People who have lost quite a lot of weight on paleo - what have you done with your eating after the weight loss?
I'm 48, 5'5", female, post-menopausal and fairly sedentary so far. I started paleo in Feb, and until the last couple of weeks I've focused on healing metabolic issues and IBS. Apparently I'm doing well, because the scales started to move and I can now IF without even thinking about it. I started at 100 kg (220lb) and last weighed at 93kg. I haven't weighed recently but the changes are getting noticeable.
So now I'm having to rethink some possible CW myths - like 'don't let yourself get hungry', 'aim to lose weight slowly', and 'most people regain their weight'.
Staying paleo is a given, as is adding some workouts as the weight drops. I'm curious about maintenance, though. Did you add some carbs back in after you lost your weight? Do you have to stay really careful about what you eat, or have you just relaxed into paleo eating?
I lost 40lb the conventional wisdom way about 8 years ago. I.e. Lots of exercise, low fat, calorie restriction, 6 small meals a day. I was highly motivated and I'm an all or nothing type, so I was able to get where I wanted, lean and fit.
It wasn't until about a year ago, after picking up some parasites in Asia, that I started having very serious IBS issues, that doctors didn't want to know about that I stumbled over the paleo diet.
Until then I had kept the weight off, but if I wasn't careful about what I ate and my exercise it came back fairly quickly. As an athlete that wasn't too much of issue until the off season, where the weight could build reasonably quick i.e my diet wasn't quite as good as I wasn't quite as active.
Since going paleo weight maintenance has become a thing of the past. As in I don't need to do anything conscious to keep a very lean stable weight. Too add to this experience I've been recovering from a foot injury the last 4 months so my activity has been almost nil, and I've still maintained my weight without effort.
There are a couple mechanisms at play here, the first is metabolic derangement, or where you're insulin resistant and leptin resistant, from a 50,000ft view these two hormones are key to weight regulation as well as appetite regulation. As your diet changes and life style changes (i.e. better sleep/stress, some activity) you will hopefully start becoming more insulin & leptin sensitive, or your metabolic system will start working again.
If you're overweight you should have plenty of leptin, and once your brain becomes leptin sensitive your body will know it is carrying to much stored fuel (fat). And once you're no longer insulin resistant your body will be able to access it's fat store as energy. The result? You naturally won't be as hungry as your body burns more fat for fuel, rather than demanding that you feed it more from telling you that it's hungry.
(Okay, long winded... but we're almost there..) So once you have reached a lean weight you don't really have to do anything but keep a clean paleo diet. Your body will naturally tell you to eat a bit more, because you don't have the excess fuel as fat, and that mechanism will very easily keep you weight stable and very healthy.
A caveat to the above is the potential long term damage one may have done to their metabolic system. From my reading it should be mostly reversible most of the time, but it is still a very new area of research to fully understand all of the parameters currently.
I'm 47, still having regular periods, 5'5" and female. I lost thirty pounds initially on the Eadeses' Protein Power plan, and stalled out at 190. Flopped around on the dock for a year or so (did their "Paleo Purist" version of PP to no avail), and then went zero-carb. Lost more weight, gained it back when I fell into a wedding cake and stayed there for a few months. Gained even more on Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet, then finally went back to ZC again in September of 2009.
I've been zero-carb since then, and I'm now maintaining a 75+ pound weight loss fairly easily (from 220ish to 150ish). The weight does go down a bit more when I do a very clean Paleo version of zero carb. No dairy, no wine, no dark chocolate.
Adding back veggies and "safe" starches hasn't worked for me the couple times I've tried it. I get a rapid return of some health problems that cleared up on ZC, followed by ten or more pounds, depending on how long I let the "experiment" go on. So in my case, the answer is no, I don't see relaxing into Paleo eating -- meaning, eating whatever's on the "approved" list, lol -- in my future. But it's okay with me; I actually don't mind what some folks think of as a very restricted diet. I eat lots of great-tasting meat, including seafood and wild game, and organ meats fairly regularly, too. And planning dinner is never a problem.
