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Thread: By Breaking the Plateau, Are We Breaking the Essence of the Primal Diet? page 2

  1. #11
    LauraSB's Avatar
    LauraSB is offline Senior Member
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    I think when your initial weight loss is fairly brisk, it's easy to become impatient. IMO, if you're within the normal weight range for your height and you haven't lost in a month or two, calling it a plateau is a little impatient. Also not very primal, because I'm sure 50,000 years ago a well-defined 6-pack meant you were at risk if you encountered an extended disruption in your food supply. Grok probably loved the look and feel of a little bit of cushion. On the other hand, if you're still in the overweight range and haven't lost in a couple of months, that is a completely different situation.

    I used to frequent the LoseIt message boards and a number of people who had lost in the 40-100 lb range found that once they stopped losing, they inexplicably continued to get smaller over the next year or two. That suggests to me that body recomp after weight loss can continue over an extended period of time, even without any special effort. Now that I'm firmly within the normal weight range for my height, I've decided to just focus on being good to myself for the next year and seeing where that takes me.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraSB View Post

    I used to frequent the LoseIt message boards and a number of people who had lost in the 40-100 lb range found that once they stopped losing, they inexplicably continued to get smaller over the next year or two. That suggests to me that body recomp after weight loss can continue over an extended period of time, even without any special effort. Now that I'm firmly within the normal weight range for my height, I've decided to just focus on being good to myself for the next year and seeing where that takes me.
    I can completely relate and agree to this. I have lost 74lbs - not primal, switched to primal in Jan - and I have lost a pound since then (but my weight bounces around all over the place!) But in the last 18mths, apart from that pound, which was probably water weight, I have not lost anymore weight... however, I have gotten smaller and I am a dress size down.
    I too think that the body adjusts after weight loss.
    I am still medically obese, with a BMI of 30, and I desperately want to lose at least another 14lbs - ideally 28 to get me to the 25 BMI. In saying that, I am now fit and healthy and have learnt that I need to patient with myself and my scales, even though it is really frustrating!

  3. #13
    Graycat's Avatar
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    OP, I am in a very similar situation. I posted about it the other day. I have what seems like those last few lbs. of body fat that is just not leaving.
    I agree with the poster that suggested that you might be undereatind and hence your metabolism has slowed down. I'm running a pretty hight calorie deficit myself, but somehow can't bring myself to eat more.
    Also, looks like you have been doing VLC for a while. Maybe shake things up with more carbs?
    Or how about some carb re-feeds once a week or so?

  4. #14
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    Though I eat primal foods, I also count calories, so I don't know if this will work for you (or for anyone else). It's counter intuitive.

    My n=1 theory. The body is incredibly adaptive. If I for example stick to 1200 calories per day and I'm more than 20 pounds over my college weight, I'll lose about 2 pounds per week. Except when I don't. If that plateau lasts for much more than 10 days, I can almost always get the weight loss moving again by eating 1700-1800 calories for one or two days. I might experience a one pound gain at first, but then the losing begins again. My theory: my body adapts to the 1200 calories and is reluctant to give up fat. Once I 'tell' it that there is abundant food and then go back to the 1200 calories, it goes back to losing.

    Because of this phenomenon, I rarely eat 1200 calories much more than six days in a row. I take one day to just eat - not a 3000 calorie binge, just not reduced calories. It seems to make the plateaus fewer and shorter.
    "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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  5. #15
    Vman's Avatar
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    Graycat,

    Exact same sort of thing here. I didn't stop eating nuts because I'm depriving myself. I'm just truly not hungry. If ate more, I would be force-feeding myself. That feels a little unnatural.

    I've also tried a re-feed. When I was still losing a lot of weight, I had hit a mini plateau and a re-feed helped me lose another 10 pounds. But, I've tried it with this much longer plateau with no success. So, I guess this brings up another question: do you eat even when not hungry to speed up the metabolism? Thanks for your input.

