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HELP! Paleo for Fat Loss?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 09, 2012 at 11:55 PM

Hey Everyone,

I have started paleo almost 5 weeks ago now and have barely seen any weight loss what so ever. I have been through the whole dieting thing before and lost 80+ pounds doing the normal 40/40/20 ratio with carbs, protein, and fats. I workout daily doing High Intensity Cardio about 4-5 times a week and weight lifting about 3-4 times a week. I have gone out of my way to make sure all the meat is 100% grass fed from local farmers/butchers (no hormones, no antibiotics, etc) along with free range NON vegetarian fed eggs, free range fryer chickens/chicken breasts. I have healthy fats (only use coconut oil and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil). I do eat bacon from the butcher which is from healthy pigs fed a natural diet. I am just getting so frustrated from all the time and money I spent going paleo and debating going back to my old diet that I lost a bunch of weight on years back. I defiantly know I eat less then 100g of carbs a day. Probably under 50gs. I only get my carbs really from veggies. (broccoli and asparagus) So I should be in ketosis now. I have a caloric deficit of about 400-500 calories a day and burn about 400 calories a day in the gym. I rarely eat fruit... maybe a piece once every couple weeks. Rarely eat nuts/seeds.. Maybe once or twice a week. The seeds/nuts I do eat is only sunflower and almonds that are raw and have been soaked and sprouted. I just don't understand why this is taking so long.... I know that on my other diet that after the first 3-4 weeks my body fat really started to fall off.

I understand that good healthy fats do not cause fat gain but does having fat as your main fuel source really help with fat loss?

I have been thinking lot about this and it seems more that a paleo lifestyle is more for healthy living and maintaining body weight rather then losing it.

Why would my body want to dip into my fat stores and use it as fuel if I am already supplying it so much healthy fat?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

30f62970daca996e8057483822bba756

(5)

on March 11, 2012
at 05:55 AM

@PaleoVenus - I don't think im obese... I'm fairly active and strong.... 30 minutes cardio even with VLC doesn't even have much effect on me (fatigue wise(... its kind of easy. Cardio is my thing. Regarding my body composition... I am 6 foot tall. 260 lbs about 29% body fat. Long term goal is to get down to 15% body fat.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 10, 2012
at 07:55 PM

I guess I should add the context that I am 6'5" tall and almost 3' wide at the shoulder so while I was hugely fat I wasn't as over-weight as it sounds.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on March 10, 2012
at 07:17 PM

@Brad: it depends on your physical state. that's not chronic for someone who is lean. It might be for someone who is obese.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on March 10, 2012
at 07:10 PM

VLC = Very Low Carbs :)

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on March 10, 2012
at 07:09 PM

maybe i missed something you said before, but you can just add starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes or eat more fruits (low-glycemic load like berries). It's hard to know without more information about where you are at in body composition and health. People who hav e alot of fat to loose typically do better on VLC. People who are fit with good insulin response can do okay on more carbs.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on March 10, 2012
at 07:05 PM

the difference has to do with aerobic versus anaerobic.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on March 10, 2012
at 11:18 AM

+1 for results.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 10, 2012
at 10:43 AM

The whole point is to ease up on burning carbs and burn fat instead! That how you lose weight. My guess is that you are confused by what is called "bro science." "hey bro, you are not sweating enough, try harder..." Cardio is a terrible weight loss strategy.

30f62970daca996e8057483822bba756

(5)

on March 10, 2012
at 05:00 AM

Also what is the difference in doing crossfit or weight lifting or cardio? According to you don't they all require your body to burn carbs? Then why do people doing the paleo diet still lift weights and/or do crossfit training?

30f62970daca996e8057483822bba756

(5)

on March 10, 2012
at 04:59 AM

I get that but isn't like sprinting still a form of cardio? and how do cardio work outs burn carbs when you are not eating carbs? Wouldn't my body start using what it is mainly getting as its new fuel? FAT? This makes no sense and I am getting pissed off of people saying do this but dont do that and dont do that, etc.

Bdac420645091098a0b3b5b47436969c

(273)

on March 10, 2012
at 04:07 AM

WOW!! that is an amazing weight loss and you should NOT be ashamed.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 10, 2012
at 03:03 AM

A lot of different things work, for different reasons. What I was getting at is that you are doing two different approaches at once. Paleo folks climb trees and rocks, sprint from tiger, drag moose around... Stuff like that.

30f62970daca996e8057483822bba756

(5)

on March 10, 2012
at 02:42 AM

What about full body weight lifting circuits 3 times a week? So if I didn't do the whole paleo thing and did want to do cardio 30 minutes of cardio a day then I should just stick with the standard 40/40/20 ratio to lose fat then thats fine since I am supplying my body with the carbs to burn off? You may say this doesn't work but I know it does...

