6

votes

Hack my stalled weight loss, please

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 04, 2011 at 11:51 PM

About me: 40 y.o., female. Mostly paleo since June of this year. I experienced an initial 10 lb weight loss and not a lb. more since. 5'6", 160 lbs. I carry a good bit of this weight in my midsection. I'm not obese, but I have some fat to lose.

I have been exercising intermittently, but I joined a new gym and am beginning a more regular routine - 3x week, weights plus some cardio. (I tried Crossfit, and liked it, but the box near me is pretty poorly managed, so it didn't work out.) I'm still pretty out of shape now, so I can't blame muscle weight for my 160 lbs.

A little more about my way of eating -- as I said, mostly paleo. I try to stick with pastured eggs/meats when possible. I've completely cut out gluten (made a huge difference for me in terms of IBS, and it's the main reason I continue to eat this way), eat very minimal sugar, and not much in the way of white potatoes/rice (I find they don't mess up my blood sugar much at all). No corn or soy. Lots of meat, eggs, veggies, and some fruit. I avoid most dairy but use cream (local, organic) in my coffee and eat the very occasional bit of cheese. I eat nuts infrequently.

Weaknesses include: a couple glasses of wine several times a week, and paleo baked goods -- I am a baker at heart, couldn't give that up. But I do keep it paleo, and watch my portions. I cook with ghee, pastured butter, bacon fat, and coconut oil.

Other possibly relevant info: I have Graves disease (autoimmune overactive thyroid) which I manage successfully with meds (Tapazole). Been on a low/moderate dose of Zoloft for more than a decade, although I'm attempting to get off it. I get pretty good sleep -- 7-8 hours a night.

Any tips? Based on this info, what would you recommend I try -- besides a time machine to revisit my body pre-kids at age 25? :) Thanks, all.

Edited to add: I supplement with a daily multivitamin, 1000 mg fish oil, 6000 iu vitamin D, and magnesium in the form of Natural Calm.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 05, 2011
at 02:29 PM

+1. Caloric restriction seems to be the sad necessity, especially for women, and especially as we get a little older.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 05, 2011
at 02:28 PM

I never had huge weight loss goals, just unhealthy ones (see profile). But I followed this protocol myself, and at 42 I'm pretty thin. Counting calories was a necessity. Cutting out all fruits except lemons, most starches, all nuts and all dairy except Kerrygold got me over my stall. I take my coffee black and my chocolate even blacker, I'm a noisy advocate of 100% dark.

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:45 PM

Thanks for sharing this. I totally don't want to think that this could be a solution for me, but...it's possible. I don't mind being 40 at all, but it's the aging part I don't like (which I realize makes no sense at all). Hormones are a bitch.

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:43 PM

I love this metaphor! I think would like to hire some sherpas to carry my extra weight. ;-)

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:40 PM

Ah, I get what you're saying. Thanks for clarifying!

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 05, 2011
at 11:15 AM

It varies with me, but an option I like is having a big steak with my eggs and bacon at lunch. It takes so long to digest that I'm not hungry all day and by the time I'm technically fasting I've already skipped a meal and broken the habit of eating. I'll go the whole rest of the next day too if I'm not busy.

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 05, 2011
at 11:11 AM

I guess more point more was that you want to take it easy because it really makes a big difference if you can be reach all-out maximum intensity occasionally. That's what pushes your body to adapt.

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on December 05, 2011
at 10:57 AM

I'm with TeaElf. I don't lose when I'm eating nuts regularly. I have to be very sparing with them.

559a1bf85bfe38a0fbbf56377c7278b4

(1548)

on December 05, 2011
at 02:33 AM

I have to admit I do have coffee with cream for breakfast. It doesn't make me hungry, so I think it must be OK.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on December 05, 2011
at 02:20 AM

I recommend a dinner high in fat. For me that would be 4 strips of bacon and 6 eggs, sometimes some other things. I also suggest eating dinner at normal time, whatever that is for you and going to bed early if you can. Fast starts when your done eating and you can end it when you want the following night. That way, you do not go a whole day without eating, even though you do go 24hrs. The break fast meal IMHO should also be high fat and veggies.

