I can't exercise very much due to chronic illness. (On most days I can do 10 minutes of yoga and a 10 minute walk.)
I need to lose about 20 pounds. Funny thing is, I feel thinner since going Paleo (and I love the food!). But when I weighed in at the doctor's office today, I'd actually put on four pounds. I feel like I'm eating correctly to lose weight, but it turns out I'm not. I'm hoping some of you will hack my diet:
1) Breakfast: a smoothie made with coconut milk (pure), a scoop of whey protein isolate, a handful of spinach, a tbsp. or so of coconut butter, and a banana.
2) Lunch: Really more of a snack. Maybe some walnuts. Sometimes half a sweet potato with coconut butter and unsweetened cocoa. Sometimes a quarter of a can of wild salmon.
3) Dinner: Meat, fish, or chicken -- somewhere between a half and a whole pound. Always veggies: greens, broccoli, etc. Half a sweet potato.
I'm eating no dairy and no eggs (because of my autoimmune disorder).
Despite not exercising much, shouldn't I be losing weight on this diet? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
In my opinion, you are not eating enough protein or fat. Too much fiber, and eating 3 times a day with no exercise doesn't help. There are still too many carbohydrates being consumed and not enough fat. You have to make the switch from burning carbs as fuel to fat as fuel. Without eating eggs, you should be eating meat with every meal, and the fat will keep you full for longer periods and you won't have to eat 3 times a day. With no exercise, you are not expending any energy enough to get rid of your previous meal before you eat again. I'd ditch the bananas, nuts, and protein shakes...eat real food. Nuts and fruit cause insulin spikes which will stall weight loss. Try cutting them out and sticking to meat, fats, and non starchy veggies for a couple weeks. coconut oil, avocados, extra virgin olive oil, and if nuts, macadamia nuts only.
No one ever promised weight-loss on Paleo. You said you "feel thinner." I think how you feel is 100 times more important than how you look and Paleo IS supposed to make you feel better.
But if you really want to lose weight, since you're very inactive, try cutting down on the carbs. Lose the sweet potato and walnuts (high omega-6s). Try to eat more grass-fed beef (again, chicken is high in PUFA). Try to walk at least 30 minutes. Make sure you're sleeping 8+ hours a night.
The coconut milk stands out most to me. I would remove any type of liquid calories as well as supplements like whey protein if your principle goal is weight loss.
When it comes to weight loss, most people do better by increasing their intake of meat and vegetables, and decreasing their intake of fruit, nuts, sweet potatoes, and liquid calories.
I would add more protein to your first two meals and cut down on some of the other stuff.
If your really serious about losing weight, cut down to 2 meals a day and experiment with intermittent fasting.
Being slimmer is nice, but I would always seek to prioritise improvements in health over weight loss!
I can't say what's right for you, but in my own experience, I had to cut calories and carbs and keep protein adequate (but not excessive) to lose weight (and improve health). (I find Fitday really helpful for keeping track of what I'm eating and assessing the effects of changes).
I have lost 42lb over about 10 months, including a lot of visceral fat (my health and energy levels have improved enormously).
Going into ketosis was great for kicking off significant weight loss but going below 25g/day was too hard on my adrenals when I am trying to keep cortisol levels low. Now I hover at about 50g/day and weight loss is a bit slower but steady. But only you will know what works for you.
If I don't eat enough protein I get food cravings, although excess protein (more than the body needs) will be converted to glucose and eventually fat. So moderation is important!
Too much fat will take calorie levels higher than is consistent with weight loss (even though I am adapted to fat-burning, I will burn and/or store the excess dietary fat for calories instead of burning the stored fat). But too little dietary fat might be even worse, as the body needs essential fats and fat-soluble vitamins for purposes that might be important for recovery from chronic illness.
I can't stress too much how this is my own experience but I hope some of this is helpful. All the best for your continuing recovery!
Paleo is not a "weight-loss diet" per se. The food choices of the Paleo lifestyle can be used to support either weight loss or weight gain, if weight change is desired.
It is likely you are consuming more calories than you are expending. That, combined with minimal exercise due to your health limitations, would probably produce similar weight maintenance/gain.
I agree with Dorado that going ancestral won't automatically produce weight loss.
A four-pound change is too small to be sure you've gained, since water retention/loss could account for almost that much from one day to another. I really don't believe in scales, myself. I'd say you're trying to lose about 2 dress/pant sizes. If you feel thinner and your clothes are the same or a little looser, you're doing fine.
Also, if you feel thinner you may have shifted a little weight from fat to lean mass. Fat is "fluffy" and lean mass is heavier.
I personally think ( from experience myself ) that you are not eating protein the right way and I know its safe to eat fat and I get that fat is good but when you are trying to lose weight fat is very expensive in terms of calories - so you need to go low carb and low fat- You can experiment with low carb at first but if you have no success I would drop the fat too.
