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“I’m Not Losing Weight!!!”

WOD, 1.29.10:

AMRAP Squat cleans, 1 minute (135/95)

Rest 30 seconds

AMRAP Rings, 2 minutes

Rest 30 seconds

AMRAP Squat cleans, 1 minute

Rest 30 seconds

AMRAP Sit-ups, 2 minutes

Rest 30 seconds

AMRAP Squat cleans, 1 minute

Rest 30 seconds

AMRAP Kettlebell swings (2/1.5 pood), 2 minutes

Rest 30 seconds

AMRAP Squat cleans, 1 minute

Rest 30 seconds

Row max calories, 2 minutes


Look what WE helped raise!!! Kudos to everyone who donated.


A few of you have come to me and complained that you are not losing weight.  I discovered this great article on CrossFit New England’s site regarding this matter.  A few of the points do not apply to CrossFitters, but perhaps you could show it to a family member who is struggling to lose weight.  Take the timeto read this article.  I know it seems long, but it’s worth it.

Effective, healthy weight loss isn’t only due to the simplistic calories in, calories out paradigm. Nor is it solely reliant on diet and exercise. It’s everything – it’s all the various signals our body receives from the environment that affect how our genes express themselves and thrive. How we approach the subject matters, too. Our mood, our methods, our temperament. Our conscious decisions and our willpower. It’s setting good habits and expunging bad ones. Most of all, it comes down to keeping our genes happy by providing an environment that approximates evolutionary precedent.

1. You think you’re eating healthy, but aren’t.

Does your diet consist of a massive amount of “products”? Low-carb or not, you want to eat real food. Flagons of diet soda, plates of pure fiber in the shape of noodles, and loaves of 1g net carb “bread” do not a Primal diet make. You’re just feeding an addiction and consuming empty calories – sound familiar? Disregard the labels and look inside for what you know to be true: this crap isn’t food, and you shouldn’t be eating it. It’s about way more than just low-carb.

2. You’re under too much stress.

The stress response system is subconscious; it responds to stimuli and nothing else. Emotional stress, physical stress, financial stress, relationship stress – I hesitate to even make these distinctions, because the body does not differentiate between sources of stress. They all cause the body to produce cortisol, the fight-or-flight hormone that catabolizes muscle, worsens insulin resistance, and promotes the storage of fat. For 200,000 years, stress meant a life or death situation. It was intense and infrequent, and the cortisol release was arresting and extreme enough to improve the chances of survival. Today, our body responds to a stack of paperwork the same way. Traffic jams are like rival war bands. A nagging boss is like a rampaging mastodon, only on a daily basis. Take a step back from your life and take stock of your stress levels – they may be holding you back.

3. You need to watch your carb intake.

Carbs are key, as always, especially when you’ve got weight to lose. Veer closer to the bottom of the curve, taking care to avoid all processed food (hidden sugars). You might also try skipping fruit.

4. You’re adding muscle.

I always tell people not to get hung up on the scales so much. Those things are useful – don’t get me wrong – but they never tell the whole story, like whether or not you’re adding lean mass. The PB will spur fat loss, but it also promotes muscle gain and better bone density. If you’re feeling good but failing to see any improvements register on the scale’s measurements, it’s most likely extra muscle and stronger bone from resistance training. You wouldn’t know that just from the bathroom scale. If you absolutely need objective records of your progress, get a body fat percentage test (although these might not even tell the whole story) or try measuring your waist.

5. You’re not active enough.

Are you Moving Frequently at a Slow Pace for three to five hours every week? Remember: the near-daily low-level (between 55-75% max heart rate) movement should be the bedrock of your fitness regimen. It’s easy to do (because every bit of movement counts) and it doesn’t dip into your glycogen reserves (making it a pure fat burner, not a sugar burner). If you’re on the low end of the spectrum, crank it up toward five weekly hours and beyond.

6. You’re lapsing into Chronic Cardio.

Of course, you can go too far with the low-level movement – you can begin to lapse into Chronic Cardio. When you stay above 75% of your maximum heart rate for extended periods of time, you’re burning glycogen. Your body in turn craves even more sugar to replenish the lost stores, so you polish off a heap of carbs, preferably simple and fast-acting. You can continue down this route if you wish – I did, for a couple decades – but you’ll gain weight, lose muscle, release more cortisol, and compromise any progress you might have made.

