5

votes

Morbid Obesity and Paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 29, 2010 at 3:06 PM

I'm 350 pounds and 6-2. Ideally I should weigh 200 pounds or less. Rather than jump back on the yo yo game of significant loss followed by more significant gains that got me to this point, I have instead spent a lot of time researching diet and lifestyle to try to find a final answer. I expected my research to lead me to my friend's raw vegan lifestyle, so this paleo thing is like a dream come true. I hope I am not dreaming. Bacon is good. Bananas are bad. This works for me! I do okay avoiding sugars but I am a carboholic so this will be a battle, but I am desperate so I am going for it.

My question: What are the caveats for the morbidly obese on this diet? I've found tons of great information and testimonials but very little about massive weight loss, and us real big people.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on August 21, 2011
at 03:25 AM

Anna, I ate low carb for 5 straight months and there was no lessening of my cravings. Everyone's different.

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on May 01, 2010
at 12:02 PM

I think a more gradual reduction in the amount of carbs would be prudent. How much CHO/day supports 350 pounds? Just ditching the grains and legumes is a big enough change at first. Going cold turkey there will help. A phased implementation of the PaNu 12 steps, perhaps? Be sure to read up on "Adkins Flu"

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on May 01, 2010
at 11:56 AM

This is true for meds for diabetes as well. If any should happen along here...

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on April 29, 2010
at 08:26 PM

I would argue that you would do much better with bacon at every meal than nuts. Nuts are big stallers for many people, and their paleo status is controversial.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on April 29, 2010
at 08:22 PM

Enough fat usually prevents constipation.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on April 29, 2010
at 07:31 PM

Actually, I forgot one thing. I don't know if you have hypertension, but let's suppose that you do, and that you are on blood pressure meds. Even if this is not true for you, perhaps it is true for others reading this question. Anyway, if you go really clean Paleo, your blood pressure may drop pretty quickly. Paleo/low carb -> lower insulin levels -> kidneys excrete sodium -> body excretes excess water -> lower BP. So keep tabs on your BP and if it starts getting low, get your doctor to reduce or eliminate your meds.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 29, 2010
at 06:04 PM

Bob, when you eat low carb for only a few days the cravings for carbs die down. The first week is the hardest and when I tried a low carb diet a couple of years ago I could sit beside someone eating potato chips and not crave any. Since you are really overweight you will probably find that you will drop weight rapidly in the beginning, and that will give you the boost you need to stick to the diet. Good luck!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 29, 2010
at 05:58 PM

What a great story!

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6082)

on April 29, 2010
at 05:49 PM

Bob, I think if you give Paleo an honest and dedicated chance, it will work wonders for you.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on April 29, 2010
at 05:39 PM

@Melissa Good point, but I do think the constipation is a result of the meat and fat satiety. I have found that I consciously must drink at least half my body weight in ounces to prevent the constipation. For Bob, that means 175 oz H2O a day or 1 1/3 gals a day. Most paleos probably drink less than they should because of the satiety factor of the meat and fat and plain water.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on April 29, 2010
at 04:32 PM

@Melissa Good point, but I do think the constipation is a result of the meat and fat satiety. I have found that I consciously must drink at least half my body weight in ounces to prevent the constipation. For Bob, that means 175 oz H2O a day or 1 1/3 gals a day. Most paleos probably drink less than they should because of the satiety factor of plain water.

058205290bee7dda415923b11182b4fb

(100)

on April 29, 2010
at 04:28 PM

Dexter, I'm with you on that. Veggies should be kept low around 40-60 Grams max/ day. They are not as you said a must have for a meal. However for a beginner it put variety in their plate as much as color and IMHO help with the transition.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 29, 2010
at 03:58 PM

I think more vegetables is good in the beginning because it prevents constipation, which seems to be a big cause of jumping off the low carb diet.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on April 29, 2010
at 03:36 PM

Why focus on veggies? Meat and fat is what a paleo diet is all about. 70%fat,25%protein,5%carbs is what causes the body to not store fat because we are not spiking our insulin to store the sugar that is converted from the carbs-veggies.Granted veggies do not spike the insulin as much when compared to wheat or sugar based carbohydrates..but it still is an insulin spike. Protein also can raise insulin somewhat but not near as much as carbs. If one is going to eat a lot of vegetables, slather them with butter as the nutrients are better absorbed. For me, a small salad with EVOO is just right.

