I have been reading everything I can on this forum trying to find the answer to this question, but I'm still struggling. I was hoping someone here can help me. I am 25 years old and weigh about 165 (probably a little more but I'm scared to weigh myself because my clothes are so tight). I am 5'7" and feel really good at about 140-145 pounds. I am a former division 1 athlete, but when I quit I got up to 185. I started running a couple years ago and got down to 155 last April, but when I started marathon training, I got back up to 165. My waist measurement has increased from 29" to 31" in this time. Since the marathon in November, I switched to Crossfit 3 times a week and maybe one more sprinting or strength workout on my own.
I started Paleo in November 2011 but not 100%. I cut all dairy and gluten products completely though and haven't cheated on them since. In my first month of Paleo I abused fruits, nuts, and lara bars. I have a history of binge eating problems and the license to have these things was really dangerous for me. In the past month, I have been strict paleo while also restricting fruits and nuts (maybe one serving of each, once a week) and I don't even keep them in the house anymore. I also have a sweet potato once every couple weeks. When I do track my food, I am always under 70 grams of carbs, and usually closer to about 35g.
I feel like I've tried everything at this point- I've experimented with intermittent fasting (not eating between dinner and lunch the next day) and going very low carb. I have tried increasing my fat intake by adding ghee, animal fat, and coconut oil.
No matter what I do, I feel like I'm getting bigger (and my clothes are getting tighter-not in a good way) My body fat has definitely increased although I haven't measured it.
I'm considering trying to count calories, since I have had some success with that in the past while I was running, but I'm not sure what to shoot for. I never go over 2000 calories now and I'm gaining weight like crazy. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated- it seems the people on this site have helped a ton of people- especially the ones that get specific.
A sample day of eating:
breakfast (If I have it): cup of egg whites with 2 slices of bacon, spinach, avocado lunch: turkey chili (no beans, obviously), small green salad with olive oil and balsamic snack before cross fit: baby carrots or lunchmeat turkey dinner: flank steak, big serving of roasted brussel sprouts and mushrooms dessert: 3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes, occasionally with a glass of unsweetened almond milk
I have 3 glasses of dry red wine once a week (twice at the very most)
gave up coffee because I couldn't do black- just drink a couple cups of green tea daily instead
If you need any more information please ask! I really appreciate the help
There will be a multitude of answers, here's my take...
With 3-4 high intensity workouts/week, I'd definitely increase carbs. Try one good sized serving of sweet potatoes or white rice after your workouts. The weight gain is very possibly related to excess cortisol, and going too low carb will not help things.
Also, you're possibly leptin resistant, at least to some degree. I'd definitely try Quilt's leptin reset. Basically eat a high protein/fat breakfast soon after rising, don't snack, and don't eat after dinner.
I would avoid the leangains protocol for now, the weight gain during marathon training is a sign of cortisol stuff, and the IFing is a big stress on your body.
And eat the whole eggs!
there are a couple of stand out points here for me. a female your age is prime for reproduction and your body will fight and quick fix weight-loss strategy because you are not excessively over-weight.
two months is not long enough to see changes; again because you are not excessively over-weight.
you will have to tweak to find what is best for you, but i would suggest a two week trial of any change. i found dietary changes easiest to monitor with FitDay and a food scale. a journal will be helpful too so you can go back and see what truly changed.
it won't be magic, but it will eventually happen. just keep it healthy.
one last question; can i have your yokes? :)
You've tried IF, you've tried increasing fats, you've tried decreasing carbs, but have you tried increasing carbs to 100-200 g per day? Young, fit, active types both tolerate more carbs and seem to do better on a few more carbs. Continue to stay away from gluten and legumes and corn, but experiment with more sweet potatoes, tapioca, moderate fruit, and possibly potatoes and rice. I was gaining about 1/2 a pound a week when I was 30-70 g carbs per day. I feel best with a higher level of carbs almost every day (although I'll have a day each ten or so where I just naturally don't want as many carbs), but if that makes you nervous, just try one higher carb day every four and see if that doesn't help things.
Can't hurt to try for a week, and you should know by then if it's a better version of paleo for you.
You started paleo Nov 2011 and experimented with so many different things in such a short time - so it was obviously not long enough to see if it actually works. What about Christmas were you 100% paleo during that time? Its only early January 2012.
Count your calories is the obvious thing for you to do.
If you could walk and lift weights that might work better for you. Also sleep at least 7.5 hours each night.
Sounds like you are doing well on the eating. You might eat the yolks in the morning. Also more meat for lunch.
Protein Protein and a bit more protein me thinks - esp if you are doing cross fit - try to hit 80 - 100 gms a day and make is really good quality meat - Lunch meat turkey - is that processed?? go for real cuts of meat - any reason you are not eating all the egg?? Protein should be the main part of every meal and snack - not veg ( that is if you are trying to lose weight)
I'm a few years older than you, but I'm 5'7" and weighed 186 at my heaviest, and I feel I look good around 140-145 or so too. I got down to 165 with just paleo eating, and shot down to 136 doing paleo + leangains in a few months. Then I did a season of triathlons training and have slowly crept up to 150 or so, but I've stayed about as lean (so I think the weight is primarily muscle, I've been lifting weights pretty regularly too).
I guess what I'm getting at is: keep at it, lift some weights, try more intermittent fasting a la http://leangains.com/
Btw I count all my calories at loseit.com.
If you haven't already done so, I'd experiment with changing things around every few days to see if any of the variations seem to kick-start feeling light and in fat-loss mode (based on how you feel in the fasted state each am): eat different amounts every few days--more starch, less starch; skip the avocado, eat the avocado; try eating a piece of fatty beef for breakfast just to see if it's worse or better. Etc.
I'm not a doctor or scientist so this is just an amateur hypothesis, but I agree with those who say your breakfast has a lot to do with weight loss. Where I tend to disagree with others is that I don't think it matters how long you're awake before you break your fast unless you're doing Dr Kruse's leptin reset. Then you'd follow his prescription. My "breakfast" is between 10 and noon and my other, main, meal is between 2 and 5 pm.
It can be horribly frustrating to seek the mix of foods that will encourage your body to release stored body fat. You say you've been reading on PH so you probably know that the first things to think about are sleep and stress. I'll assume you're well rested and, while frustrated with your weight, are not overloaded with stress overall because if you are you should worry about that and not about what you're eating.
Just as a base for comparison, I drink 2 mugs of coffee in the morning each of which has heavy cream and 1 tsp honey. Breakfast is 1/2 c extra-fat yogurt with fruit. My main meal is typically a whole grapefruit, a large leaf-lettuce/celery/cuke salad, then either 6-10 oz beef/chicken or about 3 cups of a bone broth stew that is very thick with meats and vegetables. I still have more body fat to lose than you, but I'm losing an inch off my waist every 3-4 weeks at that level of eating.
It might be helpful if you share some of your experiments. You're restricting heavily right now, but what other things did you try?
Eat whole eggs, not egg whites. Eat poultry with the skin. Ditch the coconut flakes and almond milk. If you like coconut, buy a coconut.
Discarding yolks, drying out coconuts to make flakes and turning almonds into liquid are all processes that make foods less paleo and may be making your attempt at weightloss more difficult.
as you are following Paleo diet just give it a time. stick to the plan and it will work for you. though many people consider it a tough diet to follow but if you can manage the starting period everything will be alright. eat quick healthy meals and maintain a regular life.
Big guy eating too little? 1 Answer