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Successful weight loss for women?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by jammies View Post
    I don't really view nuts and dairy as that healthy. There is nothing in those foods that you can't get from a more primal choice. I think the real issue is that nuts and dairy are very, very easy to overeat.

    Have you ever watched videos of primates eating nuts in the wild? They have special little smashing stones and they will sit for a very long time smashing them open. I would guess in an hour they maybe eat ten nuts - and it is still worth it for them calorically! So having a giant bag a pre-shelled nuts of a jar of nut butter allows a lot of calories to be eating. Plus they are high in O6 fats and have tons of lectins.
    How do you know it's not the minerals and protein in the nuts that are worth having?

    Unless people are eating the entire animal including liver, brains, heart, stomach lining etc, they are quite possibly missing many valuable nutrients by restricting their diet. I don't really understand why people get stressed about the O6 content of a handful of nuts.
    My website: http://www.shoppinganywhere.net/

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    • #17
      Originally posted by jammies View Post
      I don't really view nuts and dairy as that healthy. There is nothing in those foods that you can't get from a more primal choice.
      I disagree. Just 3 Brazil nuts provide you with almost 400% of your daily allowance of selenium. No other food even comes close. Many nuts are rich in magnesium, copper, and other minerals. You'd have to eat a lot more of other foods to get the same amount you get from just a few nuts. They are pretty nutrient-dense. Considering that, though, there's not reason to eat handful after handful. Yes, it's easy to get carried away munching on a big bin of mixed nuts from Costco but, because of their nutritional density, there's not reason to eat tons. A small amount of nuts each day will do. But, because they are packed with good stuff, I wouldn't eliminate them completely.

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      • #18
        I get the impression that on average men do better than women on PB and low carb . However, this is true of a lot of diets, as our bodies are more resistant to losing fat.

        Recurring themes for women are:
        (1) a greater incidence of food intolerances that need to be addressed (these can include primal foods e.g. eggs, deadly nightshade, fruits)
        (2) they find low carb (<50 g a day) of limited success - they initially lose weight and then weight loss stalls and they can find their thyroid suppressed. They then experiment with raising carbs a little and often weight loss resumes.
        (3) increasing low level cardio can be more successful than it is for men, as women need fewer calories, so it can be the most effective means of increasing calorie deficit without having to go hungry very often.

        Generally, women need to experiment a lot with what works for them as there is so much individual variation.

        I've lost about 31 lbs of fat and gained about 10 lbs of muscle in about 8 months on paleo/primal, moderate carbs. Eating approx 2500 calories a day, 150-170 g carbs a day, in line with exercise, according to PB guidelines.

        I'd previously lost about 14 lbs during 15 months eating gluten-free, moderate carb using a self-styled programme.

        For me, eating clean is essential for weight loss and maintenance. The most effective means I have of accelerating weight loss is increasing duration of low-intensity cardio workouts. It doesn't matter what this is - walking, swimming, exercise bikes, cross trainers. If I do 6-8 hours a week spread over 4 workouts plus a long walk at the weekend I get into the zone of losing 2 lbs a week, and my appetite doesn't increase, so this burns a lot of body fat through creating a bigger calorific deficit. For the workouts, the first 30-60 minutes are interval training incorporating short sprints. I've got into this zone a couple of times and lost about 14 lbs over 2 months.

        Strength training is important too. Don't be put off doing strength training if you find some the recommended exercises too difficult. I can't do some of the full body stuff due to hypermobile joints, but I am doing a range of strength building exercises, including squats and lunges. I've built a lot of muscle and strength in my arms, shoulders, abdomen and quads.
        Last edited by paleo-bunny; 03-04-2012, 02:50 AM. Reason: grammar
        F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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        • #19
          I have lost about 30lbs in 6 months. The key is to eat less. I started very low carb and got well-adapted to it. This also made my insatiable hunger stop. Now I can eat less without a struggle. I keep around 50-60 carbs a day. A typical day:
          B
          steak and eggs or liver and onions, 1-3 cups coffee with butter or half-and-half
          L
          nothing, or bone broth, or can of salmon with bones and mustard
          D
          meat (air, land or sea), veggies, root or tuber, copius butter, 1-3 glasses wine
          Dessert
          a little dark chocolate

          Supplements
          25mg potassium iodide, 200mcg selenium, 400mg magnesium, 200mg potassium, vitamin D (forget how much)

          Exercise
          Take a walk, 2 core fitness classes per week, one big strenuous day hike a week.