7. You still haven’t tried IF.

Results vary, but if you’ve seemingly tried everything else, intermittent fasting can be a great tool to break through a weight loss plateau. Make sure you’ve fully transitioned onto a Primal eating plan and start small. Skip breakfast and eat a late lunch. If that feels okay, skip breakfast and lunch the next time. Just take it slow and pay attention to your hunger. Eventually, try exercising in a fasted state to maximize the metabolic advantage. If all goes well, your hunger won’t necessarily disappear, but it’ll change. A successful IF tames hunger, makes it less insistent and demanding.

8. You’re eating too much.

Low-carb isn’t magic. It reins in wild hunger and tames insulin, but calories do still matter – especially once you approach your ideal weight. In fact, those last few pounds often don’t respond to the same stuff that worked so well to get you to this point. Eating nut butter by the spoonful and hunks of cheese without regard for caloric content may have gotten you this far, but you’ve got to tighten things up if things aren’t working. And that’s the real test, isn’t it? There is a metabolic advantage to eating according to the PB, but if the weight isn’t coming off, something’s up – and calories may need to come down.

9. You haven’t overcome bad habits or developed good ones.

Be brutally honest with yourself. Do you engage in bad habits? If so, identify them. Make tentative, loose plans to disengage from their clutches, and tell people close to you. Make it public, so you can’t back out without losing face. You’ve also got to develop good ones. Follow roughly similar guidelines as when kicking a bad habit – identification, planning, publication – and you’ll be on your way.

10. You haven’t purged and Primalized your pantry.

Out of sight, out of mind; out of reach, out of mouth. Keep the crappy junk food out of your pantry, if not out of your house altogether. Go down the list and toss the stuff that doesn’t apply. As for the rest of your kitchen, check out the fridge interiors and grocery lists of some other Primal folks for inspiration.

11. You’ve reached a healthy homeostasis.

It may be that your body has reached its “ideal” weight – its effective, genetic set point. Reaching this level is generally painless and effortless, but it won’t necessarily correspond to your desired level of leanness. Women, especially, tend to achieve healthy homeostasis at higher body fat levels. Breaking through plateaus can be hard enough, but plateaus ordained by the body itself can be nearly impossible. It’s probably going to take some serious tinkering with carbs, calories, activity levels, sleep, and stress. If everything else is on point and accounted for, you may be looking at healthy homeostasis. Then, the question becomes: do you want to mess with a good thing?

12. You’re low on willpower.

Willpower is like a muscle. It must be used or it will atrophy. You’ve also got to provide fuel for your will – little victories to start out. Go for a walk if you can’t muster the will for the gym. Take note that willpower, or lack thereof, might actually be an indicator of your body’s needs. If you truly can’t muster up the will for the gym, it may be that your body needs to recover. When that’s the case, overtraining is a bigger danger than lack of will.

13. You’re full of excuses.

If you find yourself having mini self-contained internal arguments throughout the day (and you lose), or (even worse) lying to yourself about what you’re eating and doing, you’re probably also full of excuses. Read this, maybe twice, then follow up with this.

14. You haven’t actually gone Primal!

We get a good number of new readers on a regular basis, and not all of them take instantly to the Primal concepts. And yet they come back. They read the archives, the comments. Something draws them near, while at the same time keeping them at arm’s length. Why is that? What’s stopping them? If that describes you, what are you waiting for? Take the plunge. Go Primal for 30 days and see how you like it. I assure you; the many enthusiastic community members are here because it works.

15. You’re not getting enough sleep.

Chronic levels of sleep deprivation cause the release of cortisol, our old fat-storing friend. The biggest spike in (fat-burning, anabolic) growth hormone plasma levels occurs in deep sleep. And a recent sleep study showed that truncated sleep patterns are linked to weight gain. Get seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

16. You haven’t given it enough time.

The Primal Blueprint is a fat loss hack, undoubtedly, but it isn’t always a shortcut. Some people get instant results from dropping carbs, grains, sugar, and vegetable oils, while others have to take a month to get acclimated and only then does the weight begin to slide off. Either way, though, this is a lifestyle. You’re in it for the long run. Approach it with the right mindset and you won’t get discouraged.

