I've been reading this forum since mid-October and I officially started Paleo on November 1st. I primarily follow Kurt Harris' Archevore Diet and so far I can't even begin to describe all that has changed for the better in just four short weeks. I would also like to collectively thank everyone on PaleoHacks for all the great tips and helpful information (especially cooking advice/recipes).
My initial query for you all has to do with the most extreme weight loss I've ever personally experienced.
Apparently, I've lost 26 pounds in 28 days and I want to know if this is safe, too extreme, etc. I couldn't really find a similar question or post, and I know the "conventional wisdom" usually says that losing weight this fast isn't a good thing.
I'm 32, 6'1" and my starting weight on November 1st was 255 (ugh). I've been weighing once a week since then and this morning the scale shows 229. Here is a breakdown of my progression:
Nov 1st - 255 lbs
Nov 8th - 246 lbs
Nov 15th - 243 lbs
Nov 22nd - 236 lbs
Nov 29th - 229 lbs
My Paleo meals have been including pastured eggs/butter, heavy cream, half&half, coconut milk, grass-fed and regular beef (burgers, steaks, roasts), whole chickens (I like buffalo-style so I usually melt butter with some Crystal as a dipping sauce), fish (tuna, salmon, some sashimi), potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, plantains, white rice, carrots, greens, asparagus, tomatoes, and some occasional 85% chocolate. I cook almost everything in coconut oil or butter. No milk, cheese, nuts or beans. Minimal veggies and hardly any fruits. I've mostly just been eating eggs, meat, potatoes, bananas, cream and butter so far. I did eat out a few times this month, which included sushi/sashimi three times (hard to give up!), Chipotle twice (just light rice, carnitas, tomato salsa and guac), and at Cracker Barrel once (trout, greens, baked potato, egg). Had a hearty, but strictly-Paleo Thanksgiving as well (turkey, ham, mashed sweet-potatoes, greens, and some paleo pumpkin cheesecake made with coconut flour and a pecan crust).
When I enter in some of my daily foods into FitDay, it almost always looks like 50-60% fat, with the remaining 40-50% being split fairly evenly between protein and carbohydrates. The main thing is, I'm only averaging around 1400-1500 calories a day (though this may be a bit on the conservative side, as it's kind of hard to tell correct portions with some things). The simple fact is I'm just not that hungry, especially not like before on SAD. I've had one 24-hour fast (around day 13) and other than that I tend to not eat for 10-12 hours at a time (usually between 10pm to 8 or 9am). I only eat three times a day maximum and avoid snacking.
I've only had one day where I felt dizzy for any length of time and really needed to eat something, and just a few days with cramps and/or achy joints upon waking (which seemed to be remedied by making sure to drink enough water). I work from home and for the first month I decided not to change my activity level at all from what it had been before I began Paleo, so I guess you could say I've been moderately sedentary still, despite a major increase in energy levels and an overall decline in inflammation/aches/pains. I wanted to see the effect of diet alone, without introducing exercise just yet.
Could it be that because I have a lot of weight to lose, my body is simply content to "eat itself" after I've given it enough food to stay satiated throughout my current, relatively low-impact, daily routine? Is it okay to lose 25+ pounds in my first month?
For more background details regarding my struggles with health and weight loss/gain, feel free to read my 1st blog post here. I've never blogged before, I'm just wanting to track my progress.
Thanks in advance for any thoughts/suggestions!
UPDATE: Still at 229 on December 1st, so that's 26 lbs lost for November. Still feeling much better and getting more adjusted to this all the way around. My plan for December is to add some body weight exercises 2-3 times a week, to get even more sunshine, and to try to start eating liver. Thanks to everyone for the great comments and feedback.
2ND MONTH UPDATE: I lost 13 more pounds in December which puts me at 216 as of December 31st. Here's the weekly breakdown:
Dec 1st - 229 lbs
Dec 8th - 225 lbs
Dec 15th - 222 lbs
Dec 22nd - 220 lbs
Dec 31st - 216 lbs
My resting heart rate on December 1st was 80 bpm. On January 1st, it's down to 69 BPM. Forgot to measure it in the beginning so I don't know exactly, but I had measured it some time last year when I weighed in the 250's and it was 88 bpm. I'm definitely happy about this improvement. I also started supplementing D3 around December 15th, and overall things are still improving. I think I'm zeroing in on a few specific food allergies, but I'm actually working on a question related to that and my son's allergy testing for later. Overall, after 2 months it has become more clear to me that I was dealing with a serious amount of inflammation.
I'm still easing into exercise with only minimal body-weight workouts 1-2 times a week which I started in December. No "cardio" other than the normal walking I do throughout the day. I do run up and down the stairs at home now, though! I took down the blog I had put up because I'm not really ready for that yet, but I have started keeping a daily paper journal/food log as of Jan 1st that I'm going to do for a year so I can track my overall progress.
I think you're fine. Depending on what your diet looked like before you went paleo, it is likely that the large majority of the weight lost was water weight. I know when I started paleo I was so bloated that I lost a similar amount as you.
A lot of CW types poo-poo losing water weight, but when your face stops looking like a balloon and you feel lighter on your feet, you'll certainly be happy it's gone.
Congratulations on the weight loss! I agree much of the first 10 pounds could've been water, but at 25+ a lot of it is some kind of tissue.
How has the fit of your clothes changed? If you've lost inches all over, including your waist, that sounds great and the only caution I'd offer is to make sure you don't go hungry. It sounds like you're eating a nice mix of foods, but make sure you do. You don't want to find yourself crazy with hunger that could lead to a binge of bad foods.
25+ pounds of fat loss (I know, you probably lost at least a little lean mass too) should be 1-2 sizes. I happen to think the waist measurements are particularly important--if your waist is clinging to fat, your metabolism is probably not ideal yet. If you're losing at least in proportion at the waist, then definitely good things are happening.
I wouldn't worry about your progress. While it's dramatic I imagine that it will start to tapper off the closer you get to your goal. The only caution I would have is to make sure you are adopting a diet for life mentality and not looking to do it in the short term or back sliding to old eating habits. That's where you can get into trouble as you can gain it back just as fast.
Yes it's possible to lose that much that fast on an ultra-low calorie diet with ketosis (a pound a day on average). However, I would chalk off about 7 pounds of that as water weight, which leaves the loss around 19 pounds in 28 days. So it's not necessarily as good/bad as you think (.6 pounds/day).
In terms of fast weight loss, IMHO, there's two concerns. 1) Loss of lean muscle mass and 2) Overload of toxins/things stored in your bodyfat. For 1, you should look into getting some weights and doing some lifting to retain that. For 2, look into liver support items and drink lots of water.
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