5

votes

What to tell paleo-interested people? (Or at least people who are interested in 'how I lost all that weight'?)

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 21, 2011 at 11:31 PM

So, I've lost about 70 pounds living a paleo/primal lifestyle. I started with a whole30-style period, then moved to more Primal Blueprint approach. I still have about 70 pounds to go, but I get a lot of comments lately on my weight loss and people wanting to know what I've done.

Depending on the situation (if we're near a computer, etc.), I will just open MarksDailyApple or refer them to google "paleo diet", but I'm wondering how all of you would answer this question:

"You've lost a ton of weight. What did you do? I need to lose weight too."

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on April 24, 2012
at 11:17 PM

Decided to go back an give the answer to akd since she had the most votes, and it's a great answer.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 24, 2011
at 02:38 PM

I don't post more than one thing in a day, and usually not more than 3 things a week. That way they're informed without being bombarded. I don't post a lot of crap on there, so I like to think it resonates more when I do.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 22, 2011
at 11:03 PM

@Eric, GCBC was very much a life-changing gold standard for me. Not only because of the quality and style of the writing (Taubes is a science writer, not a dietician) but because it way my "first" compelling book like that. Since you already are 'in-the-know' you might find the detailed case-building tedious. Or not :-)

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 22, 2011
at 09:48 PM

Sometimes I think the processed foods part is the more important piece. I may just tell people that. After all, how much "grain" would you eat if it entered your kitchen as a stalk of wheat? Too much work to take grains from wheat to bread yourself. I tell people sometimes that I gave up eating foods with ingredient lists.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 22, 2011
at 09:46 PM

I've started to post things to FB about food. I limit myself because I don't want my "friends" to think I'm a lunatic...

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 22, 2011
at 09:43 PM

@Ali: I liked the "changed my diet" too because I am not on a diet (maybe for the first time ever when trying to lose weight)--I eat differently. @CaveRat: Never read it, but I will pick it up if and when I ever have an empty reading list. I do like moving the conversation away from "diets". The word portends too much of a quick fix.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 22, 2011
at 09:41 PM

That is a great site because it starts them simple (eliminate sugar), and builds from there. It also balances between taking bad things away (sugars) and adding good things in (like the right fats). I may move to this site over MarksDailyApple because that site's start-up seems more confusing. Thank you.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 22, 2011
at 09:38 PM

I can't choose more than one answer as the "right" one, and I liked a lot of answers, so I just gave everyone an up-vote.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 22, 2011
at 05:38 PM

I agree that just sugar ain't bad. But I think grains kind of sparks people's interest too. If they say why, I say don't worry just do it for 30 days and get back to me. If they like it great if not too bad.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 22, 2011
at 02:30 PM

@Eric, Since I never "did" Atkins or was close to people who did, I don't have a strong association - but I do know what you mean! I probably waffle a bit more when I say "low carb", saying something like "I stopped eating sugar and grain products". If they ask if it's Atkins I say "sort of I think". Mostly I go into how impressed I was by Good Calories Bad Calories (should have said that in my Answer) and I changed my diet almost immediately. That conversation is then less about "diets" and more about food science. :-)

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on June 22, 2011
at 02:02 PM

I like how you phrased that: "I feel like I changed my diet." It sounds so much better than "I'm on a diet." Thanks!

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 22, 2011
at 10:56 AM

That's interesting. I try to avoid using the low carb label with paleo because it makes people think Atkins and then there are all of those associated named diet stigmas that Carl_Stawicki brought up in his answer. Even when someone asks, "So it's low-carb?" I tend to reply, "It's naturally lower carb because you are not eating grains and sugars, but I wouldn't call it low carb because I don't count carbs." They are what they are.

033abda8ddb2166a103a60c94dcd33d7

on June 22, 2011
at 03:20 AM

I like this answer! It cuts straight to the heart of Paelo style eating. I think most people would then respond with 'Why?'. One question will lead to another, and before you know it a seed will be planted.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on June 22, 2011
at 03:17 AM

+1 - I've started posting articles to FB here and there too and get some interested and interesting responses, lol!

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on June 22, 2011
at 03:16 AM

+1 - I often start even with JUST SUGAR...

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on June 22, 2011
at 03:15 AM

+1 - If someone is *really* interested, then I often send them his basics page as well as Chris Kresser's basics series. They both provide excellent info in a very acessible form, sutiable for all readers.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on June 22, 2011
at 03:13 AM

+1 - Dynamite! Love it! No big, long babble...To the point with all the basicinfo needed and leavs the door very positively open for more questions.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 22, 2011
at 02:48 AM

Yeah - and the ridicule means their minds have closed for the foreseeable future or longer.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 22, 2011
at 12:32 AM

i totally agree! whenever i say im on a "paleo diet", i get ridiculed. everyone thinks the caveman jokes are freaking hilarious. which they arent, but dosent stop them.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 22, 2011
at 12:21 AM

That's true. Good point!

