5

votes

Maintaining a big weight loss

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 02, 2011 at 8:42 PM

People who have lost quite a lot of weight on paleo - what have you done with your eating after the weight loss?

I'm 48, 5'5", female, post-menopausal and fairly sedentary so far. I started paleo in Feb, and until the last couple of weeks I've focused on healing metabolic issues and IBS. Apparently I'm doing well, because the scales started to move and I can now IF without even thinking about it. I started at 100 kg (220lb) and last weighed at 93kg. I haven't weighed recently but the changes are getting noticeable.

So now I'm having to rethink some possible CW myths - like 'don't let yourself get hungry', 'aim to lose weight slowly', and 'most people regain their weight'.

Staying paleo is a given, as is adding some workouts as the weight drops. I'm curious about maintenance, though. Did you add some carbs back in after you lost your weight? Do you have to stay really careful about what you eat, or have you just relaxed into paleo eating?

Thanks!!

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on June 03, 2011
at 11:58 PM

Probably not metabolically damaged any more. I can certainly gain weight if I get too sloppy with food, but it's not a serious strain to keep it under control. Not too much fruit, not too much starch, and very limited cheats.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:24 PM

But he said "quite easy" *as long as* he stays carb restricted.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:24 PM

But he said "quite easy" *as long as*" he stays carb restricted.

8b982d4beccca9fcb85affe8d4bd4ff2

(1585)

on June 03, 2011
at 08:13 AM

Thank you both for the kind words. My goal is to lose another 25 lbs. I have been stuck between the same 5 lbs for a bit now but I think if I add new activites then I can move onto more weightloss. I have not been as active as I would like to be but I have contacted a physical therapist to hopefully point me to bigger and better things.

8b982d4beccca9fcb85affe8d4bd4ff2

(1585)

on June 03, 2011
at 08:13 AM

Thank you both for the kind words. My goal is to lose another 25 lbs to reach my goal. I have been stuck between the same 5 lbs. for a bit now but I think if I add new activites then I can move onto more weightloss. I have not been as active as I would like to be but I have contacted a physical therapist to hopefully point me to bigger and better things.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 03, 2011
at 02:40 AM

I feel heaps better on veges, too. I can't eat nuts and seeds (IBS) and am experimenting with fruit - it's the carb I hope to be able to reintroduce later on. When I'm 'healed' and 'naturally lean'. If I live long enough to get there.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 03, 2011
at 02:38 AM

Yeah, it's the 'previously obese' bit that's interesting to me. I commented below that these responses seem to be quite polarised, and the question of whether we can actually heal these broken metabolisms (metabolii??) isn't quite resolved. Especially when you factor in those charming female confounders like menopause . . .

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 03, 2011
at 02:34 AM

Would you fall into the category of people who aren't metabolically damaged, do you think?? It sounds like it - the experiences mentioned so far seem to fall onto two quite different ends of a scale in terms of constant watchfulness and easy regaining, to 'quite easy' with casual awareness.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 03, 2011
at 02:31 AM

Based on my new ability to IF, and the near absence of cravings, I'm guessing my IR is improving. I'd be interested in a question about correcting LR - Quilt kind of hints about it in the podcast but there's not much actual info to go on!

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:21 AM

.. possibly has to do with having high triglycerides and systemic inflammation could also be a factor. A good low carb paleo diet will address all those issues. And to answer your last question, Yes, I would expect that a decent period of leanness should correct all metabolic issues, and as long as your diet remains good (no grains and vege oil and all that...) leanness becomes the natural state. Just as your genetics wants you to be. It would be great if someone could comment a bit more on the mechanisms of correcting leptin resistance - otherwise I post it as a separate question.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:14 AM

You don't need to be leptin sensitive for the weight to come off, however you do need to be insulin sensitive, so that the body can access your fat stores. Leptin resistance (LR) to the brain (or hypothalamus) may be a different mechanism to insulin resistance (IR) in that insulin receptors down regulate in the case of IR. In the case of LR it may not be that leptin receptors in the hypothalamus are down regulating but that leptin cannot cross the blood brain barrier to access the hypothalamus leptin receptors. So how is that corrected? I don't know (maybe someone else can help..), but it..

