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100+ pounds overweight and plateauing after only a month

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  • 100+ pounds overweight and plateauing after only a month


    I have been following a pretty darn strict paleo diet for 2 1/2 months now. I eat no sugar, dairy, grains, starchy veggies except sweet potatoes, legumes, or alcohol. I am significantly overweight (more than 100 lbs) and after loosing around 12 pounds in the first month I have plateaued and even gained weight this next month and a half. Its really frustrating. I also felt amazing the first month (well after I got through the first week of sugar withdrawal) but lately I feel more lethargic again. Here is a sample of what I have been eating:

    Breakfast- 3 eggs and pork sausage or bacon (no sugar) and sometimes a green tea
    Lunch- salad with whatever protein I had for dinner or sometimes canned tuna fish or hard boiled eggs if I don't have leftovers. I use olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dressing. I will often have half an avocado in the salad as well as tomatoes and carrots.
    Dinner- Protein (chicken, ground beef, lamb, pork chop, fish) and veggies (brussel sprouts, broccoli, salad, kale, sweet potato, artichoke are some of my favorites). Sometimes I will make a soup or stew or curry instead.
    Snacks- late afternoon sometimes I have an apple with almond butter or a grapefruit. Ocassionally after dinner I will mix coconut milk (sugar free) with frozen berries, peaches, or banana.

    I cook in butter, duck fat, coconut oil, or olive oil.

    My portions especially for dinner tend to be large and I use butter plentifully. I started exercising 3-4 times a week recently- walking, swimming, sprints, weight lifting. I have a somewhat stressful job but try to use my days off to relax.

    I also notice that things feel way worse the two weeks before I menstruate. I feel ravenous, low energy, and grumpy.

    Any thoughts on why I might have plateaued so soon? I do also measure myself and those measurements have not budged for the past month either.

    Maybe I need to really restrict fruit and carbs for awhile? Maybe I need to have smaller portion sizes? Maybe more walking? Thoughts?


  • #2
    Here's the problem, mister, men aren't supposed to be menstruating! Also, at you height of 7'3" you may be at a normal weight for your age of 92. Oh, wait, we don't know any of that...


    • #3
      Ok, here is the data.... Female, age 33, 265 lbs 5'5"


      • #4
        weight loss stalling after starting exercise makes sense, but not if you've plateaued on fat loss too. sounds like you're eating a pretty decent diet. cutting back the carbs, or just the fruit, might help to kick start that loss a little more. also, have you considered tracking your food on something like paleotrack or fitday? you might find that reducing your calories or adjusting your ratios to what works best for you (once you figure that out) is easier at first by keeping all that information somewhere.

        if it's been a month, then just shaking things up a bit will probably do the trick...reduce your calories, change up your macros, eat similarly, but with different foods, try calorie cycling, very low carb with refeeds, etc.

        also, how is your sleep?


        • #5
          Thanks! Sleep is pretty good. I try to get 8 hours a night. I usually wake up pretty energized after 8 hours, sometimes I wake up energized after only 6 but I just go with it. On days I exercise I fall asleep no problem other days sometimes it takes 15/20 min until I fall asleep.


          • #6
            If you are female, you have to realize a couple things:

            1: Calories count. I don't care if it is primal, you are going to have to eat smaller amounts of food.

            2: You need to be hungry. And you need to move significantly. And it isn't going to change any time soon.

            I am female, and have worked with a significant number of grossly overweight women. They tend to not be willing to tolerate any discomfort, and to not be able to sustain an effort, so prove me wrong. You need to eat normal sized portions of food: 3-4 oz of meet, a pile of barely buttered veggies, a minimum of carbs. Drink water. Watch the coconut and nuts and nut butters: They have a ton of fat and calories.


            • #7
              You haven't said you are tracking your intake, so I assume you are not. The unfortunate fact is that even though using this program there are a lot of people who spontaneously lose weight, reach their ideal body weight, and then stay there indefinitely, there are also a lot of overweight people who are not in touch with their hunger sufficiently to make that work for them. It is easy to overeat on this diet if you are not in touch with your hunger.

              You are probably eating a lot more calories than you think you are. Studies show that most people underestimate their calorie intake by 50%!

              I suggest measuring, weighing, and recording everything you eat for a week. Enter it on one of those diet websites that calculates your macros for you. Compare it with your recommended intake. Total calorie intake will need to be reduced if you are not losing weight.


