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4 weeks, strict Paleo and not an ounce lost. Seriously? Seriously.

by (20)
Updated about 23 hours ago
Created May 10, 2011 at 4:21 AM

I could REALLY use some help, Paleo friends! I am 33, 5'2, 125 lbs and used to be comfortably (not watching what I eat...) at about 118. I would exercise a bit, eat a little less and drop down to 115 easily. But in the last 8 or so months, I haven't been able to lose these 10 lbs by doing anything I used to (like hmm, eat less, exercise more...).

Then, I found Crossfit! Now, go 3-4x/week (LOVE LOVE LOVE this) and decided to go pretty strict Paleo 4 weeks ago. (The only non-strict items are caffeinated black coffee with 2 splenda packets and a splenda or two in a smoothie.) I love eating "clean" and don't feel the icky bloatiness of grains. I am averaging about 120g Protein, under 100g Carbs, and fats varied from 60g-100g and staying under 1300 calories. For the last week, I stayed under 50 carbs which put me right about 1100 calories... I AM having a bit of almond butter as a snack and little to NO fruit at all. But it's all accounted for in the food tracker.

I have literally not lost an ounce. NOT ONE OUNCE. According to the same metabolic scale, I haven't even lost an ounce of body fat.

And no, I didn't do measurements like I should have, BUT, my clothes aren't fitting any better and I'm not seeing any significant improvements in my naked self. ;) I am getting stronger though - yay! But I want to be leaner.

I get decent sleep 7-8 hours and it's not usually interrupted, so I don't feel like that's the problem.

On paper, it looks like I should be a fat burning MACHINE!!! But clearly, I'm not.

So... thoughts? Too much protein? Too many calories? Not enough calories? Splenda? Caffeine?

Oh one more thought, I'm supplementing with Trader Joe's soy protein (aack! I know! Soy!) for my morning smoothie before working out and having a Progenex whey protein shake after my WOD. BAD??? Terrible?

I'm SOOOOO FRUSTRATED! :::Shaking fists at heavens!:::

Any comments and suggestions will be extremely welcomed!

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4086 · May 12, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Now my CF coach does not like my food intake and would like me to eat more. And others on here have said that a weight drop will happen when calories are increased. But at this point in my life I am trying to recover from years of binges followed by bouts of starvation and get off the yo-yo.

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4086 · May 12, 2011 at 3:04 PM

...I was being very strict about staying at 1300 per day. What I noticed is that some days I was forcing food down when I wasnt hungry and other days I was denying myself when I was hungry. That is not why I switched to paleo! So I decided to only eat when I am hungry. Some days I may only eat 800 calories, other days I may eat 2,000. I don't worry about it, if I am hungry I eat, if I am not I don't.

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4086 · May 12, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Thanks! And actually the hardest work is the patience, not the diet or exercise. Stepho I don't know if it is the CF or not, I am sure that the increased muscle mass is a benefit. But if body fat storage is hormonal, I think that slowly changing my hormones through diet and exercise are the reasons...and also the reason for the length of time it took to see a change. The main thing that I believe is working is that I quit trying to eat a certain amount of calories per day...

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15443 · May 12, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Something else I have found is that the Paleo diet is a natural appetite suppressant for me. For example, it's 10:45am and I just realized that I didn't eat breakfast -- just totally forgot. If I am trying to lose weight I will "go" with this and if I'm not feeling particularly hungry, just skip a meal (or two). Seems to work best after a low carb meal. Try this once a week, and I can't imagine your weight will stay up. Despite all of the talk about "eat more", you need to run an overall (perhaps weekly if not daily) calorie deficit to lose weight.

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300 · May 12, 2011 at 8:26 AM

haha miracle cure for insomnia! :)

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Oh, and I have been doing Crossfit consistently 3-4x/week for about 3 months now. Paleo for 4 weeks.

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Thanks, Jimbo... I am gaining muscle, but my body fat percentage has not changed nor has how my clothing fits or how I look. I know better than to JUST look at the scale. I KNOW I'm getting healthier, so I'm not complaining about the Paleo lifestyle OR CF, but I am trying to tweak it to reap the most rewards. I don't think anyone would blame me for that one! :)

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Thanks, Jimbo... I am gaining muscle, but my body fat percentage has not changed nor has how my clothing fits. I know better than to JUST

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 6:55 PM

DEFINITELY YAY on the 4 lbs!!! Congrats! Were you doing anything different with your diet at the 60 day mark? Or do you think it just had something to do with Crossfit rev'ing your metabolism further? Great stuff! I need to look in to the vitamin supplements and I'm very curious about the iodine. Thanks for your encouragement!

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25467 · May 10, 2011 at 5:12 PM

You may have thyroid antibodies or be iodine deficient or have high level of cardiac crp causing leptin signaling issues. Your doctor should easily be able to sort it out

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18701 · May 10, 2011 at 4:50 PM

\o/ Yay on the 4lbs Leah! I know you worked HARD for that!