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:58 AM

Ah, interesting. Hopefully I can handle a little cream. Thanks.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:44 AM

Melissa, I've accidentally done a couple full-day fasts because I was busy and then I decided it was too late to eat (I risk GERD if I eat too late.) It was a pleasant surprise the next day, each time, that I was high energy and no more hungry than usual. That told me I really have re-learned the burn-stored-fat routine.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:42 AM

I don't like coconut milk in my coffee either. I do use heavy cream and it doesn't immediately take me out of my fast; you'll have to self-test to see if you can get away with cream or if it makes you hungry (a symptom you've dropped out of your burning-stored-fat fast.)

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:20 AM

Not gonna lie...the full day fast is scary to me. Although my appetite has decreased since going paleo, I do still get hungry (but only when I'm supposed to be hungry, as opposed to before, when I'd get snacky throughout the day). Will give it a go, though. Do you recommend a bigger dinner the night before a fast day, or do you just eat normally?

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:16 AM

When I was using daily nut meal, I gained. :)

A3f8b8cf6b1e665cacc38cb431631274

(111)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:58 AM

gotta agree with this one. Days off for your body make you feel great after you get over some initial hunger pangs. Makes me feel like i have gotten a full nights sleep just previously every hour of the day

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:45 AM

Yes, I'm not expecting to lose rapidly or constantly, but the scale has literally not budged. Or, I should say my clothes aren't fitting differently, which is my preferred way of measuring change. As far as exercise, I know overtraining can lead to too much stress on the body, and honestly I doubt I'll be at risk of overtraining. My primary goal is too exercise enough to feel good, and hopefully as a secondary result I'll start to look better and be stronger too.

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:39 AM

Well, without cream I get a stomachache. I tried it with coconut milk, and while I do love coconut milk, I do not love it in my coffee at all.

A3f8b8cf6b1e665cacc38cb431631274

(111)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:37 AM

Id stick with the eggs, the nutritional profile is much more complete. If anything i would add a filler green like spinach to slow down the rate of absorption into your intestines. Fiber is a neat little way to add some time to the feeling of fullness at any meal

A3f8b8cf6b1e665cacc38cb431631274

(111)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:35 AM

can you have it without cream? Try some coconut milk or cream in it. You get the benefit of MCT's as well

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:27 AM

Yeah, it seems that some people end up having to watch calorie intake after all -- I am hoping I'm not one of them, but who knows... Question about IF -- does coffee w/ cream count? I could do without breakfast, but I don't know how I feel about giving up the morning coffee.

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:25 AM

Perhaps I'll give up the almond meal for a while and see how it goes. Giving up the wine will be a last resort ;) My usual breakfast is 2-3 eggs cooked in bacon fat or butter with some sausage or bacon. I will give the meat-only brekkie a try.

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:22 AM

I don't know that I will ever adapt to cardio, as I hate it passionately. But I see what you're saying.

A3f8b8cf6b1e665cacc38cb431631274

(111)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:12 AM

Not a fan of crossfit at all, i can only advise you to be very careful. Most people i have trained can continue a good trend of weight loss through the use of a good weights program. From what you have mentioned i would say right off the bat your body has adapted to the cardio characteristics of your routine. Its freakishly good at it.

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:08 AM

OK, so I had been doing Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred 3x a week for a little while, and that was moderate cardio mixed with weights and pushups and the like (I never picked up anything heavier than an 8lb dumbbell). At the gym I just joined I'm planning to do a variety of classes, including crosstraining, sculpture (minimal cardio + weight/resistance but nothing super heavy), yoga, and possibly spinning. They have a Crossfit-esque program which I want to try, but it's separate from my membership and I need to look into it further.

A3f8b8cf6b1e665cacc38cb431631274

(111)

on December 04, 2011
at 11:55 PM

Could you give a bit more detail into your fitness routine? eg; what kind of cardio and how long, what type of weight training and when

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6 Answers

7
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:18 AM

As soon as you mentioned baked goods, I thought, "Nut meal!" Even if you don't use sweeteners of any kind, you're getting a full serving of nuts in every portion. Now, I don't claim that's the problem but it could be.

