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Last Updated on April 12, 2021

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 (  please believe that I miss a good mac and cheese).  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?

 

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53 Comments

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

      1. 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.

    2. 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. Hi!

    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.

    Christie

  5. 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. 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. 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!

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

    *sigh*

    I don’t believe in counting calories still!

    (…I think….)

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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. 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?

  20. 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 🙂