I've been frustrated recently because I haven't been seeing the weight loss I would have expected considering my lifestyle. I am female, age 22, 5'9", and 177 lbs. I just graduated from college and moved to a farm to work as an intern for 6 months. Here is how I would describe my diet and activity level currently:
Because my jobs is so physically demanding, I don't do any training outside of work
Anyway, I was expecting to see big changes in my body composition after radically changing my diet and starting a job that is so physically strenuous (I've been here 6 weeks). I feel like I'm doing everything right, and this is pretty much as good as it's ever going to get. Honestly, I don't see there being a time in my life where I ever have it as together as I do now. What am I doing wrong?
I've been overweight since childhood (and was once a lot more overweight than I am now), and I'm afraid that my metabolism is damaged. Do I need to just be patient and eventually I will "heal" and drop the weight? Is my "set point" simply higher than usual? I really would love to lose these last 15-20 lbs. Thanks for your help!
You are getting caught up in 'expectations' the mind wants to see something immediate but your body will do what it is naturally programmed to do. Just relax and live healthy, this is not a race, everyone is different. Some people' bodies need a lot of time to heal internally before they see anything externally. Let go of stress, get lots of restful sleep. The body is way smarter than the mind, just give it what it needs, be patient, drop expectations and it will do the rest.
A. Burn your scale. Your gravitational pull has nothing to do with your fitness or health.
B. Too much exercise = stress = cortisol = belly fat
C. Have you had your thyroid checked?
D. Maybe you need a leptin sensitivity day. Have you tried upping your carbs for 12-24 hours every week or two, and seeing if that gets you through the plateau?
E. If you are as muscular as I suspect you would be with the work you are doing, your weight vs. height seem fine to me. BMI doesn't take musculature into account, so it is a pretty lame tool.
What are you using to calculate your "overweight" status? BMI, body fat? Your weight doesn't seem unreasonable to me given your height.
Farm work is hard stuff to do; are you adding muscle weight while losing fat weight? Are your clothes fitting differently, indicating a change in your body composition?
You say that you don't eat much. Maybe you actually need to eat more. You might even need to add some carbs in since you're so active.
Are you adequately hydrated? Make sure you're drinking a lot of water; believe it or not, it can help with weight loss.
Are you stressed? Adrenal fatigued? Do you have undiagnosed thyroid issues?
The frustrating part in all of this is that no two people are exactly the same; sometimes it takes significant tinkering (as Robb Wolf says) to figure out what's right for you. Try to be patient :)
Slow metabolism results from skipping meals. Eat 3 meals a day consisting of animal protein, fat, veg. Stay the course no matter if it takes 6 months to see the scale move.
One woman ate "the perfect diet" for a year before any weight loss, then her body clicked in and she was able to lose 80 lbs. Each person's journey is different. Let your motivation to stay the course come from the knowledge that
Please read this post carefully- http://everydaypaleo.com/2011/06/22/attention-scale-addicts-part-2/ then come back and tell us whether Deb's story may be true for you too. If it is, clearly the others here are right and you need to throw your scale out.
More importantly, how do you feel when you pick up, say, a bale of hay, and toss it up to the loft? How much energy do you have when you wake up with the roosters to milk the cows? How long does it take you to yoke the oxen to the plow? Then - how do you feel when you look in the mirror?
Some people don't lose weight easily on VLC. Have you tried adding in more carbs (from starchy vegetables, fruit and even white rice)?
edit: Because you are pretty close to a good weight already, if not already there, effortless weight loss might not happen, even if you are very active. Maybe you have to consciously create a small calorie deficit. Try tracking how many calories you're eating to get a handle on it and go from there.
When I switched to 'Paleo' my weight dropped rather slowly, and lately it's still going down but has slowed. I'm learning more and more and perhaps I'll try some variations, perhaps add those 'starchy tubers' I keep hearing about.
I don't know how long you've been doing this, but perhaps it's just very slow like mine, and the trend hasn't yet become obvious. I find that my weight shifts about 2-4 lbs over any couple days, so any long term trend can become hidden in the 'noise'.
btw I'm totally impressed by your lifestyle!
you don't indicate how much weight you have lost. Just that you don't think it's enough. I would echo what others have said it's a "lifestyle change" just go with it. It will come off over time, the naturalness of it will take you to your set point. Also perhaps the one day of high intensity aerobic work would help kick start your fat loss. 20 minutes of sprints, or bicycling where you go really hard for 15 - 20 seconds then rest to full recovery and repeat.
How long have you been eating this way? Just the 6 weeks that you have been at the farm? How long have you been 177lbs? Where do you store most of your fat (or is it evenly proportioned)? You mentioned "radically changing your diet"...what were you eating before and for how long?
I think your pretty close to your goal weight, so just remember the closer to goal the longer it may take, to lose the last little bit.
Drink at least 2.5ltr of water a day
Log your food for a few days to see how much your eating?
I dont see too many veggies in your plan, they contain lots of great vitamins and minerals and are a great source of carbs.
i agree with the whole stress factor inhibiting weightloss also, maybe meditation on days off.
Depending on how long you have been eating like this i was going to suggest a serving of sweet potato(tubers??im from australia lol) but if you have only been eating this way for a short period dont add the fruit or tubers yet.
Did you exercise before the farm??? Maybe 1-2x a week add in some intentional HIIT crossfit style exercise for 15-20min using farm equipment...you should get to the point of collapsing on ground when workout is over...VERY different from what your doing now which is constant steady state exercise with the heavy lifting thrown in.
Things to do... tyres(flipping), sledhammers(hitting tyre repetitivly), sandbags(carrying/running/throwing)? loading up a wheelbarrow and doing short sprint intervals, chopping wood, heavy objects for squatting and doing overhead walking lunges, digging with a shovel....etc maybe start with a 2min run, then spend 2min on each activity working at maximum effort, then end with another 2min run...
I noticed in your question you never specifically mention if you are grain-free or gluten-free. You say you are "dairy-free" and that's a key component of Paleo. But what about bread? Do you ever cheat by eating bread? You said you use almond butter. Do you spread it over a slice of bread? Slice of toast?
If you have an acute sensitivity to gluten then this could be keeping your body out of fat burning mode. It's possible that gluten is damaging your small intestine thereby reducing your absorption of important vitamins and minerals. If your body detects low levels of vitamins and minterals, it will remain locked in a gear where you are storing fat for emergency energy rather than burning it for immediate fuel in your daily routine.
I need to know if you're feeling sluggish or tired or if you still suffer through random bouts with depression or anxiety.
If you answer yes to any of the above, I recommend you get tested for gluten sensitivity. Although you may not have celiac "disease" you may still not be able to get away with eating a small cracker once a week or a bowl of oatmeal every now and then or an occasional slice of bread topped with almond butter.