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Why am I not losing weight?

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  • Why am I not losing weight?

    Hi everyone!

    I apologize for being yet another person to ask this question, but I've been reading posts from people not losing weight on a primal diet all morning and can't find any cases similar enough to mine. I have read a lot of really helpful advice here and there, but I just want to be sure I'm not missing anything.

    First, I have an extreme amount (over 100lbs) of weight to lose to be considered a healthy weight. I have PCOS which has complicated weight loss efforts in the past, but I am currently taking Metformin 3xday to help combat that. I've had blood work and things like thyroid checked recently, no issues. My fasting blood sugar is 85, and my total cholesterol is 132.

    I started eating a mostly primal diet about 2 weeks ago. I was so excited for the first week because I dropped weight so quickly, and while I knew it was mostly water weight, it was still exciting. However, for the last 7 days, while I seem to be losing/gaining the same 1-2 pounds, I have had no net weight loss. I feel 100% better eating this way and have NO plans to "give up" (the energy alone is worth it) but I would like some suggestions for why I may not be losing.

    A typical day of eating for me:

    Breakfast: 3 whole eggs, 4 strips bacon (Trader Joe's nitrite/nitrate free, etc)
    Snack: Larabar (not considered Primal, I know)
    Dinner: Fatty Red Meat/Veggies (pot roast, chili, etc)
    Beverages: 60 ounces of water/average

    I'll occasionally throw in a piece of fruit as well. I'm not hungry eating this amount and I track my nutrition with Fitness Pal which shows I eat about ~1500 calories a day. I am cooking with coconut oil, olive oil or butter.

    Here are some more average daily stats:

    Total Fat (g) 81
    Saturated (g) 31
    Cholesterol (mg) 849
    Total Carbs (g) 49
    Protein (g) 104

    I, admittedly, am not doing much exercising yet (beyond short walks) because of my weight. I have a toddler, so keeping up with her is about the extent of it. I do plan to increase this slowly.

    I also read in another post where someone said eating bacon daily is not advised. I plan to cut my bacon intake down to only 1-2 days per week to see if that makes a difference. The same person said if you are eating enough protein and fat to "live off of" you will not lose weight, because your body will not be using any of it's reserves. Might this be the case with me?

    I really don't feel like I can increase my daily calories by much. Any other insight or suggestions would be very much appreciated! At this point I don't know whether I'm eating too many or too few carbs, fat grams, protein grams, etc... I keep reading conflicting information about this.

    I'm mainly confused at how someone as overweight as I am could be eating ~1500 daily calories and not losing a single pound. I don't "cheat" at all, beyond the Larabar, and I really just eat those to get enough calories in. I'm not a big meat eater, so transitioning into this style of eating is not an easy progression for me.

    Any (nice) words of wisdom?
    Last edited by dinogirl; 01-27-2013, 07:14 AM.

  • #2
    If you are feeling better it could be that your body is healing before it will lose weight.

    Can you change your larabar to a small handful of assorted nuts (different nuts have different minerals), seeds, coconut meat, olives and/or some fruit like blueberries, strawberries or other recommended fruits? This way you'll get enough calories and a wider range of vitamins and minerals. And don't forget the fat you are baking your eggs and meat in also counts. Counting calories correctly is difficult. It is easier to eat when hungry once you have figured how much you need to eat to lose weight, and only once in a wile check if you are not creeping up with the calories.

    Have you read the PB book yet? It has a chapter on calculating how much protein and other stuff is recommended. 1500 sounds ok but it depends on your height, weight etc. You should be eating the amount your body needs to stay alive when you are just laying in bed all day. If you get out of bed you use more energy, this will be the deficit your body will get from your fat reserves.

    Walking is a great way to start moving more and is gentle exercise for your bones and joints. It will also slightly increase the calories you burn. And the toddler will give you more exercise and probably some heavy lifting


    • #3
      Nothing happened for 2 weeks weight wise for me as well and I didn't have as much to lose as you do. Give it time, focus on eating right, with no snacking inbetween and taking a good walk every day.

      Good luck.


      • #4
        Hey dinogirl! Good for you for jumping on the Primal band wagon!

        I, too, was more than 100 lbs over weight. Here's the first lesson: It's not about calories in/calories out. It's about food choices, and what you are sensitive to. In all honesty, I lost the biggest chunk of my weight with hCG, but Primal will work very well too (Paleo is how I maintain my losses).

