I'm a 25 yo male, been straight VLC paleo for the past 8 weeks, started at 330 lbs and am currently stuck at 300. I've been at 300 for the past ~3 weeks or so. Here is a rundown of what I eat on a daily basis + my supplementation:
Breakfast: Venti iced coffee with a splash of half / half
Lunch: "Street meat" (Gyro meat + cubed chicken from a street cart in NYC) over vegetables, which I rarely touch. It's a decent amount of meat and definitely satiating. I would estimate the equivalent of 2-3 strips of gyro meat and the equivalent of a chicken breast - its all cooked on a griddle with sliced onions and "white sauce" (mayonnaise + vinegar) is added on top after its cooked.
Afternoon: Venti iced coffee with a splash of half / half
Dinner: Chipotle salad bowl, with very little lettuce. 2 servings of chicken, 1 serving of steak, hot salsa and cheese. 2 servings of sour cream and one serving of guacamole on the side. (I dip pieces of meat in the sour cream until it runs out, and then start dipping in the guac....scrape out the rest with a spoon and look like a crazy man at work haha)
Supplementation: 5000 IU of Vitamin D-3 (NOW brand gel caps) in the morning, and a multivitamin (NOW brand ADAM for men)
About 2-3x a week I'm not even hungry at lunch, and don't get the lunch I described above. For dinner, the only changeup is either lamb or chicken kebabs or a gyro meat platter with full-fat yogurt sauce (it has diced cucumber in it).
I have not yet begun exercising, and spend almost all of my day cranking away at a desk in front of a computer. I do walk to the subway (about .5 mi) every morning, and walk about 1/3 of a mi to work from the subway stop as well. I also live in a 5th floor walkup, and do that hike minimum once a day.
The weight was coming off very quickly, but now has essentially stopped...any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
If at all possible, START COOKING YOUR OWN FOOD. I really can't stress that enough. i love nyc street carts as much as the next guy, but the gyro meat seems awfully processed to me but i could be wrong. if cooking isn't an option for you right now, instead of getting the gyro meat, find the carts like they have around chinatown and other places in the city where they sale chicken breast and beef skewers that are grilled and minimally processed. also, forgo any sauces on your meat. since you're eating cafo meat and not eating wild caught oily fish, you may want to also look into supplement omega 3 because inflammation may also be impeding your progress. good luck.
How tall are you? First thing is that the weight will probably never reach the same speed of coming off as it did in the first couple of weeks.
You definitely want to skip that white sauce. The mayo from those carts is probably made with highly processed oils (canola oil). The gyro meat is probably cooked in bad oil too, but I guess you have to pick your battles. You also may want to find out if the gyro meat is made with sugar, flour, etc. It may be packing a ton of hidden carbs that you wouldn't even suspect.
At Chipotle, all of the meat is cooked in soybean oil (which is bad for you) except for the Carnitas (pork), so that's what you should be eating there.
I would cut down on the dairy as well. When I hit my plateau at 238 (I'm currently 6'4, 232lbs, 23 years old) two weeks ago, I cut out all of the dairy in my life and have lost another 6lbs since. I don't exercise either as I'm currently preparing for board exams. If you're not willing to do that (though you really should try it), then at least switch the half-and-half to heavy cream and switch the 2 servings of sour cream to one. The lettuce is fine, I wouldn't worry about that.
Another thing you can try that seems to work for people to get over plateaus is Intermittent Fasting. Do a search on this site for that term and you'll find quite a bit of discussion on it.
Well done on the first 30 pounds. Great start.
I back up the recommendation to cut the dairy, it's a potent growth promoter and you want the opposite to that right now! Cut it for 2 - 4 weeks and measure any differences.
Take the long way to the station, if you could at least get 30min walking before eating anything, you would really benefit, even if it doesn't add to the weight loss.
I think your omega 3/6 ratio is going to be way out of whack. Supplementing with fish oil will help the balance, as well as trying to cut down on the process meat you're currently consuming, which is no doubt being cooked in franken oils. Also remember that your stored body fat is likely to be high in omega 6, so as you burn it off fish oil supplementation will help with the n-3/n-6 ratio.
Do you like cooking? I would try and cook at least one meal a day, say dinner, so you know exactly what you're eating.
Hope that helps some. Good luck!
TTS, if you're getting your iced coffee at Starbuck's, they do have heavy whipping cream, and that's a better choice than half and half, IMO. Even though the carb count in half and half is similar according to the label, the HWC really is lower (http://www.carbohydrate-counter.org/dairy/search.php?cat=Cream&fg=0100). Half and half puts weight back on me really quick.
