Paleo Plan

10 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight on Paleo

scaleTell me if this sounds familiar.

You heard about Paleo from someone who lost weight effortlessly on Paleo. They told you Paleo was amazing, the food tasted great, you could eat bacon (omg!), and that they ate as much food as they wanted and they just…. LOST WEIGHT! Poof!

So you decided to try it for yourself, and in the first week you lost 7 pounds… 7 freaking pounds. That’s more weight than you’d lost in the past 5 years combined. In one week – amazing.

You figured you were on an easy peasy downhill ride to your optimal size. So you kept doing what you did the first week, but after the 2nd or 3rd week, the weight stopped coming off. And now you’re stuck right where you were at week 3. Maybe you’ve even gained some weight.

What the?

Is this you? Standing on the scale or in front of the mirror saying to yourself, “Why am I not losing weight on Paleo?!” Well, it’s a lot of people, according to my email inbox.  You are not alone – that is for sure. And you will get through this. If you need to lose fat, you’ll lose fat if you take the right steps.

I’ve talked to a lot of Paleo people, and I’ve learned a lot from them (and myself) over the years about failing to lose fat, even on Paleo. Let me share with you what we’ve collectively figured out, and you can start experimenting with yourself to get over this little bump in the road.

A lot of this info is being borrowed from another similar post I wrote on this topic here.

1. You may be eating too many calories.

I just had a conversation with my beautiful cousin, Meg about calories. She’s thin as a rail and has always had a sweet tooth. She decided a while back to cut out some of the candy and other junk food she was eating, and instead opt for a healthier snack of nuts and dried mango. Well, she ended up gaining 7 pounds on a small frame in a short period of time because she was overeating those “healthy” foods. The moral of the story is that it doesn’t matter how healthy your food is; if you eat too much of it, you’re going to gain weight.

I’ve had the same thing happen over and over in my own life. I’ll be at a good weight that I like, and then I get overly comfortable and start putting more food on my plate (all Paleo foods), eating more for snacks, using more oil/fat in my meals, and eating a few too many sweets and BAM. I’m fitting in my pants all wrong.

Then I usually end up going to myfitnesspal.com and log what I eat for a few days to see the damage. One time I found out I was eating 1,000 calories just in cashews every day. Duh.

If you record what you’re eating and find you’re eating too much (according to myfitnesspal.com), just cut down your calorie intake. Don’t be crazy about it and start making spreadsheets and bar graphs of your food intake vs your exercise vs the gravitational pull on your belly… Just put a little less food on your plate. You need that stuff to make energy and happiness and basic bodily functions, and if you have too little of it, chances are your plan is going to backfire and you’ll binge at the end of every day you deprive yourself.

So. Be aware of how much you’re eating by looking foods up – like those sneaky little nuts by googling “calories x food”. Or by going to myfitnesspal.com or the USDA food list.

Yes, there are some people out there who can just “eat whatever they want” on Paleo and still magically lose weight. But those people and you may have different appetite signals in your bodies (my own appetite is very demanding, and sometimes I have to have little sit down talks with it). Or your metabolisms may be different, or you may just be more genetically prone to having fat on your body than that other person. Whatever the case may be, the amount of food you eat – and I don’t care what other people say about calories and Paleo – will have a large effect on how… large… you are. I see it all the time.

2. You may be exercising too much (or too little).

I know that, “You’re exercising too much to lose weight” may sound counterintuitive, but I actually see this phenomenon a lot, and it happens to me personally. If I exercise too much, I gain weight. It happened when I started doing CrossFit last year, and as soon as I stopped CrossFit, I lost the weight. If you’re exercising more than 3 days a week, I’d ratchet it down to 3 days a week – or even less if you have diagnosed adrenal issues – for a while and see how that goes.

Exercising 5-6 days a week is a lot, and many people’s bodies don’t like it. You may be causing inflammation in your body, and water retention in your muscles is one of the ways inflammation manifests. Water retention = extra weight and ill-fitting clothes. Exercising too much can also negatively affect your cortisol levels because it’s so stressful on your body, and unbalanced cortisol levels can inhibit weight loss.

Conversely, of course, if you’re not exercising at all, or doing just a little bit low impact exercise (walking – even really quickly ;), your body could just need a kick in the pants. Sometimes a bit of intense weight lifting, sprints, or some kind of high intensity interval training (CrossFit-type workouts) is just what your insulin levels and muscle fibers need to get things moving.

