4

votes

Am I doing Paleo wrong?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 19, 2012 at 4:05 AM

Four weeks ago I was sitting at this computer @ 2:30 p.m. in my p.js, eating homemade bread with butter. I weighed 165lbs and Im only 5'4''. :( I came across something about The Paleo Diet and Ive been Coke, Bread, Sugar, Dairy, packaged food, potatoes, beans, grains ect ect free ever since. Within the first two weeks of my cold turkey from all things unpaleo I lost 9 lbs. Shocked that the pounds were vanishing I continued to dine on eggs n bacon for breakfast,almonds or a boiled egg for a snack, beef patty with salad for lunch, and more meat and veggies at supper. I've only drank water and at night If Im dying for something sweet I have ONE Hershey kiss. Although Ive changed the variety of food and have experimented with making paleo friendly muffins that tasted like poop, I feel Ive really stuck with it. My problem is I haven't lost any more weight, it's been two weeks and there hasn't been any change on the scale or my body measurements. The only exercising Ive done is walking and pushing a jogging stroller with my little girl in it,2 times a weeks for an hour and a half. What could I be doing wrong? I know I can weigh 140 and thats my goal, I know things aren't going to happen overnight, but losing 10 lbs so quickly had me thinking I was going to be one of those paleo success stories Ive read where they lost soooo much weight soooo fast. SIGH.

Ab0369a70755bd07f44292b4ca8b2260

(1579)

on February 20, 2012
at 03:01 AM

Everyone has their "thing" and if a Hershey's kiss keeps her on track with the rest of her diet, it's no big deal. The body reads sugar as sugar, so a tiny piece of milk chocolate in many ways is better than say a large orange (from the sugar perspective.) Clearly the orange has fiber, vitamins etc..that are better. Sometimes a girl just has to have her chocolate.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:43 PM

I think some of the posts above recommending calorie counting are to make sure the OP is getting ENOUGH calories. I know when I started paleo I had a hard time eating over 1300 or 1400 calories a day, because I simply wasn't hungry. That is too low for my 5'8", 160 pound body that crossfits or runs 5x a week, and my body reacted by lowering my metabolism and releasing cortisol. I started counting calories and once I got up over 1800, I started losing fat again. Calorie counting definitely kept me going paleo once I realized I need to eat more.

88a669ef87f8138d6bbfbdace533a482

(425)

on February 19, 2012
at 04:55 PM

I think I've mentioned this in posts at least 10 times, but I like "Strong Women Stay Slim" by Miriam Nelson. It's a quick, easy way to begin a strength training regimen, and almost anyone can do it. $10.88 on Amazon. You can start with soup cans and do it in your own home.

4303cdcacbc8ac9cb491e532c7e7d897

on February 19, 2012
at 03:34 PM

Thanks everyone for your input. Im going to tweak my diet a little more and see what works. Thanks!

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on February 19, 2012
at 01:14 PM

Right! But if weight loss is your goal swapping the one Hershey kiss for a fruit might not a good idea either if you are already eating too much.

3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on February 19, 2012
at 01:12 PM

read the beginning of this thread http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread29501.html

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on February 19, 2012
at 01:10 PM

Just because fat may not be a harmful substance (not including trans and pufa right?) doesn't mean you can't over consume and take in more calories than your body can handle.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on February 19, 2012
at 01:07 PM

One Hershey kiss is not the issue here. I would only ditch it since it is junk and nutritionally void. 3 grand of carbs won't knock you out of ketosis if body is producing enough ketones and you are not eating too many carbs (~50 perhaps). As people have already mentioned paleo is not a weight loss program. That being said most people loss weight on the diet. I suggest logging your food intake to see his much you really are eating.

149eb695f7c398511e0da3e592558fd1

(134)

on February 19, 2012
at 12:43 PM

Great post, DrChrista! Thanks for sharing. :)

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on February 19, 2012
at 08:57 AM

I don't see why it's so important to have the hershey kiss anyways : does 1 hershey kiss really solve the sweet cravings???

