Newbie to Paleo... Questions on fat loss!

by 55 · January 28, 2014 at 07:06 AM

Hello! I just discovered the Paleo Diet within the past two days, and I have been doing a considerable amount of research on it. I found it while looking into the Wheat Belly diet, and I have been coming to like the ideas of the Paleo Diet the most. I feel sort of bombarded with information, though, and have a few questions!

First off, I am a 20 year old college student (aka I don't have a large amount of money that I can spend on food), I'm a female, and I am very active. I do HIIT (with bodyrock) usually about 4 days a week, 2 days a week I do about an hour of various things (either running, or intervals, etc), and once a week I do an hour and a half of Krav Maga. I am about 5'5" and 120 lbs, and I am definitely not looking to do some serious weight loss. My main goal is to get rid of some extra fat and tone up. I have some pretty good muscle definition, but I've hit a sort of plateau and stopped seeing results, so I have been trying to experiment with my diet so I can hopefully see some change. The thing is, I eat healthy usually (and by healthy I mean what I thought was healthy before, like big bowl of oatmeal in the morning etc) but I do like to give myself splurges a couple times a week (I'll go out to eat with friends and get something less than healthy). I am also a complete dessert addict. This is unlikely to change :) .

My first question is this: Will switching to a Mainly Paleo diet (like eliminating grains, eating more meat and vegetables, etc) still give me results if I am not perfect with it? Since I am not looking to lose much weight, just a little bit of fat, I don't feel like it is worth it for me to give up the things that I love doing (eating dessert, splurging on something "bad" with my friends). Will I actually GAIN weight if I try switching to Paleo most of the time?

My second question: Most of the stuff I have been reading says it's ok to eat stuff like nuts and coconut... I am a little worried that if I start to eat more of these I will actually gain weight. Is this likely to happen? Or am I just paranoid because I have been taught to avoid fats? How much of these things should I aim for, so I'm not getting too much of them?

Last one! : I eat a lot of fruit... is this likely to make me gain weight on this diet?

Any other tips on toning up on this diet would be greatly appreciated, as well as some cheaper options for food! Thanks so much, and sorry about the length!

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37013 · February 26, 2012 at 07:46 PM

Strict rule: have fun with this! That's actually pretty important. It's not supposed to be a new academic challenge or source of anxiety.

The good news: switching from an eating regimen high in processed foods/grains/sugars to one with only a few is likely to support the "leaning out" no matter which whole foods you eat.

Now, a dose of reality. Switching to an 80% whole foods diet (see what I did there? I left room for a few of your favorite foods/desserts) won't produce immediate results since you're pretty close to an optimal weight already. If you have any true gut issues and need to heal, 80% may not be enough to heal fully in a reasonable time.

I strongly believe in a relaxed, comfortable relationship with food. If you're thriving and you're in a weight-neutral or slow-loss mode that's perfect.

After a few months, you may find yourself less hungry for processed treats and more hungry for whole-food, "paleo-friendly" treats and that's a good thing.

If I were going to suggest you avoid 2 things completely it would be wheat and HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup.)

Regarding your fruit, some here on PH will recommend you ditch it--personally, I would ditch the lifestyle before I'd ditch fruit but I do try to average no more than 2 whole pieces (such as a banana and a grapefruit) per day and I rotate from week to week so I don't over-consume any one fruit.

19504 · February 26, 2012 at 07:54 PM

Start here:


Do what is easy and skip/modify those things which are more difficult. There will be benifits to starting. You will want to add soem weight lifting. It won't bulk you up but it may be the thing you need to get to the next level.

55 · February 28, 2012 at 03:09 AM

So I am probably still overanalyzing this, but that's sort of my nature... So I have another question! :/

Today I stuck to all Paleo (Aside from the meat I ate, I don't think it was Paleo approved but when I run out of it I will buy some kind that is better). I tracked my foods online, and came up with these results:

1809 calories 141g carbs (30% of calories) 98g fat (49%) 75g protien (17%) 55g sugar (12%)

From what I was looking up, I should try to eat less carbs, more protein, a lot less sugar, and I'm not quite sure on the fat (I feel like that is really high!).

The thing is, I mainly got the sugar from fruits or veggies (I had no other carb source (I had a banana, a few grapes and a few blueberries ... and a half a sweet potato). I was very excited and thought I was doing so well by not having the Ben and Jerry's in the freezer (haha)... But looking at the high amount of sugar I still managed to consume, I am very frustrated.

Also, the main source of carbs I had was vegetables and the aforementioned fruit... I thought that veggies were more or less "unlimited," but according to the things I have been reading, I should push for 50-100g if I want to lose weight.

Tomorrow I am going to push for eating more meat, and hopefully get more protein. Do you recommend trying to cut down on some vegetables and limit my fruit even more (I only had about 2-2.5 servings today)? Should I try to cut down on fat?

Or do these numbers look OK for my goals (getting toned and losing a little bit of fat) and I am overanalyzing this like my pre-Paleo mindset thought I needed to?

Thanks in advance! :)

80 · February 26, 2012 at 08:26 PM

I strongly recommend doing paleo. I have seen a lot of women in you same boat totally tone up after even just one month of following paleo. I have been pretty good paleo for about 8 months now and was also looking into toning up and found that some fasting also works for me and has helped me tone up a lot. Not to mention its great for someone on a budget and with a busy schedule. You can find more information about that on www.leangains.com. Hope this helps

0 · January 28, 2014 at 07:06 AM

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0 · April 13, 2012 at 11:33 AM

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77322 · February 26, 2012 at 07:52 PM

If you have been eating fruits and desserts and are a healthy weight you can likely just scale that back a bit and get results.

Try to eat more 'Paleo approved' desserts with whipping cream and less with pie crusts and cakes.

A lot of things can be made with ground meats and they cost less than steaks and roasts. And liver and heart are also inexpensive options.

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