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1037 · May 10, 2011 at 4:03 PM

T most accurate way that's feasible for you is to get a heart rate monitor. I use a Polar F55. But regardless...you're probably over 500 calories for 30 minutes of crossfit. That's an intense workout. You may be -way- over 500.

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 3:35 PM

How in the world do we even know how many calories we are burning at Crossfit? I know I'm working harder than I ever have before... but does that mean 100 calories? 200 calories? 500 calories? I'm a scientist... I like facts and quantifiable figures! Lol - too many variables and experimentation with all of this for my liking! :) Thanks again!

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f
1037 · May 10, 2011 at 3:04 PM

It's no problem Steph. But you realize that your BMR is your calorie burn WITHOUT exercise right? So add in the huge amount of calories burned in a crossfit workout + whatever other exercise you're doing, and you're at too large of a deficit (I'm betting.) Try to put it at about 500 calories or less, and I think you will be able to start losing. If it's hard to estimate, just add in 200 more calories every week until you see a change. Robb Wolf agrees that if you're having trouble dialing it in, calorie counting may help, so don't sweat that.

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1639 · May 10, 2011 at 2:25 PM

I'd still try to eat more meat as well. With the amount of workouts you're doing, you would probably benefit from more protein than that.

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Thanks for the feedback! I actually don't really care for the smoothies, to be honest. I was trying to find something to eat quickly before my Crossfit workout that wouldn't sit too heavy (i.e. meat, lol) and a few of my CF friends suggested the protein powder/coconut milk/fruit combo. It has 164 calories, 5 carbs, 7g fat, and 27g protein. But either way, I've nixed the AM smoothie for the soy protein factor. So we shall see! Thanks!

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1639 · May 10, 2011 at 2:24 PM

There's also this... http://whole9life.com/2010/03/robb-wolf-fish-oil-calculator/

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Very interesting, Kelly - thanks for the info! Does staying in ketosis mean weight loss for you? I've read so many different things... especially as it pertains to women. Thanks for the feedback!

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15443 · May 10, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Calorie-free sweeteners can fool your body into keeping a higher "set point". It isn't the calories that cause problems, but the sweet taste. Just cut out everything sweet-tasting from your diet. At first it seems hard, but after a while you're develop a lot more taste for other flavors and it won't matter any more.

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Any explanation as to why I have low TSH and low T3 and low T4? (low is low end of normal, not actually low). I know it point to a pituitary problem, but I am extremely doubtful. I want my lab results today!!! Lol . Thanks, again!

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Ok done! Thanks! A question for all you scholars... my BMR is about 1324 calories according to both a metabolic scale and separately, measurements done. I KNOW THAT A CALORIE IS NOT JUST A CALORIE and that the 3500 cal deficit = 1 lb fat loss doesn't work out. I read Robb Wolf''s book and Zone so I get it. However, if we still talk that we have to have some sort of calorie monitoring, along with eating paleo, how does it make sense that I should be consuming 200+ cal over my BMR? I know I am going to get blasted for this comment! I just can't reconcile it in my head. Thanks!

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25467 · May 10, 2011 at 12:32 PM

your hormones are toasted and that is why you are not moving down

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · May 10, 2011 at 12:32 PM

splenda and soy are not strict paleo....

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Re: I am resting on my off days... CF usually M,T, W, F and maybe a yoga class over the weekend but not regularly. no other sports unless you count playing dress up with a 4 year old! :) Thinking through what you said, I have NOT increased my sleep to correspond with starting Crossfit. I do know that I feel BETTER, more alert, less lethargic, less low blood sugary on the days I go to CF. It's addicting! So...... maybe more sleep. maybe cut back to MWF Crossfit and get a run in on the off days. so many variables! Thanks again!

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Thanks for the info! From everything I have read, women end up needing different types of tweaks as men... and it also depends on your size, too. (BTW, thanks for your service as a fireman!) So I am honestly skeptical to add in fruits (especially bananas! Aack! Lol) and lots of nuts (high calories! Even Robb Wolff says you have to be careful not to eat too many nuts (calories) if you're trying to lean out. But I can definitely relate to the sleep/eating continuum ... you are a walking, crossfitting testament to that!

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Admittedly, I have not been consistent with my fish oil intake. I'll add that to my list of tweaks. I have an appt this week to discuss my follow up thyroid results... so we shall see on that, too. Thanks again!

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 12:12 PM

FANTASTIC info... thank you! So here's the plan going forward: I will cut out all protein supplements which will drop me down to about 70g of protein which is 0.7x my lean body weight. It will also hopefully allow me to "drop 10 lbs overnight" like you! Seriously, it cuts the soy (helps the possible thyroid connection), it cuts the possible excess protein, and it cuts the possible insulin spike despite the super low carbs in it. I will up my fats to help with the calorie deficit and maybe add in the sweet potato post workout. Thoughts?

