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Am I doing something wrong?

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  • Am I doing something wrong?

    I'm a 5'4" female. I went primal at the beginning of January, with a starting weight of 189 lbs. I dropped 4 lbs the first week and 2 lbs the next week. Since then, I've been bouncing back and forth between 181 and 183. I can't seem to break through 181.

    I'm not tracking meals every day, but am logging on FitDay intermittently, to keep an eye on what I'm eating. I'm averaging 65% fat, 25% protein and 10% carbs. Average daily calories were 1150 until last week - in the last several days I've tried to increase that a bit, in case the problem is too few calories. I'm eating when hungry and stopping when full, so taking in more calories has been a bit of a challenge. I'm currently eating more like 1500 - 1600 calories/day.

    Health is my #1 priority, but weight loss is, right now, a huge component of regaining health. I feel like I should be losing weight, not stalling after only six pounds lost.

    What am I doing wrong?
    Last edited by jnmarz30; 02-09-2011, 07:37 AM.

  • #2
    Are you getting any exercise? Drinking coffee or other caffeine? Overdoing nuts, fruit or dairy? How are your sleep and your stress levels?

    Can you post a few days' food log and your exercise plan? That could help us help you. But, I will say, I've been losing weight with this way of eating for more than six months and I've had many a week where no weight came off. A little bit of extra exercise usually helps though, and being super-vigilant for a few days on the eating.


    • #3
      It really does not count as a stall if you've been on it five weeks and lost six pounds. Weight loss is rarely linear. Just give it time. If you stick at within two pounds of the same weight for, say, three months, call it a stall and ask again.
      The Primal Journey of Mr and Mrs Fist


      • #4
        I hardly lost any weight at first, but ate well and started exercising and lifting. Now, (and I know I shouldn't be doing this, but it is so much fun!) I am losing a half pound almost every day. Once I had more muscle mass the weight is just falling off. My pants were too big after a week and a half of PB, but the weight was steady. Now the pants are still too big (too lazy to buy new ones when I know the new ones will be too big eventually too) and I weigh less. I started PB right before the new year and have lost 7 pounds, but the last 4 pounds have come off in the last two weeks.

        Maybe you just need more muscle mass to get things really going? My arms are looking great, my legs are looking less gross (I won't quite commit to great yet) and my core is getting stronger. It took a little while, but I'm really glad I stuck with it.

        You can do it! You're totally going to break 180!


        • #5
          So, be patient? But I'm so impatient! I was spoiled by the big loss that first week, even though I knew it wouldn't keep up at that pace.

          I currently do high-energy dance (I'm on a performance clogging team) 4 - 6 hours each week. That's the extent of my formal exercise at the moment (cold and snow outside), although I also practice dance steps/routines daily (not long, 10 - 30 minutes total). I actually have pretty good muscle mass, especially in my legs. I'm strong and pretty aerobically fit for my weight.

          I've been taking it easy with dairy, nuts and fruit, though I am eating some of all three. I have two cups of coffee/day, with cream (~1.5 tbsp. of cream, total). I occasionally have a couple ounces of raw, sharp cheddar cheese (not every day). I occasionally (also not every day) have a few ounces of walnuts or almonds. I allow myself a small bowl of cherries and blueberries (<1 c., total) with a tbsp. or two of whipped cream, 2 - 3 times/week. I was actually eating a lot more berries, cheese and cream in the first couple of weeks, when I was seeing consistent loss! I've been trying to phase them out.

          This is a typical day that I logged on FitDay:
          1.5 tbsp. cream (in coffee)
          2 links, breakfast sausage (nitrite/nitrate free)
          1 slice cooked eggplant, with beef, cheese and tomato
          2 halves, deviled eggs
          4 oz. pork chop
          1/4 mixed veggies (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower) with butter

          Breakdown: 62% fat, 29% protein, 9% carb


          • #6
            Your food & macros look great! 6 lbs in a month is fantastic, so do relax...remember that the initial loss is mostly water weight. Optimal fat loss for most people is about 1 pound a week, so you are right on target. Our bodies need time to adjust metabolically, truly!

            Make sure your vitamin D is sufficient.

            If you do stall for at least a month, then I would suggest dropping your carbs down to 5% of your total calories. Read this.
            And if that doesn't help, post again--lots of support here!

            Our metabolisms are so individual, it really is a matter of trial and error to see what works for you.
            Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
            Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
            Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article


            • #7
              Motivate yourself with mark's work out plan. Avoid the scale for 6 weeks, and track your progress on push ups, pull ups and air squats.

              It will give you that self esteem boost to keep going and by week 6 you should like how you look in the mirror enough to not care about the scale.
              If your food is fast, maybe you should fast.


              • #8
                Thank Ms. Batty for this:

                The takeaway, stay off the scale.
                Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.


                • #9
                  Yeah, the big initial loss is very typical for starting any low carbohydrate diet. Some of it is fat, but some of it is water too:

                  Your body stores glycogen (a sort of starch) for energy in its muscle and liver tissue. Each of those glycogen molecules is bound with water molecules. So, when your body depletes it's glycogen stores in the initial phase of low carb eating, it also dumps the water that is bound up with the glycogen. Presto! Drastic weight loss. After the initial water loss, weight loss continues at a more gradual pace.

                  Anyway, it looks like you're doing great! Keep it up, and good luck!
                  The Primal Holla! Eating fat. Getting lean. Being awesome.

                  You were sick, but now you're well, and there's work to do. - Kilgore Trout


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the encouragement and reassurance, I really appreciate it. I've been feeling let down because there was a little while there when I felt like, "Wow, I've lost close to 10 pounds already!" and I was really high on that. Then the number started bouncing back and forth, and it took the wind out of my sails. Overall, I feel great and I'm really happy with eating this way. I'll try to stay off the scale for a while!


                    • #11
                      Okay, so, you all were right. I'm still losing and I was just impatient. I haven't given up the scale completely yet, but I'm cutting back. And I'm down somewhere around 178/179 right now, so I busted through the 181. I just wanted to thank you all again for the encouragement and reminders to be realistic!