Paleo for a month, zero weight loss... HELP!

Commented on December 31, 2014
Created December 30, 2014 at 8:52 PM

I just turned ~gulp~ 59 last week. I'm 5'2" and hover around 143 to 145. I'm small boned and my perfect weight used to be 115 to 120. The last 8 years have seen a 30 pound weight gain, but then again, I admit to a new love of craft beer in the last few years and I was eating a SAD diet. I've been living Paleo (probably 45/65) for the past year and a half, but have been diligent the last month (85/15). I haven't lost an ounce!

I cook with lard, love raw free range egg yolks, drink butter in my coffee, snack on grass fed beef hot dogs and eat sockeye salmon as much as 3 times a week, along with tons of salads and veggies. No potatoes, rice, sweets or bread and rarely eat fruit. 

A typical day -

Coffee w/grass fed butter and about a teaspoon of half & half

3 or 4 raw egg yolks or whole eggs, fried in lard

3 or 4 grass fed beef hot dogs or bacon

Beef, chicken or fish, 6 to 8 ounces


Celery or carrots dipped in guacamole or a little almond butter or cream cheese

My beverage of choice is water, up to 64+ ounces a day, with an occasional red wine and, rarely, one if my husband's craft brews.

Exercise is very, very moderate. I don't do Crossfit, run or lift weights.

Any advice?

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on December 30, 2014
at 09:37 PM

Your diet looks basically good in terms of food selection, though I've never heard of a "grass fed beef hot dog".  You said you're 85% Paleo yet your "typical day" looks 100% Paleo so I guess there are 15% cheats somewhere else in your diet?

I am guessing that in order to lose some weight, you need to either be strict about your calorie intake or increase your exercise.  As we get older our systems slow down and we need less and less food.  Paleo food is dense in both nutrition and calories and just like with any "diet" it's possible to over-eat.

One thing you can do is to type everything that you eat into FitDay.com for a couple of weeks.  This is kind of a pain in the butt especially since you have to weigh or measure everything, but it is worth doing for 2 weeks, I think you'll be surprised.  Most people are surprised by how many calories they are eating, and the nutritional profile is also interesting.  It is possible to miss out on many crucial nutrients with a Paleo diet if you don't make it a point to eat a lot of variety.  You can try doing this to figure out your calories and then cut them by 10-15% and see what happens.  If you don't increase exercise, then the only other way to lose weight is to eat less.  I personally would choose to exercise.  All it takes is a 30 minute brisk walk or two every day to start with.

15% cheats is actually pretty high in my opinion.  Before I went Paleo I ate a fairly low-carb, low-grain diet, for example probably 5 or 6 servings of grains per week, which is less than once a day.  Cutting grains out completely made a HUGE difference, I started to lose weight immediately and my digestion and many other things got a lot better. In my case there was a big difference between 85% Paleo and 100% Paleo.

Over Christmas I cheated a bit with all of the cakes, pies, and cookies that were around, and it only takes a small amount of wheat products to mess me up, by "small amount" I mean more than about 10 mouthfulls in a week.  My digestion goes bad, inflammation pops up all over, and I lose sleep an energy.

If you really want to give it a go, try a 100% strict Paleo diet for 2 or 3 weeks.  Be absolutely strict, no grains or sugars, only water to drink.  You can do it for 2 or 3 weeks.  If at this point you notice some improvements, add back one thing at a time and see if you can tolerate it.

Also I personally have no ill effects from wine and beer.  More than 2 or so beers at a time will make me feel a bit weird but wine doesn't seem to be a problem at all. 



on December 31, 2014
at 12:58 AM

How's your sleep and your stress levels?  I find these two are the biggest factors beyond overeating, since you mention in your answer that you're taking Xanax to handle night anxiety, that may well be the culprit.


Get your hands on some Phosphatidyl Serine (hope I spelled it right).  You could buy the cheap stuff off Puritan's Pride, or buy it in bulk as a powder off amazon, or SmartPowders.com.  You'll need a lot of it.  Take it at night instead of the Xanax.  It will shut down stress almost immediately.  If you're getting it from Puritan's, you'll probably want something like 3-4 pills/night.  You'd also want to take some rhodiola, ashwaghanda, and eulethero, but take these two in the morning instead.  About a week or two of this and your stress will be gone (as well as a medium bite from your wallet.)


Corn's a grain, so avoid it, ditto the walnut bread, pizza, obviously.  There is a brand of tapioca based breads, pizza crusts, etc. called Chebe, you can find them on amazon.com, they also have pizza crusts and cinnamon rolls, these are paleo, but they're a huge carb load and will prevent fat loss, but at least they're gluten free.  There's also rice pasta too, if you must.  You could probably adapt Chebe's bread or use almond, rice, or coconut flour to make your own bread with walnuts if you like.  There's recipies on the net for these.


Well done on the grassfed hot dogs.  I get mine from Northstar Bison or US Wellness Meats. :)  Great stuff.


There are gluten free beers, or even hard cider (but for both of these, yeasts can be a problem and may cause SIBO if overdone), but if you like Tequilla, go that route - google NorCal Margarita Recipe and rock on.  But remember, alcohol will prevent fat loss and cause inflammation.  Spirits are usually a good way to go, even those made from wheat as they're distilled and there's no gluten... so whiskey, tequila, vodka, rum (though a bit sweet), etc.



on December 31, 2014
at 01:42 AM

Thanks for your input!

I actually have zero stress and sleep no less than 8 hours per night. Anxiety doesn't always derive from stress, I'm afraid. I don't think I want to substitute one product for Xanax. I'd prefer to cut it out completely by the end of January.

I'm sure a tablespoon of corn, a small square of holiday walnut bread, a baby potato and the cheese and sauce off one slice of pizza would be considered part of the 7-10% non-Paleo cheats. :) I'm pretty good when it comes to willpower. My husband's craft beer, on the other hand, is a true test. Gluten free beer pales in comparison. I just take a sip or two of his and shoot him looks of extreme envy while I drink my water. lol

I just received an order from US Wellness. Their ribeyes and brats are to die for and their beef tallow is awesome. Not so much their chicken though.

All in all, I'm not suffering. I'm going to cut out dairy (except the GF butter in my coffee), increase my protein and slog on after tomorrow night. We're having a NYE party and, while most of the food we're serving is Paleo or close to it, I'm looking forward to a glass of Champagne.


on December 30, 2014
at 11:00 PM

Thanks so much! I'll definitely give Fitday a go! 

I guesstimated the 15%. It may be closer to 10% or even 7%. I don't count dairy or beer/wine as Paleo. I was good over the holiday - prime rib, a tablespoon of corn and one single broasted baby potato and just a tiny piece of black walnut bread.

I noticed a long time ago that sugar makes me feel nauseated and causes jitters. Pasta makes me tired. I love pizza, and we have it once a month. I scrape the sauce and cheese off and ditch the crust. It's not Paleo, but satisfies the craving for the cheesy, saucy taste.

You can find grass fed beef hot dogs and sausage normally wherever you buy grassfed beef, or do an online search. I refer to several sites and whatever they're sold out of goes on my wishlist. In a pinch you can try Hebrew National hot dogs. They're gluten free, no additives and no byproducts. I find them a bit too salty though and definitely not grass fed.

I've noticed an increase in my energy level and sleep great. I'm prone to anxiety at night but have cut my Xanax sign to 2.5mg and expect go cut it in half again and phase it out very soon.

Again, thank you - you've been very helpful!

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