30f62970daca996e8057483822bba756

(5)

on March 10, 2012
at 02:37 AM

What is VLC????

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 10, 2012
at 02:15 AM

You don't do cardio to lose weight and Paleo to lose weight at the same time, assuming you want to do the fat burn mode thing. They conflict. Light cardio is good for anyone, but walking is better. Cardio workouts burn carbs you should be avoiding, and run up your cortisol and stop progress. Look at the people on those spinning machines. I did the other day and they looked beat, and the lead was huge.

30f62970daca996e8057483822bba756

(5)

on March 10, 2012
at 01:49 AM

The thing with doing 40/40/20 is that I would have to eat another form of carb like brown rice, etc. It would take sooooo many veggies to get 40% carbs in.

30f62970daca996e8057483822bba756

(5)

on March 10, 2012
at 01:46 AM

Lol so just stop working out to lose weight and once some weight is gone then do cardio to lose more weight? This is quite confusing.....

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on March 10, 2012
at 01:25 AM

30 minutes a day is not "chronic cardio"

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 10, 2012
at 01:08 AM

30 min too much. Ease up. Lose some weight first.

76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on March 10, 2012
at 01:04 AM

I might give something like this a try: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=2145

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on March 10, 2012
at 12:55 AM

DFH, good call, I posted the cardio link below. Derrick, what are your macro ratios? you can still do 40/40/20 on paleo, it doesn't have to be low carb. If that works for you, try it!

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on March 10, 2012
at 12:39 AM

You said "high intensity"? You may be upping your cortisol levels too much and slowing your fat loss. Check this out: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/case-against-cardio/#axzz1ofa74CRx

30f62970daca996e8057483822bba756

(5)

on March 10, 2012
at 12:28 AM

I have not monitored body fat percentage but I have taken body measurements with very little to no results :\ Why do you think my body responds better to a typical low fat diet for fat loss faster (within this 4-5 week range) rather then with excess (yet healthy) fats?

30f62970daca996e8057483822bba756

(5)

on March 10, 2012
at 12:25 AM

I am only doing 30 minutes of cardio a day though. I don't do cardio on days when I lift either.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 10, 2012
at 12:23 AM

Mark has a very popular post on "Chronic cardio" too. I have tried to "work off" weight with cardio before and I got a mess in return and high trigs (insulin resistance).

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3 Answers

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 10, 2012
at 01:19 AM

I've lost 150lbs so far with, I'm ashamed to admit, 100 more to go. I only work out (by which I mean more than walking) 2-3 days a week. Working out hard everyday is gonna just fry your adrenals and leave you sick and exhausted. I honestly don't think Macros matter, they don't for me. What worked for me -

Simple food, not over spiced or seasoned 30 day challenges of "No chocolate" or "No fruit" just to mix things up and allow for variation and challenging my psychological bad habits. VLC - This really wrecked me, but some people do it no problem. lots of walking, hiking in Nature etc... 2-3 full body weight lifting sessions per week. When I killed my shoulder playing frisbee I switched to "Peak 8" style sprints.

Bdac420645091098a0b3b5b47436969c

(273)

on March 10, 2012
at 04:07 AM

WOW!! that is an amazing weight loss and you should NOT be ashamed.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on March 10, 2012
at 07:10 PM

VLC = Very Low Carbs :)

30f62970daca996e8057483822bba756

(5)

on March 10, 2012
at 02:37 AM

What is VLC????

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on March 10, 2012
at 11:18 AM

+1 for results.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 10, 2012
at 07:55 PM

I guess I should add the context that I am 6'5" tall and almost 3' wide at the shoulder so while I was hugely fat I wasn't as over-weight as it sounds.

1
E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 10, 2012
at 12:21 AM

You body is working against you with all that cardio. Just stop that and it will work out.

30f62970daca996e8057483822bba756

(5)

on March 10, 2012
at 12:25 AM

I am only doing 30 minutes of cardio a day though. I don't do cardio on days when I lift either.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on March 10, 2012
at 07:05 PM

the difference has to do with aerobic versus anaerobic.

30f62970daca996e8057483822bba756

(5)

on March 10, 2012
at 02:42 AM

What about full body weight lifting circuits 3 times a week? So if I didn't do the whole paleo thing and did want to do cardio 30 minutes of cardio a day then I should just stick with the standard 40/40/20 ratio to lose fat then thats fine since I am supplying my body with the carbs to burn off? You may say this doesn't work but I know it does...

