So I've talked on here before about this really super frustrating weight loss stall that I've been in since March. I had tried giving up dairy, ZC, VLC, moderate carb, various protein amounts, higher fat, Whole30, counting calories, tracking and not tracking, etc. Nothing was really working. I thought I would just sit on it for a while and eat healthy food and be patient.
Then, last week happened. I had this three-day craft fair this weekend and the week leading up to it was full of terrible stress, a shoulder injury, a migraine, financial stress, zero gym time, and more work than there are hours in the day followed by three days of living at a fair with terrible food including pizza, fudge, and ice cream. QUEL HORREUR!
It's always been my experience that the day after eating carbs, I gain about 3-5 pounds of water weight so if I eat badly I just dont weight myself because its too depressing. Imagine my surprise though when I stepped on the scale today for the first time in over a week and I've DROPPED seven pounds and am now at my lowest weight since starting paleo last year.
Can someone tell me whats going on? I'm not dehydrated. Have I not been eating enough calories ro something? That's all I can think of. What am I missing?
Having dropped about 20 pounds in the past 3 months, I have two observations.
1) Most of the weight I lost came in brief periods, like 7 pounds in a week, in three different weeks over those 3 months. I can't really explain how this is possible, it must be that the body is burning the fat and storing it as glycogen or some fluid that then gets burned up or dumped quickly. Losing a pound a day is definitely not sustainable, but my long-term change is about 1.7 pounds per week, which is right in the range that many experts suggest.
2) If I am strict with the Paleo diet for a while, often I will not lose weight, but cheating one day seems to be some kind of trigger to lose the weight. Like I'll be strict for 2-3 weeks, have no change in weight, then I'll cheat one night (say have pizza with the kids or go out drinking), then 2 days later I'm 2-4 pounds lighter. However, if I cheat too often, like twice in the same week, the 2nd cheat will cause me to gain weight and screw up my metabolism and weight for several days after.
I am not sure I understand what's going on, I could make up some theories, but I am not sure. It could be that my body gets used to the nutritionally dense foods and low insulin, and eating the empty calories fills me up without nourishing me and my body can compensate by burning fat, but it can only do this once or twice a month.
Something else I have noticed is that when I hit a new low weight, I usually have a day where my appetite is a lot higher and I crave "bad" foods, it must be that my body is resisting the weight change. If I ride this out without getting off track, within a week or so, I am ready to start losing again.
Highly theoretical but food for thought: Martin Berkhan mentions that there's a theory that when the body burns stored fat for energy that the fat cell retains water for a period of time and there is a lag between fat loss and weight loss. Doesn't seem appropriate for the long period of time that you were dieting (seems more appropriate for a 5-10 day lag) but really the only thing that comes to mind. Sometimes you just have to switch it up for your body to re-adjust.
Sounds like you were incredibly busy. Even with the treats, I suspect you were eating below your typical caloric intake. I typically do when I'm really busy. Coupled with all of the activity from the craft fair, motion, standing etc...
The same thing just happened to me: moved to a new house, lots of painting and lifting boxes, I ate fast food including French Fries every day for five days but I only ate once. No crossfit either.
For me, I suspect it was the extended periods of no food at all, and no lifting weights.
It is nice to lose a few numbers on the scale, but my skin problems are back :(
This part of the 4 Hour Body protocol. A cheat day or two is supposed to bust you through weightloss plateaus. I have no idea why it works. There were some cryptic mentionings of optimizing thyroid function.
Hmmm, it could possibly have something to do with the water. The fat gets burned and water fills the fat cells = no weight loss. Then after binging on carbs the water is taken out of the fat cells to use to store the glycogen in the muscles, since the muscles are a lot more insulin sensitive. The muscles then burn the glycogen and the water and big weight loss occurs.
Just a theory. It could happen.