6

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Paleo for the Obese (100+ lb to lose)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 12, 2011 at 10:25 PM

I am 26, currently standing at 335lb from 345lb, my initial weight loss of 10lb was fast and steadily; however, I've noticed in the last 2 days. I've been starting to lose less weight, about 0.5lb in the last 2 days. I am assuming that my initial 10lb may have been mostly water weight. I do strength training 4-5 times per week for 1 hour sessions, and is thinking of incorporating HIIT in my training. I've been on Paleo for almost 2 weeks. For those who are or were in the same boat as me (as in my weight), does my weight loss progress look familiar? or is it progressing too slow?

I am eating about 50-100g of carb per day, should I bump it down to <50g per day? which would essentially make this a Ketogenic diet.

Any tip on ramping up my fat loss program would be helpful. TIA!

Medium avatar

(30)

on March 23, 2012
at 05:23 AM

Also, while staying at under or about 50g carbs/day, what is your take on consuming coconut shavings, coconut milk, and coconut oil? I find them to satisfy random hunger attacks that come on late in the day (when my binge eating used to occur). Now, I grab either some shreds, a glass or two of milk, or I have 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil (strange, but it's so good). Would you say that might be adding too much fat onto this, or it might be OK?

Medium avatar

(30)

on March 23, 2012
at 05:20 AM

I know it's been almost a year, but I'd like to know from Ryan what would you think of doing 75-100 KB swings 2-3 times/week while doing this? I'm in the same exact boat as AsianXL, minus the lifting, and since I work an office job all day I would like to do something to get my heart rate going at least 2-3 times a week and from what I read about swings, they seem simple enough to do while being a far cry from anything super intense.

002d074ab094fefc344bf0d1f36091ec

(370)

on June 17, 2011
at 03:09 AM

No, not really. I don't feel like I would ever need to with all of this natural, boundless energy I seem to have discovered! :)

4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on May 18, 2011
at 04:44 AM

taking pictures made such a huge difference to me. It's such a gradual change, you see yourself everyday and it's hard to really see weight loss. Being able to look picture to picture really helps to keep you on the right track, even if the scale is messing with your head some days.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on May 16, 2011
at 10:25 PM

It's hard to actually give a number <50 or 50-100. It's all individual differences. Experiment and see how you feel and how fast the weight drops off.

8cf3ff123bc4e8fcb3a212804c701d22

(95)

on May 14, 2011
at 08:51 AM

How much carb do you suggest I should be consuming? Some are saying 50-100g, others are saying <50g. Not sure which one I should go buy.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on May 13, 2011
at 10:09 PM

Yes, anything that starts with "in the last 2 days" shows that you're being way too particular. Day-to-day changes in weight are just noise. Weigh yourself weekly at most; less often if you can stand it.

F1075450596505a5b601dbb5da0d14a0

(30)

on May 13, 2011
at 10:44 AM

Yes, I would suggest 50g of carbs as an initial ceiling. You will be able to re-introduce starches once you know you are in control.

8cf3ff123bc4e8fcb3a212804c701d22

(95)

on May 13, 2011
at 04:21 AM

When you mention "very low carb", are you suggesting <50g of net-carb per day?

8cf3ff123bc4e8fcb3a212804c701d22

(95)

on May 13, 2011
at 02:08 AM

Yes I do, I drink at least 1 cup of coffee or tea per day.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 13, 2011
at 01:46 AM

once you lose 60 lbs let me know.....I may come see you and video tape an live show with you. I will light you on fire. I love melting off fat with my heat.

5b4fd1d0dcb02b1cc3c666ece9e5983d

(1169)

on May 13, 2011
at 01:36 AM

Do you drink caffeine?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 13, 2011
at 01:11 AM

i have many patients like you.....i would get your carbs lower than 50 gms a day to get your leptin sensitive. I lost over 150 lbs over ten yrs ago doing a strict paleo diet.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 13, 2011
at 12:50 AM

Congrats on trying to fix your weight AsianXL! It's a big step to take and doing it the healthy way is amazing! Enjoy your journey and be proud of yourself!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 13, 2011
at 12:41 AM

good answer. I like the focus on cortisol and how constantly forcing your body into gluconeogenesis may have negative effects as far as raising cortisol. Though i used to not think so, it seems that going VLC for longish periods sends panic signals to your body similar to when you go low-calorie.