30f62970daca996e8057483822bba756

(5)

on March 10, 2012
at 04:59 AM

I get that but isn't like sprinting still a form of cardio? and how do cardio work outs burn carbs when you are not eating carbs? Wouldn't my body start using what it is mainly getting as its new fuel? FAT? This makes no sense and I am getting pissed off of people saying do this but dont do that and dont do that, etc.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on March 10, 2012
at 12:39 AM

You said "high intensity"? You may be upping your cortisol levels too much and slowing your fat loss. Check this out: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/case-against-cardio/#axzz1ofa74CRx

30f62970daca996e8057483822bba756

(5)

on March 10, 2012
at 05:00 AM

Also what is the difference in doing crossfit or weight lifting or cardio? According to you don't they all require your body to burn carbs? Then why do people doing the paleo diet still lift weights and/or do crossfit training?

30f62970daca996e8057483822bba756

(5)

on March 10, 2012
at 01:46 AM

Lol so just stop working out to lose weight and once some weight is gone then do cardio to lose more weight? This is quite confusing.....

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 10, 2012
at 03:03 AM

A lot of different things work, for different reasons. What I was getting at is that you are doing two different approaches at once. Paleo folks climb trees and rocks, sprint from tiger, drag moose around... Stuff like that.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 10, 2012
at 10:43 AM

The whole point is to ease up on burning carbs and burn fat instead! That how you lose weight. My guess is that you are confused by what is called "bro science." "hey bro, you are not sweating enough, try harder..." Cardio is a terrible weight loss strategy.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 10, 2012
at 01:08 AM

30 min too much. Ease up. Lose some weight first.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 10, 2012
at 02:15 AM

You don't do cardio to lose weight and Paleo to lose weight at the same time, assuming you want to do the fat burn mode thing. They conflict. Light cardio is good for anyone, but walking is better. Cardio workouts burn carbs you should be avoiding, and run up your cortisol and stop progress. Look at the people on those spinning machines. I did the other day and they looked beat, and the lead was huge.

0
E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

on March 10, 2012
at 12:21 AM

Hey Derrick, there are tons of resources out there to explain the biological mechanics underlying why eating fat does not make you fat. Start here:http://www.marksdailyapple.com/definitive-guide-to-the-primal-eating-plan/#axzz1ofSjv0zH.

To your main question though, have you been monitoring your body fat percentage or measuring inches? Has your athletic performance increased? Five weeks may not be enough time for you to see significant changes in these areas, everyone is different. But going forward, they are truer markers of your health and fitness than your overall weight on the scale, which does not, for instance, account for increased muscle mass.

For example, I lost body fat and inches, but my weight hasn't changed that much (I suspect because I'm also building muscle more efficiently).

Hope this helps.

30f62970daca996e8057483822bba756

(5)

on March 10, 2012
at 01:49 AM

The thing with doing 40/40/20 is that I would have to eat another form of carb like brown rice, etc. It would take sooooo many veggies to get 40% carbs in.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 10, 2012
at 12:23 AM

Mark has a very popular post on "Chronic cardio" too. I have tried to "work off" weight with cardio before and I got a mess in return and high trigs (insulin resistance).

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on March 10, 2012
at 12:55 AM

DFH, good call, I posted the cardio link below. Derrick, what are your macro ratios? you can still do 40/40/20 on paleo, it doesn't have to be low carb. If that works for you, try it!

30f62970daca996e8057483822bba756

(5)

on March 10, 2012
at 12:28 AM

I have not monitored body fat percentage but I have taken body measurements with very little to no results :\ Why do you think my body responds better to a typical low fat diet for fat loss faster (within this 4-5 week range) rather then with excess (yet healthy) fats?

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on March 10, 2012
at 01:25 AM

30 minutes a day is not "chronic cardio"

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on March 10, 2012
at 07:17 PM

@Brad: it depends on your physical state. that's not chronic for someone who is lean. It might be for someone who is obese.

30f62970daca996e8057483822bba756

(5)

on March 11, 2012
at 05:55 AM

@PaleoVenus - I don't think im obese... I'm fairly active and strong.... 30 minutes cardio even with VLC doesn't even have much effect on me (fatigue wise(... its kind of easy. Cardio is my thing. Regarding my body composition... I am 6 foot tall. 260 lbs about 29% body fat. Long term goal is to get down to 15% body fat.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on March 10, 2012
at 07:09 PM

maybe i missed something you said before, but you can just add starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes or eat more fruits (low-glycemic load like berries). It's hard to know without more information about where you are at in body composition and health. People who hav e alot of fat to loose typically do better on VLC. People who are fit with good insulin response can do okay on more carbs.

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