Not losing weight after a month of strict paleo

Answered on July 29, 2017
Created February 01, 2017 at 8:47 PM

Good morning!

ive been on a strict paleo regimen since December 28, 2016 and it's now February 1, 2017. I weighed 148 at the start and today, I'm still at 148 (I'm a 5'5" 35 year old female). I drink a bulletproof coffee for breakfast with a tbsp of ghee or grass fed butter, a tbsp of coconut oil and 1 or 2 tbsp of coconut cream. For lunch it's a coconut wrap with avocado oil mayo and turkey or a salad made of spinach, kale, cukes and turkey/salami with paleo dressing. For dinner it's a meat of some kind and roasted or sautéed veggies in coconut oil or a salad. Snacks are buffalo jerky, coconut flakes, sacha inchi seeds, half an avocado or a veggie like cukes or celery. I watch my calories and macronutrients like a hawk. Calories anywhere from 1200-1600 daily, fats are 70%, carbs 20% and protein 10%. I stand on my feet all day long for 12 hour shifts (2 on, 2 off as a pharmacist) and don't exercise per se in the general sense, but we're building a house so on every day off, it's go go go to get this thing built. What am I doing wrong? I've used urine ketostix and know I'm in ketosis. Very careful with keeping carbs and protein down low and lots of healthy fats. I feel like this expensive way of living is absolutely no different than my carb-laden prior way of eating. Over the last six months, I watched my weight slowly creep up every day. And I've decided to stop it once and for all with this new way of eating which hasn't done jack for me. I'm super discouraged and depressed. I'm literally getting fatter every day it seems. I did order an exercise regimen, high intensity, but it hasn't arrived yet and I will be adding three days a week of that. Ideas? Suggestions? How much longer can I keep doing this until I see results? Everything I've ever read about paleo Says rapid weight loss. I'm just sick to my stomach about the way I look. Im trying to get down to 125lbs which is where I was 3 years ago. Please help. 



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on February 01, 2017
at 10:06 PM

Also wanted to say that not only have I not lost any weight, ALL of my measurements are the same. 

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8 Answers

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on July 29, 2017
at 12:00 AM

Stop putting refined fat in your coffee and see what happens. If you get hungry or low on energy, try eating real food instead.


on July 24, 2017
at 04:48 PM

I actually had a similar experience as you when experimenting with keto. As ha been mentioned, paleo isn't necessarily keto. Eat more protein, less fat, and time your carbs around workouts. 


on July 22, 2017
at 06:31 AM

Have you lost 'volume' (thighs, waist)? I would focus on that rather than on 'weight'. 

Do you get enough sleep? From personal experience, lack of sleep (for exqmple, travelling abroad for a couple of days) will make me put on a couple of kilos, whereas a long lazy weekend in bed ( no exercising!) will make me lose as much as 2 kilos. I have started monitoring myndaily sleep using dans plan, and it is my achillus heel.

Do you have a way to check your cortisol levels? If they are raised, you won't find it easy to lose weight.

Your calorie intake is a tad low. Maybe raise it so that your body wont think you are starving, as others have suggested.

You really take a lot of fat with your morning coffee.  I only manage 1 tbsp mct or coconut oil with about half a liter of coffee, but then im not targeting ketosis.

Dont snack toommuch. Found out from experience that even paleo snacks will make me gain weight (or volume). I try to snack within 1 hour of a main meal (before and after) and otherwise I domintermittent fasting, especially at the weekend.

Best wishes.

Medium avatar

on July 19, 2017
at 06:48 PM

Hey girl! This might be a little long but it'll totally be worth reading, I promise!!! So the first thing I'm gonna say is that you are eating wayyyy to little calories. Anything below 2,000 puts your body into a starvation and fat storing mode ( according to the World Health Organization). So essentially, your starving yourself. So if you keep it up then yes, you will  loose weight, buuuut the second you start eating more calories than 1,600, you will gain the  weight back due to your metabolism adapting to the low amount of cals by burning fewer cals a day naturally. It's very unsustainable. But luckily, your metabolism can adapt back into a 2,000 cal diet over time. Try raising your daily intake 50 cals every week. If you raise your intake slowly and steadily, you will not gain weight. You want to teach your body to be a fat burner, not a fat storer. You can do this by feeding it enough. Secondly, your diet is very high in fats . This WILL lead to an abundance of health problems ( EX: heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's, arthritis). Dr. Atkins suffered a heart attack by following his own diet!  every single cell in the human body is meant to run on glucose from carbohydrates! Switch that 70% fats to 70% carbs! When you don't have enough carbs, your body begins to run out of energy and it has to look for other sources and enters ketosis. ( I'm sure you already knew that though lol) but ketosis is essentially just another form of starvation. It puts so much stress on your body. You need to carb up to burn fat! I highly suggest a high carb, low fat, vegan diet full of fruits, pasta, bread, potatoes, rice, and veggies and NO CALORIE RESTRICTION!!! It's what your body was made to eat and it will significantly improve your health and weight! Right now, your diet is unsustainable and unhealthy. It's setting you up for a damaged metabolism and health problems. I've been HCLF vegan for a year now and I've never felt better! I'm 5"10 and 120 pounds. Before starting this diet I was around 127 pounds, eating animal products and not many carbs, and calorie restricting to 1400-1600 a day . Not much of a difference, I know, but I didn't have much weight to loose as I was never overweight. I just shed the fat that I didn't really need. But now I eat 90% whole carbs, 5% fat and 5% protein and I eat 2,500 - 3,000 cals a day. I only workout for about 20-50 minutes 3-5 times a week by doing body weight exercises (squats, crunches, etc.), HIIT, and walking!!!! Please give it a try! You'll be so much happier and healthier!!!!!