        Skip the eggs and bacon for now. Although there is a great amount of protein in eggs, bacon doesn't have as much as you would think. You might be sensitive to eggs. Instead, have a dinner type breakfast. Lots of veggies. How about somes zucchini, bell peppers, and kale cooked up in butter? You need plenty of protein too, so maybe add some diced steak or hamburger. You just got to think outside the box.

        How about a big ass salad (BAS)? Dark green leafy lettuce with some tuna or chicken? What I did notice is a lack of veggies in your sample menu. You can eat a ton of veggies and not add any calories. I used to eat a plate of spinach (10 in plate, 5 inches high) and not even clock 50 calories! Throw on a chicken breast with some tomatoes and cucumbers, with a bit of vinegar and oil, viola, BAS!

        Here's the bummer, lose the Larabar (I love them too, and even make them at home!). Nuts are high in protein, but also in calories, and sugar is sugar, even if it's in the form of dates!

        You didn't say how much healthy fat you are consuming. Butter, coconut oil, and EVOO are all great "go to" fats that are good for you, and your body needs. Especially if you don't really eat a lot of meat.

        Your water intake is great, keep that up!

        We are women, so we tend to be all about weight loss when we have plenty extra, but this isn't a "diet" per se. Paleo/Primal are solid lifetime eating habits we want to cultivate.

        Keep researching. There are so many websites that talk about Paleo/Primal and losing weight. Like I said before, I lost the bulk of my weight with hCG, but I would have just been wasting my time and money had I not discovered Paleo. You can read my story at A Journey: One Woman's Path to Healthy Living.

        Nothing ever happens overnight (or even in a few weeks). You didn't get overweight in a few weeks, you won't lose it that way either. But you are taking steps in the right direction by questioning your food and eating habits. That puts you way ahead of the curve! I would suggest a couple of books to help you on your journey:

        Nourshing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Eng- This one is a general read about healthy fats and how they work in your body.

        Real Foods by Nina Planck- This one is about real foods, and why we should eat them.

        Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas- Different than the standard Primal/Paleo books, lots of good info.

        The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sasson- Practically a holy bible on all things Primal!

        The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf- Lots of science-y stuff, and all about Paleo.

        The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain- One of the first books on Paleo eating.

        It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig- A jumpstart book for Paleo eating, based on their personal challenge for the Whole 30.

        These books are similar, but different. One method of eating isn't going to work for everyone. Personally, I mixed and matched information until something worked for me.

        I wish you the best! Keep learning and don't give up!


        • #5
          A few thoughts related to my own experiences...
          1) You likely are not eating enough. Lose the Larabar and if you're actually hungry eat a meal. If you're not hungry then wait until you are.
          2) Check out Mark's PBF - you can get it for free on his blog. Start at the lowest levels and do what you can - you will be able to do some of it. Or just get active with your toddler. I know my 2.5yo loves to be lifted up and down - repeatedly. A great workout for the arms. I am also amazed by how much of a workout enrolling him in a mom and tot swim class is!
          3) Try to relax a little. Your body needs time to heal itself, so you might not lose as quickly as you were hoping. Ensure you are providing the best nutrients possible and try not to stress about the numbers on the scale. Watch the fit of your clothes, as that's what other people are seeing anyway. I didn't really start losing for a few months because my body had some major healing to do (that I was unaware of), then I started losing 0.5-1lb/week and lost over 20lbs last year. I only have about 20lbs left and am hoping that by switching to more organics this year it will help even more. You didn't gain the weight overnight, so you can't expect to lose it that way.
          4) At most, weigh yourself once a week. Even better would be once a month due to the cycle changes for a woman. Your weight will fluctuate daily based on water intake, salt intake, and water retention. If you need numbers to analyze weekly, try taking measurements.

          Good luck! You can do it with time!


          • #6
            Heya, welcome home. I might have missed it but I dont know your height weight body type etc or any personal limiting factors but as a start I think these will help. Have you read the Book?

            1. get a stroller that is designed for serious walking and get thee hence. Walk at a comfy pace for an hour a day, find the time somehow. I had too and it made a huge difference to me. I was 150 ish lbs overweight and walking helped immensely. Walk to the parc and set the critter loose, you rest then walk home to start.

