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  • It's not working! :(

    Hi everyone,

    I was wondering if people could point out where I am going wrong? I heard about the primal diet through a friend of mine and, for the most part, I've been following it quite well. However, in the past few of weeks, I have had a few meals where I cheated and I seem to have gained a lot (I don't weight myself, I'm just going by my clothes)! Obviously, this makes me sad.

    Anyway, for the past week and a half, I have been good and exercising, but it doesn't seem to have made any difference. Also, I am shocked at how much I have gained because even if I cheated, for the most part I was still sticking to it. So, I was wondering if I could give you an example of what I eat and do, and if you could tell me if it's OK, please?


    Tea with full fat milk
    2 eggs fried in butter + bowl of full fat yogurt and (possibly) a tablespoon of honey

    Another bowl of yogurt/10 almonds or a plum/orange/apple + tea

    Lunch: Goats cheese/chicken salad or roasted peppers with some eggs or high fat meat



    Same as mid-morning snack or possibly no snack at all

    Dinner: Something similar to lunch but probably bigger + probably some yogurt or fruit plus a herbal tea (I really like tea b/c I'm British!)

    Now...I have to admit that I am very fond of amaretto and I may have had a couple of glasses (not more than one at a time) in the past week. Is this going to make a big difference?

    I really have not even touched bread or potatoes or grains at all in the past 2 weeks.

    I walk quite a bit and I run maybe 3 times a week for about 30 minutes at a time. I live in Italy and there is no gym near me so interval training is not as easy as it might be if I were in a gym. I have started to do some pilates youtube videos too.

    Where am I really going wrong? I'm so envious of these people who are losing 10 pounds at a time! That is the dream

    Thank you for your help, guys!
    Last edited by Romana; 11-21-2012, 09:00 AM.

  • #2
    You seem to be eating a lot of dairy. Many people have a harder time losing weight while eating dairy, so maybe that could be part of the problem. Maybe you could cut the yogurt down to just once a day and see if that helps.

    Also, sounds like you have only been at it for two weeks or so? You have to give it time. Give it a few months before you throw in the towel and decide that it isn't working. Believe me, I understand how frustrating it is, I was in your position not too long ago. Be patient and changes will happen. Hare you living heavy and sleeping well? Playing at all? Those are all important too.


    • #3
      Why so many snacks? Paleo isn't an excuse to eat lots of food just because its "healthy" for you. For instance breakfast is good, but then you have snack which seems completely unnecessary. Lunch looks good but then another snack.
      The alcohol won't make any significant difference unless you actually start binge drinking it.

      And from what you are saying you have only done primal for a couple of weeks. I can healthily lose 1-2 pounds a week (0.5kg) myself, as a guy, and that is what you should be expecting. People losing 10 pounds a week/couple of weeks are not the norm. Additionally weight flucutations can eclipse what fat loss you have achieved. For instance how hydrated, how much food is in your belly, how much crap their is in your colon etc.

      So, re asses if you are eating too much. In general you should never eat to you are full, and eat only when hungry. Additionally keep at it. For most people weight loss is a slow process, do not let glamour magazines and extreme stories make you believe that you can drop 5 pounds in a week normally (unless you are extremely fat). - Gaming, Food Reviews and Life in Singapore


      • #4
        I gained weight at first. I think it was due to portion sizes.

        How big is a bowl of yogurt? At least in the US, our bowls are now gargantuan.

        How many ounces of meat? 4 oz means fewer calories than 8 oz.

        Is the chicken salad a green salad with some chicken on it or cut-up chicken in a mayonnaise based dressing? Big difference.

        An ounce of Amaretto contains about 100 calories and 15 grams of carbs. Do you have a mug of it?

        Things like that all add up. I gained at least 3 pounds in the first month and seemed to add a layer of fat where I did not have it before. I found that I really needed to reduce the amount of protein and increase the vegetables to maintain or drop any weight. It is different for everyone.

        I would definitely listen to what others are saying and reduce the amount of dairy. Substitute a bunch of carrots, celery and peppers for a snack if you need one.

        You can also try intermittent fasting? Skip the breakfast except for the tea. Try adding heavy whipping cream to the tea for a bolus of fat in the morning to carry you over?

        What works for some will not work for others. It is so easy to read the success stories and assume if you do what they do you will be as successful. Often all you do is get discouraged. I know I did.

        Hang int here! dumping the grains is great.
        Age 48
        Start date: 7-5-12
        GOAL: to live to be a healthy and active 100

        "In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties."
        Henri Frederic Amiel


        • #5
          Way, way, too much dairy and nuts. Yogurt has natural milk sugars in it, so your carb level may be much higher than what you anticipate. Plus, many people have sweetened yogurt which is NOT GOOD.

