Third Week on Paleo and scale is a yoyo :(

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 02, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Hi my name is Kelly and I am 48 and have always been in great shape. I never had to even get on a scale because my metabolism was so fast. When I felt my pants getting tight I would simply work harder (running, elliptical, weights) cut calories (I never counted them and I refuse to live that way) and the weight would fall off in a week.

Now however, after early menopause - wow - goodtimes :) hot flashes, night sweats, wonderful mood (I have always been so even tempered and easy going so that was like Dr. Jekly /Mr Hyde but that is over now. So now I noticed that I cannot lose this stubborn weight around my middle - just like my mother and grandmother warned me about!

I am 5'6" and my ideal weight is 120 because I am small boned. I never carried any weight on my legs or arms. After weight creeping up on me with no change in my life - two weeks ago I was 135 and 30% body fat. I bought a really nice scale that shows body fat and water percentage. water is usually 50%. Okay so I started this paleo diet with enthusiasm because a friend of mine said it's all about the dang gluten.

So I have bacon and eggs for breakfast with Kale and banana. Lumch - tuna and apple Dinner - only meat and vegies. I eat more fruit though to replace any sugars that I completely gave up. More fruit I mean a small bowl of pineapple or peaches.

No dairy, black coffee,no sugar or artificial sweeteeners, iced tea and water are my beverages. Every 4 days I will have a one tiny glass of wine (6 oz) white.

I told my husband, "I can't eat any cleaner"

We eat only grassfed beef, everything is organic and I work out hard. I started running 5k three times a week (12 lap around the high school track).

pushups, situps, jumping jacks and squats afterwards

I belong to gym but last year after hiring a personal trainer and going faithfully every week for 3 months I was mortified to find out that I added 3 inches to my butt and my legs were so muscly (is that a word) that they were rubbing together when I walked - I then realized that I was starting to look like my female trainer! I don't want to be bulky and manish. I have always gotten compliments for my lean but firm body. So I went back to doing more cardio - running / stairs/ boot camp classes/ elliptical. 3 times a week but now I am so frustrated that I do a 5k run 3 times a week.

My scale one day say 135. The next it says 133. The next 134. The next 132. The next 135. Yesterday I had hope. It said 131.8. Today it says 134.5!!!

I am so frustrated and it is beginning to affect my mood because I am so self-disciplined and working so hard at this!

Any advice please?

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8 Answers



on August 02, 2013
at 05:04 PM


If there's any one thing that people get obsessive, then discouraged about, it's what the scale says. Scales themselves fluctuate, as does your body - a daily reading is bound to be change from the previous day.

However, charting your progress towards a goal is a great way to encourage and measure your success. So, do weigh yourself. And take a waist measurement (and biceps, legs, arms, neck, chest, whatever). Record your BF%. Etceteras - just do this weekly at most, and monthly at least - not daily.


on August 02, 2013
at 04:58 PM

If you weigh yourself everyday, you will certainly see fluctuations like you mentioned. I have weighed myself everyday first thing in the morning for 2 yrs. yesterday, I was 147.0, today 144.8. I fluctuate between 144.4 and about 147.6. BTW, those scales that measure body fat percentage and water weight can be completely wrong. Buy a cheap set of calipers online for less than twenty bucks if you want something more accurate. Also, don't focus on the scale as much as body health and muscle toning. As a side not, I would mix up your workouts. Unless you just enjoy running, do less slow cardio, more HIIT and spring intervals and you will most likely see better results all the way around.


on September 16, 2013
at 08:45 PM

Hi @Kelly 35 .

Most people find that they have to adjust their diet as they age in order to keep the weight down. A Paleo diet has to be done for more than weight loss. The rational behind this diet is better health, which those of us over 50 need more than we need anything else. Having said that, many of us want to stay slim as well. Most of us find that in order to stay slim, we need to keep the carbs low as well. For me that means a low carb Paleo diet. So I rarely eat fruit (you can get the same nutrients from vegetables) or sweet potatoes or any starches. I keep my carbs under 30 grams a day but that's because my blood sugar tends to run high. (You might want to ask your doctor to run a HbA1C to check yours... it should be well under 5.5 to be normal.)

