7

votes

40+ y/o Women and Paleo Success

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 19, 2011 at 12:34 PM

I would like to hear some feedback from women who are 40+ y/o and Paleo Diet. I am 40 and am having trouble losing weight lately. Everyone tells me "once you hit 40 it is so hard to lose weight". AT first I just didn't believe them--now I am. Also have you changed your eating habit pre-40 vs post-40?

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 09, 2012
at 02:51 AM

These days I like Mark Sisson's free Primal BluePrint pdf available on his site when you sign up for his newsletter. www.marksdailyapple.com. I basically do the ones he describes in the pdf or a free-weight variation as slowly as I can.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on August 08, 2012
at 06:58 PM

Dragonfly, you rock. Could you share the books/sites/sources for your approach to bodyweight exercises?

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 08, 2012
at 04:49 PM

Carol Alt the ex-supermodel?

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on April 24, 2012
at 11:40 AM

Sure, note that since this post I'm still keeping it off and very happy! I did have a metabolism but it took tweaking, I dont handle high fat too well, so 60-65% fat MAX for me, 20-25% protein, kept carbs max 50grams day. I'm doing gaps now for some gut healing but still keeping these %'s in play and following paleo ideas. When I was trying to loose weight I started IF'ing after 3-4months, no more than 18hrs max, this helped as well. Its possible to loose the weight after 40, you just have to find what works for you! I'm 5'2 and 110 and holding, still curvy just not rolly polly anymore!

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on April 24, 2012
at 03:00 AM

Kelly, do you mind sharing what percentages worked for you?

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 20, 2011
at 12:07 AM

Thanks, Jac! I eat it on rice crackers or with celery & carrot sticks. My husband (the chef) makes it a'la Nourishing Traditions recipe & makes it a bit on the soft side for easier spreading/dipping.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 19, 2011
at 09:07 PM

Hi Dragonfly - I follow your posts with great interest; you're inspiring! How do you eat the pate? I struggle with offal (was forced to eat it as a kid and now can smell it hidden in a meal at 50 paces, lol). I can, though, eat pate - but used to eat it on crackers or bread. Do you just eat it plain?

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on September 19, 2011
at 06:28 PM

Lol.....I'm now thinking I should do more of that!!!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 19, 2011
at 06:25 PM

Trial & error with the supplements. 3 oz Liver paté once a week (or small amounts over the week) for A, iron & folate, pastured butter daily for K, magnesium until my stools got soft, then backed off, zinc picolinate 50 mg (to correct an apparent deficiency) OR 3 oz oysters once or twice a week. For D I supplemented at 8,000 IUs oil-based D3 (I was very deficient) and retested in 6 months & then adjusted my supplements. Always test for 25 (OH)D level when testing for D.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 19, 2011
at 06:20 PM

Because I do not digest FODMAPS well, most of my carbs come from rice crackers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and (ahem) sucrose. Sucrose is easier for me to digest than fructose.

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on September 19, 2011
at 05:55 PM

I too find that calories count. For me, dairy is an addiction and when certain types are in the house, they call me from the fridge constantly, until they're gone. I haven't kept track of calories but know that they're up there. The good thing for me is that I have not gained weight with the dairy, but I feel crappy. Now, when I did away with dairy (except for morning coffee cream) I feel better AND calories are way down, and my waist is shrinking a bit again. I have had 50-100 grams of carbs and am now on a Leptin reset with 25 or below.

F31bf239a8f966ba352afd1260556cf5

(115)

on September 19, 2011
at 05:18 PM

Thanks for sharing. Could you pls write up what those 50-70 g/day carbs would typically be in a day? I'm trying to change my diet, cutting out fruits and decrease the nut butter but a bit confused how to go about it. Need to lose the last 4 kgs. And how did you find the optimal vitamin combination? Thanks!

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on September 19, 2011
at 04:07 PM

Ha, ha, ha! VERY funny! For me even the occasional cheat is too much!!!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 19, 2011
at 03:55 PM

I love the idea of eating when hungry, but as a formerly eating disorderedc, formerly obese person, I cannot trust those signals.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on September 19, 2011
at 02:46 PM

Totally true. I was just noticing this after a shopping trip. At some stores I'm a perfect 8, some an 8 will just swim on me, some stores I can't even fit into an 8. Bizarre.

