About me: 40 y.o., female. Mostly paleo since June of this year. I experienced an initial 10 lb weight loss and not a lb. more since. 5'6", 160 lbs. I carry a good bit of this weight in my midsection. I'm not obese, but I have some fat to lose.
I have been exercising intermittently, but I joined a new gym and am beginning a more regular routine - 3x week, weights plus some cardio. (I tried Crossfit, and liked it, but the box near me is pretty poorly managed, so it didn't work out.) I'm still pretty out of shape now, so I can't blame muscle weight for my 160 lbs.
A little more about my way of eating -- as I said, mostly paleo. I try to stick with pastured eggs/meats when possible. I've completely cut out gluten (made a huge difference for me in terms of IBS, and it's the main reason I continue to eat this way), eat very minimal sugar, and not much in the way of white potatoes/rice (I find they don't mess up my blood sugar much at all). No corn or soy. Lots of meat, eggs, veggies, and some fruit. I avoid most dairy but use cream (local, organic) in my coffee and eat the very occasional bit of cheese. I eat nuts infrequently.
Weaknesses include: a couple glasses of wine several times a week, and paleo baked goods -- I am a baker at heart, couldn't give that up. But I do keep it paleo, and watch my portions. I cook with ghee, pastured butter, bacon fat, and coconut oil.
Other possibly relevant info: I have Graves disease (autoimmune overactive thyroid) which I manage successfully with meds (Tapazole). Been on a low/moderate dose of Zoloft for more than a decade, although I'm attempting to get off it. I get pretty good sleep -- 7-8 hours a night.
Any tips? Based on this info, what would you recommend I try -- besides a time machine to revisit my body pre-kids at age 25? :) Thanks, all.
Edited to add: I supplement with a daily multivitamin, 1000 mg fish oil, 6000 iu vitamin D, and magnesium in the form of Natural Calm.
As soon as you mentioned baked goods, I thought, "Nut meal!" Even if you don't use sweeteners of any kind, you're getting a full serving of nuts in every portion. Now, I don't claim that's the problem but it could be.
Anytime someone complains of a weight stall, I think of 2 things: first, and I'm sure you know this, eating ancestrally is not necessarily a weight loss regime particularly if you include alcoholic drinks and a significant amount of nuts. Second, the first thing I'd try is a large breakfast of nothing but fatty meat. That should take the edge off your physical hunger and fire up your metabolism so it doesn't nag you for carbs right away.
This probably won't be a popular answer on this site but I found after a year of strict paleo and keeping carbs to about 50per day (eating meat and veggies, no fruit, some coconut, fats: butter, coconut oil and olive oil, avocados) that I gained weight and couldn't lose any weight on paleo without counting calories. I went to Japan for a month and ate mostly fish and steamed veggies and just ate a whole lot less cos I was working so much--like about 1200 calories a day cos everything is marked there for calories and it's much easier to know what you're taking in--plus there are many more options for low calorie foods. I also ate more carbs but still not a lot--and ate some miso and soy sauce, sesame oil. I lost a nice chunk of weight on the caloric restriction and am now pretty convinced at just how much calories really do matter. And as a 44 year old woman, I don't think I have as many calories to play around with and suspect many other women over 40 can't eat the calories they used to be able to. Take that for what it's worth, but I think you should count calories and suspect that the ghee, butter, bacon fat and coconut fat you're taking in are putting your calories too high and you'd do better on lean meats, fish and steamed veggies with less than a tsp fat per meal. And yes, during my paleo year I was taking fish oil, D3, sleeping 8 hours, sprinting, lifting weights 1-2x/wk--everything else dialed in. I'm still paleo and trying to eat more fish and chicken since it's hard to keep myself from gaining weight with the higher fat stuff.
I lost a lot of weight cutting out grains, limiting carbs and eating paleo. After losing about 30lb I stalled. A couple of things got me losing weight again (1) I had to increase carbs from about 25g too about 50g, because of the cortisol effects; (2) making sure protein was moderate, to avoid getting extra glucose from any excess of protein and (3) checking how much I was eating, in other words, counting calories, which meant that most of my energy was from fat but that this was limited too. In particular, I cut out nuts, as they are too more-ish.
I also took up IF, eating between 1 pm and 8-9pm.
Since then, I have lost another 15lb, more slowly than the first 30lb.
I check what I eat on Fitday from time to time - totting up the calorie count can be surprising.
Add in ONE fasting day a WEEK and see how it goes. You should have a measurable difference on your belly circ after two weeks as long as the day you measure is not right before(or during) your period. Don't overeat the following day. This will take care of any protein up-downregulation issues, help your insulin sensitivity, clear your bloodstream of carbs, lower your daily caloric intake for ALL DAYS of that week (when you divide out the calories), up your norepinephrine levels, etc. It will NOT cause your body to go into 'starvation mode' or any other such nonsense.
I'd not worry about losing weight constantly, but you same as with any 'diet' you want to try and get some momentum and have several good days in a row - in our case just good whole foods, meats, veg, fats and skip the nuts and baked goods etc. You don't have to give them up, just don't eat them every day (I don't know if you actually do, but I know I do given the opportunity!)
Exercise-wise, it shouldn't take much. Do the classes if you enjoy them and you don't find it too exhausting and interfering with your sleep and focus, but one day a week of intense cardio (ie. unable to continue after 15 minutes) and one day of heavy weights (or preferably bodyweight exercise) that is similarly intense. You can push these out to 20-30 minutes, but the important thing for increasing fitness and triggering fat loss is to put everything into them and make it as intense as possible. Outside of that, just walk as much as is convenient (or gentle cycle etc.)
I like to lose weights in stages. Right now, I'm holding steady after losing 20 lbs since June. I need to get serious again because I've been holding at about 155 for about 2 months. My gut instinct though (yes, very unscientific, I know) is that it's good for my body to get used to the new weight before moving on. Kind of like the base camps on Mt. Everest, hee hee hee.