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What advice can I give my Mom who is looking to lose weight?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 31, 2011 at 3:17 PM

I am several months into eating strict Paleo and I am having a great time. (I am 21 year old Male) I have always had low BF% but eating Paleo has helped me get in even better shape, while eating the foods I love and not spending hours in the gym!

My Mom (50 years old) has been trying to lose weight for the last 20 years and she keeps going up and down on the scale. She is in very good shape but she really wants to lose those last 10 pounds and look and feel leaner and fitter.

She does chronic cardio, some weightlifting, and calorie restriction. Currently she wakes up at 4:30-5 am and goes to the gym (without eating) to run for an hour, spin, or lift weights. She goes to the gym 6 days a week for an 1 hour to hour and a half each day. Her eating used to be low fat calorie restriction.

Recently I have persuaded her to try adding some fats into her diet and cut a lot of the grains. She still eats a lot of vegetables, has cut all of the grains except Ezekial (Sprouted) Bread and has added Almond butter and a little bit of olive oil and some more protein in the form of chicken (non pastured) and fish.

Since she has made these changes about two weeks ago she has lost a few pounds and looks much leaner. I am concerned though that she will stop seeing progress soon. Even though she has improved her diet a lot, she is only including mostly PUFAs, complains that she is hungry much of the time and and is hesitant to add any Butter, Coconut Oil, Red meats etc because it goes against everything she ever learned.

How can I convince her to eat MORE paleo? Or what suggestions can I give her to try? She is good with small steps and I don't want to force this eating style on her all at once. Any advice would be much appreciated! : ).

Cd2d1fcf77345c9b2889ab56ecf5c842

(250)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:43 AM

Also I forgot to mention that I had lost 50 pounds in the past year which is great. At my age I do not want to do the yo-yo thing ever again so I intend to stay Paleo for life, My husband, also age 57, is Paleo too and he feels great. We both feel so much younger and have tons of energy. When people ask us what we are doing we basically tell them we avoid processed food, rather than try to explain the whole Paleo concept. If they show an interest, then we loan them Robb Wolf's book and the Fat Head movie!

Cd2d1fcf77345c9b2889ab56ecf5c842

(250)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:42 AM

Also I forgot to mention that I had lost 50 pounds in the past year which is great. At my age I do not want to do the yo-yo thing ever again so I intend to stay Paleo for life, My husband, also age 57, is Paleo too and he feels great. We both feel so much younger and have tons of energy. When people ask us what we are doing we basically tell them we avoid processed food, rather than try to explain the whole Paleo concept. If they show an interest, then we loan Robb Wolf's book and the Fat Head movie!

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:35 AM

I'd have her go Protein Power first. At least the books mention paleo diets. I have seen so many Atkins people get caught up in the cream-cheese hamster wheel, and it is hard to get out.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:34 AM

Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!

39ccdc07ecb843b6399e0df9c1a6aa1a

(682)

on August 31, 2011
at 05:51 PM

I think you may be right about the overtraining. I will look into the Kruse's Leptin prescription. Thank you.

39ccdc07ecb843b6399e0df9c1a6aa1a

(682)

on August 31, 2011
at 05:18 PM

I like the idea about working out with her. We have worked out together before and she can definitely keep up with me. I will see if I can get her to do two HIIT sessions a weeks with me instead of some of her cardio. I have realized she is reluctant and needs to go slow with adding the fats. I will try getting her some butter and coconut oil and see if she'd be willing to add some to her vegetables. Its a start. Thank you for the advice! Much appreciated.

C3edabc6267abec9b5f8178e5d73552c

(725)

on August 31, 2011
at 04:36 PM

Focusing on improving her leptin sensitivity is probably the best thing. Paleo will help with that.. the quilt's recommendations are good for this. Mainly, 1) no snacking (only 3 meals a day), 2) plenty of protein (50g+) at breakfast, and 3) don't eat 4 hours before bed. Paleo plus these three should definitely give good results. For more detail see: http://jackkruse.com/my-leptin-prescription/ and http://www.wellnessresources.com/weight/articles/the_five_rules_of_the_leptin_diet/

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5 Answers

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1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:21 PM

Decide how deep you want to go, find a friend to do it with you, commit yourself, and then TELL EVERYONE! The more people you tell > the more people will ask you how you are doing > the more you will want to become successful.

And listen, go easy on yourself. Commit to eating well and exercising at a high intensity. The details are not that important. Forget the scale ??? the weight will come off, trust us. Don???t worry about that extra light beer, just do better next time. The more you stress the more cortisol your body produces the more it shuts down your digestion, screws up sleep, and increases muscle tension. Nobody is going to flail you. Enjoy the ride.

This is a LIFESTYLE change; something that will be with you forever ??? not a diet, that has a definite end-goal.

Let???s review the basics of modern Paleo style nutrition:

http://www.modernpaleo.com/principles.html (click here and check out all of them including the extra links ??? only a few are listed here)

  1. Eat real foods, prepared well. Prepare your own food as much as you can. Beware the junk ubiquitous in convenience and restaurant foods.