3. You may not be sleeping enough or well enough.

Make sure you’re getting 8 hours a night (seriously) in a dark room with no noise. If you need to, wear ear plugs and/or an eye mask. Or sleep in a room where there’s no snoring spouse. If you don’t get enough sleep, you tax your adrenals and your cortisol levels can get out of whack, which can in turn inhibit weight loss, like I mentioned in the last point.

I sleep with ear plugs in every night. I don’t know what I’m going to do if I have a kid and I need to hear him/her crying at night… I can’t sleep without them at this point. I’m an anxious, sometimes hyper-vigilant type of person, and if I hear the house creak at night I immediately think it’s a rapist coming into my room. I’m only sort of kidding. So earplugs changed my sleep forever by making all those noises go away. I can sleep through most things now, and I can’t recommend it highly enough for people like me.

This is a really interesting article that sort of sums up the sleep/weight loss connection. Basically, there are several connections, including cortisol, ghrelin (the hormone that tells you when you’re actually hungry – ever noticed you’re hungrier when you’re tired?), and leptin (the hormone that tells you you’ve had enough to eat – same concept as with ghrelin).

The one they don’t mention in the article is growth hormone. When you’re asleep your body produces growth hormone, which allows you to build muscle lose fat. If you don’t sleep, or if you don’t sleep well, then your body doesn’t produce as much growth hormone.

So use the ear plugs and eye mask, invest in a comfortable bed that you actually sleep in, and do whatever it takes to get those 8 hours every night – or as often as you can. If you can’t get them at night, try to take naps whenever you can.

If you have trouble falling asleep at night, try experimenting with your caffeine intake – when you drink it, how much of it you have, etc. – to see if that helps at all.

4. You may be eating too many or not enough carbs.

If you’re eating over 100g a day and you’re not really working out at all, then you may be getting too many carbs. If that’s the case, then you can start experimenting with eating fewer carbs – less fruit, sweet potatoes, Paleo sweets, non-Paleo sweets ;) Too many carbs will quickly put extra fat on you if you’re not using those carbs up. By the way, the 100 grams I just referenced is a very rough number, and everyone is different.

For instance, some people can’t handle more than 25 grams of carbs a day and really need to try a ketogenic diet, or ketosis. That means lots of fat, moderate amounts of protein, and very low carbohydrates. Your body starts to adapt well to ketones (the fuel your body produces from fat in the absence of carbohydrates) and a lot of people have success with weight loss with this method, including Jimmy Moore of livinlavidalowcarb.com.

I tried ketosis once and it didn’t fit my body type. Here’s a blog post about my experiment with it and what a Paleo ketogenic diet might look like. According to my many commenters on my blog posts throughout my ketogenic experiment, I did it all wrong, but I tend to think that I would’ve died if I’d kept going. Just kidding, but I at least would’ve withered away to Skeletor status. Either way, my body didn’t like it, but yours very well may. If you’re exercising a lot, though, you’ll want to do a LOT of reading up on how to do ketosis properly.

Anyway, to figure out how many carbs you’re eating every day, just go into myfitnesspal.com and record a few normal days of eating. If you’re eating fewer than 100g a day and you’re working out intensely and regularly, then you may need more. “More” might mean you need a fruit smoothie and a couple sweet potatoes every single day. Plus some honey or another natural type simple sugar, especially if you’re doing long endurance workouts.

But “more” may just mean one half of a sweet potato every day, or a Paleo muffin made with honey or something. It depends on your size, your activity level, and how your particular body responds to carbs. I can’t tell you exactly how much you’ll need as everyone is different, but please do experiment.

It may seem really silly to think that more carbs might help you lose weight, but if you’re not getting enough, you’re stressing your body out. Cortisol levels are going to get all wonky, and we already know what that means. Not enough carbs often leads to insomnia for people, or crazy carb cravings that make people binge (what’s the point of going super duper low carb if you’re just going to binge on non-Paleo pie anyway?).

So you can see that there’s a pretty delicate balance of not enough carbs and too many carbs in your Paleo diet. You’ve gotta experiment and see what works for you.

