So I have been on Paleo for 4.5 months and have had so incredible successes. Month 1 -19.5 2 - 6.4 3 - 11.1 4 - 6.6
I am still 30lbs from goal and highly motivated but my weight is no longer moving. Thoughts? Suggestions?
Thanks in advance Kim
Hey Kimber - Congrats on coming this far!
Here is the bad news. It gets slower. There are recent studies that dictate that our bodies are programmed to keep to a certain weight, and as you progress in losing, it takes more and more effort (reducing calories dangerously under maintenance, excessive exercise) to keep that momentum going. In short, your body is evolutionarily programmed to stay constant in your weight and avoid fluctuations. The catch-22 is that going this route is stressful and further impedes progress.
There are a few "hacks" to keeping the losses steady, but frankly I find them a little confusing and counter-productive at times.
When I hit a wall, like a stall of over a month or so, I do one of two things...
Enjoy a weekend binge. By binge, I mean I throw calorie-counting out the window and I really enjoy myself... booze, fruit, potatoes, whatever... Over the weekend I'll gain as much as 5-7lbs (mostly water from reintroducing carbs), but after going back on my diet - within a week from ending that binge, I will have lost that much, plus a pound or two more and I'm back progressing in my weightloss. This works well if you are normally a VLC Paleo dieter. I'm not too certain of the science behind this logic, but it goes back to the concept of a "cheat meal" - a deliberate over-feeding designed to keep your metabolic hormones (like leptin) believing you are not starving, and therefor preventing metabolic slowdown.
Get really "strict and miserable" for a few weeks. Strict and miserable is just my own term for going "Lockdown" on the diet, and being smarter with my exercise. I am currently in "strict and miserable", honestly I'm not that miserable because I've decided my exercise would be stuff I consider really, really fun (swimming laps, pool and ocean, 3/4x a week). The diet being on lockdown is not so much a problem either, as I preemptively filled the fridge with good paleo eats (as well as filled some jars with my favorite long-term storage recipes like chili and stewed chicken).
So, your mileage may vary - but these are the tricks I've learned to deal with stalls. I might have to change the name of "strict and miserable" though, I'm enjoying my tan immensely (not so much the swimmer's ear).
I have a lot of weight to lose. I started at 386 in December and am now down 53 lbs and some ounces. My weekly loss numbers had been averaging 2-3 lbs a week and then dropped down to .2 or .1 for a few weeks.
I checked my tape measure and my composition wasn't changing much either. So I decided to run some personal trials on my diet.
I had been hearing a bit about only eating for a fixed number of hours per day. I settled on 2-6 pm. That was two weeks ago. I also reduced to less than 25g of carbs. I had a hard time eating more than 1400-1600 calories and lost 5.4 lbs in one week.
I think that is too much to be healthy, so this week I am tweaking my trial. I am now able to eat about 2000 calories a day and I bumped my carbs up to 35g.
My trial hasn't lasted long, and is just my experience and not yours. However, I think that is the beauty of paleo. It isn't really a diet - not like a point counting variety of program. Instead, it is me finding out how my body works.
I'm not done with my trials. I won't be until I attain a healthy weight and body composition and learn to maintain it with good exercise and ample fun.
I just want to encourage you to run some n=1 personal trials to find what works for you. It is worth the effort to make paleo your own.
From what you are describing, you should be losing a lot. I agree with someone else who suggested a controlled binge. In general, I think they can be kind of dangerous for people because you can easily undue the calorie deficit for the whole week (I know of a girl who "diet's" throughout the week with 1 insane cheat day but never loses any weight). However, if you are being strict about your diet and have been doing it for months, I totally agree with 1-3 days of more moderate eating, back up to maintenance level or a bit higher. Whenever I do this (once every month or two), I notice I am more hungry for a few days after but then will start losing again. It really does kind of help jumpstart/fool your metabolism. You could check out calorie zig-zagging for more info on this.
