Simple Weight Loss Question

by (1490) Updated February 19, 2014 at 3:38 AM Created March 16, 2011 at 2:28 PM

There is a lot of discussion of weight loss on this forum, usually a question about how to get it started, keep it going, people sharing their frustration or their success. It seems to be one reason many folks give Paleo a try.

I'd like to ask something even more straight-forward: if you needed to lose weight, have you lost weight on Paleo? If you've been disappointed, has that tempted you to give up on Paleo?

I'm especially interested to see if there is any difference in the experience of men v. women. My guy friends and I have had rather astounding weight loss, while a number of women I know have lost very little.

Thank you. I look forward to seeing what folks have to say.

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31 Replies

120 · March 16, 2011 at 6:43 PM

I can't seem to comment on one of the posts above so I'm just making a new reply here.

I've had a similar experience with cutting protein. I think around 12oz of meat is what I should be eating to keep the extra tire off my midsection.

I started Paleo in April 2010 to improve health (sleep, acne, etc) and went from a size 4 to a size 2 in 30 days. In August I dealt with a lot of stress by eating ice cream and subsequently gained all the weight back. I cleaned up my eating but couldn't get those pounds off, even though I cut out fruit and nuts. I thought back to what I was eating during those first 30 days of paleo and I was eating a lot of fruit and less meat. So I tried taking the protein down and I started to shed the pounds.

Despite the fact that I was getting back to where I wanted to be, Christmas hit and I went off Paleo for a few weeks. Despite the fact that I've been eating very strict since, I have not seen results. In fact, my pants are getting tighter. However, I've been making a lot of chuck roasts recently and eating protein to my heart's content.

So all of that to say, cutting sugar doesn't seem to affect me but cutting protein does.

As a side note, I eat fat with all my vegetables but I don't go out of my way to add fat because I don't find it satiating. Also, I'm pretty active - stand at work, CrossFit 3x/week, run occasionally, walk-metro-walk to get around the city. That activity level may be why cutting fruit doesn't seem to affect me.

13928 · March 16, 2011 at 3:15 PM

I am 5'8" pear-shaped female.

In 2007, I went from 185 to 165 on Weight Watchers (helped with portion control and mitigated the insulin roller coaster!). Then I went from from 165 to 145 on primal, low-carb, little sugar in 2008/2009. I was still eating dairy. I evened out at about 150 in 2010.

With a recent move across the country (stress!), upping my carbs (sugar!) and not doing any exercise for the past four months, I crept back up a little. Also, I tried getting more protein to satiate better and that didn't work for me. I got sluggish and put on weight.

So now I'm back to low-carb, low-protein, high-fat paleo and getting better sleep. And I finally joined a crossfit gym, so I'm getting regular HIITs!

My only complaint about paleo is that, for me, high protein does not work. I'm better on high fat, low protein, low carbohydrate diet. When paleo doesn't work for me, it's because I'm "not doing it right" (ie. I'm sneaking in some sugar or cheating with corn chips).

15120 · March 16, 2011 at 5:56 PM

ive been eating fully primal/paleo since october 2010, but started in early september or so with the transition so 5.5 months, and ive only lost 16-18 pounds depending on the day. im actually really frustrated because i have been at a plateau for over a month now. i have about 50 more pounds to lose, and i feel like its never going to happen. ive been VLC and experimented with all sorts of tweeking and never seen much of a difference, and certainly have not been able to break through this wall.

i do IF, circuit training with heavy weights twice a week and spinning with heavy weights before the class once a week. im getting really, really strong so im blaming some of this stall out on muscle gain, but like i said, i still do actually need to lose a lot of weight. im finding that i actually have quite the untapped talent for lifting weights, so thats cool and ive been doing more of that. but.....still need to lose the weight.

that said, i firmly believe that its primarily the paleo diet that is keeping my MS in total remission (im going on 6 months totally asymptomatic, and aiming for a year) and i feel better than i have in over a decade, so no- i would never, ever stop eating paleo. im totally committed for life. i just need to find the right way to customize it for myself so that i still lose weight. dont really know what to try next, other than MORE patience, but its getting old. my husband, of course, drops it like its hot. sigh. im trying to focus on health, but 50 pounds is a long way to go.

3926 · March 16, 2011 at 2:55 PM

I did not lose anything on "regular" Paleo, but of course my husband lost several pounds. He was already very trim. Now he struggles to keep weight on and has to load up on nuts and fruit and add in sweet potatoes, etc. I had to go "low carb" Paleo in order to lose. Under 20 net carbs per day (no nuts, no fruit) with IF is doing the trick. Lost 15 so far with 5-7 to go. On a side note, same thing happened with my brother, he lost weight he did not need to lose on Paleo and he struggles to keep it on. Both my sister and mother had to go low carb to lose.

