When does the shrinking begin?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 13, 2013 at 11:54 PM

All of this is Excellent to hear. I am 46, need to lose aprox 20-25 lbs that have seemed to come to stay. I recently (about a month) started working out 4-6 times a week doing intervals with weights and I love it. I feel stronger and have new muscles, however, that isn't helping me with my scale! About a week ago I decided to really start living this paleo life. I refuse to continue to be on a "diet". I know everyone around me is tired of hearing me count calories and I love the idea of never having to do that again! So, on the premis that I continue to eat and excercise, when will I start to shrink?!

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on March 14, 2013
at 02:27 AM

First thought when I read the title was, "I was in the pool! I was in the pool!"

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on March 14, 2013
at 01:45 AM

Post what you eat in a typical day/week and you'll get some feedback. In my case, I went pretty low carb (<= 25g per day) and Paleo, and dropped all grains and sugars completely. It was like flipping a switch and I lost about 10-12 pounds quickly, like the first 2-3 weeks. I'm now 43 (42 when I started Paleo) and started at about 228#, now at about 205#, so maybe similar boat to you.

Many who start Paleo eat a lot of fruits and nuts as a snack/crutch and that can stall or halt your weight loss, so you could try omitting that if you eat that. Also if you have a sweet/sugary drink habit (diet coke, gatorade, etc) that can halt the weight loss, even if it doesn't have any calories (studies show that diet sodas produce as much of an insulin response as actual sugar). Basically drink nothing but coffee/tea, water, and the occasional alcohol (very occasional until you get the weight loss rolling).

I do high intensity strength-based workouts, first kettlebells and calisthenics at home, and now crossfit. I really go for high intensity and there's no way I can do it as often as 4-6x per week, it's 3-4x max, I need the recovery time. If you can swing it, you might try for workouts that are more intense and less frequent. Also mixing in some long, low-intensity workouts helped me a lot (i.e. lots of walking).

To give you an idea, starting from the time I went Paleo, to changing my exercise, joining crossfit, and now, I've lost about 20-25 pounds and about 6-7 inches off of my waist. The girth is far more satisfying and body-changing than the weight, at this point I don't worry about the weight and monitor myself with my belt notches. Losing 6-7 inches off of your waist as an adult is no joke, I had to buy all new clothes and people that I haven't seen for a while are amazed. It's totally body and life transforming, and totally doable, with little to no hassle. Just need to get the right plan and follow it.


on March 14, 2013
at 01:01 AM

Every body is different. Men tend to lose weight faster during the first few weeks of Paleo. Women tend to take longer as there bodies adjust. Some never lose weight, but the mirror & their bodies confirm that they are healthier. Remember that "going paleo" is not a weight-loss program as you mentioned. So listen to your body and watch your body. It will change for the better as you've already noticed. Scales just deceive you.

And for a good read that follows this philosophy, read Jason Seib's The Paleo Coach


on March 14, 2013
at 12:16 AM

One can calculate how long it will take to lose weight. WebMD has a metabolism calculator found here: http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthtool-metabolism-calculator.

I calculated my metabolism to be 9500KJ/day. This means if I fast 1 day per week, I will burn 9500KJ/week.

Furthermore, there are approximately 37 000KJ per kg of Fat, and therefore it will take me 37000/9500 = 3.8 weeks to burn each kg.

If instead I fast for 2 days a week, I start to lose 1 kg of fat every 2 weeks on average.

The above is an example of how to calculate the time it takes to lose weight based on your metabolism and fasting patterns.

Actual weight loss will be faster than this however, as you burn glycogen (which is heavier than fat per kj) and lose retained water, both of which contribute to weight loss.

Exercise also contributes to weight loss, but is much less significant contribution than dieting. (E.g. 30 min of exercise per day approximately is the same as fasting 1 day per week). Exercise might be beneficial however for maintaining metabolism during fasting diets.

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