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Thread: What am I doing wrong?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    What am I doing wrong?

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    Hello all, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. I'm eating well, getting some exercise, but not really losing any body fat. Here's what I've been doing:

    Just about every day, I eat 4 whole grass fed eggs in the morning, grass fed beef at lunch, and wild sockeye salmon at dinner. At each meal I also have a green smoothie. The smoothie is essentially just Kale, Avocado, Spirulina powder, coconut oil, sometimes coconut water, kelp, broccoli sprouts, some berries, and occasionally some raw 100% cacao powder. I also try to get some colors throughout the week: yellow peppers, tomatoes, red cabbage, etc. Between meals I may have some extra protein, usually from egg whites, plus a small handful of berries or olives. Just about everything is grass fed and/or organic and I also drink at least a gallon of good quality water every day.

    Not exactly the most primal thing to do, but I also supplement a lot. Multivitamin, krill oils, curcumin capsules, vitamin D sublinguals, CoQ10, etc. I've found that certain supplements are key to keeping my mood and mental clarity stable.

    Once or twice a week I do a fairly intense round of bodyweight exercises. It consists mainly of pull ups, pushups, and lunges. I intend to ramp this up slowly in the near future, as I am getting my body used to weight lifting again. Also, I do some light cardio on a stationary bike maybe 3 times a week or so.

    As far as I can tell, I am doing it all correctly. No grains, no beans/legumes, no dairy, no sugar, no chemcials, very low caffeine. In fact, I purposely kept my carbs super low yesterday (~30gms) ; I don't eat quite that low carb every day, but it was just an experiment. The point is that the scale hasn't budged in a week. Fat is not melting off. Even from the view of conventional wisdom, I am at (more or less) a calorie deficit and should be shedding body fat.

    The only thing I can think of is that, aside from the exercise I mentioned, I am barely active so maybe my metabolism has gone to sleep. (I am a digital artist which requires me to sit in front of a computer 12+ hours a day). Maybe my metabolism has sort of down-regulated because of the lower carb/calorie intake? OR, maybe I am gaining muscle, which is why the scale isn't moving? BUT, there is no way I could be gaining muscle as fast as I should be losing fat. Looking in the mirror at least, I don't see much body recomposition.

    I am 33 years old, 6 feet, 178lbs and generally in good health. In the past, I've been able to lose body fat fairly easily. That was especially true before 30 of course, but I was able to rapidly drop 10+ lbs as recently as a year ago.

    My short term goal is to lose about 15-20lbs of fat and/or gain some muscle. I'm fine with the idea that this might take 6 months; I just want to see any sign of progress for now. In the longer term, over the next 5 years or so, I'd like to gain 20lbs of lean muscle and get myself under 10% bodyfat.

    So that's basically my story. Maybe primal just isn't a good fit for me? Thanks for reading and I'd really appreciate any advice you guys can offer.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    You've only been at it for a week?? Give it time! And take measurements, don't go by the scale.
    $5 off QOC241

    "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Nope, I've been eating long these lines for about two+ months already, maybe even three months.

    Although it wasn't until this last 2-3 weeks that I got quite as clean as I am now.

    Before these past 2-3 weeks I was still mostly primal, but not quite as strict and also having a cheat meal once a week.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Los Angeles
    fat loss doesn't always go in a linear method, particularly once you're already skinny.

    which brings me to my next point - at 6ft. and 178, you're looking to lose 20 lbs? that's gonna make you one really light dude. i would want to basically maintains something around that weight, and just work on body recomposition - more muscle, less fat.

    anyway, though the food you eat sounds delicious and very healthy, fat loss is all about calories, and this becomes more and more apparent, the slimmer you are and the healthier you eat. to get to sub 10% BF, you will need to mind your calories carefully.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    SW England, UK
    Are you tracking calories? If so, how many a day are you averaging?
    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. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    I agree that you should concentrate much more on body comp rather than specifically fat loss only. Do some strength training. Increase your lean mass and stay at your current weight.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    178 at 6 feet means there isn't much left to lose, the last 20 pounds or so is usually the hardest. That being said, focus on body comp more than fat loss. Continue to eat a healthy diet and stick to a well planned workout routine and you'll start to see improvements.
    Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own experience.

    In the mind of the beginner, there are many possibilities; in the mind of the expert, there are few.

    I've shaken hands with a raccoon and lived to tell the tale

    SW: 220- 225 pounds at the beginning of January
    CW: 180 pounds

    Goals for 2012: Lose a bit more fat and start a serious muscle and strength routine

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    York Pa.
    Yeah I don't think that losing 20 lbs of fat is realistic. Building 20 lbs of muscle isn't either for the vast majority. Certainly not in a short time unless one was regaining previous muscle and or was using anabolic drugs.

    I would at some good resistance to your program in the way of weights. You will stimulate more muscle growth. It doesn't take a lot of training if its real intense. Instead of "cardio" on a stationary bike, do high intensity interval training such as sprint intervals. You could alternate between that and intervals on your bike. Do this once a week or so. These 2 things will change you metabolically. Other days just walk and move a lot when you are able. Even if you lost 5-10 lbs of fat and gained 5 or so pounds of muscle, you'd look much tighter and defined.

    Anyway, this is where I'd start.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Er, I'm 6 foot 33 years old as well and around your weight. I could maybe, maybe shave off 10 pounds through intense IF and boring calorie counting but why bother? If I lost 20 pounds half of these would have to be lean muscle mass at least. I'd look emaciated.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Thanks for your thoughts guys. Yeah, you're right and I think I'll shift the focus away from fat loss. Just kinda sucks to sink in time and money and see no bodily change. Energy levels and mood are very good though, so that's a big +1 for Primal in my book.

    I've been at 155lbs before and did not look sickly thin, so I don't agree that losing 20lbs of fat is unrealistic (but yes, unnecessary in my case). Gaining 20 lbs of muscle is not unrealistic either, as a long-term goal. If anything, gaining 3 or 4lbs of muscle per year seems quite doable with proper training.

    Can't help being a bit confused right now though. Beginning of last year, I started at 180 and easily dropped 10-15 lbs over 2-3 months with no exercise, no calorie counting, and no fasting of any kind. This was on the 'slow-carb diet' which, aside from the high bean intake and the full blown cheat day, isn't altogether that different from Primal.

    Anyway, thanks again everyone. Definitely appreciate your input. I'll keep doing what I'm doing for now and, if you're curious, I'll post again if/when anything changes.


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