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Any weight loss advice for the last 10 pounds? What am I doing wrong?

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Updated 18 minutes ago
Created December 29, 2013 at 9:05 AM

So I have been paleo around 5 months. For the first month or so I was moderate carb just getting used to things, then I went low carb and am now pretty low carb. (percentages are around 50-65% fat, 20-35% protein and 15% carbs) I was walking a lot and throwing in one or two 24 hour fasts a week but that's about it until a month ago.

My whole goal is to lose about 10 pounds. Right now I'm 5'7" and 143 pounds give or take (female, 19 years old) I don't really cheat much, but since its Christmas I have eaten quite a bit of dark chocolate (oops..) while maintaining my percentages.

For the past month I've done the following...

S: weight lifting type work, lower body

M: HIIT

T: 3 sets of crunches, lunges, and push-ups ( just about 20 min to warm me up in the morning)

W: same as above

TH: long, slow run (I monitor my heart rate so no chronic cardio)

F: rest

Sat: weight lifting type work, upper body

Saturdays and Sundays are high carb low fat days, high calorie, the rest of the week is low carb and reduced calories with a 24 hour fast thrown in. I don't/haven't eaten any nuts, dairy or fruit, except a few berries occasionally. Most days I eat 2 large meals, or 3 smallish ones. I make sure to sleep a lot and am currently low stress (on winter break).

So far, I have gained a lot of muscle, which is really apparent. That's nice but I'd also like to lose some fat. All I seem to be doing is getting heftier looking... It's like no matter what I do I can't lose any fat, being in ketosis did nothing, ketosis plus IF and walking did nothing, and now I'm actually working at it and still nothing.

In my SAD days, the only time I was lean looking was during cross country season, which involved about 35 miles of running a week. During the spring I did sprints for track, which usually ended up with me gaining a lot of muscle. This is why I'm hesitant to do more HIIT, which is essentially how I trained for sprint work, because it just tended to add on a lot of muscle, with some flub on top (same thing thats happening now)

I have always had the greatest results from low to moderate intensity cardio. My leanest time was during the summer because I'd go backpacking. The one time I was at my goal weight of 133 was after backpacking fasted (unintentionally) for 60 miles. I literally lost 7ish pounds in 3 days, easily. And I know it wasn't all water weight because it stayed off for a while.

I'm just looking for some advice. Should I add in more HIIT and reduce the weights, or add in more long running, or just go completely back to cross country days and run until I lose the weight. Should I reduce calories more (right now during the week I'm at 1200-1450, weekends 2000ish) Sorry for the long post. D: I'm just trying to be systematic about this to find something that works, despite my impatience. It's just so frustrating! The one thing I think might be affecting me is my birth control pill, but I'd rather try everything before going off of it.

6ffe00e261b9efa69498eb714ff20297
0 · January 06, 2014 at 7:20 AM

Thanks for the advice! :)

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4383 · December 31, 2013 at 6:44 AM

it is definitely worth monitoring your sleep. sleep is a big part of the puzzle. if your sleep is poor you will not lose those last 10 pounds.

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4383 · December 31, 2013 at 6:36 AM

personally i do not see the exercise as excessive for a 19 year old; sat: half body, sun:the other half, tue: not really worth counting, just 20 mins of core stuff. tho i would swap the run on thu for something else.

6ffe00e261b9efa69498eb714ff20297
0 · December 31, 2013 at 6:34 AM

Thanks, I seem to do better with proteins in the morning and carbs in the evening actually so I will look into that! And I do have trouble sleeping on the fasted days, although I'm not really too hungry I get into that weird wired/hyper fasted state and can't sleep. So that's probably no good.

52ad7ee5eef0d7339d0977bd7a2ceb8a
416 · December 31, 2013 at 3:59 AM

too much exercise.

