I have been eating a primal diet for the past 6 months and haven't lost a pound. I was not overly overweight before, but I was hoping this would allow me to slim down a teensie bit more and look a little better (although I know that shouldn't be what it's about). I feel phenomenal after giving up grains and I have tons of energy but it bothers me that I am not losing the fat. I retain muscle well now and feel strong and happy. I feel like I must be doing something wrong, but I have no idea what. I eat lots of grass-fed meat, organic veggies (mostly green & leafy), little fruit, nuts, cream in my coffee (every other day at most), some cheese, absolutely no processed foods other than the occasional piece of 90% dark chocolate. I supplement with Vitamin D and Fish oil daily. I eat a meal when I feel hungry...pretty much lost all concept of breakfast, lunch and dinner. I probably average two meals/day. I do IF once or twice/week skipping a meal or two. Sometimes I sprint fasted. I am quite active...walk everywhere, never less that an hour/day (usually more), do resistance training once every few days and sprint once/week. It is just so frustrating seeing and hearing about everyone's success and not seeing any results for myself. I totally believe this is the healthiest way to live, just wondering why it isn't working for me. Any helpful tips would be appreciated! Thanks.
It looks like your lifestyle is quite healthy, and it is "working for you."
Regarding further bodyfat loss, you may be at your body's "set point", so you may have to get a bit more "stringent" to lose more fat. You could try lowering your carbs further, or perhaps IF longer or more frequently. I'm certain you'll eventually find the right combination to meet your goals. Meanwhile, enjoy your life.
I don't think this will be a popular answer, but even when I went VLC I only got my weight down into the 170s (I'm 5'5", and I was pretty sure that wasn't my body's "set point"). To get into the 140s -- a much healthier weight for me -- I ended up going zero-carb and dairyless; basically, meat, water, and coffee (cause I can't seem to quit that). The upside is I feel better than I ever have, even on VLC. All kinds of issues seemed to melt with my body fat. The downside for some folks is they hate the restriction (for me it's actually a benefit, because I'm not someone who ever liked fussing around over food anyway, so life's simpler).
If you've truly got weight left to lose, and not just a "vanity" five pounds or so, you might want to restrict a little more. Maybe try dropping the fruits and nuts first, since they're the major source of carbs left in your food. Dairy could be a player too -- it was the difference between the 150s and 140s for me, and was the last thing I dropped.
that's tough because it seems like you're doing a lot right.. food-wise, you could play with eliminating all dairy (especially the cheese), and all nuts.. but it seems like you're not eating very much of those in the first place..
how's your sleep? are you getting enough? is it good quality? and how are your stress levels? maybe that's an area to tinker with?
Seriously, do you actually need to lose weight? I think when we eat healthy and are active our bodies will settle into the weight that is right for us. We just can't go by what society dictates as proper weight and size...if you're feeling great, eating right, exercising, then there's not much more you can do and perhaps it's time to re-evaluate this. Just a thought.
It does sound like you are doing everything about right.
Do you track your food intake on a site like http://www.fitday.com Many of us use this tool to see where we sit on percentages of fat, protein, carbs. Many eat 75-80% fat, 10-15% protein, 5% or less in carbs.
Not being able to lose weight is driven by eating too much in carbs and/or too much in protein coupled with not enough fat. Protein does bring about an insulin response...not as much as carbs...but it does raise blood sugar and if that energy is not used immediately, it is stored in our cells as fat.
Sounds like you need more fat, a little less protein, and restrict/eliminate starchy carbs.
And Dr Davis has this blog post and how dairy elicits an insulin spike. http://www.heartscanblog.org/search?q=dairy
The only other thing I can think of is go to a health food store and ask for a 50 billion active cultures per capsule probiotic to populate your gut with good flora. I am now using Ultimate Flora, Critical Care probiotic. It should be refrigerated at your store.
You are feeling great now. Tweak your diet a little and you will also start losing the pounds you want. Many of the success stories are from people that have wrecked their systems by years of food abuse and respond very quickly to getting their metabolism healed by correcting their guy dysbiosis.
walking and sprinting is great, and not sure what kind of resistance training you're doing but maybe you should add some more weight training. maybe your muscles are just used to your routine and you need to mix it up. try some moves you haven't been doing, maybe throw in some yoga. Some of those moves you read in magazines and never actually do even though they look like they might be a good idea. You seem like maybe you like to be out and about, so maybe go somewhere not flat with some obstacles or commandeer a kids playground and invent some new moves.
I found myself in the same boat: after a loss of 30 pounds, with another 70 to go, I came to a screeching halt. I had completely stopped all the bad stuff such as grains, processed carbs, etc., but still consumed cheese, fruits, etc.
Two weeks ago I stopped eating cheese and have reduced my fruit intake to two servings per week. I eat a handful of blueberries or eat one orange or one banana. I have been stuck at 265 pounds but this morning I find myself at 261 pounds.
I also reduced my calorie intake somewhat. I love meat, always have, and I tend to eat a lot such as a really large ribeye with a bucketful of sauteed onions and mushrooms, all cooked in beef tallow or butter. Now, instead of a lot, I eat what one might consider a "normal" amount. In fact, last night The Wife Unit and I had ribeye steaks, each about 10 ounces raw weight, and the usual sauteed mushrooms and onions but cooked in just enough beef tallow to keep them from sticking to the pan.
I still use two dairy products though. Most nights I drink a mug, or two, of coffee -- the mug holds 24 fl. oz. which is three standard cups of coffee -- and about 1/4 cup of heavy cream. I may or may not add one packet of Truvia sweetener. The other dairy product is 100% Whey Protein Isolate, a protein powder. I find that this protein shake is damned convenient. The ingredients list shows only the whey protein and a few other ingredients in very small amounts.
It can be argued that since the whey protein is dairy I should avoid it but this "isolate" is only the amino acids making up the whey protein. There is no casein, the protein that seems to be the biggest problem with dairy products. The biggest reason I use it is because of convenience. My job takes me away from home for two days and up to two weeks and cooking in the field can be a pain in the neck so I add four raw egg yolks to the shake and drink my meal, making clean-up a snap.
The heavy cream in my coffee? Well, one must have some indulgence in one's life and this one is mine. (Near as I can tell from reading on the internet, the "evil" casein and milk sugars are minimal in heavy cream.)
I'm in the same boat, but as a man.
I would have thought with my eating, lifting heavy (5x5 starting strength etc etc) and avoidance of all processed food I would have dropped SOME amount of weight.
Is the general advise when in this situation to drop to VLC and see how that goes?
*note: I can't sprint right now due to a severe achilles injury. Having a hard time with that as I love sprinting so I'm squating heavy and deadlifting heavy to compensate...not sure it is enough.
[EDIT] - I should note that I'm following leangains IF protocol and working out fasted around noon each day. I tend to eat a sweet potato on days I workout and other forms of carbs are pumpkin and dark chocolate. Also have a cup of coffee in the morning (cinnamon and vanilla extract) and the rest are eggs, beef and kangaroo (I'm in AU ;) ).
Eating anything more than just grass-fed beef? How about eggs, poultry, fish, game, etc? Try some new ones out and try to get them in your rotation.
Also, I feel like my entire experience changed when I started supplementing with some high-quality probiotics. Do some reading up on MDA where he zeroes in on these...they have really helped me out. An antioxidant booster supplement can't hurt either.
Try straight up cold showers, too. Sounds silly but I also think it has made a huge difference in my rate of recovery from exercise and body temperature regulation. It also reduces how many water-bourne toxins etc. are absorbed by your skin, and honestly, how do we really know what is in there?