Why can’t I lose weight My story weight loss slimming paleo diet-min

Why can’t I lose weight? My story…

Ask almost anyone how to lose weight and you’ll get the same answer. It’s easy. All you need to do is eat less and move more. In the Paleo world it's almost as bad – eat Paleo and your weight will naturally regulate. For a lot of people, this seems to be the case – but unfortunately this simplistic view just does not work for everyone. I’m now almost certain that for myself, weight loss is a far more complicated equation than eat Paleo,eat less, move more.

I’ve made a lot of huge discoveries in the last few weeks, and am starting to understand why my body is fighting all efforts to burn fat. It’s time to share my weight loss struggles with you…

Why-Can't-I-Lose-Weight-Paleo-Diet-min

As you may have read when I first found Paleo in 2010, I quickly and effortlessly lost 17 kilos. This was several dress sizes and changed me quite dramatically. I felt so much better, my asthma disappeared, my sleep improved – I felt like a brand new person. With another maybe 15 kilos to go, I assumed my weight loss would continue – perhaps not at the same speed – but I thought I would gradually get to the right size for me (that’s what the experts tell you, after all…)

But then nothing happened. Nothing. For the last four years I have stayed within a 3kg weight range. I have been completely unable to break through this barrier, no matter what I’ve tried. And believe me, I have tried almost every approach.

Excuses

With the distractions of day to day life – a busy corporate job with weekly inter-state travelling, running a business, blogging, multiple house moves etc etc– I’ve always been able to blame my inability to lose weight on a variety of things I’ve “been getting wrong”. My favourite thing to blame has always been sleep. When I’m stressed, I don’t sleep well. Poor sleep increases cortisol causing the body to hold onto its fat stores. Therefore even though I'm eating well and lifting weights, it must be the poor sleep preventing weight loss, right? Or perhaps the problem lies with one of these problems:

  • Living alone and cooking for myself, perhaps I had been eating huge football team size portions, without realising?
  • Perhaps I've been lying to myself all along and punctuating my amazing Paleo meals with McDonalds every few hours?
  • Perhaps I've been sleepwalking to the fridge with no knowledge or recollection?
  • Perhaps it's my adrenals?
  • Perhaps I'm just big boned?
  • Perhaps I'm just meant to be this weight?

Enough

Last year I went to PrimalCon for the third consecutive year and felt really embarrassed to have made no progress over the course of another year. I spoke at length to Sarah Fragoso (of Everyday Paleo – one of the sweetest most genuine people you could ever hope to meet) about my weight loss plateau. Sarah didn't take the “eat better/ move more” approach, but really encouraged me to focus on stresses in my life and get my sleep in check. Coming back I had a renewed belief that I could change this – and a determination not to give up.

Experimenting

Last year, I was fortunate enough to have several months off the corporate conveyer belt, for the first time in years. Escaping the daily early mornings/ commute/ work/ meetings/ pressure/ deadlines/ late nights gave me a golden opportunity to experiment with everything. I could to finally start losing some weight.

What I did every single day

The first change I incorporated was sleep. Just how much was that really impacting things? In all the time I wasn't working, I only set an alarm twice. I stuck thick cardboard* to my widows to make sure my room was darker than a remote cave in the middle of the night.

After sunset I turned off all main lights and used side lights with red bulbs. I forced myself to turn off all screens (tv, laptop, iPhone) at least two hours before bed.

I read. Real physical fiction books before bed.

I turned off the wifi in my house overnight and switched my iPhone/ iPad to flight mode (I still do this)

I did interval sprits to the local outdoor swimming pool most days. I swam. I lifted weights.

I got sunshine everyday.

On the nutrition side, I took the time to get excellent, quality food (pastured/ grassfed/ organic – you know the drill). As always, I cooked everything from scratch.

Why can’t I lose weight My story weight loss slimming paleo diet-min

Changing things up

Once I had my baseline established, with the new habits I mentioned above, I tried pretty much every piece of paleo weight loss advice. Whenever I tried something new, I stuck at it for a few weeks, without introducing any other changes. Here are some of the things I tried:

  • Intermittent fasting. Without the usual life stresses this was the perfect opportunity to give this a real go.
  • I tried very low carb (below 50g a day, then lower, about 20g a day)
  • I tried high (relatively speaking) carb, which meant eating a lot of things like pumpkin and sweet potato.
  • I tried counting calories strictly, sticking to a conventional wisdom approved daily limit (keeping it paleo, within that limit)
  • I tried eating more fat
  • I tracked my macros and micro nutrients and made sure I was hitting all of the recommended amounts of everything (except for calcium)

And guess what happened….

