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

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    By Breaking the Plateau, Are We Breaking the Essence of the Primal Diet?

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    To give you some background, I've lost over 40 pounds on the primal/paleo diet. At first, I was losing weight so quickly that the success stories seemed like the slow lane to me. On top of that, I can lift about 50% to 60% more than when starting Primal about ten months ago.

    Now, I've hit a serious plateau. I've read dozens of posts on getting through a plateau. I've crossed off all the typical problems of the list. I'm eating almost zero fruit. I stopped snacking on nuts about 100%. No chocolate, honey, and other semi-cheats. No my portions are not insane. Yes, I'm walking, lifting, sprinting, etc. Check fasting on the list too.

    There seems to be a subsector of blog posts for people in my exact situation. They've tried it all and they're still at the plateau. It seems two things work from here: either making your exercises even more strenuous or reducing portions even more. This seems to work for a lot of people.

    However, here's my issue: this may work and I guess that I'll give it a try, but I feel like I'm right back where I started before going primal i.e. counting calories, portion control, and strenuous exercise every day of the week.

    So, it seems like that even though this might break the plateau, you lose everything that's great about the primal diet. Anyone have thoughts or feeling on this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    How much more weight do you need or want to lose?
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Kabul, Afghanistan
    Also remember that your body may want to stay where it's at for a while. Have patience and continue on your current path. Don't stress out over it. Stop weighing yourself and measuring. Just eat, exercise, sleep, and play. After a few weeks, take a look and maybe you'll have broken it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Why is it a plateau?
    What do you want to achieve?
    Do you want to pull a jumbo jet with your teeth?
    If so then maybe strong men forums.

    As said if you feel you are still a little overweight, then maybe let the rest of your body catch up, all really depends where you are now, it sounds like you've made big strides, don't get too attached to the feel good of constant improvement health is about a healthy balance.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Spalding, Lincolnshire
    Quote Originally Posted by Vman View Post
    Anyone have thoughts or feeling on this?
    I hit a plateau at the end of January. I know that my strength training is slowly putting on muscle so I accepted that as part of the reason I stopped losing weight. I know I still have plenty of fat on me but believe what Mark said somewhere. Our bodies get to a point where they just say "Hold up, let's stick here for a while and when I'm sorted we'll carry on down towards our ideal." That works for me.

    When I weighed myself last Tuesday I had lost two pounds at 178 down from the plateau I'd hit at 180-183. I say just stick with the plan and it will turn out right in the long term. We are conditioned to have stuff NOW!!!! and that's just not realistic for some stuff.

    I am as impatient as the next person but have learned it makes no difference and accept that I have to wait for results.
    Why use a sledge hammer to crack a nut when a steam roller is even more effective, and, is fun to drive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Southern California
    I tend to think that a plateau is the hallmark of vanity weight. Your body will plateau if you are eating as you should and exercising as you should. It has hit it's happy, healthy point. Beyond that you are forcing your body to a weight or body fat % that it is not naturally, so that's where things become harder and you have to hack it to get to a vanity weight. Nothing wrong with that, but it takes work and yes, you will have to force yourself out of the primal ideal of eating normally and exercising slowly to achieve it.
    F 28/5'4/100 lbs

    "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    I hit a plateau back in November, the weight seems to be moving again.
    Patience. And I took a couple of "mini-breaks" of not being super careful. I monkeyed around with being strict with no results.

    Now the weight is moving on pretty much 90/10 primal. But it took a while to get restarted. I started tracking calories again, but this time aiming for a higher level of 1600-1800 calories a day. So I am eating MORE, but dropped 3 lbs this week. That said, my weight comes off in chunks so it may have been earlier effort. I'm eating whatever I want (no gluten or processed foods).

    If I was you, I'd work on maintaining, add back in the fruit, chocolate and nuts (don't go crazy), learn some new recipes, work on some new fitness. Then come back in a few months and work on losing again.

    I don't think there is a reliable answer beyond patience. I do think tracking calories is useful- maybe when you dropped 100 calories of chocolate, you added in 300 calories of extra fat and meat. Maybe dropping carbs made you less active. I do think the more restrictive you make this, the more likely you end up eating 3 Big Macs and a Pizza one day when you snap.
    Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    the Netherlands
    dont eat less, maybe even start eating a bit more otherwise your body might go in saving mode as a precaution to times of starvation. By more strenous exercise you should not think more exercise but making it harder ie lifting heavier weights for less repetitions, sprinting faster or doing a more advanced level of bodyweight exercise. Do the strength training 2 times a week and sprint once a week. Give yofur body time to recover on the other days and just walk or play.
    And as mentioned, dont stress about it, staying the same weight for a couple of weeks is normal, let your body adjust.
    nb Last week mark had a blog about plateaus

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    It has hit it's happy, healthy point. Beyond that you are forcing your body to a weight or body fat % that it is not naturally
    It kind of sucks when that point is still rather overweight. I *know* my body is not normal. I am 5'6 and 173. I have not weighed this little since before puberty. So yes, I have excess fat that is not healthy, yet my body has not been this small since starting my period.
    Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Izmir, Turkey
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    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?
    Travel, eat well, and learn about life - three things I love to do

    Curious about what YOU should pack next time you're on the road? Check out my Definitive Guide to Backpacking Nutrition

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