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  • A thought about Fat Loss

    There are so many stall threads on here right now, and I was thinking about weight loss in terms of different types- fat loss, water weight and muscle wasting.

    I think for me, water weight loss (and gain) is very immediate- 8-10 lbs in a few days, comes off in a week or so. Water weight comes on for mainly reasons of making bad food choices, and the longer I eat Primal, the less bad food choices bloat me. I feel like when people post "I lost 10 lbs in the first two weeks", they were losing water weight due to previous bad food choices and can not expect to keep up that pace. You may also be losing some fat and potentially muscle.

    Then we have muscle wasting. In the past, my loss was very linear. Regular weekly loss, and when eating primally, when I was not working out, it was very similar. Regular 1/2-2lbs a week. I think muscle loss drove some of this (probably also some fat loss).

    Now my fat loss is really random. It is not associated (that I can tell), with details of my diet. If I plateau not much of anything drives weightloss. I just start looking smaller, then all the sudden, a permanant loss of 3-4 lbs overnight. I might bump up or down a bit, but it seems to become my new weight until the next loss. I'm fairly certain it is fat loss now, and not water weight or muscle wasting. I feel like my body is just slowly discarding fat regardless of my diet, as long as my diet is reasonable. And it's like random, patchy losses of weight.

    While it is comforting to lose the fat, and easy to eat this way, it is somewhat frustrating and confusing because I want a "cause and effect"- for example, "If I cut all dairy I drop fat". But this week, I have had dairy, a muffin, some sugar and a paleo treat.... and lost fat. For weeks, I ate strict Whole 30 and didn't drop an ounce. Yet I have lost weight on Whole 30 in the past. So I don't have a good "cause and effect", just an overall if I eat pretty much right, and work out, eventually I'll drop more fat off my frame.

    I think for people who are overweight but have not traditionally been overeaters, it is really a strange process to lose fat.

    http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
    Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

  • #2
    Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
    While it is comforting to lose the fat, and easy to eat this way, it is somewhat frustrating and confusing because I want a "cause and effect"-
    I'm like you in this respect but have come to the conclusion it doesn't quite work like that. I lost 60lbs between last March and Christmas in a nice steady fashion. I promised myself a blowout over the ten days we were away with family over Xmas and New Year. I put on about three pounds. In a month I lost five pounds and thought everything was wonderful. Then I hit a plateau. Stayed there a month even though I was eating the right stuff, but, I am also doing strength training and have to believe that I am putting on muscle that is counteracting the fat loss as far as the scales are concerned.

    On the bright side, I can get into 36" waist trousers I bought last July when I was still at 40" and I am beginning to see muscle definition on my upper arms, shoulders and legs. I have come to the conclusion that at 5' 11" and 178 - 183lbs, I am close to as light as I am going to be. I can feel I still have fat around my belly but I think I am using this source of food to power my strength training.

    I was concerned about weight loss but now I am concentrating on how I want to look. I am fortunate in that I never lied to myself when I was fat and now I can accept my shape changing rather than the scales moving.
    Why use a sledge hammer to crack a nut when a steam roller is even more effective, and, is fun to drive.

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    • #3
      I agree, it is certainly not linear. It is also a lot trickier to keep losing once the body gets closer to lean. Lyle Mcdonald wrote quite a bit about the "whoosh" phenomena, when you dont lose for a week and the. Drop a few pounds over night.

      I know for me that if i got too low in calories that i will stall and even gain a bit in some cases. Also some nights when i drink a few beers and have a big cheat meal the next morn i will wake up 3lbs lighter.

      The biggest thing for consistent fat loss is eating a sound, nutritious diet not to low in calories or any certain macros and very high in nutrients. Always track your progress and if you dont see a downward trend in a week or two the. It is time to change something, maybe just a refeed day or switch up the macros.

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      • #4
        Always track your progress and if you dont see a downward trend in a week or two the. It is time to change something, maybe just a refeed day or switch up the macros.
        See, I would like that, but for me, the trend is more like months.

        http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
        Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
          See, I would like that, but for me, the trend is more like months.
          Then something is wrong.

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          • #6
            i've noticed something similar in regards to food; as long as i stay mostly primal most of the time, nothing much changes.

            in trying a few different exercise approaches in the past year, i've realized that my body fat is really affected by how and how much i move. i was the leanest i've ever been (which i really just consider less jiggly than normal) last summer when i was working out intensely and eating a lot more than i usually do. it was lots and lots of conditioning work, almost to the point of chronic cardio, but i trimmed down. it wasn't sustainable for very long, and i slowly went back to normal jiggly status over time when i switched back to my regular workout routines.

            so much can affect fat loss, and i want that linear equation too. i keep forgetting that being really lean (which i don't think i'm even close to) goes against what the body wants. i feel like you have to either constantly work it really hard or constantly trick it to get what you want.
            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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            • #7
              Then something is wrong.
              So what do you suppose is wrong? What I do works, eventually. But it's a rapid loss of usually 4-6 lbs, followed by plateaus that are unbreakable with the only factor that seems to work being related to time.

              For the record, I'm not yet close to lean, but weigh less now than I have at any point in time since hitting puberty. Once I hit into that range (my weight at puberty), the loss has been these random chunks that no amount of tweaking macros, food elimination, calorie restriction etc. seems to effect.

              http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
              Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Zach View Post
                Then something is wrong.
                No there isn't. Different metabolisms work differently. Young men will see changes much faster than older women. Hormones, you know.