Nothing. That’s right. NOTHING. I could get to the bottom of my 3kg range, but I could not break through that barrier.

Perhaps I eat too much?

I was able to spend a couple of months in the UK with my family during my time out, which gave me some great insights into this weight loss puzzle.

Looking at me and hearing about my weight loss plateau, I'm frequently quizzed on my portion sizes. I know people think I must be eating an entire chicken, 2 packs of bacon, 6 eggs and a litre of coconut oil for a mid-afternoon snack. Well, actually no. And my time in the UK proved this to me.

My parents are both slim having lost a few pounds when they went Paleo three years ago. For the duration of my stay we ate exactly the same for all but two meals. Same food and similar portion sizes (my Dad having slightly larger portion sizes). They are at ideal body weights – and their weight remained constant. I didn't lose any weight, despite having significantly more kilos to support than my parents do.

So what's going on?

For the first time I felt I had conclusive proof that there was more going on in my body, than I could control with nutrition and movement…
I was explaining my puzzle to my friend Jodie – who happens to be a trainee naturopath (and eats a natural, real food diet too).  “There has to be more to it than eat less, move more?“. Her empathetic agreement encouraged me to delve a lot further into this and for the last few months I’ve been on a journey to find out everything I can….

Over the last few months I’ve been on an incredible personal journey into this puzzle. Over the coming weeks and months, I’m going to share with you who I’ve met, what’s really going on – and what I’m doing to fix things. From emails and comments I get from you, I know I’m not alone in this struggle. For all of those who are doing everything the “paleo experts” tell you – and are still struggling to lose weight, I think I have some answers that will help you, which I’ll be writing about in detail in the coming weeks and months.

You can read the next post on my weight loss journey here

In the meantime, if you’re struggling to lose weight (or you overcame a struggle), please please leave a comment or email me. I’d love to hear about your journey and what you think the problem is for you.

* If you're renting, don't do this. It took hours and hours to scrape the glue off the windows when I moved out
Paleo Cookbooks cavemanfeast paleo-recipe-book
71 replies
  1. David
    David says:

    Hi there, I have had similar experiences to yourself, I went Paleo 3 years ago and had hoped for a large loss in weight. It certainly fixed my digestive problems. To cut a long story short in the past few months I have had success after reading the book “Dont go hungry for life” by Dr Amanda Sainsbury-Salis. She happens to be an Aussie.
    While she has nothing to do with Paleo she advocates not eating processed food.
    In short eat Paleo to regain your health, follow Dr Amandas advice if you want to lose weight.
    Drop me a line if would like more info.

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Thanks David, I’ll definitely order that book – I’m trying to learn everything I can possibly learn about weight loss, so that sounds like a great resource. It’s great to hear you’ve had success.

      Reply
  2. Louise
    Louise says:

    Hi
    I have been paleo for just over four years! My journey is slightly different, I lost 30 kg but again fluctuated by 3 kgs. I have recently had time off of training through an operation and a change in my work life and stacked on 10kgs.
    I am training 5 days a week and still eating what I have always eaten, I can drop 3kg of the 10kgs I put on and then it goes back on. Ive tried the same paleo zone, fasting and even had a week off paleo and did a detox, only for the weight to come back on.
    I look forward to your future posts.

    Reply
      • anne
        anne says:

        I know exactly what you mean and although for years have tried sometimes successfully to loose weight I always put it back on. My daughter and son-in-law own a CrossFit box and as you can imagine they also promote Paleo. Yes I loose weight but then plateau unless I eat basically nothing. I still need to loose 25k but keep hovering like you with 3k up and down. So frustrated. This year I signed up and have been listening to Institute of Phycology of eating . Amazing info. Also Jon Gabrielle who also agrees it is NOT food in and energy out but more to do with stress. But still no luck with me…. So desperate. But with all that am positive and keep eating as healthy as I can.