            2. As everyone said, up your veggie intake, it too has made a huge difference to my daily energy levels and saity. Every meal should be veggie heavy.

            3. Dont worry about loosing weight yet, you are still getting used to this and it will take time to realign the hormones and the energy budget your body needs. You may have issues with gut flora, insulin resistance and loads of other hormonal imbalances and it may take months to re regulate.

            4.Fermented foods. Make em eat em love em and repeat.

            5. Sleep.

            Eat a healthy diet with lots of mixed and varied veggies of all colors, enough protein and fat to be satisfying and dont give insulin a reason to jump and after a while your health will balance better and the weight will come off naturally.
            Primal since April 2012 Male 6' 3" SW 345lbs CW 240lbs GW 220lbs and when I get there I am getting a utlikilt. This one actually.

            Join me at, where all the cavemen hang out.


            • #7
              I think this is all good advice but I want to ask a question. I am similar to dinogirl. I haven't been loosing weight for two weeks now. I posted a similar question. Since we are Paleo and also have PCOS aren't we suppose to be eating lower carbs? So we should be watching our intake and some veggies will make that higher. I always reach my 50 grams of veggie but try not to go over that in order to control and eliminate insulin resistance. What are your thoughts on that?


              • #8
                That depends on the kinds of veggies. Greens and such like broccoli and cauliflower, you could eat a metric ton of them and you would have a hard time getting much carbs out of them. It is the starchy ones you want to avoid, Look up a list of veggies and their GI rating and select the low carb ones and go to town.

                Btw 50 grams of veggies is not 50 grams of carbs just in case you were confused. Most veggies are mostly water which does not count towards the carb count nor does the fiber etc. So a big ass salad ( for me that would be a 18 inch salad bowl 6 inches deep) of low carb veggies would have very few carbs.
                Primal since April 2012 Male 6' 3" SW 345lbs CW 240lbs GW 220lbs and when I get there I am getting a utlikilt. This one actually.

                Join me at, where all the cavemen hang out.


                • #9
                  Give it time, and when you start it helps to measure and track what you are eating. IE, weigh stuff out, measure butter carefully etc. It's easy to underestimate fat calories. LOL, I know I can make 3 eggs that are 210 calories.... or 310 calories depending on my butter use. You don't have to measure and track for ever, just until you get the gist of it.

                  Even with low carb you have to watch calories. I'd ditch the Larabar come up with a piece of fruit or maybe some meat and veg for a snack.

                  And never underestimate the power of your monthly cycle to mess up weightloss. I could STARVE myself and not lose an ounce the week after my period. Yet I can eat whatever and lose the week before. And fat loss kind of comes off in chunks for some people. Like dang, all the sudden you will be down a pant size and few lbs off the scale for seemingly no reason.

                  Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!


                  • #10
                    Def agree with giving it time.
                    It is still very early days. Even try and weigh only once a month. Or only measure. Scales will not always show a loss every single week.


                    • #11
                      I meant I get my 50 grams from veggies. Basically, I eat spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, Brussel sprouts, celery, kale, carrots, and cabbage. I almost never eat sweet potato.


                      • #12
                        Give it 6 weeks. And put away your scale. While I started feeling better right away, I didn't notice any difference in my clothes for about six weeks.
                        *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


                        • #13
                          I posted pics somewhere on here, of when I first started primal, but was doing CrossFit at the same time.
                          I gained about 5 kg, but looked smaller (and measured smaller) all over.
                          Ill PM you a link actually, as I think I took them down.


                          • #14
                            I started eating Primal on New Years Day. I'm reading the book at the same time. The first three weeks I did not budge a pound. The third week I started eating higher fat, lower carbs, lower protein. I feel lieu switch flipped last Mondy and I am down 4.2 pounds since adding more fat. I read every post in the 'January Eat Moar Fat' thread. I didn't believe it could work or me but I went from 151.6 Monday to 147.4 this morning. Tomorrow finishes my first week of high fat/low carb.

                            The first three weeks I detoxes from a month of flour and sugar. I feel so much better. I now look forward to walking at least an hour a day again.

                            I'm new to this but just wanted to let you knw tat I had to be patient as well. All of these people have to be right!