  2. Don't eat wheat, corn, rice, or other grains. If you choose to eat some grains, eat them sparingly and prepare them to minimize toxins, such as by sprouting and soaking. Wheat seems to be the worst of all the grains, while rice seems to be the most benign. Whole grains are not better than refined grains.

  3. Don't eat sweets: avoid sugar, corn syrup, agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, and artificial sweeteners. If you must have some sweetener for a dish, you might try a bit of stevia. With time, your tastes will adjust: ordinary sweets will taste cloying, but formerly bland vegetables will seem delightfully sweet.

  4. Don't eat modern oils derived from grains and seeds -- such as canola oil, corn oil, or soy oil. Make your own mayonnaise and salad dressing. Don't eat fried foods in restaurants: rancid vegetable oils are standard for frying. Avoid all hydrogenated fats; they contain damaging artificial transfats. Instead, use liberal amounts of animal fats -- like butter, ghee, lard, and tallow -- as well as unrefined coconut oil and olive oil. (Reserve your bacon grease: it's delicious rendered lard!) Do not fear saturated fat: it's healthy, including for your heart.

  5. Don't eat soy. Some fermented soy might be okay, if tolerated. However, all soy is goitrogenic and contains estrogen-mimicking hormones.

  6. Don't eat beans and other legumes. If you choose to eat some legumes, eat them sparingly and prepare them to minimize toxins, such as by soaking them.

  7. Eat plenty of high-quality meat, preferably from pastured animals. Grass-fed meats have a better ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 polyunsaturated fats than grain-fed meats. Avoid meats treated with antibiotics and hormones, if feasible: the animals are likely treated better, and they taste better. Enjoy plenty of red meat. Try uncured bacon and other breakfast meats. They might not be any healthier, but they taste so much better!

  8. Eat eggs, preferably from pastured chickens. Eggs enriched with omega-3s are a good option too. Prefer nutrient-dense egg yolks to nutrient-poor egg whites.

  9. Eat fish and shellfish periodically, preferably caught wild rather than farm-raised.

  10. For workouts, ditch the standard "cardio" sessions. Try short, high-intensity workouts instead: you should be able to kick your own ass in ten minutes or less. Try weight training, sprinting, and barefoot running. For more structured programs, try CrossFit or Body by Science. Also, move around a lot. Ladies, don't be afraid to weightlift: you will not turn into Ahnold overnight.

And here???s how to get your pantry ready to go! 10 Steps to ???Primalize??? Your Pantry The freezer has ice cream and frozen pizzas, but it???s the pantry that harbors the usual carb suspects ??? chips, cookies, crackers, pasta, cereal and bread galore. If you???re not careful this cool and dark space could derail your best efforts to eat Primally.

So follow these 10 easy steps and you???ll be well on your way to having a truly Primal pantry.

  1. Junk Food Extermination The first step toward Primalizing your pantry is purging it of the wrong foods. Toss your processed foods and prepackaged meals. No more baked beans, bland soups, or loaves of bread collecting mold alongside dry pastas. Get rid of the cookies, crackers, and chips standing in your way. No holds barred, people.

  2. Donate When I say toss out, I mean ???toss out of the pantry and in the general direction of a plastic bin or paper bag perfect for delivering to a food bank.???

  3. Nuts/Seeds/Nut Flour Pantries are the perfect spots for instant snacks. It???s just that most snacks aren???t all that Primal ??? except for nuts and seeds.

  4. Healthy Fats Keep your pantry well-stocked with olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil, and various nut oils ??? all healthy.

  5. Sweet Tooth Suppression Honey is good to have on hand, as is semi-sweet dark chocolate (go for a good quality, mostly-cacao chocolate bar, which isn???t all that high in sugar and is decidedly more Primal than, say, a Hershey???s bar).

  6. Tea Time We should limit our caffeine intake, but teas are excellent members of any healthy Primal pantry.

  7. The Spice of Primal Life

If you can spare it, devote a shelf in your pantry to your spice collection.

  1. Jerky Again, the key to avoiding temptation is stocking your pantry with instant Primal foods. Keep some jerky on hand.

  2. Dried Fruits We???ve told you to take caution when eating dried fruits before (on account of the high sugar content), but they can???t be ignored when stocking your pantry.

  3. Canned Goods You???ve ditched the canned beans and cherry pie filling, but don???t eschew the can altogether.

Best of Luck to your mom!!!

Let me know if you have any other questions, I'll help however i can!

4
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on August 31, 2011
at 03:55 PM

Dear Mom, Welcome to the paleo world! Yes, there are some of us here that are old enough to remember dials on phones. There is really something to this paleo diet, but it is much different from what you have been hearing from the so-called experts.