        Reply
  3. Sam
    Sam says:

    I’m in the same spot… Can’t get the weight off and I’ve tried it all low carb, no carb, calorie counting etc… I wish I knew what the answer was

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      It definitely seems to be a common problem Sam… well I am definitely going to have a lot of resources I can share with you in the next few weeks.

      Reply
  4. Bev Wood
    Bev Wood says:

    In 2006 I had an extreme surgery…removal of both ovaries, cervix and uterous. 6 years later, after going thru depression and quite a few medical as well as all natural suplientation s to help, I am still continually slightly depressed and always 50 lbs over weight. I chose to go gluten free first then mostly paleo after that. Although I am not aa purest in my h3althy eating choices, I am 90% better then I was. I lost no weight due to the drastic dietary changes, but I did lose an inch or two around the mid section. What did happen, to my delight, is I now experience a lot less pain (about 80% less in my back, neck and hip) and my digestion problems have disappeared. Although I have always struggled with weight issues, never before to this extent. My guess is for me, my whole hormonal system is “out of whack” and to lose weight, I must either somehow revalance that system OR go to extremes in diet and excersize. I will be following your journey closley and hope to learn from it.

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Thanks for your comment Bev, it’s so good to read that your pain has decreased so much.

      I think hormones play a huge part in the (in)ability to lose weight – along with other deficiencies too. The problem is, no one ever addresses this!

      Reply
  5. Anne
    Anne says:

    Hi, I too have been having issues losing weight. I did paleo for a few months then made the switch to keto as it appeared that people are losing more weight with keto then switching to paleo as a lifestyle. When I did paleo I dropped 9 lbs initially and then maybe 2 more and now I’ve been doing keto since the end of January and I’ve lost 10 lbs. I definitely feel/look like I’m losing weight but the scale isn’t budging. I understand that looking good isn’t about your weight… But when you’re over 200 lbs? Lets just say I have some significant weight to lose. I am like you – frustrated beyond belief. Hopefully soon I can break this plateau.

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Good luck Anne, I’ll be really interested to hear how you get on. Ketosis seems to work wonders for a lot of people – and it makes a lot of sense.

      Reply
  6. meg
    meg says:

    I lost my weight quickly on a low carb, moderate protein, high fat paleo diet… then slowly gained our all back and then some when I tried to eat “normally” (making, not counting macros anymore, enjoying occasional treats made of alternative flours, etc.). I’m going back to low/mod/high again, to see if that’s just what works for me, but it doesn’t excite me to think I may have to count and track macros for the rest of my life in order to stay slim…

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      That’s really interesting Meg, it’s as though your body was fighting the weight loss you’d achieved. I wonder if it’s just a timing issue – if you stay at the lower weight for longer your body will readjust to the new lower set point – and resist any future weight gain?

      Reply
  7. Sondra
    Sondra says:

    I swear you wrote exactly what I have been going thru. Excited to read what other things work for you. The Dr. I hVe been seeing on this believes a lot of why I don’t lose the weight is due to stress. I don’t think there will ever be a time I’m not stressed so how do you get past that?

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Hi Sondra, have you had lots of blood tests including for cortisol? Stress is definitely a factor for a lot of people – and it is so hard to remove the stress! Unfortunately getting rid of stress often involves HUGE lifestyle changes along the lines of leaving a job you don’t enjoy/ moving from an area you aren’t happy in/ relationship changes etc… not easy! I guess you need to work out what are the main stress factors for you and find a way to deal with them.

      Reply
  8. UKara
    UKara says:

    Thank you! I cannot tell you what a relief it is to read this. I’ve been eating primal/paleo, on and off, since 2011. I always feel better when I eat this way, but my weight loss is not very great. It’s frustrating to read all the success stories and not have the same outcome. I’d stop eating this way to try and lose weight, but always come back to it for my health. I just feel better when I eat this way. If you could give me some insight into weight loss, this would be a great help. Even if it doesn’t help, it’s great to see someone else doing everything “right” and not getting the weight loss results. So glad to have found your blog.

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      I agree UKara – reading success stories is so frustrating, especially when the person basically stops eating bread – then a few months later has lost all of their excess weight! Stories like that really don’t help…

      Well I hope that sharing my story will help others. A lot of the blood tests etc I’ve had done aren’t standard, so I’ll be so interested to hear the results other people get.