          I have a recent progress pic in my journal 2nd somewhere. Not ready to put it in the monster success thread.
          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post

            I've lost about 31 lbs of fat and gained about 10 lbs of muscle in about 8 months on paleo/primal, moderate carbs. Eating approx 2500 calories a day, 150-170 g carbs a day, in line with exercise, according to PB guidelines.
            Pardon the newbie question, I still haven't figured this out (or found the definitive explanation, something like that): How do you know how much muscle you've gained? Is there a formula, or is it something else?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Jodis View Post
              Pardon the newbie question, I still haven't figured this out (or found the definitive explanation, something like that): How do you know how much muscle you've gained? Is there a formula, or is it something else?
              I've used bioimpedance scales to calculate the gain in muscle between different weights. They do carry a significant innaccuracy in estimating % body fat, however, they can be used to track a change in % body fat reasonably accurately (bearing in mind % body fat varies by about 3% depending on time of day).

              I've also input various measurements into several online calculators which on average give a % body fat within 1% of the bioimpedance scales.

              Plus, my biceps have got a lot bigger.
              F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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              • #22
                Thank you for starting this thread, it's very interesting and I'm getting a lot of good ideas.

                I've never been more than 25-30 pounds overweight in my life, and had always had good success losing the poundage with programs like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers. Then, of course, the pounds would gradually creep back on due to the lifestyle choices I was making. I'm 44, female, and have Hashimoto's.

                I read The Paleo Solution about 6 months ago and immediately started transitioning into that lifestyle. Didn't worry about calories or macros, but did track in MyFitnessPal just so I could have a record of what I was eating and how it would affect how I felt, etc. For months, I didn't lose any weight but I did feel a lot better. Still, with about 32% body fat at 161 pounds (at 5'4"), I wasn't happy with how I felt in my skin.

                In December I started working with a trainer to learn how to "lift heavy things" properly. I've been consistently weight training 2-3 times a week in addition to any cardio I do (which is much less these days, maybe 3x a week). I also started really paying attention to calories and macros; partly because my trainer wanted to see and also because I was frustrated with the lack of movement on the scale. Through this I found the following:

                1) VLC does not work well for me in terms of hunger management. I find on days when I add a small potato or some white rice to my meals I feel fuller, longer, and have more energy and less brain fog. My "sweet spot" seems to be 80 - 120g of carbs per day, which is still low carb by SAD standards.

                2) If I eat more than 1400 calories a day on average I will not lose. It does not seem to matter what the macros are. I do find it relatively easy to feel satisfied on < 1400 calories a day if I eat primally, though. So for me, "calories in" do matter - a lot.

                For so long, I was afraid to go to 1400 calories or less a day because I would be "starving". So I ate 1600-1800 calories a day on average and didn't lose an ounce. It was frustrating me because I kept hearing all of these stories of weight just "flying off" when people went paleo/primal. I'm finally losing weight VERY slowly at this caloric level, and I am maintaining my lean muscle mass, so apparently this is what I need to be doing right now.
                "For the great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie—deliberate, contrived, and dishonest—but the myth—persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic ... we enjoy the comfort of opinions without the discomfort of thought."
                ---John F. Kennedy

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                • #23
                  It's easier to go low calorie with intermittent fasting. If I fast between dinner and a 1-2pm lunch, the hunger is usually very mild. I usually break the fast with something small for lunch and then hope for a big dinner, but my stomach always limits how big my dinner will be. This makes it way easier to limit overall calories. It's not usually even a real fast for me since I like to drink coffee with a little half-and-half in the morning.
                  Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                  • #24
                    I think it's a very individual thing, it varies greatly from person to person. It can be true that men lose weight more easily, I believe it too, because I think women's hormones are just more complicated and make losing weight more difficult, especially if we are after a ripped (or toned) look. But nature has also made women more prone to gain and store fat, because we need a higher body fat percentage and getting as ripped as a guy just isn't natural for us...

