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2 years primal, still 30 lbs over. What else can I do?

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  • 2 years primal, still 30 lbs over. What else can I do?

    Hello, I've been eating primal for 2 years in July. I love the way it makes me feel, I have loads of energy & can sleep fairly easily. I'm very rarely hungry, even though I really only eat one meal a day. I start the day with bulletproof coffee, and that takes me through until the afternoon, when I eat a small meal consisting of mostly vegetables (greens, green beans, broccoli, carrots, etc) with some sort of organic/grassfed meat. I usually add some kerrygold butter to the vegetables. Then for dinner I'll have something small like a kefir smoothie with berries or just a bowl of bone broth with some mushrooms or greens in it. If I get hungry during the day, I snack on macadamia nuts (no more than a handful per day).
    I just don't understand why I can't lose this last 30 lbs. This is the weight where I always stop & plateau. The 2 times in my adult life that I've gone below it has been by using slim fast or some crazy intense diet pill. I don't want to do that. It's not good for my body. But I also don't understand why I keep getting stuck at this weight. I use to run regularly, but it never helped me lose weight. I've done p90x and insanity and crossfit, gave each of them a month & didn't lose a pound. I work out hard, my husband used to be a personal trainer & I don't just slide through it. But for the last year or so, without seeing any progress at all, I can't bring myself to work out anymore. It just doesn't produce results.
    I was wondering if there might be something that anyone can see that I need to change. I just don't understand why it's not "falling off" like it does for so many people. I never binge eat, and don't understand how anyone could eat a whole bag of chips or whole container of ice cream in one serving.
    After tracking my calories, I regularly consume about 1400 or less calories every day.
    What else can I do? I'm wondering if there's something medically wrong with me, preventing the weight loss. I'm 5'9", and weigh 190. It's not a healthy weight. This is not where my body should be. Just looking for some insight.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Sleep?

    Light?

    Artificial light regulates fat mass: no bueno. | The poor, misunderstood calorie

    Comment


    • #3
      If the light isn't an issue in your life, I'd find a doctor who listens to her/his patients and believes them and get a full thyroid check. Also make her/him aware of any medications you might be taking.

      I get your frustration. If I worked out hard and lived on 1400 calories, I'd be screaming by now for some professional to figure out what the hell was wrong. I only eat a little over that, but I'm a good four inches shorter than you and I made the trade off so that I wouldn't have to hassle with lots of exercise.

      Also, and this is completely an n=1, I've never found exercise in a gym as effective as almost anything I do outdoors. Walking outdoors for an hour a day is more effective (again for me) in weight control than 90 min/day on a treadmill. I don't know why, especially since I most likely walk more slowly outdoors than I do on a treadmill. It could be natural light; it could be that on the treadmill, my body never learns that it needs to be thin enough to transport me X miles to stay healthy. I honestly don't know. Splashing and playing in an ocean or lake for me is more effective than laps in a pool. Maybe these more natural forms of exercise help with cortisol levels. Whatever it is, time and time again, gyms fail me when simply buying some decent shoes and walking around the neighborhood doesn't. I have nothing to link to that says this is the case.

      But primarily, I'd see a doctor. We can put them down for being next to useless for nutritional advice, but the good ones are damn fine diagnosticians. If your state considers gynecologists to be primary care physicians, you could request the tests from her/him. Good GYNs tend to take women seriously. Good luck.
      "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

      B*tch-lite

      Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

      Comment


      • #4
        Just some random thoughts as I read through your OP:

        1) Exercise for weight loss is very inefficient. Exercise has many benefits but weight loss is a poor one.
        2) The food you mention seems OK but the caloric value you mention makes me think you are not consuming very much food. In that case, your leptin level/sensitivity is probably telling your brain to "store more fat". "We're in a famine with too much strenuous work to do (aka exercise)".

        My advice? Restrict your exercise to strength building and eat more food with protein/fats from animal sources and non-starchy vegetables.
        Stop by to visit at http://primalways.net
        Old Paths ... New Journeys

        Comment


        • #5
          After tracking my calories, I regularly consume about 1400 or less calories every day.
          What else can I do? I'm wondering if there's something medically wrong with me, preventing the weight loss. I'm 5'9", and weigh 190. It's not a healthy weight. This is not where my body should be. Just looking for some insight.
          I look at what you eat, and how you tried to workout and you probably have to a degree put your body into a level of stress.

          I got stuck with low carbs, and started to have other stress signs (hair loss, mental issues). I added back in high quality carbs (about 100-150 grams a day) and it helped me lose some weight/lean out and supported my workouts. I am now carb cycling and at first, it's freakish because you bloat. And overnight you weigh more. But then it just falls off.

          I feel much better since adding carbs back in and while the weight loss has been slow, I've made strength gains and leaned out. I feel a lot better as well and my hair is growing back. I'm at my lowest weight since last year when I was doing VLC and wanting to kill someone and looking ragged. I'm a lot stronger. I now eat 1700-2000 calories a day, workout hard 2 days a week, moderate 2 days a week and easy cardio 1 day a week. I am hungry at times, but nothing awful and no cravings.