79648d1e9f1a8d25d9450a8a1d18fe64

(395)

on May 13, 2011
at 12:00 AM

I agree...with the less is more notion. Talk walks OUTDOORS...get some sun. Breathe in and out. Don't buy into the Biggest Loser bullsh*t on tv where people are exercising all day. Your digestive system needs time to heal before you start introducing more stress and inflammation through exercising. Just my 2 cents...

Ce762ef3660ab44dbc72fdd7ff8fb168

(290)

on May 12, 2011
at 11:21 PM

Ive come down from 280lbs to 190lbs and lost most of it through diet + brisk walks alone. I have only recently added HIIT + bodyweight training + kettlebells as a way of increasing "fitness" now that I have a health base to build on. Be patient AsianXL, it will come off, remember to enjoy the journey.

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13 Answers

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13
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:29 PM

To me it sounds like you're doing too much. I've recommended in the past to my friends who were significantly overweight, to just start with a Low-Carb paleo diet and don't worry about exercise, especially HIIT. If you feel restless, go for a nice walk. At 300+ Lbs, I don't I don't think HIIT would be good for your joints. Weightloss is 90%+ diet, so just concentrate on that, and as the weight starts coming off, then start to think about slowly introducing as much activity as you feel like doing.

8cf3ff123bc4e8fcb3a212804c701d22

(95)

on May 14, 2011
at 08:51 AM

How much carb do you suggest I should be consuming? Some are saying 50-100g, others are saying <50g. Not sure which one I should go buy.

Ce762ef3660ab44dbc72fdd7ff8fb168

(290)

on May 12, 2011
at 11:21 PM

Ive come down from 280lbs to 190lbs and lost most of it through diet + brisk walks alone. I have only recently added HIIT + bodyweight training + kettlebells as a way of increasing "fitness" now that I have a health base to build on. Be patient AsianXL, it will come off, remember to enjoy the journey.

79648d1e9f1a8d25d9450a8a1d18fe64

(395)

on May 13, 2011
at 12:00 AM

I agree...with the less is more notion. Talk walks OUTDOORS...get some sun. Breathe in and out. Don't buy into the Biggest Loser bullsh*t on tv where people are exercising all day. Your digestive system needs time to heal before you start introducing more stress and inflammation through exercising. Just my 2 cents...

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on May 16, 2011
at 10:25 PM

It's hard to actually give a number <50 or 50-100. It's all individual differences. Experiment and see how you feel and how fast the weight drops off.

7
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:45 PM

I think that a ketogenic diet is ideal in your situation-- think the VLC diet of Atkin's induction. It will train your body to utilize your fat stores when your blood sugar dips. Once it gets used to this, you should find yourself to have a minimal appetite.

As to exercise, I wouldn't worry about it too much until you've been on the diet for a month or so. It takes a while to let your body get used to it, get over any "carb flu", and its difficult to change all your habits at once. Focus first on the diet and later on the training.

When you do get into it, I think that weight training would be perfect. 4-5 times a week might be a bit excessive at first, though. Lift heavy things twice a week. For cardio, consider lots of low intensity training like walking. Things that gradually reduce your blood sugar will allow your body to counteract it with fat energy without provoking a hunger spike. HIIT is most useful for those who want to increase their V02 without engaging in chronic cardio, not necessarily those who are trying to lose weight.

Low intensity cardio, the increased basal metabolism from heavy lifting, and maintaining a ketogenic diet will cause your body to constantly drain your blood sugar slowly, resulting in a slow burn that does not cause hunger.

5
002d074ab094fefc344bf0d1f36091ec

on May 12, 2011
at 11:36 PM

Congrats on going Paleo! My weight peak was 267 before I decided I needed to make a change, and discovered the Paleo lifestyle. I started this journey back in March, and here in May I have lost almost 45 lbs. All I have focused on is getting the diet part down. I have tried to be more active by doing things like yard work or going for an evening stroll after the day's heat cools off. nothing strenuous. I have never felt better than I do now (I just turned 30). Even when I was a "skinny girl" back in high school. :)

Your motivation to lose the weight is awesome. Just make sure you take time to enjoy it along the way. It took our bodies a while to put the weight on, and it will take more time to get it all off. Don't get disappointed if you hit rough spots. I've learned that I can always turn to this forum for help when I am stuck. It's a great community. I know that sometimes it is easy to get discouraged. So many people read these boards expecting the weight to just fall off immediately. Give yourself time to achieve great results, maybe a 30 day goal or something. I lost 11 lbs initially the first week, too. After that, it may not seem like much, 2 or 3 lbs a week really add up. I never would have been able to lose 45 lbs in 3 months by sitting on my butt if it weren't for focusing on my dietary changes.

