Weight loss not happening


CaseyD

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I'm going to go full detail here, so this will be long.

I'm actually not technically on a Whole30, but I plan on starting one again soon. I'm actually in a 6 week local Paleo challenge which is a little less strict than the Whole30, but not by much. Prior to that, I actually did a Whole30, and then there was a week gap before starting this challenge.

I've been eating Paleo for the most part since last August. Before these challenges, I was about 60-40 with how well I was doing it. Some weeks 100%. I quit sugar in January. Since then, I've had a couple of relapses in the form of dark chocolate binges (as in a whole freaking bar at once, several days in a row).

Last year, I lost the rest of my pregnancy weight on a low-calorie/fat diet. I ended up gaining 15 pounds back when I quit the diet and have not been able to lose it again since starting Paleo. Not one single pound.

Let me give you a typical day for me, including exercise:

Breakfast: 2-3 eggs cooking in coconut oil with decaf coffee and a spoonful of coconut milk

Lunch: 1/2 lbs hamburger on lettuce, tomato, onion and bell pepper, avocado and a sweet potato with coconut oil

Snack: can of tuna in olive oil

Dinner: another 1/2 lbs or less portion of meat (fish, chicken, pork or more beef) with two vegetable sides (at least one in coconut oil) and sometimes a piece of fruit (like banana or berries).

Later, I usually have another snack which is usually a little bit of leftover meat from dinner.

Exercise is either 45 minutes of power yoga, a 20 minute or so CrossFit routine (or body weight interval workout), several miles of hiking around the city pushing a stroller, or an hour long bike ride. I also chase around a toddler all day and part of why I eat twice at night is because I don't get a chance to finish dinner.

The reason I tend to eat the sweet potato is because if I don't, I tend to feel like I'm starving within an hour of lunch. I also don't tolerate fruit so well. If I replace the potato with more fruit, my acne starts to flair up.

After doing this for a few months now, I'm really surprised that I haven't lost a single pound. Not one. My body shape is changing, but I am not dropping sizes either. Is it because I yo-yo dieted last year? Prior to my pregnancy, I had been the same weight for well over a decade (if that's relevant).

I really love the way I feel eating Paleo. I'm not concerned about my weight for any health reason except we're looking at having number two and I would like to start out at my old weight, if possible. I'm just really surprised that I'm not losing this weight.

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Casey,

Ignore. The. Scale.

It is MUCH easier to say that than to actually be able to do it, but honestly...it is deceiving, it is arbitrary, and it is a terrible marker of progress.

A good friend of mine is a fantastic example of this.

Here she is at 143 in November 2009: https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/180806_10150136598056085_625521084_7962069_4511228_n.jpg

And 143 again in November 2010: https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/181611_10150136598021085_625521084_7962066_3255508_n.jpg

And just for fun, 159 in May 2011: https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/226389_10150248520451085_625521084_8778400_6073073_n.jpg

You feel better and your body is changing for the better. I don't know what else to tell you besides ignore the scale!

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No kidding, those photos are amazing!

I think my biggest thing is that I am about 15 lbs heavier than I was pre-baby (and, a couple sizes larger) and I am scared of what I'm going to look like post second baby if I can't get off the first pregnancy pounds. Seeing those photos gives me a different perspective. If I don't look at the scale, I actually feel happy about how I look, regardless of what size clothes I'm wearing. Maybe I'm going about this whole body image thing the wrong way. ;)

Thanks for sharing those photos. I'll refer back to this thread every time I start to think about getting on the scale.

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WOW. Those pictures are amazing! The problem is... she didn't need to lose weight when she was at 143, she just got more awesome looking as she dropped fat and gained muscle. I am overweight and need to lose about 25 lbs to be at the top of my recommended weight range (which is a weight i can maintain. i gained all my weight when i quit drinking two years ago). I want to build muscle, too, but those 25 lbs coming off are essential to my overall health, as my body fat percentage indicates they need to go.

I'm on day 3 of my whole 30. I haven't tracked a thing, didn't step on the scale before hand, just trusting that this will kill the sugar demon that chases me. But I'm not going to lie. I need to get healthy. Part of that is losing weight. Should I make any alterations to the program to ensure that while I'm killing the sugar demon, I'm also dropping the fat %age?

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Hi Casey,

This is something that I have struggled with for YEARS! I'm 6'2", 210. I have a 36-38 waist (down from 40-42). After my first Whole30, I got down to 208 and that was the lowest my weight has been since high school. I look fit and trim and have had to have all my clothes taken in. However, I still focus too much on scale weight. It's one of the hardest things in the world to overcome, however I find I am much happier when I focus on more aeshtetic aspects such as clothing size, my wife more interested in having 'maritals' because I've slimmed down, etc.