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25467 · May 10, 2011 at 12:11 PM

most women dont know this either......breasts steal iodine from the thyroid. So if you have fibrocystic disease that can vary with your estrogen cycle its a clue......that iodine is a big issue.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · May 10, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Stabby is correct....and a low T4 T3 is a key to understanding what is going on......yoru not optimized hormonally and if youre not you will never lose an ounce. You need to be in the upper quartile of T3 and T4 to get weight loss and this is critical. Leptin is rearing the ugly head again. I have said it so many times......if your hormones are out of whack your diet wont matter.

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5516 · May 10, 2011 at 12:02 PM

I would raise the calories to at least 1500-1600 and eliminate the soy. You should do better that way. Definitely second the under-eating.

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1639 · May 10, 2011 at 9:29 AM

And when I say protein shakes, I mean the whey too. Sadly it also causes insulin spikes that lead to weight gain :(

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17949 · May 10, 2011 at 5:35 AM

Lights out...a bit of a...snoozer. Bwahaha! :D

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1037 · May 10, 2011 at 5:15 AM

120g is not too much, but you probably don't need a lot more. I think you just need to get it from food, not whey or soy supplements. I've heard Jillian Michaels field similar questions probably 50 times...you are creating too much of a calorie deficit and your body is trying to hang on to it's fat reserves. I'm guessing if you make sure your deficit is around 500 calories a day max, you'll see immediate results...the rest will be fine tuning.

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300 · May 10, 2011 at 5:15 AM

I think you should start listening to Robb Wolf's Paleo Solution pod-cast. he talks about a lot of these issues! protein alone doesn't release insulin, but if you eat too much of anything your body will use it to store as fat (and insulin is part of that process). also, the effects of caffeine at different levels can vary a lot from person to person. this is something you have to play with yourself.

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 5:12 AM

Just downloaded it to my Kindle... now... speaking of sleep, my little one is getting up in T minus 6.5 hours. Gotta get some sleep! Be back in the AM to check this post. You guys are simply fantastic! It's the whole Crossfit/Paleo community that is just that... a COMMUNITY! I love it!

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300 · May 10, 2011 at 5:09 AM

yep, that's the one i'm using! you have a lot more going on than elevated cortisol if you aren't getting enough sleep! but yes that's a huge chunk of the problem. It's a LOT to explain, definitely read the T.S. Wiley book... bit of a snoozer sometimes, but great info. After reading it, I don't feel at all guilty for the days I spend 10+ hours sleeping! haha

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 5:07 AM

I wish there WERE a magic number. I'm a black and white kind of person. Barry Sears says somewhere in his Zone book that if you get TOO much protein for YOUR body, it can actually induce an insulin response. So, my crazy analytical-ness is wondering if perhaps I'm getting too much protein.......... or perhaps it's just protein from the wrong sources. Then I read that caffeine is bad... then I read that caffeine is good! I like my coffee pre-workout (more so for the taste that ingesting straight-up caffeine) so we shall see... Thank you again.

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1037 · May 10, 2011 at 5:04 AM

Coconut oil and avocado are great sources...make sure you're getting enough protein. There's no magic ratio, but try to get at least 30% of your calories from protein...and if you're having problems, get some grass-fed bacon!

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 5:04 AM

Good to know. It'll be interesting to talk to my Internal Med doc about it this week... have an appointment to go over thyroid lab results. I'm pretty sure she's going to say, um, no, to the supplementation. Then again, she still buys into the low fat diet ideas. She is a phenomenal doctor otherwise, though. :)

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f
1037 · May 10, 2011 at 5:03 AM

Also, 200mg of caffeine pre-workout can boost metabolism without causing cortisol problems. Drinking it in coffee might not be as effective, as all studies done on caffeine were using pure caffeine, not caffeine with everything else in coffee. I take 150-200mg 4-5 times a week before workouts...that's not enough to trigger withdrawal headaches on off-days.

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 5:02 AM

No - neither! I just find that it is a lot of food! I can definitely up my calories with things like coconut oil and avocado... I just backed down on those when I felt like nothing was working. Not lower carb (under 50), not lower calories.... I feel like I am grasping at straws and probably just need to pick a plan and stick to it.

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 5:00 AM

Thanks! I appreciate your response, too!

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1037 · May 10, 2011 at 5:00 AM

I must be missing something if you are only at 1200-1300 and think it will be hard to eat more. Are you a vegetarian? Are you avoiding saturated fat?

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 4:59 AM

Thank you! So.... cortisol is likely up from the "stress" of CF and "lack" of sleep... plus my soy issues and low iodine. Is this the iodide supplement you are referring to? http://www.alldiscountvitamins.com/kelp-iodine-supplement-liquid-2-oz-world-organic.aspx

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17949 · May 10, 2011 at 4:59 AM

Heh, that's an excellent question. You can certainly start too heavily. You can't kill yourself or even cause lasting damage with a very high dose iodine (although taking too much with hashimoto's disease is pretty bad) but you can get a potent "detox" reaction causing brain fog from too much, which some people, including myself have done for months on end with some adjunct protocol...it's wacky stuff that I normally don't buy into. But anyway you probably don't want to take very high doses. Maybe 500mcg-1mg to start with in case you eat brain fog or low energy. It's not fun to megadose iodine

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 4:50 AM

I will check it out. Can you "overdose" on iodine to your knowledge?