                    What is more, I think the "lift heavy things" part is really important for weight loss, but here again men are favored by nature - they are both stronger and more naturally inclined to lift weights, while women seem to have a more natural inclination for cardio.

                    And a third thing is that women tend to be more appearance-conscious and more likely to aim for a "perfect" body and worry that they are not achieving it.

                    Lastly, I don't think there's one succesful strategy. I think everyone needs to experiment and see what works best for them.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Sol y Sombra View Post
                      I think it's a very individual thing, it varies greatly from person to person. It can be true that men lose weight more easily, I believe it too, because I think women's hormones are just more complicated and make losing weight more difficult, especially if we are after a ripped (or toned) look. But nature has also made women more prone to gain and store fat, because we need a higher body fat percentage and getting as ripped as a guy just isn't natural for us...

                      What is more, I think the "lift heavy things" part is really important for weight loss, but here again men are favored by nature - they are both stronger and more naturally inclined to lift weights, while women seem to have a more natural inclination for cardio.

                      And a third thing is that women tend to be more appearance-conscious and more likely to aim for a "perfect" body and worry that they are not achieving it.

                      Lastly, I don't think there's one succesful strategy. I think everyone needs to experiment and see what works best for them.
                      +1. You've made some very good points.

                      I'm also going to add that I think men generally find it easier to understand the science behind weight loss and be cool and detached about it. Men are on average better at science, I'm not going to deny that, in spite of being a female science graduate.

                      I find that women are less rational about assessing where they are going wrong. There's nothing wrong with this - it's just the way we are wired up.

                      Another disadvantage for women is that we are naturally shorter and less muscular than men, hence have lower basal metabolic rates per kilo of mass, yet are served up the same portion sizes when we dine out.
                      F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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                      • #26
                        imho, the primal/paleo lifestyle is not really a conventional 'diet + exercise' plan so comparing results is sort of a big rabbits hole....
                        Males vs females do seem to have something of a metabolic edge; they also seem to start out with a greater willingness to embrace lifting heavy things and sprinting. Younger people, eg 35 and under, seem to see visible results faster and more dramatically, probably that has to do with better cell turnover and hormone levels etc.
                        But does this matter, really? I felt better about 72 hours into eating, moving and sleeping primal. I'm letting my body take it from there... Whenever I find myself obsessing about 'results' I give myself a gentle asskick and focus my attention back on just living. No hacks, cheats, magic bullets or shortcuts.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by jammies View Post
                          I follow a pretty basic primal blueprint with a few exceptions made for autoimmune disease. I think the common things that I have noticed for women not losing weight:

                          1. Eating dairy
                          2. Eating nuts
                          3. Being too rigid on the diet
                          4. Eating too many processed meats (bacon, lunch meats, etc)
                          5. Too many paleo substitutes (paleo pancakes, cookies, etc.)
                          6. Use of artificial sweeteners
                          7. Maybe the use of protein shakes.

                          Just my two cents
                          I think jammies is right. If you look through primal journals, I noticed a bit of a trend: the men seem to be pretty good at eating staples (cooking grass-fed steaks and vegetables, IFing a lot and a lot of them already in tune with heavy weight training), and I see women munching on nuts and eating handfuls of berries a lot, the paleo substitutes, and not yet ready to try weight and sticking to yoga...not ALL, but it's just a trend.