And I get plenty of exercise (walking, biking, and such) and lift heavy things to keep my metabolism up, too.




on September 13, 2013
at 02:51 AM

Welcome to the reality of age - you are going to be thicker around the middle, and heavier in general, you won't look good naked, you can't wear everything you used to cuz you'll look like you are trying too hard, your wrinkles will get deeper, and you will be fully gray soon. That's the reality, and that is all that matters if you make your life only about your weight and your external situation. Aging is wonderful because it happens to everyone, and either you rise to the challenge and become wiser and live a life based on internal values and health, or you'll be miserable trying to chase your vanished youth. It doesn't matter that you used to eat whatever and never gained an ounce - NOW, as a woman in her senior years, things are different. You can squat and lift and run and eat nothing but grass-fed steak and spinach, but the effort you spend on trying to be the girl you were will be getting in the way of you becoming the woman you could be. Give yourself a break and allow yourself to have a few more pounds on you - eat healthy and well; enjoy your food. Exercise well but not obsessively. Be loving to your husband and giggle with him while you indulge in ice cream. Get drunk with him on a whole bottle (gasp) of wine. This is the only life you have - please don't spend your later years chasing something you will never have again. Enjoy this time with all the gusto you can muster


on September 12, 2013
at 10:51 PM

You can definitely expect some yo-yo-ing. The Paleo diet is more or less a reincarnation of Atkins, with maybe a handful more vegetables and fruits. But the main problem with Atkins was the yo-yo effect. Sure, you lose weight at first, but then after your body adjusts to the new type of fuel, it goes regresses to the mean. The honest truth is, eating bacon and eggs is not "clean". Our digestive tract is about 14-18x the length of our body, if you were to uncoil it. To process all that protein, cats and other carnivores have a very different digestive tract: about 3x the length of their bodies if you uncoil it. The bottom line is humans are omnivores and have evolved to eat whole grains, root vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, and legumes for the grand majority of our diet. Putting meat, eggs, and cheese on everything will make you sick over time, and will only keep you on the Paleo Yo-yo.



on August 03, 2013
at 01:57 PM

Look into Essentrics as a way to develop long and lean muscles, not bulky ones. I just started it, am already a huge fan. My friend has been doing it for a year and says her body is much less bulky, more long and lean.



on August 03, 2013
at 09:37 AM

How about your clothes? How are they fitting right now? How do you feel? What about your measurements? It may sound crazy, but those numbers really don't mean as much as you think. I fluctuate between 120 - 130 and I'll tell you, I never see ANY difference in my physical appearance or even feel a difference. Weight fluctuates. Rid yourself of the scale and focus on your measurements instead if you must!


on August 02, 2013
at 06:09 PM

I've always said that a mirror measures your body 100 times better than a scale... If you like how you look then what do you care how much you weigh. As long as you are healthy and eating to stay that way and your body is looking good, TO YOU and even your husband, then you are on the right track. If YOU think your stomach is getting large then try High Intensity Interval Training. Sometimes when people work out hard, they can increase cortisol in their body which can directly affect body fat build up around the midsection. Thats why many people endorse HIIT as opposed to long cardio workouts, especially for those of us over 40 type people.

Unfortunately when people start to get over that hill, like myself, we still feel like we should be working out the way we did when we were still climbing that hill. Truth is we shouldn't and in many cases we can't. I was a competitive wrestler fro 24 years and coached for another 6. I was in incredible shape for most of my life and couldn't understand why, when I got married at 36yo I started to get a gut. I even blamed my wife for cooking foods that were higher in fat than what I was used to eating. But ultimately after some research and 6 years of denial I finally came to understand what was going on, I was getting older but my ideas of fitness were not. Sounds like that might be whats going on with you.

Stay the course with Paleo and just try changing up your workouts to include more HIIT and I think you will start to see better results. Oh and get rid of that scale, your weight doesn't mean nearly as much as how you look and feel.

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