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17949 · May 10, 2011 at 4:49 AM

I use Lugol's potassium iodide/iodine in liquid form. There's iodoral and iosol and kelp tablets and such. I prefer Lugol's/iodoral. Yay for junk-freedom. Glad to help. (I agree with the paragraph breaks thing wholeheartedly)

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 4:48 AM

BLARGH! Under eating? What do I need to up? If I get rid of the protein supplements (soy and whey) then I will be STRUGGLING to get my protein numbers up. I definitely feel full through out the day... UNLESS I've killed a WOD, then I could probably eat more.
Carbs - getting it from salad greens, peppers, onions, brussel sprouts, broccoli, etc. Very little fruit (perhaps 1/2 Cup strawberries or raspberries in the forbidden soy smoothie). Sleep - that is definitely as best as I can muster with running a business and a 4 year old. :) You guys are FANTASTIC for these ideas. Thanks!

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 4:45 AM

Wow, commenting on a post does not allow paragraph breaks
.... sorry about the seemingly run-on paragraph response. Thanks!

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 4:44 AM

Awesome. So... soy is GONE starting in the morning. Thanks for reminding me why soy is bad. Ensuring enough iodine? Any fabulous ways to do that? I do have a low T4/T3 number but not TSH... so this could all be related, I presume. So by supplementing with soy, I could actually be driving my thyroid numbers down further. Verrry interesting. I've been considering giving up the coffee because of the caffeine. since it could have an effect on insulin levels. So I get rid of the coffee, I get rid of the Splenda. I get rid of the soy-based smoothie, I get rid of the Splenda. Done. :) And thanks

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11 Answers

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Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d
12
17949 · May 10, 2011 at 4:34 AM

My first thought is cortisol issues from very low calorie diets + exercise. Does anyone agree that this post is telling of stress?

Soy and splenda...not paleo. Robb Wolf has mentioned many times that the artificial sweeteners are one major thingw that hold people back. Soy? Soy is highly goitrogenic. That means that it blocks iodine uptake in the thyroid (needed to make thyroid hormone and stimulate energy oxidation). If you are already eating an iodine-deficient diet you're going to cause yourself hypothyroid. Ensure plenty of iodine and get rid of the soy.

Micronutrients? Low calorie diets make you deficient in many nutrients if you don't supplement heavily. I suggest you join fitday or get chron o meter and track your nutrient intake. Supplement with what you might be missing.

It takes a while for leptin resistance (breakdown in energy-availability signaling. Major factor in fat accumulation) to heal, and that's with knowing how to fix it in the first place. My last point is to be patient and strive for health. Study what is healthy and do that. What is healthy? I'm sure you know a lot about what is healthy, well learn more. We're kidding ourselves if we think that we can maintain excellent body comp long-term without being optimally healthy.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · May 10, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Stabby is correct....and a low T4 T3 is a key to understanding what is going on......yoru not optimized hormonally and if youre not you will never lose an ounce. You need to be in the upper quartile of T3 and T4 to get weight loss and this is critical. Leptin is rearing the ugly head again. I have said it so many times......if your hormones are out of whack your diet wont matter.

6214f6185627f279fccf55cde93756d0
20 · May 10, 2011 at 5:04 AM

Good to know. It'll be interesting to talk to my Internal Med doc about it this week... have an appointment to go over thyroid lab results. I'm pretty sure she's going to say, um, no, to the supplementation. Then again, she still buys into the low fat diet ideas. She is a phenomenal doctor otherwise, though. :)

6214f6185627f279fccf55cde93756d0
20 · May 10, 2011 at 4:45 AM

Wow, commenting on a post does not allow paragraph breaks
.... sorry about the seemingly run-on paragraph response. Thanks!

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d
17949 · May 10, 2011 at 4:59 AM

Heh, that's an excellent question. You can certainly start too heavily. You can't kill yourself or even cause lasting damage with a very high dose iodine (although taking too much with hashimoto's disease is pretty bad) but you can get a potent "detox" reaction causing brain fog from too much, which some people, including myself have done for months on end with some adjunct protocol...it's wacky stuff that I normally don't buy into. But anyway you probably don't want to take very high doses. Maybe 500mcg-1mg to start with in case you eat brain fog or low energy. It's not fun to megadose iodine

6214f6185627f279fccf55cde93756d0
20 · May 10, 2011 at 4:44 AM

Awesome. So... soy is GONE starting in the morning. Thanks for reminding me why soy is bad. Ensuring enough iodine? Any fabulous ways to do that? I do have a low T4/T3 number but not TSH... so this could all be related, I presume. So by supplementing with soy, I could actually be driving my thyroid numbers down further. Verrry interesting. I've been considering giving up the coffee because of the caffeine. since it could have an effect on insulin levels. So I get rid of the coffee, I get rid of the Splenda. I get rid of the soy-based smoothie, I get rid of the Splenda. Done. :) And thanks

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · May 10, 2011 at 12:11 PM

most women dont know this either......breasts steal iodine from the thyroid. So if you have fibrocystic disease that can vary with your estrogen cycle its a clue......that iodine is a big issue.