Just my personal experience, but I know how difficult it can be to ignore the scale!

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Focus on eating well and exercising will and the rest will follow in time. It can take a while to undo the damage years of 'SAD' eating causes.

Also make sure that your stress, sleep and other lifestyle factors are improving. I know from parenting my four year old that 'not being stressed' and 'getting enough sleep' are sometimes incredibly hard goals to achieve!

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WOW. Those pictures are amazing! The problem is... she didn't need to lose weight when she was at 143, she just got more awesome looking as she dropped fat and gained muscle. I am overweight and need to lose about 25 lbs to be at the top of my recommended weight range (which is a weight i can maintain. i gained all my weight when i quit drinking two years ago). I want to build muscle, too, but those 25 lbs coming off are essential to my overall health, as my body fat percentage indicates they need to go.

I'm on day 3 of my whole 30. I haven't tracked a thing, didn't step on the scale before hand, just trusting that this will kill the sugar demon that chases me. But I'm not going to lie. I need to get healthy. Part of that is losing weight. Should I make any alterations to the program to ensure that while I'm killing the sugar demon, I'm also dropping the fat %age?

There are actually a whole bunch more pictures in that series that i didn't post, because they weren't really relevant to the point i was trying to make. She started, untrained and overweight, at 170ish. she wound up consciously dropping down to 135 via CrossFit. (the first pic at 143 is her on her way down). Then she switched to weightlifting and consciously worked to GAIN weight to get better at her sport. She's currently in the high 160s, i believe, and stronger than ever.

You should not make any changes to the whole30. This program IS about getting healthy and kicking unhealthy relationships with food, just as written. Keep going! :)

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Focus on eating well and exercising will and the rest will follow in time. It can take a while to undo the damage years of 'SAD' eating causes.

Also make sure that your stress, sleep and other lifestyle factors are improving. I know from parenting my four year old that 'not being stressed' and 'getting enough sleep' are sometimes incredibly hard goals to achieve!

I think that the parenting and stress factors are one of my biggest problems as well. I have four kids, two teenagers and two preschoolers (4 and 3 years old), plus working. The little ones are FINALLY sleeping a bit better and it has really helped me focus on something besides just getting through my day. I am only on day 4 of my whole30, but my stomach is noticeably smaller. I am really glad I am not allowed to look at the scale. The scale can really be your enemy.

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I think that the parenting and stress factors are one of my biggest problems as well. I have four kids, two teenagers and two preschoolers (4 and 3 years old), plus working. The little ones are FINALLY sleeping a bit better and it has really helped me focus on something besides just getting through my day. I am only on day 4 of my whole30, but my stomach is noticeably smaller. I am really glad I am not allowed to look at the scale. The scale can really be your enemy.

Yes, absolutely. Our boy didn't sleep through until 18 months and even now he sometimes wakes in the night for the toilet or if he has a cold. I remember that for the first 18 months I felt like a zombie and struggled with nutrition and exercise.

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  • 3 months later...

I'm going to throw a big Amen to what Matt (and several others) have said. You CANNOT underestimate stress and sleep in this equation. I'm a mom myself, with two preschoolers who have never been great sleepers. We're down to 1 or 2 wake-ups at night and I'm finally beginning to lose the belly-button-bulge. If you've got little ones, you have to make a concerted effort to de-stress any way you can.

And, just to add to the anti-scale sentiment: I am 5'0. I have lost 15 lbs, then gained 5 and lost them, then gained back 10 lbs of scale weight eating this way. In that time, I dropped 3 pant sizes and have not gone back up, even though all the gains. The scale weight you see is a reflection of so much more than your bone/muscle/fat/bikini composition.

I think you'll get this nailed down, Casey, you've just got to be patient and ... relax.

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  • 4 years later...

Really, if you're in the join Whole 30 section of the forum, you shouldn't be getting on the scale. It literally scares the fat and confuses the newbies. Rules are rules. No scale. 

Weighing in on this subject, the scales are only one data point. You're either dieting or you're not. There's really no middle ground with the scales.

As ReneeLee stated above....

Ignore. The. Scale.

It is MUCH easier to say that than to actually be able to do it, but honestly...it is deceiving, it is arbitrary, and it is a terrible marker of progress.

You should not make any changes to the whole30. This program IS about getting healthy and kicking unhealthy relationships with food, just as written.

If this is a repeat Whole 30, the rules still apply. No scales. If rebound was found after the first time with weighing on the scale, try it the correct way.  The way without weighing on the scale.

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