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Advice & help needed re: fat loss - what should I do?

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  • Advice & help needed re: fat loss - what should I do?

    I've made a commitment to primal/paleo as a lifestyle choice - former vegetarian, now about two months primal, very happy with the prospect of a life of this - but also, and I hate myself for writing this, I have been trying for the last month specifically to lose weight to be able to fit into a half-a-size-too-small dress for a wedding. It sucks, and is making me a little batty, but that's real life.

    So now the wedding's a week and a half away, and I have been seriously stalled. I would love advice on what I can do over the next week or so to kick things into high gear. Not sustainable, not lifestyle, just what I can do to stoke the fat-burning fires for a short time to be able to wear that pretty dress.

    Here's the details:
    I'm 28, 5'5", 147. Probably around 24% BF.
    Because of some hip problems, my workouts are limited - no weighted squats or anything challenging for my hip flexors. No running.

    Here's what I've been doing:
    Food: Tracking calories & macro breakdowns on FitDay. I'm usually within the 1400-1800 calorie range [Edit: usually around 1500. 1800 would be a rare high day], though every week or so I've got a day that I don't track, but I still choose good foods. Usually 50-60% calories from fat, 20-25% protein, 15-20% carbs. Carb grams have been almost always below 100g, lately closer to 75 (admittedly some of that is from dark chocolate almost every day, but I have been trying not to go insane).
    Exercise: gym 3x/wk, weights and my physical therapy junk (which is strength training but not much that gets my HR up, so I intersperse it with jumping jacks) and as much walking around/slow moving as possible. Sprinting is tricky because I can't run and my gym has crappy bikes, but I'll be able to bike outside as of this weekend.

    I started incorporating IF last week, a couple of 18-20 hour fasts, but I've noticed that I want to binge the next day. (I have some ED/binge history that this may be triggering.) I don't know if I should keep trying, or stay away from that for a while. Cutting dark chocolate, nuts, and most dairy (other than cream for coffee) seems obvious. But then my best thought is to cut carbs way down - just a few vegetables - up my protein and try to go hardcore keto for a week, keeping calories below what I need so that I'm burning body fat rather than what I eat. What do you think? How can I maximize fat loss for this little week?

    (God, I cannot wait to get back to just eating healthy and not *worrying*.)
    Last edited by Bramblepelt; 05-25-2011, 02:20 PM.

  • #2
    Listen, I've suffered from an ED myself and so it makes me sad to hear that you are okay with behaviors that trigger a desire to binge...
    This isn't a healthy way to live long term, but if your #1 priority right now is fitting into a dress that's too small, cut your calories WAY down every day. Don't worry about how many veggies you eat, just eat very little.
    1800 is a lot of calories for a 5'5" woman who is looking to lose weight but doesn't get her HR up much.
    I know people will disagree with me but this is how I got thin in a short amount of time. I hope you will get back to being healthy and out of this "I need to fit into this dress" mentality. Health is mental too, you know Taking out a dress one inch would be a lot less stressful.
    Last edited by secretlobster; 05-25-2011, 02:17 PM.