6214f6185627f279fccf55cde93756d0
20 · May 10, 2011 at 4:50 AM

I will check it out. Can you "overdose" on iodine to your knowledge?

6214f6185627f279fccf55cde93756d0
20 · May 10, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Any explanation as to why I have low TSH and low T3 and low T4? (low is low end of normal, not actually low). I know it point to a pituitary problem, but I am extremely doubtful. I want my lab results today!!! Lol . Thanks, again!

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d
17949 · May 10, 2011 at 4:49 AM

I use Lugol's potassium iodide/iodine in liquid form. There's iodoral and iosol and kelp tablets and such. I prefer Lugol's/iodoral. Yay for junk-freedom. Glad to help. (I agree with the paragraph breaks thing wholeheartedly)

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · May 10, 2011 at 5:12 PM

You may have thyroid antibodies or be iodine deficient or have high level of cardiac crp causing leptin signaling issues. Your doctor should easily be able to sort it out

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1
15443 · May 10, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Calorie-free sweeteners can fool your body into keeping a higher "set point". It isn't the calories that cause problems, but the sweet taste. Just cut out everything sweet-tasting from your diet. At first it seems hard, but after a while you're develop a lot more taste for other flavors and it won't matter any more.

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f
5
1037 · May 10, 2011 at 4:41 AM

Absolutely you are under-eating. And as stabby already covered the soy - cut that out immediately. I'd stop using any liquid protein supplements, as they will all spike your insulin. Whey protein is not a good idea for trying to lose weight.

I'd also cut out the splenda, and I'd get your caffeine in pure form.

What kind of food are you getting your carbs from?

Make sure you're getting enough sleep - 7 is not generally enough. 8 is the bare minimum. Are you sleeping in a pitch black room? Not being woken by an alarm clock? Check out Lights Out by TS Wiley for more info on sleep.

Main problem, though, you're definitely under-eating. Losing the last couple pounds is rough. Everything has to be right on. Don't get discouraged, though, you shouldn't have any problems if you're willing to be diligent and fine-tune.

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f
1037 · May 10, 2011 at 5:00 AM

I must be missing something if you are only at 1200-1300 and think it will be hard to eat more. Are you a vegetarian? Are you avoiding saturated fat?

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f
1037 · May 10, 2011 at 5:15 AM

120g is not too much, but you probably don't need a lot more. I think you just need to get it from food, not whey or soy supplements. I've heard Jillian Michaels field similar questions probably 50 times...you are creating too much of a calorie deficit and your body is trying to hang on to it's fat reserves. I'm guessing if you make sure your deficit is around 500 calories a day max, you'll see immediate results...the rest will be fine tuning.

6214f6185627f279fccf55cde93756d0
20 · May 10, 2011 at 5:07 AM

I wish there WERE a magic number. I'm a black and white kind of person. Barry Sears says somewhere in his Zone book that if you get TOO much protein for YOUR body, it can actually induce an insulin response. So, my crazy analytical-ness is wondering if perhaps I'm getting too much protein.......... or perhaps it's just protein from the wrong sources. Then I read that caffeine is bad... then I read that caffeine is good! I like my coffee pre-workout (more so for the taste that ingesting straight-up caffeine) so we shall see... Thank you again.

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1037 · May 10, 2011 at 5:04 AM

Coconut oil and avocado are great sources...make sure you're getting enough protein. There's no magic ratio, but try to get at least 30% of your calories from protein...and if you're having problems, get some grass-fed bacon!

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 5:02 AM

No - neither! I just find that it is a lot of food! I can definitely up my calories with things like coconut oil and avocado... I just backed down on those when I felt like nothing was working. Not lower carb (under 50), not lower calories.... I feel like I am grasping at straws and probably just need to pick a plan and stick to it.

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1037 · May 10, 2011 at 3:04 PM

It's no problem Steph. But you realize that your BMR is your calorie burn WITHOUT exercise right? So add in the huge amount of calories burned in a crossfit workout + whatever other exercise you're doing, and you're at too large of a deficit (I'm betting.) Try to put it at about 500 calories or less, and I think you will be able to start losing. If it's hard to estimate, just add in 200 more calories every week until you see a change. Robb Wolf agrees that if you're having trouble dialing it in, calorie counting may help, so don't sweat that.

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300 · May 10, 2011 at 5:15 AM

I think you should start listening to Robb Wolf's Paleo Solution pod-cast. he talks about a lot of these issues! protein alone doesn't release insulin, but if you eat too much of anything your body will use it to store as fat (and insulin is part of that process). also, the effects of caffeine at different levels can vary a lot from person to person. this is something you have to play with yourself.

