And if you did, will you please share what worked?
My story is probably fairly common. I am 5ft3, 137 Lbs. I am fighting hard to get back to my pre-child(ren) weight of 125. You know, back to having clothes that are nice and actually fit me. hah.
I started going Paleo when I was 147 Lbs. Those 10 pounds flew off in 10 days. But now, I am hovering at 137. At 5ft3, there is no way that my body wants me to stay like this. I must be doing something wrong.
I work out at my gym (weights, running) 4 times a week. When I am home, i do ab roll, squats, push ups, and a lot of running and playing and dancing with my kids. I consider myself fairly active.
What should I do? Would sticking to lean meat and veggies for a while help me get closer to my goal? Or if I returned to eating more fat, once i reached my goal, would i just gain that weight back?
Here's a week out of my food journal (yes, i keep one. haha) Feel free to tell me how dumb I am if it will help me. I just want to be healthy.
December 22, 2010: 4 slices bacon, half an avocado mashed with red onion and lime juice, half an english cucumber, red onion, green pepper, 1/2 cup ground beef, lettuce, half an avocado mashed with red onion and lime juice
December 21, 2010: 5 thin slices of leftover london broil, 2 eggs over easy, and a little cucumber/red onion/green pepper salad, 1/2 cup ground beef, half an avocado with red onion & lime juice
December 20, 2010: 3 oz leftover ribeye, 2 eggs over easy, steamed broccoli, coffee, braised leeks and 2 baby lamb chops
December 19, 2010: 2 eggs, 2 slices of bacon, cup of coffee, 1/2 grilled chicken breast and half an avocado (mashed up with lime juice and red onion
December 18, 2010: cup of coffee, 2 eggs with baby portobellos and red onion and a little crumbled goat cheese, half of a grilled chicken breast, half an english cucumber, tiny piece of a braised lamb shank and green cauliflower with garlic, lemon, and feta
December 17, 2010: two eggs over easy and a tiny bit of leftover prime rib, small salad with chopped veggies and tuna
December 16, 2010: Two eggs over easy and a few slices of leftover sirloin steak, a scoop of tuna (made with onions and celery) over a bowl of romaine lettuce drizzled with evoo and red wine vinegar. Confession: I am still using Helmans made with olive oil., Half of a grilled chicken breast and half of an english cucumber, red wine
December 15, 2010: 3 slickes of leftover steak, 2 eggs over easy, and the leftover brussel sprouts , grilled chicken caesar salad – no croutons, red wine
December 14, 2010: 1 cup of coffee with cream, two eggs over easy, 5 thin slices of rare top sirloin steak, half chicken breast diced up with a tsp mayo (chicken salad), green pepper cut into wedges, slice of prime rib, leeks with garlic and chicken stock
Thanks for any advice. Yours truly, a newbie
First of all, 137 at 5'3" is within the normal BMI range. I am 5'2" and thrilled to be 136. I fit in a size 4. I know we all carry weight differently, but you should be happy and proud of yourself for where you are at.
I hit a bunch of plateaus along the way. I would recommend entering your food for at least a week to see where your carb/protein/fat ratios are falling. Try and cycle the carbs and/or calories, if you are willing to count them.
I also would try working out less. If you would have told me that I'd lose the last 10lbs doing 20 minutes of HIIT (fasted), 3 days a week, a few years ago, my cardio bunny ass would have hopped all over you! You don't need to add exercises at home, either.
At just a glance, I think you might not be eating enough. For your size and exercise level, you want to be at least 1200/1300 calories and probably more 1400/1500 calories.
Anything you try, make sure to give it at least 4 weeks before you decide it's not working.
RELAX, I can tell you are a gorgeous, healthy momma just from your icon. You'll get there.
You can see everything I eat here: http://www.livestrong.com/profile/sherpamelissa/
Rest more. Sleep. Relax. Stress is a hugedealbreaker.
Virtually Eliminate Fructose.
Eat low carb except after exercise.
ONLY Only only eat when actually hungry. No snacking. If you must have scheduled feed time, IF until then, and then wait till hungry for following meal.(This might mean 1 meal a day if you're getting sufficient calories).
I dropped alot of fat and gained alot of muscle before my body said: ok, Stephen, eat more often!
Yes, I went to a ketogenic diet. I eat 30g or fewer of carbs every day and then Friday evening and Saturday all day I eat some starchy carbs like winter squash. Over the course of a month, it's worked REALLY well for me when nothing else really worked.
Advice- I would watch how much running you're doing and focus more on strength training. Running may backfire if your cortisol is too high as a result. But that all depends on time/effort/etc...
Meat, fat, leafy greens and some coconut milk... for me it took 30 days to see real results but it can take up to 6 weeks to become truly fat-adapted and burn body fat efficiently for energy from what I've read. I'm not an expert on ketogenic diets though I know what's working for me.
