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What am I doing wrong?

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  • What am I doing wrong?

    Newbie here. Long time lurker, first time posting

    Here's my situation, all insights welcome!

    I would like to lose maybe 10 vanity pounds. I eat fairly primal/paleo. I do eat some dairy (mostly cheese)-it doesn't give me any digestive issues and it is an easy, portable snack. My issue is I can't seem to lose any weight or really reduce body size during the week, only on weekends. It is weird and makes no sense.

    I work in a hospital and have to eat in the cafeteria each day. For breakfast I usually have scrambled eggs with veggies. Lunch, every single freaking day, is a spinach salad with grilled chicken breast, hard boiled egg, olive oil dressing. Dinner is whatever protein I can find at my house. I usually eat a little fruit or peanut butter on days I work out. On the weekends I usually eat more protein, fewer vegetables.

    So for some reason, I usually can lose a few lbs over the weekend. They then immediately pop back on when I eat a salad. WTF? Now, I completely understand that small fluctuations like that can be any number of things: fluid retention, etc. If it wasn't so long term, it wouldn't bother me. I also know I shouldn't get hung up on what the scale says. But I just don't understand why nothing seems to be happening over months worth of fairly clean eating. I definitely fell off the wagon around Christmas. Prior to that I had been somewhat successful with my patented "only losing wt on weekends" approach. Two steps forward, one step back. But at that time my wt was actually trending downwards, so I could ignore the day to day fluctuations.

    It makes zero sense to me. What the hell is happening in my body during the week?? I know I'm not eating that many carbs during the weekdays. I know I'm eating enough calories and not too many. I know I should let go of the scale, but I swear my pants aren't getting any bigger!

    Any ideas??

  • #2
    I have two thoughts.
    Personally, I'd be a mess if I had to eat in a cafeteria or restaurant on a regular basis, as I'm very sensitive to food additives. For example--those salads. Many commercial food sources will sprinkle their greens with MSG to keep them fresh, and I 'react' to MSG quite dramatically. However, even if you don't have a dramatic reaction, if you're at all sensitive to such things, you can retain water and retard fat loss. So it may be the commercial food you're eating that's the problem.

    Here's what I'd try--bringing my own food for a week just to see if there's any difference.

    Also, are you weighing daily? It's possible that what you see as loss only on weekends is actually your loss for the week. The scale is deceptive because as we lose, the body tries to retain homeostasis, and rarely will it show actual fat loss on a daily basis. Throughout my weight loss (almost 200 lbs), I weighed only weekly because of this--and I also kept a record of that weekly weight so that I could see long-term trends.


    • #3
      What's your starting weight and height? If this is indeed vanity pounds, they will be a bitch to lose, I've been there.
      F 28/5'4/100 lbs

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


      • #4
        I agree with Damiana, vanity pounds are the WORST. You need to essencially force your body to do something it doesn't need or want to do. You may end up messing with your hormones in the long run so it's a good idea to really be sure you want/need to do it before embarking on the last 10 lbs journey


        • #5
          Originally posted by Damiana View Post
          What's your starting weight and height? If this is indeed vanity pounds, they will be a bitch to lose, I've been there.
          been there!

          do you have food sensivities? lactose intolerance? fructose intolerance?

          I have been following the fodmaps guidelines and it really helped me.

          I agree with emmie: bring your own food! Back when I was still doing shift work, I'd bring half a chicken a day, a few veggies, my own salad and dressing. You could even go down to 2 meals a day instead of 3 and use that "break " time to do other things.
          5'7'' 127 lbs, primal since August 2011

          My journal:


          • #6
            If you want to be leaner you will need to act leaner. In order to lose ten pounds I would start with reducing the amount of food you are eating (e.g. one less egg for breakfast) and switch your exercise to happen after you wake up while you are fasted. Stop eating cheese. Don't snack in between meals and no calories from liquids or fluids. Sleep more. I'd start with that.
            ad astra per aspera


            • #7
              Have you tried IF? That is what I have been experimenting with to lose my "vanity" pounds.


              • #8
                I'd be wary of the cafeteria food as well. Sadly what looking into food tells us is that even the most benign and truly healthy things like spinach, tomato, grilled chicken, etc, can come laden with things like MSG, preservatives, caramel coloring, and HFCS. Unless the cafeteria in the hospital is actually grilling the breast fresh, it is likely a packaged sliced breast with caramel coloring pressed on to look grilled, and pumped with preservatives and so forth.

                I've always been pretty grossly overweight so not familiar with the vanity pounds plight that others know of, except in passing. What I wonder is, do you really NEED to lose that weight? Instead, maybe you need to change your body composition - build new muscle in place of the last stubborn bits of fat.

                So I guess I am wondering if this vanity weight is because of the number on the scale, or the way your body looks? If it is the former.... forget about it! :P If it is the latter, maybe change up your workout?

                10 pounds or no 10 pounds, I'd ditch the cafeteria food if possible. >.<


                • #9
                  I agree with emmie pack a lunch to work! For a few weeks don't eat cheese and fruit, stick with more vegetables. Also you may be not be getting enough "good" fat. Sounds like you're getting alot of protein but low fat. For dinner rotate fish, chicken, and a fat steak. Take the leftover to work for your spinach salad and be sure to make your own dressing. Keep your daily carbs under 50, walk in the evening for 20 to 30 minutes, good luck