What paleo foods should I cut out for weight loss?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 24, 2012 at 4:28 AM

I'm having alot of trouble losing weight on paleo. I completely cut out sweet potato and fruits last week. Now I've been binging on nut butters in place of that, and eating alot of bacon and avocado.

Should I cut those too? What other foods should I cut out. I am desperate to lose the rest of this weight!



on September 24, 2012
at 01:20 PM

Binging is not normal, even if binging on healthy foods. Regain a healthy relationship with food.

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14 Answers



on September 24, 2012
at 05:14 AM

Welcome to Paleohacks, Angelica!

If you give us a breakdown of foods and quantities that you eat in a day we'll be able to help you better. Also, how old are you, how much do you weigh, and how much weight are you trying to lose? And, do you have health challenges, digestive issues or emotional issues that are in your way?

I can tell you from personal experience (your mileage may vary) that paleo is not a magic bullet for melting off fat. I went through a paleo honeymoon where I ate tons of fat from bacon, avocados, and meat and low carb and, while I didn't gain weight, with the zillion calories I didn't lose weight either. This gave me the personal experience that others have had as well: if you eat low carb paleo you can eat tons of fat and not gain weight but you may need a different strategy to lose weight.

My strategy that has been working is to keep my calories to 1750 or so per day with quite low carb calories, with more carbs on my heavy exercise days. Of the 1750 calories, about 640 is protein (160 grams), 800 or 900 calories are fat, and the rest is low calorie carbs (e.g. broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc.)

Some in the paleo community will sneer at calorie counting but here's the deal. A medium avocado has 275 calories. One tablespoon of almond butter has 100 calories. It's hard to figure out how many calories a slice of bacon has because the calorie counts is hugely dependent on how much of the fat you drain and how much you eat. I can't afford to eat many avocados, spoonfuls of almond butter, or strips of bacon before I'm over my calorie count and below my protein count. Once I reach my goal weight then I'll stop counting calories and eat more fat. But, not before.

So if, as you say, you're desperate to lose weight then you'll do what it takes, right? Well, for you it might take careful measuring, logging, weighing and counting calories to know what you're up against. Once you have a really clear understanding of your baseline diet then you can start making changes. It's very simple but very hard at the same time if there are emotional issues keeping you from getting clear about what you're eating.

Oh, and ditch the nut butters. Many of us, myself included, can't eat nut butter in moderation. I don't bring it into my house anymore.

One final thought, while exercise is great in so many ways, don't count on it for losing weight. Many of us who have done a lot of cardio in particular have found that it increases our hunger and we make up the calories we burned by eating more. Exercise is great for mental and physical well-being, weight training will make you more muscular (but don't worry, it won't turn you into a gorilla), interval training will make your heart and lungs stronger, but don't count on exercise alone to make you lean. I've heard that 80% of weight loss comes from diet. That's been my experience.

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on September 24, 2012
at 12:25 PM

Cut everything back instead of cutting everything out. Learn to live with the foods instead of binging on them.

None of these foods has an automatic appetite switch. If you're desperate to lose weight YOU have to shut off the uncontrolled feeding.



on September 24, 2012
at 06:02 AM

When in doubt, for anyone trying to lean out, go with protein.

I don't know that you need to cut out anything per se but limit yourself to 2-3 meals per day, no snacking and push yourself to get that 1gm per pound of lean bodyweight at MINIMUM. In general the heavier you are the harder this is to do because protein, and not fat, is so satiating. I'd be suprised if anyone is going to binge on fruit, yam or nut butters after 16-24oz (weighed after cooking) of pork tenderloin.


on September 24, 2012
at 04:46 AM

Keep the avocados ,lose the nut butters. What's your exercise routine?



on September 24, 2012
at 01:15 PM

There's lots of differing, and great, advice on this thread, so I think that one of the important things to keep in mind is: everyone is different!! Everything depends on how much weight you have to lose, how your sleep is, what age you are, how your stress is, what kind of activity you do, how your hormones are, how that thyroid is plugging along... Give yourself time to adjust, if you are feeling terrible and it just isn't working for you, look back at what you've been doing and see what you could do differently.

I'm a fan of the safe starch route, a la "perfect health diet", but other people have great success with VLC. I would agree with the others that nut butters are best avoided for now. Include some seafood sources (prawns/shrimp in that avocado is very good!). Make sure you are getting some egg yolks in, especially if you are not big on organ meat. Make sure your vitamin D is good. Tackle any sleep problems if that's an issue.



on September 24, 2012
at 06:55 AM

You shouldn't have to eliminate any foods, especially good fat and nutrition sources like avocados and you should have no need to count calories. Eat meals (2-3), with real foods, including lots of raw vegetables (which should take care of your appetite and binging) and stop snacking. If you eat naturally, you will be healthy and reach your ideal weight and % of bodyfat.

Concentrate first on vegetables and good protein/fat sources. Reward yourself for eating sensibly with some fruit (or whatever), if you want it, but only with a meal, after you have had your fill of vegetables, protein and fat........Water only between meals.

Snacking is pretty much just a source of unnecessary calories, binging and failure. Some people have the will power to snack "wisely" and it works for them..others don't.



on September 24, 2012
at 05:38 AM

Highly agree with Sol. I think if it does come to calorie counting, I'm very similar... I'm a numbers type of bloke, so a suggestion would be that if you do use a set of scales, you will want to make a caloric adjustment for every 5lbs of weight you lose, because your energy requirements will change as you drop the pounds.

And that's a 3rd for dropping the nut butters. Shamelessly went through an entire tub of Almond butter in a 24 hour period... so yeah, I can't have that in the house any more hehe.

~ Cricket


on September 24, 2012
at 09:46 PM

A third vote to lose the nut butters -- in fact, all nuts -- and keep the avocado. For a binger, you might look into Jimmy Moore's experiment and go ketogenic. It's a bit contrary to other people's advice, because it's kind of low protein as well as very low carb, but in some people it cuts way back on the hunger. I believe he's doing it without counting calories, and it's certainly working, at least for now.

It's another idea to explore. Paleo is a framework, but there are options, and what works for others might not work for you. Frustrating at first while you figure it all out, but also ultimately more rewarding. And at least in the meanwhile, you'll be restricted to healthy foods, so you'll always be improving your health, even as you slowly figure out exactly what's best for you.


on September 24, 2012
at 02:59 PM

I too would lose the nut butters and keep the avocados. Try for lots of low-glycemic vegetables (2 c at the beginning of each meal.) Great that you cut out fruit! I was just reading in Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint "If you wish to reduce excess body fat, be advised that fructose (the carbohydrate form found in fruit) is more easily converted to fat in the liver than other carbohydrate sources such as simple sugar."


on September 24, 2012
at 01:19 PM

I came to paleo for inflammation issues, not weight issues, but I agree with everything Sol said. There are some food calculators available on the internet such as fitday and cronometer. It makes it a little easier to track your calories and macros (and micros if you desire). I used one in the beginning to help me get started and now use fitday every once in a while just to see where I am. Good luck in reaching your goals!



on September 24, 2012
at 12:51 PM

The one paleo food that I'll mindlessly snack on to excess is nuts.


on September 24, 2012
at 11:37 AM

You may want to try Jack Kruse's Cold Thermogenesis protocol.


on September 24, 2012
at 07:58 AM

How old are you?I think you need to keep the Avocado and some other fruits and veggies.By the way what food that you really love to eat?,so that we can suggest some recipe to you

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