1

votes

Benchmarks to measure as a Paleo newbie

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created November 22, 2010 at 6:13 AM

If I happened to want to start on the Paleo diet, what personal benchmarks should I measure before I begin and track on an ongoing basis?

11481cbca60d3f3c3893588feaa19cfb

on November 24, 2010
at 05:26 PM

I am fairly overweight. My BMI is 35. I have a fat % at 55%. (when I began a month ago, those were my stats....) I am heavy.

A6e2b231f69366ce825476c5a6dcfff6

(1967)

on November 24, 2010
at 12:38 AM

I used two measures of progress. Scale and belt.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on November 23, 2010
at 02:25 PM

Yep, jeans work for me because I am still squishy and my body doesn't get bulky ... well ever for me. Even when I lift regularly

1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

(1248)

on November 23, 2010
at 11:42 AM

I personally experienced muscle hypertrophy in a short time with about an hour of bodyweight exercises 3 days a week in the beginning. So, men may not experience the jeans theory. But you never know, it varies for everyone. A mirror will not lie! Get naked and snap a shot every month......it works! Shows fat loss and muscle growth.

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on November 23, 2010
at 04:43 AM

I wish I would have taken pictures. Guess I could start now...but I probably won't -.-

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on November 22, 2010
at 10:54 PM

Robb Wolf (et al) also suggests taking photos of your body as you go...

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on November 22, 2010
at 08:11 PM

Definitely. Clothing fitting better/looser was a big indicator for me.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on November 22, 2010
at 04:31 PM

Also psychological measures, like depression, anxiety, etc., if it applies, and anti-immune problems like asthma, allergies, arthritis.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on November 22, 2010
at 04:26 PM

That depends on what kind of health improvements you'd like to see. E.g., do you have allergies, asthma, depression, anxiety, overweight? Base your measurements on your problems.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on November 22, 2010
at 02:09 PM

I've been eating Paleo for 3 months now, but I didn't lose that quickly. I was looking for a boost on my last 10lbs and 5% body fat. I got both now!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 22, 2010
at 01:28 PM

This is a great list! In addition, whatever is important to you. For example, acne could be very important for one person, but not an issue for others.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 22, 2010
at 01:26 PM

You could also track your increasing knowledge of biology, nutrition, anthropology, biochemistry, disease, endocrinology, neurology, agriculture, food science, cooking, physiology, evolutionary medicine, and hunting/gathering.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on November 22, 2010
at 12:08 PM

For me, it was 5 lbs the first week and 2 lbs / week for many weeks after that.

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on November 22, 2010
at 08:33 AM

Again, the answer comes with what he is trying to change. He should notice differences in body composition, energy levels, maybe skin composure, but those things aren't really "measurable". If I had to pick one that everybody could follow, I would say get the blood work done and monitor your cholesterol levels, and such.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on November 22, 2010
at 07:43 AM

I think Scott wants to see if Paleo works - what is the best way to do that?

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on November 22, 2010
at 06:56 AM

Or you could track all of the above.

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8 Answers

5
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on November 22, 2010
at 12:12 PM

I'd suggest getting a full panel of blood work done that measures A1C, plus lipids. Also, if you're looking to lose weight, take body measurements (a simple tape measure works just fine) - waist, hips, chest, arms, neck, calves. Weight is another valid measuring tool, but not the best to use as the sole measuring tool. You can use the body measurements to estimate body fat percentage or you can use other methods. So, in a nutshell:

  1. blood lipids (cholesterol)
  2. A1C (glucose)
  3. body measurements (size)
  4. body fat percentage
  5. body weight

I'd use these, in this order of priority. :)

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on November 23, 2010
at 04:43 AM

I wish I would have taken pictures. Guess I could start now...but I probably won't -.-

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on November 22, 2010
at 10:54 PM

Robb Wolf (et al) also suggests taking photos of your body as you go...

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 22, 2010
at 01:28 PM

This is a great list! In addition, whatever is important to you. For example, acne could be very important for one person, but not an issue for others.

A6e2b231f69366ce825476c5a6dcfff6

(1967)

on November 24, 2010
at 12:38 AM

I used two measures of progress. Scale and belt.

