So I'm 22 years old and I've been eating paleo for a full month now and have yet to see any significant weight loss on the scale. I am overweight and sadly have struggled with it for as long as I can remember. In the past I was fairly active and lifted regularly, however with the typical college diet and lifestyle I slowly put on weight in college and hit the highest weight I've ever been(253 lbs). However, I just recently graduated from my 4 year university and am looking to beat my weight problem for good and start living life to the fullest! This is where paleo comes in( or so I thought but I'm having some doubt now). I weigh myself every Monday as soon as I wake up and my weight has essentially fluctuated between 253 to 251 lbs on a weekly basis. In addition to changing my diet I have also started exercising again(after more or less 2 years of inactivity), doing the 5x5 lifting program 3 days a week and a lot of core exercises and stretching 2 days a week.
As for my diet, here is pretty much exactly what I eat on a daily basis:
Breakfast: 2 or 3 whole eggs, cooked in a bit of olive oil
Lunch: Mixed greens salad with cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, tablespoon of balsamic vinaigrette, and a male wallet sized(lol) portion of protein(usually fish or chicken).
Dinner: Chicken or beef and miscellaneous greens. Cooked in various random ways(all paleo mind you).
Fruit: 2-3 oranges a week(mainly for the fiber)
Supplements: Multivitamin, fish oil, Metamucil
I guess my question is, what if anything am I doing wrong? I feel like I'm doing everything correctly however I'm not seeing any results which is frustrating. I've read "success" stores about many others who have tried paleo and have lost weight in a relatively short period of time while being fairly inactive. I really haven't seen any weight loss in terms of scale measurements and I consider myself active(gym 5 days a week). I have noticed that my upper body has gotten slightly bigger and my arms are a little more defined however I chalk that up to starting to lift again(I've lifted in the past regularly and I highly doubt I've put on enough muscle weight wise to outpace my fat loss). Other than that though my body composition seems to be just about the same(I've also taken a picture every Monday to keep me on track and motivated). Do I just need to give it more time or what?
Hi, Robert! Welcome to PaleoHacks. I can tell that you've done a lot of work getting yourself started on a healthy eating and exercise lifestyle.
It strikes me from initial impressions of your menu that you are not eating a whole lot of food - if you are an overweight male, you'll require a lot more, even for weight loss. If you are eating extremely conservatively, your body may avoid burning fat stores because it will "think" based on your intake that calories are scarce.
First: up your fat content - a whole LOT - while concentrating on quality fats. Add some butter to your veggies, good quality raw / hard cheeses (if you are cool with doing dairy), animal fat from pastured animals if you can find/afford it. Also: cook with coconut oil, add coconut milk, drizzle a little heavy cream (again if you're doing dairy) to your morning coffee. Getting your daily fat content to 50-70% of your calorie intake turns out to be a workable zone for most folks trying to lose weight - you will simply have to experiment for yourself, but logging what you eat on a site like fatsecret.com may help you to get a concept of what a higher fat diet looks like. (Also: consider cooking your eggs in a different fat like butter or coconut oil; using olive oil at high heat oxidizes the olive oil and sets your body up for added inflammation.)
Also, for weight loss in a paleo framework, for now consume only smaller amounts of lower carb fruits like strawberries and blueberries and favor low starch vegetables. Only increase your fruit or starch content (as with potatoes or sweet potatoes) in a high-protein higher-carb meal shortly after your exercise - otherwise keep carbs lower throughout the rest of your waking hours.
Finally: also up your protein a bit. Since you are working hard to exercise and build lean muscle mass, prioritizing a good chunk of protein in that post-workout meal (without added fat) is a good way to maximize use of the protein that you do eat on a day-to-day basis.
Good luck! :)
Ok, I agree with everyone here who said up the fat. But also, for me, those oranges would stop my weight loss in it's tracks. Perhaps eliminate the fruit in the beginning, or try lower sugar fruits like berries.
Robert: First off, don't give up.
Now, here's the good news and the bad news: Good Gods, man, you are starving yourself!!!! Take familgrokman's advice re: cooking with better fats, ie/. coconut/butter. Start eating portions that truly satisfy you. No more "wallet size" meat portions!!! Portions as you describe them are not enough for a 22 year old male, and certainly not for a 22 year old male of your size.
HOWEVER...given that you have lost essentially zip with the activity level and diet you've been doing, I would bet my liver that you are, as we say, metabolically DERANGED. And in my opinion, that makes you someone who needs to really pay attention to any sugar sources and carb levels.
You say you are taking metamucil but not how often. If you are taking a single dose of metamucil a day, you are getting SEVEN grams of crap-industrial sugar + 11 -17 grams of crap industrial carbohydrate from that product alone. Dump it.
IF you have significant constipation, then look at products like plain psyillim husks with NO added "Stuff" in them that will be available at the vast majority of pharmacies. READ THE LABEL. The product should specify no sugar and no carb. Plain psyllium husks are 100% fiber.
You need to be drinking a minimum of eight, 8 ounce glasses of water/day, and I'd say more like 10. (You didn't give us a height, but on weight alone, go with a minimum of eight. You will also feel better doing this.) You don't say that you avoid salt, so don't. Salt your food to taste. With increased fats of the right kind that will help elimination track issues. I don't know what size your salad is, but feel free to make it a BIG salad. That fiber/rhoughage will help too.