5. Try eating more protein in the morning.

In fact, try eating more food in general in the morning. A lot of Paleo people eat just eggs in the morning, and it doesn’t seem to fill them up for very long, so they end up snacking a lot through the day, often on nuts and fruit, which don’t really fill you up and are easy to overeat.

Add some meat to your breakfast, whether it be sausage, leftover burger, chicken, or whatever. Just get some more protein and fat – and some veggies would be nice, too – in there and see if you feel more energetic, more satiated, and have fewer cravings through the day. It’s better to add 200 calories to your breakfast in the form of meat and fat than it is to succumb to a Frapuccino craving every day at 3pm. Know what I mean?

6. Caffeine can hold people back from losing weight.

If you’re a coffee, green/black tea, decaf, etc drinker, consider giving caffeine up to see if it improves your situation. Since caffeine is a stimulant, it affects your adrenals and therefore your cortisol levels (and thyroid and sex hormones, and on and on), and again, messing with your cortisol can inhibit weight loss. Caffeine can also affect your sleep, even if you only have one cup a day. And not getting enough sleep, well, I already went over that in point 3.

7. Make sure you listen to your body’s hunger and exercise cues.

If you’re really tired, don’t work out hard that day, and go to sleep early. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat. If you’re done eating and there’s still food on your plate, push the plate away. If you feel weak, lethargic, have achy joints, headaches, feel unmotivated, anxious, depressed, or your athletic performance is waning, those are all signs of overtraining. The cure for overtraining is to stop training so much! :)

8. You may have a tricky food sensitivity.

Sometimes food sensitivities make people retain water, which can make you look puffy and weigh more than you actually would without all that water. Beef does this to me. If I eat beef, I wake up the next morning with puffy eyes and painful joints, weighing a couple pounds more than usual. So don’t dismiss any foods as culprits – it can be anything. I’d start with the first 7 tips above first, though, and if all those fail, move onto testing foods by removing them from your diet for a couple weeks and then trying them again.

The most common food sensitivities within the Paleo realm are nuts & seeds, eggs, coconut products, and tapioca. Try playing around with those, in that order, if you think this is the culprit for you. If it’s none of those, then start weeding out all the foods you eat one by one.

9. You may actually be losing fat – you just don’t know it.

The scale is a nasty devil sometimes. While you may actually be losing fat, the scale may not show it because you’re simultaneously gaining muscle, leaning out, and getting some tone like you’ve always wanted it. Your clothes may be loose, even though the scale is telling you you’re imagining things. Check out this story about a lady who looks way healthier now, but the scale has stayed the same.

Some people even GAIN weight when they go Paleo because they don’t have much fat to lose and then they put on muscle. They’re heavier on the scale, but they look totally different.

So weight isn’t everything. That’s why it’s really important to take measurements and get your body fat tested (any gym will do this for you) before you start so you can track your progress. Pictures are good, too.

10. You may need to see a naturopath.

I don’t know how many of the situations above apply to you, but this is what comes to mind when I hear that people are having trouble losing weight. I have a feeling you’ll have some success if you start experimenting with these things. If you don’t, then I’d strongly suggest going to see a Paleo friendly naturopathic doctor, or “Naturopath”. You can find one in your area on www.primaldocs.com. They’ll do some testing to figure out what’s going on. Who knows – maybe you have yeast overgrowth or a parasite that’s causing weird stuff to happen to your immune and digestive systems. Maybe your thyroid is out of whack and you need to take herbal and nutrient supplements for a while (like me). Maybe your sex hormones are out of balance and need some nutrient support, or even bioidentical hormone replacement.  It could be a lot of things, all of which could affect weight loss.

So… I hope this helps! I hope it’s not overwhelming, but if it is, just start with number 1 and work your way down the list. And be as honest as you can with yourself about all of them! You’ll never know if something is affecting you negatively unless you experiment with it.

And please, if you’ve had a weight loss plateau and successfully worked through it, we’d all love to hear about it in the comments!

 

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46 Comments

  1. Hello!
    As a Naturopathic Doctor I loved your article.
    Would you mind, with full credit to you, if I posted this on my website?

    • Dr Nirvana – Not at all. Please do! Thanks for the compliment.

  2. Other reasons.

    Saturated fat from meat/animal products inherent in paleo diet.
    Too much protein = too many calories.

