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Confounded- almost to week 7

OK, so I bought the thing about us over 40s with multiple kiddos breeder types having more difficulty losing weight. So far 7 weeks in, I've lost not much more than a few pounds and a few inches total.

I just put the over 40 thing in my basket and went on program with 100% compliance in mind. I thought THIS week would be MY week to shine. Friday AM weigh in, zippo lost- that makes 3 weeks in a row with no loss. I only just began with kettlebells and have done a few sessions in the last 2 weeks- still not sure about my form and all that as I'm so new to the process- resisting working out overall ( head game here). I was sort of a 98% Primal eater, very clean and healthy before 4HB, but not getting enough calories or enough protein. I ate under 100 grams of carbs Primal each day then but did not lose. I thought my not eating enough problem would make it take a bit longer to adjust and even braced myself for possible gains early on.

When I did weight watchers over a decade ago, and the women over 45 would talk about their not losing, I'd thnk they were cheating or missing something. I'm sort of feeling their pain right now as I know what I am giving this my ALL and not seeing results I'd expect at this point.

I've had 2 real female cycles in the last 6 months so I bet that is messing some things up hormonally. I had one partial day of spotting several weeks back but nothing since.

I typically gain 3 pounds or so on DGW day and lose it by Wednesday, for the first month, I'd lose down a bit more after Wednesday but nothing since then.

Personally, I have some sh-t going on so stress is more than normal and sort of hitting a peak this week.

I have tweaked a couple of things like upping protein at meals and switching to lentils from pintos. My meals are repetitive. I've read and reread blog posts, pertinent forum posts, and the book. I unearthed some hidden sugars within the first 2 weeks. I NEVER cheat, not even a lick of jelly off of my finger when prepping food like PBJ for a kiddo.

Water intake is 3L+/day.

Pagg- I miss a dose practically daily (oops). Been using Pagg for 5+ weeks. Am I just wasting this supplement if not using it at every meal or should I be taking it 4 times/day no matter what?

Supplements: I take cal/mag, potassium, and B vitamins. I take valerian root and melatonin to help with sleep. I take iodine because my thyroid craves it.

Ice pack- average is 4 times/week.

Breakfast, usually is down my gullet completely within one hour of waking- usually more like within 30-40 minutes last bite taken. Definitely more than 30g protein as I was not quite there a few weeks back and started measuring.

I eat 3 meals/day. About 1 cup total beans/day, sometimes less. 1 cup+raw veggies or cooked w/ each meal. I shoot for 95 grams of protein and think I am getting more like 105 when I measure things.

I use NO sweeteners of any kind, natural, artificial or otherwise.

Foods I eat in some combination 6 days/week: (everything is organic- all labels are checked and rechecked when getting a new package)

homegrown here by us: grassfed beef and eggs

pastured chicken



turkey sausage (no sugar)

lentils (used to be pintos)







spices (nothing with fillers)

srirachi sauce- the kind with no sugar

homemade salad dressing

homemade mayo (maybe once/week)

tomatoes (a couple of times/week)

baby carrots (like 3-4 a couple of times/week)

almond butter (a couple of times/week)



coffee once in the aM

olive, grapseed, cocnut, and sesame oils

whey-less than once/week

I had cottage cheese once.

I made a coconut flour quiche crust once.

I had unsweetened almond milk twice with chia seeds and cinnamon.

on the 6 days of the week in the past 6+ weeks, I've had restaurant food maybe 6 times, 3 of those was Chipotle-following the rules- no dressing.

I've skipped a few meals when having a migraine. That was when I did the whey to try to get my protein in for the day and then I only did whey powder unsweetened plus ice and water.

My chiro said I need more exercise, but I am resisting that for some weird reason. I have the time to take walks or whatever, but it may be the current personal stress in my life makes it harder to get out the door or something. Last chiro appt, he said I was stuck in fight or flight, readjusted that point to get me off the edge of the cliff so to speak.

