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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Eating Clean and Still Not Losing Weight? Eight Questions to Ask Yourself

Hey y'all!

I hope everyone had a wonderful time viewing the Supermoon last night!- image courtesy of David Yankowski and Texas Hill

One of my readers asked a "super" question in a comment on my post entitled "Which Diet is Right for Me? A Look at Some of the Best and Healthiest Diets." Here's what this person asked:

"Great info! How do you feel about all natural organic peanut butter? Greek, non fat, plain yogurt? Artificial sweeteners? Just wondering, because I eat clean and I'm still not dropping the weight, I even cut out fruit. Help!"

First, thank you very much for your kind words and for your wonderful comment. Very briefly, I've noticed that some people can handle peanut butter and dairy very well, and others simply cannot. I personally do not tolerate peanut butter, even if it is all natural and organic. I have eaten peanut butter all my life, but in the past couple of years, I feel awful after eating even a teaspoon of it. I am not sure why. I just avoid it. You may try eliminating peanut butter from your diet and see if you notice any changes. 

The same can be said for Greek yogurt. I love Chobani (I am not an affiliate, just a happy customer). Siggi's yogurt is another brand that a lot of "clean eaters" rave about. However, a lot of people cannot handle dairy. This may be the case for you.

Artificial sweeteners? Run. Run as far away from them as you possibly can. I'll write a long info bomb about how bad aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet) poisoning is. Thank you for the question.

Your real implied question when you wrote "I eat clean and I'm still not dropping the weight. Help!" is "what do I do now?" I've prepared a check list for you with some suggestions to consider.

Eating clean and still not losing weight? Eight questions to ask yourself:

I can give you some fairly solid suggestions because the same thing happened to my daughter-in-law, Sarah, who blogs at She has graciously allowed me to share her story with others. 

Sarah struggled with weight all her life. An emergency gall bladder surgery at age 23 was a wake up call to get on the road to health. She started with the Bob Greene Best Life Diet and the Couch25K program, losing about 25 or so pounds in a year. She hit a plateau, did a ton of research about proper nutrition, and switched to the Eat Clean Diet her second year. She kept up the cardio, and added a strength training DVD program using mostly dumbells. She lost another 30 or so pounds that year.

Sarah found out that the closer a person gets to his or her weight goal, the harder it is to get the excess weight off. She wanted to stay "natural" and not take "diet pills" or "fat burners." She looked at what she was really doing, and found she was making some common mistakes. Here is a checklist for anyone who is eating clean and still not losing weight:

  1. Are you drinking enough water? At a minimum, we are supposed to drink half our body weight in ounces of pure water every day. I have visited enough bodybuilding and fitness websites to know that most fit people drink at least a gallon of water every day. Water helps us flush out the unwanted toxins. This may be too much information for some people, but I must say that water softens the waste in our colons and moves it on out. This is how we lose weight. 
  2. Are you measuring your portions for every meal? We actually have to either weigh our food on a food scale or scoop it out of a serving dish with a measuring cup. This is especially true if we are eating any kind of grain or potatoes. If we do not use portion control, we may be consuming more calories than we think we are.
  3. Are you eating enough healthy fat? This sounds crazy, but our calories are supposed to be roughly divided into thirds: one third lean protein, one third complex carbohydrates, and one third healthy fats. Healthy fats include avocados, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, raw nuts and seeds, butter (if you are not vegan), and even small amounts of animal fat such as bacon (if you eat meat).
  4. Are you counting calories? Some people believe we do not have to count calories if we are eating "right." If you are counting calories and still not losing weight, you want to make sure each calorie is "nutrient dense." This means "make every calorie count." Try eating more green vegetables and less starchy grains. 
  5. Are you dairy or gluten intolerant? Through a lot of experimentation, my daughter-in-law found out she was both dairy and gluten intolerant. She started losing weight again when she gave dairy and wheat up.
  6. Are you eating five or six times a day? Our bodies actually hold on to fat when it thinks there is no more food coming. When we keep our bodies fueled, our metabolism kicks in to high gear and we burn fat like crazy. It makes no sense, but we really do lose weight by eating more food and more often.
  7. Are you exercising hard enough? If we burn 500 calories in one hour and work out seven days a week, we will burn off one pound of weight. What kind of activities burn 500 calories in an hour? A vigorous game of racquetball, jogging for an hour at 5mph, high impact aerobics, doing cardio on a stair treadmill, and working out on an elliptical burn roughly 500 calories per hour. If we cannot exercise that hard or for that long, then most of our calorie reduction has to come from our diet.
  8. Could you try a different diet? When my daughter discovered she was dairy and gluten intolerant, she and my son switched to the Paleo Diet. They joined a Crossfit "box" (the Crossfit word for gym). I know a lot of people may think, "Oh, no! Not another crazy Crossfitter!" Well... the Paleo lifestyle is working for them. It will work for me if  I become consistent with it. I suggest that anyone who is eating clean and still not losing weight try switching to the Paleo Diet and switching his or her workout around on a daily basis. If you are a vegetarian, switch to a high raw vegan diet, or even an all raw vegan diet. I have done a 30 day all raw food vegan challenge a couple of times (lots of cool videos at that link). I felt amazing and dropped a minimum of ten pounds each time. It is definitely worth looking into.
Thanks again for the great questions! Try some of these suggestions and get back to us with your results!

Does anyone have other suggestions to add to mine? Please post them in the comments!

P.S.: I want to give a big shout out to my Russian readers! Hey y'all! Thanks for being a part of my life!


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