Jumping Plateaus and Updating the Blog

08 Aug

It has been a rather busy week, and I am a bit behind on posting here, although it’s certainly been on my mind! In fact, yesterday, I gave the About Me/Contact page a serious update as it was definitely overdue. When I first started blogging, I wasn’t sure quite where it would go, or how the grain free lifestyle would suit us, never mind would I enjoy doing it enough to continue! Well, the good news is that you aren’t rid of me yet, it seems I am still finding things to say and cook 😉

This past weekend was wonderful, spent up north in Michigan with friends, enjoying campfires and lazy tubing down the Au Sable River. We had a great time, shared lots of laughs and good food. But… I also gained 5lbs! I know it was too many fruity drinks and being off my game for food choices, indulging in a few too many carbs (though no gluten or grain.) The good news though, is that it’s just 3 days later, I got serious about my plan again, and the weight is gone already… YAY me!! This is especially exciting because I have been on a weight-loss stall. I think I need to talk about that with you.

What about those pesky PLATEAUS??

The thing that I always stress to people when talking about this style of eating, is that weight loss is a side effect of cutting the carbs, but that getting rid of the wheat and grain toxins is what has had the most profound effect on my health. While that is absolutely true, and I feel like a new person especially without the severe chronic headaches and joint pain, I am like any other girl (or boy!), and would love to reach a more ideal weight!

So while I don’t eat grains now, and very little sugar, I realize that I also need to tweak my food in order to keep losing. The first 3 months I dropped 25lbs, rather easily. The past month or so, however, I have only been maintaining. Easily maintaining, but a plateau none the less.

I have at least 25lbs left to lose (halfway there, maybe!) So…  I have been examining my diet more closely and looking for causes for the weight loss stall, and possible solutions. The following list is what I have come up with:

  • I am eating more fruit than I should (it’s so good in season!)… so I am going to severely cut my fruit intake for the next week to see if that will help. I can add some of this back for weight maintenance or after my fat-burning is jump-started again.
  • I have been indulging in too much wine and hard cider drinks. Not constantly, but I have a feeling that even a glass or 2 of those carbs a couple times a week is undoing potential progress… so no booze this coming week! Not so easy when there are fun summer gatherings with friends, cookouts and hot days, but I think it’s probably key. So instead…
  • I am going to drink more water, as I have read about how much dehydration can slow weight loss as well as inhibit other important bodily functions. I will also drink more lemon water for vitamin C and aiding in digestion and detox.
  • I *try* to eat enough fat, but I think that I am still not getting as much as I need to have in order to really be in ketosis. I am upping the coconut oil, bacon and butter to see if intentionally eating more will have an effect. I have a feeling it will. It is so contrary to the low-fat mentality we have been brain-washed with, but to burn fat as fuel, the body needs fat!
  • I am working on getting better sleep.I have a tendency to wake after just half a nights’ sleep, and then toss or lay there the rest of the night. I know that proper sleep is important in weight loss, so this is something that has to be addressed. I broke down and took something to help me sleep twice this week, and it really helped me feel better. Last night, instead, I decided it was time to add the

    After a walk with my son today at the woodland park. What a beautiful day!

    Magnesium Malate to my supplement regimen, as it is supposed to help with rest as well as a number of other issues. I found that I slept well last night with the Magnesium, so will continue and see if it improves my rest overall.

  • I am also going to monitor my dairy intake because I know that it has an insulin-stimulating effect in some people (insulin is the fat storage hormone.) Going to try going a little lighter on the cheeses while adding veggies and other fats.
  • I am active, and yet I know I don’t exercise enough. I’m not talking about anything strenuous, but getting out to walk or ride my bike more often will help… if not the weight loss, I know it will help my attitude and stress levels! Today, my son went with me to a local woodland park along the river, and we walked for a good 45 minutes on trails where we could enjoy nature. It was great and we both agreed we need to go a few times a week.

OK, so after making my list, I have a game plan!

  1. Nix the fruit (for now)
  2. Nix the booze 😉
  3. Drink more water and lemon water.
  4. Increase fats for ketosis.
  5. Take Magnesium for improved sleep.
  6. Decrease dairy.
  7. Get moving, walk.

That all sounds rather do-able! I think that once I break the stall and get back fully to burning fats again, I should be able to lighten up on the fruit and wine restrictions. I’ve got to have something to hope for anyway!


It’s your turn to share:

What have you done to successfully break a plateau when losing weight? I have heard lots of abstract suggestions (such as switch it up, shock the system, etc), but I am interested in which ones specifically have worked for you now or in the past? If you are on a plateau now, and want to get back to losing weight, what are some of the things you will try? I am hoping to see some interesting ideas from you all!


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12 responses to “Jumping Plateaus and Updating the Blog

  1. Kathy

    August 8, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    I can relate to this post, Gretchen! I have lost 20 pounds in four months, and I am stuck. In looking at my diet (which I record everyday on my “Low Carb Assistant” app), I see that I am eating close to 50-60 net carbs on average per day. I think I need to get this back to around 30 per day to see if this breaks the plateau. I know I have been eating quite a bit of fruit and dairy (I love cheese!), but I am going to cut back on these as well. Thanks for your excellent suggestions!

