I keep running into the same situation, i will lose 10 pounds or so then plateau for 2 to 3 weeks, if not longer. But I have found that if I "cheat" for a day (meaning something off the strict paleo diet, beer, Panda Express, a piece of chocolate cake,etc) then go back to strict Paleo eating I will all of a sudden break through the plateau and lose the next 10 pounds over the next 2-3 weeks. What is the deal with that? I am 6'2" and 228 lbs so its not as if I am way over weight or anything but trying to get down to 215 from a start of 254. It has happened on 3 different occassions over my 25+ pound weight loss. And in no way am I looking for a reason to not eat paleo because I really do prefer it but in the weight-loss category it does seem to help although I cant figure out why. Any thoughts out there?
You can swing your calorie adaptation better and have better results if you simply eat more calories of the paleo variety on those "less than metabolically advantageous" days.
When you cut calories long term, your body adapts. Overeating from time to time lets your body know that youre not in a shortage.
Eat a few extra grassfed steaks, some pastured eggs and a pound of bacon. Not only will it be AWESOME meals, your body will know food is plentiful and will send all those beautiful hormonal chemical cascades that re-jumpstart your fat loss.
Refeeding and cheating to help stalled weight loss is a result of manipulating leptin and set-point regulation. Leptin is secreted by adipose cells and signals the hypothalamus that body fat levels are sufficient and fat storage is not necessary.
What happens in the overweight individual is that chronically elevated leptin causes you to become leptin insensitive, your body basically ignores the signal that you don't need to store fat and so continues to do so. In the opposite case, when you have lost a significant amount of fat, your body's leptin levels are lowered and so you're just not getting enough of those signals, and so your body holds on to the remaining fat.
So, in order to break through a fat loss plateau, you need to increase leptin levels back to normal as well as increase leptin sensitivity. The best way to do that is to acutely increase calories, with carbohydrates being the most effective macronutrient in this regard. This is why your weekend splurges of beer and pizza helps you lose fat the subsequent week.
Finally, to keep it all paleo, use starches like tubers, plantains, and maybe white rice after heavy workouts several times a week. Also, intermittent fasting may help.
See leangains.com for more.
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