2

votes

Any Non-Responders Out There?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 05, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Hello All. Paleo has been good to me. So good, that friends and family want "in" and have asked for my advice. Anyone I've turned onto My somewhat skeptical wife finally decided to give it a shot due to a bit of unwanted weight and the appearance of some weird autoimmunity. With my layperson's guidance, she started exactly one month ago. Grain, legume, dairy-free to start, with a side of little to no fruit and nuts. Fish oil and Vitamin D added in for good measure. She says she's been strict, but stepped on the scale today and has lost exactly ZERO pounds and measures exactly the same around hips and belly. She's done very little gym work, so hasn't replaced fat with muscle (as far as we can tell).

On the up-side, she says she feels less bloated and is sleeping better, but I'm looking like a bit of a doofus here. I know I should never have used the word "guaranteed" or said "I'll eat a loaf of Wonderbread" if this doesn't work, but I was pretty sure something would change in a month.

Could she be a non-responder, or just a late bloomer? I know a few strategies for breaking through plateaus, but this more a failure to launch.

949d4d02ea7d1abd714cc3347c2c6854

(1021)

on May 06, 2011
at 07:02 PM

Dr. K, I'm actually not hungry since being more strict, so I don't think it's so much the ratios. Futureboy, trust me, I've been working on that for a long time. It's not that I'm eating because I'm feeling "overly emotional." I just mean that I psychologically want to be eating something, even when I'm not hungry. Anyway, I'm not overweight - I just want to be healthier. I'll keep trying.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on May 06, 2011
at 05:25 PM

Too much CF! You oughta try backing off on the strenuous exercise, and also confronting your "emotional" need to snack. Two glaring problems.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 06, 2011
at 05:23 PM

how much weight does she have to lose anyways? "a bit of unwanted weight"? the last stubborn 10 pounds?

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on May 05, 2011
at 10:21 PM

Thanks Patty! I'm glad you commented! Every body is different. :)

E0b58cce5630512fbf21103829b667e1

(25)

on May 05, 2011
at 09:38 PM

I,m a nonresponder and I find if I lower protein and increase my fat, I gain weight bigtime! I need to count calories and be very careful of how much fat I eat! I even tried Atkins with VLC and still didn't lose weight. I'm still mostly Paleo though because I feel better!

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 05, 2011
at 09:15 PM

um, not to be gross and bluntly to the point, but, how's her pooping? If she doesn't really work out, she could be "turning over" all the old innard gunk much more slowly than you. Men always seem to poop more easily no matter what their diet. Maybe she should do some sprints. Short multiple sets don't take long and for me, running (I hate running) always gets me... uhhh going. Hmmm, I should follow my own advice more.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 05, 2011
at 08:02 PM

If your hungry your not eating enough protein or fat. Change that

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on May 05, 2011
at 07:39 PM

She needs more time. The improved sleep is a great thing!

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on May 05, 2011
at 06:46 PM

I'd highly recommend doing what you can to restore gut health.

2f931662684a7747be36255c8b486228

(1049)

on May 05, 2011
at 06:38 PM

Good to know if I'm ever able to convert friends. I though it was a given that weight loss would follow, since I went strict paleo in one day and lost 3 pounds in 10 days and spent 3 weeks putting 2 desired pounds back on.

Medium avatar

(3259)

on May 05, 2011
at 06:31 PM

Autoimmunity has manifested in cold urticaria, and it's getting worse.

Medium avatar

(3259)

on May 05, 2011
at 06:30 PM

You called it PKN. Although I trust her with my life, I've been watching chocolate chip and raisin inventories (declining) just to make sure.

D83e454e794d761ab524814c0ff8f838

(531)

on May 05, 2011
at 06:09 PM

Good dietary advice, as it seems most autoimmune stuff starts out with a leaky gut.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on May 05, 2011
at 05:15 PM

Post what a typical day for her in the last month has looked like food-wise.