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9 Answers

5
77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on April 29, 2010
at 05:44 PM

Not so much a caveat as an observation. Robb Wolf says that for some people, it takes a LONG time to turn the ship around, so to speak. The analogy is of a big oil tanker -- if it is going in one direction, and has a lot of inertia, it will take some time to turn it around. The longer you have been obese, the more damaged your metabolism is. It may take you a long time to repair it, which means you may not see rapid results. Be patient and stick with it. Even if you don't experience extremely rapid weight loss, you are getting healthier.

In biochemical terms, we're talking about regaining insulin sensitivity, fixing hyperinsulinemia and possibly hypertension, and probably converting your metabolism from one that is used to running primarily on carbs to one that will run mostly on fat.

That said, I know that some people have seen stunningly quick results on a low-carb, gluten- and grain-free Paleo diet, especially when combined with adequate sleep, adequate vitamin D supplementation, probably omega-3 fish oil supplementation (initially, high doses), and an appropriately scaled fitness program (short and RELATIVELY intense, not long slow cardio).

So, ditch the grains and sugars and all processed carbs, ditch the vegetable oil, eat more meat and fat, experiment with what works for you, and keep us posted on how you're doing!

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on April 29, 2010
at 07:31 PM

Actually, I forgot one thing. I don't know if you have hypertension, but let's suppose that you do, and that you are on blood pressure meds. Even if this is not true for you, perhaps it is true for others reading this question. Anyway, if you go really clean Paleo, your blood pressure may drop pretty quickly. Paleo/low carb -> lower insulin levels -> kidneys excrete sodium -> body excretes excess water -> lower BP. So keep tabs on your BP and if it starts getting low, get your doctor to reduce or eliminate your meds.

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on May 01, 2010
at 11:56 AM

This is true for meds for diabetes as well. If any should happen along here...

3
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on April 29, 2010
at 03:26 PM

You need to go and read Jimmy Moore's blog at http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/beforeandafter

These are some before and after photos. The main page is http://livinlavidalowcarb.com

I think he weighed in at 460 a few years ago and is now about 250 and sometimes struggles. But he is very up front with everything.

He is an inspiration to those that say they cannot lose the weight.

2
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 29, 2010
at 03:28 PM

This girl was 235 lbs and about 5'6"!

You might enjoy her perspective.

http://primaljourney.blogspot.com/

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 29, 2010
at 05:58 PM

What a great story!

1
A4ef7f1ae882639dddd62ade85b2f174

(10)

on April 29, 2010
at 03:31 PM

another awesome real food book on obesity is A Life Unburdened-http://www.breadandmoney.com/docs/thebook.html he basically stopped eating all processed foods, ate lower-carb, doesnt eat flour or much grains etc. read it, its inspiring and a quick read.

1
058205290bee7dda415923b11182b4fb

(100)

on April 29, 2010
at 03:27 PM

Keep in mind that I'm not a expert. I'm just a coach who is still learning and applying is knowledge (and english is my second language)

My first suggestion would be to clean up your diet. So exit grains, legumes and process sugar. Aim for quality food and variety in your fat. With that in mind, bacon at each meal is a Big no go! Aim for good quality protein (grass fed if your budget allow it), green vegetable and quality fat: Olive Oil, Avocado, coconut oil and nuts at each meal.

