As a neuroscientist, I’ve read hundreds of studies on the brain’s ability to fight weight loss. I also know about it from experience. For three decades, starting at age 13, I lost and regained the same 10 or 15 pounds almost every year. On my most serious diet, in my late 20s, I got down to 125 pounds, 30 pounds below my normal weight. I wanted (unwisely) to lose more, but I got stuck. After several months of eating fewer than 800 calories a day and spending an hour at the gym every morning, I hadn’t lost another ounce. When I gave up on losing and switched my goal to maintaining that weight, I started gaining instead.
There is some scientific legitimacy to today’s lower-carb diets: Large amounts of simple carbohydrates from white flour and added sugar can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and lead to weight gain. While avoiding sugar, white rice, and white flour, however, you should eat plenty of whole-grain breads and brown rice. One Harvard study of 74,000 women found that those who ate more than two daily servings of whole grains were 49 percent less likely to be overweight than those who ate the white stuff. Plus, whole grains can even make you smarter.
It’s no surprise that sitting too much can add pounds. So think about setting up a standing desk for your computer, taking calls on your feet, and responding in person to emails and instant messages. The difference in calorie burn might shock you: Eight hours of standing while doing light office work burns nearly 500 more calories than performing the same chores seated. (Check out these 15 simple ways to squeeze in more exercise no matter how long you’re stuck at your desk.)
Re. exercise: not entirely necessary, but if you feel the need, focus on a combo of 80% low-intensity (i.e. walking) and 20% high-intensity (bodyweight training, all-out efforts (whether it be running, swimming, cross-trainer, cycling)). Should see good results.
Your criticism is completely baseless. No where in the article does Chris state that a paleo diet is “easy and natural for everybody.” He does state that a paleo diet can lead to easy weight loss, due to the sateity per calorie. And if you are “lean and fit” already, why are you even reading an article about weight loss?
Chocolate Mug Cake – Whip up this cake in less time than it takes to prepare the batter for other cakes. You won’t believe that a cake that tastes this good can be made in a matter of minutes. This is sure to save you from many a chocolate craving because you can make it faster than you can get to the store and buy a chocolate candy bar. Much easier than trying to convince your body that you don’t want chocolate.
Hi, I’ve been having trouble finding info on my particular situation. I’m on week two of paleo and doing well keeping a balance of starch in my diet so far, but I’m exclusively breastfeeding my two month old son. Is there any advice or resources you could suggest for me? I mainly eat veg and meat, with nuts for extra fat and the occasional sweet potato when I feel like I’m lagging. Exercise is basically taking care of the farm with a baby strapped to my front.
The challenges most people run into is that they eat poorly, and then expect a bit of exercise to make everything better! The reality is, eating poorly could mean you’d need to spend HOURS burning calories just to not gain any weight.
It been fun looking for and trying new recipes. I look forward to your emails because I know something yummy will soon be on our menu! I’m a very organized person and like to plan my menu for a month. It took awhile, but I now have a recipe binder filled with great paleo recipes. It makes meal planning a snap. I have always found that planning ahead eliminates that dreaded question “What’s for dinner?” Thank you for your website. And happy cooking to my paleo contemporaries out there!
I must be the odd duck. I have managed to gain weight instead of losing like I wanted. Frustrating doesn’t even sum it up. I am grain free, sugar free, legume free, etc.. following paleo for a year and have managed to gain instead of losing the 30 pounds
On the other hand, if you live a more sedentary life, you might want to cut back a bit. In short, carbs are FUEL and your body only needs so much of it. It might want to “hold on” to that extra fuel if you’re not using it up in the gym or on the trail. More activity = more carbs and vice versa.
By making a meal plan to lose weight, you are setting yourself up for weight loss success. Have you ever become extra motivated to exercise after a purchase of a new yoga mat, or running shoes? Making a meal plan is motivational in the same way.
We all have food habits. Tastes can be changed, though it may take time. It’s no use trying to argue that people “like” certain foods so it will be a “nightmare” to change. People often comment that to go suddenly from whole milk to nonfat – or vice versa – can be very unpleasant. But those same people describe the opposite experience once they get accustomed to other foods. Easy does it.
…or one less treat a day, or one less glass of orange juice. Doing any of these can save you about 100 calories a day, and that alone is enough to prevent you from gaining the two pounds most people mindlessly pack on each year. Check out these other weight loss tricks that don’t require diet or exercise.