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  • My mom cannot lose weight

    Hello,
    I have my mom trying paleo now for a while and she has lost ZERO weight. She is 61 years old and probably does not even eat 1200 calories. She exercises with weights and goes on the treadmill 3-4 times a week. She gains her weight in her midsection. I want to help her, she has cut out all grains and dairy yet she still can't lose weight. If its all about calorie reduction, I dont think she can get down any lower.

    Her thyroid is normal and her hormones are normal as well at this point. She has been thin her entire life until she went through menopause, and it just seems that everything she does will not work.

    ANyone in the same boat? Any advice I can pass on? I truly dont know how else to help without her depriving herself even more.

  • #2
    It might help if you post a sample menu from a typical day.
    Female, age 51, 5' 9"
    SW - 183 (Jan 22, 2012), CW - 159, GW - healthy.

    Met my 2012 goals by losing 24 pounds.
    2013 goals are to get fit and strong!

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    • #3
      How much protein does she eat on average? Too little provokes a starvation response, slowing down the metabolism
      Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

      Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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      • #4
        Is she gaining at all? Or just not losing. I lost some at first and it stalled out. I have been doing some tweaking since then to see what will get the ball rolling again. Things were moving along nicely again after reducing my dairy, but stalled out again. Just have to keep trying things. I try to eat a lot of fat and protein and then I can fast for most of the day.

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        • #5
          Typical day would be a two eggwhite omelet, sometimes she does a small greek yogurt, or paleo bread

          lunch is usually some salmon/ tuna maybe over salad, or in lettuce cups/

          Dinner is a small serving of beef, chicken or fish (she loves fish) and then some cooked veggies, no starch or grains. Glass of red wine.

          She has a piece of dark chocolate in the day maybe a piece of smoked salmon. I mean this woman eats like a bird, we always joke about it because I eat whatever I want in large amounts and she eats NOTHING.

          It does not make sense. She did gain weight when I told her to eat more, I think she gains when she eats dairy but again if she had a piece of cheese its only one a week.

          We've tried analyzing her diet and it just makes no sense.

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          • #6
            She's eating too little, too little fat (egg white omelets?), and then also eating dairy which likely causes her problems (does for most people), as well as paleo bread and wine.

            I would cut dairy, paleo breads and any treats of this sort, and wine.

            I would also look at her general sleep patterns (making sure she's getting enough), as well as her exercise routines -- making it more along the lines of the PB fitness, because a lot of people lift and treadmill very inefficiently.

            This is what I would make for her -- which is what we have in our family:

            2-3 eggs in butter (scrambled or fried, whole eggs), veggies steamed in bone broth (we each have about 1/2 a cup of bone broth each with breakfast, which is great for a lot of reasons), and then -- for DH and DS -- berries and coconut cream with flax oil. Now, I don't eat that last bit because I'm full of egg (i usually eat two), bone broth, and veggies.

            I tend to eat two meals a day -- breakfast and dinner. Sometimes I feel like a snack, so I either have a small lunch (2 "sliders" plus some raw cut veggies -- both dipped in aoli) or I have a piece of fruit (sometimes with nuts). THen for dinner, it's typically meat, veggies, and then i finish with a piece of fruit.

            I drink tea and water, and the only dairy that I eat is butter (it doesn't bother me, though other dairy does).

            I eat around 1500 calories a day, and I suggest that she would probably be fine doing the same.

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            • #7
              I am no expert but agree it looks like too few calories and too little fat. My seven year old who weighs 50 pounds eats 2-3 (usually 3) large free range eggs, sometimes some goat's milk cheese, three slices of bacon, an apple and a banana in the morning. Lunch might be a salad, a large green pepper, some type of protein like a sausage or salami, a sweet potato with a ton of butter, some dates with coconut or some raisins for a snack later. Your Mom isn't an active 7 year old but it really seems like she should up her fat and protein intake. Eat the whole egg at least.

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              • #8
                My next question is if you have also read the book.

                My first thought is that the food is pretty lean. It doesn't look like there is enough fat.

                You might want to read this posting from Mark: How to Eat According to the Primal Blueprint | Mark's Daily Apple. Don't just skim it... plug in some numbers for her...

                For example I am losing (slowly) and am low to moderately active. If I aim for 1400 calories a day, 80 grams of protein, and 40 grams of carbohydrate (because I want to burn fat at the moment), that leaves almost 100 grams of fat for the rest of my food. That fat comes from the yolks that come with my eggs, butter I cook them in, lard that I cook my meat in, the fat that is on/in the meat that I am eating, the butter or coconut oil I put on my vegetables, the spoon of fat I just eat out of the container - just because.