149eb695f7c398511e0da3e592558fd1

(134)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:35 AM

Robb Wolf's article "Cake is the New Crack" from February 15, 2012, proves my point. Wolf claims that companies create sugary/salty foods that we will get addicted to, and that in order for effective OPTIMAL weight loss on a paleo diet, we MUST not eat these foods. You are counting carbs, not the aspect that empty foods like Hershey Kisses CHEMICALLY alter our bodies. Fruits do not and actually heal us. Read the entire article here: http://www.robbwolf.com/2012/02/15/carb-addiction-cake-is-the-new-crack/ Pay particular attention to the paragraph that starts with "The hedonic system..."

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:25 AM

Unless we're talking a gluten-reaction or allergy kind of thing. But Hershey Kisses usually don't contain gluten (though a milk or nut allergy could still be involved).

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:23 AM

You repeated what you said with an appeal to authority (without giving specifics) but you don't actually back up what you claimed. How would 3 grams of carbs from a Hershey Kiss ruin weight loss effort, exactly. Just being Not Paleo doesn't confer some magical risk. You suggest eating a medium apple (about 25 grams of carbs) or a quarter mango (about 13 grams of carbs) instead, but that makes no sense if you claim a Hershey Kiss is a problem. Yeah, I've read the works of the folks you mentioned, and nothing in there that I recall suggests eating 3 grams of candy is enough to throw you off.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:19 AM

Hmm, you repeated yourself, but didn't actually back up what you had said (sorry, appealing to authority with no specifics doesn't count). I read the works of the folks you've mentioned, and they didn't say that 3 grams of carbs would destroy weight-loss effort. You even say yourself that fruit is a way to go (but it would probably provide more than 3 grams of carbs: a medium apple is 25g carbs and a quarter mango is about 13 g carbs). Just being Not Paleo is not enough to make it a problem. So how exactly does 3 grams of sugar disrupt ketogenic weight loss whereas a 25 gram apple not?

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:19 AM

paleo does not equal ketosis.

149eb695f7c398511e0da3e592558fd1

(134)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:12 AM

I guess my point about not eating the Hershey Kisses is that they are empty foods... nothing nutritious about them. I say fruit is a better option simply because fruits are SO good for you; packed full of vital vitamins and nutrients. As opposed to being militant, paleo teaches us what's healthy for us, and to stray away from disease causing foods.

149eb695f7c398511e0da3e592558fd1

(134)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:08 AM

Eric, I agree with your exercise regime. Very great point! Crossfit anyone?

149eb695f7c398511e0da3e592558fd1

(134)

on February 19, 2012
at 04:56 AM

Yes, believe it or not, your body will react to something such as a Hershey Kiss if you are trying to lose weight by eating a paleo diet. A Hershey Kiss is definitely not paleo and will, disturb that process. Rob Wolff wrote an entire book on this idea, as well as Mark Sisson, Chris Kresser, Loren Cordain, among countless other paleo experts. I'm not saying you can't eventually have a Hershey Kiss down the road (and not often), but if your goal is weightless, I suggest eating a piece of nutritious fruit, such as a few handfuls of berries, a medium size apple, or a 1/4 of a mango.

149eb695f7c398511e0da3e592558fd1

(134)

on February 19, 2012
at 04:51 AM

Anything overly indulged will cause problems. Your suggestion to cut the nuts is the same reason I said cut back on the fat. With paleo, the concern isn't with calories consumed, but the percent of foods and nutrients from those foods we are consuming. Too much fat, like too much of anything, will make you sick.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on February 19, 2012
at 04:46 AM

This is very similar to what I've experienced. I initially (in the first couple weeks) lost 10 lbs and felt great, but since then (about 7 months now) I've started getting cravier, and gained back half of that weight.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on February 19, 2012
at 04:45 AM

Do you have anything to back any of this up? A single hershey kiss is under 3 grams of carbs. Are you really suggesting that this would be enough to prevent weight-loss?

4303cdcacbc8ac9cb491e532c7e7d897

on February 19, 2012
at 04:18 AM

Id like to add that during the first 2 weeks I didnt ever feel hungry, And had to make myself eat but now in my fourth week, if I wait to long to eat, I start feeling very gross and sick. Why is that?

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11 Answers

3
Ab0369a70755bd07f44292b4ca8b2260

on February 19, 2012
at 04:52 AM

Much of the 9 lbs is likely water weight. Carbohydrates support water retention and since you dropped most of the carbs, you drop water weight quickly. I would keep track of your food using fitday.com or a phone app, just be precise to see exactly what you are eating and how much. Too much or too little can wreak havoc. Sometimes the body can read too few carbs as stress and hold onto fat as well. Everyone is different. I would also say enjoy your Hershey's kiss if that helps you stay away from other crap???..Don't worry about being militant.