      Reply
  9. Pat
    Pat says:

    And a very good morning to you! I have been on Paleo for 5 months and no weight loss! I read your wonderful article with enthusiasm and so appreciated David’s comments too! You are giving me hope and I will follow your info to the tee. I am so very frustrated day in and day out but you both give me renewed hope! Thank you, Pat

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Definitely don’t give up Pat! The standard approach may not work – but there are definitely a lot of other things to try.

      Reply
  10. Jenn Casey
    Jenn Casey says:

    I am so glad to read this! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. I started eating clean in 2007/2008, and was pregnant and nursing during that time (and so was not trying to lose weight, but focused on eating healthy). In January 2010, I began my weight loss focus. Lost about 45-50 pounds just by changing diet alone. Felt great, started CrossFit, lost about another 20 pounds. I have hovered around there (5-10 pounds) for the last 3 years or so.

    I am very fit, have great numbers on blood tests, feel awesome, and now am a competitive athlete. But I am not happy with my fat loss plateau (I’m okay with the number on the scale, but need to lean out more, about 25 pounds).

    I’ve asked myself the same questions…is it sleep? Diet? Eat more/less carbs? When do I eat carbs? I can lose some weight by dropping out carbs, but then that affects my training and physical goals, so I don’t like that. I’m 43, so is it peri-menopause? But then I worry it’s only going to get worse as I approach menopause.

    Don’t really have much to add other than you aren’t alone. I’m glad I’m not alone! And I will be following your story with much interest. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Thanks for your comment Jess, gosh it is interesting isn’t it… when you say you had blood tests, did you have a lot of different tests done? I only ask because the tests I’ve now had done aren’t the standard tests my former doctor would have requested. And it seems that if just one marker is slightly off it can have a huge impact on you…

      Reply
  11. Sharon Murphy
    Sharon Murphy says:

    I am not a paleo Eater but I have been researching hormone imbalances and have uncovered that high levels of estrogen and other estradiol hormones can cause a woman’s fat cells to retain fat. Hight estrogen occurs during perimenopause, which can start as early as 40 and last for 10 years before menopause. Both peri- and menopausal women suffer from high estrogen…The safe answer…not synthetic hormones like the pill but bio identical hormones. Adding progesterone will lower estrogen and one of the best methods is progesterone cream. It will help you lose weight as your body let’s go of the fat cells. May be your issue. Hope this helps.

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Very interesting Sharon, hormones seem to play a huge role in all of this. It makes me shudder now to think how quickly the medical experts give young women the pill.

      I’ll be sure to research bio identical hormones.

      Reply
  12. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    I have found when I reach a plateau in weight loss or body composition, changing up my exercise regime helps push me over the hump. Even when oing crossfit, my body reached a plateau. I changed to something called core40 recently, which is based on the LaGree fitness method and I’m improving again. I think our bodies adjust and get used to doing the same movement, so I wonder if like every 4-5 months you change your fitness program, if you’d notice a difference.
    Just my personal experience.
    I am not extremely overweight, or trying to be model sized, but I do notice when I level off and stop seeing changes in my body.
    Best of luck to you!

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Thanks Melissa, interesting – I definitely think there is something in that. Your body seems to like being a certain weight and you almost need to “shock” it into getting down a level…

      I’ve not heard of core40, will have to have a look.

      Reply
  13. Steph
    Steph says:

    I am going through the same experimental phase now, given I’ve gained weight back over the course of the past year. I’m going on my 3rd year as Paleo. I’m now trying Ketosis to see if it gives me a kick-start. I’ve also been to every doctor, gotten all sorts of blood tests, I sleep 8-9 hours each night… nothing works. I look forward to reading about your journey!

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Thanks Steph, sorry to hear nothing is working for you either. There’s definitely an answer there somewhere – glad to see you’re experimenting too – I’d love to hear what you discover.