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11 Answers

3
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on May 05, 2011
at 04:10 PM

is she plugging what she eats into fitday to get the real story on carbs/fat/protein amounts as well as calories? I know they say you dont need to count calories but unless you really look at it you are just guessing. Thats where I'd start. I'm sure someone else would have some additional great ideas....

2
E35d651e011b3ad72d22decf79537749

(143)

on May 05, 2011
at 07:49 PM

Hey Riveted, It took me a little under 4 weeks to FINALLY lose an inch off my belly (and bum too!). I was just about to say "F this," but the happy belly, good sleep, and clear skin kept me at it. I don't know what the chemical process at work is, but it was NOT a boom change for me. That being said, I wasn't following the SAD pre-paleo - actually closer to vegan. So maybe that fact accounts for why I didn't see a dramatic initial change. I'd say give it some more time? Especially if she's seeing other benefits (not being a sugar-addict counts for something!)

2
602e5d4f4e8b31a301ea49f250f19dbe

on May 05, 2011
at 07:41 PM

I've been paleo for almost a year and have only lost about 15 of the 80 that need to go. I wonder if it's a sluggish thyroid (hashimoto's, maybe?). I am starting GAPS to heal my gut and looking for a dr I trust to see about the thyroid. Bottom line, I feel so much better on so many levels, paleo is worth it even if I never drop the weight. I think, for a woman over 40 who spent decades trashing her body, I can be grateful just to know I have found the way to STOP the dietary madness...having a swimsuit body would be great but is not really the point.

2
D83e454e794d761ab524814c0ff8f838

on May 05, 2011
at 06:08 PM

I would give it more than a month. I'm six or so months in, and have gained unwanted weight (not in muscle). But my body has always been a conundrum. Going gluten free many years ago got rid of the autoimmune type diseases happening, so perhaps she will see improvement there which is more important I think.

She will probably have to experiment with carb amount. I seem to do worse on VLC, and have white rice once a week or so plus moderate carbs on a daily basis. It definitely is more of a challenge for women 30 and up to lean out on Paleo. I've read it again and again. I think if she grew up SAD or overweight too, as I did, it's going to be even harder for her.

2
F14195f175e3ba25be4dca320207daa7

on May 05, 2011
at 05:36 PM

Not an expert by any stretch, but my personal experience was/is it took my body about 6 weeks to adjust and the scale to go the other way! From all I've read some of us adapt more quickly than others and my muscle tone has been better so I attribute some of mine to the muscle weighs more than fat theorem. Patience is the best advice. There are so many systems involved, I know my body took me through a crazy sugar withdrawl; lots of water helped that, but it can be a struggle. Lots of great web resources....keep at it, the results are definitely well worth it.

2
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on May 05, 2011
at 05:09 PM

Not knowing much about her, I'd suggest...

Lower her protein, increase her fat. Get rid of any sugar (including fruit). See if her weight budges. If it does, keep fruit out until she's dropped what she wants to, then bring it back in once she's at the ideal weight.

Just my thoughts...

P.S. What are the autoimmune issues? Perhaps she needs to forego nightshades as well and increase lacto-fermented foods and bone broths for gut health?

E0b58cce5630512fbf21103829b667e1

(25)

on May 05, 2011
at 09:38 PM

I,m a nonresponder and I find if I lower protein and increase my fat, I gain weight bigtime! I need to count calories and be very careful of how much fat I eat! I even tried Atkins with VLC and still didn't lose weight. I'm still mostly Paleo though because I feel better!

D83e454e794d761ab524814c0ff8f838

(531)

on May 05, 2011
at 06:09 PM

Good dietary advice, as it seems most autoimmune stuff starts out with a leaky gut.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on May 05, 2011
at 06:46 PM

I'd highly recommend doing what you can to restore gut health.

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on May 05, 2011
at 07:39 PM

She needs more time. The improved sleep is a great thing!

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on May 05, 2011
at 10:21 PM

Thanks Patty! I'm glad you commented! Every body is different. :)

Medium avatar

(3259)

on May 05, 2011
at 06:31 PM

Autoimmunity has manifested in cold urticaria, and it's getting worse.

