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1. You’re still eating comfort foods
While a paleo diet is known for eliminating the standard foods we use to eat for comfort (i.e. cookies, cakes, and all things sugary sweet), it’s still possible that you’re relying too much on those foods that offer you a little “hug” when you taste them.
Instead, try to limit these foods to meal-time. If you love having your daily serve of cashews but can’t stop reaching your hand in the bag, have a serving on top of your salad for a crunchy fix.
If you notice having potatoes (technically paleo!) fuels your cravings, switch them out for something less “cozy” like beets or swede. Remember, natural sugars ARE sugar too, so limiting fruits to lower-sugar options like berries or 1-2 servings a day is ideal.
10. You’re not eating enough
If we’re approaching things from a “primal” standpoint, you can bet there were no elliptical machines anywhere to be found when cavemen roamed the earth. Rethink your gym membership and your workout routine if you’re looking to change your physique.
Leanness is not strictly brought on not by burning more calories and doing hours of cardio. The good news? To exercise properly and efficiently, you don’t need a whole lot of time. Short bursts of intense exercise (i.e.
sprints) and weight-bearing exercise using dumbbells, barbells or kettlebells are two incredibly effective ways of getting you into shape and shedding some fat. These fitness routines burn more calories in a shorter span of time and keep the metabolism burning up for longer after the workout is done, making them more effective for weight loss.
The paleo diet is a truly magnificent way of eating because it allows you to eat a lot of food without calorie counting. While many will happily load up their plate with veggies, protein, and healthy fats, some people can get a little skimpy with their serving sizes.
Think of it this way – if you’re coming from a less-than-stellar diet into clean eating and eliminating bagels, pasta and rice as the staples, you need to replace that energy with something else. That usually means larger portions of healthier foods such as vegetables and protein.
While we don’t recommend doubling up on potatoes and steaks or eating nuts by the handful three times a day, it’s important to get in a proper amount of fuel for your body to function properly. You need protein for your muscles, fat at every meal for satiety and metabolism, and lots of vegetables and some fruit for adequate fibre intake as well as essential nutrients.
If you’re slacking in any of these categories, your body will be missing out on something, which can make it want to hold onto extra weight. Once again, it can negatively affect your hormone balance.
Paleo Diet Weight Loss Results Women, Results Women
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Here’s a hard truth: it’s not gonna happen! Most good things happen when you’re patient, and weight loss is a prime example. You have to work for it, and you have to wait for it. So, wait! Some people see instant results within a week or two with a huge drop-off then they plateau.
If things start to slow down, just wait! A healthy rate of loss ranges from 0.5 lbs to 2 lbs per week, so anywhere in this set is normal and awesome. It’s no small feat to lose just a little weight, because when you put that into perspective over time… numbers add up. And remember slow weight loss = more permanent weight loss.
Lifestyle Adjustments for Weight Loss
It does seem like women don’t typically produce the very dramatic weight-loss stories about losing 150 pounds in a year, or at least, they don’t have as many. But does the research actually back up the idea that it’s objectively more difficult for women to lose fat? Not really.
First of all, rates of obesity are about the same for women as for men. According to the latest CDC data, 35.5% of men and 35.8% of women are obese. For the women who make up that 0.
3% of the population, this is obviously important, but in the big picture, that’s not exactly a huge difference – not enough to prove that women are “more prone” to obesity than men in any significant amount of way.
So what about losing weight? When men and women go on diets, do they respond differently?
- In this study, women and men lost roughly equivalent amounts of fat, but from different places. Men lost more visceral fat from their bellies, and women lost more subcutaneous fat from their hips. But this is only what you’d expect considering that women have more subcutaneous fat to begin with.
- This study found (to nobody’s surprise) that a moderate-carb diet worked better than a high-carb diet for weight loss, but that results did not differ by sex. This study agreed – in the short term, men lost more than women, but in the long term, on the same diet interventions, the results evened out.
The short story: it’s not clear from the actual scientific evidence that women have an objectively more difficult task in front of them when they’re trying to lose weight. In a lab, it works the same way.
In Part 1 of this series, we’ll cover everything but the hormones; then in Part 2, we’ll really dig into that pesky estrogen and see what it has to say.
I hear from many people who are frustrated that they can’t lose those last 10 pounds. But the scientific evidence suggests that throwing all of our effort into maximal leanness might not be the best idea.
This topic is discussed in detail in Healthy Weight Loss with Paleo, Part 4: Using the Obesity Paradox to Inform Our Goals. However, the take home message is that, when goal setting, it’s important to set goals related to body composition rather than an absolute weight on the scale.
While this is still a field of science in which new papers are released daily that add to our understanding, there seems to be strong evidence that aiming to have a body fat percentage in the higher end of the normal range is best of overall lifelong health.
You can calculate what that means for you using the following formula:
Body fat % = (1.39 x BMI) (0.16 x age) – (10.34 x gender) – 9
with gender equal to 1 for men and 0 for women. Although, this still represents a best guess based on current evidence, calculate your lower body fat percentage target with a BMI of 22 and your upper limit with a BMI of 25.