8cf3ff123bc4e8fcb3a212804c701d22

(95)

on May 13, 2011
at 02:08 AM

Yes I do, I drink at least 1 cup of coffee or tea per day.

5b4fd1d0dcb02b1cc3c666ece9e5983d

(1169)

on May 13, 2011
at 01:36 AM

Do you drink caffeine?

002d074ab094fefc344bf0d1f36091ec

(370)

on June 17, 2011
at 03:09 AM

No, not really. I don't feel like I would ever need to with all of this natural, boundless energy I seem to have discovered! :)

4
E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on May 13, 2011
at 02:17 AM

My advice would be to put away the scale. Worrying about day to day changes is pointless if this is going to be something you're committed to over the long haul. There will be ups and downs, and lots of changes that are water alone. Save the scale for monthly or bi-weekly checks, and just keep working on sticking to a diet that is dramatically different than your old one and free of the biggest culprits like sugar, refined starches and grains and avoid binge eating. Changes in a body's reaction over a couple of days isn't significant at all, and an unnecessary point of stress if you're expecting obvious daily results. Instead, enjoy your new lifestyle and know you are heading the right way!! ;)

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on May 13, 2011
at 10:09 PM

Yes, anything that starts with "in the last 2 days" shows that you're being way too particular. Day-to-day changes in weight are just noise. Weigh yourself weekly at most; less often if you can stand it.

4
Medium avatar

on May 12, 2011
at 11:22 PM

I personally don't agree with low carb, so I'd actually recommend upping carbs to 150g of starch (sweet potato or rice) on a non-lifting day and a bit more on a lifting day. Constantly spiking cortisol due to the need for gluconeogenesis is counter-productive.

Don't eat anything sweeter than a sweet potato. You need a period of basically no fructose in your diet. This is critical. Obviously alcohol is out as well.

Eat plenty of red meat. 1-2 pounds of day should keep you sated.

Continue to lift but instead of HIIT, just walk as much as you can. You have the great advantage of burning a lot more fat just moving about than someone smaller, so utilize this as much as possible. Alongside the walking, just try to spend as little time sitting or laying down as possible. Weight lifting is great for increasing the size and number of your muscle mitochondria, which will allow you to maximize lipolysis.

As far as fat goes, I'd eat as many whole eggs and as much fatty red meat as you want, but I wouldn't add fat on top of that.

To further decrease cortisol, aim for 8 hours of sleep a night.

You ought to edit your post with what you honestly ate and drank in a typical day that got you to your current weight and what you've been eating recently.

Good luck.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 13, 2011
at 12:41 AM

good answer. I like the focus on cortisol and how constantly forcing your body into gluconeogenesis may have negative effects as far as raising cortisol. Though i used to not think so, it seems that going VLC for longish periods sends panic signals to your body similar to when you go low-calorie.

3
F1075450596505a5b601dbb5da0d14a0

(30)

on May 13, 2011
at 01:12 AM

I'm 25 years old and started following Kurt Harris' 12 principles last June (2010). I started at 365 lbs, and I am now at 239. Until recently, I ate very little, to no starch, and stayed in ketosis all the time. I am now adding some starch and fermented foods as I begin to do some HIIT and body weight work. I would suggest staying very low carb in order to create some weight loss momentum for yourself. This will be a big psychological boost. Add starch once you feel like you have control of your appetite and are no longer craving grains/sugars on a regular basis.

As far as exercise. I tried introducing some HIIT way too early, when I was still too heavy and I ended up throwing my back out. Like others have said, walking is your best bet. It will make you feel great, and is a great way to get out into the sun.

Also, I kept track of my weight and waist circumference daily on a graph (fitday). This was a huge motivating factor for me, as I began to see that I was in control of my weight and my body. This may just be my personality though.

F1075450596505a5b601dbb5da0d14a0

(30)

on May 13, 2011
at 10:44 AM

Yes, I would suggest 50g of carbs as an initial ceiling. You will be able to re-introduce starches once you know you are in control.

8cf3ff123bc4e8fcb3a212804c701d22

(95)

on May 13, 2011
at 04:21 AM

When you mention "very low carb", are you suggesting <50g of net-carb per day?