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8 Answers

best answer

11
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 22, 2011
at 12:09 AM

"i stopped counting calories and killing myself at the gym. i just eat a lot of whole, simple, unprocessed food, and gave up some foods that were making me sick. i found that when i relaxed and focused on a simple, nutrient-dense, ancestral diet that the weight came off without really thinking about it. thanks for noticing! wink"

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on June 22, 2011
at 03:13 AM

+1 - Dynamite! Love it! No big, long babble...To the point with all the basicinfo needed and leavs the door very positively open for more questions.

best answer

5
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

I skip all the low this low that, and diet terms and simply say very straight forwardly and seriously, "stop eating grains and sugar. That's all you need to do."

Is that all you need to do to get real health? No, I think more but if someone is just curious, and as the OP specifically mentioned interested in weight, then I find the simpler and less-intimidating the better. Skip all the politics, skip all the details, just give them the simplest,least extreme things.

Later on if they are enjoyinng it you can bombard them with omega ratios, grass fed this or that, what is and is not a legume , etc.

033abda8ddb2166a103a60c94dcd33d7

on June 22, 2011
at 03:20 AM

I like this answer! It cuts straight to the heart of Paelo style eating. I think most people would then respond with 'Why?'. One question will lead to another, and before you know it a seed will be planted.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on June 22, 2011
at 03:16 AM

+1 - I often start even with JUST SUGAR...

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 22, 2011
at 05:38 PM

I agree that just sugar ain't bad. But I think grains kind of sparks people's interest too. If they say why, I say don't worry just do it for 30 days and get back to me. If they like it great if not too bad.

10
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on June 22, 2011
at 12:19 AM

I like to give a brief description first before mentioning the diet's name. It gets their attention, then I can mention paleo when directing them to more info. Diets with names have a stigma.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 22, 2011
at 12:21 AM

That's true. Good point!

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 22, 2011
at 02:48 AM

Yeah - and the ridicule means their minds have closed for the foreseeable future or longer.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 22, 2011
at 12:32 AM

i totally agree! whenever i say im on a "paleo diet", i get ridiculed. everyone thinks the caveman jokes are freaking hilarious. which they arent, but dosent stop them.

8
Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 22, 2011
at 12:57 AM

I don't even mention Paleo, until the very end of a conversation. I say "low carb" (actually my wife likes to say it at social occasions - she doesn't eat that way, mind you, but she's impressed by my changes and wants people to notice). So, I say "low carb" and the conversation goes like this:

  • really? no rice?
  • nope
  • no bread?
  • none
  • no pastries??
  • no
  • what about ice cream?
  • don't eat it
  • cake?
  • no way
  • jeez I don't think I could give all that up! what DO you eat?
  • I fry my eggs in ghee or butter, sometimes with liver and spinach. Bacon is really good. The other day I had onions-and-kidneys. I eat yummy grassfed beef. Fresh veggies. I make kefir and sauerkraut. The occasional blueberries or melons or chocolate. Roast chicken. Fresh fish.

By then they are curious, and are interested in more info. THEN I might add "if you want to get good information, Google 'paleo' for recipes and ideas". Or I'll say "'low-carb' just tells you what NOT to eat. If you want to know WHAT to eat, I think 'Paleo' comes closest". And only if their eyes haven't glazed over I might go into it more deeply - ancestral diets, grains not normal, need for meats and so on.

To me, saying "I'm on the Paleo Diet" just doesn't feel right - it's too much like a belief or a religion, something I need to believe in instead of DO. Sure I read all the blogs and the books, buy the organ meats and the grass-fed butter. But even after all that I don't feel like I'm "on a diet". I feel like I changed my diet. What I ate Before wasn't a "diet" - it was just what I ate then. And what I'm eating After isn't a "diet" but simply what I'm eating now.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 22, 2011
at 10:56 AM

That's interesting. I try to avoid using the low carb label with paleo because it makes people think Atkins and then there are all of those associated named diet stigmas that Carl_Stawicki brought up in his answer. Even when someone asks, "So it's low-carb?" I tend to reply, "It's naturally lower carb because you are not eating grains and sugars, but I wouldn't call it low carb because I don't count carbs." They are what they are.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on June 22, 2011
at 02:02 PM

I like how you phrased that: "I feel like I changed my diet." It sounds so much better than "I'm on a diet." Thanks!

