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Thread: 2 years later Primal not workin'..what now?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Melbourne
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    2 years later Primal not workin'..what now?

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    Hi all. I have been following a primal lifestyle for the past two years or so. At the start it was incredible and I dropped a load of weight, was able to keep it off and felt ace. I was practising IF of about 18 hours at least 4 times a week and it really felt good.

    I played around with things like the potato hack and so on, and was always able to return to my primal style if something wasn't working on the scale

    About 16 months in I began to suffer extreme fatigue and lost my appetite altogether. I was at my lowest weight and was getting lots of favourable comments, but felt shit. My naturopath recommended I introduce some non inflammatory carbs and start eating some breakfast...I do so and for a while it was good.. I did put on a couple of kgs but it was manageable and my energy levels picked up.

    Since then though the weight has been slowly rising. I was really tired of meat and so I did begin to eat more rice, but never any gluten and only occasional serves of legumes.

    Then 3 months ago I had to have the morning after pill. Almost instantly my weight rose. I decided to begin training and a proper exercise routine (I am an overworked mama with 3 kids, 2 businesses and a music career and some low back issues so it's truly tough to find the time and to work out safely). I started with a personal trainer doing a good solid workout that had some modified HIIT principles, plus hill walking. Weight continued to rise.

    I guessed I had been a little lax, eating more dairy than I should and the odd rice cracker, so I decided to try something a little different and signed up with the Betty Rocker program. Despite finding her videos super annoying and the constant trying to get cash out of people vibe a bit off putting, it's solid nutritionally and makes it easy to get meal ideas even if it is just a guide.

    Anyhoo....here I am a week in, training reasonably hard and I have hit my top weight in 2 years. I am pretty sure the emergency contraception has messed with my hormones...but I just don't know what to do. I could try pure protein/keto for a bit but i know it depletes me over time...I could stick with this, I am definitely eating more veg now...I have introduced a bit of fruit in the green smoothies I am having....could cut that...

    Need some ideas!

    My one vice is alcohol, it's something I am working on but it's up and down. It's always been that way even when I started this primal life...But it never mattered too much when I was eating right. But I recognise it could be a factor and am working to have some days off and cut down generally.

    Anyways, help from gurus appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Vancouver
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    Hey Jazzmama! I will see if i can help where I can. I will admit, i am not a woman so I do not know how the morning after pill would affect hormones and weight gain :P I will venture a guess that yes I would think they probably would some what.

    With that said, insulin is a hormone (an anabolic one at that), is responsible for fat storage and muscle gains, pretty much anything building or storing is from insulin. Perhaps that pill is also tinkering with your insulin or how your body's insulin responds to certain foods.

    Things like dairy do create a large insulin spike in people, as would rice. If they are staples in the diet, perhaps removing those would help. Or at the very least, just consuming them in and around your workouts as after the workout is when your insulin sensitivity should be at it's peak.

    Another thing that does have my spidey senses tingling is your saying your an overworked mama with kids! That to me may mean you have cortisol issues which do manifest themselves as insulin resistance. Do you drink a lot of coffee too per chance?

    My initial suggestions would be to walk everyday. Don't worry too much about the gym and the personal trainer, just take some time for yourself and go for an hour or hour and a half walk each day. Great for weight control, insulin sensitivity, and just overall well being for the mind. Cut out the dairy and rice as much as you can or at least till after your walks. Also maybe try reintroducing IF but give some other time frames a kick at the can. Try the warrior fast (20hrs fast, 4 hr eating window), or decrease it and go for a 16hr fast with 8hr eating window.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    The instant weight gain you experienced after taking the morning after pill was probably due to fluid retention. I've never taken the morning after pill, but I did start taking the combined oral contraceptive pill a few years ago, and I noticed a small but similar instant weight gain which happened literally overnight. There's no way it could be fat when it's that rapid! As the morning after pill is essentially just a super charged mega dose of the same hormones as the regular pill, I imagine your body is still dealing with being disrupted hormonally on such a large scale.

    I would recommend that you just be patient while your body seeks it's natural hormonal equilibrium again. Just try and keep your stress levels down and get plenty of sleep, and your body will get there on it's own. If you want to try and resolve the fluid retention a little quicker, what I've found that works is to drop my carb intake for a few days.


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  4. #4
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    Answer seems pretty simple to me. Go back to what worked at the start. Restrict carbs and eat primal. Seems like you slid down a slippery slope. Happens to most of us at some point. I was losing weight a bit too easy so added more carbs. Well then I gained 10lbs (which was the plan...so good!), but I kept playing at adding more starches and stuff and continued gaining another 5. No biggy. Just cut em back down and went to the general body comp I was shooting for. So yeah, back to what worked!

