How do I lose weight?
This is a common question. The answers are different for each person and where they are starting from. Here are some starting points and hopefully folks will jump in and form a conversation. This is information I have collected on my weight loss journey and things that work for me.
You should see a doctor and let them know your current weight and also your goal. Have a physical and see if they have any concerns with you exercising etc... It might be good to find a doctor that specializes in Internal Medicine and start forming a relationship with them so they can start tracking your health over time.
To lose weight effectively you will need sleep. In general if you can wake up on your own without your alarm clock going off that is a good sign. Most people need a minimum of 7 hours of sleep. Some need more. If you do not sleep you will be fighting grehlin levels in your body (More about that later). Sleeping for 4-5 hours is for sure not enough.
Do you have sleep - apnea. Do people tell you that you snore? Are you tired during the day? With untreated sleep apnea it will be hard to lose weight.
Stress increases cortisol and grehlin levels. Find something relaxing. Make your commute less stressful, etc...
You need to improve your diet. There are many ways to do this:
And another resource on the same site:
Also the following:
I like Robb Wolf fat loss as a starting point but they all will work... I also like adding Whey into the diet which Sisson encourages.
And if you are helping a non-paleo friend lose weight this is a great article for them:
It is far from optimal. But a huge step in the right direction over the standard American diet (SAD). It is also a great read for the info it contains. However sadly it does allow grains I assume so that it will appeal to a larger audience.
I like how Mark explains carbs in this article:
Excess carbs make you gain weight...
If you are 25-50 lbs or more over weight start by walking. Also start walking if you are just getting your diet in shape... You are looking to change how your body acts and getting your diet in shape is critical. Do this for the first two weeks of your diet.
Walk 5 times/week 30 minutes a day or more.
This can be any number of methods. Treadmill, elliptical, ski machine, rowing machine, bike, jump rope, a track, a road.
Start slow. Build up to interval aerobics and then possibly sprints. Limit workouts to 45 min max and once you sprint limit it to 6-8 sprints with a 2 min rest in-between. If you are not tired sprint harder next time... (Note not everyone will be able to sprint or even want to do this. It works great but it is not for everyone. You need to build up to this and it will destroy your body if you are overweight.)
BODY WEIGHT EXERCISE:
or P90, P90x
Get a good book on the subject or ask on Paleo Hacks. However in general dumbbells are all you need at home (and preferably a bench)
Work large muscles: Squats, deadlift and bench press to get the major muscles.
If you do abs. Twice a week with two full rest days in-between. Abs are very large muscles as well.
ASSESSMENT & MEASUREMENT:
You can get a newleaf assessment (or other brand) that will give you your resting calories (RMR) VO2 max. Newleaf comes with a 12 week workout plan as well. You learn your aerobic and anaerobic heart rates as well as max heart rate.
POLAR, Suunto and others make Heart Rate Monitors.
The POLAR F40 and F60 have programmable VO2 max that allows more accurate calorie expenditure than gym equipment readouts. Also the Suunto T series may have this feature as well..
In the beginning you may not need to track your calories consumed. However as you get within the last 10 lbs. Or even if you start to plateau you may need to count calories for awhile...
My favorite app is lose it. Available online for free and for iPhone and Android. Windows Phone 7 has an app called livescape that works.
You may be able to lose a lot of weight up front. Eventually tapering off to still a very fast 1-1.5 lbs / week. Then your number of pounds lost per/week will drop as you reach your ideal weight. Each pound lost is 3500 calories under consumed for a week. However you need to stay above your resting metabolic rate (Rate if you stayed in bed basically). And you need to stay below your resting metabolic rate + Daily activity calories + Workout. (Over consuming calories will make a person gain weight of course.)
Your resting metabolic rate will likely decrease each week as you lose weight. And the difference between your resting metabolic rate (RMR) and your RMR + Daily activity calories + workout is decreasing (unless you burn more calories working out).
You get to the point where you no longer have 3500 calories / week difference in your two metabolic rates and pounds lost per week goes down below 1 lb/week.
You can estimate RMR by using a calculator such as:
or you can have a metabolic assessment done. such as a newleaf assessment.
Very low carbs. It is diffrent for diffrent people. However 0-50g. This is often needed to get below 10% body fat for men and below 12% for women. However it is also useful for kick starting a diet for a few days. In particular if you have been consuming a lot of carbs. I do not like to stay in ketosis for very long. However I sometimes do this for three days in a given week... It is just one more tool that you can learn to use in your goals.
CORTISOL AND GREHLIN:
The bad guys...
Keeping the intense portion of your workout (Start to finish) below 45 minutes should keep cortisol away. Also relaxing keeps it away. Cortisol erodes lean muscle which is bad for weight loss. Because each pound of muscle burns calories for you.
Grehlin or why did I just eat an entire bag of oreos, chips, etc.. Or even why did I eat so much Paleo approved food...
Sleep and meals reduce grehlin levels. Lack of sleep means higher grehlin levels. Grehlin levels go down when you eat. So fasting is a more advanced technique and if you are still devouring massive food after dinner than it is not time to add fasting yet.
To beat grehlin sleep at least 7 hours (Likely you need more)... And eat a big protein breakfast, eat lunch and dinner.
Grehlin builds after each meal so going to bed early will help with the munchies and staying up late is a trigger...
Once you have lost weight you cannot 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 lose muscle and don't gain some of it back...
It is not a destination but a journey and it is worth it
To make it a tad bit more simple and completely along the lines of Paleo let me add this.
Because - when we are in the 'fed' state, our bodies are in storage mode. Many people spend 20hrs+ in a fed state, eating breakfast, lunch and large dinners. Sure, a person can lose weight eating 3 times a day, heck, even six times, but why bother when you can lose even more weight eating like a paleolithic person?
Well, thats it, 1 and Im done.
Hey Eric, You seem like a pretty big buff on all this Paleo stuff. what would be your ultimate suggestion for best weight loss exercise with the Paleo plan if you had to choose between Crossfit or Strength training? Or would you do a combo of the two?
Great question! First time I've seen this here!
What worked for me:
It was as simple as that. My appetite is naturally much lower and i have lost about 25 pounds while gaining significant muscle and so far am down 5 inches on my waist. 15 months later the "diet" is easier to stick to than when i started.