I also wonder about the mayonnaise, not for carb count, but for seed oil content. Those of us who are/were obese tend to overreact to foods that other people tolerate, even small amounts. That's how we get this way in the first place, lol. I don't know what else you could put on the gyros besides the white sauce. I eat my meat plain, but I know in the beginning that seems like such a dull option. Also, since it's gyros -- are you eating it on a pita or anything? You don't mention it, but if there's grain, it's gotta go (that probably goes without saying).
Good luck! I had several long stalls on my way down (two of them around a year long). They're frustrating, and sometimes they seem to appear and disappear for unknown reasons, but often they can be hacked if you keep tweaking, and give the tweaks a little while to show results.
Minimum Effective Dose Prescription:
1: Eat 30 grams of protein upon waking (before coffee). 2: Up your water intake until you are hydrated throughout the day. Your looking for your pee to not look like Caramel. You should be able to drink a gallon at least per day. 3: Add a gram or two of VIT C morning and before bed. (You body needs C for fat oxidation)
You should lose 5 lbs or so over the next 7 days.
Good work on the first 30#!
I'll echo the responses before me; you need to shop for, prepare, and eat food that you choose, purchase and cook to remove the (un)known variables involved in eating meals out.
You can prepare things ahead of time (like cook a few pieces of chicken or steaks en masse) that can then easily either be sliced and tossed on top of a salad or stir fried or whatever. Same idea for veggies and greens; have a variety that you like to eat washed, cut and ready to eat raw or steam/sautee and eat.
It's not just about weight loss but about nourishing your body.
Calorie counting and food weighing is a PITA but if you are eating roughly the same thing every day, you might count the calories once just to see where you are at. Mayo, sour cream, and guac can have 50-75 calories per tbsp. If you eat a bunch of that you might be adding 500+ calories to your day.
Gyro meat varies a lot in my experience, sometimes it is just meat, other times it is basically a big meatloaf, which could include bread crumbs and other fillers. You might try to find a better source of meat.
I think all of the sauces that you get at restaurants and street vendors are suspect, they will have bad oils, sugars, HCFS, preservatives, etc. If you are very insulin resistant, just a little bit of sugar in the condiment can spike your insulin for the meal.
One of my go-to meals on the run is to go to a salad bar, it sounds like you're in an urban area, maybe they have the places with the hot/cold salad bars. I get a salad with eggs, chicken/ham, blue cheese, a few crunchy vegetables such as red bell peppers, and dress it with oil and vinegar. Sometimes the oils are pretty bad so you may need to buy some real olive oil and keep it at your desk.
Try to walk at least 30 minutes a day. Good luck!
Couple of things...
Ditch the half/half for whole cream, or man up and drink it black! :-)
At your size, I would venture about half (15 to as much as 20lbs) of your weightloss was water... especially since you've gone the VLC route. I started at around 400lbs and my first 8 weeks netted me over 45lbs lost (5-6lbs/week), then I moved towards 1-2lbs/week afterwards. That was a year ago and I've lost 35lbs additionally since.
That being said, a popular hack I remember from my CKD days was once you plateaued on a VLC/ZC diet, you carbed up for two days and put on about 5-8lbs of water weight... then you resumed the VLC/ZC and netted another 10lbs of loss (the water, plus a pound or two of actual weightloss) - this however is the epitome of "yo-yo" dieting and while it's fun to have a "carb day", it's not productive to the "lifestyle change" that you really need to consistently lose weight.
There is a thermogenic effect of eating protein and fat rich foods. You may want to experiment with eating more rather than less. You may find you lose more weight when you are eating and making your body work rather than skipping lunch or IFing.
I also echo what has been said here, but have one caveat to the Fish Oil supplementation suggestion to help balance Omega 3 with stored Omega 6. I just read this today, as a matter of fact on Mark Sisson's wonderfully informative blog, Mark's Daily Apple. In diets that are high in carbs or sugar, fish oil can add a detrimental load to the liver. While what you've described here doesn't seem high carb or high sugar, if you're drinking more than a few alcoholic drinks a week, you'll want to check on the amount of fish oil you can supplement with and still be safe. Congratulations on the 30 pounds. It sounds like job/life might be sabotaging the exercise that could help kick this plateau to the curb more quickly. You might try some fast, but intense rotations. Jam in 20 minutes of high intensity a couple times a week, and you might be able to re-route the metabolism that seems happy hanging out where it is. Good luck!
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