I've been Lacto-Paleo for over 2 years. I don't intend to ever eat any other way.
My one difficulty is that, despite having lost over 150 lbs in the past 3 years (went VLC the year before I went Paleo) I can't seem to shake the last 25 lbs!
It is EXTREMELY frustrating!
So I thought I'd see if any of you in the communituy were dieting to lose weight and see if I could glean some suggestions.
45 y/o female @ 170lbs
I have arthritis in both knees that precludes things like sprinting or HIT :(
My diet consists of fatty meats, fish, cream, butter, some veg. I cook with coconut oil and put EVOO on my salads. I don't generally eat cheese or nuts and I never eat fruit, starchy veg, legumes, grains, sugar etc
Edited to add: I've tried VLC Paleo, and can go for a week eating nothing but fat and meat. I can eat 3000+ calories and never gain an ounce but I don't LOSE any. I just recently have tried upping the amount of veg that I eat. That hasn't helped, either.
Intermittent fasting might be something to try, either with a limited eating window every day or 24 hours fasts every now and then.
You might want to try increasing/decreasing your protein intake (I don't know how much you eat at the moment) on the basis that insufficient will leave you relatively unsatiated (and eating more fat) and too much will increase insulin and therefore retard fat loss. According to JK's 'Optimal Diet', this would work out at around 75g per day, for your target weight, various paleo sources (such as MDA) suggest 1g/lean pound body mass or a bit less, even athletes can thrive on only 1.2-1.7g/kg.
You mention fish, but not fish oil or type of fish, so what are your omega 3:6 ratios like? If you're getting more 6 than 3, then the pro-inflammatory environment will retard weight loss.
A lot of people, have been talking about the link between gut flora and weight loss, so maybe including some probiotics would be a good idea? I'd shy away from yoghurt if you're trying to lose weight, since it's highly insulinemic and carby. Eating 0-carb might also be useful in this regard, insofar that it would reduce (the activity of) your gut flora.
Would it be possible to do some weights, given your knees? Very intense exercise, as you seem to already be aware, is the best thing for fat loss. Even just press-ups or pull-ups, or lifting anything else heavy (following the BBS method this would take minutes per week and seriously minimise any chance of injury), would doubtless make a difference, since it would stress all your upper body.
150 lbs is great- feel good about THAT. Stay with this and give it TIME. The last ten takes forever. Your body is only defending itself against what it thinks is death. Indulge in some extra paleo carbs, cycle around a few carb, fat, protein days so your body knows it well survive. I even cycled in a few higher than normal calorie days against some lower calorie days to 'fool' the body's survival response. The body hates losing the last of its fat and will go after muscle instead, so they to get some walking in there, etc. Good Luck
See Stephan's four articles on body fat set point http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/search?q=set+point
Scroll down to article 1 and read it first and then up to the subsequent pieces, 2,3,4.
Hitting a plateau on weight loss on a paleo diet is quite common. It appears that your body thinks you are headed into lean times and it will defend itself against all attempts to rid it of fat that has been packed into your cells over the years.
Stephan talks about in #4 using oligofructose which is similar to inulin, a fiber that occurs naturally in a wide variety of plants. Good sources are jerusalem artichokes, jicama, artichokes, onions, leeks, burdock and chicory root.
Do a search google search for the term "oligosaccharides"
And using a stationary bike can be used for the high intensity, short duration workout. It need not be just sprinting...just very high intensity for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest, followed by another 20 seconds...and so on through 8 rounds.
You can lose the last 25...it will come off slowly, but it will come off.
I went from 22% body fat to 11.8% body fat, while only losing 4 pounds of total weight, in 3 months, using this formula:
Cut out all fruit from your diet. Extra fructose just contributes to body fat.
Give up alcohol.
Reduce starchy carb intake. (potatos,rice)
Get 8-9 hours of sleep a night. Lack of sleep increases cortisol, leading to body fat.
Do strength training along with high intensity interval training.
But, don't exercise to death. Over training also increases cortisol, leading to body fat.
