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Thread: Successful weight loss for women? page 3

  1. #21
    paleo-bunny's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

  2. #22
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    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.

  3. #23
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    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", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    I can squat 180lbs, press 72.5lbs and deadlift 185lbs

  4. #24
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    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.

  5. #25
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    Quote 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.

  6. #26
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    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.

  7. #27
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    Quote 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.

  8. #28
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    Quote 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.

  9. #29
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    Quote 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

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  10. #30
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    Quote 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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