1037 · March 16, 2011 at 8:48 PM

Female, 36 5.6" today is day 60 and im down 24 lbs started at 231 today 207

Feel good. Havent started regular exercise yet. No one has noticed yet (kinda sad huh?) In the past it has taken 30 lbs for others to notice ..aside from hubby of course and he says he feels like he is cheating on me with another woman when were ; ) together. Btw he has lost 17 lbs and is at 184

I have never been a breakfast fan so I usually fast til lunch. I need to start logging my foods to get an idea where im at.

Had blood drawn last week. Dr said I was low on vit d and wants me to take a weekly vitamin. Total chlostrol was 178, hdl 61,ldl 104

This is def a lifestyle that will be easy for us to maintain, so I only see great things in our future

18619 · March 16, 2011 at 7:06 PM

I lost the first 100lbs doing a high protein / moderate carb / high fiber diet that I made up myself with various tweaks over the five years it took me to lose (and regain some) and lose the weight.

After maintaining at my first goal weight for a year, I went Paleo hoping to work on losing body fat and finally get my weight to a "normal" BMI for my height. In just two weeks, I lost the last 11lbs and dropped 4-6% body fat. Then I slowly raised my calories and fat back up (I track EVERYTHING.) until I was comfortable, but would not see a weight gain.

I was able to raise my calories from 1200 per day to 1400/1500 per day and raise my fat intake to about 50/55% of my calories and have been maintaining fine while doing three days a week of 20 minute HIIT sessions.

Eta: 5'2", 136lbs, 39 and holding. ;) I know the 136 seems high to some for 5'2", but my BF is 22/24% and I fit in size 4s. I'm happy here.

2564 · March 16, 2011 at 4:37 PM

46 year old female, 5'7". Paleo 3 1/2 years. Started low carb March 2007, 2 weeks after my last child was born, went Lacto-Paleo November 2007 (no fruit, no nightshades, no excercise, only cheats: alcohol and artificial sweeteners) . I weighed 322lbs March 15 2007 and have lost over 150 lbs so far. I didn't plateau until I hit 175lbs and I've maintained that for 2 years. Bad part is that I absolutely cannot lose the final 20lbs that I want to lose. It's like my body WANTS to weigh 175lbs. :( But all of that being said, i LOVE Paleo and will never eat any other way! :)

90 · March 16, 2011 at 3:29 PM

mid thirties female, started June 2009, 6 weeks after having my first child. 5'6", pear-shaped, and way over-weight. Started at a size 20, 247lbs. I am now 190lbs, size 12. I lost the first 40lbs within the first 4 months. I was doing CrossFit the whole time, so my numbers on the scale was not as impressive at a point, but the size in my clothes continued to drop. I would like to lose another 25# (roughly).

Even though I am struggling with my last 25#, I will never ditch Paleo. I feel amazing eating this way, and if I have too much sugar or even slip with gluten (which I haven't in a long time) my arthritis flares up. I am proud I don't take any meds nor pain relievers. I know a handful of friends around my age that are already on meds. This is my way of life and I know, even if it takes another year or two, that my body will continue to change for the better.

440 · March 16, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Paleo is a great way to lose weight. I lost a quick 10 pounds. I was not "heavy" when starting paleo. I feel like I am down to my healthy weight. I've never been tempted to give up Paleo. I eat great tasting food everyday and feel great. Why would I give that up?

13583 · March 16, 2011 at 2:54 PM

I gave paleo a shot to try and loose weight. I'm down 80 pounds. I've been disappointed when hitting plateaus, but I won't get off paleo.

That said, I am very impatient when waiting for results. I would not have continued with paleo if I didn't see results in the first two weeks.

422 · March 16, 2011 at 2:51 PM

I've lost over 20 lbs so far, but I did start out at 312 lbs with a very poor diet. I have not really increased exercise past what I get from going to college, and that is since Thanksgiving.

I have heard it's much easier for men to do just about anything and lose weight, while it's harder for women. I have no clue scientifically -WHY- but I'd guess it goes back to some survival instinct about women needing to keep their fat "just in case" for babies and breastfeeding and whatnot.

858 · March 16, 2011 at 2:51 PM

I dropped ten pounds right off the bat, so that was nice. I wouldn't say I was grossly overweight, but that middle age weight creep had begun. Since then (about two years), I have plateaued weight wise, but have continued to lose mass as my clothes are smaller than they were last year - probably due to the addition of lean muscle mass due to this diet. I figure I could stand to lose about 10 more pounds of fat, but I think that will have to be done through exercise. I have heard a lot of women say that they felt like they still had to count calories to lose the last 10-15lbs. We shall see.