3d806388cc089d3824379f6f28b128e1

on September 19, 2011
at 02:25 PM

You should definetely watch your intake of younger men, just limit it to the occassional cheat:)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on September 19, 2011
at 02:16 PM

I find absolutely no difference in my 60s than in my 20s. If I follow strict primal, I lose weight quickly. However, just as in my 20s my binge eating disorder is a major problem and it's almost impossible to stay primal forever.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 19, 2011
at 01:51 PM

Agree, Kelly. I think as smaller women, we have to watch our intake more than a lot of others, especially younger men.

E7fc768abe673562268fefc529f62d89

(370)

on September 19, 2011
at 01:41 PM

Some companies definitely have smaller labels. Depending on the store (or even within the same store) I wear any size from a 0 to an 8.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 19, 2011
at 01:29 PM

I have upped the protein a little and dropped the carbs a little. I have water retention issues. So I was more like 30% protein / 20% carb and now I am more 35% protein / 15% carb (which is usually keeping them at about 50 grams).

9055f14c31610afd4d3068ec48eb6d90

(984)

on September 19, 2011
at 01:00 PM

What changes have you made?

  • 9055f14c31610afd4d3068ec48eb6d90

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15 Answers

9
49d42db29623c49ccc8844aeb6e5ab61

on September 19, 2011
at 02:20 PM

I am almost 58. I used to be a vegan (not very good at it either) but adopted a paleo diet and have lost 55 pounds. My advice, as far as losing weight, would be this: calories DO count, contrary to what Gary Taubes writes. You can be obese as a vegan, as a paleo, as a follower of any diet, if you eat too many calories. So without going nuts trying to count calories, and also going nuts trying to figure out fat and protein percentages (which i never do), just EAT WHEN YOU ARE TRULY HUNGRY. Don't eat at set cultural times (breakfast, lunch, dinner). Eat when YOU need to eat, let yourself feel actual hunger. Then, of course, eat good, healthy food. Not junk. See how long you can go without eating, because it's during this time that your body is doing other things inside, like healing, repairing, etc. Calories ARE important. (so is quality of food, of course). :)

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on September 19, 2011
at 05:55 PM

I too find that calories count. For me, dairy is an addiction and when certain types are in the house, they call me from the fridge constantly, until they're gone. I haven't kept track of calories but know that they're up there. The good thing for me is that I have not gained weight with the dairy, but I feel crappy. Now, when I did away with dairy (except for morning coffee cream) I feel better AND calories are way down, and my waist is shrinking a bit again. I have had 50-100 grams of carbs and am now on a Leptin reset with 25 or below.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 19, 2011
at 03:55 PM

I love the idea of eating when hungry, but as a formerly eating disorderedc, formerly obese person, I cannot trust those signals.

7
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on September 19, 2011
at 12:52 PM

It isn't harder to lose weight, necessarily, it's just different. Things you did before are not going to work the same way. You may need to lower your carbs or protein and switch up your exercise. You CAN do it, it will just take some tweaking.

I am just 40 years old, but I have had to make some changes recently to lose a little weight and to maintain my weight loss. I have been Paleo for just about a year now.

9055f14c31610afd4d3068ec48eb6d90

(984)

on September 19, 2011
at 01:00 PM

What changes have you made?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 19, 2011
at 01:29 PM

I have upped the protein a little and dropped the carbs a little. I have water retention issues. So I was more like 30% protein / 20% carb and now I am more 35% protein / 15% carb (which is usually keeping them at about 50 grams).

6
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on September 19, 2011
at 01:34 PM

I'm 45 and had put on some weight after 40, I also found the more I tried to loose it, the more I'd gain back. Finally in January started primal, still transitioning to paleo, but it definitely worked.

Once I figured out the right %s and calories for my size it started melting off like butter. I now have a metabolism, I have lost 35 lbs of pure fat, now lean and feeling great. I also believe my hormones are more balanced due to less PMS symptoms and more stable moods in general. ( I'm 5'2" now 110)

I also started this way because of health issues and those are starting to clear up now to...not 100%, but it's a start.

I've always been a yoyo dieter, always knew that my body didn't process breads, pastas and other processed food....but it was easier to go back to that, and always weight gain. Once you get through the first 2+ months it's smooth sailing. And yes, if you watch your calories and %s it should come off, but it does take some effort.

Good luck to you whatever you choose to do!

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on September 19, 2011
at 04:07 PM

Ha, ha, ha! VERY funny! For me even the occasional cheat is too much!!!

