How “More” Paleo Helped me Take off Pounds Quickly

When I moved to a new neighborhood last summer, I gave away clothes and furniture I didn’t need anymore. What I got back: Mere months after moving and settling into my new digs, I discovered I had unexpectedly put on 10 unwanted pounds.

At first I was puzzled at my weight gain. About four years ago, I had lost about twenty pounds when I went on the paleo diet. Since then, I had never been threatened with gaining it back.

But gaining 10 pounds in five months this year got my attention. Dragging around the extra weight made my exercise more difficult. It also felt uncomfortable, since, as happens in many middle-aged women, the extra pounds sat right around my middle.

Analyze this

My puzzlement at my new weight soon gave way to trying to do a clear-headed analysis of what had happened to my body. Suddenly I felt like my body, which had been impervious to weight gain on the paleo diet, had now become a fat-making machine, ready to grab every extra mouthful and convert it to extra inches around my waist.

What I found when I listed what had changed in my life:

While I was still working out, my incidental exercise – taking the stairs, carrying packages around and moving around during the day – had been reduced drastically. My new house, unlike where I had lived previously, didn’t require me to carry groceries and dog food up a long driveway. Didn’t require me to climb flights of stairs to get to my office. Didn’t even necessitate a walk down a hallway to an inconvenient kitchen.

I figured I was walking at least five fewer miles a week (or even more) doing normal, everyday activities. I was also sitting more.

Treating the treat problem

I was also treating myself to gluten-free snacks and dried fruit that had introduced more sugar into my diet. I was carefully limiting these items. But limiting them didn’t seem to be enough. They had to be even further limited or eliminated entirely.

Plus, while I was still doing aerobic exercise and lifting weights, I had slightly reduced my resistance exercises. Instead of religiously lifting weights every other day, I was only doing that about twice a week. I was giving myself a pass on these exercises too often.

Additions and subtractions

After summarizing what had changed in my life, I took rather simple measures to change things around.

My weight-lifting once again became an every-other day occurrence. No more procrastination. If I feel too tired to do weights, I push on anyway. I find that doing those exercises actually gives me more energy.

I did away with gluten-free processed foods altogether and switched to nuts and fruits (not dried fruits). I also bumped up my protein consumption.

Many studies show that a diet higher in protein can help you lose weight. And research at the University of Illinois shows that eating high protein helps improve the weight-loss benefits of exercise.

“There’s an additive, interactive effect when a protein-rich diet is combined with exercise. The two work together to correct body composition; dieters lose more weight, and they lose fat, not muscle,” says researcher Donald Layman.

Dependable results

So far, in the past month or so, since I consciously changed my exercise and diet, I have taken off five of the pounds I’ve gained. I feel better, more energetic and I’m not as unsatisfied when I examine my belly in the mirror.

I have another five pounds to go in order to get back to where my weight was when I moved. Now that I understand why my weight has fluctuated, I know my body isn’t rebelling, it’s just responding to the changes I have imposed on it. With a little discipline, and acceptance of the fact that you have to cook your own paleo food, you too can get you weight under better control with a few simple observations and adjustments.





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  • Posted 9 years ago

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