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    • #3
      Iím a huge IF proponent, but it wonít work if you binge. It just wonít. Once someone says theyíve had or have an eating disorder, my advice is not to seek anonymous advice on forums. That being said, barring an eating disorder, cut the carbs, eat two meals per day in a 4 hour eating window, lower your calories (a lot, 1800 is pretty high), donít drink anything but water, and do something that makes you sweat for a hour each day. Then do 1 forty hour fast (without binging afterwards) between now and when you need to fit in the gown. Youíll fit in the gown if itís truly only a half size difference. This will work. I donít recommend it though. Just cut the carbs and calories, and donít binge, also stick with water. If that doesnít work, get the dress altered.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by secretlobster View Post
        Listen, I've suffered from an ED myself and so it makes me sad to hear that you are okay with behaviors that trigger a desire to binge...
        This isn't a healthy way to live long term, but if your #1 priority right now is fitting into a dress that's too small, cut your calories WAY down every day. Don't worry about how many veggies you eat, just eat very little.
        1800 is a lot of calories for a 5'5" woman who is looking to lose weight but doesn't get her HR up much.
        I know people will disagree with me but this is how I got thin in a short amount of time. I hope you will get back to being healthy and out of this "I need to fit into this dress" mentality. Health is mental too, you know
        Thanks. My ED past wasn't severe enough, and is healed enough, that I'm not sure if my response to IF attempts is just my body being like, "We need more calories!" or a psychological response to deprivation. And I do think my psyche can handle a week of low calorie eating - I recognize it's an unhealthy mindset and have NO desire to keep thinking like this long-term - but it's a lovely dress that was already in my closet. I'd really hoped that the last month of effort would've gotten me farther than I am now. Alas. Crunch-time.

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        • #5
          I agree with dboxing, also, hit up sauna and sweat it out? I mean, you already stated this is just for the dress and all, I wouldn't recommend it to anybody as a usual thing but I'm going by what fighters do to shed a few extra pounds. I used to go to muaythai classes during the summer and I would "lose" sometimes up to 8lbs in a single session. It obviously wasn't true weight loss, it was a ton of water from sweating so hard. It was fun to weigh myself before and after though, but yeah the second I ate or drank I would go back to normal. If you can do something to sweat a little it would be a big help.

          Definitely go low carb, keep it lean too, I mean have some fat but not too much. If you feel truly bad, faint, etc though make sure to put your health before anything else, we don't want you passing out somewhere.
          I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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          • #6
            dboxing's advice is good too. Bottom line is VERY low calories, low carbs, cardio workouts every day. I'm glad you are not still suffering from ED. I will say from experience that the response is more psychological than anything, but triggered by physical sensations. You fast for 20 hours, and your brain thinks about food. When you have experience with bulimia, thinking about food makes you think about purging. I hate giving "bad advice" but I also get where you're coming from. As I've said, this has worked for me even though it's not fun. When you get back on the healthy-wagon, think about lowering your overall calorie count. This shouldn't be difficult if you are eating well (almost exclusively veggies and meat).

            PS: Drink a lot of water. Then ease up on the water consumption the day before the wedding.
            Last edited by secretlobster; 05-25-2011, 02:28 PM.

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            • #7
              Thanks. I think that plan, minus the fasting, is a good and simple way to go.

              To clarify, though, I never BINGED the day after a fast, just felt the noshy, cravey hunger, and ended up eating more than usual - around the 100g carbs mark, or extra calories in sausage or something. Not devouring bags of doritos, but not feeling awesome and calm, either.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by secretlobster View Post
                dboxing's advice is good too. Bottom line is VERY low calories, low carbs, cardio workouts every day. I'm glad you are not still suffering from ED. I will say from experience that the response is more psychological than anything, but triggered by physical sensations. You fast for 20 hours, and your brain thinks about food. When you have experience with bulimia, thinking about food makes you think about purging. I hate giving "bad advice" but I also get where you're coming from. As I've said, this has worked for me even though it's not fun. When you get back on the healthy-wagon, think about lowering your overall calorie count. This shouldn't be difficult if you are eating well (almost exclusively veggies and meat).

                PS: Drink a lot of water. Then ease up on the water consumption the day before the wedding.
                secretlobster has a great point about easing up on the water the day before. Just be careful about drinking alcohol until you've re-hydrated and eaten.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by secretlobster View Post
                  Bottom line is VERY low calories, low carbs, cardio workouts every day.
                  How low do you mean by very low? Should I worry about muscle loss or the fabled "starvation state" metabolism shutdown?

                  (I do have a backup dress that fits but that I don't love, so it's not starve-or-go-naked - I don't want to make myself miserable, I just want to see the scale move!)