I recently had a physical, and my doctor was thrilled with all my numbers, so the weight loss would be just for vanity sake, as I am quite healthy and relatively thin at 5'7" and 160lbs.

10 · January 24, 2012 at 10:56 PM

All bodies respond differently to their environments and changes in diets. For me (5'3 20 year female) Paleo is a commitment to health. You have to stick to it in order for it to work effectively. I started slowly switching to Paleo this past Nov. ("healthy" according to my blood work and doctor's standards) I weighed 212, had no energy and thinking that I was eating "healthy" balanced diet by US standards . Since being what I call a hardcore Paleo Babe...I've lost 22 pounds to date. Eating healthy meals is more than just a way to lose weight..its a way to gain confidence in being a strong woman! Do it for your family and friends...do it for yourself! To all the women out there who have lost weight going Paleo you all are huge inspirations!! Keep posting and pushing! :)

9796 · March 16, 2011 at 7:00 PM

I went from 167 to 152 on Weight Watchers, then down to 142-145 on Paleo (with more efficient workouts). I've never wanted to quit because this is the first time I've been "dieting" and never thought "this sucks" or "whaaaa I can't have __." It always felt like something I knew I'd be doing forever. I'd like to drop a few more lbs of fat and add a little more muscle, but I am enjoying this effortless maintenance phase!

439 · March 16, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Well, I haven't dropped a single (expletive deleted) pound, in fact I've gained 16 and I'm at about 235. I have no idea why, but this weight will NOT shift no matter which way I eat - Primal, Paleo, mid/low/high carb, low/mid/high fat, all meat, all veggies, you name it I've done it....NOTHING.

However, I FEEL good on Paleo as long as I get a bit of fruit every now and again and my headaches and sore knees have improved out of sight. I won't be dropping it any time soon, I don't want the crippeling anxiety I get from wheat...

236 · March 16, 2011 at 3:17 PM

I've dropped a dress size in my first four months and people are noticing. I do eat a couple pieces of fruit a day and usually an avocado, but that doesn't seem to be an issue for me. It's not strictly part of paleo, but I've also started sequencing and it's made a real difference in digestion. I went off all this Monday night while out with a friend and paid dearly later, so I'm sticking with it.

1866 · March 16, 2011 at 3:09 PM

We were already lean before going paleo, and so we did not want to lose weight. Still, we lost about five pounds, which revealed more of our abs, so we can't complain too much. No more weight lost since, thankfully.

288 · March 16, 2011 at 2:57 PM

I've been eating a primal diet for about 4 months and have lost 10 lbs (while my husband easily dropped 15-20 in the first 2 months). I would love to lose another 20-30 (I started out over 200 so this is very realistic). Despite the plateau on the scale, my clothes continue to fit better and I feel great, so this hasn't made me want to give up on this way of eating at all. To be fair, I haven't yet added exercise to the mix. I imagine once I start doing some strength training I may see further progress on the scale.

0 · February 19, 2014 at 3:38 AM

I started Paleo about a month ago and lost 9 lbs right away. But now I've hit a plateau despite tracking calories religiously and eating low carb, and doing cardio and weights 3x week. I am down to my last 10 lbs, but still have fat I need to lose. Any suggestions on how to break a plateau. I don't eat any fruit right now. Should I drop my protein?

0 · February 19, 2014 at 3:38 AM

I started Paleo about a month ago and lost 9 lbs right away. But now I've hit a plateau despite tracking calories religiously and eating low carb, and doing cardio and weights 3x week. I am down to my last 10 lbs, but still have fat I need to lose. Any suggestions on how to break a plateau. I don't eat any fruit right now. Should I drop my protein?

65 · December 13, 2013 at 4:06 PM

I had instant, visible results when switching from SAD to Paleo in October 2012. I dropped about 9 pounds in 8 days (I am 5'6 and weighed about 156 at the time). In the first month I lost about 18 pounds. I didn't really do much physical activity aside from walking and yoga 2 times a week. After about 2 months of Paleo I had SO MUCH energy that I WANTED to exercise for the first time in my life. I was snowshoeing and skiing and doing in-home workouts but I wanted more. I started CrossFit in late January 2013, having lost some weight and seeing my clothes fit more loosely and my face much thinner. Still, it wasn't until I started lifting weights and mixing up my physical activity that I saw huge changes in my body. By late February 2013 I had lost 2 pants sizes. I went down to about 125 but started gaining muscle (woohoo!!) and now rest steadily at 133. I am down a total of 4 sizes and I have NEVER had an athletic body until now. It's all about the food though, I wouldn't have the energy or mental capacity or the health to workout if I didn't eat this way. Sure I've got a little lower belly fat, but that's because I love me some raw milk cottage cheese and dark chocolate and bananas and maple syrup. Not all together. Happy and healthy thanks to Paleo!