I've been in the 10lb weight range for over a year. I'm strict about the grains, legumes, and dairy. I'll eat some chocolate or ice cream made with coconut milk instead of dairy, but I read labels and don't even want to see soy lethicin in it (this may be going a bit overboard). I can eat more carbs now, but a lot of carbs, even from paleo sources can seriously mess up my day, so I'd guess I usually stay under 100g.
Sometimes I get worried that I am gaining weight and restrict the carbs. The scale drops right back down so fast that I'm thinking carbs just encourage my body to hold more water.
Often times, due to the fact there isn't much in the way of paleo convenience food, it seems more like I'm trying to get calories rather than diet any more. I'll buy a roast or something, take it home and cook it, and then mostly just eat it until it is gone because actually planning out meals (like with vegetables and stuff) is a chore.
I am hungry right now, in fact. It seems rather hard to keep up with.
I lost 111lbs over 6 years. Mostly typical SAD conventional wisdom, but tweaked to my own healthy nutrition ideas. The last bit I lost Paleo.
It isn't that easy for me to maintain. What I initially did was upped my calories 50 every two weeks in order to determine where I started gaining weight instead of just maintaining. Initially I was able to go up to 1450 calories per day (from 1200) and still maintain. At that time I was doing a HIIT type bootcamp, 3 days a week for about 1/2 hour.
I have recently been unable to exercise due to schedule and money issues, as well as motivation issues. I started to gain weight at the 1450 calories after about 1 month of non-activity. I have to drop my calories to the 1250/1300 range to maintain without weight gain.
I have tested this extensively. I monitor my calories closely and have for a long time. I eat 95% Paleo. I don't worry about the little things and stay gluten free for the most part.
I have found I do best on moderate carb ~75 grams. If I drop them too low I lose energy, if I let them get too high I retain water terribly. I need to keep my protein at about the same level, which puts my fat percent around 50%. All of these numbers took some tinkering, but it was pretty obvious to me when I hit my sweet spots on each.
I think I fall into the permanently metabolically damaged category. Being previously obese, I just don't think I'll ever be able to eat unweighed/unmeasured and not gain.
I too lost a considerable amount although I no longer really focus on the scale. I am extremely diligent and even cut out all fruits, nuts and seeds. In addition, I restrict high carb veggies to (usually) post workouts. I am extremely active too...lifting and crossfitting probably too much!
I see this as a way of life and must be consistent. SOunds like you are doing well now. But I would add, I could never cut out all the greens and veggies. I love them too much and believe they supply me with essential vitamins and minerals.
Once you have lost weight you can not stop...
You need to realize that some exercise and some amount of good eating that got you there needs to continue through your entire life.
You should also try and gain some muscle. Just 2-3 pounds of muscle. Diets fail when you loose muscle and don't gain some of it back...
I lost 35 lbs. (from 185 to 150). Male, 5'8".
I find maintenance quite easy as long as I don't drift into higher carb territory too much (no counting of carbs, just awareness of what I'm eating). I do also IF by skipping random meals--usually breakfasts--but not more than a couple of times per week.
50 pound loss checking in here (195-145 over 7 months).
I eat a lot more now. Every 30 days or so I experiment with different fat/protein/carb ratios. The only significant change I found was after taking dairy back out (mostly in the form of Kerrygold) I dropped from 150-145 in 30 days.
I crossfit 3-5 times per week (always fasted), which has dramatically ramped up my appetite.
A typical day:
CF at 6am 15-20 oz of coconut water + 50g protein via now foods unsweetened / unflavored whey 4 eggs cooked in copious amounts of coconut oil Uncured bacon or ham Left over veggies
Big ass bowl or salad with avocado and double meat for lunch Green tea
Grass fed steak or wild caught fish for dinner Yams, Brussels sprouts, green beens, or broccoli as a veg Occasionally some raw, macadamias
Fish oil 5,000 IU of Vitamin D Now foods digestive enzymes.
Hope that helps!