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  • Struggling a bit lately

    Hey Everyone, I come to you all for some advice.

    I have been struggling lately, especially mentally, regarding my overall weight and physical appearance.

    My story in a nutshell is that I lost about 90 pounds with CW almost 2 years ago and was able to keep it up. Last August I started doing the Warrior Diet, which means that I ate one meal a day. This consisted of mostly raw and cooked veggies, switching between days of high protein, high fat, or high carb (which was about 1 or 2x a week). Although the carbs I consumed with the warrior diet were all gluten free (i.e., brown rice, quinoa, legumes), I did not really enjoy consuming them. I finally gave up all grains and legumes over a month ago after reading MDA.

    One big difference I noticed between The Primal Blueprint style and Warrior Diet style is the focus on fat. Whereas the BP says to eat a high fat/medium protein diet every day, the WD says to eat either a high fat/low protein or a high protein/low fat diet. I was beginning to be very frustrated by the WD after a while because I began to obtain that famous CW fat phobia again, thinking that I was going to do something wrong in the process.

    I decided to adopt the PB principles while maintaining the every day fast, eating all of my calories in one big dinner at around 7pm every day. Lately, however, I feel like I have been gaining a bit of weight despite staying active and eating strictly PB. I have gone as far as eliminating many many veggies from my diet, coming very close to a zero carb eating style over the last few weeks. I am also active by lifting kettlebells 3 days a week for 30 minutes, and doing little things in life to work yourself: Things like parking my car on the far side of the parking lot and walking, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or riding my bike whenever possible to avoid driving period.

    The general consensus on this site seems to be that I should not be counting calories given that I eat very little carbs and quality fat (no nuts or vegetable oils; lots of good fat products such as coconut oil, organic butter, sour cream, organic cream, russian style salted pork fat, uncured bacon, eggs) to name a few. My general policy on eating is to eat until I feel satisfied. I never measure the amount of food i eat and refuse to go back to the days where I track my intake on sites like fit day. This type of behavior seems unnecessary anyways.

    So here is my question. Despite attempts at maintaining a proper 6:3 ratio by avoiding bad fats and taking salmon pills; very very strongly limiting my veggie consumption, eliminating all fruit, and eating a diet resembling a zero carb diet whilst enjoying my meaty fatty goodness of pork products and sour cream, I feel like I am gaining weight.

    I am a 22 year old 5' 9" male who is pretty active and weighs about 157 +/- 3 lbs. I feel like my progress is nonexistent. Despite the kettlebells, my body shape is not where I want it to be. Maybe it is just loose skin from my overweight days, but that may also be a mental excuse to label any adipose tissue around my stomach.

    I just got back from a trip from Boston where I literally spent all day on my feet walking, climbing stairs, and standing on subways. I attempted to maintain my eating habits, but had a few slips during several days. On one day I may have eaten too much protein when free meat appetizers were served at a grad student party at a bar. Another night I ate horrible horrible chinese food with a bunch of colleagues. And one more night I ate way way way too much cheese (I could not help it, not only was it free, but the selection was diverse and delicious). Needless to say, I have been feeling flabby lately and I can't figure out what I am doing wrong.

    Today for example, this is what I ate:

    5 smoked pork ribs
    8 slices of hungarian pork sausage
    several hearty dollops of sour cream
    16 oz (2 small bags) of pork rinds (eaten with that sour cream and some mustard is delicious)
    not sure on the portion, but some bulgarian feta cheese
    finished off with a hearty portion of organic whipped cream, whipped with some cinnamon and a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder.

    I felt very hungry because I felt that I have done a TON of walking over the last week, but did not properly nourish my body in the process. As much as i love traveling, its the eating in restaurants that usually bothers me. I like eating at home better.

    Does anyone have any suggestions to me? I am wondering whether I am just throwing myself in a deep mental spiral and stressing myself out over nothing. In all honesty, I would really like to achieve that great super lean look, but in reality that may not totally happen because of some of that extra skin I have left from my heavier days. Either way, I am mentally unsatisfied and would love to hear the insight of others who share a similar lifestyle to myself.