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                  • #10
                    I'd stick to meat and veggies only for a week and eat just lunch and an early dinner.

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                    • #11
                      What I'm going to say probably won't get you in to the dress...but my question is - what makes up your carb intake?

                      I find it VERY difficult to consume 50-75-100 grams of vegetables. So perhaps if you're consuming any kind of grain, that could be the magic ticket.

                      I really dislike seeing the suggestions to go 'really low calorie' and "drink lots of water". You did ask if you should worry about muscle loss (only if your protein intake drops too low but I didnt see anyone suggest dropping protein intake) but with drinking lots of water, you are going to be flushing important minerals out of your system which your body needs (along with a supportive diet) to stay in balance.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bramblepelt View Post
                        How low do you mean by very low? Should I worry about muscle loss or the fabled "starvation state" metabolism shutdown?

                        (I do have a backup dress that fits but that I don't love, so it's not starve-or-go-naked - I don't want to make myself miserable, I just want to see the scale move!)
                        I would say 1300 at most. Worry about starvation mode? No, because this isn't going to be a sustained change.

                        Is it the dress or the scale? Do what will make you happiest

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bramblepelt View Post
                          (God, I cannot wait to get back to just eating healthy and not *worrying*.)
                          ... Grin ...

                          I have said that to myself, oh... so many times.

                          And if I am being honest with myself... REALLY honest, I am not thinking that I cannot wait to get back to eating healthy and not worrying. Deep down, I am telling myself that I can eat WHATEVER I WANT.

                          I would start with a nice big reward... Pasta... Cake... Ice Cream... Candy.... MMMMMMmmmm...

                          Then wake up the next morning and hash browns and toast and waffles for breakfast. Maybe a new big-fat PB & J for lunch. Might as well hit Olive Garden for dinner... After All... I'm going back to that healthy eating thing again tomorrow... errr... maybe the next day.

                          I might as well take a whole week...

                          You know... I went a whole week, and just gained a few pounds... I could go a month, then just burn it off in a few no carb days like I did in the beginning...

                          Next thing you know, I am breaking new years resolutions... and putting it off for maybe one more year.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                            I agree with dboxing, also, hit up sauna and sweat it out? I mean, you already stated this is just for the dress and all, I wouldn't recommend it to anybody as a usual thing but I'm going by what fighters do to shed a few extra pounds. I used to go to muaythai classes during the summer and I would "lose" sometimes up to 8lbs in a single session. It obviously wasn't true weight loss, it was a ton of water from sweating so hard. It was fun to weigh myself before and after though, but yeah the second I ate or drank I would go back to normal. If you can do something to sweat a little it would be a big help.

                            Definitely go low carb, keep it lean too, I mean have some fat but not too much. If you feel truly bad, faint, etc though make sure to put your health before anything else, we don't want you passing out somewhere.
                            Agree with above for just the week. Have a spoonfull of coconut oil if lacking energy - it also helps to get you into ketosis.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sue View Post
                              ....Have a spoonfull of coconut oil if lacking energy - it also helps to get you into ketosis.
                              I know a gal who entered a research to control bipolarity using a ketogenic diet. she consumes way more than a spoonful of [fat]; her fat intake is very high, her protein is 'moderate' and her carbs are below 25g/day.

                              [just had to find one of her sharing posts and she stated this: "I eat massive amounts of butter, a lot of greens, and just ordered half a lamb and half a hog to go with the quarter of beef in my freezer. No fruit, ever. Avocadoes, yes. With lime juice, good fruity olive oil, "]

                              When she began in jan '10, she had about 10 lbs she wanted to lose. Staying in constant ketosis, not only have her bipolar symptoms dissipated (she no longer needs drugs) but she lost about 21 lbs! She does not use artificial sweeteners. Now, after her one-year anniversary, she does consume some grains, but she keeps her carbs intake below 25g/day. period.

                              but of course, the change was not instant...

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