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Likely the 5,000th plateau post. How did I get here?

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  • Likely the 5,000th plateau post. How did I get here?

    I'd love some ideas and suggestions from fellow MDAers.

    On February 28th, I began this journey as a very heavy dude. I have lost a whole lot of weight (74 lbs), but for the last 4.5 weeks I haven't budged. Here's what I know:

    - I went out of town on business and ate as primally as I could -- scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast, BAS for lunch, steak and shrimp or chicken breast for dinner (if I ate dinner).

    - I came home 4.x lbs heavier, and that weight came off right away.

    - I haven't budged since.

    - Since Feb 28th, I have been wavering between 20 and 50g of carbs a day; I have never exceeded 50, I have not had a "bad" or "cheat" day one time.


    So, leptin problems? I'm still pretty chubby so I don't think the whole ChocoTaco carb refeed fits my bill (it says for those looking to lose the last few pounds -- I have 30/40 to go).

    Or am I being impatient? My concern is that if I'm basically in full-on diet mode and only maintaining at 250lbs, I'm going to blow up like a balloon if I ever go to the recommended 80/20 primal.
    6f4i, 40 years old, 85" wingspan, "big build"

    Feb 28 2011: 326 lbs (start date)
    Mar 28 2011: 299 lbs
    Apr 30 2011: 285 lbs
    May 31 2011: 274 lbs
    Jun 30 2011: 262 lbs
    Jul 31 2011: 252 lbs
    Sep 30 2011: 241 lbs
    Nov 30 2011: 238 lbs

    Goal: 220 lbs

  • #2
    How's your sleep, exercise, caffiene, alcohol, stress and supplementation?

    Also, plateaus are common and often meaningless as weight loss is often non-linear.
    Lifting Journal

    Comment


    • #3
      If you're an otherwise healthy individual, you actually could get a lot of benefits from doing refeeds the way Choco (and Mark Sisson! let us not forget...) recommend. Mostly because you say you've been doing a very low carb diet up until this point, so chances are your leptin is low as well, hence the stalling. If you already engage in heavy lifting, just eat more carbs those days, track for a few weeks and see what happens. Again, this is if you're not diabetic, or anything like that.

      Carbs on their own aren't what make people gain, you've already dialed in your nutrition pretty much since February -- congrats on the weight loss, by the way -- so any possible metabolic derangement has most likely been addressed through eating primal. Remember that proper primal re-feeds are about eating quality wholesome foods, that just so happen to be mostly carbohydrate. Go lift real heavy, treat yourself to some much deserved potatoes (watch the fat) expect some type of temporary water weight gain (don't freak out) and see if something changes.

      If you're weary of it, start out simple, one big carby meal once a week for let's say a month. The theory also states that as you lose weight, your carbs are supposed to increase during refeeds, so you wouldn't go to the extent that choco/et al. are doing, as they are leaner individuals.

      I'm not sure if just generally increasing carbs to upwards of 100g daily is what you'd want to do, but you could dabble in that too, just load up on veggies and keep your protein/fat intake about the same. It could just be that just generally increasing carbs could help.

      Best of luck!
      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

      Comment


      • #4
        I went through something similar when I first started Primal (Jan 2010). Losing some (substantial) weight, but not enough, then stalling for many weeks. I explored and researched and tried many things, and don't even remember what worked, but something did and my weight loss restarted slowly.

        Then, well, things happened and I put the weight back on. Now, Primal mark 2 for me, and my weight loss seems to be correlated with eating coconut oil. Not indiscriminately, just a tablespoon or two per day, as part of a meal.

        The other thing that's really working for me, and a few people on the leptin thread, is doing the leptin reset. In a nutshell - a big protein breakfast (50-75 gms) within 30 minutes of waking up; and eating just 3 meals, no snacks, low carb. That seems to be the essence of it, and although my breakfast is closer to 30 grams of protein, I still don't feel a need to snack in between meals.

        Of course, the leptin reset is only appropriate for people with a leptin resistance (fat, with a big belly).