    I really want to know if it would be possible for me to see some progress in the future because truth be told, with summer approaching I would like to eat an occasional watermelon slice, share a few cups of cherries with my mom, or have some raspberries and strawberries from our backyard garden. I still have the demons of my overweight days haunting me to this day and I am afraid that even one bite of a raspberry will lead me to gain weight. I don't want to be afraid of pleasant food. I just want to be happy but my overactive mind will not allow it. Any thoughts?
    --
    Here it is, your moment of zen.

    It's a no brainer: The journal of the cerebelum

  • #2
    First off, breathe! I am just starting on this WOL myself, but I think you need to let yourself enjoy those berries, the cup of cherries with your mom and relax. This isn't a diet, but a way of life, and you need to enjoy life and what you are doing. Believe me, I understand about the desire to be thin and toned! (if you are interested in my back story, I pretty much spell it out in my journal). I found in my weight loss life, that changing things up is what got me to slide off that plateau. Maybe, your body has gone into a starvation mode with doing the WD (granted, I have not read it or know anything about it so this is just personal thoughts and suggestions) and maybe what you need to do, is eat a small something for breakfast and a lunch, perhaps a salad with meat with a good olive oil/lemon juice/mustard dressing for lunch to 'shock' your body into loosing weight again. Could be, depending on how long you have done WD your body has settled into the routine and gotten 'lazy'. Not YOU being lazy, but your body has gotten set in its ways. Hope this helps. Just a few random thoughts
    Every day is another stitch in the quilt of life.
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~
    Re-Start date 6/23/2011
    me--Post pregnancy --mama to a beautiful baby boy--
    273.4/269.3/115
    Hubby--230/227.8/165

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    • #3
      It seems to me that you are focusing ALL your efforts on proteins and fats? Where are your vegetables? Mark suggests that you eliminate grains and sugars but that you still get some carbs through vegetables, keeping your total daily carbs between 50 - 100 grams. A good portion of your vitamin and mineral intake will be from vegetables and fruit. Mark suggests you limit but not eliminate your fruit intake. He is a strong supporter of berries as they are high in antioxidants, and vitamins but low in natural sugars. So go ahead and have some raspberries, cherries or strawberries. Toss them into a Big Ass Salad at lunch. Just limit the more sugary fruits like mango and plums. Maybe take a look at the meats and fats you are eating? Some sausages have a lot of filler and processed ingredients. When you eat ribs, what kind of marinade or sauce is on them? The first ingredient listed on most barbecue or rib sauce is usually sugar. It also seems that you eat a lot of cheeses. Although dairy is not completely cut out from primal eating Mark suggests eating raw unpasturized organic milk, and cheese and sour cream are not something that cave men would have made so perhaps limit those? Protein is important yes, but you need the nutrition and energy that vegetables offer. You will notice a huge improvement in your daily energy levels if you start eating a variety of vegetables with your proteins.
      The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease. - Thomas Edison

      Vancouver Island Primal and Paleo Living <<< join our Facebook Group

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      • #4
        Nix the dairy, don't worry about an occasional cup of berries. All dairy is designed for babies and is the food that allows them to grow ten-fold in size in a short amount of time. If you are already low carb and want to lean out, that is the thing to drop. It also might be worth tracking (just for a few weeks) to see how many calories you are actually eating.

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        • #5
          My goodness you sound exactly like me. I'm 5'8 @ 154 lbs... and unhappy with my belly fat. I am completely carnivore as of now, not even dairy anymore, just some coconut oil to help me out at the gym. Let me tell you that dropping dairy has not done shit for me. Have you tried CO?
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          • #6
            I second adding some vegetables, especially leafy greens. I know that "carbs = insulin = fat storage" but I don't think anyone ever gained weight by eating more kale (or any other greens). My experience with lowering vegetable intake is that I ate more meat and fat to feel full. I think this makes it alot easier to eat many more calories, since meat and fat are so energy dense. I know calories aren't the whole story, but I believe they do play at least some role in determining body weight. Leafy greens have pretty much the lowest energy density of any type of food, although they are full of vitamins and minerals. I also noticed an increase in energy levels when I added veggies back. I felt like I was dragging most days when I was near-carnivore, but that has gotten at least marginally better with the addition of more vegetables to my diet.