  3. This is a great list to try and I really need it. My plan cut back an exercise session and sleep in instead. Monitor carbs and cals on MyFitnesspal.

  4. Thank you so much for this article. I truly believe that messages come to me when I most need them. I was feeling particularly down today about my results since going Paleo several months ago. What hit me most was what you said about exercising too much (and about eating 1,000 calories of cashews in a day — glad I am not alone!). As a six day a week exerciser I’m not sure I can go down to 3 days a week, but I will experiment for the next 30 days cutting down my workouts to 4x a week. Now, what to do with all that free time?

  5. Thanks for posting! I was feeling a little insane because I kept hearing how people just lost tons of weight really fast on paleo and its been a very slow process for me. I have been happier to find that is not the case for everyone. I’m in fully to this eating about 6 weeks now and its been slow going. But I’m lifting heavy weights a couple times a week and getting stronger each time, so I know the scale is not always going to go down since I’m gaining muscle. But its sometimes hard when the media (like big name TV shows) only care about how far the scale has gone down.
    I am doing my own tweaking for myself with the carbs because I have also tried hardly any carbs and didn’t feel that great. Anyway, thanks again for the post!

  6. Frankly, I think the paleo diet is simply too heavy in sugar. Honey, syrup, and agave, which so many paleo recipes seem laden with, are simply sugar in a different form. Your body reacts to them in about the same way as it would have you had a spoonful of the white stuff. My point: not losing weight? Dump the sugars and the simple carbs. One could say not everyone is the same in this regard, but I don’t really think so.

    Case in point: my wife has a nutrition and weight loss clinic. Completely natural, with its basis in a grain-free, sugar-free, low carb diet (thank you Davis and Perlmutter). Not freaky low carb, just smart. Everyone, and I mean everyone, loses weight and keeps it off. Everyone feels better. This isn’t “most” of her clientele, this is 100%.

    Ironically, one fellow, who was successfully losing weight and shared that he felt better and had more mental clarity than he could remember, did take a backward step. This happened when the “nutritionist” at his gym told he needed to be eating more carbs. He did, and stopped losing weight immediately. He didn’t feel any better (he already felt great), he just started eating more carbs and stopped losing weight. His body did what it was supposed to do when faced with a glycemic spike from eating carbs – it dumped in insulin and started storing all that fuel as fat.

  7. I have some low thyroid issues. Since I went paleo 2 years ago, Ive had a lot of improvements in my health, but particularly with my thyroid and hormones.

    You mentioned that you also have some issues. I would love to hear what supplements & herbs have supported you or any other guidance in that arena.

  8. I loved this article! This question is something I ponder a lot and I think your responses are on target. How did you figure that out about beef? I’d never think that a type of meat could give me those symptoms.

    Also, I LOL’d at this line “I’m an anxious, sometimes hyper-vigilant type of person, and if I hear the house creak at night I immediately think it’s a rapist coming into my room.” SAME HERE

    • allison – I just had a feeling about the beef. I don’t know – after so many years of experimenting with foods, I just “know” now. Thanks for the compliments!

  9. I completely agree with Andy. All the sugars – honey, agave, etc.- “allowable” on Paleo trigger insulin responses and signal the body to store fat. I went low carb 2 years ago, and yes, the excess fat I couldn’t lose for 30 years just evaporated. Now if I ever feel a pound or 2 creeping back (rare), I check in on my carbs, cut back a bit, INCREASE dietary FAT (yes!), and I’m back to good in no time. As much as we know about fat not being the bad-guy, we STILL have a hard time truly understanding it. (Good) Fat Rocks! Otherwise, I totally agree with most of your assessments. SLEEP is a critical one!!!!

  10. Great article! I’m a naturopathic doctor too, who practices Paleo (mostly). I’ll definitely share this with my patients.

  11. I’m curious to know how Intermittent Fasting can play a role with this, since you mentioned eating more in the morning, especially proteins? I would love to eat food in the morning but then I will eat just as much later on in the day. So I’ve been using IF especially to keep from eating at night.

    I did the Bulletproof Coffee thing (butter, coffee, MCT) in the mornings as ‘breakfast’ until then eating lunch around noon. Maybe in addition to having eaten too many other calories, I gained weight like crazy and can’t get it off.

