I have been eating a paleo diet since early November of 2011 (with the exception of 2 weeks at Christmas where I might have eaten a small mountain of shortbread), yet I have experienced ZERO weight loss and/or body composition changes.
I am female, 22 years old, 5'9", 165 lbs, and about 26% body fat. Ideally, I'd like to get my body fat down to about 20%.
Short(er)-version medical history:
I was severely depressed at the age of 16, and was promptly slapped with a bunch of anti-depressants, which made me gain 40 lbs. I was on pretty much every single well-known brand. You name it, I was on it at one point. Up until October 2011 I was still on Pristiq and still experiencing signs of depression. As I introduced more paleo foods into my diet, these signs lifted and I stopped taking Pristiq cold-turkey with zero withdrawal symptoms (anytime I missed a dosage on Pristiq before, I had mad withdrawal). So I have been antidepressant free for about 6 months.
4 years ago, I was having trouble sleeping (I have a life-long history of insomnia), so my doctor (without taking a blood test) concluded that maybe I was hypothyroid and gave me 50 mcg of Synthroid. This didn't really help my insomnia (paleo 'cured' that), but I felt a bit better so I stayed on it. Every blood test I've ever had gave no indication of hypothyroid, yet my doctor decided that even if it was so miniscule, it may be the issue. I did lose about 10 lbs after taking it. But 2 weeks ago, I decided to screw that, and stopped taking the Synthroid. I've noticed no difference since.
I am also on birth-control (tri-cyclen lo) but have not experienced any weight fluctuations on it. I've been taking it for 2 years.
Short(er) version diet history:
I've been 'pudgy' since I was about 7 years old. In junior high and for most of highschool I stayed fairly lean due to IFing (although didn't know it at the time), and participating in competitive ice hockey 4-5x a week. However, with the antidepressants and a part-time job that let me buy all the cheesecake I wanted, I gained those 40 lbs in my senior year.
Then came the sugar addiction. I have always liked sugar. But university and a ton of stress had me eating literally lbs of it. I'm talking trays of pastries and bags of chips and 5 chocolate bars a day type-of-addicted. I didn't gain a whole lot of weight, but I felt like crap. I realized that I was addicted and tried to kick the habit. Didn't happen, especially after I adapted a vegan diet. FINALLY (i.e. 2 years later), when I started paleo I was able to stop binging on sugar and 90% of my cravings are gone.
I have noticed incredible, amazing differences on paleo. No more depression, no more insomnia, no more crashes. I have never felt like this. Ever. Yet I can't seem to lose any body fat.
I usually eat 2 big meals a day (700-800 kcal each), and within an 8 hour window (1pm-9pm). This changes slightly due to my class schedule, but that's generally how it happens. Each meal is a combination of meat (a lot of wild fish, some conventional beef and pork, and bacon) and vegetables, with a couple tbsp of butter or coconut oil. I'll usually have some blackberries/raspberries/blueberries with cream or an apple at one meal. I do not eat any nuts, or eggs (I've had intolerance issues in the past), although I do consume the small amount of fruit and organic heavy cream, and whole organic goat's milk (1 cup/day).
I tried giving up fruit and dairy for a month, but it only resulted in a lot of bloating and constipation. I started eating it again last week and immediately felt better. I have also played around with macro ratios, but have noticed little difference, although I keep my carbs to around 50-70g/day.
I supplement with a high quality fish oil.
Although I no longer play hockey (sad face), I walk about 25 km/week to and from class. I also do sprint intervals 2-3x/week and vinyasa yoga 3-4x/week. I am growing bored and impatient with my lack of results with my yoga practices (I've been at it 2 years with minimal results), so I plan on only doing isolated stretching from now on. I am starting a crossfit foundations in 2 weeks in the hopes that it will start some sort of body fat loss.
I will never go back to my pre-paleo ways, yet I can't help but feel increasingly frustrated at the lack of changes in my body. Is there a chance that my heavily-medicated years are somehow hindering my progress? Or am I doing something completely wrong? Any help/hacks would be incredibly appreciated!
Plus thanks for reading that essay. Man, if only I could do my course-work that fast.