1
Bc762105fbdc6694dc6dd316840846a7

(65)

on May 06, 2011
at 04:53 PM

She may need more time or to make some tweaks to her ratios...but I will say I didn't see a weight change with paleo until I lowered calories. Anecdotally speaking, it seems some women do not lose weight even on strict paleo without reducing overall calories as well. I definitely did not benefit from upping fat and being VLC, or upping fat and moderate carbs, or upping protein or any of those tweaks that do often work for others. I have Hasimoto's and hypothyroidism, I also have issues with overeating and emotional eating. So I've found IF helps a bunch to curb mindless eating that leads to stalls or gains no matter how paleo it is, and I'm losing weight again.

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on May 05, 2011
at 08:00 PM

I don't think that switching to paleo will necessarily cause you to start losing weight. It can be one component of it, but won't do it by itself. You haven't mentioned any change in her exercise patterns, that is a better way to lose weight than changing diet IMHO and is more sustainable.

Fat has a lot more calories than carbs, and focusing on the fat while desiring to feel as "full" as you used to without watching your overall food intake can cause your calorie intake to remain the same or even increase.

When I avoid carbs, my appetite falls a lot. When I want to lose weight, I just under-eat for a few days, and oftentimes I hardly even notice, especially if I am exercising almost every day.

I don't understand what is happening with folks who say they eat 2-3 pounds of meat per day plus all of the extra fat and lose weight... maybe they are sleep-treadmilling or something.

1
Af9537cfa50562b67979624e9007e12a

(1334)

on May 05, 2011
at 04:31 PM

i would agree, especially women it seems, need to count calories at least for a while until you know what you are doing. also "she says she has been strict" - does that mean you doubt her? only one doughnut a day will totally screw expected results.

Medium avatar

(3259)

on May 05, 2011
at 06:30 PM

You called it PKN. Although I trust her with my life, I've been watching chocolate chip and raisin inventories (declining) just to make sure.

0
949d4d02ea7d1abd714cc3347c2c6854

on May 05, 2011
at 07:52 PM

I've been doing about 80% paleo since January, and I've been very strict for the last two weeks. I track my calories, because I just can't trust myself yet (I used to be a vegetarian, so I don't have a mental image of a healthy serving of meat). For the last two weeks, I have averaged right around 100 grams of carbs a day, mostly from fruit, vegetables, and nuts. I'm not eating any grains, tubers, milk, peanuts, legumes, added sugars, etc.

So far, I haven't seen any results. I do feel more full and less hungry most of the time, but I feel that shows in my belly (my stomach looks more rounded, not flatter). I haven't gained or lost any weight, and I do CrossFit 3-4 times a week and do some extended slow exercise (walking or swimming) once or twice a week. Perhaps I am influenced by eating too many snacks - I have an emotional need to eat several times throughout the work day, even though I'm not particularly hungry. Anyway, I'm not giving up yet. My husband and I agreed to be strict for 6 weeks and then try adding dairy back in. We'll see how it goes.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 05, 2011
at 08:02 PM

If your hungry your not eating enough protein or fat. Change that

949d4d02ea7d1abd714cc3347c2c6854

(1021)

on May 06, 2011
at 07:02 PM

Dr. K, I'm actually not hungry since being more strict, so I don't think it's so much the ratios. Futureboy, trust me, I've been working on that for a long time. It's not that I'm eating because I'm feeling "overly emotional." I just mean that I psychologically want to be eating something, even when I'm not hungry. Anyway, I'm not overweight - I just want to be healthier. I'll keep trying.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on May 06, 2011
at 05:25 PM

Too much CF! You oughta try backing off on the strenuous exercise, and also confronting your "emotional" need to snack. Two glaring problems.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 05, 2011
at 04:57 PM

Is she snacking a lot? Not an expert on this myself, but some of the people who are considered Leptin experts claim that we need to limit meals to two or three times a day with ample time between each meal...no snacking in between.

I try to be critical of Paleo, but if there is one benefit of Paleo that is pretty much certain in my mind is that it can really hack the fat off of you.

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