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New to paleo, lost 3 lbs the first week, now nothing. What am I doing wrong?

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  • New to paleo, lost 3 lbs the first week, now nothing. What am I doing wrong?

    Some background, before I started a week and a half ago I was 128lbs and 22.8% bodyfat. I'm 5'3. I'm now 125.4lbs and 20% bodyfat. I lost that in the first three days of doing Paleo. Ever since then...no change.

    I've been pretty strict on myself. My typical morning is usually an egg and a slice of bacon. Or if I workout that morning I do one of Mark's coconut pancakes topped with a few blueberries.

    I usually eat breakfast around 6, so around 9:30 I'll have about seven pecans. Then lunch is usually meat and veggie or a grilled chicken salad (no cheese and my own dressing). That'll satisfy me until almost 5 when I'll have 5 pecans until dinner around 6:30 or 7.

    Dinner is usually meat and veggie or lately everdaypaleo meatballs for the past two days. About an hour after dinner I will have 2 ounces of dark chocolate and a grapefruit with Nustevia on it. Then I'm done for the day.

    Is it because my body is getting used to the fat burning that I've stopped losing? Or because I'm close to ideal weight? Or do I need to cut out the tiny bit of chocolate and the grapefruit too?

    Thanks for the help!

  • #2
    Welcome Goldensparrow.

    This is VERY common. When switching from a carb focused diet to a fat focused diet there is a significant decrease in water retention leading to a sudden loss in overall weight. People, such as in your case, then tend to notice very little change and panic. Like you allude to, your body has not yet adapted to fat as the primary fuel source and you will typically only notice small losses or none at all. This is standard in most cases. You are at such an early stage in your adjustment to a NEW LIFESTYLE that there is no need for concern.

    From now on, stick with your current plan (perhaps add fattier meats into your diet) and use body fat percentage measurements (I believe you are already doing this?) combined with overall weight to monitor true fat loss.

    Keep going. Patience is the key.

    Martin
    Registry Fixer

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    • #3
      Patience, think about how insignificant one week is in the grand scheme of things. Be pumped that you lost 3lbs, now take it easy and don't tinker with your eating style just yet. I'd only worry if it's been a month or two without changes in body composition (forget the scale, I'm talking about the mirror, how your clothes fit, etc)

      Forget aesthetics too for a quick sec and take these coming weeks to notice internal changes, how is your mood, energy levels, are you happy eating this way, etc. They say moderate weight loss is about a pound a week, so consider yourself ahead of the game.
      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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      • #4
        I wouldnt really worry about it as Martin says. Give it 30 days before you review your progress, you will have stabilised by then and you'll get a more accurate picture of where you are.

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        • #5
          First, welcome to a new way of living - and that concept is important. This is about living well, not dieting for a time. That requires us to change our mindset, which is hard. Looking at things over the course of only two weeks is much too close a focus. Your body recomposition will occur over time, and it will not occur at a steady pace.

          Children don't grow steadily - there's a surge in appetite, followed by a surge in growth, and then things slow down and the body adjusts for a bit to the upkeep for its new size before things resume. Losing weight is much like that in reverse. You will lose in surges, then it will stall or plateau. You will find it may be difficult to maintain an average loss rate over a longer period of time as you get closer to your personal sweet spot. That doesn't mean you won't continue to lose fat - but losing fat and gaining muscle will make your body smaller, since fat is much less dense, and so occupies a lot less volume.

          Another factor is losing the glycogen stuffed in your muscles - it carries with it more water (by weight) than the mass of the glycogen itself. When you burn through that, the water sheds, too - so most of that early loss was probably water weight previously hidden inside your muscle tissues. That's not a bad thing - but it tends to be a bit deceptive on the scale in the beginning.

          As for the eating pattern, to lose fat you must be burning fat, which requires the body to be in a net energy deficit. You're eating around five times per day, while most of us eat nor more than three, and many of us only two times per day. You can eat the same volume of food (i.e., consume the same calories), but you need to get your body in the habit of tapping internal stores rather than being constantly supplied with external energy sources. Once you get that going, you will find that your appetite will change - you may even find (like many of us) it's easy to skip meals because you aren't hungry.

          Above all, give yourself time - you didn't get where you are overnight, and you won't change everything that fast, either. But you will change if you're just persistent, pay attention (keep records, or at least take notes, of what you change and the results, including how you feel), and take the long view.

          We're here to help - but none of us is exactly like you, so we can only make suggestions, while you have the heavy lifting of finding which ones work best for you.

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          • #6
            Thank you everyone for the encouragement. I figured I was looking at it too closely, but I didn't want to be shooting myself in the foot from the start lol.

            It was just so darn exciting to see those first 3lbs fall off. I just got carried away and then scared myself into a panic. I most definitely didn't get here overnight like Annlee said. I was 160 at my highest weight. That was about 4 years ago. So it's been a slow and steady race, but I've kept it off.

            And I really do want Paleo to by my lifestyle not just a diet. I knew that as soon as I realized how light I felt after three days of having no grains, dairy, etc. It's like they've been weighing me down literally this entire time.

            Now I haven't gotten the energy boost yet, but I hear that is to come. I've definitely been sluggish, and my workouts are almost unbearable right now to get through. The hardest part so far has been the not eating every 3 hours simply because it's habit for me. I'm going to definitely try to cut out those two snacks during the day. I have lived by the "3 hour diet" so to speak for over a year now, so it's hard. I love how I'm not starving every 3 hours now tho! That's why I say I only eat like 6-7 pecans here and there. I used to have to have a piece of fruit with peanut butter or cheese, etc. for my "snacks" before I found Paleo. I was always having to eat because I was perpetually hungry.