I'm sort of wondering if I need to get a thorough thyroid panel run, but I am not losing hair, cold, or other typical symptoms of hypo and my chiro muscles tested me and said thyroid looks happy, but of course, the stress would be what shows up the loudest so I'm going back in next week for a reassessment.

Thanks for any help, y'all. Maybe it is right there in front of me, and you can see my problem and help me out!

Ask anything I might have left out, and I'll post back what I am doing.

I'm discouraged and sad but still hopeful I can tweak this or correct some major whatever I am just missing!


  • JoyMc commented Oct 15th 2011:

    Thanks for al the support and feedback in advance!

  • JoyMc commented Oct 19th 2011:

    Doing better with stress relief "work". Scales going in right direction. I added coconut oil for calories and took out beans at this point except on kettlebell days. Chiro gave me black currant seed oil for my huevos makers. Stress situation is in full force, but I'm riding the wave as best I can.

    Beast Activity is still more rampant but recognizable.


The Best Answer

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just because you asked so nicely, try this:

between 4-6pm:

do 50-100 push ups (on your knees?) and 75 squats no weights (or kettlebell swings--are these ok with your back?). if you need to take breaks between that's ok.

then right after eat a big tri-tip steak, with lentils and spinach

(skip lentils earlier in the day)

get a really good nights sleep.

repeat twice a week Monday & Friday...

On Wednesday get a massage for $5 from one of the guys at the mall who makes you sit in a chair while lots of people walk by looking at you.

possibly move your cheat day to every 10 days.

and read the parts about fat and omega 3s

(it won't let me post a link so i posted it on your profile)

  • JoyMc commented Oct 15th 2011:

    I knew you'd have some cool strategy- thanks for pushing through the computer crash. My fats and omegas are derned good, but I will reread Tim's take again

    Oh yes, pushups will be girly ones, or I could maybe squeeze out 5 military. Squats are hard on my Knocked Knees' structure so I will adjust and get those in in correct/protective form to prevent injury.

    Maybe not a tri-tip steak but googled equivalent. I'll post what it is when I dig in freezer- a new steer slaughtered- should be here Monday. Maybe there will be something called tri-tip in there.

    Moving cheat day will not happen until my oldest's 18th B-day weekend next weekend, and then I will try that for Oct/November. Today is more controlled/planned.

    Sleep is an issue. Blue light?

    Have massage GC- will use.

  • JoyMc commented Oct 15th 2011:

    One thought on the timing of the exercise is this is adrenal resting time for 30 minutes on back everyday (Adrenal Stress- 21st Century Syndrome book). Should I exercise before or after the siesta? I'll post back or let me know what you know.

    Thanks soooooo much, dear Sir.

  • JoyMc commented Oct 16th 2011:

    I read the article on Omegas. I've been very Omega 3 heavy for quite some time and no grain for months so do not need that protocol. My Omega 6 intake is minimal. I've actually wondered if I'm Omega 6 deficient at times, but my chiro said it was all good.

    I know it is the Stress piece of the puzzle that I must address and adding in regular activity without going into Gym overdrive. (That is probably my fear as I have done this in the past to allow exercise to become a g-d).

    thanks again...I'm formulating my adjusted plan and making sure I get buy in from myself to follow through. As far as the article, I'm tempted to go strict with the 30 day plan and know I can do that eaily, but then my focus would not be on the stress component which is the issue.



  • JoyMc commented Oct 19th 2011:

    I dropped the ice packs for a bit since that is stressful so to speak. I live in Texas-LOL.

  • justin commented Oct 15th 2011:

    idk don't put much stock in my answer. this is just what i would do if i wasn't exercising and weight had stalled. squats would be air squats no weights...better than kettlebells on you knees. what do u mean blue light? i can post my crazy sleep routine maybe. I think it's trademarked. it's important the massage comes from the guy in the mall or everything else is pointless!!! btw that's not tim's take. it's the kiwi's. still won't let me post the link here though.

  • justin commented Oct 15th 2011:

    oh the time of day is more to help you sleep later so it's based on what time you go to bed. it's what i do. might not work for you or women or any other human being.