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 4:48 AM

BLARGH! Under eating? What do I need to up? If I get rid of the protein supplements (soy and whey) then I will be STRUGGLING to get my protein numbers up. I definitely feel full through out the day... UNLESS I've killed a WOD, then I could probably eat more.
Carbs - getting it from salad greens, peppers, onions, brussel sprouts, broccoli, etc. Very little fruit (perhaps 1/2 Cup strawberries or raspberries in the forbidden soy smoothie). Sleep - that is definitely as best as I can muster with running a business and a 4 year old. :) You guys are FANTASTIC for these ideas. Thanks!

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Ok done! Thanks! A question for all you scholars... my BMR is about 1324 calories according to both a metabolic scale and separately, measurements done. I KNOW THAT A CALORIE IS NOT JUST A CALORIE and that the 3500 cal deficit = 1 lb fat loss doesn't work out. I read Robb Wolf''s book and Zone so I get it. However, if we still talk that we have to have some sort of calorie monitoring, along with eating paleo, how does it make sense that I should be consuming 200+ cal over my BMR? I know I am going to get blasted for this comment! I just can't reconcile it in my head. Thanks!

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5516 · May 10, 2011 at 12:02 PM

I would raise the calories to at least 1500-1600 and eliminate the soy. You should do better that way. Definitely second the under-eating.

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 3:35 PM

How in the world do we even know how many calories we are burning at Crossfit? I know I'm working harder than I ever have before... but does that mean 100 calories? 200 calories? 500 calories? I'm a scientist... I like facts and quantifiable figures! Lol - too many variables and experimentation with all of this for my liking! :) Thanks again!

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1037 · May 10, 2011 at 4:03 PM

T most accurate way that's feasible for you is to get a heart rate monitor. I use a Polar F55. But regardless...you're probably over 500 calories for 30 minutes of crossfit. That's an intense workout. You may be -way- over 500.

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1037 · May 10, 2011 at 5:03 AM

Also, 200mg of caffeine pre-workout can boost metabolism without causing cortisol problems. Drinking it in coffee might not be as effective, as all studies done on caffeine were using pure caffeine, not caffeine with everything else in coffee. I take 150-200mg 4-5 times a week before workouts...that's not enough to trigger withdrawal headaches on off-days.

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1639 · May 10, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Couple of things I noticed...and yeah, I think some (or all) of it's been covered =)

Crossfit is intense. You need to recover. Sleep at LEAST 8-9 hours a night, in a pitch black room. Eat to satiety, and don't worry about calories. At least, not for the beginning period. I would say that with your level of activity you aren't eating enough. Just strive for protein + veggies + cook in fat = awesomeness. I know that I at least go for 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight, but that's all I worry about as far as how much food to eat.

As far as the food, I would say you're not quite as strict as you say on the whole paleo thing. Soy is bad, as is the whey protein. Eat real food! I cut out the protein shakes and dropped 10 pounds nearly overnight. I'd say check the coffee intake just because of possible adrenal stuff, but that's just me. Definitely cut out the splenda too, it's viewed as sugar from your brain's standpoint. Also, excessive amounts of nuts can cause issues with omega-6 stuff. Also, if you're too low on carbs, you might have some issues there. You might try a sweet potato as part of your after workout meal and see how that goes.

I would also suggest reading Robb Wolf's "the paleo solution" appendix about supplements, and add stuff as needed. Have you done any omega 3 supp's to fix any omega 6/3 imbalance? You might want to talk to your doc about the thyroid stuff, since you mention that. Iodine works well, but if you have an actual deficiency in production you'll want a t3/t4 replacement.

Oh, and go buy a tape measure and do some measurements. Then you can tell if anything changed. A photo taken every 3-4 weeks can be helpful too.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

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1639 · May 10, 2011 at 9:29 AM

And when I say protein shakes, I mean the whey too. Sadly it also causes insulin spikes that lead to weight gain :(

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1639 · May 10, 2011 at 2:25 PM

I'd still try to eat more meat as well. With the amount of workouts you're doing, you would probably benefit from more protein than that.

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Admittedly, I have not been consistent with my fish oil intake. I'll add that to my list of tweaks. I have an appt this week to discuss my follow up thyroid results... so we shall see on that, too. Thanks again!

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 12:12 PM

FANTASTIC info... thank you! So here's the plan going forward: I will cut out all protein supplements which will drop me down to about 70g of protein which is 0.7x my lean body weight. It will also hopefully allow me to "drop 10 lbs overnight" like you! Seriously, it cuts the soy (helps the possible thyroid connection), it cuts the possible excess protein, and it cuts the possible insulin spike despite the super low carbs in it. I will up my fats to help with the calorie deficit and maybe add in the sweet potato post workout. Thoughts?