    Looking at what you are doing now I would certainly recommend a short round of keto as a reset. 7-14 days is enough, then slowly increase your carb intake to a comfortable level. It works. Oh, and definitely ditch the fruit smoothies when its all said and done. Eat your fruit.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 11-19-2015 at 07:34 AM.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2011
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    My one vice is alcohol, it's something I am working on but it's up and down. It's always been that way even when I started this primal life...But it never mattered too much when I was eating right. But I recognise it could be a factor and am working to have some days off and cut down generally.
    I think women get to a point where alcohol is the kiss of death in terms of fat loss. It is the definition of an empty calorie and if you are "slowly adding a bit of fruit" or having "a scootch more rice"... don't cut that out so you can have a glass of wine. I mean, seriously, I know perpetually fat women who slowly gain weight and eat less and less and they always have a god damn sippy cup of wine.
    Wine is about 125 calories for a 5 ounce pour. Most people pour closer to 8 to 10 ounces. So.... 250 calories.... If you eat around 2000 calories a day- that's about 12.5% of your caloric intake and it is doing jack shit to help you build muscle, fuel a work out, or satisfy your appetite. Most people seem to drink 2-3 glasses- you could have a god damn cheeseburger.
    Last edited by magnolia1973; 11-19-2015 at 08:05 AM.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    Answer seems pretty simple to me. Go back to what worked at the start. Restrict carbs and eat primal. Seems like you slid down a slippery slope. Happens to most of us at some point. I was losing weight a bit too easy so added more carbs. Well then I gained 10lbs (which was the plan...so good!), but I kept playing at adding more starches and stuff and continued gaining another 5. No biggy. Just cut em back down and went to the general body comp I was shooting for. So yeah, back to what worked!

    :::snip:::

    It works. Oh, and definitely ditch the fruit smoothies when its all said and done. Eat your fruit.
    +1 Go back to the start. Listen to Mark; work the plan.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

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  7. #7
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    Nov 2015
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    Definitely go back to what was working for you!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzmama View Post
    (I am an overworked mama with 3 kids, 2 businesses and a music career and some low back issues so it's truly tough to find the time and to work out safely)
    Sleep and stress seem like major issues. Maybe nutrition changes will help, but if you don't get enough sleep and don't manage your stress adequately, those factors will undermine your efforts on other fronts.

  9. #9
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    Life throws us curveballs! I am having most of your issues as well...3 kids, just finished a life sucking late in life degree in a new field while working full time, new job, graveyard shift in a hospital, 1 hr commute each way All of a sudden, lo and behold, I am chubby! I have decided that my lack and quality of sleep is causing elevated cortisol levels. My research has turned up that protein can help regulate cortisol, so I am making a concentrated effort on making protein a priority again! I too, had added back in starchy veggies, rice, beans etc. During a recent allergy test I tested positive for oats, rice and corn! Back to meat and green veggies for awhile...
    I also follow The Betty Rocker for a quick workout or a good recipe, and she IS motivational, but I am not going to buy a plan. I know how to eat plants and animals, lol.
    As for booze, I feel like that might be what's holding me back, too. Maybe at 42 I can't make those magical mystery empty calories disappear anymore!
    Good luck, and overall, I guess we go back to the start.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2014
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    I disagree with the advice to go back to classic paleo. Clearly this had stopped working for you, as your fatigue and other issues demonstrated. What Julie said makes a lot of sense. Just eat a clean diet of lots of meat, veg and non inflammatory starches, and keep the (good) fats relatively low (but not too low). Reduce stress by eating as much of this as you want and the odd treat of whatever takes your fancy (maybe the odd glass of wine, bit of choc or whatever in the evening).

    If you feel good on this, try not to worry about your weight too much for a while. Give yourself a good few months for your body to adjust to the new eating pattern and settle down before you judge the effects and whether this is something you can stick with long term.

    I would also cut back on the workouts as with your busy lifestyle they will inevitably add to your stress. Focus on reducing stress as much as possible, through diet (carbs) and exercise (keep it gentle and enjoyable), and on good sleep. Do what you love when you can and reduce stress inducing activities as much as possible. Find ways to help your life run smoothly and focus on the important things (spending time with your children, other half etc, having fun at weekends). As others have said, reducing cortisol will go a long way to helping your body self regulate and come to a naturally healthy weight.


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