    Now I don’t use the butter, I’ve replaced it with simple almond milk and maca powder, and will have a green smoothie around 11:00 then eat lunch around 2 pm. I still have not lost the weight I gained. I went from 120 to 125 (I’m 5’7″).

    • AdaPia – Some people do better with having an actual breakfast, as opposed to just coffee. Your adrenals may not like doing that, which may be messing with your cortisol levels, which in turn can inhibit weight loss. I’d experiment with not drinking caffeine, or at least not as much. Or at the very least having some eggs and meat in the morning as opposed to coffee. Sometimes IF is just not right for people. It’s worth experimenting with. I’d just eat breakfast and watch your calories throughout the day (monitoring them with an online food journal).

  12. Thanks for this post. It came at a perfect time for me. I added a link to my blog so others can read it as well. I recently started using My Fitness Pal and am really pleased to see how things are shaking down at the end of a day. I use it as a planning tool and a sort of watchdog. I’m not obsessive about it, but am learning a little more about how I’m eating. I trend toward what I call a WholePaleo plan; stick to Whole30 as closely as possible with a paleo flair. Again, I appreciate the information this morning.

  13. Marie-Louise

    Thanx so much for your timely n good advice. I eat Paleo writing out a menu for evry day between 1200 n 1300 cals a day n i have the energy to excercise 3 times a day..n i do this sometimes..which is too much i read now. I am losing weight steadily..400-500 gr per week with which i am happy. I take no chronic meds so i consider myself blesd. My husband..5yrs older than me n a carb junkie altho hz Type 2 Diabetic n has Hi blood pressure n takes meds for them + now an xstra insulin tabs been added for him has at l

  14. Marie-Louise

    Sorry i ran out of space on my handheld PC. My hubby at last agreed to join me on Paleo giving up his empty complex carbs n within 2 days his blood sugar dropd 2points n his weight 400gr n his tummy 4cm. Hez amazed. Hez not starving as he did bfore on CC n hz very pleased! Thanx for both our sakes.

  15. Sara Jane H

    I couldn’t agree more! After years of yo-yo dieting, I was forced to look at my lifestyle after a car crash left me seriously injured. Since switching to Paleo I’ve lost 2 dress sizes, my skin is clear and I no longer get heartburn as a result of avoiding refined wheat products. And bear in mind that I couldn’t exercise during this time so I lost all that weight as a result of switching to Paleo. I’ve also learned not to judge my progress by the scales because if I did that it would tell me that I lost no weight whatsoever!
    However I wholeheartedly agree that just because you think that you’re eating all this wholesome healthy food, it is very easy to overeat and think that it won’t matter! I used to bake a lot of products containing almond flour until I read a blog post reminding us that we wouldn’t eat that quantity of nuts whole, so why on earth would we eat them just because they’re ground?? Neely would you consider putting a calorie count on your recipes? I think that eating some Paleo foods can be deceiving sometimes and it would be good to have a guide. I’ve tried using My Fitness Plan but it will only give me suggested recipes for your recipes which are guesstimates. Or would you consider teaming up with MFP to get your recipes up there? It would certainly get My Paleo Plan out to a wider audience! I love it by the way. The recipes are practical, good value for money and more importantly TASTY!! :-)

  16. So have you found a good resource to determine the correct calorie goal on Paleo?

  17. Any one have a good site to use to calculate a good amount of calories? I like Freedieting.com but not sure it goes with Paleo thinking regarding exertion/food type consumption.

  18. David R. Filbey-Haywood

    Another thing that many people seem to forget is that most people as they get older don’t need as much food. Even if you exercise regularly and keep yourself active you still don’t run around as much and use as much effort as you use to do. Those who ignore this or loudly claim that they have always eaten this way or that way and are not going to give it up usually wind up putting on weight whatever diet they are following.

  19. Kaitlyn W

    This is a great article. It amazes me that a cup of coffee can hold you back….or too much fruit. Those 2 are my main problems. I love them both dearly. Fruit is such an easy go-to because I travel for work. I have been tracking lately on MFP. If anyone wants to add me my username is ktylerw. I tracked on there for a while and lost around 45 pounds. I just started focusing more on eliminating grains, dairy, and sugar, but have been slowly cutting them out for months. I love the paleo articles!!

