimental to my health. I spent years starving myself by doing just that which led to my hyothyroid condition.

0
C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on November 22, 2011
at 10:21 PM

How do you look - do you look fat?

Answer Question


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