  6. #16
    Vman's Avatar
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    A lot of people pointed out the possibility that I had reached my ideal weight. In my case also, I really doubt that's it. I'm 247 and 6'0. If I was at least 210 or 220, then ok maybe I'm close enough to the ideal weight where a plateau makes sense, but at 247, I'm still miles away from an ideal weight.

    I'm encouraged by the comments recommending patience, but I wondering when that's going to run out. For Lent, I'm doing 40 days of no cheats. So far, it's day 26 and not a single pound lost. Before that I had 4 cheat days after 21 days of straight primal. 3 cheats before that and 14 days of straight primal.

    So, in the last 68 days, 61 have been on very strict primal with plenty of exercise and I haven't lost a single pound. Also, it doesn't seem the cheat days are having that huge of an impact. When I get back on primal, I'm back to the 247-249 area within a few days. And then I don't budge from there.

  7. #17
    namelesswonder's Avatar
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    Maybe you are being too strict.
    Journal on depression/anxiety
    Currently trying to figure out WTF to eat (for IBS-C).

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vman View Post
    Now, I've hit a serious plateau.
    Perhaps that is the body's way of saying..."this is where I should be"...

    One thing that has worked for me on possible-plateaus has been to increase food intake. Not to the point of over-eating, but to the point where for a couple of days here and there I am eating with no caloric deficit at all.
    Last edited by DeeDub; 03-10-2013 at 11:31 AM.

  9. #19
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    I stopped at about 135lbs. At 5'3" that seems a tad high to me. But my mother gave me a book of photos from my childhood for Christmas. Looking through the photos, I learned that:
    a) as a toddler I was thicker in build than other toddlers.
    b) compared to my sister, I'm thicker in build than her by a mile and it's obvious that as a child I was not fat like I always believed myself to be.
    c) at the age of 16, being 110lbs, I really didn't look that different than I do now, just younger and less happy.
    d) being 125lbs I looked almost exactly carbon-copy the same as myself right this minute at 135.
    e) in my 20s I was quite obese at 145lbs. Something about being a full-grown adult and eating primal makes the number on the scale mean something different.

    I am nearing 50 years old. I've started lifting. My body composition IS changing dramatically. I am muscular. I'm built different than the wispy ladies held up as the ideal for me. I'm becoming the best version of myself and coming to accept that happily.

    Quote Originally Posted by paul119 View Post
    This is going to sound a little unconventional, but has anyone tried a backpacking trip, say over a long weekend, to try to jumpstart a transition through the plateau?

    I have zero experience with getting through plateaus, but figure the combination of spending a significant amount of time outdoors, calorie cutting, and tons of low-intensity exercise might jumpstart someone whose weight loss has stalled.

    Thoughts on this?
    I have done two 3-month backpacking trips. If there's ever an opportunity to force some weight loss on yourself, 90 days in the wilderness hiking 20-30 miles a day is going to do it. But it doesn't really work. Your body becomes extremely efficient. The weight comes right back on. You can visibly see it accumulating day by day. You might drop a little weight on a shorter trip, but it's likely to come back after one large celebratory meal. You might be able to force a plateau to break with about a 2 week trip. Just enough to surprise your body, drop enough real weight to make a difference, yet not initiate any compensation (metabolic slowing or efficiency) to counter-act it when you get back to the "real" world.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 220 x 3

  10. #20
    Graycat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vman View Post
    Graycat,

    Exact same sort of thing here. I didn't stop eating nuts because I'm depriving myself. I'm just truly not hungry. If ate more, I would be force-feeding myself. That feels a little unnatural.

    I've also tried a re-feed. When I was still losing a lot of weight, I had hit a mini plateau and a re-feed helped me lose another 10 pounds. But, I've tried it with this much longer plateau with no success. So, I guess this brings up another question: do you eat even when not hungry to speed up the metabolism? Thanks for your input.
    I don't believe in force feeding either. It isn't natural and doesn't make any sense to me.
    Hate to say it, but it will take some experiments to figure it out.
    I'm at times tempted to just go with the flow and relax about it. Maybe that would be the solution.

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