  20. m. williams

    I recommend the following:

    12 Paleo Myths: Eat Better Than A Caveman
    http://amzn.to/1goQQWc

    The Kindle edition is free from 2/16 – 2/20.

    (You don’t need a Kindle to read it, though. I don’t have one and read it via the free Kindle Cloud Reader at https://read.amazon.com/‎)

  21. Love, loved this article! Thank you very much for the “ideas”. I have been struggling since Christmas and now am anxious to adapt some of these ideas into my daily routine.

  22. ETripsa

    Thank you for this. I was researching online, as to why this exact thing happened to me. I started low carb Atkins off and on many years ago, but always failed. Went back to high carbs, and would gain anything I lost in a few days, ridiculous. With paleo, I can still have some of the things i craved so much, but it seems to be a lot more cut and dry, and for me, i need that. Eat this. Not that. Type of regime. If i was uber wealthy, I’d hire a personal fitness trainer, a cook and a Drill sergeant, just to keep me on track. lol. Anyway, first week i lost 4 pounds, second week i stayed the same, 3rd week i gained. Bleh! Almost a month gone, and i am right where I started. Number one… I still drink diet soda. Number two, nuts, waaaay to many. Number three, processed meats. Bad bad bad. Number four, portions. Number five, eating late in the day, not enough in the morning. SO.. I know WHAT I’m doing wrong, now to see if i can correct myself, on my own.

  23. I was wondering what herbal and nutrient supplements do you take for your thyroid?
    Since gluten free; wouldn’t Paleo diet help stabilize Thyroid problems?

    • Ozlem – My diet has definitely helped my thyroid, but I still needed a little help. I take a lot of supplements, including Apex Energetics Thyroxal supplement and others.

  24. convert

    nuts are very very fattening simply because they are so easy to eat too many off. I’ve had to ban them, as I can’t control my eating, so easier to just not have them. Also, the concept of ‘weight’ is very old fashioned. The thing to measure is waist. Forget scales. You can build muscle and lose ‘fat’ and that’s what’s important here. The more muscle the better for your health. WE are still to ‘weight’ focussed rather than just seeing if our clothes are fitting better or measuring waist. chuck the scales out, eat healthily, don’t worry. Building a better body takes time. I don’t know what country you are writing this from, but go to a doctor and have those tests for hormone/parasites/etc, I respect the right of people to spend their money where they like, but seriously, science has more than amply discredited things like kinesiology and iridology, but naturopathic schools are still teaching them. So I’d go to a doctor or a dietician if you are keeping a good exercise and food intake diary and are not losing weight, it’s normally just too much food and a requirement for longer kind of exercise (five hour walking through bush kind of thing). By the way, science means that you can duplicate and effect to control for a placebo effect, unfortunately many dodgy ‘evidence’ is still using in vitro or in vivo, but not human studies.

  25. Stephanie

    I have been doing paleo for 2 1/2 months- I love to cook and have been enjoying homemade almond bread and muffins-paleo pancakes and other bread subsitutues. I also enjoy my red wine. Now that I feel like I can live a paleo lifestyle I would like to modify my program for weightloss- obviously cutting out the bread substitute and wine will help but is there a 30 day recipe book to help plan lower calorie paleo meals for weightloss?

  26. You’ve hit the nail on the head with #10. Sometimes, for some people, it’s just a lot more complicated. You need and understanding professional to guide you through a lot of testing to get to the bottom of what’s not working. Don’t give up! I’m still on my journey but have learnt so much!

  27. What is your sourcing on bullet No. 2? The Centers for Disease Control recommends exercise in the five-day range, and as a certified fitness trainer, it seems irresponsible to suggest that people can gain weight by exercising “too much” with no data source. What is your research to validate point No. 2 beyond your own experience?

    • Neely

      Darryl – This advice is on an individual basis, as everyone has their own threshold for how much exercise they can do without overtraining (and therefore potentially gaining weight, among other things). I don’t really care what a research paper has to say about that, since it seems to me like it’s common sense. You may be able to train hard 6 days a week and be fine. Another person may only be able to train moderately 2 times a week, depending on their health status. Everyone needs to find their own threshold. That is not irresponsible advice, in my opinion. Do you disagree?

  28. Tammy

    I just had a baby about 3 months ago so the sleep I get isn’t the best.If I get 6-8 hours of interuppted sleep a night will that still slow down my weight loss?

