Once you know your calorie maintenance level, it’s time for some very basic subtraction. If you failed second grade math, now would be the time to go get a calculator. There are about 3500 calories in 1 pound. So, if you were to eat 3500 calories less than your body needs each week, you would end up losing 1 pound per week. Since there are 7 days in a week, this comes out to be 500 less calories than your maintenance level each day. (3500calories ÷ 7days = 500calories less per day)
Imagine not changing your current diet except for one small tweak: Eat only between the hours of, say, 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM. Seems doable, right? If you can pull that off, preliminary research suggests you could shed up to 12% of your current weight in the next three months alone. (For someone who weighs 160, that’s a loss of almost 20 pounds.) The findings come from two animal studies published in Cell Metabolism. When researchers at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA, allowed mice to eat freely throughout the day, they gained about 10 to 25% of their bodyweight over the three months of the study. But another group of mice that fasted for 12 to 15 hours a day—basically, evenings, night, and early mornings—lost 5 to 12% of their bodyweight on the exact same diet. The researchers found that the body’s natural digestive rhythms peak during the day and ebb at night. The next step, according to one of the studies’ authors, Satchidananda Panda, PhD, is to repeat the study in overweight adults.
The concept of this diet is shocking your metabolism in the first few days where you go from high calorie intake to almost none. Your body goes in emergency mode sort to speak and has to get the missing calories from somewhere (body fat). If you do exercise then you will burn muscles instead of body fat.
Like a standard Paleo diet, intermittent fasting also lowers your calorie intake without forcing you to think about calories: you might eat a slightly larger meal to break your fast, but if you fast for 24 hours you’re hardly likely to eat an entire extra day’s worth of food at the end. A word of caution, though: fasting isn’t for everyone, and there’s no requirement to do it if it doesn’t work with your body.
In fact, weight loss is the most common reason why people choose to eat paleo (at least at the start). They eliminate grains, dairy, sugar and legumes and see the extra pounds effortlessly drop off. It almost sounds too good to be true, right?
How old are you? I am also about 5’4” and I haven’t weighed 125 since I turned 30. And I was super skinny (size 4) and muscular then! I would be happy to be under 140 at this point. Our hormones and the way our bodies change as we age has a lot to do with it.
This type of yo-yo weight cycling may not cause immediate symptoms, Dr. Bangalore adds, so patients may not realize how dangerous it is. “But this study, and others, do suggest that it’s doing real harm,” he says.
Making small, specific goals is key to losing weight long-term — but how can you get motivated now? Check out our favorite, no-fail jump-starts to feeling like your old self (i.e., back in your skinny jeans) ASAP!
Maybe this works better for the guy who is building up, rather than the girl who just wants to sleek down. Best wishes to you, Tim, and the others who give it a try, but I’m heading to Trader Vic’s for some crab puffs! Heavy on the puff!
But I’m not in top shape, and haven’t been able to get there for the past 3 years, my body fat % is increasing over past 3 years (age 41-44). Currently I’m looking to address the balance of gut bacteria and clearing elimination pathways to see if this helps me to burn off the stubborn extra 6 lbs of fat?
It makes perfect sense that starvation mode will make our bodies regulate and slow the amount of energy stores used in order to survive. However, does it make sense that starvation mode sets in after 16-24 hours without eating? It’s a scientific fact that the average person can survive 3 weeks without food; but after about 5% of that 3 weeks the human body thinks it starving? Does that make sense?
Exercise is key to most weight loss plans because it helps you burn more calories, and more calories burned equals more pounds lost. But what if you hate exercise? Is it required to lose weight? It certainly helps you stay healthier (by revving your heart rate and building your muscles.) But it is not mandatory. There are ways to lose pounds without exercising.
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If you eat raw veggies as your main source and walk 2 miles a day (Not as far as it sounds), you will lose 1 pound a day. For protein eat hard-boiled eggs, beans, and white chicken (Fish if you can afford it)
Did you ever get a response about the weight gain after you coe off this diet? I noticed you wrote this a months back, how did you do. I was curious, Thursday will be a week for me and I am down 7 lbs.
It is all about the quantity of food eaten and the activity levels of the individual. There is no problem with making the food palatable/tasty. But if someone can’t loose weight on paleo, then he/she is eating too many calories. In this case they need to eat more veggies and less fat. We can’t fool nature and calories do count even while eating paleo.
Lastly, to help you stay motivated I recommend you log your weight loss results so that you can gather an average. You will always have good weeks and bad weeks, but it’s the average that counts. Every weigh in (only weigh in once per week) write the pounds lost on your calendar. At the end of 8 weeks add up all the weight loss pounds and divide by 8 for your 8 week average. This will help you stay motivated and see your results. Anytime you have a bad week, think of your weight loss average and know this is all just part of the process.
Great article, but could you please, oh please stop using photos of already thin, healthy, young and beautiful people for your articles on weight loss. That young woman looks like she’s never had a weight or health issue in her life. Please use real people.
Hayley and Bill Staley are the dynamic cooking duo behind Primal Palate. Their lifelong passion for food and cooking has led them to write an internationally recognized blog, three bestselling Paleo cookbooks, as well as create a widely popular app and website.
Don’t get me wrong — exercising at any time is good for you. But evening activity may be particularly beneficial because many people’s metabolism slows down toward the end of the day. Thirty minutes of aerobic activity before dinner increases your metabolic rate and may keep it elevated for another two or three hours, even after you’ve stopped moving. What that means for you: You’re less likely to go back for seconds or thirds. Plus, it’ll help you relax post meal so you won’t be tempted by stress-induced grazing that can rack up calories, quickly.
1) This diet is one of the closest I’ve seen that gets close to a “change your lifestyle” approach versus a “reach your goal” diet. However, it still has components of a “reach your goal” diet, which is destined for eventual failure for most people as it doesn’t address the behaviors or emotional reasons for over-eating. Have you written, or do you provide in your books, a “bridge” type program where you move from this diet to one that instills healthier eating habits for life? For instance, I find gorging myself on Saturdays to be a temporary diet, not a habit one should indulge in for life.
Doing all these things will help you lose weight, but they still won’t get you the health benefits of regular exercise (which are impossible to overstate). Losing weight and improving your health are two completely different things: you can drop a lot of scale weight without ever seeing any health benefits, and you can improve your health dramatically without any change on the scale. But for the people who can’t exercise, for whatever reason, then yes: it is possible to lose weight without it.