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4383 · December 31, 2013 at 6:31 AM

here's my 2c,

i would drop the 24 hr fast (or fasts), still fast if you want, around 16 hrs is prob good, or at least have an evening meal so you do not go to bed having not eaten all day (how is your sleep on the nights you have not eaten all day...mine was always poor).

not sure what the "long, slow run" you do on Thus is doing for you, is it a 'fun' thing...i would swap for a bike ride if you can, at least that will remove the impact stresses put on your body by the long runs.

& lastly, if cycling you carbs & cals is not working for you, change it. Personally i am not a fan of low carb so i follow Jaminets' kind of macros & way of eating. Jaminet prefers meals weighted towards proteins earlier in the day & weighted towards carbs in the evening, with fat intake stable.

Jaminet Links,

1. the-diet

2. perfect-health-diet-weight-loss-version (slightly old, updated a bit in the new book)

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4383 · December 31, 2013 at 6:44 AM

it is definitely worth monitoring your sleep. sleep is a big part of the puzzle. if your sleep is poor you will not lose those last 10 pounds.

6ffe00e261b9efa69498eb714ff20297
0 · December 31, 2013 at 6:34 AM

Thanks, I seem to do better with proteins in the morning and carbs in the evening actually so I will look into that! And I do have trouble sleeping on the fasted days, although I'm not really too hungry I get into that weird wired/hyper fasted state and can't sleep. So that's probably no good.

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0 · March 07, 2014 at 10:35 PM

So I just wanted to post an update about what ended up working for me. About 4 weeks ago I began an ADF style eating pattern (2-3 days only eating 700-900 cal, 4-5 days eating normally with cheats here and there). On the normal days I eat around 60ish grams of carbs (sometimes more if I feel I need it) and on the fasting days I make sure to eat a lot of protein to prevent too much muscle loss. The first week I felt crappy, as to be expected, getting used to fasted state again etc. but since then its been super easy. I break my fast with a late dinner, because I can't sleep if I feel hungry. I still have a lot of energy, and am actually able to do my sprints and stuff a lot faster now its crazy. I also just feel great in general. Hunger is a non issue on fasting days, so I find this a lot easier to follow than the normal 1500 cal restriction a day thing, I hate calorie restrictions! I make sure to get a good amount of sleep and walk a lot. I haven't weighed myself but I certainly look leaner and lost an inch in my waist. Obviously this isn't sustainable long term, I plan to reach my goal and then eat normally again, perhaps with random fasting days just because I really think there are a lot of benefits.

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80 · December 31, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Being a 19 year old female, I would increase carbs. I started Paleo when I was 18 or 19 and stopped taking birth control, the low carb had a horrible effect on me and I haven't seen a cycle in 2 years. (22 now) Every body is different, and I thought mine was fine on LC, but it stopped working so did so more research and being so young, I just recommend making sure you get enough calories for your body. I listened to every podcast and read every forum and they all said "dont fear fat" so I was eating VLC for a while and totally screwed myself over. My last 5-10lbs flew off once I SLOWLY started adding in more carbs and lowered my fat.

Worth a try! Just had to let you know my story because I really wish I was more informed from the beginning on nutrition.

All the best!

6ffe00e261b9efa69498eb714ff20297
0 · January 06, 2014 at 7:20 AM

Thanks for the advice! :)

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509 · December 31, 2013 at 6:32 AM

I am in the same exact boat as yoi

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1536 · December 29, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Like a lot of people will tell you, you need to be on top of the sleep game. For me that is 7-8 hours. For other people that sometimes means more. If you aren't getting enough sleep plus you are throwing in the fasting, that could cause a huge stress response. Thus not being able to lose the weight. Food-wise, I saw a pretty big reduction in weight when I dropped my fat intake and increased the carbs. You'll get quite a few people that are anti carbs even if it's in the form of fruit and sweet potato but I for one have always faired better on a higher carb version of Paleo. My carb intake never dips below 40% anymore. It has helped me with satiaty immensley

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