      Reply
  14. Daniella
    Daniella says:

    Add me to the list! I used hcg over 3 rounds to drop 30kg then went strict paleo & maintained my weight, but had no miracle losses. I was disappointed as I thought it was going to be a great lifestyle that would allow me to be happier, healthier & lose weight, but no such luck. In actual fact, I think going paleo did more damage. I used to be able to tolerate carbs in the occasional pizza, wholegrain toast with breakfast, some cereal, etc, but the longer I stayed paleo, the more severe the weight gains & fluctuations, as well as physical reactions, would be if I did indulge or have the occasional carb meal. I think it’s also made me much more sensitive to dairy & carbs in general & possibly insulin resistant (maybe due to long periods of ketosis, not sure). I am now unsure as to whether I should stay paleo, go keto, or just try to have a more balanced & realistic diet & count calories. Paleo is a great lifestyle, but it’s much more difficult than a balanced diet in terms of prep, cooking, costs, etc & if you’re not seeing any positive weight / health benefits it’s easy to get discouraged. I look forward to seeing what you come up with 🙂

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      30kg is a fantastic achievement! I’m definitely less able to tolerate grains than I used to be too, but I feel so much healthier for not having them in my diet. Good luck with whatever you choose to do!

      Reply
  15. Diane
    Diane says:

    Try cold thermogenesis with leptin reset. Try HCG with injections of b complex with HGH injections. It changes the way the hypothalamus stores and burns fat

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Thanks Diane, will definitely look into those injections. I’ve read a lot about Cold Thermogenesis – a lot of people seem to swear by it…

      Reply
  16. Trish
    Trish says:

    Hi. I lost 17lbs lbs on Paleo then nothing after that. I have PCOS though so losing weight is almost non existent for me. Pcos plays a huge part with hormones and excess progesterone etc. May not hurt to check Into that. If anything you will learn more about the endocrin aspect.

    Reply
    • Bella
      Bella says:

      I have PCOS and Insulin Resistance. I went strict Paleo a year ago and lost 25lbs and hit a wall after 4 months. Then nothing from then on out. In January I adapted my Paleo eating to Ketogenic and changed my macros to 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbs. It pushed me off my ledge and I have lost another 7lbs in the last few months. I do NOT count calories, just carbs.

      Reply
  17. Judy
    Judy says:

    I’m the same! Several friend have a had great successes with paleo, but me, I lost about 5kg at first then regained 1 1/2 kg and I just glutamate up and down from that weight. It’s so frustrating!

    Reply
  18. Jo
    Jo says:

    I really struggle with Paleo, I hit a low and nothing helps unless I cave into my sweet cravings. I also have been on Paleo for a year and have dropped hardly any weight. Pls send more info 🙂

    Reply
  19. olivia
    olivia says:

    You’ve just described my life! I have been reading The Gabriel Method with interest – the hypnotherapy track certainly made a huge difference to me. I struggle with hormone related chronic issues so never sure how much of it is linked to that or not. I really look forward to your future articles!

    Reply
  20. Glenda Margaret
    Glenda Margaret says:

    This is something I too struggle with. I initially lost about 7kgs when I gave up sugar 2 years ago, but since then I have gone LCHF and the scales have not budged at all. I have tried the intermittent fasting 5:2 and that shifted a tiny bit of weight, but came straight back when I switched back to 3 meals/day.

    Will be looking forward to more updates on this story and why all of us are not having the “success stories” so many are able to by just giving up bread.

    Thanks for posting this.

    Reply
  21. Adam
    Adam says:

    Compelling post, Suz!

    Some scattered pieces of wisdom you might find helpful or at least provocative.

    From Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat (emphasis mine!):

    **Multiple hormones and enzymes affect our fat accumulation**, and insulin happens to be the one hormone that we can consciously control through our dietary choices. Minimizing the carbohydrates we consume and eliminating the sugars will lower our insulin levels as low as is safe, but it won’t necessarily undo the effects of other hormones—the restraining effect of estrogen that’s lost as women pass through menopause, for instance, or of testosterone as men age—and it might not ultimately reverse all the damage done by a lifetime of eating carbohydrate- and sugar-rich foods.

    This means that there’s no one-size-fits-all prescription for the quantity of carbohydrates we can eat and still lose fat or remain lean. For some, staying lean or getting back to being lean might be a matter of merely avoiding sugars and eating the other carbohydrates in the diet, even the fattening ones, in moderation: pasta dinners once a week, say, instead of every other day. For others, moderation in carbohydrate consumption might not be sufficient, and far stricter adherence is necessary. And for some, weight will be lost only on a diet of virtually zero carbohydrates, and **even this may not be sufficient to eliminate all our accumulated fat, or even most of it**.