Paleo isn't always a weight loss plan, but it's also not a quick fix for weight loss when it is. Hang in for 30-45 days and then assess how your clothes fit, how you look in the mirror and how you feel.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on February 19, 2012
at 01:14 PM

Right! But if weight loss is your goal swapping the one Hershey kiss for a fruit might not a good idea either if you are already eating too much.

Ab0369a70755bd07f44292b4ca8b2260

(1579)

on February 20, 2012
at 03:01 AM

Everyone has their "thing" and if a Hershey's kiss keeps her on track with the rest of her diet, it's no big deal. The body reads sugar as sugar, so a tiny piece of milk chocolate in many ways is better than say a large orange (from the sugar perspective.) Clearly the orange has fiber, vitamins etc..that are better. Sometimes a girl just has to have her chocolate.

149eb695f7c398511e0da3e592558fd1

(134)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:12 AM

I guess my point about not eating the Hershey Kisses is that they are empty foods... nothing nutritious about them. I say fruit is a better option simply because fruits are SO good for you; packed full of vital vitamins and nutrients. As opposed to being militant, paleo teaches us what's healthy for us, and to stray away from disease causing foods.

2
C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

on February 19, 2012
at 02:38 PM

I'm kind of amazed by the number of people here advocating a strict calorie counting regime. I've lost 30 lbs of baby weight, plus 25 lbs of pre-baby weight without counting calories. (If you're nursing, by the way, be careful about being on a strict calorie-restricted diet.)

Anyway, I found that my scale doesn't really budge if I'm eating nuts much at all, but I can eat bacon often and lots of fat from coconut oil and avocados and olive oil and non-lean meat, and do great.

I know that's only my own n=1, but I feel like it's important to put out there that calorie counting doesn't work for everyone. I've fought my weight my whole adult life, and calorie counting never worked for me. It just created a starve-binge cycle, and I went from being "overweight" at 135 lbs to being overweight at 175.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:43 PM

I think some of the posts above recommending calorie counting are to make sure the OP is getting ENOUGH calories. I know when I started paleo I had a hard time eating over 1300 or 1400 calories a day, because I simply wasn't hungry. That is too low for my 5'8", 160 pound body that crossfits or runs 5x a week, and my body reacted by lowering my metabolism and releasing cortisol. I started counting calories and once I got up over 1800, I started losing fat again. Calorie counting definitely kept me going paleo once I realized I need to eat more.

2
3ea09e99d3631b6f19917d7b374e1cb3

on February 19, 2012
at 12:21 PM

It's not how many carbs the Hershey kiss has, but what the insulin response is to those carbs. Are there signs of any metabolic derangement or autoimmune disease? Some people secrete insulin just from tasting something sweet, others don't.

If there is a chance of metabolic derangement, there many be some leptin resistance at play here. Dr. Jack Kruse has an excellent program for resetting leptin sensitivity on his website. (Leptin is secreted by the fat tissue to tell the brain about how much energy is stored in the body. Some people develop leptin resistance where their brain down-regulates receptors for leptin and therefore more of it is needed to signal the brain its time to stop eating.) For more details on leptin signaling, leptin resistance and how it may be foiling weight loss efforts, Chris Kresser has an excellent podcast on this topic.

Paleo is a great tool, but Chris uses the analogy of it being a blunt tool. A lot of people need refinements to the Paleo diet based on their genetics/biochemistry. This is where using the Paleo Physician's Network to find a local doc you can work with may be a great idea.

Lastly, I'll just add, Paleo is not a weight loss diet, its about better health. Yes, a lot of people lose weight in the process, but people who take on Paleo with the sole purpose of losing weight usually end up disappointed. Focus on feeling better and in time, the weight issue will sort itself out. Read some of Jason Seib's work for more regarding this.

149eb695f7c398511e0da3e592558fd1

(134)

on February 19, 2012
at 12:43 PM

Great post, DrChrista! Thanks for sharing. :)

2
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 19, 2012
at 04:53 AM

You are doing great. There are a lot of benefits other than weight loss to the Paleo diet. I am ok with the one hershies kiss. I would prefer it is higher quality. However I like the portion control portion of it.

