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Paleo Struggles as a Newbie Female trying to lose weight

by (15)
Updated October 29, 2014 at 4:13 AM
Created June 18, 2014 at 3:28 AM

I tried paleo a while ago to little avail, but I'm jumping back in

I feel great...energy is up and all, but I'm having some issues. Firstly, I recently started lifting more and cutting back on cardio. I LOVE it and feel so strong, but my fat loss is at a stand still. In fact, I think I'm increasing my belly fat. What gives?

I've definitely been overdoing the nuts and chocolate. I could go through a jar of almond butter in 2 days. I'm now trying to cut out nuts and seeds for a month, but I find myself overeating 80% dark chocolate (like 3 or 4 servings a day now). Possible magnesium deficiency? Just not enough calories? I'd estimate I'm between 1500 and 2000 a day. I constantly crave sugar and nut butter, but rarely yearn for straight up "carbs" like pasta or bread

Right now I'm eating a light breakfast of just fruit, and then protein, fat and vegetables for lunch and dinner. I have some grapes after dinner and snack on dark chocolate (I know...not ideal) throughout the day as a pick-me-up, with some raw veg here and there. I do very little dairy (basically just cheese and occasional plain kefir). I avoid grains and am 95% glutenfree. I don't sleep much and I work long hours, so my cortisol could very well be out of whack. My thyroid is normal according to recent blood tests and I am low on estrogen.

What can I do to get rid of this belly fat and break the sweets addiction (I still consider dark chocolate a sweet even though it's pretty bitter). I feel like I'm starting to make progress but really want to lean out!

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690 · June 19, 2014 at 3:09 AM

She posted some photos a while back (9 months?) and she was pretty slim then. I think her comment was something like "in skating, extreme thinness is expected" or something like that.

I think what she's trying to accomplish is really beyond 'normal' paleo. My belief is that eating paleo and exercising moderately will yield a body that is pretty much how one is intended to be...by genes & environment.

imo, the body required for elite skating is beyond this 'natural setpoint'. She's going to have to do some bodybuilding tricks ... not just paleo. :(

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41471 · June 18, 2014 at 8:14 PM

9% BF on a female? You realistically can't lose more than that before keeling over. 10-12% is like hardcore female bodybuilder… Even 15% is hardcore female fitness model. 18% is completely healthy/normal. One part anoxexia, one part not knowing her true BF.

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26182 · June 18, 2014 at 1:32 PM

especially with the nut butter and chocolate. But she didn't say she wasn't losing weight. Need more info.

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26182 · June 18, 2014 at 1:30 PM

how long have you been paleo this time? how much weight have you lost? what is your bodyfat?

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250 · June 18, 2014 at 4:09 AM

No, Whole30 doesn't limit nut consumption. Whole30 would be great for you to eliminate your sugar cravings, though, as that is one of the main premises behind it. If nuts are an issue for you to eat normally, then don't buy them.

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15 · June 18, 2014 at 4:03 AM

Jayme,

Does a Whole30 actually limit nut consumption to a certain number? I thought it just said to avoid them? I feel like I need more structure...I have the tendency to go overboard on nuts more than chocolate so I feel like choco is the lesser of two evils at this point. My main concern is just my overall dependence on sugar and constant cravings

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0 · June 19, 2014 at 5:05 AM

What really helps me is eating a larger protein packed breakfast. It gives me a great start for the day. I also eat every couple hours. This really helps me keep cravings down. Best wishes.

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1005 · June 18, 2014 at 5:27 PM

I hear you on the nut butter and chocolate. Deff sounds like magnesium deficiency to me. Try supplementing magnesium citrate (more bioavalable than magnesium oxide or other forms of magnesium) internally and supplementing topically with magnesium oil applied directly to skin (works well as a deodorant). I find that when I supplement magnesium both topically and internally the nut and chocolate cravings are severely reduced.

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0 · June 18, 2014 at 3:29 PM

I used to have serious nut addictions and could never figure out why I craved them constantly. I upped my carbs in from fruit and potatoes and squashes and lowered my fat and I feel no desire to eat nuts/nut butters anymore. I still include dark chocolate for some extra carbs, but I don't go through a whole block in a day like I did previously. Play around with your macros, you might be overdoing it on the nuts and chocolate because your body is starving for more carbs.

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690 · June 18, 2014 at 2:40 PM

I recall @cl101 's previous visit paleo hacks.. she is an elite level athelete & unless she's packed on the body fat in the last several months she's already at a very low level. Here's her self dexcription from another thread....

I'm female, twenty years old, 5 foot 3, 108 (aiming for 95-98. Lowest weight ever was 88 or so, highest was 120. No intention to get that low again, but I don't carry the extra weight well). I'm relatively lean, but don't know my exact BF%. At 94 lbs around 6 months ago, I was 9%. I'd like to be around 10-12%. Probably around 15-16% at the moment. I'm active every day (I'm an elite figure skater). I was doing low carb, minimal sugar (21 Day Sugar Detox) but my energy levels were low so I'm not really sure where to go now.

I'm wondering if she's still training & really has any fat to lose?

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41471 · June 18, 2014 at 8:14 PM

9% BF on a female? You realistically can't lose more than that before keeling over. 10-12% is like hardcore female bodybuilder… Even 15% is hardcore female fitness model. 18% is completely healthy/normal. One part anoxexia, one part not knowing her true BF.

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41471 · June 18, 2014 at 11:29 AM

1500 calories a day and not losing weight… does not compute. You're eating more than you think you are. Use any of the many calorie counting sites to get a handle on your intake and what's recommended to lose weight.

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26182 · June 18, 2014 at 1:32 PM

especially with the nut butter and chocolate. But she didn't say she wasn't losing weight. Need more info.

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8100 · June 18, 2014 at 5:41 AM

You're binging on chocolate and nuts because you aren't eating enough protein and fat, and the fruit just makes you hungrier. The more you starve your body of micro and macro nutrients, the hungrier you are and the slower your metabolism runs. Lack of sleep worsens this.

Eat to satiety of whole, nutrient dense foods.

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1005 · June 18, 2014 at 4:54 AM

Have you read any good books on Paleo dieting? I've heard that following a diet is often more effective than the diet itself. You might need to considerably up your game to the next level.. you've plateaued at the sugar for breakfast and dinner with gluten on the side and processed butter / candy snacks all day long stage, then combined it with decreased exercise, lack of sleep, and long work hours (I wouldn't blame nuts / seeds.)

If you're able to better follow a Paleoesque diet / lifestyle, you might be able to drop the sugar cravings and belly fat.

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250 · June 18, 2014 at 3:40 AM

I think you answered your own question about why your fat loss is at a stand still-- you're overdoing it on the chocolate and nut butter. What about doing a Whole30?

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15 · June 18, 2014 at 4:03 AM

Jayme,

Does a Whole30 actually limit nut consumption to a certain number? I thought it just said to avoid them? I feel like I need more structure...I have the tendency to go overboard on nuts more than chocolate so I feel like choco is the lesser of two evils at this point. My main concern is just my overall dependence on sugar and constant cravings

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