    And here’s my take (FWIW), as someone who’s researched these concepts for 5+ years, about how to think more effectively about how to “lose fat”: http://www.caloriegate.com/carbs-insulin-hypothesis/4-very-cool-insights-we-can-gain-from-counting-the-black-box-as-opposed-to-counting-calories-or-counting-carbs

    Lastly, ItsTheWoo has a lot of interesting things to say on this topic. Here’s an intriguing post she wrote: http://itsthewooo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/there-is-no-one-size-fits-all-diet.html

    Hope that helps, and good luck!

    Adam

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Thanks so much for your insight Adam, I’m reading through those links now. I’m finding this whole journey absolutely fascinating – and so much more complex than I expected it to be when I started!

      Reply
      • Adam
        Adam says:

        Welcome! It IS complex. But it sounds like you’ve already made great progress, and I’m sure your passion to understand your own “black box” will lead you down a good path 😉

        Reply
  22. Lindsay
    Lindsay says:

    I was working out and eating paleo like crazy and lost no weight for at least 6 months. I did a whole30, started probiotics and take diatomaceous earth everyday and have already lost 10 lbs in the last 4 months. Highly reccomend!

    Reply
  23. Jenny
    Jenny says:

    This is a relief to read. I have the same issue. I lost 22lbs three years ago and nothing since, despite increasing my exercise (which is now very intense) and trying every healthy eating plan out there. It’s driving me mad! I’ve only got 1 stone to shed, and nothing happens. Yesterday I went to the doctor and asked for my hormone levels to be checked. I’m fed up with refusing all things bad, eating around 1500 calories a day, burning around 400 a day, never drinking and consuming huge amounts of vegetables and fruits and still staying the same. Sometimes I feel like just eating anything and everything….

    Reply
    • Bella
      Bella says:

      It might be the fruits. There is a TON of sugar in it. That might be your problem. Kick the sugar completely from your diet. Do it for a month. See what happens. Increase your fat intake too. Eat a tablespoon of coconut oil a few times a day.

      Reply
  24. Jenny
    Jenny says:

    I’d like to subscribe to your feed but there appears to be a technical problem. Please add me to the list if you can. Thanks

    Reply
  25. Bella
    Bella says:

    I hit a wall and what I did was took a Ketogenic approach to Paleo. I increased my fat intake to 70% of my calories per day, 25% protein and just 5% carbs. I have Insulin Resistance and PCOS so losing weight in general is extremely difficult. In doing this my caloric intake greatly decreased because fats are so much more satiating than those of protein or carbs. Weight started to move in the right direction slowly but inches were coming off in crazy amounts. 4 inches in my lower abdomen alone in one month. I went from size 16 jeans to 12’s. I still have 45lbs to lose but it’s going slow but sure. I also Intermittent Fast and carb load. I mix things up all the time within those guidelines with Keto/Paleo. I also am watching my exercise amounts. Cardio stalls losses so I dumped it.

    Reply
  26. jess
    jess says:

    like others, this has been really interesting to read. Since starting Paleo nearly 2 years ago I have barely changed my body shape, my husband on the other hand leaned out and looked incredible within months! BUT what actually bugs me more is that I haven’t got the health lift that everyone keeps talking about, if anything, I feel like I am more lethargic/fatigued and generally crappy. I suffered from a burst appendix about 8 months after going paleo, (as you can imagine this was great ammunition to my vegetarian family of doubters!), and with that I lost alot of weight. After this I was determined to fix my gut which had taken a beating and cut out sugar, felt great and lean and energetic. However, the weight has slowly crept back on, the fatigue is back and my digestive issues are still there, unfortunately psychologically this is pretty damaging for me as I’ve been at that ‘paleo utopia’ and can’t figure out what went wrong!
    Anyway, what strikes me most from your post and comments above, is the try everything approach for a relatively short period of time. This concerns me mainly because I think that any change for our body can promote a stress reaction, it’s always trying to second guess how it can survive in its new environment, sometimes it takes time to reach homeostasis, and following something for a 2 week period is maybe being a little impatient?? Please don’t take that the wrong way, I get it, I really do. I just think that sometimes it can take a year, or maybe 2 years to see the results we want, (I know you’ve been paleo for longer, but I’m talking the specific tweaks), and sometimes our main focus needs to be, ‘how am I feeling?’ do you feel great? are you digesting your food properly? do you have the energy you need? We need to look at foundations of our body such as digestion, sugar handling, as well as stress reactions. Am I eating foods that my body doesn’t tolerate? (causing a stress reaction), am I digesting these fats I’m ingesting or is my gallbladder congested and therefore they are just irritating me? Is my blood sugar dysregulated and therefore even with lack of sugar am I still getting hypoglycaemic? I know, so many questions, we are such complicated puzzles to figure out, unfortunately mainly because of pre-paleo lives where we just weren’t as healthy. Anyway, this probably isn’t overly helpful! It just fascinates me. I’m sure that you’ve already been on your journey and have a lot more figured out by this point 🙂 look forward to reading the rest.

