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a month later... still stalling :(

I wrote this post about a month ago about my stall, got some great feedback but sadly I'm still stalling. I've been losing and gaining the same 5 pounds for the past month. I've been taking measurements regularly and i've gone down only 1/2 an inch in my chest, NONE in my stomach, and none in my hips. This is the most frustrating thing to really follow a diet and not see results. I love the way I feel, but I just get completely let down when I measure.

I'm 29, and I have PCOS -- Things I've changed since the original post:

1. I rarely eat legumes, usually don't include it at all, if I do eat them it's about 1/4 of a cup of lentils, or black beans.

2. Daily meals are:

Breakfast:

Leftover meat (either chicken or beef) or organic turkey bacon, If I have nothing left I eat a trader joes Chicken Sausage, which I was told to try to take out of my diet. It's just SO easy to cook up and it's low fat, organic, and has no carbs or sugars.

2 egg whites

1 egg

Spinach

I make sure it equals to at least 30g of protein, sometimes its more. I also stopped using oil to cook the eggs, etc in the morning.

sometimes coffee with a table spoon of unsweetened almond milk and cinnamon.

Lunch:

Chicken or beef, some kind of salad (with lettuce tomato, cucumber) or broccoli. Vinegar and olive oil dressing, took out the avocado.

Dinner:

Chicken, beef, or fish, either cooked spinach, or broccoli or asparagus. with maybe a table spoon of oil, salt, spices etc.

3. I upped my water intake significantly. I pee almost every hour.

4. I resumed cheat day usually just a cheat meal... and I sort of feel that it's causing my problems. I don't know if it's helping me, it also leaves me with incredible guilt for eating foods I don't normally eat.

5. I started taking PAGG about 3 weeks ago.

6. The chicken sausages I was eating were the trader joes ones with no sugar, the only sugars that come from them are from the bell pepper.

7. I still walk about 2 - 3 times a week, and have also started kettlebell swings for only 1 day a week atm.

8. I still do not snack, no almond butters or nuts.

8. I also started calorie counting in conjunction with the diet, It looks like I'm on average consuming about 1500-1600 calories a day. Sometimes a little more some times less. This is under my RMR, etc.

I read every label, I make sure I'm not consuming stuff I shouldn't. I really don't know what to do. I should also mention I do have PCOS, which I know for some women it makes it harder to lose weight. But is there any help anyone can offer from reading what I do? I have a doctor's appt next week and I may get a perscription for Metaformin which may help with my stall and make me regular.

Do I need to focus on more excersize? I'm still overweight and have a good 60-70 lbs to go so I don't understand why this has been such a long stall.

Please help!

Thanks so much in advance, this forum has been so great for me. Thank you for being so responsive and showing me that this can be done. Interestingly I come here for inspiration and am amazed at some of these success stories and hope I can become one too.

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Hi, lalasf. I had a 3-month plateau this year! For Jan, Feb and Mar, I went up and down around the same couple of lbs. I had not deviated from the plan one bit! It was too weird. BUT, during that time, my jeans got so loose I could pull them down and back up without unzipping them. Go figure!

Anyway, I have done a lot of reading on various folks' theories about stalls, and I have come to believe they are simply part of the deal, just like traffic lights, traffic jams, toll booths, construction zones etc are necessary on the road. We can't, and don't, cruise along at top speed the entire time we're on a road trip. We have to fill up the tank, get some sleep, yada yada. I think that somehow the body requires these "regrouping and recalibrating" times, and I don't know why most of us expect fat loss to be even and regular and predictable the whole way. It never is, in my own experience and so many others' that I've read.

This WHOLE THING is about hormones and resetting them so that the correct communications are taking place, so, yes, your PCOS may impact progress somewhat. On the other hand, I'm in Hormone Hell due to menopause this past year, and in this past year, I've dropped 55 lbs so far on SCD. (I'm in my 13th month and I LOVE IT!).

Each body and diet history and metabolic profile is different, so we just don't know until we're IN it what the body is going to do, and at what rate. If your behavior is on track, then that's all that matters and the rest will follow when it follows.

PS: My initial reaction to your food is that it looks good but is low in fats. If you're daring, add fats quite a bit for a few days and see what happens. Nuts, butter, avocado. With meals, not between, ideally. Sometimes we just need to shake things up with a change in macronutrients. And fats are essential for us; many nutrients won't be absorbed if not accompanied by fats. I know you intentionally took the fats out, but the rest of the foods are so low in calories/fats, that you're not getting a whole lot of fuel, esp for someone who still has 60-70 lbs to go. It'd be a leap of faith, I know, because we're all so conditioned to thinking in terms of calories in vs out, which of course is not what SCD is about. I personally think your body has downshifted from not having adequate fuel coming in.

  • lalasf commented Jun 13th 2012:

    I'm going to try that and just give myself a bit more of a break -- I hate to say it but I've become slightly obsessive about what I eat now. Hence, the horrible guilt on cheat days. Thanks so much, I will try it.

  • Maria Rider commented Jun 13th 2012:

    Oh, I'm with you there. I'm a bit more obsessive about what I eat now. But I think you need to be, at first, I think once you've done this lifestyle so long, you start to just do it naturally and it is no longer an obsession, but habit and "natural to do". I think once it gets that way where you are naturally choosing stuff and knowing how to eyeball the right amount, is when you are good to go. :)

  • Maria Rider commented Jun 13th 2012:

    Oh, btw, I am NEVER guilty on my cheat days. Because ya know, I worked hard all week, eating my meals, not straying, drinking my water, exercising. That's some achievement to do every week, nevermind for over a year. ENJOY those cheat days! Don't feel guilty! If you have stayed on point the whole week...you have NOTHING to feel guilty about! It's PART OF THE PLAN, give yourself that recourse and relaxation and know you did well that week, then get back on it the next week and lose not only the cheat day water weight, but even more!! Strive harder! :) No guilt needed! This is a GUILT FREE ZONE! :)

  • Gretchen Linden commented Jun 16th 2012:

    Addition to my orig comment about my 3-month "stall"....here is a VIVID photo depiction of why relying solely on what the scale says really makes no sense at all:

    http://everydaypaleo.com/2011/06/22/attention-scale-addicts-part-2/

  • lalasf commented Jun 22nd 2012:

    I ate a lot more fat / cals this last week (a long with a few other things) and I lost 3.5 lbs this week alone. Thank you so much! Not as scared of the fat anymore!

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Have you tried Intermittent Fasting? It is worth giving it a try. Just don't eat anything on the day after your cheat day and only have a small meal in the evening. You will find it pretty easy (I never expected this but really enjoyed it as I had great mental clarity the whole day).

I would also start working out a bit more. One hour a week Kiwi exercise really isn't too much to ask for and may be the trigger to break through the plateau.

  • Camden Chelios commented Jun 18th 2012:

    IF is amazing = )

  • lalasf commented Jun 19th 2012:

    Wow, the fasting really helped me this week. My cheat day is normally sundays, so i fasted all day on Monday and had a light meal last night. I feel so much better! a couple hours after my dinner I went on an hour-long jog/walk instead of 30 minutes.

    Should I try fasting at any other times other than after cheat day?

  • FlyingPig commented Jun 22nd 2012:

    Wow, first post and best answer :) Well, it's probably best to just experiment a bit with the fasting. The easiest way is to eat something in the evening as normal, then skip breakfast and eat again at noon (16 hour fast). However, don't starve yourself and eat whenever you are hungry! I am pretty new to this myself so don't take my word for this, but it is useful to break through a plateau. IF is something I picked up on another forum and is quite popular in the Paleo community, which is what I am personally "evolving" to.

  • FlyingPig commented Jun 22nd 2012:

    As for yourself and exercise, I think it is worth it to swing kettlebells. Ever since I started doing it I feel so much stronger and my waist size keeps going down. I've done a bit of research on this and if like me you hate gyms and just want to pick the most efficient exercise to do every few days, take the kb swing. (worth spending a few hours with an instructor though as you can get yourself injured otherwise)

  • lalasf commented Jun 22nd 2012:

    Thank you for your feedback, with the fasting this week the little added excercise and eating more (I ate significantly more fat this week) I actually ended up losing about 3.5 pounds in just the week. Which is pretty amazing considering for the past month and change I've been struggling to lose 5 pounds. Super siked about it!

  • FlyingPig commented Jun 22nd 2012:

    Great to hear! I also intend to add some more fat and to go wild a bit on butter instead of the usual olive oil.

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If loving sausage is wrong, I don't wanna be right!

I'll "try" to help. Are you measuring every tablespoon and every 1/4 cup? If not, that could easily add 500 calories a day because of estimating error.

How does pcos play into this? Does it mess with digestion, absorption, metabolism? Is there a link to pcos and insulin resistance? With insulin resistance, people can use fats from nuts (and other things) to blunt blood sugar response, which will keep you from storing food as fat.

What are your macro ratios? Maybe high fat, moderate protein is right for you. It did not work for me. But, had I been fully compliant, maybe it would've. I now eat moderate fat, high protein (160g/ day but I'm tall and lift heavy). I'm full and not obsessed with my meals. But, that's me. You should research Laura cox and artichacker. Both on this site, both ate differently to reach their goal. And, akane has had amazing results and swears by both carbs from beans and cheat days.

  • agknothole commented Jun 13th 2012:

    Oh, and... It's frustrating to stall, AND/ OR it's liberating to know what maintenance eating at a 40 pound loss looks like!

  • lalasf commented Jun 13th 2012:

    Amen on the sausage!

    Yeah, I've become a little OCD when it comes to food lately so I've been measuring and weighing things out pretty well. PCOS goes hand in hand with insulin resistence. A lot of women that have it report that losing weight is horribly hard (due to the wonky hormones). Women with PCOS tend to be overweight, and carry it mostly in their mid-section. It also causes infertility. Which was my #1 reason besides wanting to feel and look good to want to lose the weight. Many times after overweight women with PCOS lose the weight PCOS symptoms go away, including the infertility!

    I think what I'm gathering is that maybe I'm over-doing it. Ill try some new stuff this week and see how it goes, thanks so much!

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A lot of people are talking about calorie counting, and I'm confused. Didn't Tim say to NOT count calories, and eat as much as we want? I think you should be more relaxed about calories and add fats and legumes to your meals. I have had success eating eggs cooked in Ghee or Coconut Oil. Also, I think I consume an avocado a day when I have them around.

Cheat Days should be guilt free, and you should follow the damage control protocol if you can. I think your body is in starvation mode, and it needs a push.

Would you be willing to stay away from the scale for a few weeks? Just follow the plan, never be hungry, enjoy cheat days, and enjoy life. You'll lose the weight eventually. This is a lifestyle change, not a sprint to the finish line.

  • Camden Chelios commented Jun 14th 2012:

    I'm not a fan of counting, but if you want the best/fastest results or you're just plain stuck, it's the obvious solution. Tim is the man, but just because he said something doesn't make it gospel.

  • lalasf commented Jun 14th 2012:

    Yes, the counting is not fun, but I figured if I'm not getting the same results I got in the beginning I would try -- not only for the weight-loss but for portion control for the rest of my life.

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Just skimming I noticed you're really not focusing on exercise. Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. I have a specific program I follow, but try some of the protocols in 4HB. The only way to lose on diet alone is to be in a caloric deficit.

  • lalasf commented Jun 13th 2012:

    I do have a pretty significant caloric deficit everyday, close to 350 cals on average. That's just using my RMR. Everything I've read on here says to not go crazy with the working out so I've been just doing some walking and kettlebell swings. But I don't think it would hurt to try more.

  • Camden Chelios commented Jun 14th 2012:

    Well, you've tried everything else and doing more of the same would be... you know. If you're at 350 "deficit" and not losing, you're not at a deficit. You can only estimate RMR. You have to keep adding or subtracting depending on your goal if the scale isn't moving. Unless you're realllly lazy, working out makes everything much easier. Do some LISS and lift weights. Martin Berkhan is a god if you're into IF.

  • lalasf commented Jun 14th 2012:

    I'm not very experienced in the work-out front, but I don't see how including more could hurt me so Ill try.

  • Camden Chelios commented Jun 16th 2012:

    The book has some work-outs. Just try several different things, talk to knowledgeable people, and form a consensus of what works for you. The internet is a good starting point too.

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A few other quick thoughts:

    Are you maybe not getting enough calories in? I stalled with too much of a caloric deficit.

    Are you not eating enough on cheat days? My best losses were after larger cheat day gains (like 8 pounds on day after cheat day, then 1 total pound lost that week by next cheat day).

    Like other suggested -maybe time to change things up? I recently broke a stall in part by taking a week off, not off as much as different (I went vegetarian for a week, so still was as SCD as I could be, but instead of 20g carbs a day I was closer to 100g), now back on track to regular SCD has seemed to get me back on track with losing. Another way to do this might be to cycle calories more (every other day have 300-500 more)?

    Have you tried any IF at all? Maybe try a 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule for a few days/week? This is working well for me currently. I've actually been able to lose this way being sightly less restrictive on my diet (I am losing better doing SCD w/IF than I was with a modified Last Mile that had previously worked well for me)

    For exercise -I do find adding some sort of weight lifting (just 30 min 3 times a week) really help me.

  • lalasf commented Jun 13th 2012:

    Yeah I will try some new things this week and see how it goes. Thank you :)

  • lalasf commented Jun 13th 2012:

    I don't know much about the intermittent fasting, but I will look into it, that plus exercise seems like it might be helpful. Thank you!

  • lalasf commented Jun 22nd 2012:

    It seemed to work really well for this week!

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Hi Lala!

I admire your determination and taking everyone's suggestions to heart. Having PCOS will definitely make it a bit more tough, BUT not impossible to lose weight on SCD.

I would actually BUMP up those legumes, people think, "Oh, I need to eat less carbs to burn more fat." While that works in most cases, I've seen some people stall from taking out legumes entirely. Legumes actually HELP with the fat burning. DO NOT LEAVE THEM OUT! Now, this is different if say, you are at the last 5 lbs to your goal and you can't seem to shed them no matter what.

Also, about how much water are you drinking per day? Just recently, in the past 2-3 weeks I upped my water intake. It WAS 3L of water + 30oz of coffee(black, no sugar or cream), and I upped it to 4L of water and I think it really made the difference. You don't want to consume TOO MUCH water especially all at once as it can flush out electrolytes and you can get water intoxication. Which is BAD. Spread it out throughout the day.

I have a PCOS friend who is on slow carb and I think she takes meds and is losing weight, so, it is possible. ALSO, depending on how much you have left to lose can be a factor on the weight loss frequency. Someone who has say, 100 lbs to lose will probably lose it more readily than say someone who only has 10 lbs to lose or 5 lbs....closer you get, the more the body doesn't readily drop it. Just be patient. It takes at least 4-6 weeks for women to see the SCD magic. You are just at a month. Let's see how it is in 2 more weeks. Also take into account your hormonal stuff with PCOS that can play a big factor. I find when I ovulate and have my period, my weight can stall, gain a bit or lose very SMALL in those weeks. So, I just don't really let those weeks bother me. Usually the week after, I have a loss. :)

Good Luck!

  • Maria Rider commented Jun 13th 2012:

    I see you have already lost 40 and have about 50 to go. Try the suggestions above and see if it helps. Your meals look pretty spot-on, so unless you are starving yourself. Up the legumes(a bit), up the water a bit, and see about taking meds to help with PCOS and your hormones. Cause I truly think, for women, hormones play a big part in the weight coming off regularly.

  • lalasf commented Jun 13th 2012:

    Hey Akane, thanks so much for your response. I hope the metaformin will help, and I just had some beans with my dinner just for you! Ill track it over the week and eat a little more good fats and beans for maybe 1-2 meals a day. Water-- while I do drink a ton, Ill go for an hour or 2 at work without drinking any because I'm so busy. But I think I will just be married to my water bottle and see if it helps.

  • Maria Rider commented Jun 13th 2012:

    Well, like I said, don't drink more than say 1 1/2L within an hour or so...you dont' want to drink too much at once. I usually space it out and have it center around my 3 meals for the day.

  • lalasf commented Jun 22nd 2012:

    I ate beans every day this week with my lunch and lost 3.5 lbs this week (a long with a couple other things)! Thanks for your suggestions!

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Wait you stopped the legumes? I would think that would be the exact opposite thing you want to do when stalling. Here is an excerpt from the book:

"Kristal wasn’t losing weight and was irritable on the diet. Why? Because she was neglecting

legumes and focusing on a higher volume of green vegetables, resulting in insu􀁖cient calories.

There is no need to count calories if you follow the rules, and one of the rules is: get plenty of

legumes. Her results multiplied after making one change:

I took your advice and made beans the #1 ingredient this week, and I have a lot more

energy and am remarkably less cranky. The 􀀺rst couple weeks I made veggies #1 with a

bit of beans and meat tossed in. This week it is beans, beans, beans … and I’m now down

10 pounds. Whoopee!"

  • Maria Rider commented Jun 25th 2012:

    Totally agree!! Don't take out legumes. :) At least not entirely....

  • lalasf commented Jul 11th 2012:

    I included the legumes back and I've been seeing much improvement!

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