Medium avatar

(30)

on March 23, 2012
at 05:23 AM

Also, while staying at under or about 50g carbs/day, what is your take on consuming coconut shavings, coconut milk, and coconut oil? I find them to satisfy random hunger attacks that come on late in the day (when my binge eating used to occur). Now, I grab either some shreds, a glass or two of milk, or I have 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil (strange, but it's so good). Would you say that might be adding too much fat onto this, or it might be OK?

Medium avatar

(30)

on March 23, 2012
at 05:20 AM

I know it's been almost a year, but I'd like to know from Ryan what would you think of doing 75-100 KB swings 2-3 times/week while doing this? I'm in the same exact boat as AsianXL, minus the lifting, and since I work an office job all day I would like to do something to get my heart rate going at least 2-3 times a week and from what I read about swings, they seem simple enough to do while being a far cry from anything super intense.

2
F6ea948ab43dc51d72509c0989e670fe

(1639)

on May 13, 2011
at 12:45 AM

I started almost exactly where you're at, with my beginning weight being 330 pounds.

I lost the first 15 through a lot of stupidity in diet (SAD + IF) and kettlebell swings.

I lost the last 20 with paleo and kettlebell swings. I started that in the beginning of march, so I'm pretty much on month 2 of paleo.

Thoughts on it? Or how to improve it? I can offer only testament of my own journey...

Have you read Robb Wolf's 'The paleo solution'? Or archevore.com? They offer a lot of resources in terms of figuring out where you're going. I found the best form of info through Robb Wolf's podcasts. They can get very technical at times, but the beginning ones start in an easier fashion.

AS far as diet, I find that I don't do well on low carb. I have to have at least 75-100g of carbs a day to feel alive. I also read through 'the paleo solution's' supplementation part several different times, and started taking pretty much everything. I feel a lot better now. I also started to listen to Robb Wolf's podcasts, and noticed that there's a lot about being metabolically deranged and not doing very well on a low carb approach.

So I tend to eat 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight (which works out to be about 2 1/2-3 lbs of ground beef a day), enough sweet potato/veggies to hit the 100g of carbs, and then just fat till I'm full. Which is a lot of food!

Personally, I think you're overdoing the workouts. Fix the diet, and don't worry about working out so much. If you are going to workout, look to something like starting strength, 5x5 or something which is just focused on several different full body lifts. I wouldn't bother with more than 2-3 1 hour sessions a week. I've lost all my week in less than 3-4 hours a week focused on training. I like kettlebells, but if you're going to do something like that, I'd recommend going to dragon door and checking out several training sessions with an RKC so you don't injure yourself.

I do know people who have done better on more high intensity workouts. I just know that if anything is off on my eating, stress, or sleep, my workouts suffer. I can't handle more than 2-3 hours a week before going insane. Cortisol is one of my biggest enemies in losing weight, and it's more important to me to lead a low stress life than spend more time working out and stress myself out over results.

As for the weight loss, stop worrying about it. It's going to go up or down depending on the day, how you've slept, what you've eaten, and can change at will. Track your progress by the week, not by the day. I've had mine stall for two weeks and then drop 10 pounds the next day. However, I still notice differences in stamina, mood, sleeping patterns, and inches lost. I've also felt bones (that I've never felt before) beneath my skin, have seen new muscle mass, and lost a lot of inflammation.

I would say that a tape measure, a pair of jeans or tight fitting shirt is a better form of progress checking than the scale ever is. Fat loss is subjective in terms of actual scale weight, you'd have a better time tracking that through a caliper test, bod pod, or hydrostatic (dunk tank) testing if that's your ultimate goal. Oh, and take a picture every 2-3 weeks. It's sometimes hard to tell how you've changed, but I find that's the thing that keeps on showing me I'm moving in the right direction.

4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on May 18, 2011
at 04:44 AM

taking pictures made such a huge difference to me. It's such a gradual change, you see yourself everyday and it's hard to really see weight loss. Being able to look picture to picture really helps to keep you on the right track, even if the scale is messing with your head some days.