    Reply
  27. Cheryl
    Cheryl says:

    Hi Suz,

    Have you ever considered the spiritual aspects of weight loss.. or lack thereof.
    Our body holds onto weight if we are experiencing certain emotions.. no matter what you are eating or what your daily activity is.

    Its helped me and I think everyone should look into getting the soul in line too, with the body and the mind 🙂

    Reply
    • Maria Shaflender
      Maria Shaflender says:

      I agree with Cheryl.
      It is definitely worth investigating the emotional side. I recommend kinesiology as tapping into (and clearing) negative/painful emotions from the past can have a big impact.

      Reply
  28. Renee
    Renee says:

    Going to follow this very closely. I too am carrying 20 extra pounds. Nothing I do takes it off. Definitely feels like a set point with my body. Drives me crazy! I want my weight to reflect how healthy I eat.

    Reply
  29. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    Here are a few things to research:

    Resistant Starch – Mark’s Daily Apple has some info, also more on plateau-ing
    Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) – I love ThePaleoMom’s ideas
    Bulletproof Coffee & Dave Asprey’s take on mycotoxins @bulletproofexec.com
    Supplements, more bone broth, more organ meats?

    Good luck, you’ll find something!

    Reply
  30. Maggie
    Maggie says:

    So sorry for your struggle! I know how frustrating it can be.

    I had the same problem when I started Atkins, mostly because I THOUGHT I knew how to do the diet and started without even reading about it.

    Turns out, I knew very little. Upon lurking at the forums on the Atkins’ website, I discovered that I had to keep my NET carbs around 20 grams for me to see any weight loss. Anything more or less and I didn’t lose weight. Plus, they had to come from vegetables, no grains.

    Also, I had to keep a ratio of 75% healthy fats 20% protein and 5% cabrs. That was the magic formula for me. I think it has a lot to do with being pre-menopausal.

    I wish you luck with lots of future weight loss!

    Reply
  31. Chris Miller
    Chris Miller says:

    I asked the same question on my first year of trying to lose weight. Paleo really help me a lot when it comes to dieting which is the hard part for me. All recipes are just perfect without the need to starve yourself.

    Reply
  32. Deborah
    Deborah says:

    Thank goodness! I’ve been on the Paleo diet for a month and lost nothing. I was starting to think it was me. Well it is me I guess somehow! My body is in this “i’m going to hang on to every gram just because” mode and can’t shift it. I even did a 12 week challenge 8 months ago and lost nothing on the scales but I did drop a dress size and put on muscle. And I know muscle weighs more than fat but come on nothing on the scales. I am post menopausal but I choose not to accept that as an excuse but there must be something…..

    Reply
  33. Yolande
    Yolande says:

    I use paleo since 1 year and half at 184.4 and the jamuary 1 I was at 164,4 wow I was happy.Now since that time I was on a plateau with a variability of 2 to 3 lbs .I have trouble to break that plateau so to day I have decided to cook treat the thing I never eat .I have cooked : creamy chocolate chip coconut macaroons paleo from the bookof Abel James the title is Fat-burning chef may be I will break that plateau with it. This recipe is very delicious I have add some good volonty to not eat to many at the time 1 per day I hope I will be able to keep that resolution or can break the plateau over who know but want to break it

    Reply
  34. Ashley
    Ashley says:

