Is this why you’re not losing weight on Paleo?

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Not Losing Weight on the Paleo Diet

I started sharing my Paleo post-pregnancy weight loss journey a year and half ago and I’m still the same weight. Yeah. That’s pretty sad.  Now I have had success already on the diet and went from a size 28 to my current size 16 but I am nowhere near my goal.   One of the things that I love about the Paleo diet is that I don’t have to count calories.  You don’t have to track anything you just stick to the plan and the weight falls off of you, right?

Well, not when you’ve followed the diet for 3 years and you’ve gotten complacent. First, I’m primal which means I eat dairy.  I LOVE Butter.  I LOVE raw milk.  I LOVE Cheese and quite honestly, most of my fat and calories come from dairy.  I don’t have any reactions from dairy so I’m never going to stop eating it.  Never.

Anyhow,  back to the idea of complacency.  Do you know what you’re really eating everyday?  Perhaps you start off your day eating a veggie omelet and then, like me, you find yourself eating  a paleo cookie, then having a full lunch, dinner, snacking on sweet potato chips, a smoothie, etc.  Yeah, I finally broke down and starting using a food tracking app and found out that I’m eating 3500 calories a day. Yep. 3500.

First, it’s a amazing to me that I can eat that much and stay the same weight and size.  I know that if I was still a grain chomping gal, I’d be back to a size 28 in a minute.    So, I put in my app how much I want to lose a week – 2 lbs and stuck to the 1900 calories a day.  The first day was hard and a rude awakening.  I was out of calories by lunch time so I stopped eating.  The thing is I was not hungry for the entire day.  Not one single gurgle of hunger.  I wanted to eat because I was supposed to eat but I was not hungry.

The next day I stuck to the plan and I was actually hungry before each meal.   Food tasted better because I was hungry and I wasn’t just mindlessly shoving food in my mouth.   After doing this for 1 week, I lost 3lbs.  By the way, I am not limiting fat or carbs.  I’m simply eating as I always have but not exceeding my calorie budget.

Do you know what you’re really eating every day?  Is this why you’re not losing weight on Paleo?



  1. Rachel July 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Kelly I had the same problem. I actually gained 15 lbs when I transitioned to paleo. Most of it was emotional weight because we were trying to get pregnant. Now that we know I can’t get prego without expensive treatments I can let to of the weight. I am using a supplement called system six from Irwin naturals. I am also tracking my calories again, which has helped so much! I am realizing the same as you, I was way over eating! I’m so glad I’m not alone. I feel so frustrated when I see people adapt to paleo and drop weight and tone up so fast. Finding people like you that have the same challenges is so comforting. Thank you

    1. Kelly Bejelly July 10, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      I’m so glad you left a comment Rachel. We’re sisters in this 🙂 I kept thinking I’d be sporting a six pack by now and I sill have a keg, lol. We’re going to get there and sending you baby dust!

  2. Penelope (NYC Blogger) July 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    You eat a pound of food a day, and don’t gain weight. That is actually a good sign (but yeah, you need to lower that). If you cut 500 calories a day you’d lose a lb a week, and slowly, healthily.

  3. HilLesha July 10, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    No matter what I subtract from my diet, my scale doesn’t really want to budget, and I’m really not a big eater to begin with. I guess I need to squeeze in more time
    for exercise, but I’ve been so tired and worn out lately!

    1. Mary July 10, 2013 at 7:17 pm

      Have you had your thyroid checked lately? The “too tired and worn out” sounds like classic thyroid symptoms.

      1. Kelly Bejelly July 10, 2013 at 10:04 pm

        Yes, I just had it checked and it’s in great shape. I do have some minor adrenal issues I’m dealing with though. I’ve been taking a supplement to help nourish them and it’s worked amazingly well. Thanks for the comment Mary.

        1. barbara October 8, 2013 at 3:42 am

          What supplements do you take for adrenal?

          1. Kelly Bejelly October 8, 2013 at 9:28 am

            My ND recommended this one –> . Also, that really helped me with the anxiety and panic attacks I was dealing with was 5 htp –>

      2. Lisa July 11, 2013 at 7:46 pm

        Thanks for the thyroid comment. I am tired all the time. I should get that checked out for myself!

    2. Kelly Bejelly July 11, 2013 at 9:47 am

      It might be that you’re not eating enough HilLesha? Weight loss is such a unique algorithm for everyone. I needed to subtract. You might need to add. Also, hormones, the thyroid, the adrenals, allergies, all play into weight loss. Good luck hun!