                Maggie- I work with mostly women as a nutrition coach and the overall trend is definitely not linear. Once we get their hormones working right (which can take 6 months to 2 years, depending on their gut health and ability to absorb the Primal nutrient-dense foods I recommend) fat loss does get easier, but never linear. You have to be patient and persistent.

                And I agree with PrimalRob, that adding in more slow movement can be really helpful--but only if your hormones are in balance!
                Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
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                • #9
                  Maggie, I like that you keep on it and aren't obsessing, and overall it's working for you. Two other factors that make a difference for me are sleep (I'm getting better at getting what I need) and stress (working on managing it). If I have a week of poor sleep, forget about weight loss, and watch a few pounds come on.

                  Here's another thing to think about from the Primal perspective: if you look at photos of hunter-gatherers, some will be more muscular and lean, some not. Like Primal Rob said, if you get into intense conditioning, your body will show it. If you're fairly sedentary, your body will show that. And as long as you're healthy and happy, not being in fitness-magazine-cover shape doesn't matter. (I'm preaching to myself here, by the way, wishing my 4-pack were 6...)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
                    So what do you suppose is wrong? What I do works, eventually. But it's a rapid loss of usually 4-6 lbs, followed by plateaus that are unbreakable with the only factor that seems to work being related to time.

                    For the record, I'm not yet close to lean, but weigh less now than I have at any point in time since hitting puberty. Once I hit into that range (my weight at puberty), the loss has been these random chunks that no amount of tweaking macros, food elimination, calorie restriction etc. seems to effect.
                    I dont know, i know nothing about your diet, lifestyle, history, etc.

                    Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
                    No there isn't. Different metabolisms work differently. Young men will see changes much faster than older women. Hormones, you know.

                    Maggie- I work with mostly women as a nutrition coach and the overall trend is definitely not linear. Once we get their hormones working right (which can take 6 months to 2 years, depending on their gut health and ability to absorb the Primal nutrient-dense foods I recommend) fat loss does get easier, but never linear. You have to be patient and persistent.

                    And I agree with PrimalRob, that adding in more slow movement can be really helpful--but only if your hormones are in balance!
                    If it takes a month to lose a pound then something is wrong, i dont care what age or gender.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Zach View Post
                      If it takes a month to lose a pound then something is wrong, i dont care what age or gender.
                      Nothing is wrong if the body is in healing mode. There is always a good reason for fat loss stalls and sometimes all that is needed is patience.
                      Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
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                      Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
                        Nothing is wrong if the body is in healing mode. There is always a good reason for fat loss stalls and sometimes all that is needed is patience.
                        No doubt, one should not be trying to lose fat if they need to heal first. My comments are made based on her trying to lose fat. Hense why i said something is wrong as in needs fixing.

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                        • #13
                          It's the same for me. I will steadily drop lbs for a couple of weeks, then nothing for a couple of weeks, a hormonal gain and then it gradually drops roughly down to where it was before.

                          A couple of months ago I had a big hormonal gain of 2 kilos which didn't seem to want to go away and stuck around for about 4 or 5 weeks. Really frustrating, but eventually it disappeared.

                          The weird thing with me is that, even when the scales are not moving and even measurements don't seem to be changing, it seems that every so often I will look in the mirror or try on clothes that didn't fit before and all of a sudden there seems to be huge changes in body comp. Perhaps it's just that I often don't look at myself in the mirror properly, but it can seem that these big changes almost happen overnight.

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                          • #14
                            Hense why i said something is wrong as in needs fixing.
                            Yeah... I don't know what needs fixing though. I feel fine, good sleep, low stress, work out (not too strenuous, not too easy), eat quality foods, don't drink. Probably close to 95%/5%.

                            I bet that tomorrow, I could go do slim fast and lose a pound or 3 in a week, but it would come back as soon as I ate normally again. (been there, done that).

                            I just feel like for fat loss, I need to expand my timeline (and maybe others do as well). The key about this round of weight loss is that it has been sustainable. (IE, I get to a point and stay there unless I bloat). In the past, it was not sustainable. But this route is much slower, and just, well, weird. If this was a normal diet and I stalled for a month or two, I'd say (&^&&% it and move on. But now I say (*^&^&^^ it and just keep eating primal.

                            Which makes me wonder, is fat loss less about "creating a deficit and burning fat for fuel" or is it more about the body becoming more stabilized with nutrients and less full of toxins and releasing fat? Like I imagine many, many overweight women ate for years like I did- a relatively low calorie diet full of nutrient void foods, topped off with some chemical toxins and we put on fat not due to eating excess fuel, but to somehow trap toxins and protect ourselves? And that when I did lose weight, it was never really fat, just muscle?

                            http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                            Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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                            • #15
                              I think the female cycle also has a lot to do with this. For me, just when I would hope to lose weight, I head into the second half of my cycle and retain extra water. After my period starts, I see that weight loss of a couple pounds. It is never linear for me and I can go months without losing weight although my clothes fit better.

                              Grok didn't have a scale or tape measure. If you're feeling good and looking better, who cares what any statistical matters say. I laugh at the scale now because it seems to be playing a joke on me.

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