I am a 50 year old female. I have about 20 pounds to lose to be in a more comfortable weight range, these are not vanity pounds, that would still put me at the high end of normal for my height. I have had a hysterectomy, but retained my ovaries and I don't believe I'm in menopause yet. I am moderately active, biking and walking when I can, kettlebell training starting on Thursday. Biking means around 20 miles at a time.
Since January I have been eating Paleo, I do occasionally include sweet potatoes. I have my calories pretty comfortably at between 1000, and 1500 a day, this seems to be where they fall most of the time. More on ride days. My fat is around 60%, protein and carb roughly evenly divided for the rest. I began tracking so that I was making sure not to be underestimating what I was eating. I typically have only cream in my coffee at breakfast and eat lunch and dinner, both of which are home made, I don't eat out. No grains, no sweets, condiments are only homemade mayo, and organic ketchup, both in limited amounts, spices and salt and pepper.
Not only am I not losing, I'm gaining. I'm up 2 pounds this week. Not what I was hoping for. Today I skipped dinner, thinking I'd fast until tomorrow morning. I was eating more fat, and not calculating calories, but my weight was creeping up, so I decided to track.
Last year I lost about 30 pounds, relatively quickly, eating a vegetarian diet, but I'm concerned that's not particularly healthy. I have migratory glossitis on my tongue, and it is significantly better with meat included in my diet. I have tried VLC, eating mostly meat, and that doesn't seem to work for me either.
Any thoughts, tweaks, or hacks would be truly appreciated. Thank you.
When I am at a stand still with my weightloss I use intermittent fasting and speed walking. Fasting does not have to be all day. I also up my water and only drink green tea and water.
Good luck, I hope you find what works for your body. And I hope I could help. :)
Thank you so much for all of your helpful replies, and collective wisdom.
@Verena, thank you for the suggestions. I eat pasture fed meat several times a month, but pastured eggs most days. The ketchup is about a tablespoon once every two weeks. I am careful about salt, and use freshly ground seasalt, but I'll keep an eye on it.
@Daniel, thank you, I'll step up probiotics, and include some sprints, although I hate them.
@Uggla I am fasting intermittently, but thank you for the suggestion.
@James, walking is ~3 times a week, for an hour. Biking is twice a week usually, and I have ridden 5 centuries, so 20 miles is just a regular outing for me. Doesn't take me two hours, and I love it. I could certainly do tabatas, perhaps that would help, but I love them less. I'm in upstate NY, we have almost nothing but hills!! I do know about the period thing, but without a uterus it's difficult to determine what would be that time of the month, if you know what I'm saying.
@UncleLongHair, I was thinking about that, the fat, and wondering if I'm erring on the side of too much. I do measure my food carefully, and could probably tip into disordered eating because I get so wrapped up in it, so I'm trying not to go that far. I skip breakfast most days, I had a 21 hour fast yesterday. No problems. No real hunger. No weight loss. In fact I'm measuring and paying so much attention, that food is no longer particularly interesting to me, except as something to be weighed, measured, calculated, and used for fuel. I wouldn't even make dinner if I didn't have teenage boys to feed.
Paleo folks embrace the fat, but in my opinion you have to be careful because it has a lot of calories with relatively small mass, so it's easy to accidentally overeat. Despite all of the talk about high-fat, high-protein meals, I believe you still have to run a calorie deficit to lose weight. Not suggesting that you cut out the fat, but just make sure you're counting all of those calories.
You mention a calorie range of 1000-1500, that is a pretty wide range, and might make the difference between gaining and losing weight. A few spoonfuls of mayo can take you from 1200 to 1400 calories in a day.
Something else you might try is skipping some meals or some limited fasting, and think about your weekly calorie total instead of daily. I gravitate towards eating one big meal a day on paleo, as it suppresses my appetite. Last week I tried a 24 hour fast including a workout (running with sprints) at the end of it. Only a few hours of it were tricky at all, and my pants were literally a half inch larger the next morning. I was also surprised that I didn't have a lot more appetite the next couple of days.