 <3 Val 



on February 08, 2017
at 10:12 PM

1. your macros are backward.

2. a 500 calorie swing is way too liberal.

3. snacking will ruin it for you - I know from experience.

protein should be your primary calorie source. You should aim for at least 1 gram of protein per pound bodyweight, and up to 1.5 if you workout rigrously. For Fat, take in at elast 0.4 grams per pound bodyweight (minimum during a cutting phase), and use your remaining calories for complex carbs. Protein intake ratio should remian fixed, and adjust the fat and carbs equally (note: adjust by calorie content, not by grams since carb and fat have different cals per gram)

First thing I suggest is to calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR) online - there are lots of free sites, but they use different forulas, so try about 3 of them, then average them out - they should be within 200 calories of eachother, so jsut go with whats in the middle.

If you're looking to cut fat, I would use the BMR # as your daily caloric intake, and the ratios I presented above.

For example, my BMR is 1,900. I consume 50 grams of protein, 15 grams of fat, and 10 grams of carbs per meal x 5 meals a day - this is for a cutting phase. I would increase the fat and carb calories evenly by 500 calories (about 5 grams fat, and 10 grams of carbs) if I wanted to maintain my shape, and by yet another 500 calories if I wanted to start bulking up.


Finally, I would conclude by insisting that you give yourself a cheat day, or 10% of meals can be cheat meals, which equates to about 4 meals a week, which is pretty lenient - it helps from keeping you from falling off the wagon, and not snack because you know it is OK, and you know when you cna do it


on February 08, 2017
at 05:05 PM

I would second glib in that generally, I would try not to snack. There will be days when you're hungry and having a snack isn't terrible, but that should be the exception, not the norm. Your meals should be big enough to last for 4 to 5 hours until you're hungry again.

I would not skip breakfast personally. I would make sure you eat within an hour of waking. In my experience, eating breakfast ensures you don't overeat at lunch and generally makes you feel fuller the rest of the day. With that said, make sure you're eating protein at breakfast.

This may sound counterintuitive, but I wouldn't worry about the calories for two reasons:

1. It's highly overrated as a weight loss strategy (at least a long term strategy). If you eat 100 kcals of crappy food, you will still gain weight. If you eat 2400 kcals of good, whole food, you will lose weight. Certain foods want to be stored; others want to be burned. The math takes care of itself as long as you're not completely stuffing yourself each meal.

2. It's tedious and stressful to do so. I would also apply this logic to your macros. One of the main reasons people don't lose weight when eating healthy is that they are too stressed. Stress produces cortisol which makes your body want to hang onto extra weight. I would suggest you stop counting calories, stop counting macros (still keep your carbs relatively low) make sure you're getting enough sleep (probably the most underrated step for weight loss), and don't weight yourself for a month. Losing weight isn't a short term play; it's a long term play. Try not to focus on the weight; just focus on eating healthy.

Lastly, at 5'5" and 155 lbs (also having judged from your picture), you don't really seem to be overweight, especially if you carry any muscle at all. Most people's bodies (especially women) aren't designed to have a 6-pack. Your body wants to be somewhat lean, but it's not designed to be "ripped". Getting "ripped" isn't natural, and if that's your goal, you should probably go to a body building forum because that's what they specialize in. Just realize being ripped isn't optimally healthy and not what your body is designed to be.

Medium avatar


on February 05, 2017
at 02:48 AM

Paleo is not a high fat diet. It sounds like you're doing some form of Atkins.


The paleo diet is pretty simple. Ad libitum consumption of fruit, non-starchy vegetables and lean meat. Avoid dairy, grains and added sugar. That's it.



on February 04, 2017
at 03:22 AM

don't snack, and in fact eat fewer times a day if possible. I eat twice a day, skipping breakfast and having early dinners as much as possible. Consider some intermittent fasting after you are well adapted to fats (you probably already are). Your insulin may be too high, and it needs time to come down. I was going to suggest fewer proteins but your diet is not high in proteins. It is probably too low in calories, or you are underestimating them. You can lose weight without restricting calories, except when fasting. read the blog of Jason Fung.

be patient. Over time it becomes reasonably easy to fast. Once or twice a week I also skip lunch, not regularly but when I feel the need. If I do a 3 days, I can exercise vigorously on the last day, one has more energy when fasting. Finally, consider that, if you are also working out, or building a home, you may be losing fat but gaining muscle. Only monitor your waist to check real progress.

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