0 · December 13, 2013 at 6:54 AM

Hello there, Weight loss results can only be achieved thru the tried & true combination of exercise and eating right (meaning eating healthy, weight loss nutritious food)........... Doing one without the other will always frustrate your results. So, in addition to hill climbing, start eating a well-balanced, healthy Weight Loss diet that cuts down on fat, oil, salt , sugar and banks on fruits & veges, lean meat, good protein and carbohydrates and fiber-rich food. Please also aim to lose your 10 kgs gradually over a period of 3-4 months as drastic/sudden weight loss of say 10 kgs in a month is a NO No thing. You'll not be losing just body fat, you'll losing lean body tissue as well, meaning you'll be losing something from your hair, skin, blood, nail and........ You don't want to lose these, right? Hill climbing is a good exercise if it revs up your metabolism to burn fat efficiently and at the same time exercises your heart and lung, to keep them strong and healthy.

0 · November 26, 2013 at 6:51 AM

Your body uses food for energy. It stores any excess energy as fat. This means if you eat more food than your body needs for daily activities and cell maintenance, you'll gain weight.

To lose weight, you need to get your body to use up these stores of fat. The most effective way to do this is to:

1.reduce the amount of calories you eat

2.increase your levels of activity.

0 · October 01, 2013 at 9:30 AM

normally i think natural way is the best way to get it fast. there are many kinds of natural products available in the market for weight loss programs. I used green coffee http://www.puragreencoffeefacts.org/ green coffee is a natural and safe product for weight loss. So if you want to lose some extra weight you should try this once. Thanks

0 · September 11, 2012 at 1:31 AM

I'm 53, 5' 5", and have gone from 175 to 144lbs in 7 months on Paleo. I stick to the regime with an occasional cheat treat (not an entire day) and I feel great. My cholestrol numbers have improved dramatically, as well as my A1C. For exercise I usually walk a few miles a day, or swing dance, or do a P90X workout. I haven't craved carbs in months and the weight loss keeps me motivated. So, I think if you just stick with it, you will see the results that you want.

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128 · March 17, 2011 at 5:53 PM

I won't ever do anything but this, even if I never lose another pound. It's as much, if not more so, for the health benefits as the weight loss. As a woman, Diabetic, etc I have hormonal/insulin issues that have tripped me up. A traditional low-carb plan with medications/supplements to deal with the insulin produced more direct weight loss. I can have more 'carbs' on Paleo/Primal, and I was able to go off all Diabetes meds, etc, so the weight loss has slowed, but I enjoy getting stronger, having lower blood sugars, etc. I recently restarted a supplement I was on pre-Primal that helps with insulin resistance, and when I get ready to crack down on the weight again, I'll do a lower-carb version of Paleo/Primal, skipping some things like sweet potatoes, dark chocolate, fruit, cheese/dairy - carbier stuff that does not mesh with insulin levels/having a monthly visitor = weight loss. The closer I get to 100% adherence, the better I do.

2689 · March 17, 2011 at 5:13 PM

I've dropped about 30 lbs (190 to 160ish) since Aug/Sept last year. The initial change was dropping out processed foods and I will definitely not be adding those boxed dinners back to my diet. I want to lose about 10 more pounds, but I haven't dropped any weight in the past few months. I have ideas of what I need to change and I'm working on that.

I enjoy eating in a paleo fashion. It makes me feel good both physically and mentally (self-esteem feel good). I know this is a healthy way to eat and it will become even more apparent as I get older.

7946 · March 16, 2011 at 4:26 PM

I got down to a decent weight just prior to going paleo/primal, but I seem to recall it was difficult.

I ate to my heart's content on paleo and maintained my (probably healthy "enough") weight fairly easily.

But I wanted to really lean out, so I started incorporating intermittent fasting, and dropped another 20-30ish lbs of mostly fat.

345 · March 16, 2011 at 4:09 PM

115 pounds and counting. Paleo and crossfit.

2231 · March 16, 2011 at 3:51 PM

I am a female, age 45, and easily lost my first 10 pounds of weight by eliminating grains (down to 125). I was perfectly happy at 125 & now I am at 119, having a flat belly, and just maintaining now. Happy Happy. :)

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