I cheated on occasion for a few of the above, so if I was 100% strict my results could have been more dramatic/faster.
IF seems to work for a lot of people. Nikoley also recommends a cold shower after workout. Check out his first mention here. If you do a search there are many entries. It seems to help build lean muscle. Also, with 150 lbs down, it may just be excess skin. If you have ever watched shows like "The Biggest Loser" you would see those who lose the most weight still have baggy skin.
No matter what you have done great! Keep it up! Even if you don't lose that last 25 lbs, you are still much healthier than you were 2 years ago and that's quite an accomplishment.
Have you tried just meat and fat for more than a week? This has been the key for some, including me. Margot, at the zeroing in on health forum, was stalled on VLC at about 160 lbs for a year and a half before losing 25 lbs in some 6 or 8 months on just meat and fat.
Also, some people just won't lose if they eat nuts or dairy.
I saw someone mention Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet above - that involves eating actual starch from potatoes. He doesn't think fiber is a good idea, doesn't recommend nuts, and that diet gets really unpleasant to do if you don't use a lot of heavy cream. Anyway...
I see a lot of people (esp. women) complaining about never losing the last chunk of weight. They think that because low carb got them there, they just need to go lower. The next step is dropping calories lower, and that doesn't work either. Some people see action by doing one or both of these things, but they seem to be in the minority.
Insulin isn't the only hormone in the loop. There's a lot of useful stuff in Diana Schwarzbein's The Transition. She is not at all paleo, but the information about insulin, cortisol, adrenaline and what long-term and chronic dieting does to your hormone balance was really useful for me.
If you were living in a state of nature, what message would you be sending to your hormones by what you're doing now? You are obviously not convincing your metabolism to burn off stored fat, so it sounds like it's not optimistic about food availability in the future!
If I were you, I would try up-down days, and I would eat more fruit and roots on my up days.
I wanted to let you know that I am experiencing almost the same thing as you. I am 54. I am trying to lose 60 pounds. I've done all of the things suggested in the answers here. I lost 10 pounds right away, then nothing. I eat very low carb, and the carbs are from veggies and a little bit of cream in my coffee. The rest of my food intake is meat/eggs/poultry/fat from coconut oil and pastured butter. I take probiotics, Omega 3 fish oil, and Vitamin D. I strictly limit fruit and cheese to maybe 1X-2X a week in small portions. I do interval training-style workouts 3X a week. I never eat over 1800-1900 calories per day, according to fitday. I eat 2 meals per day, at noon and 7pm, so I suppose that counts as IF. My fat intake is about 65%.
It is frustrating. I've sought advice at other Paleo/LC sites too, and the advice was all very good, but it hasn't worked for me so far.
Maybe the answer is to be patient. Maybe the weight will come off when it is ready to come off. I don't know whether that is a sufficient answer or not, but it's the only one I have right now.
Adding more lean muscle mass may be the missing link in your equation. You say you can't sprint or do HIT. What exercise are you doing? Can you walk or get into a swimming pool? Also to clarify your use of the term HIT. Do you mean High Intensity Training like Dr. McGuff recommends in "Body By Science" or do you mean High Intensity Interval Training?
I would recommend some Intermittent Fasting like a few of the other people already have in their answers. There are plenty of resources on IF, and as many different methods, so I would do a little research if I were you.
Also, just because you have arthritis does not mean you can't do high intensity exercise. Doing sprints and HIIT are probably the best ways you can drop the extra pounds since you seem to have the diet part down already. However, you don't have to do these on your feet if that is uncomfortable for you. Perhaps you could join a nearby gym, and do sprints on a stationary bicycle or in the pool. If you have never tried swim sprints, it is extremely grueling and tiring, but has virtually no impact on the joints.
Additionally, there are other lifestyle factors that can mess with your metabolism, like having too much stress or not enough quality sleep. It might be helpful to look at other areas of your life that could be preventing you from reaching your goals, other than just diet.
I hope this helps!
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