    • Gretchen without Grain

      August 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      You are very welcome! I have been struggling with this, but also wasn’t overly worried about it because I am feeling so good. But then I thought I should probably share this with others because I know a lot of us are (or were, or will be) in the same boat! I think that upping the fat is a big one for me, because I have a hard time with it. I also think pairing that with fewer fruits will help a lot.

  2. Terri

    August 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I could have written your post myself! Sounds just like me. I’ve lost 27 pounds and when the wine, fruit and cheese amounts start creeping up I have to reign it back. That is not always easy to do but I really want to get rid of 25 more pounds. Your suggestions are great and I’m going to follow them – really need to get more water in too.

    • Gretchen without Grain

      August 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Terri… and I figured that I wasn’t alone! I hope my suggestions are helpful, for both of us 🙂 It will be a starting point for me at least, and if that doesn’t help, I’ll try another approach. I think the the social nature of those borderline foods is what makes them tough to resist for long periods of time!

  3. Lo

    February 16, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I have been on wheat belly for a month and have lost 0! I eat egg whites and ff cheese for breakfast. Rolled turkey with mustard for lunch, and steak or chicken or fish with peppers for dinner. I am n the elliptical for 35 min 6x a week. Help

    • Gretchen without Grain

      February 19, 2013 at 8:28 am

      You say that you are on Wheat Belly, but it doesn’t sound like it from the description of what you are actually eating. WB is a low carb, anti-inflammatory diet that does not include grains or sugars, but it is NOT a low fat diet. Our bodies need fuel to function, and when we aren’t taking in carbohydrates, we need to take in adequate fat in order to have energy and to burn body fat.
      Eating fat free cheese and other ff or low fat dairy products is one of the worst things you can do… the fat free versions are full of added carbohydrates and all sorts of artificial additives needed to try to “simulate” the taste and texture of the real foods they are replacing. Keep it simple and eat real foods.
      Having eggs with real cheese, butter, and perhaps tomatoes, spinach, or another veggie that you like would be more of a WB breakfast. For lunch, just having turkey is not giving your body much to go on either… try adding avocado, or a salad with plenty of veggies, cheese, olives, nuts and some meat. It is important to read WB and to understand the science behind it, rather than trying to do a low carb and low fat diet at the same time. Your body will essentially be starving, and will do all it can to hold on to the mass it has now instead of burning fat as fuel. Also remember that exercise is good for fitness, but a healthy diet is essential for losing weight. Check out my post under articles about How To Shop… it will give you some good guidelines on foods to include. (
      Hopefully if you follow the guidelines in Wheat Belly you will have some success with weight loss. I have been following this way of eating since last March, and I’ve lost 32lbs to date, my husband has lost 37, and we are easily maintaining and enjoying eating real, healthy foods without all the chronic health problems caused by inflammation from grains.
      Good Luck! ~Gretchen

      • Laura

        February 19, 2013 at 11:48 am

        Thank you. I love cheese but thought it had too much fat. I guess I need to add more fruit and healthy fats.


        Laura from my iPhone

      • Gretchen without Grain

        February 22, 2013 at 11:20 am

        Yes, Good fats are VERY important in a low carb diet. Cheese, butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts, fatty meats are all good sources. Stay away from Canola oil and other “vegetable” oils, as they are very high in omega-6 and have an inflammatory affect on the body. Do watch your fruit intake though, because even though fruits are a good source of nutrients, they are still sugary… so try to keep it to one fruit serving per day, and focus more on veggies. Hope this helps!

      • lo

        February 19, 2013 at 1:49 pm

        What do you typically eat? The problem is my husband is doing Dukan so the two get smushed together at times. He thinks full fat cheese is bad.

      • Gretchen without Grain

        February 22, 2013 at 11:24 am

        I’m not familiar with the Dukan diet, so I cannot speak to that. Full fat cheese is a natural product, low fat and fat free cheeses are full of additives and fillers that are not good for the body, not to mention they have carbs. You really can’t do a low-fat and a low-carb diet at the same time, as they are essentially opposite ways of getting energy for the body. The low fat diet is more calorie-driven, while the low-carb is based on burning fats as fuels and avoiding sugars which typically are stored as fat, when they can’t be burned efficiently.

      • Gretchen without Grain

        February 22, 2013 at 11:30 am

        Sorry, you asked what I eat… typically eggs for breakfast with maybe some cheese, perhaps spinach, tomato, feta, butter… or a MIM (links on recipe page.) I often am not a breakfast person though, so I tend to eat an early lunch around 11 am or so. Sometimes a big salad with good things like lots of veggies, avocados, cheeses, maybe some meat, nuts, perhaps a little apple and homemade dressings (the store-bought ones are very unhealthy.) Sometimes a burger without the bun (or an all-in-one bun) with cheese and veggies. Sometimes just a plate of cheeses, some sliced meat or fish, maybe a bit of fruit. Dinners are usually meat or fish with one or two sides of veggies. We tend to eat a lot of cruciferous veggies (cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli) as well as green beans, and salads. The food is delicious, we really don’t get bored, and it’s always filling. There are also healthy alternatives for pizza and such, take a look at my recipe page, as well as google other wheat-free sites. There really is PLENTY to eat without bread and pasta, you just need to do some research, get creative, and stick to whole foods. Believe me, this is about MUCH more than weight loss… it’s a very anti-inflammatory diet that will heal a whole range of chronic health issues.


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