65660697ed243c7980725fd014eb00e0

(494)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:45 PM

That's amazing, Rose! I may just have to bite the bullet and give ZC a go.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:43 PM

Mari, my appetite for fat decreased without conscious manipulation on my part about eight or nine months ago, right when I was at my lowest. Then I added in starch and veggies (Thanksgiving: a sweet potato, no butter, and brussels sprouts sauteed with bacon), and the first symptom I got back was joint pain. I kept going, though (stubborn like that), and a month later I was up ten pounds. At that point I can't tell you what my fat intake was, unfortunately. But I can tell you what its accumulation on my body was. ;D

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:35 PM

OK, this is interesting. A couple of key points are 'once your brain becomes leptin sensitive' and 'once you're no longer insulin resistant'. It seems that the weight can come off, but that isn't necessarily an indication that these 2 metabolic corrections have happened. But its possible (likely??) that a decent period of leanness and paleo lifestyle will correct them, at which point leanness becomes the natural state of the body. Yes??

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:25 PM

When you add in starch, are you consciously decreasing fat as well?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:20 PM

It was pretty much immediate, kinetic. Within a week I was down two pounds. At four months in, I was 155, the lowest weight I'd been since I was a teenager. Over the course of the next year, with some tweaks (dropping wine and dairy, for instance) I made it to 146, a weight I hadn't seen since I was twelve years old.

65660697ed243c7980725fd014eb00e0

(494)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:13 PM

Rose, I'm curious, when you went ZC, how long did it take your body to start losing the weight?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:09 PM

I wish I understood the leptin issue, Jac. I'm only now just starting to read some of the theories/controversies. In the comments section of Stephan Guyanet's Whole Health Source blog, especially #4 in his new "Food Reward" series, there's a very interesting and heated back-and-forth going on about leptin. I'm learning a lot from it. Or at least, my confusion is getting more interesting.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:00 PM

Thanks Rose. The consensus so far is definitely that the restriction needs to become a way of life - but it's a sustainable way of life. In terms of leptin, does this mean that we're never fully leptin sensitive any more??

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 02, 2011
at 09:55 PM

That's really encouraging about the 'over a year' of relative stability. Nice to know that you've upped your carbs a little bit.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 02, 2011
at 09:53 PM

Brilliant loss! Lol at the 'starches scare me' - that's exactly what I was wondering about.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 02, 2011
at 09:48 PM

85 lbs?! That's amazing. Kick ass! I love hearing stories like that

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on June 02, 2011
at 09:29 PM

That should read same 10lb weight range. I've lost approx. 113lbs.

8b982d4beccca9fcb85affe8d4bd4ff2

(1585)

on June 02, 2011
at 09:10 PM

I am curious as well. I have lost over 85 lbs (over 40 kilos) and am close to my goal. I would like to know what kind of starches if any. Starches scare me.

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8 Answers

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2
B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:11 PM

I lost 40lb the conventional wisdom way about 8 years ago. I.e. Lots of exercise, low fat, calorie restriction, 6 small meals a day. I was highly motivated and I'm an all or nothing type, so I was able to get where I wanted, lean and fit.

It wasn't until about a year ago, after picking up some parasites in Asia, that I started having very serious IBS issues, that doctors didn't want to know about that I stumbled over the paleo diet.

Until then I had kept the weight off, but if I wasn't careful about what I ate and my exercise it came back fairly quickly. As an athlete that wasn't too much of issue until the off season, where the weight could build reasonably quick i.e my diet wasn't quite as good as I wasn't quite as active.

