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Just another "tell me why I'm not losing weight" thread

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  • Just another "tell me why I'm not losing weight" thread

    Howdy. I've been primal fully (probably 90% of the time) for the last 2.5 months. In the last 3 weeks I have stopped losing, and may have actually gain weight (lol).

    I exercise 2-4 times a week, usually 30-50mins of cardio @ 70% max heart rate (approx), and do weights probably once a week.

    I try to keep my carbs below 50g at least Mon-Fri, I'm a bit more relaxed on the weekend when socialising.

    I drink at least 2L of water at least 6 days a week, occasionally I slip up and don't quite make it there.

    My basal metabolic rate is 1920 calories.... I don't think I've eaten that many calories on an ongoing basis, ever. I know it's supposed to be bad to eat less than your BMR... but if I did eat at my calculated BMR, I honestly think I'd just gain. BMR calculators obviously aren't super accurate and I think I maybe just have a low BMR... I seem to need very few calories to maintain my weight. My natural weight was around 67kg (147lb) before I became overweight, I sat there easily and didn't pay much attention to my diet. I would've been eating around 1400cals a day at that weight, which I imagine would've been around my BMR. (Why did my BMR calculation work then, but it doesn't now? If 1920 was my BMR now I should be losing much much more). I gained all my weight while on SSRIs... I'm definitely insulin resistant, and I'm pre-diabetic.

    My typical day is no breakfast, a BAS for lunch (100g-150g/3.5 - 5oz meat), and the same-ish meat serving size for dinner with more veges, usually broccoli or something, and often an omelet. I cook in coconut oil. When I snack, it's usually a berry smoothie, or nuts, or high coca chocolate. Sometimes my day is weird (like I have to get up really early) and I have to have breakfast, in which case I'll have 2 fried eggs or an omelet or a berry smoothie or something.

    Dairy: Cheese sometimes (parmesan or haloumi, high quality), probiotic yoghurt (I'm on antibiotics)
    Meats: Steak (rib eye, sirloin, scotch), chicken breast, salmon, hoki, trevally, snapper, prawns, tuna, bacon (streaky & middle)
    Veges: Lettuce, spinach, capers, tomato, red onion, capsicum (bell pepper?), broccoli, spring onion, avocado
    Fruit: Feijoas, berries, passionfruit, occasional banana
    Nuts & seeds: All of them, but try to limit them to around 60g a week max
    Cook in: Butter, coconut oil
    Drinks: Water, green tea, occasional tonic water (nothing else, I swear. No milk, coffee, soda or anything)
    Supplements: Fish oil x2 (EPA/DHA 300mg), magnesium 500mg, MSM, biotin. Currently on doxycycline.

    I don't keep track of things all the time, I don't want food to dominate my life, but since my losses have stopped I've started paying a bit more attention. My calorie ratio is usually around 50-70 (fat): 10-20 (carbs): 20-40 (protein)

    I'm really happy with my losses so far and I'm not complaining! But how long do I sit at this weight before it's a real issue? I'd obviously rather keep losing, time is money people! Lol. I have a lot of weight to lose as well so I feel like it should be coming off faster since I am so overweight?

    Anyway, any opinions, please weigh in (lol). Do I need to be stricter and keep carbs under 50g every single day? Do I need to stop snacking (sometimes I just love some nuts or dark choc )? Do I need to exercise more?

    I am beginning to suspect my thyroid, as it just seems weird. Fatigue is also a bit of an issue (has been ever since I gained weight in the first place) and my hair is thinning. What should I ask them to check about my thyroid, if I do go in for a blood test? I've had it checked before and they said it was fine....

    Also, should I go on metformin? I have blood sugar-related issues like rashes etc that I really want to get rid of. I'm sure once I lose weight and fix my insulin resistance these issues will resolve but right now it's really unpleasant. Is it ok to go on metformin until I lose weight, and then stop, or should I just not go on it at all and wait until I've lost weight for those symptoms to ease? Does metformin have any long term implications I need to be aware of? Will I become dependent on it?
    Last edited by nixxy; 06-04-2012, 11:05 PM.
    Current weight lost: 82.9lb (37.6kg)

    Current PRs:
    Bench: 45kg/99lb
    Squat: 100kg/220lb
    Deadlift: 120kg/265lb

    My blog
    My journal

  • #2
    you have hit a plateau or you are simply not burning what you eat.

    have you measured your body fat percentage? maybe you have gained muscle as well as losing fat so you weight will stay the same or even increase

    are you training as intensely as you think you are? many people dont

    i would drop the nuts and snacks its easy to over look calories

    i think the whole low carb thing is also unhealthy especially for active person , no wonder you are fatigued.

    have a read of Anthony Colpo Fat loss bible


    • #3
      Spacey is right, are you working out intensely enough? Are you sprinting for example? Do not understimate the metabolic boost that a session of 5-6 sprints at 100% of your capabilities can have on your organism. It's disruptive! Do it once per week, more is simply impossible (my legs still hurt since saturday morning).

