I went Paleo to Lose Weight
I have to admit that I first started a Paleo diet because I thought it would help me shed the stubborn pounds I had put on during law school (there were a lot of free pizza parties and way too much drinking).
It wasn’t easy for me to lose weight (even on Paleo) because I’ve never been overweight (and so there wasn’t many lbs of fat for me to lose!). In fact, every time I tell people I’m on a diet, I always get the shocked outburst of: “but you’re so skinny, you don’t need to be on a diet!!” But like most people, I get unhappy whenever my clothes started getting tight, and I could always tell (even without a scale) when I had put on weight. The fat always piled on around my stomach first
Luckily, I figured out how to shed even the stubborn fat using a Paleo diet!
Of course, as the years went on, I found that Paleo was great for way more than just weight loss, but since so many people want to know the secret of losing weight, I thought I’d share my 5 tips for losing weight on a Paleo diet in this article.
5 Tips for Losing Weight on a Paleo Diet
Cut out ALL SUGARS
I know that honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and other “paleo sugars” appear in many paleo desserts, but eating foods with any type of sugar will make it harder for you to lose weight – they’re so tasty you just can’t stop eating too much of them. And because sugary foods can be very addictive (I’m the sort of person who can’t have just one cookie), it’s best to give it up altogether when you’re trying to lose weight.
Limit Nut Intake
Nuts are of course delicious and are Paleo, but they again can easily be overeaten. In particular, many Paleo desserts, breads, etc. contain a lot of nut flours. So, you could easily consume a ton of nuts without even realizing it. Limit nuts to a handful per day when you’re trying to lose weight.
Beware of Fruits
For the most part, fruits are very nutritious and Paleo. However, some people eat way too many fruits on Paleo (perhaps because fruits are sweet). Also, remember that fruit juices (and for the most part dried fruits) are not really Paleo and should be avoided! If you’re having trouble losing weight on Paleo, then you might want to cut back on fruits.
Sleep at least 7 hours
Most people don’t realize just how important sleep is for losing weight! For example, a 2009 study linked shortened sleep duration to weight gain, and a 2012 study linked lack of sleep with increased hunger. I personally think that getting enough sleep every night will give you a ton of other benefits too (e.g., my skin gets dramatically clearer when I continuously sleep enough, and I’m able to make better food decisions when I’m not tired).
Don’t Forget to Exercise
Exercise is a bit of a tough one. Some exercise (especially resistance training) can help speed up weight loss (and help you maintain muscle), but too much exercise can stress your body out too much and could potentially cause you to stall in your weight loss (or could cause you to get injured and therefore make you unable to do any exercise). Mark Sisson has a great rule that you should only do 4,000 calories worth of exercise per week, which I think is good to stick to.
Bonus: Don’t eat Too Little!
That’s right, you read the heading correctly. Eating too little can stall your weight loss (contrary to popular belief). Your body’s metabolism will down-regulate when you keep eating at a caloric deficit for too long. Try alternating your food intake (eat more some days and less on other days).
What Helped You Lose Weight on Paleo?
Let me know in the comments below what you’ve found to help the most in your paleo weight loss!
Images: photo credit: Maridav.