Since going paleo weight maintenance has become a thing of the past. As in I don't need to do anything conscious to keep a very lean stable weight. Too add to this experience I've been recovering from a foot injury the last 4 months so my activity has been almost nil, and I've still maintained my weight without effort.

There are a couple mechanisms at play here, the first is metabolic derangement, or where you're insulin resistant and leptin resistant, from a 50,000ft view these two hormones are key to weight regulation as well as appetite regulation. As your diet changes and life style changes (i.e. better sleep/stress, some activity) you will hopefully start becoming more insulin & leptin sensitive, or your metabolic system will start working again.

If you're overweight you should have plenty of leptin, and once your brain becomes leptin sensitive your body will know it is carrying to much stored fuel (fat). And once you're no longer insulin resistant your body will be able to access it's fat store as energy. The result? You naturally won't be as hungry as your body burns more fat for fuel, rather than demanding that you feed it more from telling you that it's hungry.

(Okay, long winded... but we're almost there..) So once you have reached a lean weight you don't really have to do anything but keep a clean paleo diet. Your body will naturally tell you to eat a bit more, because you don't have the excess fuel as fat, and that mechanism will very easily keep you weight stable and very healthy.

A caveat to the above is the potential long term damage one may have done to their metabolic system. From my reading it should be mostly reversible most of the time, but it is still a very new area of research to fully understand all of the parameters currently.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:35 PM

OK, this is interesting. A couple of key points are 'once your brain becomes leptin sensitive' and 'once you're no longer insulin resistant'. It seems that the weight can come off, but that isn't necessarily an indication that these 2 metabolic corrections have happened. But its possible (likely??) that a decent period of leanness and paleo lifestyle will correct them, at which point leanness becomes the natural state of the body. Yes??

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 03, 2011
at 02:31 AM

Based on my new ability to IF, and the near absence of cravings, I'm guessing my IR is improving. I'd be interested in a question about correcting LR - Quilt kind of hints about it in the podcast but there's not much actual info to go on!

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:14 AM

You don't need to be leptin sensitive for the weight to come off, however you do need to be insulin sensitive, so that the body can access your fat stores. Leptin resistance (LR) to the brain (or hypothalamus) may be a different mechanism to insulin resistance (IR) in that insulin receptors down regulate in the case of IR. In the case of LR it may not be that leptin receptors in the hypothalamus are down regulating but that leptin cannot cross the blood brain barrier to access the hypothalamus leptin receptors. So how is that corrected? I don't know (maybe someone else can help..), but it..

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:21 AM

.. possibly has to do with having high triglycerides and systemic inflammation could also be a factor. A good low carb paleo diet will address all those issues. And to answer your last question, Yes, I would expect that a decent period of leanness should correct all metabolic issues, and as long as your diet remains good (no grains and vege oil and all that...) leanness becomes the natural state. Just as your genetics wants you to be. It would be great if someone could comment a bit more on the mechanisms of correcting leptin resistance - otherwise I post it as a separate question.

3
3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 02, 2011
at 09:33 PM

I'm 47, still having regular periods, 5'5" and female. I lost thirty pounds initially on the Eadeses' Protein Power plan, and stalled out at 190. Flopped around on the dock for a year or so (did their "Paleo Purist" version of PP to no avail), and then went zero-carb. Lost more weight, gained it back when I fell into a wedding cake and stayed there for a few months. Gained even more on Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet, then finally went back to ZC again in September of 2009.

I've been zero-carb since then, and I'm now maintaining a 75+ pound weight loss fairly easily (from 220ish to 150ish). The weight does go down a bit more when I do a very clean Paleo version of zero carb. No dairy, no wine, no dark chocolate.

Adding back veggies and "safe" starches hasn't worked for me the couple times I've tried it. I get a rapid return of some health problems that cleared up on ZC, followed by ten or more pounds, depending on how long I let the "experiment" go on. So in my case, the answer is no, I don't see relaxing into Paleo eating -- meaning, eating whatever's on the "approved" list, lol -- in my future. But it's okay with me; I actually don't mind what some folks think of as a very restricted diet. I eat lots of great-tasting meat, including seafood and wild game, and organ meats fairly regularly, too. And planning dinner is never a problem.