I would check on sleep. Try and sleep 7.5 hours a night if possible.

Also up the walking to 5 times a week for 30 minutes. Also add some weight lifting to the scheme of things. Even if you start small on the weight lifting. Keep up the good work.

149eb695f7c398511e0da3e592558fd1

(134)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:08 AM

Eric, I agree with your exercise regime. Very great point! Crossfit anyone?

88a669ef87f8138d6bbfbdace533a482

(425)

on February 19, 2012
at 04:55 PM

I think I've mentioned this in posts at least 10 times, but I like "Strong Women Stay Slim" by Miriam Nelson. It's a quick, easy way to begin a strength training regimen, and almost anyone can do it. $10.88 on Amazon. You can start with soup cans and do it in your own home.

2
0607529af9b78bb5b178f7ffabdc4693

on February 19, 2012
at 04:46 AM

If you search around here, you'll find many threads about initial weight loss, which will all generally explain how when shifting away from a SAD/carb-heavy diet for the first time you're losing mostly water. It's pretty much the norm to drop quite a few pounds right off the bat (just as it would be relatively rare to lose ten pounds of actual fat in that same amount of time).

In my experience, going forward the best thing you can do is be open to making adjustments, using paleo as a framework and the suggestions/experiences of others as a guide. If you're going about things in a certain way, and a couple of days go by, and you seem to be stuck, then make a slight course change. Adjust the ratios. Eat a little more; eat a little less.

At the end of the day, the exact recipe I followed would mostly not work exactly for you. It's like that with almost everything. You've entered into the lab. Let your personal experiments begin. In my opinion, that's the start of doing paleo right.

1
5af4bc9d2c390b0bcad9524f149c1b4f

(1101)

on February 19, 2012
at 04:38 AM

17 Reasons on MDA is what I always refer friends to if they aren't losing weight. I'd definitely drop the chocolate, or try converting your habit to a small piece of high quality dark chocolate.

Intermittent fasting worked like a charm for me and on the days I'm too busy to cook or haven't had time to shop, it's a great way of emulating our ancestors.

As for too much fat? Eeeeeh, fat isn't exactly a harmful substance. I've got to disagree with BC there. Maybe cut the nuts, though. I've found they're easy to eat too many. And calories still do have context. If you're not burning through what you eat over the day (basic body functions and activities) then even the fat may become an enemy to your weight loss goal if you're still consuming more calories than you need.

Good luck! :)

149eb695f7c398511e0da3e592558fd1

(134)

on February 19, 2012
at 04:51 AM

Anything overly indulged will cause problems. Your suggestion to cut the nuts is the same reason I said cut back on the fat. With paleo, the concern isn't with calories consumed, but the percent of foods and nutrients from those foods we are consuming. Too much fat, like too much of anything, will make you sick.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on February 19, 2012
at 01:10 PM

Just because fat may not be a harmful substance (not including trans and pufa right?) doesn't mean you can't over consume and take in more calories than your body can handle.

1
18d89478c2fbd0a69889ae094f5fa5d3

on February 19, 2012
at 04:37 AM

The first few lbs. were most definitely water weight. You're body is now most likely adjusting. As far as feeling sick, are you sure you're eating enough?

0
06935be03aaa3cc589afb3b5e01268ad

(158)

on February 19, 2012
at 07:18 AM

Look at the total calories, and cut a little. maybee the nuts?

0
3912fd8f6f8aac08bbb7d4c52de069bd

on February 19, 2012
at 05:58 AM

a hershey's kiss will spike insulin where a piece of fruit won't (at least not to the same degree). if you're consuming a primarily paleo diet your insulin levels shouldn't have spikes...which explains why you don't have the sugar highs and lows. The minute you start consuming foods that affect insulin negatively your weight loss with plateau or could eventually start gaining weight again...this I know from experience. if in doubt, check out the glycemic index on fruit and a piece of chocolate candy.

0
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:28 AM

take a deep breath. panic is not good for your cortisol levels.

did you measure yourself when you started? your body will take time to redistribute weight before you will see a drop on the scale. the most important things to look after are your sleep and cleaning up your food choices. once you get that down buy a food scale and start tracking and experimenting.

there is no one right way; just a right for you way.

