Question from Mark's Daily Apple: "My husband and I have been eating Primal for about 6 months now and he has lost 50 pounds. Although I feel much better and have more energy, I hit a plateau after 3 months and have only lost 20 pounds. My husband has reached his ideal weight and I still would like to lose another 20 pounds. We are living a primal lifestyle and exercising regularly and I am wondering if you can offer any advice around how I can lose the last 20 pounds? Is there anything else I can do?"
Carrie's (one of Mark's bloggers on MDA) response:
"One of the first things I suggest to women who have hit a plateau is to incorporate sprints into their workouts: 2 times a week, running full speed in intervals or 6-10 sprints for 30 seconds with a minute of rest in between. Cycling sprints work, too. You can also run up hills instead of on flat ground. Doing it on the beach will be harder and you’ll go slower but hit your butt and thighs differently than on flat ground. Women are naturally better at burning fat in response to exercise, so sprints are an ideal, time-efficient way to do that [italics added]. It wasn’t until I started incorporating sprints that I truly reached my ideal body composition.
If you are over 40 you should have your hormone levels checked to make sure you are not perimenopausal and that your hormones are balanced. Where are you carrying the excess weight? If it is around your belly, this could be a sign that you need hormonal balancing. Visit a medical professional that specializes in women’s health. I myself had the best results with low doses of hormone replacements, but more “natural” methods are also worth a shot and can be exhausted beforehand.
Once you have addressed both of these “physical” issues, ask yourself some important questions.
How can you have a healthy relationship with where your body is now? Figure out what it would take to make peace with your body. Is it holding you back from doing anything, physically, that you’d like to be doing? Does it truly reduce your quality of life in a meaningful, tangible way? Are you healthy, happy (when not thinking about your last few pounds), and generally living life in a vibrant manner? Maybe you are content and just haven’t realized it yet.
What if this is your body’s ideal weight? Remember that women naturally carry more body fat and distribute it differently than men. We make babies with our body fat, and the hips, butt, and thighs are supposed to have a bit more bounce than the rest of the body. It’s totally normal to have it there and a sign that you’re healthy!
Personally, I also like to set intentions around my goals – things and thoughts and abstractions I would like to create and make manifest. They somehow seem more real when I do this. And if they seem real enough that I start acting like they are, aren’t they real? For all intents and purposes, I’d say that they are.
Here’s an example:
“I am making healthy conscious food choices, effortlessly reaching my ideal lean(er) bodyweight, and loving my healthy, limber, strong, fit body.”
I say these things to myself with powerful intention as I’m saying them, almost like a meditation where the focus is on the breath itself. Only here, you’re focusing on the words – how they sound, what they mean, what they mean to you. This isn’t a woo-woo, mystical attempt to “create your own reality.” It’s just a powerful way to establish and ingrain resolve.
Write your intentions down. Say them out loud. Be very specific and clear. It might feel funny saying/writing these usually abstract thoughts that only play out in your head, but it makes them real and attainable. And oftentimes you’ll find that the things you thought you were worried about aren’t even worth it. That you’re happy after all!"
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