<img class="aligncenter wp-image-130295" src="data:image/svg xml,» alt=»» width=»625″ height=»353″ data-pin-id=»bmi chart» data-lazy-srcset=»https://www.thepaleomom.
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For a 35-year old woman, this translates to a body fat percentage between 27% and 31%.
At-home scales that measure bioelectrical impedance aren’t quite as accurate as what professionals use, but a much better investment than a regular bathroom scale for daily or weekly monitoring.
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<img class="alignnone wp-image-156152" src="data:image/svg xml,» alt=»» width=»412″ height=»300″ data-lazy-srcset=»https://www.thepaleomom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Foundations-of-Health-Collection-Sara-3-1024×746.png 1024w, https://www.thepaleomom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Foundations-of-Health-Collection-Sara-3-300×219.png 300w, https://www.thepaleomom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Foundations-of-Health-Collection-Sara-3-768×560.png 768w, https://www.thepaleomom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Foundations-of-Health-Collection-Sara-3-380×277.png 380w, https://www.thepaleomom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Foundations-of-Health-Collection-Sara-3-600×437.png 600w, https://www.thepaleomom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Foundations-of-Health-Collection-Sara-3.png 1304w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width: 412px) 100vw, 412px» data-pin-nopin=»true» data-lazy-src=»https://www.thepaleomom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Foundations-of-Health-Collection-Sara-3-1024×746.png»>
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<img class="wp-image-156932 alignright" src="data:image/svg xml,» alt=»» width=»380″ height=»195″ data-lazy-srcset=»https://www.thepaleomom.
com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Paleo-for-weight-loss-03.jpg 1010w, https://www.thepaleomom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Paleo-for-weight-loss-03-300×154.jpg 300w, https://www.thepaleomom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Paleo-for-weight-loss-03-768×394.
jpg 768w, https://www.thepaleomom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Paleo-for-weight-loss-03-380×195.jpg 380w, https://www.thepaleomom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Paleo-for-weight-loss-03-600×308.jpg 600w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width:
380px) 100vw, 380px» data-pin-nopin=»true» data-lazy-src=»https://www.thepaleomom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Paleo-for-weight-loss-03.jpg»>While regular exercise is a fantastic tool for ensuring that we achieve a caloric deficit, research has demonstrated that exercise alone is not enough to induce spontaneous weight loss.
So, while exercise contributes to weight loss, we can’t spend endless hours at the gym without also altering other behaviors. See Healthy Weight Loss with Paleo, Part 2: Lifestyle Choices That Make a Difference
However, it’s almost impossible to discuss exercise as a whole without addressing the different types of exercise individually. We know that the two different types of exercise (aerobic and anaerobic) have different effects on the body, and they have been studied separately in the scientific literature. Let’s discuss how each type contributes to weight loss.
Aerobic exercise is essentially the scientific way of saying “cardio.” From a scientific perspective, aerobic exercise involves cellular metabolism that utilizes oxygen. Really, this is “normal” human metabolism:
aerobic exercise is just higher-intensity activity, so it involves the utilization of the stored glucose (as glycogen) in our muscles, and that is the enhanced caloric burn that we experience with this type of exercise.
In a workout scenario, this translates to low to moderate activity that elevates heart rate and respiration rate and (almost always) involves sweating. Notably, extended periods of aerobic exercise utilize our available glycogen stores and promote the release of stored fatty acids.
Apart from the obvious caloric-deficit aspect, there are other benefits to engaging in this type of exercise. Countless studies have demonstrated the metabolic benefits of aerobic activity specifically during weight-loss efforts, including increased insulin sensitivity and improved liver function.
Why does this matter for weight loss? Because insulin acts on fat cells, it’s critical for someone attempting to lose weight to be as insulin sensitive as possible. Aerobic exercise improves the functionality of fat cells and the liver, so we know that the fat being released from storage is going to be properly processed and used as energy.
Anaerobic exercise is the other main type of exercise. Anaerobic means that cellular metabolism is taking place without oxygen. Like aerobic metabolism, anaerobic cellular metabolism is totally normal;
it is just used by different tissues and under specific conditions. In particular, fast-twitch muscle, which is used for sprinting and resistance training, utilizes this type of metabolism. Why? It allows for faster movements and provides energy more quickly.
The downside is that the by-product, lactic acid, is created by anaerobic metabolism and can build up in tissues (this is what causes the classic “burn” that we experience during intense exercise). Because anaerobic metabolism is a limited system, the limit of true anaerobic activity is only about 4 minutes.
Still, there are compelling reasons to engage in high-intensity, anaerobic activity. Specific to weight loss, we see an increase in the release of stored fat immediately after anaerobic exercise. Plus, resistance training increases lean muscle mass.
Relative to fat cells, muscle cells burn much more energy, so when we gain muscle mass, our metabolic rate goes up, even if we haven’t lost any fat. For that reason alone, adding weight training focused on building muscle is essential for long-term weight-loss success and especially maintenance.
Although we typically think of weight loss as a matter of diet and exercise, a number of other lifestyle components can stand in the way of releasing excess weight.