5
Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on November 22, 2010
at 06:55 AM

Depends on your goals, what's important to you, or why you would be switching to the paleo diet in the first place. If you are doing it to lose weight, weight, body fat percentage and BMI would be some good things to track. If you are doing it for health, cholesterol levels, resting heart rate, blood pressure and blood triglyceride levels. Or if you are a runner, measure how far you can run or how fast you can run a certain distance. If you are a weight lifter, measure how much weight you are lifting for each exercise and track the increase in weights. Or if you play a particular sport, just keep track of how well you are doing in each aspect of that sport I guess. You could track a number of things. I would figure out why you are switching and what your goals would be. We can't really set your goals for you ;)

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on November 22, 2010
at 07:43 AM

I think Scott wants to see if Paleo works - what is the best way to do that?

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on November 22, 2010
at 06:56 AM

Or you could track all of the above.

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on November 22, 2010
at 08:33 AM

Again, the answer comes with what he is trying to change. He should notice differences in body composition, energy levels, maybe skin composure, but those things aren't really "measurable". If I had to pick one that everybody could follow, I would say get the blood work done and monitor your cholesterol levels, and such.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 22, 2010
at 01:26 PM

You could also track your increasing knowledge of biology, nutrition, anthropology, biochemistry, disease, endocrinology, neurology, agriculture, food science, cooking, physiology, evolutionary medicine, and hunting/gathering.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on November 22, 2010
at 04:31 PM

Also psychological measures, like depression, anxiety, etc., if it applies, and anti-immune problems like asthma, allergies, arthritis.

1
47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on November 23, 2010
at 06:30 AM

Kurt Harris suggested these four were the best "predictors of mortality" (no particular order):

  1. HBA1c
  2. 25 (OH) D
  3. HDL
  4. Triglycerides

The original context is here, a comment on Stephan's blog.

Scroll down a little bit for Stephan's response: he also sees value in finding out LDL particle size (you know, little and dangerous versus big and fluffy). Based on the work of Ronald Krauss.

1
61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on November 22, 2010
at 08:17 PM

Once you know why you want to try paleo, then you can decide what to measure and track. I started out just wanting to lose weight, but I have learned a lot about how eating various foods can impact so many aspects of life.

For instance, I've started keeping track of joint issues, headaches, sleep habits, mood...so many things can be affected by diet, it's incredible.

1
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on November 22, 2010
at 07:09 PM

For me it was taking a picture.

That and my jeans have told me that this is doing what I want. I didn't think of Jeans as a tracker at first, but for me they have been important. I just got size 12 jeans and I had been in size 18. I started eating paleo in October. The weight has come off too, but the jeans have more accurately tracked what is happening with my body :)

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on November 23, 2010
at 02:25 PM

Yep, jeans work for me because I am still squishy and my body doesn't get bulky ... well ever for me. Even when I lift regularly

1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

(1248)

on November 23, 2010
at 11:42 AM

I personally experienced muscle hypertrophy in a short time with about an hour of bodyweight exercises 3 days a week in the beginning. So, men may not experience the jeans theory. But you never know, it varies for everyone. A mirror will not lie! Get naked and snap a shot every month......it works! Shows fat loss and muscle growth.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on November 22, 2010
at 08:11 PM

Definitely. Clothing fitting better/looser was a big indicator for me.

0
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on November 23, 2010
at 11:52 AM

I think this is from Robb Wolf:

You're doing fine if you look, feel and perform good.

Maybe not all real, objectively measurable benchmarks, but good indicators none the less.

Good luck with your paleo journey!

0
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on November 23, 2010
at 05:46 AM

Could track amount of sleep and quality of sleep-might be interesting. Many feel the sleep better and need less sleep on paleo.

0
11481cbca60d3f3c3893588feaa19cfb

on November 22, 2010
at 07:46 AM

I agree with bkluffy. For example, I started are 2 weeks ago, and have since lost 14 lbs., over 10% of my goal weight loss. I had heard that most people who are on paleo and are heavy, they can expect to lose 10 lbs the first week, and then about 5 lbs. Every week until total weight loss goal has about 10 left to lose, then it seems to halt, and you should only be losing 1/2 to 1 lbs a week, because your body's running out of fat to burn, and is now building muscle, esp. If you exercise.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on November 22, 2010
at 12:08 PM

For me, it was 5 lbs the first week and 2 lbs / week for many weeks after that.

11481cbca60d3f3c3893588feaa19cfb

on November 24, 2010
at 05:26 PM

I am fairly overweight. My BMI is 35. I have a fat % at 55%. (when I began a month ago, those were my stats....) I am heavy.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on November 22, 2010
at 02:09 PM

I've been eating Paleo for 3 months now, but I didn't lose that quickly. I was looking for a boost on my last 10lbs and 5% body fat. I got both now!

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