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Girlfriend isn't getting results--what could be wrong?

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  • Girlfriend isn't getting results--what could be wrong?

    My girlfriend has been eating primal for the last few months (I'd say 4-5). While she says she feels much better, she looks relatively the same. Her acne persists and she hasn't seemed to have lost much in belly fat.

    I thought maybe she needed to get into weight training, so I got her on that but she's hit a brick wall in terms of strength gains. She hasn't gotten about 105 lbs in the past 4 times we've trained. She hasn't overhead pressed anything higher than the bar in any of our sessions. She still can't do a push up or a pull-up (though she tries to do push ups, and she does a bent arm hang on the pull up bar). I can tell the dedication from her isn't as serious as mine, but she is trying.

    I know this doesn't give a ton of info, but I'm wondering if it's a couple things:

    1. She doesn't eat enough and her body is hanging onto the belly fat. She comes home a lot and says she's not hungry enough to eat dinner sometimes, even though she's only had a protein shake for breakfast and a primal lunch (say, sausage and carrots in a decent sized portion). So with the way she eats plus the physical activity, her body literally can't let go of the belly fat because she isn't eating enough.

    2. She isn't actually eating as primal as I think. We don't live together so I only see a couple meals she eats per week. She LOVES ice cream, nutella, etc, and I've seen it in her freezer/fridge before when I came over, so I suppose there is the potential that she just eats primal in front of me.

    3. It just takes longer to see serious definition than it does to lose serious body fat. When I see success stories of primal it seems like it's mostly guys who have gone from having big guts to looking like fit people--I rarely see the "just a little extra" girl turn into the incredibly fit crossfit-looking girl. So maybe under a bit of outward fat, there is serious muscle being built and it will be another couple months to shed the outward body fat.

    Lastly, one thing that bothers me is she says she is always tired. I know for a fact she gets 7.5-8 hours/sleep per night, sometimes more. I honestly thought she had a sleep disorder or low iron or something, but everything was just fine when she went in for tests.

    Any other thoughts on this? I just get really discouraged reading forums where ladies who have switched to primal and heavy lifting, and they describe getting incredibly awesome results, and she hasn't gotten anything. I'd like to help her with as many tips as I can.

  • #2
    If she's not losing weight (but needs to) then she's simply eating too much. No amount of "clean" is going to compensate for a caloric surplus.

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    • #3
      She's cheating on you.

      On food, I mean.

      Also, she still can't do a single pushup?

      Sent via F-22 Raptor

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      • #4
        She isn't eating primal. Lol she just wants to impress you XD


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        • #5
          Yes, it's a show. She's happy you have something to do together. She'd probably prefer to just go for a walk.


          She doesn't eat enough and her body is hanging onto the belly fat. She comes home a lot and says she's not hungry enough to eat dinner sometimes, even though she's only had a protein shake for breakfast and a primal lunch (say, sausage and carrots in a decent sized portion). So with the way she eats plus the physical activity, her body literally can't let go of the belly fat because she isn't eating enough.
          That, and her persistent acne, mean she's stopping for burgers/junk on the way home.
          Crohn's, doing SCD

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          • #6
            Don't force your gf into eating primal. It would just make her more stubborn...


            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free
            ------
            HCLF: lean red meat, eggs, low-fat dairy, bone broth/gelatin, fruits, seafood, liver, small amount of starch (oatmeal, white rice, potatoes, carrots), small amount of saturated fat (butter/ghee/coconut/dark chocolate/cheese).

            My Journal: gelatin experiments, vanity pictures, law school rants, recipe links


            Food blog: GELATIN and BONE BROTH recipes

            " The best things in life are free and the 2nd best are expensive!" - Coco Chanel

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            • #7
              Originally posted by apoclater View Post

              3. It just takes longer to see serious definition than it does to lose serious body fat. When I see success stories of primal it seems like it's mostly guys who have gone from having big guts to looking like fit people--I rarely see the "just a little extra" girl turn into the incredibly fit crossfit-looking girl. So maybe under a bit of outward fat, there is serious muscle being built and it will be another couple months to shed the outward body fat.
              This. This WOE doesn't work like magic for women who just have a little bit of weight to lose. When all you have to lose is vanity weight, it's f**king hard, and you'll most likely have to count calories.

              That said, there is probably something wrong with her training program if she's stalling this early on.

              My journal

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              • #8
                1. Definitely one possibility. Skipping a meal isn't a big thing and for some people, IF (fasting) can help with the weight loss. Though they were just examples, the food choices could be better. Protein shakes are very hit or miss, most have some ingredients that I have objection to, and are artificial food, which isn't a good replacement for actual food. Again, with sausages, short of you grinding your own, most have crappy fillers and are high in omega-6s.