  • justin commented Oct 16th 2011:

    i'd keep what you're doing. and drop the ice packs even. unless u like them.

All Answers


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I'm 52 yrs old, one 30 yr old child, still have regular periods, but am definitely in perimenopause. I had great results in the first 4 weeks, then seemed to lose and gain the same 1 lb for 4 weeks straight. In my case, I did have to correct some things, like eliminating the little cheats of honey, using the right cream in my coffee, switching to lentils, and more protein at breakfast. FINALLY, at week 8, the pounds are moving again, and I am down 1.5 lbs today. So, keep the faith, and try the tweaks suggested by our experienced contributors.

Also, it might help to tell us what your last cheat day looked like.

  • JoyMc commented Oct 15th 2011:

    Thanks so much. I'll post my cheat day today since last week's is a blur, and I might miss what it was-LOL.


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Joy, first I want to say you certainly have my admiration! I've been so impressed by your positive attitude and strict adherance the whole time you've been here and especially now that you are still not seeing the results you want, you have NOT just thrown in the towel, but instead have reached out, tracked and tweaked even more, and have become even more open to options and suggestions and experiements than you already were! Amazing, and very admirable!!

Just an idea and I don't know nearly as much as others here, but could it be possible you're not getting enough calories/food? Enough fats, specifically. I had been stalled for about 4 weeks, not losing, just bouncing back and forth, the same pound or two. VERY frustrating, as I had not strayed from the bare-bones program ONE WHIT. My sister reminded me that when she was on WW and stalled for quite a while, while "legal", she was encouraged to try increasing her WW Points. She did that and began losing very well again.

I read what I could find online about eating too few calories, because when I added up what I ate, I was getting 1500 cals MAX. And I am still 100 lbs overweight. So, I needed more than that. I added cals by adding fat. I added a snack of 25 almonds mid-morning (YES, I KNOW...pick up all the 4HB-ers on the floor who fainted dead away at that...) and I added more butter to my meals. Several afternoons, I would have a packet of plain or hot peanuts, about 250 cals per pkt. That was increasing my cals by 450 - 650 a day.

After a week and a half of that, the scale FINALLY started moving again. I have no clue why, except for the theories about the body going into "starvation mode" when calories are consistenly pretty low.

During the same time period, my Anything Days were really pretty tame because I just wasn't into the horrific stuff any more and was having more stuff like fruit, yogurt, cheese, rice cakes, etc on those days, so I probably wasn't going off the charts calorie-wise then either.

Just a thought.

AGAIN...you are SOMETHING ELSE, Lady, and my hat is off to you BIG-TIME!



  • JoyMc commented Oct 16th 2011:

    Gretchen, You are a doll and inspiration yourself, my sweet.

    After coming from a too few calorie place before 4HB, I have been careful to get calories up to safe range. Good advice for many who are stalling and kudos for the self experimentation!

    I've decided to work on the stress issue as it looks like it will escalate further and tweaking food choices might be the wrong focus for me.

    Even though the results are not superb YET, I feel wonderful about the integrity with which I am doing SCD which I will need as I travel through this next minefield in my personal life.




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After nine weeks on SCD I've lost about 9 lbs and those were within the first four weeks. I know I'm not getting enough water. And I'm pretty sure my calorie intake is low. I'm just not hungry and not real fond of beans but I force myself to eat about a cup a day. Is there a certain number of calories we should strive for? I'm 5'6 and have about 30 lbs to go and I'm 49. Really tough losing this weight. Last week on my cheat day I ate pizza as the only cheat food and I gained 6 lbs and could never lose it all before the next cheat day today. Really? How could that be possible? I didn't eat six lbs of pizza. Lol. This is getting so frustrating for me but I have to continue. It's too important. I just suspect maybe I'm not eating enough calories but I'm scared to increase them. Any thoughts?

  • Maria Rider commented Oct 17th 2011:

    Yeah, pizza has been proven by many to really pack on the weight, something about pizza dough and cheese combined that makes it lethal. I think if you eat it earlier in the day and get a lot of water in on your Cheat Day as well as after you may have a better chance. Did you do your Damage Control when you ate pizza? Is pizza all you ate the whole day? What else did you eat?

