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Wandering around on a plateau

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  • Wandering around on a plateau

    Hello to all. As you can see I've just registered as a forum member here on Mark's Daily Apple. I have been reading various threads over the course of the past few months whilst making a start on following the Primal Blueprint. Clearly there is a lot of experience and a lot of success stories to be found here in what appears to be a very active community. So to start with I just want to say Hi!

    My name is Marty, I'm a 46-year-old, 5'10" tall guy living in London UK who is now making a concerted effort to turn around a 12 year period of decline in his general fitness (and no doubt his health too) to do so I have been progressively adopting more of the Primal Blueprint laws since August 2009.

    I have experienced weight loss of up to 18 lbs from a starting weight of 208 lbs and my body fat has dropped from 30% to 24%.

    I am now no longer eating any grain or sugar derived/based product at all (exception being that the meat I am eating is not grass fed).

    I would describe my current diet as being more akin to the induction phase of the Atkins program, where I am eating meat and fish, nuts, eggs, some fruit (apples, berries), coffee and tea, very few vegetables, two bottles of red wine a week

    I walk for one hour/day, on average 4 - 5 days/week.

    I have just started a weight training program in the gym.

    I do not currently have a regular sprint program

    Despite my initial weight loss and fat percentage decrease I have now reached that unenviable position where I no longer seem to be able to lose weight. In fact if anything I'm fluctuating up and down (in a 4 -5 lbs range) and have been doing so for some weeks now.

    Albeit there are some laws of the Primal Blueprint that I have not yet fully complied with I have been under the impression that what I was doing would continue in seeing me lose weight until I reached my final goal.

    When I was in my early 30s I was extremely lean, muscular and very fit, weighing in at less than 160 lbs. The irony is that I developed and maintained that physique using the Low fat, Chronic Cardio and overtraining with weight methods, that Mark so frowns upon.

    So as my frustration continues to mount with my lack of progress using primal methods my mind is constantly wandering back to the techniques and routines I used during that period of my life.

    So before I stray from the path of Grok, I was hoping that somebody else may have experienced the same issues I'm now going through and could possibly point out where I might be going wrong. I did experience a similar plateau when undertaking the Atkins diet many years ago. I have to admit it is somewhat discouraging to keep doing what worked before but not get the same results.

    Thank you in anticipation of any help you can offer.


  • #2

    This might help:

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull


    • #3

      I would look at doing a HIIT program ASAP. This will knock you out of the plateau.


      • #4

        Wait for the hormone changes from your weight training program to kick in before getting too discouraged.

        In the mean time seriously consider some IFs as per Serial's link.

        How many nuts are you consuming? They are very easy to over do it on.

        Don't be a paleotard...


        • #5

          Once you get weight training and sprinting, the fat will melt off.

          Lower the fruit, increase the veggies.


          • #6

            The alcohol seems like an easy place to cut back as well...


            • #7



              • #8

                At the beginning of my PB life I too was eating maybe an apple a day, a glass of wine every night, some 'dessert' and nuts as my easy-to-eat-in-the-car-on-the-move fat source. It seemed scary to get rid of these staples, also because they're my comfort foods. Like, "I can go primal EXCEPT for these things! But they're primal anyway, right? hope hope hope"

                I since got more serious; got rid of the wine, got rid of the nuts completely (to easy to overdo), got rid of the apples completely (only veggies) except for MAYBE a 1/2 cup of frozen wild blueberries with some coconut milk for dessert sometimes. And actually, I've started to lose my cravings for these things at night. I think it's a combo of eating better and balancing blood sugar AND breaking the HABIT of eating these things every day. I occasionally still have a weak moment and eat something not-so-primal, but OMG my heart starts to race so I stop right then!

                The other night I was sitting on my couch and the thought hit me, "It's time for dessert. Hmm, nah, I'm good." was TIME for dessert.

                Cut out the alcohol, keep drinkin tea all night if you have to keep your face busy.

                Drop the nuts and fruit too. I always used fruit b/c it was easy to grab, keep in the car, eat in the car etc but veggies are easy too. Broccoli spears are easy to eat, zucchini slices, celery! All non-messy, hand-held veggies. New habits form and you CAN adapt, I promise!

                Keep us posted!!


                • #9

                  WOW! You guys are truly awesome. I've never had such a rapid, numerous and helpful set of responses from an initial forum post in all my 'online life' ;-)

                  So in response to the various suggestions to help me 'move on':

                  Serial Sinner / chima_p

                  I have just done a 24 hr IF right off the back of your posts. Got harder as the hours drew longer, but not impossible. I'll continue this practice as per PB


                  Attempted starting HIIT today but I had just done legs in my weight training and they felt like the effort needed was a real reach. Will set this in motion over the course of the next week though.


                  Glad to hear that the weight work is a key piece to the puzzle, it's something that I am used to doing so there is a comfort factor in focussing on this PB law.


                  I was hoping that my booze intake might slip under the radar...but nevermind ;-) I guess alcohol just puts the fat burning on hold while it's in your system. I will drop it until my fat % gets to where I want it to be.


                  All your comments had resonance...LOL Having dumped a whole bunch ňf conventional wisdom foods I have been holding onto what I considered as the next best things; fruits, nuts, red wine etc.

                  Thanks again so much everyone for all your inputs. I will now re-double my efforts and hopefully the 'Great Fat Melt' will begin again earnest.


                  • #10

                    There are a few times on my weight loss spreadsheet where I experienced the same thing as you. I've kept notes each weigh-in to record any non-primal meals, stress in life, etc. Sometimes I can understand why I plateaued and other times I can't. There are weeks where I did everything right and still didn't lose weight (once I even GAINED!). But I stuck with it and didn't let myself become overly discouraged and always ended up breaking free of the plateau eventually. "It all comes out in the wash," as they say.

                    Anyway, point of my reply: Hang in there. I know what it feels like to stand on the scale after X amount of time of doing your best and not having a number that reflects your efforts, but sometimes that's just the way it goes. It's a hard journey, but it's worthwhile, so keep at it & don't give up!