  4. Christie July 10, 2013 at 4:40 pm


    I’m getting back on paleo and I will keep this in mind. I’m about the same size you were when you started, so I’m very curious to see how that works.


    1. Kelly Bejelly July 10, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      Good luck Christie! For me there were more benefits than weight loss but of course, it’s the one that stand out.

  5. Donna July 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    I’m starting to fall in my old routine lately. I started tracking my calories in October of last year, and wrote down every single calorie that I ate/drink. Every thing. I lost 28+ pounds. Then in May I just quit counting the calories, because I felt like I didn’t need to anymore. Well, now just 6 weeks later and I’m up 5 pounds. Seriously. And it kills me that it takes me forever to lose weight but I can put it back on in no time flat. Sigh. And I keep making excuses as to why I’m not counting the calories. My son starts back to school on 8/12, and I so want to lose those 5 pounds by then. Not sure if I can, but I am going to try to get 2-3 pounds off by then.

    1. Kelly Bejelly July 10, 2013 at 6:50 pm

      Donna, counting calories is just painful. I’m really trying to be 100% focused and stay on track. When I first started Paleo, I did track everything and I worked out like mad and I fasted. I don’t want to do all that again but I do want to stay the coarse and relearn how to watch what I eat. I know you’ll get there. It’s a journey right?

  6. Jenn- The Rebel Chick July 10, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    If you asked me a year ago I would have said no but now I pay more attention to what I eat.

  7. Jennifer The Quirky Momma July 10, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Just about two weeks ago, my neighbor–a Naturopathic Physician–suggested that I avoid grains and potatoes as she is thinking I have an intolerance. Since giving up all grains but oats, I’ve noticed a huge difference. I’m not on a strictly Paleo diet and I’m not Primal either, I think my new diet is somewhere between Paleo and Vegetarian–it such a thing could ever exist!

    1. Kelly Bejelly July 10, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      Yep, there are Paleo vegetarians 😛 I’m glad you’re seeing a differnce Jen! It’s amazing how powerful cleaning up your diet can be for your whole body.

  8. tricia Night Owl Mama July 10, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    wow 1900 Calories normally I would think that would be a lot. Cutting out the junk food and soda always put me about 1500 calories and right now I’m barely on 1100 calories . so crazy when u take a step back and realize exactly how much your eating. It blows my mind every time

    1. Kelly Bejelly July 10, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      It’s not very much when compared to the 3500 I was eating, lol.

  9. Tiff @ Babes and Kids July 11, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Sometimes I have no idea what I am really consuming until I start tracking my calories. I’ve been a lot more relaxed since I’ve been pregnant, but I know it’s going to be a journey once the baby arrives.

  10. Kathleen July 11, 2013 at 8:59 am

    It is amazing how much we can eat without realizing it, that is why I am a huge fan of tracking calories.

  11. Tammy July 11, 2013 at 11:51 am

    I’ve followed Weight Watchers for about 11 years now so I am pretty good at tracking what I eat…until I’m under a lot of stress (like I am now), and then I just eat whatever, and I guarantee you once we’re out of hotels and finally into our home in a week or so, the scale is going to reflect that too…sigh.

  12. Colleen July 11, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I hate counting calories too. I would like to just eat good foods and hope that does the trick, but then I would have to eat just good foods LOL

  13. Mellisa July 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    When I stopped paying attention to what I eat I gained 15 pounds. I think I need to pay closer attention.

  14. Anne - Mommy Has to Work July 12, 2013 at 8:49 am

    I just want to lose 10 pounds and so freaking hard….I’m doing WW online and I like being able to track everything.

  15. Maryann July 12, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I want to start exercising but my doc won’t let me because of my severe adrenal fatigue

  16. Leilani July 12, 2013 at 9:37 am

    This is why I’ll have to start a food diary once I have this baby and get serious about weight loss. I’m the type of person that does a lot of mindless eating.

  17. Anne, Texas July 12, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Kelly, would you mind suggesting the food tracker app that you like? I’ve been modified Paleo (not carrots, sweet potatoes) for about a year and a half now but have seen a slight weight gain lately even tho I eat the same and workout 5 days a week. I’d like to see if I’m eating more than I think as well.
    Thanks and I appreciate your blog!

    1. Kelly Bejelly July 12, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      Hi Anne 🙂 I started with Lose it but now I love myfitness pal’s interface better. Lose it had a much higher recommendation for calories per day 1866 for me vs. 1200 for myfitnesspal (to lose 2 lbs a week) and I’m sticking with the 1866 because any less than that and I am just hungry all day.