              • #8
                Ok you are my height, weight is a bit more, and younger. My suggestion is to cut out the sugars(fruits), lower the carbs, and keep to organic items. And look at your calories. Reread Primal Blueprint and try reading the Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living. Another suggestion is to cut out dairy. I "CAN'T" do dairy, yes that means butter , but there are some coconut substitutes out there. Sometimes it's foods that are causing you to keep the weight on. I eat an ounce of cheese and forget it (and yes I love cheese, it loves me back, just so much it sticks around my belly ). Just some thoughts from someone struggling as well.

                Everything posted above is true. I use MyFitness Pal and am watching my calories and monitoring my activity and both are giving me incentive to work hard.

                Go to this Forum:

                Last edited by ShannonWinchester; 03-12-2013, 09:54 AM.


                • #9
                  Thanks, I am up for entering my food. I did it when I first started to get a sense of macro nutrients. It is just funny to me that I did not change much and plateaued so quickly.

                  Also I have not been eating dairy except butter. Do you think giving up butter makes a difference in weight loss?


                  • #10
                    I'd track calories before I started eliminating fruit. I eat 3 eggs a day for breakfast. Depending on how much butter I use that can be 210 calories or 310 calories. Fats can add up. Coconut milk is a fat bomb and calorie bomb. I adore it. But really, if you are used to a SAD diet, you owe it to yourself to learn about how fat calories add up. I can overeat fat.... why yes I can!

                    I think when you are active, you need to bump up your carbs and protein and cut back your fat. I feel a bazillion times better when I have some carbs and work out.

                    And I do agree, you might have to be a little hungry to lose.
                    You need to eat normal sized portions of food: 3-4 oz of meet, a pile of barely buttered veggies, a minimum of carbs.
                    I don't think you have to work that hard to lose though. Then you end up at 220 lbs and you eat 1000 calories a day and stall. Then you are really fucked.

                    So... if I were you, I'd register at Fitday and learn how much I was eating. Measure and weigh your food (not forever...). Probably 1800-2000 calories is a good average number for slow weight loss. I honestly think that first "bump" of weightloss is water and bloat from grains etc. Then if you replaced those calories with fat, your loss stalls.

                    Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!


                    • #11
                      I gain weight on 1800 cal/day, and I'm an active, 128 lb female who runs, lifts, and walks in addition to being on my feet for 3 12-hr shifts a don't need as much food as you think you do. Honestly, most of the female Paleo bloggers I see are not thin, but tending towards chunky. I'm not sure that you can get where you want to be without seriously working at it, and that means being hungry. Your resting metabolism probably needs less than 1000 calories to survive, assuming that you sit more than 4 hrs/day and sleep 8.....fat is essentially metabolically inactive tissue.


                      • #12
                        fitday drives me bananas. Go to or, they're much more user friendly.
                        That said, try applying what you're already doing to Eat More 2 Weigh Less concepts. Figure out your RMR and TDEE. My TDEE is about 2400 cals, so I try to eat 2000 cals minimum (especially since I'm breastfeeding). Fat is coming off, clothes are fitting better, even if my actual weight hasn't changed.
                        --Trish (Bork)
                        TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                        FOOD PORN BLOG!


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the responses. I think that I may have taken the "eat more fat" mantra too far. I think cutting back on some of the oils and butters I use, some fruit, and portion sizes will be a great place to start as well as keeping track of everything to get a better sense of where I am at. Any tips for when I feel hormonal and ravenous?


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lunalotus View Post
                            Thanks for the responses. I think that I may have taken the "eat more fat" mantra too far. I think cutting back on some of the oils and butters I use, some fruit, and portion sizes will be a great place to start as well as keeping track of everything to get a better sense of where I am at. Any tips for when I feel hormonal and ravenous?
                            I agree with your approach, once I started embracing the fats I stopped losing weight, and I think it's because I was overdoing it and the calories were sneaking up on me. I have the metabolism of a slug--my base for losing weight (when sedentary) is 1200 calories a day. I can eat more when I'm exercising regularly, but I still seem to gain if I go over 1500-1600 calories a day, period.

                            Strangely, I figured out that allowing myself some extra Primal carbs around that time of the month helped. Initially I was bloated and freaking out that I'd gained 3-5 lbs, but I'd lose those and a couple more by the end of my period. Sometimes I think the body does know what it needs, so I allow that in moderation. I keep my carbs on the low side the rest of the month though--not VLC, but I do limit things like fruit and sweet potatoes.


                            • #15
                              Definately drop the sweet potatoes, legumes, and alcohol (made from grains). is really simple.
                              "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase