Stalled weight loss?

Weight loss was my primary driver when I started the Atkins Diet, but after moving beyond that to a Paleo approach it took on a secondary importance behind other health improvements. Nevertheless it’s still on my agenda and one of the key indicators of forward progress or at least up to the point where I hit my target of 82.5 kilos.

With all this in mind I’ve been a bit concerned that things seemed to have ground to a halt in the last couple of weeks, with the weight pinging up and down between 84 and 85 kilos, seemingly dependant on either hydration levels or the last time I’ve had a crap:

In fact this last point has been quite a problem the last week as I’ve been quite bunged-up which I’ve been trying to understand. Firstly I don’t think I’ve been eating enough veggies, so my general fibre levels are too low. Second reason can be magnesium deficiency, so I’ve started supplementing this and as of Thursday I’ve been taking 900mg per day – and voilà, this seems to have done the trick as the gates have been open over the weekend and I’m feeling a lot better and have lost that pesky kilo again.

Other factor playing here must be increased muscle mass counteracting the fat decrease. I’m absolutely certain that the fat is still dropping off as my trousers are getting looser almost daily – the jeans I bought a month or so ago that were a bit tight in the store now need the belt to keep them up (for once the “I’m losing weight so I’ll buy them slightly small” seems to have worked! I’m also doing body-weight exercises a couple of times per week as well as sprinting from time to time and the extra muscle on my shoulders, biceps and pectorals is quite marked.

I’m also suspecting though that I’ve been eating too much carbohydrate. Eating some white rice or boiled potato is part of my daily food plan as recommended by the Perfect Health Diet that I’m broadly following. However, I suspect that the 400 – 600 calories recommended I think it could be more like 800 – 1000. So I’ll keep an eye on that and up my veggies.

All this being said, I physically feel very good right now – mentally less so though, I’m certainly not getting enough sleep (average 6 and a half hours per night), and work has been quite demanding in recent weeks. Fair to say in fact that I have been totally exhausted from time to time. I’m not going to show any pictures, but I’m looking a lot better without my clothes on too – body fat is dramatically less, even if the reading on the scales doesn’t show much change.

I’ve just finished reading It Starts With Food – this book began a bit slow and dumbed-down in my opinion, but improved dramatically as I went through it; an a quite staggering 241/252 5-star reviews on Amazon. Now I’ve started on Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint and that’ll be me through the backbone of the Paleo literature. I’ll be making a comparative book review once I’m done.

And for the food I’m eating? Well I’ve dropped the smoothies for breakfast and am now eating pretty much the same as I would for lunch or dinner. It’s a bit weird at first, but you get used to it. Here’s a selection of recent meals:

So here’s something I concocted for Charlotte. Chicken, onions, mushrooms, garlic, coriander, coconut oil. What makes this a little different is the spices that I put on the chicken: ground coffee beans, cocoa powder, garlic and onion powder, vanilla, cloves, ginger, four-spices, salt and pepper. Tastes pretty good I think.

A nice steak is my usual treat on fasting days (so Monday and Tuesday). The cut I’ve found I like the most is called “pelé royale” in French. I’ve no idea what it’s called in English, but the meat has quite a coarse grain.

This was this morning’s breakfast: rice (with extra virgin coconut oil, red palm oil, tamari soy sauce), spinach (mixed into the rice), scrambled eggs, wild-caught smoked salmon (yes it really is very red in colour and quite tough compared to aquaculture reared fish) and some smoked tilapa that they had reduced in the supermarket, so I bought it to try and it was really quite pleasant (and not at all expensive).

Yesterday’s breakfast – more of that salmon and rice, this time with some leftover cabbage, avocado and a drizzle of avocado oil.

Friday’s breakfast: rice (the usual), scrambled eggs and cabbage with avocado oil. This was a bit insipid if I’m honest, but nutritionally it hit the spot.