65660697ed243c7980725fd014eb00e0

(494)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:13 PM

Rose, I'm curious, when you went ZC, how long did it take your body to start losing the weight?

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:25 PM

When you add in starch, are you consciously decreasing fat as well?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:43 PM

Mari, my appetite for fat decreased without conscious manipulation on my part about eight or nine months ago, right when I was at my lowest. Then I added in starch and veggies (Thanksgiving: a sweet potato, no butter, and brussels sprouts sauteed with bacon), and the first symptom I got back was joint pain. I kept going, though (stubborn like that), and a month later I was up ten pounds. At that point I can't tell you what my fat intake was, unfortunately. But I can tell you what its accumulation on my body was. ;D

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:20 PM

It was pretty much immediate, kinetic. Within a week I was down two pounds. At four months in, I was 155, the lowest weight I'd been since I was a teenager. Over the course of the next year, with some tweaks (dropping wine and dairy, for instance) I made it to 146, a weight I hadn't seen since I was twelve years old.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:09 PM

I wish I understood the leptin issue, Jac. I'm only now just starting to read some of the theories/controversies. In the comments section of Stephan Guyanet's Whole Health Source blog, especially #4 in his new "Food Reward" series, there's a very interesting and heated back-and-forth going on about leptin. I'm learning a lot from it. Or at least, my confusion is getting more interesting.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:00 PM

Thanks Rose. The consensus so far is definitely that the restriction needs to become a way of life - but it's a sustainable way of life. In terms of leptin, does this mean that we're never fully leptin sensitive any more??

65660697ed243c7980725fd014eb00e0

(494)

on June 02, 2011
at 10:45 PM

That's amazing, Rose! I may just have to bite the bullet and give ZC a go.

2
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on June 03, 2011
at 01:47 AM

I lost 111lbs over 6 years. Mostly typical SAD conventional wisdom, but tweaked to my own healthy nutrition ideas. The last bit I lost Paleo.

It isn't that easy for me to maintain. What I initially did was upped my calories 50 every two weeks in order to determine where I started gaining weight instead of just maintaining. Initially I was able to go up to 1450 calories per day (from 1200) and still maintain. At that time I was doing a HIIT type bootcamp, 3 days a week for about 1/2 hour.

I have recently been unable to exercise due to schedule and money issues, as well as motivation issues. I started to gain weight at the 1450 calories after about 1 month of non-activity. I have to drop my calories to the 1250/1300 range to maintain without weight gain.

I have tested this extensively. I monitor my calories closely and have for a long time. I eat 95% Paleo. I don't worry about the little things and stay gluten free for the most part.

I have found I do best on moderate carb ~75 grams. If I drop them too low I lose energy, if I let them get too high I retain water terribly. I need to keep my protein at about the same level, which puts my fat percent around 50%. All of these numbers took some tinkering, but it was pretty obvious to me when I hit my sweet spots on each.

I think I fall into the permanently metabolically damaged category. Being previously obese, I just don't think I'll ever be able to eat unweighed/unmeasured and not gain.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 03, 2011
at 02:38 AM

Yeah, it's the 'previously obese' bit that's interesting to me. I commented below that these responses seem to be quite polarised, and the question of whether we can actually heal these broken metabolisms (metabolii??) isn't quite resolved. Especially when you factor in those charming female confounders like menopause . . .

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 03, 2011
at 05:57 AM

Once you have lost weight you can not stop...

You need to realize that some exercise and some amount of good eating that got you there needs to continue through your entire life.

You should also try and gain some muscle. Just 2-3 pounds of muscle. Diets fail when you loose muscle and don't gain some of it back...