Also, you have already lost a lot of weight over a relatively short amount of time, congrats! It will get harder to lose and it will come off slower as you get closer to your goal weight. Are you near the lowest weight you have been for a while? I weighed 155-ish for a long time, now that I am back at that weight (after 30lbs lost), my body seems a bit resistant to go lower. However, as someone else has suggested, get a tape measure! While my progress has slowed, my thighs are definitely becoming more defined, plus I've lost so many inches everywhere from when I started-it really helps keep the motivation up!
Also, you could consider getting a food scale (measuring and counting calories are generally frowned upon by paleo but I still do both till I reach my goal weight). For me, it is really easy to overestimate 4oz of meat or 2 cups of veggies, nuts, etc! Plus, I see it as a good way to make sure I am eating enough protein, fat, etc and a way to chart what works for me and what doesn't (feeling full, energized, etc). Try measuring & weighing for a couple of days to see if you are overestimating your daily calories. Also, I want to get to my goal weight as quick as possible, so I'm ok with moderate exercise and tracking to get there. Even some of the paleo sweets you mention can pack some calories-I make delicious paleo blueberry muffins but they are almost 200cal each.
Another thing, 1100-1200cal a day is pretty low. That is probably about 1000cal less than you need just to maintain, right? I would definitely recommend going up to a more moderate calorie deficit. 1500-1600cal a day would still be big enough to create a 500-700cal deficit each day-that is actually pretty aggressive. It will take a little longer to get there but I think it is a healthier choice that will be easier to put up with, less binge-ing, more chance for long-term results. Also, when you get down to that last 5-10lbs, what are you going to do, starve yourself on 800cal a day if you stall? If you start a little higher, then you will have wiggle room to drop a couple of hundred calories a day if you need too. BTW, your calorie needs will change a lot-when you weighed 40lbs more, you probably needed an extra couple of hundred calories a day just to maintain that weight-keep this in mind when you start getting really close to your goal.
Some women have trouble with any kind of fruit or sweets. They claim it can stall their weight loss. Some people do really well low carb, no dairy, low-ish fat, etc- this is where you might want to try experimenting. I've found I do very well moderate carb (low carb was an epic failure for me). Intermittent Fasting works well for some. You could try adding in breakfast and eat 3 meals a day (works well for me, I gotta have my breakfast)-with or without snacks in between.
I would also recommend switching up your exercise. Your body will get somewhat used to the same weight training routine after 4 months or the same run on the treadmill-your body gets more efficient at doing the same things so you burn less calories doing it. Try tweaking your training program. You could also try HIIT (high intensity interval training) or MIIT once a week. I personally really hate HIIT but I still do it every once in a while-I notice improvements in my athletic ability and weight loss when I do HIIT. Try walking more hills or stairs to switch it up, going 10-15 minutes longer, etc.
Basically, everyone is a bit different as far as diet or exercise goes. These are just some of the things I've used in the past 6 months. It is kind of a pain to experiment but it also helps you really really get to know your body. You can try rotating some of the suggestions to see if you like any of them.
Not really enough information, but total weight isn't a very good indicator of body composition.
Instead of weighing yourself, use a tape measure. If you are gaining lean mass but losing fat, your weight will remain stable but your waist, for example, will be smaller.
Ok, so my current eating habits look mostly like this. I skip breakfast most days, because I subscribe to the "listen to your body" philosophy. (feel free to critique, I don't mind). Do drink a little black coffee though.
Lunch usually looks like whatever meat is left over from the night before, chicken, fish, or beef mostly and a salad, full of vegetables, dressed with balsamic vinegar, and I am ashamed to admit it, but a little cheese.
Snack is always an apple or banana.
Supper looks much the same as lunch, with a different protein, and usually streamed veggies rather than salad. I track my calories and carbs, and usually eat 1100-1200 cals a day, and most often under 26g carbs.
I make the odd paleo dessert, like coconut squares, or ginger cookies with almond meal, but don't ever eat it to excess, and it's not all that often and only if i need something sweet, or need to get more calories in.
I am 5'11" tall, started at 244.5, currently 198.0, 30 years old (no kids, I don't know if this is important but I understand it's a whole nother ball game if you have done the whole child carrying and bearing thing to your body). I never engage in "strenuous" workouts, but I walk everywhere I go, and try to do some resistance training 5x a week.