  18. Marcie W. July 12, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Although I feel that after four years of being health conscious, I know exactly what I should be eating and how much, I always feel better when I’m tracking things. It’s another way to hold myself accountable, which just pushes me to be ultra successful.

  19. Angela July 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    I’m not on a paleo diet but definitely need to pay more attention to what I am eating. I definitely want to cut back in a way that does not require counting calories.

  20. Theresa July 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    It’s scary how much you can eat without realizing it. Keep up the good work mama! You can do this!

  21. Sheri July 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    I snack constantly and mindlessly…so I don’t even realize how many calories I’ve had until I sit down and track it. Tracking is the only way I can lose weight.

  22. Rachel @ Following In My Shoes July 13, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    I haven’t tracked food in so long, and I know that’s why my weight is horrible right now. I’m not losing anymore.

    1. Kelly Bejelly July 13, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      I was really shocked when I realized how much more I’m eating than I thought. A rude awakening for sure.

  23. Robin Gagnon July 13, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    After slacking off for a few months I went back to dieting on Monday. Down a couple pounds already.

    1. Kelly Bejelly July 13, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      Congrats! I’m finally ready to lose the weight. Good luck hun!

  24. Hannah July 13, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    hahaha…! Oh dear, I feel like I wrote this blog post. I have just finished 8 weeks strict sugar-free (my first time) and expected to drop a good 10lb. Well I lost a couple at the start and then gained it all back. Because, I am in LOVE with dairy. Never, ever could it leave me. In fact I just ate 1 cup of homemade natural yogurt (mixed with a Tab of cacoa & a pinch of stevia) and then…. went back and got myself another 1 cup of the same :-/. Don’t tell me how many calories that is…

    I’m just exactly the same. Spend all this time designing clean, nutrient-dense meals full of good fats and protein that are supposed to keep me ‘full’ but I always end up hunting for a paleo-chocolate-coconut-anything-at-all treat within an hour of said nutrient-protein-good-fat meal.


    I don’t believe in counting calories still!

    (…I think….)

  25. Lolo July 13, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    I do not like counting calories either, but I really need to start keeping track of what is going into my body.

  26. Emily @FamilyNLifeLV July 13, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    Sometimes we just need the reminder on how much we should be eating.. Great job!!

  27. Shell Feis July 14, 2013 at 1:09 am

    I’m not on Paleo but eat primarily healthy foods {lean meats, lots of produce, etc.} but I definitely eat too much of said healthy food so I feel ya.

  28. Toni July 14, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I lost by just eating healthier, not even counting calories…but now I am stuck..not gaining or losing.

  29. stefanie July 14, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Watching what you eat is important, but exercise is even more important.

  30. stefanie July 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Tracking everything you eat is a good way to see why the pounds don’t come off. It makes you accountable.

  31. Winnie October 8, 2013 at 5:31 am

    Calories do matter! People seem to want to believe that they don’t….that eating a certain diet makes you exempt from ever thinking about them again. But it’s simply not true- one must create a calorie deficit in order to lose weight, pure and simple. This is a good post, Kelly!

    1. Kelly Bejelly October 8, 2013 at 9:17 am

      Thanks Winnie 🙂 Seriously, I HATE counting calories but I have to if I want to lose weight. I wish more people knew this about the Paleo diet.

  32. jill January 3, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    well..having questions and feeling nervous. just signed on for your site. have just started eating no grains or sugars or starchy foods after reading “the calorie myth” so i would not have to count or weigh. i am allergic to milk, gluten and eggs but eat butter and aged cheeses( try not to overeat cheese. ) would this be considered primal? i will be upset if gaining on this..i eat three times no hunger for snacks. do people usually lose weight in your experience? i would be so very delighted to lose 15 -20 lbs! thanks

    1. Kelly Bejelly January 3, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      Hi Jill! Yes, your diet would be considered Primal. I follow a primal diet. For the most part, people do lose weight when they start the diet. Have you seen a loss already?

  33. Jess February 1, 2014 at 6:08 am

    LOVE T-tapp! Started cleaning up my diet about 6 months ago (cut out pop, sugar, white flour) using the Trim Healthy Mama book (lots LESS restrictive than PALEO and women are dropping weight without supplements and with a huge support system). Separate your carbs and fats 🙂

    1. Kelly Bejelly February 2, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      Thanks for you comment Jess. I really love the workout and am just amazed by how well it works 🙂


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