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1639 · May 10, 2011 at 2:24 PM

There's also this... http://whole9life.com/2010/03/robb-wolf-fish-oil-calculator/

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4086 · May 10, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Upvote for Stabby. Stepho, your posted question is me! I started CF after being paleo for approx a year. 39 f 142 lbs plenty of body fat to lose. I used to drop ten pounds just by diet alone and now I can't. Moral of the story: give it a little more time, on May 1st I had been doing CF for 60 days and all of a sudden 4 pounds gone :) Just be patient, you are surely gaining muscle.

I also supplement with 4000 vit D, natural calm at night and have worked up to 12.5 mg Lugol's solution (2 drops) over the last 75 days by following The Perfect Health Diet iodine recommendations (I started with 500 mcg).

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18701 · May 10, 2011 at 4:50 PM

\o/ Yay on the 4lbs Leah! I know you worked HARD for that!

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 6:55 PM

DEFINITELY YAY on the 4 lbs!!! Congrats! Were you doing anything different with your diet at the 60 day mark? Or do you think it just had something to do with Crossfit rev'ing your metabolism further? Great stuff! I need to look in to the vitamin supplements and I'm very curious about the iodine. Thanks for your encouragement!

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4086 · May 12, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Thanks! And actually the hardest work is the patience, not the diet or exercise. Stepho I don't know if it is the CF or not, I am sure that the increased muscle mass is a benefit. But if body fat storage is hormonal, I think that slowly changing my hormones through diet and exercise are the reasons...and also the reason for the length of time it took to see a change. The main thing that I believe is working is that I quit trying to eat a certain amount of calories per day...

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4086 · May 12, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Now my CF coach does not like my food intake and would like me to eat more. And others on here have said that a weight drop will happen when calories are increased. But at this point in my life I am trying to recover from years of binges followed by bouts of starvation and get off the yo-yo.

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4086 · May 12, 2011 at 3:04 PM

...I was being very strict about staying at 1300 per day. What I noticed is that some days I was forcing food down when I wasnt hungry and other days I was denying myself when I was hungry. That is not why I switched to paleo! So I decided to only eat when I am hungry. Some days I may only eat 800 calories, other days I may eat 2,000. I don't worry about it, if I am hungry I eat, if I am not I don't.

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15443 · May 10, 2011 at 1:40 PM

I try to keep it simple. I am no expert in these matters, but something that unfailingly causes me to start losing weight is to go very low carb or no carb. Try it for a week. It can be a bit uncomfortable/weird at first, but just suck it up and do it, and figure out how to make it delicious later.

It sounds like you love your smoothies, but if they are full of fruit and soy, you are probably consuming a lot of sugar and carbs.

Try something like:

Breakfast: 2 eggs plus something micronutrient-rich and very low in carbs and high in fat (i.e. blueberries and almonds with fresh whipped cream)

Lunch: Salad from a salad bar with only protein, fat, and non-starchy veg items, full-fat e.v. olive oil and vinegar for dressing.

Dinner: Meat and salad/veg with something with a lot of fat but no carbs

Figure out a menu like this with maybe 1500-1700 calories and stick to it religiously for a week.

When I eat like this I almost always end the week 4-5 pounds lighter, and I use this as a way to jump-start a new diet/exercise plan.

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Thanks for the feedback! I actually don't really care for the smoothies, to be honest. I was trying to find something to eat quickly before my Crossfit workout that wouldn't sit too heavy (i.e. meat, lol) and a few of my CF friends suggested the protein powder/coconut milk/fruit combo. It has 164 calories, 5 carbs, 7g fat, and 27g protein. But either way, I've nixed the AM smoothie for the soy protein factor. So we shall see! Thanks!

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15443 · May 12, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Something else I have found is that the Paleo diet is a natural appetite suppressant for me. For example, it's 10:45am and I just realized that I didn't eat breakfast -- just totally forgot. If I am trying to lose weight I will "go" with this and if I'm not feeling particularly hungry, just skip a meal (or two). Seems to work best after a low carb meal. Try this once a week, and I can't imagine your weight will stay up. Despite all of the talk about "eat more", you need to run an overall (perhaps weekly if not daily) calorie deficit to lose weight.

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8757 · May 10, 2011 at 1:36 PM

I'd suggest making sure that no matter what your calories are (since they are low) to keep an eye on the fitday graph, I found (for me ) that if I am 55%+ fat, no more than 25% protein and around 25% carbs I am always in a state of ketosis (I use the stix).....no matter what my calories are (always under 2000)

I use whey protein (2tb) day to make a pancake for breakfast but everything else is pure foods. (no dairy or legumes, maybe 1/2 oz soaked dried nuts day).

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Very interesting, Kelly - thanks for the info! Does staying in ketosis mean weight loss for you? I've read so many different things... especially as it pertains to women. Thanks for the feedback!

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466 · May 10, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Eat more, a lot more! Ditch the processed protein powders and shakes and eat MEAT. Grass fed if possible. Wild caught seafood is also good. Consider not counting calories. Eat all the GOOD food you want. I stop losing weight when I cut back to 3 BIG meals a day. It seems crazy but if my body isn't getting enough food and/or rest it does the cortisol thing. Miss a meal or catch a nighttime fire (I'm a fireman) and I will gain weight. Eat like a PIG and sleep through the night (especially after an intense workout) and I'll be 2-3lbs lighter in the morning. It's crazy but it works???