Your main component of each meal should be protein - every meal should have it - and I think it cant be a ton - no more than 12 - 18gms of protein a meal- say a piece of meat weighing 60gms ( but that is just my experience I have more success when I break up my protein into 5 lots a day rather than 2- 3 as I think too much spikes my insulin - really that's up to you to decide.)
I just plugged in your daily food to myfitnespal and you might be surprised to learn this but
It should be more like
1200 Cal ( depending on your size and activity but its got to be less than your daily needs to trigger weight loss)
Less then 50gms carbs - Ketosis would be better - less than 20 gms
60 - 80 gms of Protein
20 gms of fat
Also you should consider adding in 20 min of weights 3 times a wk - It sounds like you can manage that - weights will really accelerate the weight loss.
You've been doing paleo long enough to have your gut healed by now, so maybe you can start on some lean gains style intermittent fasting. Adding in some coconut oil instead of coconut milk will help as well.
To do IF, do it only on the days you work out, it's easiest to have a feeding window between 12pm-8pm, so you'd essentially skip breakfast. If you feel hungry in the morning, just have coffee with a little bit of coconut oil, and you'll find the craving goes away. Maybe supplement with 10g BCAA 15 minutes before a workout. Then maybe around 10am or so, have some another 10g BCAAs. The BCAA is a signal to grow muscle, even when fasting. You'll find you have less food cravings when you're fasting, than when you're eating. It sounds counterintuitive, I know, but I've noticed that firsthand.
If you feel a sugar craving, have a little bit of glutamine each time (something like 1/2 a teaspoon). You'll get used to this pretty quickly. (Brains crave carbs, but can use glutamine instead, so this will stop the cravings, but coconut oil, not milk, will do the same.)
Workouts should be resistance training, not cardio. Resistance training with/without weights will build muscle which will cause more fat loss, though your actual weight might go up. So ignore the scale, and just measure your waist instead.
Be sure to get plenty of rest on your non-workout days, don't try to sneak in extra work outs. Get 8-9 hours of sleep, enough hydration, etc.
One thing about eggs is the lecithin. You might want to supplement since you can't do eggs, since they help resolve fatty liver issues which, if damaged by fructose, would prevent weight loss.
Stay away from carbs, especially fructose as you won't lose any weight if you go heavy on the fructose. If you're not trying to do it the hard way, no more than 100g of carbs/day. These will cause insulin spikes otherwise, which is the signal to store fat. Also, whey is very insulogenic, which means it will cause you to gain fat.
Skip breakfast as much as possible, and if you have it, have it as proteins/fats only.
If you overdo the low carbs thing, you'll feel stressed out and you might see a bit of hair loss, then add in a little bit more carbs, but keep the carbs under 150g at all times until you're at the levels you want.
If you really want to monitor things, don't bother with a scale, or get a scale that will measure body fat, muscle, water, and bone content. Ignore the total pounds. Fat does weird things, so you may find your weight going up and staying level for a long time, then overnight, you lose 3-4lbs.
Not anything wrong these foods, or the quantity, or the times and frequency. However this would be the case for someone not looking to lose weight and considerably more active. As you can appreciate it is difficult to make an assessment with such little information, though with just weight loss in mind I can tell you that basically, there is too much and too often. You need your body to have to go to the fat bank for energy and not reach out for the easier high octane carbohydrate option.
Having a smoothie for breakfast after a large evening meal is certainly not going to help, particularly the banana element. When you blend carbs you make it far easier and therefore quicker to be digested and converted to glucose. Getting up in the morning after a hearty evening meal your body will be starting to think about going to the fat bank to make a withdrawal for energy, so what happens now is crucial. You certainly don't want to be flooding your system with glucose, which is what a banana fruit smoothie high in fructose effectively does.
So you have a choice at breakfast, but both will use the extremely powerful, helpful and very healthy fast/feast tool at some point in the day. Ok so the choice at breakfast is basically..to 'eat or not to eat, that is the question'. This choice is obviously yours but consider your body is just about to go off to the fat bank and so most of the hard work has been done while you were asleep. However if I assume correctly you need to eat your main meal in the evening? This is the governing factor and if this is so, then it would be advisable to miss completely either breakfast or dinner. The choice is a personal one, but at some point remember you must go to the fat bank, this is not a choice, though when its done is.
So in a nutshell cut out the high octane fuel,lower carb loading in general, use fasting tool at lunch or breakfast. Up fat to compensate for lowering carbs. Take no notice of calorie numbers, it's a mugs game.
Hope this helps, if I,ve missed anything don't hesitate to get back,though not here that frequent so email or comment through our site if you need a quick response.
here were my thoughts on a similar question recently; http://paleohacks.com/questions/78460/quite-possibly-no-weight-loss-for-3-weeks-whats-going-on/78719#78719
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