Well, no sooner did I post my last entry than I consulted Loren Cordain's book, The Paleo Diet for some clues as to why my weight loss has slowed. I had forgotten reading that he said one loses weight rapidly, at first, then continues to lose weight steadily.
Of course, this is contingent upon continuing to follow the diet. Cordain says, "Most people experience rapid weight loss within the first three to five days. This is mainly water loss, and it stabilizes fairly quickly. After that, how much weight you lose will depend on two things - how overweight you are to begin with and how many total 'deficit' calories you accumulate. After the initial water loss, it takes a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose a pound of fat. It is not unusual for people who are obese (medically, this means people who are 30 percent or more over their ideal weight) to lose between 10 and 15 pounds each month."
According to a chart of calories burned per minute of exercise (http://www.coolnurse.com/calories_burned.htm), at my present weight of 213 lbs (as of December 1st), I should expect to burn over 70 calories per minute of walking, provided my pace is 4 mph. That's pretty close to my usual pace, and since the chart says 70 calories/min at 200 lbs, even if my pace is a little under 4 mph, I'd still be burning about that many calories per minute. Therefore, to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 per week (assuming I want to lose a pound a week), I'd need to walk for ten minutes, five days a week, which is what I'm doing now. I can do better than that, though. Even on my schedule, I can get in about twenty minutes a day during the week and up to an hour a day on Saturdays. If I do that, I'll be burning 11,200 calories per week (70 calories/min x 160 minutes of walking), or 3.2 lbs of fat per week. That would average out to 0.45 lbs per day of fat loss. That's 0.18 lbs per day more than I burned off during the last 15 days. If I continue at that rate, I'll be down to 190 lbs in 51 days, plus or minus, if I start now.
So, my new exercise goal, then, is to increase my walking to twenty minutes a day after work and an hour on Saturdays. Quite "do-able." My target weight: 190 lbs. My target date: January 22nd. Given the season, I may have to use my treadmill for some of that walking, but it should work out about the same. Also, given the season and the unfortunate fact that the majority of people don't eat anything like their paleolithic ancestors anymore, I should be losing weight over the holidays while everyone else is getting fatter.