The smoothie is fine without the soy. Buy a bag of frozen fruit, put some in a blender with juice, fresh blueberries and a banana and mix until the desired consistency (too thick? add juice. too runny add frozen) Snack on raw nuts. Sleep more,in a cool DARK room. "Decent" doesn't cut it. Make sleep as big a priority as crossfit. Make sure you're not overdoing the crossfit: are you resting (stretching, rolling, yoga, massage) on the off days? GOOD! Are you doing some other sport/exercise on the off days? not so good.

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Thanks for the info! From everything I have read, women end up needing different types of tweaks as men... and it also depends on your size, too. (BTW, thanks for your service as a fireman!) So I am honestly skeptical to add in fruits (especially bananas! Aack! Lol) and lots of nuts (high calories! Even Robb Wolff says you have to be careful not to eat too many nuts (calories) if you're trying to lean out. But I can definitely relate to the sleep/eating continuum ... you are a walking, crossfitting testament to that!

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Re: I am resting on my off days... CF usually M,T, W, F and maybe a yoga class over the weekend but not regularly. no other sports unless you count playing dress up with a 4 year old! :) Thinking through what you said, I have NOT increased my sleep to correspond with starting Crossfit. I do know that I feel BETTER, more alert, less lethargic, less low blood sugary on the days I go to CF. It's addicting! So...... maybe more sleep. maybe cut back to MWF Crossfit and get a run in on the off days. so many variables! Thanks again!

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300 · May 10, 2011 at 4:57 AM

Great answers already, so I'll just repeat them. Basically, you're doing CF (very intense) and not eating enough to fuel or sleeping enough to recover from it. Definitely read T.S. Wiley's Lights Out book, its a real eye opener. I'd also try to go down to about 60 max carbs a day, at least until you've leaned out.

To answer your question up there, iodine supplementation is standard 150mcg (thats *micro*grams) a day. I like to use the liquid kelp form in the dropper. four drops in a glass of water a day and done... one less pill to take! I got mine from WholeFoods and it's made by World Organic... there may be better on the internet, but this is the best i've found so far.

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 4:59 AM

Thank you! So.... cortisol is likely up from the "stress" of CF and "lack" of sleep... plus my soy issues and low iodine. Is this the iodide supplement you are referring to? http://www.alldiscountvitamins.com/kelp-iodine-supplement-liquid-2-oz-world-organic.aspx

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17949 · May 10, 2011 at 5:35 AM

Lights out...a bit of a...snoozer. Bwahaha! :D

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 5:12 AM

Just downloaded it to my Kindle... now... speaking of sleep, my little one is getting up in T minus 6.5 hours. Gotta get some sleep! Be back in the AM to check this post. You guys are simply fantastic! It's the whole Crossfit/Paleo community that is just that... a COMMUNITY! I love it!

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300 · May 10, 2011 at 5:09 AM

yep, that's the one i'm using! you have a lot more going on than elevated cortisol if you aren't getting enough sleep! but yes that's a huge chunk of the problem. It's a LOT to explain, definitely read the T.S. Wiley book... bit of a snoozer sometimes, but great info. After reading it, I don't feel at all guilty for the days I spend 10+ hours sleeping! haha

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300 · May 12, 2011 at 8:26 AM

haha miracle cure for insomnia! :)

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1023 · May 10, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Stop counting calories. If anything look at the percentages of food from macronutrients but don't worry about total calories. Eat if you're hungry, don't if you're not.

You found Crossfit 4 weeks ago? I would guess you're gaining muscle then. Stop using the scale - keep an eye on your pants/waste measurements. Are you getting enough sleep?

Besides, what does it matter what you weigh? How do you feel? How do you look? Also look into fasted training. I'm not an expert on that one, but there's plenty of info out there.

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Thanks, Jimbo... I am gaining muscle, but my body fat percentage has not changed nor has how my clothing fits. I know better than to JUST

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Thanks, Jimbo... I am gaining muscle, but my body fat percentage has not changed nor has how my clothing fits or how I look. I know better than to JUST look at the scale. I KNOW I'm getting healthier, so I'm not complaining about the Paleo lifestyle OR CF, but I am trying to tweak it to reap the most rewards. I don't think anyone would blame me for that one! :)

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Oh, and I have been doing Crossfit consistently 3-4x/week for about 3 months now. Paleo for 4 weeks.

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9948 · May 10, 2011 at 5:30 AM

This posting about plateau has a couple of subthreads on why people do not lose weight.

http://paleohacks.com/questions/37337/please-hack-my-plateau/37345#37345

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1061 · May 10, 2011 at 4:38 AM

Ditto to what Stabby said - he/she/it said it better than I could have. Thanks, Stabby

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20 · May 10, 2011 at 5:00 AM

Thanks! I appreciate your response, too!

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