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            • #7
              how about switching your fasts? try mixing them up, im pretty sure your body has already gotten used to the one meal a day thing. How about sprints? That's the best fat sizzling exercise i can think of off the top of my head. and dont forget, some of that weight is most likely just water weight.
              "I know what my body needs and what it can handle. There's no better way to achieve my goal than what im doing now. If my regimen leads to my death, be it in six days or six months...I will die fullfiled. The outcome is irrelavent so long as i steer towards my fate. If death is to be my prize, i welcome it with open arms."

              "A pound of meat a day keeps the doctor away"

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              • #8
                Thanks for the input everyone! The meal I described is not what I eat everyday. Those ribs were a first for me, and they were not bbq, but rather smoked ribs I purchased from a local Hungarian deli. I do agree, however, that the meat was a tad too processed for regular consumption. I had just gotten back from Boston about an hour before and did not feel like cooking anything at all.

                Regarding dairy, I used to love yogurt and kefir (not a fan of milk itself though), which are fermented and therefore eliminate the lactose that contributes to the 'dairy' label. Same with cheese, as it is mostly fat. Cream and sour cream are really lactose and casein free, and therefore are dairy foods but not real dairy foods as they lack the sugar and protein. They are pretty much butter fat which is fine to consume.

                I love veggies. In fact, before reading MDA forums I would literally eat a few pounds of both raw and cooked veggies a day. The flavors were great, and they all tasted very good (but a bit pricey to buy pounds upon pounds of veggies at a time from the store). ALthough they contain vitamins and great flavor, certain people on the forum also argue that they are unnecessary for humans (it all depends whom you ask). Nevertheless, I am not planning on completely giving them up, but rather limiting them from the pounds and pounds of cooked eggplant, zucchini, and broccoli to the occasional 2-3 servings of light veggies for the nutrients.

                I really do think that much of this is in my mind. There is really no need for me to be the ripped person whom I was describing, as the process would make me unhappy. I enjoy being fairly fit (and have been incorporating sprints as of lately) but I was wondering whether I could do anything else. What I label as visible body fat my family labels as loose skin (and I trust them with honesty, my parents would tell me I'm fat if they truly thought so).
                --
                Here it is, your moment of zen.

                It's a no brainer: The journal of the cerebelum

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                • #9
                  I have "stalled out" a bit the last two weeks and only lost one pound. I am going to give up cheese, my only dairy and almond butter.

                  Hoping for a better week this week!
                  Rangers Lead the Way, Hooah!

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                  • #10
                    Hey

                    Im 5'9", 160. I was 150 when i started PB. My weight gain has been muscle mass and I think this is key to shrinking belly fat. Muscles burn calories. I think my natural weight at 5'9" should be closer to 175. I have a bit of a left over belly pooch, mostly loose skin that just hangs in an unattractive way if i bend over a certain way, but I also have more strength to gain to be able to handle my frame comfortably ( I can only do about 5 full hang pullups, 20 pushups in one set. This is way better then before PB, but below what I think should be my natural leverl of fitness) Gaining LBM will reduce bodyfat %. In my unknowledgeable opinion, I think its better for guys our size to focus more on giving our bodies everything it needs and error more on the side of a little too much good stuff then too little. Be patient and be open to the idea that maybe you need to bulk up alittle to hit your BF% instead of slimming down to underwear model physique.

                    My 2cents
                    g'luck
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      @Meatme

                      I started doing kettlebells exactly for the reason of gaining muscle, and gain muscle i did. Although I never had that killer six pack, my arms got noticeably larger and my strength increased. I started KBs with a 35lb but then quickly went up to a 50lb and have recently been using both to combine into an 85lb weight for exercises such as squats.