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 22, 2011
at 11:03 PM

@Eric, GCBC was very much a life-changing gold standard for me. Not only because of the quality and style of the writing (Taubes is a science writer, not a dietician) but because it way my "first" compelling book like that. Since you already are 'in-the-know' you might find the detailed case-building tedious. Or not :-)

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 22, 2011
at 09:43 PM

@Ali: I liked the "changed my diet" too because I am not on a diet (maybe for the first time ever when trying to lose weight)--I eat differently. @CaveRat: Never read it, but I will pick it up if and when I ever have an empty reading list. I do like moving the conversation away from "diets". The word portends too much of a quick fix.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 22, 2011
at 02:30 PM

@Eric, Since I never "did" Atkins or was close to people who did, I don't have a strong association - but I do know what you mean! I probably waffle a bit more when I say "low carb", saying something like "I stopped eating sugar and grain products". If they ask if it's Atkins I say "sort of I think". Mostly I go into how impressed I was by Good Calories Bad Calories (should have said that in my Answer) and I changed my diet almost immediately. That conversation is then less about "diets" and more about food science. :-)

5
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on June 21, 2011
at 11:50 PM

http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

I find Kurt Harris to be pretty effective. His blog is clear and concise, without being oversimplified. It also contains science, without being overwhelmingly technical. He also provides links to good books and websites for those who wish to do more research on their own.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on June 22, 2011
at 03:15 AM

+1 - If someone is *really* interested, then I often send them his basics page as well as Chris Kresser's basics series. They both provide excellent info in a very acessible form, sutiable for all readers.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 22, 2011
at 09:41 PM

That is a great site because it starts them simple (eliminate sugar), and builds from there. It also balances between taking bad things away (sugars) and adding good things in (like the right fats). I may move to this site over MarksDailyApple because that site's start-up seems more confusing. Thank you.

3
61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on June 22, 2011
at 02:09 PM

I've lost ~35 pounds and after trial and error (bombarding with too much info or "weird" info), I've boiled it down to the following:

"I don't eat processed foods, and I avoid all grains."

I specify about grains because most people do not consider grains (bread, pasta, corn) processed foods. That usually leads to questions about why I don't eat grains and I usually respond with something like "People are not built to eat grains. We don't get much nutrition from them and we have a hard time digesting them. There's no good reason to eat grains, so I prefer to eat foods that offer more benefit."

If they're still interested, I'll go into more detail about how I shop or what my meals look like or whatever questions they may have. The conversation usually ends with me promising to send them a link to one blog or another, depending on what their questions are.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 22, 2011
at 09:48 PM

Sometimes I think the processed foods part is the more important piece. I may just tell people that. After all, how much "grain" would you eat if it entered your kitchen as a stalk of wheat? Too much work to take grains from wheat to bread yourself. I tell people sometimes that I gave up eating foods with ingredient lists.

2
1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 22, 2011
at 12:21 AM

I post articles to my facebook page all the time. Soon enough all my friends will be converted.(Ha! yeah, right) One thanked me several times during a phone call the other night for turning her on to it. Turns out removing gluten lifted some fatigue and now she feels amazing. My mom (who's an avid grain muncher) has been asking questions about why I do it. Today she finally put it together that it could be what's causing her loud frequent belching for the last several years. Just mentioning it a lot so it starts to seep in seems to be working. Well, I guess that answered for the people you talk to regularly. For the other's I'd recommend a favorite website. I usually go with mark's daily apple first. Follow up with them. "Did you check out that site? What'd you think? I've lost (X) lbs/stones since (insert start time here) and I feel amazing! It's great because I'm never hungry or obsessing over calories or a slave to the treadmill."

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on June 22, 2011
at 03:17 AM

+1 - I've started posting articles to FB here and there too and get some interested and interesting responses, lol!

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 22, 2011
at 09:46 PM

I've started to post things to FB about food. I limit myself because I don't want my "friends" to think I'm a lunatic...

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 24, 2011
at 02:38 PM

I don't post more than one thing in a day, and usually not more than 3 things a week. That way they're informed without being bombarded. I don't post a lot of crap on there, so I like to think it resonates more when I do.

1
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:46 PM

yea I also just say I'm eating pure foods, nothing processed anymore and in most cases even if they ask more questions I leave it at that.

People immediately make judgements around me for some reason, when I'm heavy they comment about my weight, when I'm thin they say I dont eat....even as I'm eating a huge plate full of stuff in front of them.

Because I'm not eating bread and pasta they seem to want to make me feel bad for some reason. These same people also try to get me to eat things that I have allergies to, its like a constant test.

If they weren't family, I'd ditch them for a more supporting bunch!!

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