                          No snacking, nuts, excessive dairy (butter ok), processed meat, try to IF, REALLY no paleo substitutes (i.e. using almond flour to make muffins), and get in those fasted morning workouts while you IF, and I bet you'll do fine.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by primal4fifty View Post
                            imho, the primal/paleo lifestyle is not really a conventional 'diet + exercise' plan so comparing results is sort of a big rabbits hole....
                            Males vs females do seem to have something of a metabolic edge; they also seem to start out with a greater willingness to embrace lifting heavy things and sprinting. Younger people, eg 35 and under, seem to see visible results faster and more dramatically, probably that has to do with better cell turnover and hormone levels etc.
                            But does this matter, really? I felt better about 72 hours into eating, moving and sleeping primal. I'm letting my body take it from there... Whenever I find myself obsessing about 'results' I give myself a gentle asskick and focus my attention back on just living. No hacks, cheats, magic bullets or shortcuts.
                            I am limited by hypermobile joints yet I can still get into the spirit of lifting heavy things through more isolated exercises. I can't run either due to this problem, but I can still sprint on cross-trainers and enjoy the benefits. I'm happy with being able to do that. I can't hope to achieve anything more.
                            F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
                              I am limited by hypermobile joints yet I can still get into the spirit of lifting heavy things through more isolated exercises. I can't run either due to this problem, but I can still sprint on cross-trainers and enjoy the benefits. I'm happy with being able to do that. I can't hope to achieve anything more.
                              As has been said on other threads, there's a big difference between doing the best you can with physical limitations and choosing not to do things. I absolutely respect some of the folks around here with various disabilities who are active in ways that work for them and who otherwise work hard to live a primal life. What irritates me is the large number of women who won't lift heavy things or sprint because of a range of nonsense excuses:

                              "I don't want to add muscle mass because it will make me heavier!"

                              (Heavier =/= fatter. Put your scale away and get out a tape measure or some goal pants.)

                              "Diet is 80% of weight loss so I'm just going to eat primal and worry about exercising once I'm thin."

                              (First off, being thin without health is kind of pointless. Second, strength training does not cause weight loss in itself, but it is associated with reductions in waist circumference and it helps build more lean mass. Third, high-intensity training like sprints is effective in supporting weight loss. Fourth, if you can have 80% of your possible results or 100% of your possible results, why would you settle for less? 20% is a big difference.)

                              "I have [x,y,z] issue and therefore I can't do any exercise!"

                              (When x,y, and z are issues that might mean modifying exercises or they are issues that are often improved by appropriate kinds of exercises. Go find a trainer who's experienced in working with physical limitations or get a good physiotherapist to help.)

                              "Yoga is LHT!"

                              (Yes, it can be, but not the way a lot of people do it. It's awesome for mobility, relaxation, breathing, etc., and I totally support doing yoga and enjoy it as a complement to my other activities. However, it does not generally count as LHT.)

                              "Strength training will make me bulky!"

                              (How many times do we have to debunk this? Don't make me come over there and thump you with this kettlebell.)

                              Really, what all this reads like to me is people not wanting to exercise beyond walking and coming up with excuses because they think it's too hard or it's going to hurt too much. Yes, sometimes men around here come out with stuff like this, but it's mostly from women, and I think it's one of the overlooked reasons for why women tend to stall out more than men. You can't just exercise yourself thin in most cases, but I don't believe that you can get your best results or get to the "look good naked" stage without getting active.
                              “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                              Owly's Journal

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by jammies View Post
                                I don't really view nuts and dairy as that healthy. There is nothing in those foods that you can't get from a more primal choice. I think the real issue is that nuts and dairy are very, very easy to overeat.

                                Have you ever watched videos of primates eating nuts in the wild? They have special little smashing stones and they will sit for a very long time smashing them open. I would guess in an hour they maybe eat ten nuts - and it is still worth it for them calorically! So having a giant bag a pre-shelled nuts of a jar of nut butter allows a lot of calories to be eating. Plus they are high in O6 fats and have tons of lectins.
                                I love this!

                                I made a rule. No nuts allowed in my house unless they're in a shell. Somehow though, coconut seems exempt from this rule- lol. Maybe I should re-think that, huh?

                                My friends laugh at me, but I have stone inlay in front of my fireplace where I really do smash nuts (cast iron pans work nicely for this.) In fact my black walnuts won't open any way other than smashing. Unfortunately it also leaves much of the nut and shell in tiny un-descernable bits. I've largely lost interest in nuts and nut butter with time.

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