        Comment


        • #5
          Perhaps somebody can break this down for me: If this OP has been primal for ~5 months, and clearly has been eating low-carb, and if his vacation eating schedule (breakfast/lunch/dinner, no fasting) all hold true, hasn't he technically done a "leptin reset" merely by switching to primal and sticking to breakfast, lunch and dinner? How would he benefit from more of the same? Even if his schedule didn't march to the same tune (50g protein breakfast, etc) ... close enough innit?
          I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Apex Predator View Post
            Also, plateaus are common and often meaningless as weight loss is often non-linear.
            I think the plateaus are more psychological than anything. I've felt like I've been in stasis and suddenly my pants are loosening up again.

            And look at your stats:
            Feb 28 2011: 326 lbs (start date)
            Mar 28 2011: 299 lbs
            Apr 30 2011: 285 lbs
            May 31 2011: 274 lbs
            Jun 30 2011: 262 lbs
            Jul 31 2011: 252 lbs

            75#'s in under 6 months, awesome! How long did it take you to gain it in the first place? Did you expect it would be gone in a week and a half? What would you have said if someone told you on 2/27 "do this and you'll be 75#'s down by 8/1?" I think you should have faith that what has been working since Feb. is continuing to work and I second looking at a "refeed" once in a while. For me that was part of lightening up which had the (perhaps counterintuative) effect of keeping things on track.
            Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Laguna View Post
              Or am I being impatient?
              YES! You're still losing, just not at the rate you'd like. You can't lose 10,12,26 lbs every month until you hit your magic number. It's going to slow. Be patient, if I'm reading your post right, you've lost 6 lbs this month so far? (4 post trip plus 2 to get to 250). Don't over think it. Sure you could play with a refeeds or try a 24 hr fast, etc (I'm not sold on the leptin reset, shove 50g of protein down your gullet every morning protocol) to bust the plateau but why now? Just let it play out a bit, slow down, take a breath IMO. You've lost a lot of weight and are doing great!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                Perhaps somebody can break this down for me: If this OP has been primal for ~5 months, and clearly has been eating low-carb, and if his vacation eating schedule (breakfast/lunch/dinner, no fasting) all hold true, hasn't he technically done a "leptin reset" merely by switching to primal and sticking to breakfast, lunch and dinner? How would he benefit from more of the same? Even if his schedule didn't march to the same tune (50g protein breakfast, etc) ... close enough innit?
                According to the leptin reset thread (and Dr Kruse), it takes at least 6-8 weeks for a leptin reset, based on following his recommendations closely (there are more, in addition to what I mentioned earlier). OP's 4.5 weeks may not be enough, and his eating pattern may not be close enough to the leptin reset protocol after all. But I'm far from an expert on this! I'd steer anyone who's interested in this topic towards Dr Kruse's blog, and the long LR thread on here.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just make some changes to your workouts/diet. Your body doesn't want to lose fat as fast as you do, so it adapts to the stimuli you give it to slow down fat loss to a more reasonable level. It's a good idea to have a 'fat loss toolbox' with different strategies in it, like increased cardio, increased weight lifting, refeed days, or fasted morning cardio.. anything that your body has not yet adapted to.
                  Ye shall know them by their fruits.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sherissima View Post
                    According to the leptin reset thread (and Dr Kruse), it takes at least 6-8 weeks for a leptin reset, based on following his recommendations closely (there are more, in addition to what I mentioned earlier). OP's 4.5 weeks may not be enough, and his eating pattern may not be close enough to the leptin reset protocol after all. But I'm far from an expert on this! I'd steer anyone who's interested in this topic towards Dr Kruse's blog, and the long LR thread on here.
                    The way I read it, he's been primal since February, but stalling as of the past 4.5 weeks.
                    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      First, you guys are all awesome. Thank you!

                      I've been primal since 2/28, yes, and only stalled after that business trip. I'm assuming causation (business trip = stall) but can't prove it, and I was really proud of how well I did eating primally on that trip (man... there were desserts everywhere).

