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Beginner needs advice on weight loss!

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  • Beginner needs advice on weight loss!

    Hi Everyone,

    I have only been doing Primal 100% effort for 2 weeks, but I am just utterly frustrated with my weight. I am a 41 year old 5'6" 155lb female. I am trying to lose 25 more lbs. I lost 20lbs in 8 months last year doing mostly vegetarian and pretty low fat. I was hungry and obsessed with food all the time, I was not happy, my hair was falling out, I exercised a lot, developed adrenal fatigue, etc. It was miserable. I added meat back into my diet the first of the year, but then gained 4lbs the first week. That is when I decided to give primal a full go. I lost 3 of the 4lbs that I gained the first week, but this week I gained 2lbs back! I was eating pretty low carb for the most part, even avoiding fruits. I don't cheat at all, except for 2 glasses of wine 2 nights per week; definitely under 100grams of carbs per day, mostly under 50grams. I am satisfied and never hungry, I don't obsess as much over food all day, I do feel more balanced mentally, but when I weighed myself this morning and saw I had GAINED 2lbs, I became very discouraged and thought it time to reach out for advise. I realize it has only been two weeks, but I have been faithfully dieting for almost a year now with very little weight loss to show for it and I am becoming disillusioned! Please help!! Am I doomed to be 155lbs of blubber fat for the rest of my life? has middle age gotten the best of me?
    This is my typical day of food:
    Tea with coconut milk creamer and stevia every morning
    3 eggs in small amount of butter
    8oz chicken breast with approx 3tbsp. mayo mixed with celery
    3 cups salad with approx 4tbsp. balsamic vinegarette dressing
    8oz steak and small salad or chicken soup

    I don't snack and I don't eat fruit everyday, but I do crave it. I had a grapefruit yesterday right before lunch, but most days, I resist the fruit.
    I exercise on average 2 days per week, doing resistance with weights, then 30minutes eliptical. I was exercising more prior, but I have inflammation in my back that I am trying to heal right now (had back surgery 2years ago)
    I read a lot, with so many varying opinions, so I am confused as to who to believe. I just want to relax, enjoy my life and not obsess about my weight anymore; I know I am no longer a teenager, and never was a supermodel; maybe my expectations of weight loss are too high? Am I too old now to be skinny again? Help this crazy lady, please!!! Thanks so much!

  • #2
    Hello, Theffler.

    I'm not an expert on Primal or weight-loss by any means. So bear that in mind if you take too much issue with this.

    Having said that, I do strongly believe that viewing the issue from the standpoint of weight rather than lean muscle mass is very backwards. (It's analogous to a company focusing on revenues rather than profits, so they cut the cost of their products below the production cost!)

    Remember that muscle is denser than fat, and therefore if you have a slim-but-toned person and then a slim-but-weak person (of the same volume), the slim-but-toned woman will actually weigh MORE....but probably look a heck of a lot better! (For instance, actress Linda Hamilton probably weighed a lot more in 'Terminator 2' than she did in 'Terminator 1', even though she was actually skinnier in 'Terminator 2'!)

    Speaking for myself, I literally don't even have a scale. But I'm relatively adherent to the PB and have been for several months, and I can tell you that my body is much leaner and more defined than it was before, without as many jiggly areas here and there. I might actually weigh MORE than I did before (in fact, I'd guess that I do), but I'm actually much thinner and leaner.

    Also, the tone of your post seems like you might be somewhat frantic and desperate about this. While I think that want and desire is great, if you allow this to go too far and become desperate and stressed-out, then your body will produce too much cortisol, which depletes muscle mass, make skin look more wrinkled and splotchy, and has all sorts of other deleterious effects on health.

    And, to achieve a leaner and more defined figure - speaking for myself - I simply cut out the carbs (keep them to a maximum of 100 per day) and the fat should, as Mark Sisson writes, effortlessly go away.

    How many carbs should I eat each day? | Mark's Daily Apple

    (Also, I do intermittent fasting, as well - 24 hours once per week, plus 16 hours here-and-there. I like to think that this clears out the carbs from my system and tells my body burning fat as its proper fuel source rather than glucose.)

    One final note: I think it's great that you want to be healthy and look good, but I doubt that anybody else is so judgmental and critical of your body as you are, so please don't feel as though everybody is casting horrible judgment on you. 99% of the time, I think that people are wrong about those fears. That's my opinion.


    • #3
      Try intermittent fasting. There are several systems, maybe look at Fast 5 or Eat Stop Eat.
      Welcome to the Fast-5 website | Fast-5 Life


      • #4
        here are my thoughts, sorry they are sorta random, but its everything i could think of to help you that has helped me..

        cut off the stevia and all that crap IMHO.. no subsititutes, we gotta get your body and mind off the sugar addiction.. you want your sugars to be natural like fruit sugars etc .. ill argue all day that in time we will find out stevia isnt good for us either, just like many have decided agave nectar is crap too.. remember its all refined and refining shortens the composition and lets your body burn it TOO fast..

        imho your breakfast needs more protien .. you need meat in there .. try to do the old 50g protien for breakfast method and within 30 minutes or so of waking up! it sounds like a lot, but keeps you FULL for a long time and well satisfied .. also gets that body burnin fat right away .. you may need 4-5 pieces of bacon and 3 eggs .. or a hamburger patty, etc.. and cook that stuff in bacon grease or coconut oil before butter (dairy)

        also, idk when you are eating dinner, but try to keep it 4-5+ hours before your bed time ...