How do you start? Go get a copy of Gary Taubes' "Why We Get Fat". Warning: this book will make you mad. Then, invite your son over for movie night and enjoy Tom Naughton's "Fat Head" on hulu. It is very funny. Your son will bring over some paleo snacks. They probably have a bunch of fat in them. Go ahead and eat them, its OK!

Next, head on over to Mark's Daily Apple and read the journals of other women in a same situation as yours. Stop by the leptin reset thread and see what a bunch of other ladies have done with Dr. K's leptin reset. You might enjoy reading the Drs. Eades books, especially Protein Power. Their books aren't strictly paleo, but they contain lots of good information. And, Dr. Mike is cuter than Dr. Oz. They're a bit older than we are, but I can't wait to look like Dr. Mary Dan Eades when I am her age. Check out her blog and see what she eats!

Reading Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf is also good, but sometimes they don't get it completely correct for older women. Mark's blog contains lots of information tailored just for you. If you follow the recommendations, you might not lose weight immediately. But, you will start to look and feel better. And isn't that what really matters?

2
Cd2d1fcf77345c9b2889ab56ecf5c842

(250)

on August 31, 2011
at 05:23 PM

I am a 57 year old woman and started with low carb first (Protein Power) for about 6 months, then switched to Paleo which I have been at for about 7 months, I had hit a plateau though, and for the past 3 months I had not lost a pound, Though I am wearing smaller jeans so my measurements have changed! But I still need to lose about 20 pounds. So I have been doing Jack Kruse's Leptin prescription for about the past week. So far I have lost 3 pounds, so apparently it's working. BTW I only eat 2 meals a day but do get all my calories in just those 2 meals.

Also I think your mom may be working out too much!

39ccdc07ecb843b6399e0df9c1a6aa1a

(682)

on August 31, 2011
at 05:51 PM

I think you may be right about the overtraining. I will look into the Kruse's Leptin prescription. Thank you.

Cd2d1fcf77345c9b2889ab56ecf5c842

(250)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:43 AM

Also I forgot to mention that I had lost 50 pounds in the past year which is great. At my age I do not want to do the yo-yo thing ever again so I intend to stay Paleo for life, My husband, also age 57, is Paleo too and he feels great. We both feel so much younger and have tons of energy. When people ask us what we are doing we basically tell them we avoid processed food, rather than try to explain the whole Paleo concept. If they show an interest, then we loan them Robb Wolf's book and the Fat Head movie!

Cd2d1fcf77345c9b2889ab56ecf5c842

(250)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:42 AM

Also I forgot to mention that I had lost 50 pounds in the past year which is great. At my age I do not want to do the yo-yo thing ever again so I intend to stay Paleo for life, My husband, also age 57, is Paleo too and he feels great. We both feel so much younger and have tons of energy. When people ask us what we are doing we basically tell them we avoid processed food, rather than try to explain the whole Paleo concept. If they show an interest, then we loan Robb Wolf's book and the Fat Head movie!

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:34 AM

Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!

2
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on August 31, 2011
at 03:35 PM

I had a really hard time adding fat to my diet when I found Paleo. Go with baby steps on that. Buy her a good coconut oil and some Kerrygold. Have her move up her percentages by 5% a week or so until she's comfortable. (Or just add 1 tablespoon of each per day, then increase as she is comfortable if she doesn't want to track ratios) I ended up at 50% fat from a starting point of about 20/25% fat. The joy of eating real butter is very convincing!

Can you get to the gym with her? Maybe try to switch two days a week to lifting or HIIT for 30 minutes each of those days. Don't just suggest things, give her a routine to do. Generalizations of "you need more weight lifting" or "you need less cardio" are hard to follow.

If you can cook, make something with grassfed ground beef once a week for her to eat with you. No mom can refuse something her kid made for her with love!

When you have been doing a conventional wisdom low fat, low calorie thing for a long time it is actually SCARY to change it. Be patient. Let her see that each change doesn't make her weight balloon back up. The things you are suggesting defy the rules she has been taught and that have worked for her.

39ccdc07ecb843b6399e0df9c1a6aa1a

(682)

on August 31, 2011
at 05:18 PM

I like the idea about working out with her. We have worked out together before and she can definitely keep up with me. I will see if I can get her to do two HIIT sessions a weeks with me instead of some of her cardio. I have realized she is reluctant and needs to go slow with adding the fats. I will try getting her some butter and coconut oil and see if she'd be willing to add some to her vegetables. Its a start. Thank you for the advice! Much appreciated.

1
6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on August 31, 2011
at 03:40 PM

I had my mom start on regular Atkins style low carb to ease her into it. Then once she got used to that, I started slowly easing her into eating the proper fats and cooking certain things for her. She saw immediate results just going low carb so it encouraged her to push things further. I consider Atkins low carb sort of the training wheels to going Paleo. Let them get used to cutting out the big things like grains and sugar and then take them the rest of the way.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:35 AM

I'd have her go Protein Power first. At least the books mention paleo diets. I have seen so many Atkins people get caught up in the cream-cheese hamster wheel, and it is hard to get out.

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