1
1f24d4895246892ef4ee4d79b7f9eeeb

on May 13, 2011
at 02:52 PM

Congratulations on making positive changes that will pay dividends for the rest of your life. You are doing fine. Yes, the first 10 pounds are mostly water, and you will not lose at that rate for very long. In March, 2010, I was 312. Today I am 238. I lost 13 pounds in the first month on Diet Solution program, then in the subsequent months I lost 4, 10 (after switching to Paleo and about 50 grams of carbs), 3, 9, 8, 4, 5, 7, 2, 3, 5, then gained 1, lost 2. I weigh every day and then average those weights for a weekly result. That takes away the ups and downs that will occur no matter what you do. I believe we can get in trouble down the road if we diet too hard at first. When your body adjusts to that level, it will be difficult to eat even less to keep the weight coming off. I have "only" lost 12 pounds since mid-December, but I'm in it for the long term and eventually I'll get to (and remain at) my goal weight of 187. I strongly recommend that you keep a daily food log, do not eat after dinner, drink lots of filtered water, and give your muscles time to recover after lifting. Keep us posted on your progress.

1
9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on May 13, 2011
at 03:32 AM

I'm 26, started out at 312, now hovering around 290. I'm personally struggling with my sweets addiction. I've gotten off most candy, but I still eat a ton of fruit and drink juice with honey.

I don't exersize more than occasional small walks down to the park or around campus at college, but I do a TON of walking at conventions.

I have found that my appetite is SO small compared to what it used to be! And when I eat I feel so much better now! I used to stuff myself until I laid around and moaned, but now when I feel full I feel -good-

You can do it! I don't have a lot of advice, but you're certainly not alone!

1
3c7856106195fd0084a06b5892269d36

on May 13, 2011
at 02:16 AM

my story is started at 280, now 208, 7 months in, started paelo Dec 28th, so almost 5 months in, 90% paleo

100% crossfit, my best results have been mixing it up, I train at least 5 times a week, with the WOD of the day at my box and mix it up at lunch, high fat to high protein, no carb to some carb--every now and then a larabar (OH NO!) I find that after the first 6 pounds on paleo it's more gradual but the body composition is amazing, I am losing 2 waste sizes a month, the only real problem area I have is my stomach fat, and the Pros at my GYM say that's the hardest, every week is better than the last,

I simply recommend being creative with your meals, meatlaof, chili, and cx breasts will bore you into falling off paleo, need to try new things have fish 2-3 times a week and really listen to your body, I think working out is an essential element to your overall mental and physical health...accomplishing new PRs is a big high.

Anyway good luck and keep on keeping on

0
D90af27582de9509201562399a8fae8f

on March 29, 2013
at 12:27 AM

The first time I tired paleo I lost 18lbs in two weeks. I weighed 318lbs. Then the holidays hit and i went off it. Now I am looking to get back on it again and my weight is up to 315. I felt so much better when I did this. I know it works. Keep up the awesome work.

0
31d6975807b09b8d46145d3dc7a69cdc

(127)

on May 13, 2011
at 03:08 AM

I started paleo Aprl 1st @ 325. Yesterday I weighed in at 295 (even after spending a long weekend on vacation where I ate horribly). I keep my carbs way less than 50g, and exercise light and 4 to 5 days a week. I supplement with vit D and Fish oil. I found after the "carb flu", I had a very small appetite. A typical day day for me:

Breakfast:

Lunch: A salad with homemade olive oil dressing and grilled chicken strips

Dinner: Some type of meat (Steak, Pork Chops, Bacon, etc.) with utter disregard for portion control (1-2 lb).

I also keep some mixed nuts(no peanuts) around for if I get hungry during the day

That's it! It may not seem like a lot, but when you start listening to your body, and only eating when it tells you to, you'll find that you really aren't that hungry.

Good luck with your weight loss

0
Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on May 12, 2011
at 11:02 PM

I would take down your carbs a little...but it's not as crucial as what kind of carbs you're having. Avoid fruit, any refined sugar (hopefully that's obvious) and starches. Get your carbs from vegetables. You need to get your insulin sensitivity back. Avoid dairy and whey protein.

As for exercise - good for you - I'd stick with it. I don't disagree with the previous answers necessarily, but exercise will certainly help you. If you're already doing it, don't stop.

I'd make sure you're eating at least your BMR amount of calories...don't let your body go into panic mode from under-eating.

For a small, safe boost, take 200mg of pure caffeine and 125mg of aspirin before working out, optionally with 1000mg of vitamin C.

Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Sleep in a pitch black room, and avoid being woken by an alarm clock. 8 hours is the absolute minimum for almost everyone. Check out Lights Out by T.S. Wiley for more info.

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