Fasting one day in a week but otherwise eating the same reduces calories in that week by 14%. Probably can't do that every week, but I think it is a good way to get a jump start on the weight loss.
Without getting into the excellent analysis others already have done, in my limited experience it was adding more calories - especially fat - that make the difference. When I switched to low-carb then to paleo I lost about 25lbs, then stabilized at 175+ for months. The sole change that's helping me drop lower was increasing fat, especially cultured butter and coconut oil. The more fat I eat the more weight I lose.
I suspect there's a ketone issue involvde: as I increase my calories from fat, my body gets more efficient at processing or even preferring that kind of energy (thus burning body fat) over the limited carbs I can't avoid.
I haven't had enough time to verify if this makes a significant difference, but I think some recent "fasting" has made a difference too: I've skipped lunch (NOT intentionally!) but staved off the hunger with coconut oil and a boiled egg - and it seems to make a big difference.
The problem with carbs isn't that they are a source of calories, but that they reset the regulatory mechanisms that cause one to gain fat. Consuming fat calories allows the body both to have energy and to self-regulate more 'intelligently'.
Hi MamaBear...i know this whole weight loss thing is really frustrating...i am no expert, but here are my thoughts: Cut out salt and the ketchup too...eventhough the ketchup is organic, it is still packed with sugar. i also would eat some breakfast. it seems to me that if you eat breakfast you set up great for the day. like, i eat salmon and eggs for breakfast, or sometimes left over meat from the previous night. what kind of meat do you eat? animal fat is good, no question asked, but i think animal fat from pastured animals is good. i don't know if you eat grass fed or not? anyways, good luck, MamaBear! :)
I'm stuck in a rut as far as weight loss goes, but I upped my caloric intake (basically just stopped counting) a little bit and I FEEL like I look better, but the scale still hasn't budged.
I was eating 15-1600 calories and by not counting I'm probably closer to 2000. But I still run every other day for about a mile and try to walk, too. I've added Probiotics, Magnesium and Vit D to attempt to straighten things out.
a really interesting read that includes something very intriguing and entertaining about salt and a lot of other things! just read it http://nutrition-and-physical-regeneration.com/blog/1111/meat/is-an-all-meat-diet-healthy-or-dangerous-part-1-with-vilhjamur-stefansson/
How often a week is "biking and walking when I can"? Re. the biking, something to watch out for. Over an hour of biking at a time is catabolic (burns muscle as well as fat). You lose muscle, you use less calories in rest afterwards.
I don't know about you, but 20 miles would take me about an hour and a half to two hours (longer if it is leisurely). Is this bad for your situation? Probably not for your purposes. But could be an area to tweak. It might be better to take it down to less than an hour, but to concentrate on hills (if you have them in the area) and sprinting/tabatas (ride as fast as you can for 20 seconds, rest/pedal slowly for 10, rinse and repeat). A few minutes of this type of work would do the same as a lot of the slow bike riding in less time, but is pretty strenuous (so work up to it).
Other thoughts. You mentioned that you weren't in menopause yet. I was hearing on a podcast that women shouldn't pay attention to the scale for the week around their period, because their weight fluctuates greatly due to the period. I assume you already know about that and took it into account.
Finally, are you checking your fat percentages? If you are exercising more than before/eating better, you can lose fat and gain muscle, yet remain the same/gain weight on the scale. You're changing your body composition, and only can see it in the mirror/calipers and not the scale. It can be disheartening if you're just looking at the scale and not the percentages as well.
I also didn't mention, maybe it matters, and maybe not, that I am still producing breast milk. Yes, at 50. I am single and not sexually active, so not a result of stimulation. I weaned my youngest child 16 years ago. I have been told I don't have a pituitary tumor, I've been tested twice. Still, perhaps my hormones are whacked?
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