New to PALEOHACKS... a couple of basic questions

Commented on December 30, 2014
Created December 29, 2014 at 3:11 AM

Hi, sorry for my lengthy post but I really need some inspiration, opinions, and help!

Ok, so I plan on starting Robb Wolf's 30 day paleo plan tomorrow.  I have dabbled with Paleo in the past but I think the longest I ever held strong was about 2 weeks.  I generally eat healthy, and I have lost about 20 pounds VERY SLOWLY over the past 2 years.  Basic stats:

  • I am a 5'8, nineteen year old female
  • I weigh 163 pounds and I absolutely cannot bust past 160 no matter how hard I try.  
  • I would like to weigh 145.  
  • I have done atkins for the past month with no luck and I do not feel like my nutrition is not good on Atkins.... so yay I'm doing Paleo.  
  • I work out a lot because it is my stress relief. 

So here are my basic questions... starting back on paleo... 1.) How much fruit should I do daily to LOSE weight? 2.) Should I worry about my caloric intake? 3.) How much nuts is too much nuts? and 4.) Do you think paleo is good for weight loss?

I am 100% convinced that paleo is an amazing plan to have good health and nutrition, but as I said I want to lose about fifteen pounds.  I would like to at least be under 150 by the end of May.  Do you think this is a reasonable plan?

I REALLY appreciate any advice or comments. I want to live a more healthy lifestyle because my mom had breast cancer and she attributes it to prolonged poor nutrition throughout her life.  

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on December 30, 2014
at 04:15 PM

Where does the 145 weight goal come from? Are you actually concerned with the weight or just want to look and feel better, or are you trying to make your waist smaller or change your body composition?  163 is a normal weight for your height and depending on your body type it might be hard to go below that.

I am a male 6' 0" about 220# and the lowest I've been in my adult life is 192 (I'm 45 now).  I do Crossfit 3-5x per week and if you saw me you would think I'm in good shape (33" waist, decent muscle mass, no gut, etc) but technically I'm "obese" according to all of those BMI calculators.

For a long time I tried to get my weight below 190, a somewhat arbitrary goal but I really wanted to lose 20 pounds and just be thinner and lighter.  It would really help my Crossfit workouts to be 20 pounds lighter with similar strength.  Years ago the way I got down to 192 was by starving myself, I ate 800-900 calories per day for months and worked out every day, sometimes twice a day.  I was completely obsessed with food and workouts and I almost made it to 190, but inevitably fell off the wagon and quickly gained 15-20 pounds once I started eating normally again.  

My point with all that I guess is that your ideal weight might not be the number you want it to be, and you can starve yourself to get below it, but it'll never last because it isn't healthy.

One thing Paleo did is radically change my body composition for the better. I started at about 235# with plenty of body fat.  When I first started the diet I quickly went down to 203#, and as I did more Crossfit I got back up to about 220-225#.  However my current 225# looks radically different than my previous 235#, with noticeably more muscle, leaner face, my waist is 7 inches (!) smaller, etc. So I wouldn't say that Paleo is good for weight loss, but I think it is a good way to find your ideal weight, and if you're overweight, you'll lose weight.

Another goal you might consider is to forget about the weight and focus on body composition, maybe try to improve muscle tone, decrease your waist, etc.  This can be subjective and having a little bit of body fat is normal but it can be reasonable to try to change the fat/muscle ratio.

Back to your question, if you are trying to limit calories and lose weight I'd be careful with the nuts, it is very easy to over eat them.  There are about 270-300 calories in two handfuls of nuts, equivalent to about 4 eggs.

Many people severely restrict carbs for a time to try to lose fat, if you try that, first realize that going "super low carb" for a long time is probably not good for you but you could try it for a month or two. Any fruits are full of carbs and should be avoided.  Generally fruits are very nutritious and if you're not restricting carbs you should have them at least once a day.  If you're worried about carbs, eat them primarily after your workouts so they'll be used to replenish your muscles rather than stored as fat.

Good luck!



on December 30, 2014
at 05:22 PM

Thank you so much for your answer! Just by looking at me you can tell that I need to lose a couple of pounds.  I am not fat (I look like the average jane) but, but I have some chub on my stomach. My point is that I really want to get rid of the stomach chub.

I am a fairly muscly chick and I definitely understand what you are saying by needing to change your body composition.  I guess I will do a really strict paleo and see what happens... I run/interval run about 3 miles a day and do weights like twice a week (any other suggestions for workouts to drop weight?).  I think even losing ten pounds would be sufficient.  IMPOSSIBLE TO DO THOUGH!

Thank you again



on December 30, 2014
at 07:42 PM

There are certain things you can do to specifically try to burn fat, which may or may not lead to weight loss (losing fat and gaining muscle can actually cause you to gain weight).  Fat is burned by workouts that are brief and high intensity (i.e. Crossfit or heavy lifting), or long and low intensity (long walks).  Other workouts such as cardio, mid-intensity, etc. can actually help to retain fat.  So you could limit your workouts to only those that burn fat.  Diet-wise, anything that spikes your insulin is a trigger to your body to retain fat which means anything sugary or sweet, even artificial sweeteners.  So eliminate everything sweet from your diet, if you have fruits, make them low-sugar or sour.  Try these things in a strict fashion for a couple of weeks and see what happens!

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on December 29, 2014
at 01:19 PM

You're already normal weight for your height. Diet plans like Atkins work best when you're obese and have a lot of body fat to lose so it's not surprising that you got very little effect from that.

i'm 5'8" male and have been happily stuck at 165 lbs for the last 7 years. Based on what it took to get there I know that to lose more I'd have to eat less and exercise a lot more. Paleo is a good dietary framework for healthy living but I think that for you to get down to 145 you'll need athletic training levels of activity. Miles a day on the track or the road. Swimming will build muscle and make you healthy, but may not lean you out as much as long distance running or biking.



on December 29, 2014
at 04:21 AM

Three words: Count your calories. 

Paleo is not magic, macros are not magic. Calories matter 95%, most folks never dial in their diet enough to move beyond taht 95% mark (a number I've completely made up, but just represents how much calories do matter.) 

Dozens of tracking websites/apps out there. Cronometer.com is probably one of the best. 

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