3d806388cc089d3824379f6f28b128e1

on September 19, 2011
at 02:25 PM

You should definetely watch your intake of younger men, just limit it to the occassional cheat:)

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on September 19, 2011
at 06:28 PM

Lol.....I'm now thinking I should do more of that!!!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 19, 2011
at 01:51 PM

Agree, Kelly. I think as smaller women, we have to watch our intake more than a lot of others, especially younger men.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on April 24, 2012
at 11:40 AM

Sure, note that since this post I'm still keeping it off and very happy! I did have a metabolism but it took tweaking, I dont handle high fat too well, so 60-65% fat MAX for me, 20-25% protein, kept carbs max 50grams day. I'm doing gaps now for some gut healing but still keeping these %'s in play and following paleo ideas. When I was trying to loose weight I started IF'ing after 3-4months, no more than 18hrs max, this helped as well. Its possible to loose the weight after 40, you just have to find what works for you! I'm 5'2 and 110 and holding, still curvy just not rolly polly anymore!

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on April 24, 2012
at 03:00 AM

Kelly, do you mind sharing what percentages worked for you?

3
Cd2d1fcf77345c9b2889ab56ecf5c842

(250)

on September 19, 2011
at 08:31 PM

I am 57 and yes it is more difficult to lose weight now than it was when I was younger. I am also hypothyroid, which can make losing weight difficult. But still, I have lost 55 pounds in the past year eating a Paleo type diet. I have found that I need to be pretty strict about certain things.

I really needed to cut out all dairy (even butter and HWC) and also all nuts, not just the grains and beans. I had been snacking on nuts and it's so easy to eat too many! Also I cut out all artificial sweeteners and sugar free gum, (which I knew was not Paleo but was still using anyway.) Dr. Kruse's Leptin Prescription is also helping a lot, though I hate eating 50 grams of protein when I first get up in the morning but I'm sticking with it! Also it totally helps to go 4-5 hours between meals with NO SNACKING, and I do not eat after about 6pm. I still have about 25-30 pounds to lose but I am sure I will reach that goal within the next few months.

My measurements are smaller than they were last time I was at this weight, which is a nice bonus. My husband says I am becoming nutrient dense. LOL

3
0e2772604bdb3627525b42d77340538b

on September 19, 2011
at 02:05 PM

42, 5'5". Started out at 165, now weigh 130. Lost about 20lbs relatively easily, the last 15 were slooooooooow. I was eating pretty low carb, but I upped my carbs a bit and that's when the last of it came off. I'm about 20-21% body fat and ideally I'd like to lean out a little more, but I'm happy where I am.

I eat dairy, I don't count calories or worry too much about what or how much I eat (although I try not to eat too much in the way of nuts or nut butter) as long as it's Paleo (+dairy). I sprint 1x per week and do resistance training in the form of hauling bags of potting soil and water cans around and piggybacking two very big nine-year-olds up the stairs. I walk, garden, and do stuff around the house. I have found it very easy to maintain weight loss.

In my experience, it might be slow to come off, but come off it will.

3
662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

on September 19, 2011
at 01:15 PM

Im almost 50, (49) and I have done very well eating this way. I am pretty active, but I also have hypo-thyroid. I will say, it isn't so much losing weight as toning up for me. I started at about 145 and am now 138, so the weight loss isn't huge, the clothes size has changed drastically. I was wearing a size 8/10, now some of my clothes are a 4, (I think some companies have smaller size labels) Measure more on how you feel than what the scale says. For me, the size change was such a big bonus, the quality of my life has changed for the better, and that was what I was hoping for. I've been doing this since May of this year, and I slip up, and when I do, I feel it. Be patient and pay attention to your bod.

E7fc768abe673562268fefc529f62d89

(370)

on September 19, 2011
at 01:41 PM

Some companies definitely have smaller labels. Depending on the store (or even within the same store) I wear any size from a 0 to an 8.

Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

(720)

on September 19, 2011
at 02:46 PM

Totally true. I was just noticing this after a shopping trip. At some stores I'm a perfect 8, some an 8 will just swim on me, some stores I can't even fit into an 8. Bizarre.

2
661fd72c601aa67be69e90c8ecb88b9f

on September 20, 2011
at 12:00 AM

I'm 42. I've never really "dieted" before so I can't compare paelo to any other "diet."

I started dieting low-carb in February 2011, went paleo (with dairy) in March and have lost a bit over 35 lbs (184 to 148) (and 4" off my waist, and went from a 14/16 to a 10/12) without doing anything other than cutting out most neolithic foods. I do ride my bike to work, but I don't at all consider that exercise. It's been totally painless for me (except for complaints from my 10 year that I don't make vegan food anymore!)