                      What really pains me is that I feel that rather than losing fat, I am still gaining it. I just went on a trip and was not able to lift for a week. Rather than lifting, however, I did a lot of walking (literally being on my feet all day). Now that I am back home, I am drained but I want to resume the weightlifting sessions tomorrow.

                      I am just very frustrated right now. I feel that despite of doing everything right, from cutting out fruit and limiting veggies (the only carbs I consumed before hand) to increasing fat and maintaining my exercise levels I am not making progress. It almost feels like my pants are getting tighter on me.
                      I have been eating a little too many salty foods lately so it could very well be bloating from water weight, but that anxious feeling that I retained from the heavier days is telling me that I have been gaining fat again.
                      --
                      Here it is, your moment of zen.

                      It's a no brainer: The journal of the cerebelum

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've also been reading all the great success stories that fellow Primals have been experiencing simply removing all those unnatural foods and losing weight whereas I feel that the effect is nonexistent for me. If optimal health is 80 percent diet and the remaining 20 percent are an amalgam of exercise and stress management/sleep, then truly believed that I had a good homeostasis going for a while. Now the motivation behind this post is really stress related. My appearance caused me stress, and I wanted to turn to answers from other knowledgeable people who have gone through similar experiences.

                        Some say that my daily IFs could be contributing, but that seems a bit paradoxical as IFs are recommended for fat loss; now it seems that the IFs may stall it or reverse it. Am I misinterpreting?

                        I really hate feeling like this, and I want to restore myself back to normal. I understand that I may never get that 'ripped' physique, but I care more about being healthy in mind and body than in superficial appearance.
                        --
                        Here it is, your moment of zen.

                        It's a no brainer: The journal of the cerebelum

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's definitely not working for me either. After reducing my diet to nothing but eggs and ground beef, I SHOULD be ripped but I still look like I did one year ago. And it's depressing the crap out of me. I'm gonna have to get the mirror in my room removed. I'm struggling at the gym because of this, too.

                          I'm starting to doubt this diet and I'm thinking that some of us really are meant to be like this forever. I feel like I'm wasting my time. After one damn year I have not progressed AT ALL. Still skinny fat.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rphlslv View Post
                            It's definitely not working for me either. After reducing my diet to nothing but eggs and ground beef, I SHOULD be ripped but I still look like I did one year ago.
                            .
                            You follow something that is completely different from what Mark advocates, so do not go bashing "this diet" when you do not adhere to it. Its dishonest. How can you ignore the fact that your body is not functioning properly because you are not receiving enough nutrients? While it may not have been a bulk of his diet, it is proven that early man foraged for plant foods, and ATE them. This is exactly why 0 carb is foolish in my opinion, it ignores the fact that plants play a vital role in opitmal gene expression, and thus optimal physique. Your other posts on other member's questions all tell them to ditch the greens! ditch the fruit! etc, but obviously, this is not optimal....you can see it for yourself, no? Your comprehension of the diet is 2-dimensional. I would stop stressing your body out, start eating something OTHER than eggs and meat, and start feeling better.

                            For the record, I eat plants, berries, nuts, GASP! and even chocolate. I have a very nice, toned body, very little body fat, and my boyfriend cant keep his friggin hands off me. oh yeah, and i don't feel like Sh** all the time. Good luck!

                            cerebelum: sorry to rant on your thread.
                            Last edited by lmyers04; 06-02-2010, 11:25 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lmyers04 View Post
                              You follow something that is completely different from what Mark advocates, so do not go bashing "this diet" when you do not adhere to it. Its dishonest. How can you ignore the fact that your body is not functioning properly because you are not receiving enough nutrients. Your other posts on other member's questions all tell them to ditch the greens! ditch the fruit! etc, but obviously, this is not optimal....you can see it for yourself, no? I would stop stressing your body out, start eating something OTHER than eggs and meat, and start feeling better.
                              I feel perfectly fine. I feel amazing and constantly energized while carnivore. My health is great, I'm never sick and I heal extremely fast. But I'm still fat, that's the only problem. And I believe this my be the OP's problem too, so my sympathies.

                              Btw I just had a cheat... I ate a cucumber.
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