17. You’re eating too much dairy.

Some people just react poorly to dairy. We see this time and time again listed in the forums; dairy just seems to cause major stalls in fat loss for a good number of folks. There are a couple speculative reasons for this. One, folks coming from a strict paleo background may not be acclimated to the more relaxed Primal stance on dairy. Reintroducing any food into the diet after a period of restriction can have unintended consequences on body composition. Two, dairy is insulinogenic, which is why it’s a popular post-workout refueling tool for athletes. Does a non-strength training PBer need to drink a few glasses of milk every day? Probably (definitely) not.

Bonus Reason: Sprinting is not part of your fitness routine.

I’ve found that many assume that they’re getting everything they need from their workouts from plenty of low level aerobic activity and a couple of strength training sessions each week. Sprinting is often overlooked, but it’s one of the Primal Blueprint Laws for a reason. Nothing shreds you up faster than sprinting. I’d ease into sprints if you’ve never done them or are extremely out of shape or overweight. That is, I recommend you have some measure of fitness aptitude before you jump into a routine. But once you’re ready do 6-8 all out sprints (with short breaks between) once a week to break a weight loss plateau when all other attempts have failed.

Shlee gettin' inverted on the GHD.


Coach K takes the 5:30 pm class through the push press skill work

The 5:30 pm classes' reaction to finding out they had to do burpees instead of a run because of the snow.

The CW smackin' the WOD up today

Not gonna lie...Matt is the one to watch out for...Watch him do a WOD. You'll see what I mean.


Don got in a fight with the band...it may have gotten a punch in once...

And then he made a comeback and showed that barbell who's BOSS!

Coach K isn't the on DePascale girl with crazy met-con. Ashley killed it today too!

5 Responses for “I’m Not Losing Weight!!!”

  1. Jenn:
    January 29, 2010 05:08 am

    I remember two months into crossfit and trying to go paleo I thought it was time to step on the scale and see how it paid off. Bad move on my part…I gained 7 pounds. I immediatly freaked out emailed lp and didn't understand what was wrong with me. After her response I felt like I had made improvements they just weren't showing on the scale yet. My clothes fit different I felt different and felt better with no clothes on (I know TMI but that was one thing lp recommended I think about) after tightening up my eatting and really getting rid of all that crap food that I still hasn't thrown out I left the scale in the closet never to get on it again.

  2. mark t "THE OPE:
    January 29, 2010 09:35 am

    i will agree with jenn. The scale is your worst enemy. If you judge by your clothes fitting better or in my case falling off, you will feel good about yourself and the way you lok. I have learned soooooo much from DP,LP SHLEE and COACH K as far as what to be cautious of as far as food. So to all my shoreline peeps listen to what they say IT WORKS!!!!!!!. Paleo is the hardest thing i have ever done and i know it will benefit me in the long run. THANKS GUYS ROCK. I encourage all of you to attend the nutritional talk you will get alot out of it. So see you all this weekend PEACE!!!

  3. Carb boy:
    January 29, 2010 02:37 pm

    Greetigs from 73degree Florida!!!

    On the flip side of that the scale can be your friend too…I mean first and foremost when u need to buy smaller clothes then you are doing well. I have to say for me, being SO overweight from the get go, the scale is/was encouragement and positive reinforcement.

    It's all about your goals, mine was originally to run a 5k then it became MASSIVE weightloss, how does one measure weightloss? a scale…but then it wasn't the goal anymore. people would tell me I've lost too much weight and asked how much more I intended on losing because they thought it was unhealthy…The response to them and the goal became to be healthy for the rest of my life…paleo and crossfit…it WORKS!!!! We are so lucky to have trainers who know their $h*t and can give you the roadmap to whatever goal u have in mind! I say if you want to lose 40 lbs then look at the scale once a week and as long as you eat clean and workout, you won't be dissappointed. Anything less, don't bother gettig on at all and just watch the pant sizes fall!!!

    Jenn is perfect example of don't look…I totally remember that day she walked inorhe gym freaking out!!! But look at hose before and after pics!!! The proof is in the paleo!!

  4. December 04, 2013 06:05 am

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  5. March 05, 2014 10:29 am

    Excellent page. The hormone Leptin also comes into play when we speak about the human body and how to lose belly fat in women. Anyway, informative page. Thanks.