                2. This is also a major possibility and is a quick way to deep six fat loss and other benefits.

                3. Go google Staci and nerdfitness. While it is possible for women to make the transition, it does take a substantial amount of work for most of them, due to differing hormone levels (i.e, guys will add more relative amounts of muscle faster than females).

                4. What tests did she get in regards to sleep issues? Like sleep apnea sleep study sort of thing? Or just some blood work done? As there are many potential causes of poor sleep and being tired. Mark has a few articles out about how to improve your sleep, which are definitely good places to start.

                Other than that, is she squatting or doing any other compound lifts in the gym? Or sprinting?
                turquoisepassion - I MUST KNOW ALL THE THINGS

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                • #9
                  3. It just takes longer to see serious definition than it does to lose serious body fat. When I see success stories of primal it seems like it's mostly guys who have gone from having big guts to looking like fit people--I rarely see the "just a little extra" girl turn into the incredibly fit crossfit-looking girl. So maybe under a bit of outward fat, there is serious muscle being built and it will be another couple months to shed the outward body fat.
                  Women of reproductive age are not supposed to look cut or incredibly fit. It takes more than a healthy diet and exercise to get there. Fitness models and the like work really hard to look like that and they are above all athletes, and generally have been at it for far longer than a few months. So yeah, ice cream and nutella aren't helping, but even if she ditched those, she still is most likely not going to look cut.

                  My suggestion is that if you really like the cut, lean hard girls, that you find one that already looks like that because for most women, achieving that is painfully difficult and requires an extreme level of dedication. Ditching crap foods, dairy and grain, lifting heavy things, the occasional sprint etc. will get you healthy, but for most women, it won't get you to 20% and below body fat.
                  Last edited by magnolia1973; 09-30-2013, 03:36 PM.

                  http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                  Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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                  • #10
                    ^^^ That was a great post!

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                    • #11
                      I'm guessing that she is going on sugar binges when you are not around. This would explain the lack of fat loss and the Insulin surges leading to her bouts of tiredness.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by apoclater View Post
                        3. It just takes longer to see serious definition than it does to lose serious body fat. When I see success stories of primal it seems like it's mostly guys who have gone from having big guts to looking like fit people--I rarely see the "just a little extra" girl turn into the incredibly fit crossfit-looking girl. So maybe under a bit of outward fat, there is serious muscle being built and it will be another couple months to shed the outward body fat.
                        It takes a VERY long time to see any kind of serious definition and it also takes a heck of a lot of dieting. The reason you see more male success stories like that is because it works much easier for me. To look like an incredibly fit crossfit-looking girl takes a lot more dedication than many women have, especially by our 40s.

                        Originally posted by apoclater View Post
                        I just get really discouraged reading forums where ladies who have switched to primal and heavy lifting, and they describe getting incredibly awesome results, and she hasn't gotten anything. I'd like to help her with as many tips as I can.
                        I'm in my late 40s and I have gotten incredibly awesome results, but if you saw me walking down the street you'd probably not even notice me. You'd probably just see a slightly overweight middle-aged short woman if you saw me at all. You'd have no idea I've ever squatted my bodyweight or deadlifted my boyfriend's bodyweight. You'd never see my abs, but I can feel them so I'm the only one who knows they are there. You'd never notice the definition on my arms but man I sure do. Those upper arms have vexed me my entire life and now they are firm and little muscles move around that I can see. I feel a lot better in my body, too, even though it looks pretty much the same. That's the biggest awesome of all.

                        I have worked hard for a year and pressing the empty bar sometimes is all I can manage. Pressing sucks. It just does. It doesn't go anywhere for me. It goes up for a while, then comes crashing down. The most I have pressed is 67.5lbs for one rep. The other day I did 65lbs for 2 reps. It's just too random.
                        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                        • #13
                          How does SHE feel about her diet, exercise, body composition? Did she ask you for help? Does she feel cared for/loved by you for who she is or does she feel like she's not "awesome" or lean enough for you?

                          If she wants help have HER reach out here. If you think she isn't good enough as she is then cut her loose and find the "awesome success" you seem to want/need.

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                          • #14
                            What blood work did she have done? Did she check her thyroid and cortisol levels? Inability to lose weight and being tired are both signs of low thyroid and low cortisol. BTW is she is low in these IF is not a good idea.
                            Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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                            • #15
                              If she is keeping primal full time (and not cheating heaps) then she needs to eat more, more than she thinks she does, especially more protein.

                              Secondly, be patient! And stop looking at fitspo!
                              The Paleo Strongwoman - A site dedicated to strength, and feeding strength.

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