1
04e2a5bfc5f753449f3093d9c86ff174

on June 03, 2011
at 12:37 AM

I too lost a considerable amount although I no longer really focus on the scale. I am extremely diligent and even cut out all fruits, nuts and seeds. In addition, I restrict high carb veggies to (usually) post workouts. I am extremely active too...lifting and crossfitting probably too much!

I see this as a way of life and must be consistent. SOunds like you are doing well now. But I would add, I could never cut out all the greens and veggies. I love them too much and believe they supply me with essential vitamins and minerals.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 03, 2011
at 02:40 AM

I feel heaps better on veges, too. I can't eat nuts and seeds (IBS) and am experimenting with fruit - it's the carb I hope to be able to reintroduce later on. When I'm 'healed' and 'naturally lean'. If I live long enough to get there.

1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on June 02, 2011
at 09:28 PM

I've been in the 10lb weight range for over a year. I'm strict about the grains, legumes, and dairy. I'll eat some chocolate or ice cream made with coconut milk instead of dairy, but I read labels and don't even want to see soy lethicin in it (this may be going a bit overboard). I can eat more carbs now, but a lot of carbs, even from paleo sources can seriously mess up my day, so I'd guess I usually stay under 100g.

Sometimes I get worried that I am gaining weight and restrict the carbs. The scale drops right back down so fast that I'm thinking carbs just encourage my body to hold more water.

Often times, due to the fact there isn't much in the way of paleo convenience food, it seems more like I'm trying to get calories rather than diet any more. I'll buy a roast or something, take it home and cook it, and then mostly just eat it until it is gone because actually planning out meals (like with vegetables and stuff) is a chore.

I am hungry right now, in fact. It seems rather hard to keep up with.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 02, 2011
at 09:55 PM

That's really encouraging about the 'over a year' of relative stability. Nice to know that you've upped your carbs a little bit.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on June 02, 2011
at 09:29 PM

That should read same 10lb weight range. I've lost approx. 113lbs.

0
030167d1516b20d4a79f326dded608b0

on June 03, 2011
at 10:40 AM

50 pound loss checking in here (195-145 over 7 months).

I eat a lot more now. Every 30 days or so I experiment with different fat/protein/carb ratios. The only significant change I found was after taking dairy back out (mostly in the form of Kerrygold) I dropped from 150-145 in 30 days.

I crossfit 3-5 times per week (always fasted), which has dramatically ramped up my appetite.

A typical day:

CF at 6am 15-20 oz of coconut water + 50g protein via now foods unsweetened / unflavored whey 4 eggs cooked in copious amounts of coconut oil Uncured bacon or ham Left over veggies

Big ass bowl or salad with avocado and double meat for lunch Green tea

Grass fed steak or wild caught fish for dinner Yams, Brussels sprouts, green beens, or broccoli as a veg Occasionally some raw, macadamias

Fish oil 5,000 IU of Vitamin D Now foods digestive enzymes.

Hope that helps!

0
1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

on June 03, 2011
at 02:04 AM

I lost 35 lbs. (from 185 to 150). Male, 5'8".

I find maintenance quite easy as long as I don't drift into higher carb territory too much (no counting of carbs, just awareness of what I'm eating). I do also IF by skipping random meals--usually breakfasts--but not more than a couple of times per week.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:24 PM

But he said "quite easy" *as long as*" he stays carb restricted.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 03, 2011
at 02:34 AM

Would you fall into the category of people who aren't metabolically damaged, do you think?? It sounds like it - the experiences mentioned so far seem to fall onto two quite different ends of a scale in terms of constant watchfulness and easy regaining, to 'quite easy' with casual awareness.

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on June 03, 2011
at 11:58 PM

Probably not metabolically damaged any more. I can certainly gain weight if I get too sloppy with food, but it's not a serious strain to keep it under control. Not too much fruit, not too much starch, and very limited cheats.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:24 PM

But he said "quite easy" *as long as* he stays carb restricted.

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