Anytime someone complains of a weight stall, I think of 2 things: first, and I'm sure you know this, eating ancestrally is not necessarily a weight loss regime particularly if you include alcoholic drinks and a significant amount of nuts. Second, the first thing I'd try is a large breakfast of nothing but fatty meat. That should take the edge off your physical hunger and fire up your metabolism so it doesn't nag you for carbs right away.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:16 AM

When I was using daily nut meal, I gained. :)

A3f8b8cf6b1e665cacc38cb431631274

(111)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:37 AM

Id stick with the eggs, the nutritional profile is much more complete. If anything i would add a filler green like spinach to slow down the rate of absorption into your intestines. Fiber is a neat little way to add some time to the feeling of fullness at any meal

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:25 AM

Perhaps I'll give up the almond meal for a while and see how it goes. Giving up the wine will be a last resort ;) My usual breakfast is 2-3 eggs cooked in bacon fat or butter with some sausage or bacon. I will give the meat-only brekkie a try.

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on December 05, 2011
at 10:57 AM

I'm with TeaElf. I don't lose when I'm eating nuts regularly. I have to be very sparing with them.

5
3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 04:07 AM

This probably won't be a popular answer on this site but I found after a year of strict paleo and keeping carbs to about 50per day (eating meat and veggies, no fruit, some coconut, fats: butter, coconut oil and olive oil, avocados) that I gained weight and couldn't lose any weight on paleo without counting calories. I went to Japan for a month and ate mostly fish and steamed veggies and just ate a whole lot less cos I was working so much--like about 1200 calories a day cos everything is marked there for calories and it's much easier to know what you're taking in--plus there are many more options for low calorie foods. I also ate more carbs but still not a lot--and ate some miso and soy sauce, sesame oil. I lost a nice chunk of weight on the caloric restriction and am now pretty convinced at just how much calories really do matter. And as a 44 year old woman, I don't think I have as many calories to play around with and suspect many other women over 40 can't eat the calories they used to be able to. Take that for what it's worth, but I think you should count calories and suspect that the ghee, butter, bacon fat and coconut fat you're taking in are putting your calories too high and you'd do better on lean meats, fish and steamed veggies with less than a tsp fat per meal. And yes, during my paleo year I was taking fish oil, D3, sleeping 8 hours, sprinting, lifting weights 1-2x/wk--everything else dialed in. I'm still paleo and trying to eat more fish and chicken since it's hard to keep myself from gaining weight with the higher fat stuff.

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:45 PM

Thanks for sharing this. I totally don't want to think that this could be a solution for me, but...it's possible. I don't mind being 40 at all, but it's the aging part I don't like (which I realize makes no sense at all). Hormones are a bitch.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 05, 2011
at 02:29 PM

+1. Caloric restriction seems to be the sad necessity, especially for women, and especially as we get a little older.

4
559a1bf85bfe38a0fbbf56377c7278b4

on December 05, 2011
at 12:21 AM

I lost a lot of weight cutting out grains, limiting carbs and eating paleo. After losing about 30lb I stalled. A couple of things got me losing weight again (1) I had to increase carbs from about 25g too about 50g, because of the cortisol effects; (2) making sure protein was moderate, to avoid getting extra glucose from any excess of protein and (3) checking how much I was eating, in other words, counting calories, which meant that most of my energy was from fat but that this was limited too. In particular, I cut out nuts, as they are too more-ish.

I also took up IF, eating between 1 pm and 8-9pm.

Since then, I have lost another 15lb, more slowly than the first 30lb.

I check what I eat on Fitday from time to time - totting up the calorie count can be surprising.

A3f8b8cf6b1e665cacc38cb431631274

(111)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:35 AM

can you have it without cream? Try some coconut milk or cream in it. You get the benefit of MCT's as well

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:27 AM

Yeah, it seems that some people end up having to watch calorie intake after all -- I am hoping I'm not one of them, but who knows... Question about IF -- does coffee w/ cream count? I could do without breakfast, but I don't know how I feel about giving up the morning coffee.

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:39 AM

Well, without cream I get a stomachache. I tried it with coconut milk, and while I do love coconut milk, I do not love it in my coffee at all.

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:58 AM

Ah, interesting. Hopefully I can handle a little cream. Thanks.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:42 AM

I don't like coconut milk in my coffee either. I do use heavy cream and it doesn't immediately take me out of my fast; you'll have to self-test to see if you can get away with cream or if it makes you hungry (a symptom you've dropped out of your burning-stored-fat fast.)

559a1bf85bfe38a0fbbf56377c7278b4

(1548)

on December 05, 2011
at 02:33 AM

I have to admit I do have coffee with cream for breakfast. It doesn't make me hungry, so I think it must be OK.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 05, 2011
at 02:28 PM

I never had huge weight loss goals, just unhealthy ones (see profile). But I followed this protocol myself, and at 42 I'm pretty thin. Counting calories was a necessity. Cutting out all fruits except lemons, most starches, all nuts and all dairy except Kerrygold got me over my stall. I take my coffee black and my chocolate even blacker, I'm a noisy advocate of 100% dark.