      Reduce carbs. While vegetables are important for vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, etc... you can eat some less (but not zero please) to the benefit of a portion of liver per week. And if you think liver is disgusting think again and check one of the many excellent recipes you can do with it.

      While reducing carbs, slightly increase fats. Your body has to learn to consider fats as the preferred calories source. And give up nuts, I know they are good, I love them. Eat one boiled egg as a snack instead.

      Last but not least, do you plan a day per week where you do a 18/24h fast? This too is very important to stimulate the body to release HGH which increases muscle body mass (provided you also lift heavy things) and helps burning fats.

      There is no plateau if you do things right


      • #4
        Thanks for your replies.

        Spacey: Low carb is definitely the diet approach for me. I am prediabetic, keeping my carbs under control is very important to me, and is also the only way I have found I can lose weight and keep my hunger under control. I don't have an accurate way to measure my body fat % unfortunately. Yes, as a former athlete I am definitely keeping track of my exercise accurately. My heart rate is usually 145bpm while doing cardio. I'm definitely not underestimating my calories - I track my food sometimes using an app on my phone, I track every last thing. I was fatigued well before I started low carb, since being low carb primal my fatigue has improved slightly, I no longer take afternoon naps almost every day.

        Primal alex: I don't do sprints yet because of my joints. I have strangely tiny ankles for my build, and my knees get frequently sprained. Once I'm down around 227lb I'll start doing tabata sprints weekly. I can't really reduce carbs any more. I say I keep under 50g, a lot of days it's under 20g, where the only carbs I eat are in my salad. I'm not willing to give up any more veges, I don't want to be living off meat and eggs. My fats are also already very increased (did you look at my ratios?). I suppose I have to agree about the nuts, I'll try 2 weeks without them from now and see what happens with the scale. I don't trust myself to do a 24 hour fast as I have had problems in the past with binge eating. I do 18hr fasts sometimes though just because of my schedule.

        Thanks again for your inputs
        Current weight lost: 82.9lb (37.6kg)

        Current PRs:
        Bench: 45kg/99lb
        Squat: 100kg/220lb
        Deadlift: 120kg/265lb

        My blog
        My journal


        • #5
          I think that since you have so much weight to lose, you really do have to keep track of your food, however much of a pain in the ass that is. We might be able to give you more insight and advice if we know more details. Right now it seems to me you are not getting much protein or fat, your meat serving sizes seem to be very small.
          F 28/5'4/100 lbs

          "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."


          • #6
            You mention being 'more relaxed' about carbs on weekends when you're 'socializing.' If you're regularly eating at a carb level that depletes your glycogen stores (as you suggest you are), then those 'relaxed' weekends will result in a return of that glycogen, along with the water necessary for its storage. That can show on the scale as 5-6 lbs, depending on your body weight. Thus, it can 'seem' as though you're not losing because you keep gaining that water weight each weekend, and it takes about 4 days of your low-carbing to lose it--a perpetual cycle. This process also keeps your body from a regular fat-burning mode, which is the benefit of low-carb eating in terms of weight loss. In other words, your 'relaxed weekends' are impeding loss.

            Also, if you're serious about weight loss, I'd lose the nuts (much too caloric and easy to overeat) and try to eliminate snacking in general. If you have a binge-eating history, please don't fast because, as I'm sure you know, research indicates that excessive restriction leads to binges in those so inclined. Instead, try to maintain a more moderate way of eating, gradually reducing portions as necessary.

            Good luck.


            • #7
              Hey! Going to a Dr and getting some blood work done does not hurt. I was (am) having trouble losing weight and a trip to the Dr and a blood test has found that unfortunately, I have PCOS. It was difficult to hear, but I now know what I am dealing with and why I am not shedding the weight. I am not suggesting you have PCOS but it is something to look into (thinning hair, insulin resistance/pre diabetic and extra weight that won't budge are all symptoms). Either way, give each idea (primal_alex had some good ones) a fair go one at a time. Doing it all at once leads to frustration and does not allow you to measure what is and is not helping. You seem to be heading in the right direction and the fact that you have lost any weight is encouraging! Patience is really the hardest thing when it comes to weight loss. Focussing on the other improvements you have seen in your life (decreased cravings, more energy etc) should help with that.
              Re Metformin: I started taking it approx 6 weeks ago so obviously I am of the opinion you should take it There are no long term side effects of Metformin that I know of (and I did my research) besides for B12 deficiency. B12 deficiency is only a concern for really long term users though and that does not sound like what you have in mind so I would not be too concerned about that.
              But whether or not to take it is a personal decision. But yeh, check those hormones! Good luck


              • #8
                Originally posted by primal_alex View Post
                There is no plateau if you do things right
                That is such a simplistic, stupid thing to say. Grrrrrrrrrrr....