                      I think I will try two things: 1. I will try a one-day carb refeed (assuming I can stand it... I love eating my primal eggs and salads), and 2. I will inject some "confusion" into my workout and diet routine to try to shake things up. It makes sense that my body, after 5.5 months of eating this way, has adjusted and found a method to not drop the fat.

                      Sound reasonable?
                      6f4i, 40 years old, 85" wingspan, "big build"

                      Feb 28 2011: 326 lbs (start date)
                      Mar 28 2011: 299 lbs
                      Apr 30 2011: 285 lbs
                      May 31 2011: 274 lbs
                      Jun 30 2011: 262 lbs
                      Jul 31 2011: 252 lbs
                      Sep 30 2011: 241 lbs
                      Nov 30 2011: 238 lbs

                      Goal: 220 lbs

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you are restricting carbs that much, I think you should occasionally have a higher carb meal or day (like 150g maybe) at least once a week. If you reach a plateau, restricting carbs or calories even more and doing more exercise and fasting may help you move the scale down (for how long? probably not very) but will make weight loss harder in the long run.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You may never be able to eat more than 35g - 50g of carbs. I'm your height and lost a similar amount a weight. There's a point where you have to clean up your diet further to finish your weight loss.
                          Unless you are heavily muscled for years of weight training there is no build where 225lbs is lean. But you'll figure that out when you get to 225.
                          You got a big mental lift from dropping weight fast. Now it's stage II which is about keeping control and developing longer term habits and thinking. There's no tricks like carbing up that will make any difference in the long run.
                          I suggest the discipline of only weighing once a week and taking measurements monthly.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Laguna View Post
                            First, you guys are all awesome. Thank you!

                            I've been primal since 2/28, yes, and only stalled after that business trip. I'm assuming causation (business trip = stall) but can't prove it, and I was really proud of how well I did eating primally on that trip (man... there were desserts everywhere).

                            I think I will try two things: 1. I will try a one-day carb refeed (assuming I can stand it... I love eating my primal eggs and salads), and 2. I will inject some "confusion" into my workout and diet routine to try to shake things up. It makes sense that my body, after 5.5 months of eating this way, has adjusted and found a method to not drop the fat.

                            Sound reasonable?
                            I think so, but it's sort of becoming a thing in this forum where people that have "never been there" shouldn't be advising those that are there. I just personally can't see how a single higher carb meal could ruin somebody's entire week, if those carbs come from real food. However, I've never been considerably overweight in my entire life.

                            I personally would rather experiment for a month with higher carb as you plan to do before eliminating too many things and making your life possibly unsustainable. From personal experience, there was a time where I didn't eat any dairy and would substitute coconut products whenever I could (mostly swapping dairy cream for coconut milk in coffee) because for some people dairy seems to be an obstacle. I did lose a bit of weight, perhaps enough where I could attribute it to that change, but I also realized... do I want to be lean but never eat any sort of dairy again? I'm not allergic to it, so I decided it wasn't worth it personally to "get there" that way and I re-introduced some dairy. I didn't gain any weight mind you, so who knows what the weight-loss was attributed to. My point is, before saying "I'm not gonna eat fruit/dairy/nuts/etc" it's better to try other tactics which could be helpful, ie: one higher carb day a week.
                            I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I've been primal for 13 months. I've never cheated by having bread or grains. I lost 49 lbs in the first 6 months. Over the next few months I've gained about 7 lbs. And now I'm stuck. Most of the time I'm VLC (I've even been doing the leptin reset for almost 2 months... occasionally I won't eat the large amount of protein for breakfast or some days I will have more carbs a la potato/sweet potato), but nope... nothing. I still have close to 100 lbs to lose. I'm frustrated, but I'm sure that doesn't help my cortisol levels, so I try to tell myself that I'm healthier than I was... right? I do walk, and occasionally lift heavy things. Prior to starting the leptin reset I was IFing. None of this is breaking my ridiculously long stall. And no, my clothes aren't any looser either... so I don't think this is a gaining-muscle-losing-fat-weight-staying-the-same phenomenon. I totally believe in this way of eating, but do you think some people are just too messed-up, metabolically speaking, to lose all the weight? I'm only 31...

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