First let me say thanks to all of you who so willingly offer your input and advice. I have learned a lot from this site. I especially appreciate the "if it works for you then whatever" type advice vs. the what all the "experts" say-- but i am getting a little frustrated, so im all ears!
So my jeans are fitting really tight since going paleo. Yeah yeah, I know-- too many nuts, cut out all dairy, eat a sweet potato and all that. But what I'm totally flummoxed over is why is it that pre-paleo I would crack out on a half (or whole) box of cereal (organic! From the health food store!) and chocolate soy milk, eat burritos with beans and cheese and baskets full of chips, have a cerveza or two, eat bread brought to the table at a restaurant, etc etc and have a flatter stomach than now? Could that handful of nuts REALLY be the culprit? If so, that's stupid! (I also just read on the NPR website that almonds have been caloriclly overestimated by up to 20%)
I get plenty of sleep, exercise and lift heavy things, eat meat/veg/raw goat milk/ coconut stuff/ berries. I am 37 female, 5'8" 152 lbs (clothes fit better when I was around 142)I have a muscular build-- I'm a swimmer and people always comment on my strong back and shoulders, but my mid section/thighs/arms, though strong, seem to be covered in more fat than before. Any thoughts?
I think the most important thing to realize is that Paleo is not a weight loss diet. If people go Paleo for weight loss reasons, it sets up unrealistic expectations.
Paleo is a diet that helps healthy people to stay healthy and sick people to get better. The purpose of Paleo diet is to provide your body with the best nutrition it can get and as a preventative measure against chronic and inflammatory illnesses, as well as cancer prevention and building up your immunity.
Paleo is not only a diet but a concept that involves viewing food, exercise and, eventually, your lifestyle from an evolutionary prospective, going back to your ancestral roots, so to speak.
Many people, just like me, initially gain weight on Paleo. Since I cannot offer any valid explanation behind it, the only thing that comes to my mind is that some of us have serious issues with food digestion and nutritional deficiencies. Going Paleo makes your body absorb and process more nutrients from the same caloric intake.
My advice is to stop eating nuts for a while. Not because they are high in calories - I don't believe in calories for a second. But because your body (for some reason) does not absorb them well. Maybe you had gluten/grain sensitivity and your immune system recognizes certain substances in nuts as something to attack?
If you do not mind me asking - once you start eating nuts, is it hard for you to stop? If it is, it might be a sign your body's immune system is reacting to them.
If you keep eating strict Paleo (just no nuts, nightshades and I would even go as far as not consuming eggs) for a while, I guarantee you at one point you will be losing weight. You can have as much grass-fed meat and wild fish as you want. If you want a faster weight loss - no fruit except for berries. Later on you can re-introduce nuts and see how your body responds to them.
Don't forget to eat some raw vegetables with every meal and some fermented foods every day. It will help to get your digestive tract back in order.
I am not a doctor, but I would be interested in hearing from you again to see if you started losing weight in a couple of months.
Because its all about eating either more than, the same as or less than your Total Daily Energy Expenditure.
Clearly you are eating in the More Than category if your jeans are fitting tighter. Thats ok though, I like big butts and I can not lie.
That is how you know the first sentence is the truth. That, and I am not selling anything.
I feel your pain. I'd been strict paleo for years but getting leaner wasn't happening. I switched over to the Perfect Health Diet and feel 100 times better and the scale is moving downwards again.
Have you ever tried intermittent fasting? Google "Fast 5" and give it a shot, you'll be amazed.
I recommend starting Paleo with just eating meats, veggies and a little fruit. Work the nuts in just a few times a week as a treat, maybe 1-2 ounces. Daily handfuls of nuts add on a lot of extra calories that probably are not doing much for you nutritionally anyway.
It could be the start of that hormonally induced thickening in the middle many women experience just before peri-menopause. Mid-30's is notorious for the beginning of this. So it could be time more than food choices.
I found that the issue is volume of food vs calories. When I ate a lot more carbs I tended to feel full because I ate a lot of high volume foods that were not very calorically dense. When I moved to paleo I ate the same volume of food in things like meat and coconut oil which obviously had a much higher calorie count.
If I were you I'd either find a way to consume large volumes of veggies or add back in things like potatoes to fill you up.
Also count calories until you get a handle on it.
I am starting to think that nuts are a nutrient powerhouse.
They are very rich in minerals (along with some vitamins that arent all that common for a food to be high in either).
If your not eating organ meats, like liver and kidney, for example, it may be hard to get enough copper in the diet.
Nuts are also (various kinds) rich in calcium (almonds), magnesium (walnuts), potassium (macadamias). Brazils have a variety (although you should only eat one or two a day because they are ultra high in selenium)
Admitedly the phylates and such mean that many kinds of nuts are better soaked, sproated or fermented, but I think that nuts actually have an important place in good paleo nutrition, especially considering than muscle meat is high in zinc, and excess zinc can lead to a copper deficiency.
Sure theres also leafy greens which have some good minerals (but not as balanced or as good as nuts), and if you can stomach it, organ meats. Cacao has copper, and so does fish.
But if you eat a high meat diet, with a bit of veg, and no organ meats, it seems like a good variety of nuts, properly treated, is a very good idea given that a variety of nuts can provide you very well with many essential minerals, and some less common vitamins.
This in mind, I would say keep the nuts.
I'm going to take a wild guess that "coconut stuff/ berries" means coconut milk smoothies. Your smoothies before were probably banana and strawberries mixed with a little soy milk, or something similar to that. A half a cup of soy milk has like 50 calories or something. A half a cup of coconut milk has about 350 calories. Liquid calories go down waaaayyyy too easily.