0
149eb695f7c398511e0da3e592558fd1

(134)

on February 19, 2012
at 04:27 AM

Ditch the Hershey Kisses... regardless of what you may think, one Hershey Kiss can spike your insulin levels and make it impossible for your body to go back into a proper state of ketosis that it once did when you were 100% strict paleo. Also, how much fat are you consuming? You must keep in mind that while your body shed all the weight at first (because it was using that stored fat from carbs as energy), your body is now starting to adjust to the new diet. It sounds like, since you are 9 lbs lighter, you need to eat as though you are now 9lbs lighter. Eat more green leafy veggies, leaner meats (cut out the bacon for a while, or moderate it) and cut back on the almonds. Only a handful of nuts should be consumed in a day, especially if you eat 3 or more eggs a day.. because of the fat. Too much fat, like anything, isn't good either. Hope this helps.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on February 19, 2012
at 04:45 AM

Do you have anything to back any of this up? A single hershey kiss is under 3 grams of carbs. Are you really suggesting that this would be enough to prevent weight-loss?

149eb695f7c398511e0da3e592558fd1

(134)

on February 19, 2012
at 04:56 AM

Yes, believe it or not, your body will react to something such as a Hershey Kiss if you are trying to lose weight by eating a paleo diet. A Hershey Kiss is definitely not paleo and will, disturb that process. Rob Wolff wrote an entire book on this idea, as well as Mark Sisson, Chris Kresser, Loren Cordain, among countless other paleo experts. I'm not saying you can't eventually have a Hershey Kiss down the road (and not often), but if your goal is weightless, I suggest eating a piece of nutritious fruit, such as a few handfuls of berries, a medium size apple, or a 1/4 of a mango.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:19 AM

paleo does not equal ketosis.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on February 19, 2012
at 01:07 PM

One Hershey kiss is not the issue here. I would only ditch it since it is junk and nutritionally void. 3 grand of carbs won't knock you out of ketosis if body is producing enough ketones and you are not eating too many carbs (~50 perhaps). As people have already mentioned paleo is not a weight loss program. That being said most people loss weight on the diet. I suggest logging your food intake to see his much you really are eating.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:23 AM

You repeated what you said with an appeal to authority (without giving specifics) but you don't actually back up what you claimed. How would 3 grams of carbs from a Hershey Kiss ruin weight loss effort, exactly. Just being Not Paleo doesn't confer some magical risk. You suggest eating a medium apple (about 25 grams of carbs) or a quarter mango (about 13 grams of carbs) instead, but that makes no sense if you claim a Hershey Kiss is a problem. Yeah, I've read the works of the folks you mentioned, and nothing in there that I recall suggests eating 3 grams of candy is enough to throw you off.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:25 AM

Unless we're talking a gluten-reaction or allergy kind of thing. But Hershey Kisses usually don't contain gluten (though a milk or nut allergy could still be involved).

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on February 19, 2012
at 08:57 AM

I don't see why it's so important to have the hershey kiss anyways : does 1 hershey kiss really solve the sweet cravings???

149eb695f7c398511e0da3e592558fd1

(134)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:35 AM

Robb Wolf's article "Cake is the New Crack" from February 15, 2012, proves my point. Wolf claims that companies create sugary/salty foods that we will get addicted to, and that in order for effective OPTIMAL weight loss on a paleo diet, we MUST not eat these foods. You are counting carbs, not the aspect that empty foods like Hershey Kisses CHEMICALLY alter our bodies. Fruits do not and actually heal us. Read the entire article here: http://www.robbwolf.com/2012/02/15/carb-addiction-cake-is-the-new-crack/ Pay particular attention to the paragraph that starts with "The hedonic system..."

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:19 AM

Hmm, you repeated yourself, but didn't actually back up what you had said (sorry, appealing to authority with no specifics doesn't count). I read the works of the folks you've mentioned, and they didn't say that 3 grams of carbs would destroy weight-loss effort. You even say yourself that fruit is a way to go (but it would probably provide more than 3 grams of carbs: a medium apple is 25g carbs and a quarter mango is about 13 g carbs). Just being Not Paleo is not enough to make it a problem. So how exactly does 3 grams of sugar disrupt ketogenic weight loss whereas a 25 gram apple not?

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