    Hi… I came across your blog today.. I know a year too late it seams all the comments are from 2014. But I will comment anyway. I have been following Paleo for 2 years. Before Paleo I was attemption low carb Atkins program. For a while I did ketosis and I felt amazing. But I was pretty active in the gym and I lived in the city so I was always on the run. I would get deprived feeling and then on weekends over do eating with bad foods. I became fearful of Carbs for a long time. When I started Paleo. I felt great. I loved eating wholesome foods and organic meats grassfed etc. But I started to gain weight..not lose weight. I started looking more closely at my diet and found I was eating too many Paleo treats. I stoped Paleo treats. I started following a lot of Mark Sissons blogs and trying to implement his advise. For a long time I tried to go 50g carbs a day, still keeping my 3-4 days in the gym. I would sprint one day, weight lift maybe 2 days and walk or do cardio every day in between. I noticed that I would get deprived feelings after a week of two being strict then break off paleo and binge. I would do this cycle weekly and just get more depressed and guilty feeling. I tried to hire a personal trainer and for three months I started to see slow results but it got real expensive so I had to stop. Over the last Christmas and Thanksgiving Holiday I was off Paleo being depressed that I could not succeed. I ended up gaining more weight. I am 5’4 age 24 and I shot up to 151 lbs… I started to re motivate myself and wanted to figure out what I have to do… SO I started reading about carb cycling. I give myself every Saturday as a cheat day to be more relaxed about tracking foods and treat myself to more fruit, some dark chocolate and let out a craving or too. I noticed this helped me stay on track 6 days out of the week. I have more carbs on my training days. I have been trying to do this for now two weeks. Still no results. I also havn’t been getting much sleep in the last two months. I am stressed trying to fit in workouts, I have a normal corporate job and dogs. ALso a lot of events have been coming up which has been ruining my weekend meal planning. I am just getting so unhappy. Yesterday was my brothers graduation and My mom was taking pics of us and kept commenting on how my legs look like thunder thighs and how I used to be so skinny. SHe says I have to be doing something wrong. Ske keeps making comments about my body. I had an argument with my boyfriend because he hates seeing me so depressed lately. I eat so much healthier even more so than him and I don’t see results. I know what goals I want and I am willing to do anything to get there but I just don’t know how. I cried all last night because I feel so hopeless. This is my highest weight ever. I always have been 128 lbs. I know I have gained a lot more muscle but I have gained fat as well. I am 25% body fat. I really need to be to about 17% to be around my goal. I Love having my lean muscle but I just cant look at myself in the mirror anymore. I plan to read your story and hopefully I can learn something to help me.. sorry for the long comment…I need to vent . I am hoping I can see how you fixed your issue because I think I am in a similar situation as you were

    Reply
  35. Sam
    Sam says:

    Hi suz

    I’ve read through your blogs on the link you have Anna but there’s nothing about an update and if/hot you lost the weight?

    Im eating AIP organ meat for breakfast with greens and a little sweet potato, white fish for lunch with greens, shellfish and greens in evening. Bone broth daily. Some berries. Sleep well, move well, not stressed. No change.. Now how does that make sense! Im just 20lb over but its my stomach, I look pregnant and its full and round like a balloon.

    Reply
  36. Sam
    Sam says:

    That link doesn’t continue your weight loss journey, or at least outline any resolution. Did you lose the final weight?

    Reply
  37. Hana
    Hana says:

    Hi, it;s really interesting reading your article! I have been doing keto (less than 20 g) per day for almost 6 weeks, have also been watching my calroic intake (around 1200 per day) and exercising and literally have lost NO weight. I DON’T UNDERSTAND. I don’t feel I can limit my food intake any more than I already have. I feel as though it should be straightforward… eat less than you are burning and you will lose weight. I am currently 99 kg so I have the weight to lose! I get about 8 hours sleep every night and while my job is sedentary, I lightly exercise daily. I keep track of my meals/calories on my fitness pal and use keto sticks… they say that I’m not in keto which is also frustrating as I feel I can’t go any lower in the carb count. I spend so much time and energy watching my intake and preparing food… I just want to see some changes!

    Reply
    • Rhonda
      Rhonda says:

      Hana,
      Have you looked into Maria Emmerich’s web page? Just google her name, it’s called something different. A ton of information on keto. You might find an answer there.

      Reply

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