          I think VLC is fine if you want to be sedentary. But if you want to be active, it ends up eroding you over time. You can stay primal and eat more carbs. I've added back in some grains (not daily), but you can add carbs with fruit and sweet potatoes, rice etc.

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

          Comment


          • #6
            And for me, the gym is critical because I need muscle due to slack skin.

            I think both methods are valid- mainly depends on you. But you can't mix carbs with sedentary and you can't mix VLC with high activity.

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

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
              ... you can't mix VLC with high activity.
              Many VLC's support high activity levels. Your statement is true only for those dependent on glucose for energy, but for those who toggle their genetic switches from glucose dependency to fat for fuel, energy levels are high and sustained evenly through the day.
              Stop by to visit at http://primalways.net
              Old Paths ... New Journeys

              Comment


              • #8
                It sounds like your body may be under stress possibly from lack of food. I agree with Joanie, get a thyroid panel and get your cortisol level checked.

                Ditch the BP coffee and start your day with real food. Where's the meat in your diet? Like Mags suggested add in some carbs too, but seriously eat some meat.
                Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lulumom View Post
                  After tracking my calories, I regularly consume about 1400 or less calories every day.
                  What else can I do? I'm wondering if there's something medically wrong with me, preventing the weight loss. I'm 5'9", and weigh 190. It's not a healthy weight. This is not where my body should be.
                  At your ht, wt and age between 25-40, BMR is 1600-1660. So chances are you're miscalculating and eating more than 1400 but you're not far off considering you're not active. The bottom line is that since you're not losing/gaining, you're at maintenance calories. You're consuming just enough calories to keep your body functioning at your current level of activity/inactivity, but not giving it a reason to tap your fat stores.

                  You need to create an energy deficit. Since you're eating on the low end, you shouldn't eat less. Your alternative is to exercise more WITHOUT compensating and eating those calories back. This is probably why you didn't lose fat when exercising if for example you burned 500 calories and rewarded yourself by eating 500 calories more.

                  Try eating the SAME amount you're eating (since you say you have energy and aren't hungry) but add exercise. If I were you, I'd stop wasting HUNDREDS of calories in bulletproof coffee and butter(no vitamins/minerals) and instead eat some starchy veg or fruit. You will eat more volume for the same calories and have even more energy for exercise. Also, a handful(half cup?) of macadamias is over 400 calories! and gone in 60 seconds. Make a meal of meat/veg/starch/fruit from those same calories and your meals won't be small as you describe.

                  The bottom line is stop looking for magic in any diet or macros. I'm down to 137 lbs eating high carb, lean meat, grains, legumes, veg, fruits, dairy and weekly ice cream and chocolate treats. I don't struggle with cravings any more. I eat 1700-1900 and exercise. To lose some more, instead of eating less, I'm exercising more. There are no miracles, only science! And ALL the science says that you need to create a negative energy balance (calorie deficit) for weight loss to occur. Or you could blame it on being a very special and unique human being who defies the laws of thermodynamics, or blame it on potentially non-existent medical problems and continue spinning your wheels.
                  Last edited by KimLean125byMar15; 05-29-2015, 09:18 AM.
                  *Starting Wt - 151 lbs (January 2015) * Current Wt - 113 lbs (November 2016)
                  *95% Plant-Based (from June 2015) ~ *75%Carbs *10-15%Protein *10-15%Fat
                  *Exercise ~7-10 hrs/week

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you don't mind, I took at stab at putting numbers on your menu:

                    BP coffee -- 3 tablespoons butter, 0.5 tablespoon coconut oil (??) -- 39 g fat, 355 cal
                    1/2 cup green beans -- 5 carb, 1.2 prot, 22 cal
                    1/2 cup broccoli -- 6 carb, 2 prot, 27 cal
                    1/2 cup carrots -- 6.4 carb, 0.6 prot, 27 cal
                    1 tbs butter -- 11.6 fat, 102 cal
                    1/3 pound 80% lean ground beef -- 18 fat, 28 prot, 285 cal
                    8 ounce lowfat kefir -- 11 prot, 12 carb, 2 fat, 110 cal
                    1/2 cup blueberries -- 10 carb 0.5 fat, 40 cal
                    2 ounce macadamia nuts (if you're 5'9", then your "handful" is big) -- 42 fat, 6 carb, 4 prot; 420 cal

                    Totals

                    47 Protein
                    -- not enough!
                    113 Fat -- a good amount for maintenance, but not for losing
                    45 Carb -- probably need more
                    1388 Calories

                    Even if my numbers are way off, it looks like your macro ratios are way out of line with primal macros. And the fat is the WRONG kind of fat: dairy, butter, NUTS! That would explain why you're "not hungry" even if you only eat "one real meal" per day. The fat should come from animals.