            Thanks again for the welcome and encouragement. I will keep everyone posted on my progress. I've even started myself a little blog to try to keep myself on track. I also thought it would be good to go back in look a year from now at how far I've come and how much I know I'm going to accomplish. Positive attitude right?

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            • #7
              I would cut back on the chocolate to 1/2 an ounce..the grapefruit is also carby. Switch it out forno kore than 1/2 cup of berries.

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              • #8
                Have you considered that you are at an ideal weight for your height?

                I am about your height and you weight less that my goal weight!

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                • #9
                  It's not so much the lbs I'm concerned about, but the bodyfat. My BF is high at 22%. I would like it to be around 19 or 20....possibly lower depending. I want to see my abs one day. If I'm nice and toned with some abs showing, then I could care less about the weight.

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                  • #10
                    Hi Golden and welcome!

                    I'd like to say... 22% is not HIGH for bodyfat. It may be a bit higher than you're wanting, which is fine. And shooting for 19 or 20 seems healthy as it's still in the range of healthy hormones! But... you're only looking at dropping around 2% bodyfat... which means your progress is going to look different than somebody who's trying to lose 15% bodyfat. You most likely will see small changes and slower changes.

                    As you know, at this point your weight is kind of meaningless. What is going to matter is your lean muscle mass and body fat changes and your size. Honestly at this point I'd give yourself a month or two to get the diet in order, switch your body to burning fat for fuel and get your energy back (which you will). Then focus on increasing your lean muscle mass with some weight training a couple of times a week and maybe a sprint session once a week. That's going to let you see those muscles you want a bit easier, I believe.

                    And do keep in mind that while we all have goals, sometimes your body wants to be in a certain place. 19% bodyfat may very well be something you can accomplish, but a place your body doesn't want to remain. Of course you won't know that until you get there, but it's good to be aware of our body's wishes, too.
                    sigpic "Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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                    • #11
                      Minxx, yeah I know it's not high, but I know that to see my abs it has to be lower. And you're right, it may not be maintainable even if I attain it. I really just want to see my abs before I have a baby in the next few years. Silly goal I know, but it's something I've always wanted ever since I began losing weight. I think Primal can get me there, though. Then I'll take a picture and let my body even itself back out haha!

                      I'm hoping the energy comes sooner rather than later. It would just be more encouraging to have a ton of energy even if the scale doesn't budge. I usually have low energy no matter how I'm eating, so this would be a real plus for me too.

                      I've been doing bodyweight training for a little over a year now with mostly Jillian Michaels DVDs, which really do kick my rear. I hope to put some sprinting in there once I get that load of energy I've been promised.

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                      • #12
                        i dropped from 22% to 20% in the first two weeks, then over the last 6 or so weeks, dropped another to 18-19% (it gives a range, so, say 18.5%). i'm happy here, and not trying to get leaner at this point. i'm 5 ft 7, can see my abs, and have no idea what i weigh.

                        i do know that my waist started at 28-28.5 inches, then dropped to 27 in those first two weeks, and i just measured myself today and it's now 26.5. so, that's cool.

                        my main thing is about eating well and feeling good (and staying young and healthy). i feel really good about this change, and i hate eating grains now.

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                        • #13
                          I think people have already said, but I'll emphasize, this is not a crash program kind of thing and all you should really focus on during the first month is how you feel, your sleep, digestion, etc. Paleo is not the fastest way to lose weight, it's just a better overall way to eat healthy, and learn about how your body reacts to certain foods, in the long term.
                          Also, I lose up to 4 lb just playing racquetball, and I lose about 2.5 lb while sleeping (deydration). I gain about 3 lb after a good heavy weight workout (muscles fill with water to recover). The scale is not an accurate measure of what's going inside of you on a day by day basis, and the BF% calculator on home bathroom scales is just worthless. Look at your pants fit, and your belt usage, on a month to month basis. That's an accurate measure.
                          If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                          • #14
                            Wow zoebird that's awesome! My body is stubborn, so it'll probably take me a bit longer. Plus, I'm 5'3. What I would give for some height!

                            I do feel good on the inside so far. I don't feel "heavy" like I used to with grains. I have some fogginess and lethargy, but as we've covered, it's to be expected.

                            Tfarny, funny you mentioned the pants thing because I was just noticing earlier today that my pants appear to be looser. Maybe I'm losing the inches first huh? I do intend to stick to it for the long run, but the progress is just so motivating. It's like a drug lol. And one of my many faults is impatience. I will try to learn some.

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                            • #15
                              i'm not sure what shortness has to do with it. 19% is 19% no matter how tall you are, you know? i don't think height makes a body more or less stubborn either. unless you mean you would just like some height for the sake of having it, which -- i admit -- is quite nice. i like being tall.

                              also, i'm post baby (my guy is 2.5 yo), and so it's possible to get your body back. i'd seen my ab definition before (as a vegan triathlete), but not for a bit before getting pregnant. and then it took me 14 months to get my body sorted (except my upper body, due to nursing, which naturally holds more fat to fuel that process), and then over the last year, it's really gone into overdrive of getting back to normal. and in the last 2-3 months, this lifestyle has really done well for me.

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