So I think I'm starting to figure out where I'm going wrong with my weight loss plateau. I cut out dairy except for ghee which didn't help, but I did realize the dairy was giving me indigestion so it's out.
It think I'm still having satiety issues. CaveRat's post recently What is a ‘full belly’, really?... made me think of it. I'm breast feeding but I have over 70 pounds to lose and I'd really like to see the scale going down again. The last time I lost weight was on weight watchers and I used a lot of techniques to fluff up my meals like adding egg whites or making gigantic salads. I gained all the weight back and then some because I was not low carbing and ate all sorts of low fat processed crap.
Anyway, I've been eating paleo for over 3 months now and WAPF for about 6 months (I think.) So you'd think I'd have gotten over this volume vs nutrient density issue by now. Anyway, my problem is I still find myself overeating, and while I'm not gaining, I'm certainly not losing.
Most days I eat 2 pastured eggs cooked in ghee or coconut oil and 2 pieces of bacon or a handful of kale sauteed with garlic and coconut oil. These seems to hold me for a good 5 hour chunk. Then for lunch I'll eat some protein like 1/2 lb ground GF beef/lamb, a tablespoon of coconut oil, a slice of liverwurst, and some leafy green usually cooked in 1-2 tblsp of ghee, a little fermented veggies like kimchi or sauerkraut or I'll have a fat splurge when I'm in a hurry which is a smoothie made with coconut milk, kale, frozen acai berry pulp, and sometimes some liver if I'm feeling "adventurous"(or suicidal... your interpretation is welcome hahaha.) Then for dinner we usually have steak, roast chicken, pastured pork, etc and some asparagus spears roasted in bacon fat or ghee, more fermented veggies or a salad with a homemade mayo or olive oil based dressing. Sometimes I'll have a glass of red wine, but that's usually only once a week. I also have about half of a sweet potato once or twice a week when/if I'm feeling the need for one.
I take 5-6000iu D3, 1000 magnesium, Prenatal multi, Carlson Cod Liver oil, 100 mk-7 K2,
I'm doing Yoga for about 30 minutes 4 times a week, and I walk with the baby in my baby carrier (like a backpack filled with baby hehe) for about 30-60 minutes a day.
I've been tracking for about 7 days now on fitday and my calories are ranging from about 1800-2200. With my ratios hovering around 70% fat, 20-25% protein and 4-10% carbs. Before anyone gets on me about the carbs issue, I don't eat fruit or more starches because it makes me feel instantly tired and run down when I eat them, unless I'm really craving a sweet potato which only happens once or twice a week. I experimented with eating more carbs while I was on vacation a few weeks ago and starches led to fruit and fruit led to tastes of processed junk and that led to servings of processed junk and then I cut myself off because I was horrified at how fast I went downhill.
I'll probably add my Big Ass salads back in to the mix, but I don't want to to overdo protein with the eggwhites. Any suggestions for lower calorie ways of adding some bulk to my meals? I tend to feel more full when my belly is full. I know it's all in my head but I'm a voracious nursing mother and that appetite can go to some shady places fast. I don't tolerate nuts at all, they give me indigestion, I've recently figured out that dairy is also a no, no even though I fought that one for a long time. Just an FYI for the uninitiated exclusive breastfeeding burns about 300-700 calories a day and I'm nursing a 20 pound 5 month old (biggun.)
UPDATE: I started intermittent fasting. Nothing crazy, just 16/8 for 3 days in a row and suddenly my pants fit better this morning. Didn't cut any calories or change ratios. I guess that's what I needed. Thanks People!!
One thing that always makes me feel full is a medim/hardish boiled egg. Boil or steam an egg til the white is cooked and the yolk is not runny, but not dry and eat two of those at the beginning of your meal before anything else. If you're like me, you'll have a hard time eating the rest of your meal.
I feel like eggs are the ultimate weight loss food because I could do with two boiled eggs as a meal replacer and be totally good for hours and its only about 150 calories. That's the only food that does it for me.
Try replacing your lunch with two boiled eggs and if you want, a simple green salad with no fat on it.
Do not underestimate your protein needs when you are doing VLC. They are much greater than someone who is getting enough glucose from diet. I feel like your hunger is from not enough glucose. I had the same problem and just kept getting fatter because everyone told me to eat more fat. When I added potatoes, my hunger and food intake went way down.
I added starch becasue adding even more protein didn't appeal to my tastbuds or my pocketbook, but if you don't want to eat starch, you've got to eat more protein. You are hungry beacause you are not getting adequate nutrition, not because your stomach is physically not full enough. Our stomachs are a lot smaller than you think. Stuffing it with bulky, empty foods like lettuce and cauliflower isn't going to solve the problem.
Upvoted this question as I think that adding 'bulk' is probably one of the main neglected factors for a lot of paleos looking to feel full. While paleo is right to move beyond the impoverished obsession of conventional wisdom with satiety as being full of fibre and water (from grains and fruit etc.) I think there certainly are some benefits to physically filling yourself up- at least, if you want to be able to comfortably eat less.
