About a year and a half ago, I started running and eating (mostly) paleo at about the same time. I went from 150lb to 132lb to about 140lb now, but I lost and kept 3 inches off my waist. I haven't been exercising regularly, but have been able to stay healthier thanks to my diet.
My question comes from the responses from people that my weight loss was only caused by the running that I had done (training for a marathon) and not from my diet:
Do you think that the health/body composition changes you have experienced are caused by diet adherence, exercise, or both? What kind of evidence do you have to back it up (even n=1 evidence)?
For me, it seems that diet is of greater benefit because I have remained 80+% paleo, but still remain healthy; I'm not running 12-18 miles every Saturday anymore. In fact after the marathon 6 months ago, I hardly run at all.
I lost 150+ lbs doing nothing more than surfing LOLsites and memebase. ;)
Srsly. I went from 320+lbs to 170lbs by diet alone. I didn't walk, I didn't work out.
I am 95% strict Paleo. My only cheats are alcohol and artificial sweeteners.
And I have maintained that weight (easily) for 2 1/2 years now.
I used to crossfit regularly 5 days a week. Fell into a bit of a trench over the last 6 months and am currently working my way back out. I don't plan to crossfit again on a regular basis but more less focus on my XC cycling, running and a bit of basic weight training. I have had real good success with energy levels and overall weight-loss while on the Paleo regimen so I intend to keep this as my root nutrition. When I really started thinking about overall fitness and health benefits, I truly believe that the nutritional side (specifically Paleo) is the key and that this regimen can work with almost any fitness plan. Paleo gave me the endurance and strength I needed to compete in a 24hr endurance MTB race - this was accomplished on a strict 30 day challenge - no sweeteners etc..
I actually gained weight during all 4 of my half marathon trainings, because I used the long runs as an excuse to "carb load". Bah. If I could only get those years back. I lost most of my weight doing cardio for an hour 4/5 days a week.
I lost the last 10/15 lbs doing HIIT three days a week for 20/40 minutes. I have been able to maintain the weight loss with the same type of schedule and not worry about the days I miss at all.
It was very weird to get used to the idea that I didn't need so much exercise to lose weight or maintain my weight loss. Mentally, it just felt wrong. I am certainly enjoying the additional free time though!
I'm 30 days into paleo. I'm definitely the newbie around here, but I do see changes.
I think that diet is the major factor in my body composition.
I've lost 15.6 pounds (5.26% of my body weight!).
Lost 8 1/2 inches in measurements.
Added 1/2% muscle.
Lost 1% body fat.
I spend a ton of time cooking and prepping meals. Eating right. Taking the time to consider what I was eating and why.
On the other hand, I've done about 5 hours of exercise during the month. Granted, 3/4 of that time is spent doing kettlebell lifts such as swings. Very high intensity IMO. But I don't think it's enough for the changes I'm experiencing.
I would bet a lot of money that my progress is from fixing the omega 3/6 balance and getting a decent amount of sleep, and cutting the processed junk.
I follow Ripp's Starting Strength program. I lift heavy only twice per week, one hour each time, so thats only about two hours per WEEK.
Other than that i walk a LOT and my job requires moderate physical activity, but nothing crazy.
I eat strict paleo, with BIG starch and lean meat PWO. Other than those meals im more high fat, high protein, lowish green veg carb.
No running, no jogging, nothing "aerobic." Unless you realize that backsquats and deadlifts are indeed aerobic:)
If you have something, ie jogging or running or whatever, that is currently working you towards your goals, GREAT! Just realize that as your body changes, a certain exercise's effects on your body/health may change, too. We all must keep that in mind.
I am 40 yrs old, 6'2" and before starting Paleo about 75 days ago weighed 254 pounds. Didnt look fat but just looked like a "big" guy. Before Paleo I Worked out at least an hour a day with weight training and cardio, in that order. Put on some muscle eating non-paleo but never could lose weight even with a heavy transition to mainly cardio, low cal mass produced foods, supplements, whey protein shakes, etc. Since Paelo lost almost 30 pounds, kept the muscle and my waist has gone from a 36 to almost a 33 and no appreciable muscle loss. So to answer your question... I think it is the diet based on the aforementioned. With this diet being so rich in protein it lends itself well to adding/keeping muscle mass. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn even at rest so I feel like this lifestyle has served me well. I feel better, sleep better and according to some friends look better because of the weight reduction. Now this is all anecdotal based I realize but it seems like I am not the only one that has experienced such results. By the way I dont work out NEARLY as hard now in cardio terms as I did before and still see continued weight loss. Was jogging 3-4 miles a day pre paleo, now walking at 12% incline on the treadmill for 2 miles at 3.8 mph and seeing way more weight loss and not all the thumping on my knees from running. The only thing I am doing differently is following the Paleo regimen of eating. Hope this helps.
Awhile ago I tried the "Skinny Bitch" vegan method, and worked out about half an hour a day. Did this faithfully for a month, lost no weight, felt no health benefits. When I was doing Weight Watchers a couple years ago, I was eating a lot of packaged foods (it was easier to figure out points that way) and would be in the gym for about an hour and a half five or 6 days a week (elliptical plus non-threatening weight machines, and Les Mills classes). After a month or so, it felt like a battle for every pound I lost. I ended up losing 15, and got burned out.
Now I'm doing Crossfit or my own similar workout 4 or 5 times a week (and it's actually fun!), eating paleo with the odd cheat here and there, and never feeling deprived. Even when I go a month or 2 with no exercise, I am able to maintain wy weight pretty easily; I only exercise now because it's fun, and I want to get stronger. I've definitely become convinced that nutrition has a lot more to do with body comp than exercise; like they say, you can't out-train a bad diet.
I'm 26, just started Paleo two weeks ago. I'm going to the gym once a week and doing group weight lifting. About 45 minutes at medium-high intensity, many reps, low weight. Lots of body weight exercises.
But that's the extent of my workout. I might start going 2x weekly just to help gain definition, but that's a while down the road. I'd like to lose weight before bulking up.