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 19, 2011
at 02:17 PM

I'm 48. Went Primal 10.5 months ago. Dropped ~15 pounds--4 of it right away.

Went from an 8 to a 2 in the same clothing brand.

I eat dairy, avoid FODMAPS (because I am intolerant) and never cheat on gluten.

What worked for me:

Low carb 50-70 g/day.

Intermittent Fasting (I eat in a 6-8 hour window most days.)

Making sure my Vitamin D, A, K, Magnesium & Zinc are optimal (this can take some fiddling!)

Lots of gentle walking; 1-2 hours daily.

Bodyweight exercises 1-2x/week for 15-20 min.

10 min Dance "sprints" at my 1-2X weekly free-style dance sessions.

F31bf239a8f966ba352afd1260556cf5

(115)

on September 19, 2011
at 05:18 PM

Thanks for sharing. Could you pls write up what those 50-70 g/day carbs would typically be in a day? I'm trying to change my diet, cutting out fruits and decrease the nut butter but a bit confused how to go about it. Need to lose the last 4 kgs. And how did you find the optimal vitamin combination? Thanks!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 19, 2011
at 06:20 PM

Because I do not digest FODMAPS well, most of my carbs come from rice crackers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and (ahem) sucrose. Sucrose is easier for me to digest than fructose.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 19, 2011
at 09:07 PM

Hi Dragonfly - I follow your posts with great interest; you're inspiring! How do you eat the pate? I struggle with offal (was forced to eat it as a kid and now can smell it hidden in a meal at 50 paces, lol). I can, though, eat pate - but used to eat it on crackers or bread. Do you just eat it plain?

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 20, 2011
at 12:07 AM

Thanks, Jac! I eat it on rice crackers or with celery & carrot sticks. My husband (the chef) makes it a'la Nourishing Traditions recipe & makes it a bit on the soft side for easier spreading/dipping.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 19, 2011
at 06:25 PM

Trial & error with the supplements. 3 oz Liver paté once a week (or small amounts over the week) for A, iron & folate, pastured butter daily for K, magnesium until my stools got soft, then backed off, zinc picolinate 50 mg (to correct an apparent deficiency) OR 3 oz oysters once or twice a week. For D I supplemented at 8,000 IUs oil-based D3 (I was very deficient) and retested in 6 months & then adjusted my supplements. Always test for 25 (OH)D level when testing for D.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on August 08, 2012
at 06:58 PM

Dragonfly, you rock. Could you share the books/sites/sources for your approach to bodyweight exercises?

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 09, 2012
at 02:51 AM

These days I like Mark Sisson's free Primal BluePrint pdf available on his site when you sign up for his newsletter. www.marksdailyapple.com. I basically do the ones he describes in the pdf or a free-weight variation as slowly as I can.

1
21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on September 19, 2011
at 02:11 PM

I've heard that women over 40 or 45 often gain weight because their metabolism slows down. I'm 45 but I can't say that has happened, yet. I've been more or less at the same weight since the age of 15 (122 lbs, give or take a couple of pounds), and am still eating the same amounts of calories as before. However, since getting a pedometer a couple of years ago I'm definitely walking a lot more (6 to 8 miles a day) so maybe that has compensated for a slowing-down metabolism.

I have paid greater attention to what I eat since my late thirties, lowering my carbs, drinking almost no alcohol, avoiding junk, and just basically trying to max every calorie in terms of nutrition. I'm also doing some strength exercises (weights, push-ups) to keep my bones strong.

1
286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

on September 19, 2011
at 01:36 PM

Well I know better than most how hard it is to lose the weight! I went paleo about 18 months ago and lost 10kg like that ! then nothing at all - for more than 12 months I have stayed the same weight ( still overweight ) I tried no carbs high fat / more protein and less protein and I also went dairy free - I have tried it all and NADA! Worst of all I have helped about 5 people lose a lot of weight doing what I do !

I finally admitted that I need some more help - to fine tune the diet - so I found a Naturopath who ( like many of them ) believe in the Ketogenic diet. After a few tests and such he discovered some problems. We are working on fixing them and already after 2 wks I have lost 3kg and lots more to come.

Sometimes in spite of all the reading and research we are still not skilled enough to treat medical problems.

I saw my GP a few wks ago and she wants to put me on all sorts of meds - only to change the symptoms - I feel that with a few simple changes made by a person who has great skills in this diet and area my problems are treated not just made manageable.