As to the solution, all I can think of is more low carb vegetables. To make a change from salads you could fry brocolli/cabbage/cauliflower etc? I find these both filling and a good vehicle for fat. Soups (spinach or carrot or butternut squash, for example) are also pretty filling on account of the water content and low in carb and can have fat added to them.
Also, this may not be possible given that you're breastfeeding, but have you tried eating within a smaller eating window? I find that eating always gives me an appetite, in that it stimulates my interest in food for a couple of hours afterwards. Once I've not eaten for a few hours, conversely, I can quite easily go without food.
I am also a volume eater and fat does little to keep me full and happy although it certainly helps make my food delicious. I know that for most people fat seems to work wonders for hunger but for some of us that is just not the case. I'm pretty sure it's not in our heads either.
I agree that lowering the fat and adding more veggies seems like something worth investigating. Mark Sisson says he eats 55-65% fat so certainly that range is surely acceptable or should be viewed as such. Since the dietary fat isn't serving the purpose of keeping you feeling full and satiated I say lose a bit of that and see how you feel. Then look to add more veggies. Pretty self explanatory but start serving two veggies at dinner instead of one. Looks for a plate that is 2/3 veggies and 1/3 protein. The way I work this is I plan my meal and then broccoli or spinach gets added to that almost without exception. If broccoli or spinach are part of the main meal then I pick another veggie. I keep huge bags of frozen broccoli and spinach in the freezer so I am never without.
I add a huge salad to both lunch and dinner during the warmer months. I also find it helpful to start with the salad then move on to the other stuff. That helps me keep my protein to a little less than I would normally eat and I can leave the table nice and full.
Good luck. If you make any progress please keep us posted. Just know you are not alone in this struggle and just keep working to find your solution.
I agree about the fasting. Trying a larger window may help. I am also breastfeeding my 16 month old and I know from experience (this is my 3rd baby) that my body just holds onto about 15 lbs while breastfeeding. Add to that, stress from my little one being a bad sleeper and you've got a good reason for NOT losing. I do paleo, however, I have to have starches. Have you tried decreasing the amount of fat? I hope nobody throws tomatoes at me, but I'm not saying to cut fat dramatically, just a bit. Also, make sure you're eating enough food overall (though it seems you are). Try adding in weight training , too. I did Crossfit for about 3-4 years (even thru pregnancy) and the one thing that has helped me lose more weight (except for these last 15# while breastfeeding) is the weight training.
I like volume, too. I usually steam a bunch of carrots and cauliflower with a steamer basket on the stove top. While thats going, in the oven i roast a big dish of zucchini/yellow squash, fennel bulb, turnip, and aspargus. Then it all goes together and its a huge plate of cooked veg. Its big volume, with low carb if that matters to you. These are all done with no fat. Just salt and pepper.
Don't misunderstand me, fat is good and healthy. But i simply already use a lot of it in my meat cooking and other eating throughout the day. Its calorically dense so with this big-volume approach at dinner i don't use fat with those veg. It just allows me to eat a big old plate with out adding a ton of calories to my meal.
For the past few weeks, I've been into using Trader Joe's broccoli slaw (basically shredded broccoli and carrots) in omelettes, stir-fry, salads, as a bulker. Any shredded veggie should work, and it's getting near squash/zuke season. Bok choy's good. I think you mentioned kale. Nursing, I'm sure you need lots of protein as well.
Broccoli and especially cauliflower have been my go-to bulky foods, especially on when been tryin to keep it LC. On my best day, I probably have about 4 pounds of steamed broccoli and cauliflower combined - also use frozen. Play with spices too if you get bored easily (rosemary, thyme, nutmeg, curry (for cauliflower)).
Both are also good for soups. Cook about a pound of broc or cauli (or both) in chicken chicken, drain and add veggies to a blender, optionally add 1/4-1/2 cup of coconut milk and 2-4 hard-boiled eggs and set the blender on 10. Add some of the chicken stock that you used for cooking and adjust for desired thickness, season with s&p (and other spices, rosemary and thyme work great, roasted garlic and nutmeg for cauli = win), and you have a pretty low calorie & high bulk meal. The eggs might seem a weird addition to this otherwise pretty basic soup recipe, but they'll help you keep satisfied.
If you are still hungry, maybe you just need to eat more. What makes you think you are overeating? Is it an inference based on the fact that you aren't losing weight? I'm also nursing, albeit a much older baby who eats food as well, but I eat 2200-3000 per day on average.
Also, I hit a bit of a stall for several months before my hormonal cycle came back. I am now losing at a slowish rate of about 2 lbs per cycle. (I'm within 10 pounds of my goal.) It's very tied to my cycle, which you can see in the graph below. This is a running 10-day average of my weight and calories. If I hadn't graphed it, I might have believed myself to be stalled:
ETA: So I guess what I'm saying is that it might be tied to your hormonal status, and if so, maybe you should just feed yourself what food your body is asking for, and wait a little longer.
As far as the weight loss goes, I would cut out the wine and sweet potatoes. Eat more fat and protein with plenty of veggies. Cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, and greens of any form might help with fullness. Also, have a spoonful of coconut oil before your meals. It will help with the satiety.
Congrats on your little one!