  • Kimmor140 commented Oct 19th 2011:

    Pizza has only been one meal usually dinner. But i do eat a burrito or hamburger for lunch. I've wanted to try PAAG but I keep rereading it in book and don't really understand it. Last two days I've drank a gallon of water a day plus ice tea after I've had my daily gallon. Hopefully this will help. I'll lay off pizza but I so miss it. Lol

  • justin commented Oct 17th 2011:

    pizza kills. skip it until you're at the weight you want to be.


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Hmm, your meals look pretty darn solid, Joy. As much as I know you probably measure these out and are within parameters. Could you drop the almond butter and possibly unsweetened almond milk for a week and see if that helps at all? Maybe the baby carrots? I know it's all allowed and I suspect you aren't overeating them. But, just as an experiment for one week. If taking them out doesn't change anything, then go ahead and continue to eat as you usually would. Perhaps, increasing your protein to like 125g?

Your water consumption is solid, everything looks like you should be losing more than just a few pounds.

If it isn't the meals, it COULD be the STRESS. Stress causes you to secrete CORTISOL which is a hormone that likes to hold onto fat. So, if you are stressing a ton that may be why your body don't wanna give up the weight so readily. Justin's idea about getting a massage is a good one. Perhaps get some "alone time" where you can just relax, sleep, rest, drink some green tea or coffee. Basically in a state of not worrying so much and stressing. Also, your irregular periods can play havoc on your body as far as water retention, which I may be speculating is also happening and why you aren't losing much.

And as far as exercise, that COULD ALSO be a factor as well. Question, how tall are you? How old are you? How much do you weigh? How much do you want/need to lose?

All those come into play when seeing how much you'd lose per week. If you are far away from your goal, then you should be losing at least 2-3 lbs a week on "good" weeks...maybe 1-2 on "off" weeks.

Let me know! I want to see you succeed!

  • JoyMc commented Oct 15th 2011:

    I'm 5'4" 160, 40% BF-5+ year old Tanita scale. Goal is 25% BF, 125-130 long run. Short goal is 20# recomp in 100 days (early December).

    Almond milk was only done 2 times total. Almond butter is easily dropped. I do not think this is really so much food as much as it is the Cortisol.Best day to day losses have been when I did eat a few baby carrots! Weird, huh? Don't think it is a carb deal.

    Exercise will help Cortisol. Justin's massage deal should be effective too.

    I read that during the transition to menopause that the FAT stores estrogen so the body doesn't want to let go until the transition from ovaries to produce sex hormones in the adrenals. Add in my adrenals are working pretty hard to deal with the junk going on- makes the old fat stick more.

  • JoyMc commented Oct 15th 2011:

    my age is 48.

  • JoyMc commented Oct 15th 2011:

    Protein, I think this week, my protein was close to 120 several days... I'm going to do some serious tracking, weighing, measuring this week also to get down to the nitty gritty.

    Thanks for your thoughts and I"ll post what it all is going on!

  • Maria Rider commented Oct 17th 2011:

    Cool, good luck, Joy! I want this to work for you. Keep us updated!

  • Kimmor140 commented Oct 19th 2011:

    Joy definitely keep us updated and we all need this help too.


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Please hang in there. Totally identify as I have just completed 5 weeks and only lost a total 5.5 lbs. I too am in a very stressful situation that's likely to go on for the next 6 months or so. I think you're right that the stress is a powerful force working against us. I have experimented, within the rules, a lot. I find that lots of water, fewer beans, and no big evening meals give me the best results. Also, I do better if I stick to chicken, eggs, and tuna and skip the beef. I do kettlebells 3-4 times a week, but have been doing them a couple of years, so don't know if it is as big a factor anymore.What I have noticed is that my anxiety went down as soon as I started 4HB and my energy went up. Even if I never lost a pound, that is worth something. But, despite the small weight loss, I've gone down a jeans size, from 16 to 14. My inches aren't adding up to a lot but I'm clearly losing somewhere. Good luck but just keep on going. I'm convinced you'll see some form of progress even if it isn't in pounds.