Go get some help and fast track this ride - I wish I had done so 12 months ago !

0
9e06a3ed8565dbd603d81ee676c63035

on July 25, 2013
at 02:22 PM

At the age of 50, I lost 140 lbs by eating primally, lifting weights, and doing sprints. Unfortunately, because of tragic circumstances regarding hypothyroidism and stage 3 adrenal failure, I regained half of the weight back, roughly 70 lbs.

However currently, at the age of 54, I am back on track eating primally (which I always did), and am finally cleared to begin lifting and running sprints again. The result: my muscles are increasing and my body fat is decreasing once more. Yay!

For us older women, lifting weights is the fountain of youth. Gaining the muscle builds bone density as well as revs up our metabolisms. But that's just physical, and there's also an emotional component. When I lift, I feel empowered, and that is a wonderful feeling.

Note: do NOT think that as a woman lifting weights, you will bulk up, it does not happen. Actually the opposite is true, you tone up and tighten which means your shape shrinks down and does not bulk up.

Hope this helps.

0
14e1dbdd25db00d2c9db36d6a695f6cb

on August 08, 2012
at 08:58 PM

I'm 42 and have really been plateau'd at around 140 (I'm 5'6) even with Paleo. I've been trying various 'ways' of tweaking my nutrition but as I feel I'm borderline ED, it's been frought with cheats (paleo cheats, and non-paleo cheats, but never ever gluten cheats).

I wanted to let you know what I'm going to try, based on reading other posts here.

Fasted exercise in the morning (bikram yoga 2-3 days a week, one hike day, 2 HIIT days with arms and abs, one to 2 rest days a week), after a cup of green tea.

Carbs will be around 50 to 100 a day, and from sweet potatos and squash (and veges of course), no fruit or white potatos. No night shades. Super low carb didn't work for me.

Lean and also fatty protein, no eggs (think I'm allergic...such a bummer).

Big ass salad once a day, with liver support foods like dandelion greens, cabbage, etc.

Will use a little clarified butter or coconut oil to cook meats and a little olive oil on salad. Need to cut down on amount (so maybe 2 to 3 tablespoons a day, if that?) since I tend to overdo it and take in too many calories here. Also, a couple teaspoon of fish oil supplement a day.

Cut out the dairy--no regular butter or all the gobs of heavy whipping cream I've been guzzling.

Planning 4 meals a day, trying not to eat within 3 hours of bed. Gonna try this without calorie counting first, and then if I have to, crunch the numbers and be more 'measur-y' with my food. This usually sends me into binge-mode so I have to be careful here.

I think you can't discount estrogen dominance potential in your 40's...I take a couple of supplements to help my liver clear excess estrogen: Indole-3 Carbinol and calcium glucarate. This is helping tremendously! Also why the salad with liver foods.

I also cut out all fruit just as an experiment since the liver has to work a little harder to break down fructose as opposed to starches. Just wanted to give my poor liver a break.

As a final note, am going to try a supplement to help balance neurotransmitters/dopamine etc. Hoping this may help with the emotional challenges with food, and life.

0
04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

on August 08, 2012
at 06:27 PM

My heaviest was in my 30's. It wasn't until I stopped eating the grains that I look and feel the best. I am 47 and keeping the weight off has been very easy. I lift my kettlebells once in awhile and swim once a week. Paleo is KEY!

0
3e762aadbc84870b6ec7277fe32c7b84

(95)

on August 08, 2012
at 04:42 PM

What about a high raw paleo diet for weight loss? It works for me. It works for Carol Alt who wrote the raw food book, Raw 50. She does include raw dairy, egg, and fish recipes along with the other standard raw vegan fare. I don't eat even raw dairy (and gluten is devastating) because it doesn't go over well for my skin and digestion. Nourishing Traditions cookbook has recipes and guidance for consuming raw meats. I eat raw oysters in addition to raw liver (blended into green smoothies so I can't taste it); I got this oyster idea from browsing Denise Minger's website.

I am curious if a high raw paleo diet combined with regular exercise helps many women over 40 to lose weight? Everyone is different of course. Some don't do well on raw, some do.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 08, 2012
at 04:49 PM

Carol Alt the ex-supermodel?

0
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on September 19, 2011
at 02:27 PM

YMMV. Older women don't lose that much weight on the plan, just a few pounds. The bigger change is in measurements and in energy levels. I believe that idea that metabolism slows is a partly a myth. I am much more active than before, as many are, and it is still very difficult to lose any weight.

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