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Losing Weight Too Fast?

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  • Losing Weight Too Fast?

    I apologize if this has been posted already - I did use the search function, but I guess because of the common terms, I wasn't able to find what I was looking for. I have a few basic questions about losing weight when switching to primal.

    1) I've lost weight rapidly upon switching - so far, 5 lbs in just under a week. I understand that most of this is bloat, but I'm also not overweight to begin with (started at 150 lbs on a 5'6 frame). Most days, I'm eating well above the 1200-1500 calories recommended for weight loss and still losing. Is this normal? Will it taper or slow to a more normal 1-2 lbs. a week after I lose that initial bloat? (I'm guessing so, but just looking for confirmation). I'm happy I'm losing weight, but I also don't won't this to be unhealthy. This hinges a bit on question two.

    2) I've read that the fat cells are where your body stores toxins, and when you lose weight (fat), you are releasing those toxins into your body to deal with. Rapid weight loss can cause issues. Any suggestions on how to deal with this? I know that cilantro can help your body chelate heavy metals, but are there any other tips or supplements I should look into? Should I be concerned with how quickly I'm losing, or does this only become an issue for the overweight who lose much more rapidly for a more extended period of time?

    I apologize if this has already been covered or is in the book, which I won't have the chance to read until this weekend. I've just never lost this much weight this quickly before, and I'm a worrywart by nature. Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Our bodies strive for a healthy balance if we fuel it properly and get out of it's way. If you are fairly healthy starting out, it will soon balance just by eating right. Cilantro is a tasty additive, so eat cilantro for whatever reasons.
    There's a crack inside of everything, that's how the light gets in. ~Leonard Cohen
    Journal, From Sick to Fit:


    • #3
      My surmise is that the weight loss will taper some, although people's experiences may vary. If you previously ate more carbs and suddenly lowered your intake through PB, you're losing water associated with glycogen stores as you retrain your body to burn fat. If you're eating the right foods now, the weight loss will take care of itself, so I wouldn't worry about the numbers per se.

      As for toxins, unless your fat cells are storing mercury or heavy metals, I don't think you'd need to supplement or eat cilantro, but of course eating cilantro won't hurt. The toxins -- preservatives, pesticides, herbicides, additives -- will be screened out by your liver. If anything, there may be some temporary discomfort, headaches, or just feeling "off the mark."

      In short, I wouldn't worry about either point so long as you are eating according to PB.


      • #4
        I started at 117 lbs (some of that TOM bloat). I lost 5 lbs the first week. Then it slowed down, but I have been steadily losing ounces almost every day since then (and I'm only into my 3rd week). I wouldn't worry about the quick loss being unhealthy - it's mostly water.

        So yes, I'd say the initial quick loss will slow.

        As for toxins being released... I don't know for sure (perhaps someone with more knowledge can help out), but I would think that this release would be slow... the same way fat loss is slow. So I don't think you're going to like, overdose on toxins or anything by losing the weight.
        Female, 40 yrs old, 5', 120 lbs (post-pregnancy)
        Went Primal January 2, 2012!

        Paleo Cooking for Cavekids cookbook


        • #5
          (1) Too early to tell what your real rate of weight loss is.

          (2) I have some mercury poisoning symptoms return when I lose weight fast (1-2 lbs a week), e.g. low blood pressure, chronic cattarh. Could be due to oestrogen released too. I didn't expect mercury to be dumped in fat as it's a metal, but apparently it can be. I eat a lot of cilantro and drink a lot of green tea as a general detoxer in between meals to minimise blocking of iron and magnesium absorption. As primal is low-toxin, this helps the body cope with toxins released from fat stores. So it pays to be strict!

          Three or more extended periods of rapid weight loss (2 lb + a week) have been found to double the risk of female cancers due to the oestrogen released from fat stores. Sorry I don't have a reference - I used to proofread biomedical journals and that's where I got that information. Obviously, any hormones released can cause various symptoms and I've seen quite a few female MDA readers report these.
          Last edited by paleo-bunny; 01-18-2012, 09:17 AM. Reason: clarification
          F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.


          • #6
            Good to know! Thanks, everyone. I had a feeling that there wasn't anything to be overly concerned about, but I like to be proactive, rather than reactive. I'll throw some cilantro in with my eggs in the morning and make sure to remember to take some beet kvass each day to support my liver and not worry about it unless this keeps up for some time.


            • #7
              It will slow down, when I first started low carbing before I came here, I lost 11kgs in 2 weeks and then it slowed dramatically, and I lost 29.5 total (inlc the 11kgs) in 5 months - but I was grossly overweight (see siggie) to start. You will start to build up more muscle as you exercise on your new Primal Lifestyle.
              F 58 / 170cms / SW 131.5 kgs / Current 112.4/ GW 65
              following Primal Lifestyle and swimming my way to health

              My Primal Blog / Photo Blog / RedBubble shop / My Calendars / My Facebook


              • #8
                Considering your starting weight, I'd guess that your weight loss will slow down to anywhere between a quarter of a pound and a pound per week after the first 1-2 weeks (the rate fluctuating on where you are in your cycle), depending on how strictly you follow your eating plan. A lot of women maintain their weight on Primal unless they count carbs (to keep it low) and protein (to keep it high). Of course, that doesn't mean you're not losing fat, you'll probably gradually lose dress sizes as you replace fat with muscle over time.

                I agree that you *might* feel a little crummy if you're burning "dirty fat" (so to speak), but I have a feeling that to suffer from very adverse reactions to fat-stored toxins, you'd have to be losing a significant amount of body FAT (as opposed to weight) each week. The closer to your ideal body composition you get, the harder it is to shed a lot of fat at once.

                Honestly I think it's more common to get carb flu symptoms than symptoms from fat toxicity. Perhaps simply drinking a lot of water will help all around.
                ~elaine. twitter, primal journal.

                Originally posted by vontrapp
                CoWorker: What? Cmon live a little.
                Me: No thanks, I'd rather live a lot.