  • JoyMc commented Oct 19th 2011:

    Great tips- thanks hawk10!


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Hi, I'm 44 and was eating pretty cleanly when I started SCD also (I'm a few days into week 7). I'm 5'9" and started at 154.1 lbs and my lowest weight so far has been 148.2 lbs (today 148.4) so I'm pretty much bouncing around the same -5 lb range. I've not had professional body fat testing, but between a hand held Omron and the pics, I'm guessing I'm in the 25-ish% BF range. I'd really like to be in the 18-20% BF range. I've lost 4.5" which is great and most of my focus is on the inches although I can't help but look at the scale and monitor what seems to affect it.

I find that my results are slow and not even always steady, although previous to SCD I would seemingly gain a few lbs here and there for absolutely no reason, so steady the other way is exciting to me. I've never had a weight problem until the past few years when I pick up and drop weight with no noticable changes to my normal habits. I've probably overall gained about 5-15 lbs over the past few years (depending on the day/month but steady up). I was a competitive athlete through my early 20s and seriously never even thought about what I put in my mouth until the past 5 years. If my clothes started getting tight or I didn't like the way my bathing suit fit I'd simply fast for a day and I'd be back on track. Before SCD I tried seriously cutting my calorie intake and upping my exercise and monitoring daily from Jan - Aug I never consumed more than 1400 (usually 700-900) calories in one day and still managed to gain 6 lbs. If it had been anyone else telling me that I would have told them that surely they were missing something and not calculating correctly as it seemed impossible.

I travel like crazy for work, which even when I stick to the diet seems to wreak havoc on my system and makes me retain water. I also have a pretty high stress job and am trying meditation and light yoga (although the massages sound like an excellent idea!) My acupuncturist has been blaming cortisol on my challenges this year but I don't seem to have a silver bullet to overcome the stress piece. I know that part is up to me - not necessarily changing my life or job but changing my attitude and reactions to it. I do know that stress affects my sleep (wake up frequently) so sleeping through the night is always a cue that I'm headed in the right direction, although those days are still numbered on one hand at this point.

Where I miss following the diet while traveling is the 30gm in 30 minutes and probably don't get the same water intake I get when I'm at home or the office and notice how many times I'm refilling my water bottle. I don't take "normal" cheat days as I realize that one of our chefs will likely go out when I'm traveling to their property and so I just let myself eat things I normally wouldn't for at least one meal each trip, sometimes two. It is also hard to eat as often as I normally would at home.

I find that I don't really miss the beans for energy, so I've cut them out most days. I notice I have better results when I up the fat (flax seed oil, avocados, butter) and water (there really doesn't seem to be enough water that I can consume even when I've had a gallon). I've mostly cut tomatoes and carrots as I personally seem to be pretty sensitive to sugar (natural or not), and believe it or not, chewing sugar free gum also seems to have a negative effect (not sure when I picked up the sensitivity to artificial sweeteners).

Unsweetened coconut milk does not seem to have any adverse effects for me so I drink it every day in my coffee when I'm at home (not usually an option when I'm traveling - ha) and every few weeks it sounds good to just have a glass of it.

I also notice I have better results when I don't have late night dinners. I'm guessing it is still just sitting heavy in my belly when I weigh in the next day and not really actually affecting the overall weight loss goals. (I get up between 4:30 - 5am everyday)

The upside is I feel much better, my clothes are fitting better, etc. Even though I've not lost any inches this week, I do notice a change in that my clothes are fitting differently this week so that is good too. With my lifestyle, it is most important to me that I find habits that are sustainable that keeps me changing my body into less fat no matter where I find myself, so while I had hoped to be a little further along by now I'm actually feeling good about where I am and where I'm headed!

I will be watching the answers you get as well, to see if I'm missing something too!