Now, this next suggestion will bring screams from the peanut stands....erm,....walnut stands... DUMP the ORANGES. For a month at least, DUMP all fruit and starchy veggies. Eat untill you are FULL -FULL!!!!! - but not engorged at every meal. No nuts, no fruits, no starchy veggies. Re-eval your weight loss after at least one month. Do you have issues with milk products?
How much fishoil and what brand are you supplementing with? You likely need more. Multivit needs to be high quality. Vitamin D is very important for you. It is a researched fact that we obese folks very often have vitamin D levels that are shockingly low. Consider 5000units as a baseline. We people who are or have been very overweight/obese, are not infrquently walking nutritional nightmares. We need alot of healing.
You do not mention any medical issues.Read Dr. Emily Deans blog for excellent integrated - whole-health paleo eating and living info - for the whole body. Your brain counts - bigtime!
Paleo IS for you because it is a broad umbrella and really "is" for everyone. It will take some fine tuning. But there are alot of good people here for support and info and TONS of high quality sites for you to explore.
Hang in there!!!!!!
Indeed, low calorie dieting has the potential to raise cortisol http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20368473
What you want to be doing is eating a higher calorie diet that promotes metabolic health so you have lots of energy and burn off the food plus some from your adipose tissue every day. Low calorie diets may look nice on paper but they're not sustainable and probably harmful. Just focus on health first and it will all come off eventually.
First of all Robert...Please do not give up on it!!
You are not eating enough. And...you are not eating enough FAT!! Fat is the key to all of this. No need to take any Metamucil...That will halt all kinds of progress.
Forget the scale!! It is a stress inducing machine!! If you are always looking to see a lower number then don't, it halts progress. Use a tape measure, judge how your clothes fit and how you feel. Eat when hungry, don't when you aren't...there is no schedule to this.
Please visit my page, see my story, results, and foods I eat. Notes section. http://facebook.com/bigtimsprimaljourney
Meats, Bacon, Eggs, Avocado, Coconut oil, EVOO, nuts and fruits...all good.
Fiber is an enemy!! you don't need any extra outside of what normal veggies and fruit give you.
What books have you read? Sisson, Wolf, Cordain?
If you have stuck with it for a month, you just need to tweak it...
Please check out my page!! I promise you it works!!!
Thanks for the advice and encouragement everyone! It truly is appreciated. I'm pouring over everyone's advice and links as I type this( o, and I forgot to mention my height if that matters, which is 5'9).
Great advice on not paying attention to the scale, it seems to always frustrate me anyways. So the scale goes on the shelf for now! In terms of energy I have felt much more energetic and alert after going paleo(first 2 weeks I felt bad, idk if that's normal but after that I felt really good), and I have been sleeping better. I guess those positives were just overshadowed by my frustration with not seeing any weight lost on the scale.
At a glance I've seen people recommend to cut out the oranges. Done. Same goes for the Metamucil( only really taken because as it was an instilled childhood habit that stuck I guess, haha).
Also, in regards to under eating, I did not know that that could actually stall fat loss! Here's to being able to eat more food and good fats than I do now! And I will definitely start to keep track of my intake with fitday.
Today is the start of a new month and with all this advice and encouragement I feel very hopeful that I can begin to lose the weight that I want to lose!!
Also, I just stumbled upon a site called "Marks Daily Apple", anyone recommend this site or should I stay away? It does however seem to be in line with what I am looking for in terms of eating habits and weight loss.
Thanks again everyone!! -Robert
this could be attributed to a few possibilities.
perhaps you aren't eating enough? are you tracking your intake?
perhaps you aren't including enough good fats?
perhaps you have hormonal issues that need to be addressed? can you have blood work done?
perhaps the muscle weight you are gaining is off setting the weight in fat loss? are you measuring?
perhaps you need more fluids? are you drinking enough?
I'm going to say what everyone else said, MORE FAT!!!!! Add in an avocado in to your salad, and cook with coconut oil. And you probably need to up your calorie count as well.
Also, paleo isn't just about your weight on the scale, how does the rest of your body feel? Your mind? I can say, that even though the numbers haven't been moving on my scale [I weigh once or twice a month] I am losing fat [in my stomach area and my thighs!], the brain fog is gone, and I am happy about 99% of the time and my acne has all but cleared up. So please don't give up just because the numbers aren;t going down!
When I started I weighed 240lbs (which was a little over a month ago). I started out eating a lot of oranges too but was told not to. Then I cut fruit out all together and just ate meat and veggies for every meal and I saw the weight drop. I'm super allergic to eggs so they weren't an option..bit lile everyone else just eat more fat..I'm not an avacado fan (im a picky eater) so I wld recommend now meat, coconut oil, and butter.
You need to eat more fat. Cook your eggs in lots of coconut oil (olive oil isn't so great to cook with). Add olive oil to your salad, and cook your dinner in a good fat. Avocado is a good source of fat as well. If you're doing dairy, you could add some butter or heavy cream.
When you take the carbs away, your body needs something to burn for energy, and healthy fats are a great source.
It also doesn't look like you're eating enough calories. Have you entered your daily food into fitday or a similar program to see what your calorie intake is?