My public fitday logs- I log most days so I can keep an eye on my carb intake as well as total calories. I used to eat up to around 2k and now I shoot between 14-1800 and feel satisfied on that without the extra carbs. More carbs = more hunger for me. http://fitday.com/fitness/PublicJournals.html?Owner=dianesanfilippo
I gave in and started a cyclical ketogenic diet. It takes a while to figure out how many carbohydrates you need to be enough for glycogen refill but not too much so you avoid fat gain. It's worked ridiculously well, for me personally. 6 days a week I'm on meat/fat with the only consideration that I eat at least my protein requirement first in meat, I'm rarely hungry after that, but if I am I'll have some heavily buttered green veg or something. And then on refeeds I'll do much of the same but replace some of the meat with yogurt or tubers.
For me, this seems to be ideal. I cut out most of the hard cardio I was doing (with the exception of DDR... Which I'm addicted to.) I used to run 1-2 miles a day, I replaced that with bodyweight training and I'm losing weight so much faster it's ridiculous. I did try for a while the ketogenic diet with 20-30g carb refeeds post workout, but I found it a bit teasing. I would just crave carbs for the rest of the day and be generally dissatisfied with my meals.
But I went from maybe 4-6 pounds of weight loss a month with a bit of muscle loss, to 18 this past month, plus muscle gain. It's an extreme solution, I think, but it's worth trying at least a month if you've got a lot of weight to lose. (or if you have a little that you want to lose real quick :)
I wonder if you just need more time. The first 10 pounds are always easiest. Sometimes the most important part of losing weight is not obssessing over it. That can do bad things to your cortisol, and your general level of stress. If you are eating right, sleeping well and not having too many cheats, you are definitely on the way. Just be kinder to yourself.
After a 25+ year history of calorie restriction and chronic cardio, I went low-carb as per Protein Power in fall of 2008 and lost 20 pounds in the first six weeks or so, down to 132 pounds. Shifted to 'primal' over the next couple of months, began Crossfit 2-3xs a week. Plateaued for almost two years. (Yes, some of it may have been muscle gain, however measurements did not change at all and the fit of clothes did not change at all. Before and after photos are identical. Strength progress stalled.) I tried weekly/bi-weekly 24-hour fasts, eliminated dairy/nuts/alcohol, food journals, VLC and ZC (I tried this for six weeks and became very spacey and low energy, did not have the appetite to eat enough calories, and the weight didn't budge), cutting calories (I generally incline toward not eating enough anyway and I ended up quite lethargic, cold, weak and shaky) - some of these simultaneous - some of these I tried multiple times - each experiment lasted at least a month - nothing budged. Tried sprinting, but this revealed some kind of structural issue that caused significant leg pain and didn't seem to have any effect anyway. I've been generally conscientious about getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night, haven't put up blackout curtains though. Identified an egg allergy; I felt better upon eliminating them but it didn't make a difference re: weight. Thyroid tests appear to be normal, and I'm reluctant to go down that path.
So I concluded that either cortisol is too high, perhaps from years of low calorie, low fat, chronic cardio and several recent years of high stress (there are sleep problems and sleep/wake cycle signs that indicate this could be true) and/or my metabolism would slow too quickly in response to reduced food intake. There's probably other things going on too. So, three months ago I began a yet another new tack which seems to be working. Re: cortisol, I work out intensely with weight only once each week to 10 days, for 15 minutes or less, and emphasize lots of easy cardio/walking. Re: metabolism, I looked to the Leangains ideas.
I skip breakfast (which makes life easier anyway, with two kids to feed and pack lunches and get to school each morning) then go for a walk as many mornings as I can followed by a not-insubstantial meal (emphasizing protein and fat with green veggies and perhaps some starchy vegetable carbs, sometimes just several slices of bacon and a half a sweet potato, whatever sates the hunger) afterward, around 11am. I'm usually not hungry again until dinnertime, but if I am then I eat. Eat another goodly meal for dinner. I don't track calories or carbs. Since I'm not eating grains, sugar or legumes or much fruit, carbs aren't high anyway. My waist/hip/thigh measurements have dropped slightly, I'm in a smaller pants size, my weight is down 6 pounds. Even with recent poor eating with the holidays, I'm not noticing any weight gain. Energy levels remain solid, not chilled or lethargic, mentally focused and stable. So, I plan on continuing with this approach and see where it goes.
I'm curious to hear what works for other people; I was certainly stalled for a long time and reading others' ideas was, eventually, very helpful. ("Cut carbs," "cut calories, " "eliminate the nuts/dairy/other" just didn't do the trick for me though.)
I echo what people have said about stress. I have been in a sleep-deprived, stressful state with lots of unpredictable work hours and nights on call in a hospital, and all the while the weight/body comp won't change no matter what I do.
Looking at your food log, the first thing I thought was "that's all she eats in one day?" For the amount of activity you report that you get, it seems like WAY not enough food to me. So you may be having cortisol energy balance issues, esp if you are focusing on cardio and not on strength. With my stress issues I have learned to dial my cardio and met cons WAY back, and while my scale hasn't moved much I am feeling healthier and think I'm on the right track.
Obsessing about a number on the scale is not going to help. Obsessing about calories doesn't help either, which is why I think Stephen's and Belinda's suggestions are both quite good.
If you put on muscle and lose a little fat, the scale won't move, and you'll be miserable because you'll feel like a failure. It sounds like your aim is to fit into some specific clothes. How about de-emphasizing the scale and using a tape measure to track your measurements?
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