                My two cents.
                Female, age 51, 5' 9"
                SW - 183 (Jan 22, 2012), CW - 159, GW - healthy.

                Met my 2012 goals by losing 24 pounds.
                2013 goals are to get fit and strong!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Totally makes sense. I also just read when you increase carbs and eat fats and proteins, it comes down to calorie counting whereas if you switch to protein and fats and low carb its basically fat burning mode so calories really dont matter. I just sat her down to explain this all.

                  She has read the book, its one of the only nutrition books she owns. I just dont know if she has followed it to a T yet. She doesnt want to eat a lot of protein shed rather eat veggies, but she tried a vegan diet and it was AWFUL for her. She lost her memory so terribly and she lost ZERO weight. She didnt even eat many grains, so it was surprising to me. I still am surprised how Ornish and McDougall work so effectively if its such high carb

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                  • #10
                    How can that really be true about starvation? People who go on calorie restricted diets look awful, they are not overweight in anyway. If that were true anyone barely eating anything would be overweight no?

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                    • #11
                      But how can this be true? People who follow calorie restriction LOSE weight and look awful. And for others who choose to really restrict their intake, their metabolism slows yes, but they become very thin. This happened to me once when I was severely undernourished and probably was not taking enough calories in. So is this REALLY true about slowing the metabolism?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by VeggieLover View Post
                        She has read the book, its one of the only nutrition books she owns. I just dont know if she has followed it to a T yet. She doesnt want to eat a lot of protein shed rather eat veggies, but she tried a vegan diet and it was AWFUL for her. She lost her memory so terribly and she lost ZERO weight. She didnt even eat many grains, so it was surprising to me. I still am surprised how Ornish and McDougall work so effectively if its such high carb
                        1. You dont' really know if she's doing primal wholeheartedly.

                        2. She doesn't need to add protein, she needs to add fat.
                        Sandra
                        *My obligatory intro

                        There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo

                        DAINTY CAN KISS MY PRIMAL BACKSIDE. ~~ Crabcakes

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                        • #13
                          Here's the way that (i think) it works with the long-term subcaloric process.

                          First, a person gains a considerable amount of weight, and in order to loose that weight, they restrict their diet down to a random caloric amount, eating CW "healthy" foods.

                          They'll then see an initial weight loss -- say for a couple of weeks -- and then they'll continue on very strictly with the caloric amounts. At this point, they plateau, not having reached their weight loss goal, and unable to loose weight no matter how they change the formation of where they get those calories as long as the calories stay at the low amount (that is, they might cut fat, add fat, or add protein or whatever, but still have the same total calories per day).

                          From there, the body doesn't really have enough to reach the basal metabolic rate, and the process of "skinny fat" ensues. Any time there is a feast (ie, family BBQ and she feasts), the body stores it, instead of using it. This increases her weight. No matter how rare, the body stores it, and uses only the sub-caloric amounts to maintain itself. It might also catabolize bones and muscle, before going for that fat, oddly enough.

                          Then, when there's an initial trial period of consuming more calories -- say 200-500 more calories a day -- the body initially puts on weight because, as with the family BBQ, the body expects that in short order, we'll be going sub-caloric again. Thus, make hay while the sun shines and save that nutrition in the barn (belly) for the winter that is sure to come via calorie restriction.

                          To get through this, a person has to continue to eat enough calories over time. At this point, the person not only needs to eat enough to meet their metabolic rate (which for most people is between 1100 and 1400 calories -- or for many women depending upon height/size), but also to heal the body from the damage that has been done (loss of bone, muscle), so they'll probably need an extra 100-200 or so calories on top of metabolic rate in order to just repair the damage.

                          Once they do this for, say, 60 or 90 days, they'll start to see their body composition change because the body no longer thinks it's starving so it no longer needs to hold onto excess weight.

                          If the person is ALSO actually lifting weights (not namby-pamby, but ACTUALLY LIFTING HEAVY WEIGHTS PROGRESSIVELY) and doing sprints, then they will see a massive shift in body composition. Maybe not *weight* but body composition.

                          So there's how I think it works.

                          And if she's getting good sleep, this will reduce cortisol levels and also help reduce belly fat.

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                          • #14
                            What kind of weights is she lifting?
                            Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
                            PS
                            Don't forget to play!

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                            • #15
                              I think she does 15 pound kettle bells, she does intervals on the treadmill 3 times a week, she does squats and lunges and lifts 10 pound weights. remember that she is 61, so she isnt planning on lifting anything two heavy...especially fter two rotator cuff surgeries.

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