Add to that quality sleep 8 hours a night and Supplement with good quality fish oil (omega-3)

Remember: - Paleo diet is not a all you can eat. - Keep a journal of your meal, sleep and mood, - Fruits should be kept at a minimum. Focus on veggies. - Stick with this diet for 4 to 6 weeks.

058205290bee7dda415923b11182b4fb

(100)

on April 29, 2010
at 04:28 PM

Dexter, I'm with you on that. Veggies should be kept low around 40-60 Grams max/ day. They are not as you said a must have for a meal. However for a beginner it put variety in their plate as much as color and IMHO help with the transition.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on April 29, 2010
at 03:36 PM

Why focus on veggies? Meat and fat is what a paleo diet is all about. 70%fat,25%protein,5%carbs is what causes the body to not store fat because we are not spiking our insulin to store the sugar that is converted from the carbs-veggies.Granted veggies do not spike the insulin as much when compared to wheat or sugar based carbohydrates..but it still is an insulin spike. Protein also can raise insulin somewhat but not near as much as carbs. If one is going to eat a lot of vegetables, slather them with butter as the nutrients are better absorbed. For me, a small salad with EVOO is just right.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 29, 2010
at 03:58 PM

I think more vegetables is good in the beginning because it prevents constipation, which seems to be a big cause of jumping off the low carb diet.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on April 29, 2010
at 08:22 PM

Enough fat usually prevents constipation.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on April 29, 2010
at 08:26 PM

I would argue that you would do much better with bacon at every meal than nuts. Nuts are big stallers for many people, and their paleo status is controversial.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on April 29, 2010
at 04:32 PM

@Melissa Good point, but I do think the constipation is a result of the meat and fat satiety. I have found that I consciously must drink at least half my body weight in ounces to prevent the constipation. For Bob, that means 175 oz H2O a day or 1 1/3 gals a day. Most paleos probably drink less than they should because of the satiety factor of plain water.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on April 29, 2010
at 05:39 PM

@Melissa Good point, but I do think the constipation is a result of the meat and fat satiety. I have found that I consciously must drink at least half my body weight in ounces to prevent the constipation. For Bob, that means 175 oz H2O a day or 1 1/3 gals a day. Most paleos probably drink less than they should because of the satiety factor of the meat and fat and plain water.

1
6f0efd477208f51d145bea6d7272256e

(627)

on April 29, 2010
at 03:19 PM

I resemble your remarks. No real caveats necessary.

0
0d821bf7d4028b84a6838062db0e9ce0

(754)

on April 29, 2010
at 09:27 PM

Just a side-note some of you gut flora will be highly adjusted to your old diet and will try and resist your body's set-point changing, the cooling inflammation blog has some info on this, but basically I'd recommend also taking a probiotic and/or fermented foods to help jump start your gut flora towards the right way.

An inital period with a very strict version of a diet change is also supposed to help, while not strictly paleo the Eades 6 week belly diet is an example (first two weeks is just whey shakes or something weird )

0
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on April 29, 2010
at 08:27 PM

Focus on meat and fat, and keep carbohydrates to an absolute minimum.

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on May 01, 2010
at 12:02 PM

I think a more gradual reduction in the amount of carbs would be prudent. How much CHO/day supports 350 pounds? Just ditching the grains and legumes is a big enough change at first. Going cold turkey there will help. A phased implementation of the PaNu 12 steps, perhaps? Be sure to read up on "Adkins Flu"

0
781f6345ec80020adc7af0c5aaaf75ba

on April 29, 2010
at 07:36 PM

The cravings for carbs (a former carbaholic) were: 1st day rough
1 week still rough but better
Almost gave in at 2 weeks. But got much easier after that.
Had my 1st "cheat" meal after 30 days and it just wasn't as good as I thought it would be...and I didn't feel as good...so going forward became easier. (I was still eating fruits and honey LOTS of it to break me into the new lifestyle.)

In my second month I started getting the results.

Recommendations: Go strict for a period of time (a month) Keep a journal of not only the food, but your experience.

It works! Go for it!

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