2
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on December 05, 2011
at 12:51 AM

Add in ONE fasting day a WEEK and see how it goes. You should have a measurable difference on your belly circ after two weeks as long as the day you measure is not right before(or during) your period. Don't overeat the following day. This will take care of any protein up-downregulation issues, help your insulin sensitivity, clear your bloodstream of carbs, lower your daily caloric intake for ALL DAYS of that week (when you divide out the calories), up your norepinephrine levels, etc. It will NOT cause your body to go into 'starvation mode' or any other such nonsense.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:44 AM

Melissa, I've accidentally done a couple full-day fasts because I was busy and then I decided it was too late to eat (I risk GERD if I eat too late.) It was a pleasant surprise the next day, each time, that I was high energy and no more hungry than usual. That told me I really have re-learned the burn-stored-fat routine.

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:20 AM

Not gonna lie...the full day fast is scary to me. Although my appetite has decreased since going paleo, I do still get hungry (but only when I'm supposed to be hungry, as opposed to before, when I'd get snacky throughout the day). Will give it a go, though. Do you recommend a bigger dinner the night before a fast day, or do you just eat normally?

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on December 05, 2011
at 02:20 AM

I recommend a dinner high in fat. For me that would be 4 strips of bacon and 6 eggs, sometimes some other things. I also suggest eating dinner at normal time, whatever that is for you and going to bed early if you can. Fast starts when your done eating and you can end it when you want the following night. That way, you do not go a whole day without eating, even though you do go 24hrs. The break fast meal IMHO should also be high fat and veggies.

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 05, 2011
at 11:15 AM

It varies with me, but an option I like is having a big steak with my eggs and bacon at lunch. It takes so long to digest that I'm not hungry all day and by the time I'm technically fasting I've already skipped a meal and broken the habit of eating. I'll go the whole rest of the next day too if I'm not busy.

A3f8b8cf6b1e665cacc38cb431631274

(111)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:58 AM

gotta agree with this one. Days off for your body make you feel great after you get over some initial hunger pangs. Makes me feel like i have gotten a full nights sleep just previously every hour of the day

0
C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

on December 05, 2011
at 11:02 AM

I like to lose weights in stages. Right now, I'm holding steady after losing 20 lbs since June. I need to get serious again because I've been holding at about 155 for about 2 months. My gut instinct though (yes, very unscientific, I know) is that it's good for my body to get used to the new weight before moving on. Kind of like the base camps on Mt. Everest, hee hee hee.

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:43 PM

I love this metaphor! I think would like to hire some sherpas to carry my extra weight. ;-)

0
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:27 AM

I'd not worry about losing weight constantly, but you same as with any 'diet' you want to try and get some momentum and have several good days in a row - in our case just good whole foods, meats, veg, fats and skip the nuts and baked goods etc. You don't have to give them up, just don't eat them every day (I don't know if you actually do, but I know I do given the opportunity!)

Exercise-wise, it shouldn't take much. Do the classes if you enjoy them and you don't find it too exhausting and interfering with your sleep and focus, but one day a week of intense cardio (ie. unable to continue after 15 minutes) and one day of heavy weights (or preferably bodyweight exercise) that is similarly intense. You can push these out to 20-30 minutes, but the important thing for increasing fitness and triggering fat loss is to put everything into them and make it as intense as possible. Outside of that, just walk as much as is convenient (or gentle cycle etc.)

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 05, 2011
at 11:11 AM

I guess more point more was that you want to take it easy because it really makes a big difference if you can be reach all-out maximum intensity occasionally. That's what pushes your body to adapt.

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:40 PM

Ah, I get what you're saying. Thanks for clarifying!

9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

(40)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:45 AM

Yes, I'm not expecting to lose rapidly or constantly, but the scale has literally not budged. Or, I should say my clothes aren't fitting differently, which is my preferred way of measuring change. As far as exercise, I know overtraining can lead to too much stress on the body, and honestly I doubt I'll be at risk of overtraining. My primary goal is too exercise enough to feel good, and hopefully as a secondary result I'll start to look better and be stronger too.

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