  29. Sarah G.

    I maybe eating too less or too much; or not sleeping enough, or taking too less or too much carbs but what ever it is I am not doing anything different than the last month in which I lost 13.2 pounds (that was %11 of my total weight) , this month none, my weight remained the same trough the whole month.

  30. Please settle argument with roommates: is working out 15-30min/day 5 days/week “a lot”?? I don’t think that’s a lot because the workouts aren’t very long…roommates disagree…

    • Staci – Yes, it’s a lot, but I don’t know if it’s too much for your particular situation, having so little to go on. But yes, if you ask most people how often they work out, it’s not 5 days a week. So compared to the general population (which isn’t saying that much), it’s a lot.

  31. I have been eating a lot of sweet potatoes. Like at least one every day since I started the Whole 30 and have continued with Paleo.
    I guess I thought that since I ate so crappily for so many years that when I cut out pasta and bread and dairy, etc. that the weight would just fall off basically all in a month or so. Silly I know.
    I also have been eating more fruit than I probably should.

    So I will cut out the sweet potatoes and most fruit as of today and see how that works.
    I lost 5 pounds on the month of Whole 30 but none since then. (I finished the whole 30 on May 31 and it is now June 12)

    I will also cut back on caffeine as I have been drinking a lot of unsweetened tea.

    Thanks for the tips.

  32. Maria G

    I’ve been losing weight very slowly (I’m about a month into this new way of eating and it’s been 11 lbs.) but I know at my age (47) it’s a bit trickier to do so because of hormonal issues and the like. Last week I ate a bit more sweets and almonds and the scale went up about a pound and a half. I also have issues with water retention so I’m dialing down the sugar and almonds this week and drinking some fennel tea which seems to do the trick regarding the water issues. Thanks for all the tips!

  33. Number 2 is so important. I was stuck in the trap of ‘too much’ for YEARS. Kept seeing others do less, eat more and somehow be leaner. You then work harder to get the desired results and the whole thing becomes a vicious cycle. Worse still you begin to suspect you have some kind of metabolic issue!

    Rest is equal to exercise in importance.

  34. I started eating paleo 2 months ago. I lost 17 pounds rather quickly but the last 3 weeks it is lose a little, gain a little. I used to have a horrible diet. I have given up all types of desserts, all pastas, all breads and muffins, all soda and syrupy coffee. I did not exercise at all and now I walk 2-3 miles 5 times a week. I am really frustrated that after all this the weight just is not moving. I need to lose almost 100 pounds yet and am getting really discouraged. I basically eat nothing but meat, vegetables, and some fruit, and drink water. What am I doing wrong?

  35. Zolyria

    WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for key to successful weight loss

  36. This is a really helpful post. When I started Paleo, I would lose wieght for the first couple of weeks and then it would just stop. What I lost during that time was very little.

    I think the point you make in #8 “You may have a tricky food sensitivity.” is especially important. I suspected I was reacting to a particular food, besides gluten, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. I came across “The Virgin Diet Cookbook,” and found that this book is all about removing foods known to cause reactions, such as the eggs you mention, and then systematically testing your body to see what exactly you’re reacting to. I followed the specific Paleo version in the book and, I’m happy to say, I was finally able to drop the pounds. I even got rid of symptoms, such as itchiness and insomnia, I’ve had for years.

    Thanks again for such a great article!

  37. Great article! As someone who formerly struggled with an ED, I tried Paleo a few years ago but stopped after a few months of frustration. After suffering from vertigo and severe migraines, my neurologist as well as my ENT suggested I try it. I chuckled at the idea, but I figured I’d give it ago. Fifty days later, I haven’t had one headache or migraine, my vertigo is gone, I am sleeping through the night for the first time in perhaps 20 years, and I lost 16 pounds and have a lot more energy.

    This list helped tremendously as I train a lot for triathlons and endurance running. It helped to remind me to keep everything in perspective. And to put down the cashews every once in a while! Thanks so much!

  38. WhatMoreCanISay

    I’m surprised at the number of people that care about the number on the scale. Kind of disappointed actually. How do you look and feel? If you’re eating healthy, and see fat that you don’t want, then incorporate some strength training. If you already exercise, eat healthy, and look good, why do you care about your weight?

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