Look at natural and unnatural sugar, beans and seriously, I think stress is a big piece of this. I'll let you know if I figure out something awesome to combat the stress side of things LOL

P.S. Week 5 I actually spiked up above my beginning weight after extended travel. Took a full week to get back down to my week 2 weight but moving steadily down again.

  • JoyMc commented Oct 15th 2011:

    Thanks for sharing that you're in the same 7 week zone as I and not losing a ton either- I feel so not alone! I do think this is mostly the stress piece, and after some new info came to light, it might be ongoing for a bit longer than I'd like, but I CAN do some things and take care of myself!!!!

    My body has sort of let me know beans might not be the greatest item for me, but I want to figure out the why before dropping or reducing them- I'm sort of using them minimally right now and do not "need" them as far as cravings, hunger, etc.

  • zhunt commented Oct 17th 2011:

    Stress is a bitch LOL I keep reminding myself to breathe and drink a ton of water. Also, graph your measurements. Even though I haven't seen a lot of change since week 4, even little bits are a lot. I notice that all of my jeans are pretty baggy by the end of a day now and my collarbones are more pronounced. Celebrate the little victories!

  • JoyMc commented Oct 19th 2011:

    I am laughing becasue I thought my collarbones felt more pronounced at one point today before reading your post. (((HUGS)))


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In addition to all above wicked tips I would also recommend a 5 minute guided relaxation meditation as that will go a long way to reducing stress :D Iphone has piles of apps and you tube as some guided ones as well!

  • AndrewHess77 commented Oct 16th 2011:

    I'm new here, but I don't like the way you were just attacked there, Justin. Is there a complaints forum? I'll gladly co-sign.

  • justin commented Oct 15th 2011:

    don't do this. it's complete hogwash.

    jk. good idea.

  • TeaLove commented Oct 15th 2011:

    Lol dude, we totally just broke up :P HA!

  • justin commented Oct 16th 2011:

    how do i take out the jk part?

  • TeaLove commented Oct 16th 2011:

    Bullies :'(

  • justin commented Oct 16th 2011:

    there's an app for that.


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I'm 52, 5'9", perimenopausal, no kids. Like zhunt, I travel a lot and can't always be compliant or get enough water, but I try my best and am successful at being compliant when I'm home. I also have a great deal of stress. So, I came to the conclusion that losing slowly was better than not losing at all. It is what it is and the above factors won't change.

I also have thyroid issues. I had thyroid cancer in 1993 and had 2/3 of my thyroid removed. I am on enough thyroid hormone to shut down my natural thyroid function. I never had issues with losing weight after I went on thyroid hormones so I don't think my stall was due to my thyroid. However, I do believe it's hormone related somehow and I've been doing some reading lately to try to figure it out.

I lost 10 pounds almost immediately on the SCD and then came the 30 day stall !!!

Not one pound up or one pound down. It was super frustrating. (BTW, I'm on Day 101 today.)

I finally broke through the stall recently and am losing again. What was it? Well, I can't really pinpoint it since I don't track anything. But, here are a few things I did that may have helped.

    I increased my protein. By how much I can't say, but I added an additional protein snack later in the evening.

    I also found a dinner meal that was easy to make and that I can be consistent with. Funny thing is it's got squash and carrots in it. And, I'm losing!!!

    I'm also trying to be more consistent with my kettlebell workout squeezing it in at least 3 times a week even if I'm too busy or don't want to do it. It only takes 12 minutes so there's no excuse.

I am not doing damage control, PAGG, cold packs, any of that other stuff. Just the diet.

I really think there's something about older women not losing as quickly and stalling. It seems to be a very common theme. I'm reading about more of us stalling for 30 days. But, you WILL break through it. Just stick with it, Joy!


  • Kimmor140 commented Oct 19th 2011:

    Thanks Kath! I'll give that a try. I need to consistently do my kettlebell too. No excuse when you can do it at night in front of the TV. At least my dog has learned not to walk in front of me when I'm swinging the darn thing.

  • Kimmor140 commented Oct 19th 2011:

    BTW I am soooo thankful for everyone on this post that are here to help us. THANK YOU!

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