        try IF'ing with just 2 meals a day perhaps .. i went a stretch with a BIG breakfast, and a lunch/dinner around 3pm, then no food til the next day.. wasnt on purpose, i simply was not hungry because i was eating fat and protien filled meals .. in fact when i get back to work in a couple weeks (recovering from surgery), i assume ill be doing this again

        also .. get some damn fat in there! lol .. try for 60-70% of your calories from fat .. it seems like you are trying too hard to eat leaner foods

        and ... lastly .. give up the wine . even 2 nights a week .. remember your body burns sugar/carbs/alcohol first before it burns fat .. that 2 times a week is 2 days that your body isnt burning your fat first ..

        RELAX ... just get 100% and stay focused, your body will adjust and the weight will slowly come offf .. give yourself 2 weeks off the scale, remember you can vary in weight 2-5lbs in a day or two ... its possible .. also important that you weigh yourself same time every day for consistency
        started at 310 July 23rd 2011 ... workin and workin!

        my journal -


        • #5
          I'm also a daily IF-er. Primal/paleo and IF have taken away the stress I once had about eating. I usually eat a meal somewhere between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM. On some days I will eat a second one before 8:00 PM, but that varies according to how much yummy fat I may have had in the first meal as well as if it was a day of lifting.

          Your meal sample does look too lean to me. I would drop the stevia for now and the wine and make sure you are getting enough good fats. Mayo ? Are you making your own or buying a processed one ? If it is a purchased one, then you are taking in nasty veggie oils and sugars. Check the label on your vinaigrette if you are using a pre-mixed version. Chicken soup ... canned or homemade ? If it's the canned or boxed type, ditch that too.
          Are you eating any other veggies other than a small salad ?

          And ... throw the scale away or at least put it in a place where you can't get to it easily !

          Your body has to adjust, especially if you were consuming a lot of sugars, processed foods, sodas, alcohol, etc. before. Our weight can vary a lot from one day to the next, so don't worry about it. Change will come.
          Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.


          • #6
            Thanks much, everyone! I will try to implement these suggestions. I do use store bought mayo, but my salad dressings are home made as well as my soups with veggies. I do eat other veggies, but not as regular as my typical 3 to 5 cup salads that I prefer. I was actually worried that I was getting too much fat between the 1/4 cup mayo in my chicken salad and my salad dressings I drench my salads in, but maybe I do need to reassess my food intake a little more carefully. Last year, I was so concerned about calories and fat restricting while being strict vegetarian, that I really am enjoying not fretting about how much I am eating, just enjoying the food. I appreciate all the advice!!


            • #7
              Me too!!!

              theffler. i am cracking up over here. i usually am just a reader but i signed up to respond to your thread which i found when i goggled "not losing weight on paleo".

              i am also 41. and i am also 5'6. and guess what. i am also 155 lbs. but as of today, i am 3 weeks and 2 days into my "new way of eating". (that is what my hubby calls it. he's doing it with me too, but for him, it is to lower his cholesterol.)

              i am going to start doing the intermittent fasting that some of the others have suggested to you. i feel that my diet is better than ever before (this isn't too difficult to guarantee as i love mcdonalds and have a thing for dunkin donuts coffee, cream and sugar please!, as well as baskin robbins coffee milkshakes. oh. and i bake for a living... when i'm working.) but i still am not dropping the lbs like i would expect.

              i have started reading about the if over on leangains. the guy says that he is, and i quote "the Internet's leading resource on intermittent fasting and all things related.". i haven't gotten deep enough into his blog to know whether that is or is not true. but what i do know is that he has a nice looking belly.

              anyways, i will post back to you if the if works for me. please let me know what you decide to try.

              oh! and i just ordered some of the things he recommends to take with the if-ing. i ordered the bcaa (i don't remember what it stands for) and another supplement that is supposed to help with fat loss.

              good luck to you!!!


              • #8
                I don't believe you.

                You probably don't really need to lose 25 pounds, you just need to reshape your composition. Read the above article, look at the pictures, and tell me you wouldn't be happy at 155 looking like she does. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.


                • #9
                  I second jfreaksho (excellent article btw!).

                  I'm 5'7" and weigh 201lbs. I'm restarting my Primal journey, but one thing I do have is muscle mass (admittedly it's alongside the fat mass, but that's not the point).

                  I'm currently squatting 50-70lbs once or twice a week, and bench pressing 50-60lbs. Working up to more of course. Last summer I did a month of Stronglifts and got to squats of 100lbs and deadlifts of 115lbs... I also do plenty of low intensity cardio. I'm a bellydancer (instructor and performer) and wear a US size 16.

                  When I got married 6yrs ago I was 153lbs, in a US size 8/10 .... but weak and malnourished (I have border line bulimia). I'd love to be that weight again ... or at least in that dress size, but this time I want the muscle ...

                  Don't be so hard on yourself. Look in the mirror, objectively and see yourself. Do you need to lose weight, or just fat? Don't worry about the scale (easier said than done), and concentrate on building muscle. Lean muscle takes up less space than fat, but weighs more.

                  Also, consider measuring yourself instead of weighing yourself...
                  "For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks." - Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

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