                • #9
                  Relaxed weekend....

                  What are you eating on your relaxed weekend? Wheat can bloat me for days and stall loss, as can soy. I estimate 7 days to get rid of the water weight when I eat those. You know, it seems small- a cookie or a piece of bread, but it can wreak havoc. So maybe try eating clean all the time or experimenting with "treats".I can manage small amounts of alcohol and sugar, and dairy.... but no wheat.

                  Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!


                  • #10
                    I tend to agree with magnolia. I have the same problem with wheat/soy/corn. If I eat it, just a little tiny bit like a slice of bread or 1 cookie, and I'm stuck with water weight and no weight loss for a week. I swear I gain 6lbs when I drink a single soda. It sucks! Maybe try a whole30? See what happens 30 days from now.


                    • #11
                      More protein, less cardio, more weights, no snacking between meals and watch those cheat weekends.

                      100g-150g/3.5 - 5oz meat is not the same as 100g of protein. You need about 14oz of steak to get 100g of protein.
                      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


                      • #12
                        Didn't read other answers but:

                        Make sure that your one session a week with weights is HIT. You don't need more than one a week, but make sure that one counts. Body by Science is a good HIT routine.

                        Have you had any glucose tolerance tests done? A1C?

                        Low carb with exercise is definitely beneficial for either fixing or at least better management of metabolic syndrome, so you are on the right track.

                        Sometimes there needs to be some healing and metabolic cleanup before you move on to your next phase of fat loss. In addition there are water fluctuations that could hide fat loss. Ie. you could lose 5 lbs of fat and gain five pounds of water without a noticing, and this would not even be strange.

                        As for metformin check out this post by Robb Wolf
                        Last edited by Neckhammer; 06-05-2012, 07:05 AM.


                        • #13
                          I'd try to keep very close track for a couple of weeks at least. Log your meals, everything that you put in your mouth, measure things, account for cooking fats, all that. I find that sometimes there are little details that you might be missing, like portions that are bigger than you thought or a food that's much more energy dense than you expected.

                          Also, I see you said tonic water. Tonic has more sugar than many colas--don't let the word "water" fool you. Try club soda or sparkling water if you want fizz.

                          On the matter of BMR. There's a good body of evidence that shows that a person who's been obese and lost weight actually has to eat fewer calories than a person who's never been fat to maintain a similar body weight. So a 140-pound woman who used to be 200 pounds will have to eat less than her friend who has been 140 pounds for her whole adult life. What you could eat at 147 pounds before you gained is not likely to work for you now. A lot of women around here who've lost significant amounts of weight have found they've needed to be more restrictive on their eating to lose and then maintain. This isn't to say you should vastly undereat, since that has problems too, but that a BMR calculator may not be giving you an accurate picture for someone in your circumstances.

                          I'd get those thyroid symptoms checked out too. There are some folks around here with thyroid issues who can maybe suggest what tests might help.

                          And watch out for those weekends. As others have said, it's easy to set yourself back a fair bit over a couple of days. I found that doing a few weeks of stricter paleo--I did a 6-week challenge, others do a Whole 30 thing--can help really set in those good habits. If you do want to relax a bit with friends, then pick some sort of "treat" that's still as primal as possible (so my "treat" on my paleo challenge was honey-sweetened chai made with organic unsweetened almond milk). Don't think only about carbs; think about food quality too.
                          “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                          Owly's Journal


                          • #14
                            Stop doing cardio, walk instead. Drink coffee instead of green tea; green tea is high in fluoride which suppresses the thyroid. Consider dropping nuts and vegetables, eat more fruit. I can do super low carbs and feel OK but not everyone can- I wouldn't bother with eating less carbs over the summer anyway.


                            • #15
                              okay, for one thing, people suck at counting calories. are you actually eating less than your BMR every day? i seriously hope not! that kind of deficit will have you burning lean tissue in a bad way. not what you want. if you're running that kind of deficit. as long as you're eating primally, i would not be too concerned with the carbs. but you do need to adequately fuel yourself, and i would choose a better exercise regime.

                              weightloss doesn't happen in linear progressions, and can hit plateaus. this happens. but you need to be taking in the right amount of fuel, or your body comp and health will suffer.