          Start with eating three meals a day. Drop the snack habit. This will take work. Add veggies, especially deep green leafy veggies, into each meal. Limit yogurt to once per day tops, and include meats with each of your meals. I would drop the nuts for a few weeks, as they pack a lot of calories and carbs into a small handful, and are often not very satisfying. Keep the tea, but make sure you are not adding sugar to it. Switch to a drop or two of heavy cream (no milk sugars) instead of milk.

          How is your sleep? Are you getting enough rest?

          You cannot undo years of damage in 1-2 weeks. Your body probably hasn't even figured out what is going on yet. This is going to take time. If you have weight to lose, your body must first go through a metabolic healing process before weight can be lost. For many it can take over a month before they start seeing weight loss. However, there are other changes that can occur that let you know this is working.


          • #6
            Try this instead:

            4oz meat (beef, ground beef, liver, salmon, eggs, chicken)
            As much vegetables as you want

            4oz meat (beef, ground beef, liver, salmon, eggs, chicken)
            As much vegetables as you want

            4oz meat (beef, ground beef, liver, salmon, eggs, chicken)
            As much vegetables as you want
            A small sweet potato
            butter if you need it

            You can thank me later.
            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


            • #7
              Start with eliminating fruit. If it doesn't help, nix dairy. Then, it will be the nuts' turn. At the moment your eating looks like you are interested in treats rather than meals. I go on that spree once in a while and always gain weight when I do.
              My Journal:
              When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


              • #8
                You do have to give it time to adjust. Basically your diet sounds lovely but not great for weight loss IMO.
                Gear you food more around meat, good fat and veg. Think more of fruit and dairy as a treat. Cut out the snacks altogether, only have something very small if you feel really uncomfortable. Gradually lower your portions. You will be amazed how much less you will want or need to eat with more fat in your diet. Eat very slowly, really taste your food. Stop as soon as you feel sated, not full. Just some suggestions, hope something helps
                Started Primal June 2012 at 148.5lbs, and 5' 1", reached goal weight in 5 months.
                Lowest weight 93lbs - too thin. Now stable at around 100lbs much better weight for me at my age.
                Primal, minus eggs, dairy and a myriad of other allergens.


                • #9
                  So far looks like pretty sound advice. I agree about dumping all the dairy and limiting fruits and nuts. I eat about 1 apple per day and hardly touch nuts. Dairy is limited to a couple cheese slices every few days. Also 1-2 weeks is not enough time. All the reading you do on this lifestyle recommends giving it 30 days before making any judgements. If you must snack try some olives, maybe some small amounts of natural hard cheese, pickles, veg, dark chocolate every once in awhile. Snack only once a day at first and gradually wean yourself to every couple days. If you find you are starving between meals then increase your meat/veg at meal time. Try these tweaks and check back in a month.


                  • #10
                    Amaretto has a lot of sugar. There are a lot of recipes for homemade liqueurs online, and I'm thinking you could do one of those with a sugar substitute like stevia.
                    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


                    Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.


                    • #11
                      Far too much yogurt and fruit. And do you add honey to your tea? I do with my first cup but nothing after that.

                      Give the diet 21 days, follow it strictly. It will work for you.
                      Primal since August 2012. CW: 317.


                      • #12
                        For me, calories count, so I count them.


                        • #13
                          1. Stop snacking. Eat real meals made up of fat, meat and veg. Eat enough to satisfy you and the need to snack goes away.

                          2. Give it 6 weeks. Women tend to lose more slowly than men.

                          3. Stop comparing yourself to others.

                          4. Aim to eat strictly primal. Doing it 'fairly well' for a couple of weeks isn't going to do much.

                          5. Read the book.
                          *My obligatory intro

                          There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo

                          DAINTY CAN KISS MY PRIMAL BACKSIDE. ~~ Crabcakes


                          • #14
                            I'm a dairyholic, so I understand cutting down isn't easy.

                            The thing to remember is that primal for general health and primal while slimming down are 2 different things. You can either wait for the primal thing to bring your weight down or you can actively slim.

                            If slimming then all the usual stuff still applies, ie a reduction in calories/portions/frequency of eating and yep, even steering away from excessive fat.

                            Once you're entirely primal and at your ideal weight you'll already have fewer cravings AND the fat-burning ability to tuck into hi-fat foods such as nuts and fatty meats.

                            I know there's a general attitude that just going primal will make you slim, that you don't need to care about calories and all that. Maybe that's entirely true but if you want to slim, why not speed things up by primal slimming?



                            • #15
                              Originally posted by InSearchOfAbs View Post
                              For me, calories count, so I count them.
                              I second this. It's easy to underestimate how many calories you're eating. How much is a "bowl of yogurt" or a "handful of nuts?" Both can be pretty high in calories. One thing that CW got right (more or less) is that a caloric deficit is needed for most people to lose weight. Try tracking it for a few days and then you'll be able to see where you can make adjustments.