                    Swap out the BP coffee and swap in a 3 egg omelet with 25 grams veggie carb (tomato?).
                    Swap out the macadamia nuts and swap in two chicken thighs.
                    See a doc just to make sure your thyroid is okay.
                    5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Urban Forager View Post
                      It sounds like your body may be under stress possibly from lack of food. I agree with Joanie, get a thyroid panel and get your cortisol level checked.

                      Ditch the BP coffee and start your day with real food. Where's the meat in your diet?
                      +++

                      I nearly suggested thyroid, but I guess it would likely be depressed by not eating enough anyway.

                      I also nearly said "lack of food" to someone yet again. But I thought if I did the lady would be mobbed by dozens of posts from all the people online who seem to take any suggestion that calories in/calories out is a broken idea (which it is) as a personal offence. I find I so often want to say to people, "Please don't starve yourself; and also please bear in mind that you might be short on micronutrients, if you don't eat enough".

                      I did find it ominous, Lulumom, that you said: "don't understand how anyone could eat …." It kind of sounds like you've depressed your appetite. As for your managing to lose weight on the crash diet - much of that was probably muscle.

                      And, yes, meat - particularly at breakfast.

                      This kind of ties in with the sleep/light issue. Those disrupt circadian rhythms. Now meal timing and frequency - and what you eat - also have a big effect on circadian rhythms. Jack Kruse had stuff on this years ago - eating a large breakfast with plenty of protein in it within half an hour of waking seems to help res-set disturbed circadian rhythms. All this probably doesn't matter so much, if your circadian rhythms are OK, but if they're not … Bill Lagakos has recently been posting about studies on meal frequency and timing: a large and protein-rich breakfast and an early dinner seem to be the way to go. You can probably get away with a snack lunchtime, if you really can't manage much, but I don't think you want to be limiting your breakfast to coffee and butter. That ain't Paleo anyway. It's Dave Asprey's system whatever he calls it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Forgot to mention, I'm a stay at home mom in Arizona. It's sunny almost every day, and I spend about an hour outdoors per day, minimum. I have a garden, take the dogs out, play with the kids, etc.
                        But I should probably sleep longer every night. I do find it a challenge to get to bed early.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It sounds like you're starving yourself. I would eat more.
                          My opinions and some justification

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                            If the light isn't an issue in your life, I'd find a doctor who listens to her/his patients and believes them and get a full thyroid check. Also make her/him aware of any medications you might be taking.

                            I get your frustration. If I worked out hard and lived on 1400 calories, I'd be screaming by now for some professional to figure out what the hell was wrong. I only eat a little over that, but I'm a good four inches shorter than you and I made the trade off so that I wouldn't have to hassle with lots of exercise.

                            Also, and this is completely an n=1, I've never found exercise in a gym as effective as almost anything I do outdoors. Walking outdoors for an hour a day is more effective (again for me) in weight control than 90 min/day on a treadmill. I don't know why, especially since I most likely walk more slowly outdoors than I do on a treadmill. It could be natural light; it could be that on the treadmill, my body never learns that it needs to be thin enough to transport me X miles to stay healthy. I honestly don't know. Splashing and playing in an ocean or lake for me is more effective than laps in a pool. Maybe these more natural forms of exercise help with cortisol levels. Whatever it is, time and time again, gyms fail me when simply buying some decent shoes and walking around the neighborhood doesn't. I have nothing to link to that says this is the case.

                            But primarily, I'd see a doctor. We can put them down for being next to useless for nutritional advice, but the good ones are damn fine diagnosticians. If your state considers gynecologists to be primary care physicians, you could request the tests from her/him. Good GYNs tend to take women seriously. Good luck.
                            I did have my thyroid checked (thyroid problems run in my family), and was told I was fine. I don't have regular periods- up to 9 months between - so I went to an endocrinologist to get a full check on hormones. He sneered at me & told me I needed to eat less, my hormones are fine. At the time, I was trying to conceive my 2nd daughter & was going months between ovulations. Somehow, I ended up getting pregnant, so now I have my 2 girls.

                            Excellent point on the exercise - maybe that's what will work better for me. I'll focus more on walking & moving more rather than HIIT workouts.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The bottom line is stop looking for magic in any diet or macros. I'm down to 137 lbs eating high carb, lean meat, grains, legumes, veg, fruits, dairy and weekly ice cream and chocolate treats. I don't struggle with cravings any more. I eat 1700-1900 and exercise. To lose some more, instead of eating less, I'm exercising more. There are no miracles, only science! And ALL the science says that you need to create a negative energy balance (calorie deficit) for weight loss to occur. Or you could blame it on being a very special and unique human being who defies the laws of thermodynamics, or blame it on potentially non-existent medical problems and continue spinning your wheels.[/QUOTE]

                              I'm not trying to blame it on anything. I want honest input. I know that I need balance, and was hoping to have constructive criticism about what I'm doing. In the 2 years, I've tweaked my diet and exercise multiple times. I never said I defied any laws, I just want to know what
                              I'm doing wrong. Sometimes people need the input of others to see where there may be problems.

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