Beat the Creep: Gradual Weight Gain Stopped and Reversed

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Hi my name is Mauricio Sada-Paz and I was born 37 years ago in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. I have been in banking for 14 years and have always been very athletic. However, every year my weight was gradually going up. I initially simply tried to increase the distance I was running still mixing it up with weights. When this did not work I decided to train for two marathons and dropped the weight training. In 2010 I ran the London and NY marathon, yet my weight stayed in the 99-100 kgs area (~220 lbs). I am 192 cms (6′ 3″) tall so I did not look overweight, but I did not look like a fit marathon runner despite running NY under 3:30. The first picture with me on the boat is in April 2010 only 4 days before I ran the London Marathon.

In 2011 I did not train for any marathons as I was starting a new job and my weight continued to increase. I peaked after New Year’s 2011 (second pic below) in the 107-108 kgs area (~238 lbs) after having had my wife’s family and then my own family visit for the holidays. I knew something was wrong when I ran 7 days, 15 kilometres every day during the holidays and my weight was still going up. Clearly I was eating and drinking wine, but still I should not have been going up at that pace. When I spoke to my boss about it, he said do not worry…I have the right solution for you. Simply read PRIMAL BLUEPRINT by Mark Sisson and the fat will just melt off. I trusted him as he is a super fit cyclist who has his body fat down to 6%.

I ran to my iPad and bought the book on the 9th of January 2012. Ever since that date I have only deviated from the diet on one day when I ate a burrito with tortilla, black beans and rice. I felt so bloated and gassy afterwards that this will not happen again. My weight has plummeted. By the end of January I was already at 102 kgs (~225 lbs) and by the end of February I was at 97 kgs (~213 lbs). At the end of March I touched a low of 92.9 kgs (~204 lbs) with 16.8% body fat.

I have not only changed my diet but I have also changed my workout routine. I stopped running so much and now only run once or twice a week to commute back from work, but never get above 75% of my max heart rate. In addition I have started lifting weights once a week. In order to comply with Mark’s recommended sprints or interval training I started doing the INSANITY workout videos which are very good the rest of the week.

So I now have a six pack for the first time since I was at Georgetown 15 years ago and my face looks 10 years younger (no longer like a model for Botero, the Colombian artist who paints obese grain fed people). I had my tailor come to my house two days ago so I could buy a new suit and alter my other two. These are suits from 2010 when I ran both marathons. In waist measurements I have gone from 38.5 inches to 35.5 inches. However it is more extreme when you compare 3 trousers I bought from Hugo Boss in November 2011. They were 40L. On Sunday I went to buy three new ones and they were 36L!!!

I do not consider the Primal Blueprint to be a diet but more a way of life, as I do not experience any hunger and eat everything I like except for a few things. I still drink red wine every night, but have stopped drinking beer (which is made out of grains) and distilled alcoholic drinks. I eat a three egg vegetable omelet almost every day, a big salad for lunch then some grilled protein with broccoli for dinner. For dessert I will have some blueberries, strawberries or raspberries. If I wake up and am not hungry then I will not eat and do a nice 12 hour “IF” (intermittent fasting). I always carry a small bag of almonds for an emergency when I go to a work event and they only have anti-Primal canapes. I have taken notes from the Primal Blueprint and saved it in my NOTES on the iPhone just in case I have a question. If the answer is not there then I Google it and 95% of the time, has an article answering my question. That is it…easy peasy lemon squeezy. Many thanks, Mark!!!

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95 thoughts on “Beat the Creep: Gradual Weight Gain Stopped and Reversed”

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  1. Awesome man! That’s a huge amount of weight in just a few months, and you look great! I’m sure you’ll continue to see more improvements. Nice work! I think you look better without the chronic cardio 🙂

  2. Dude, great story, VERY similar to my experience with PB. Great looking family, and great advice from your boss!

  3. Great job. Changes in clothing sizes aren’t the way most of us measure success (we simply know how much better we feel), but they sure do make it easier to convince SAD eaters that going primal gets results.

    And awesome use of “easy peasy lemon squeezy”! That’s a family favorite.

    1. I actually ran into a study done on marathoners and the length of telomeres. Basically the shorter your telomeres, the more aged your cells are, and the more aged you are. Not surprisingly, marathoners had telomeres just as short as those who were completely sedentary. Those who exercised moderately exhibited the longest telomeres.

      Luckily for you, Mauricio, telomerase activity up-regulates with IF and weight training, and adds length to your telomeres. It literally reverses aging.

      I go into more detail on my website about how intermittent fasting and weight training can reverse aging.

      1. Mattew–do you have a link to this study or at least the abstract? I would love to read this study!

        1. This guy, Matthew Caton, is just soliciting. Rather than ask people to go to your website like a bottom feeder, you should just post the studies here so we can come to our own conclusion

  4. ¡Excelente Mauricio!

    Just a question: how does one find out the % of body fat?

    Sorry for the n00b question, but I just don’t know 🙂

    1. DXA scan… not the cheapest, but not the most expensive way, either. For the price, your get a pretty accurate measurement and breakdown.

      Google “dxa” or “dexa” and your city or state name to find somebody in your area that offers them.

    2. Accu-Measure calipers are probably the most cost-effective way. I’ve compared them to hydrostatic weighing and they are very, very close.

    3. Alvaro I bought this TANITA scale on amazon. In the UK it is still on sale. I am sure like everything except wine….it is cheaper in the US. It is rather accurate It gives me readings of 16% to 15.8% to 17.4% depending on my hydration levels. Yesterday I had a doctor check from head to toe and it was lower at 15.2%. This Tanita scale really only checks from one leg to the other and misses the upper body. ie=UTF8&qid=1334396999&sr=8-1 regards, MSP

  5. Awesome! I have the same exact body type, 6’3 and was 230 lbs before starting Primal/Paleo Jan 2. I weigh myself once a month and on April 2 I weighed 195. I had 1-2 small deviations before last week, where I had my first chewed grain (pizza, this time only 2 slices) of the year and a few microbrews for spring break. I didn’t get queasy or anything like that, but I was gassy for the next couple of days. It was a seamless transition back to Primal. Keep up the good work!

  6. Hoya Saxa, Mauricio! (From a fellow Hoya)

    You have a brilliant boss, a beautiful family, and superb results! Don’t miss the Chronic Cardio, do you?

  7. Congratulations! My mom is from NL. I wonder if you know her family name, Canseco del Valle.

    1. Kiki I do know the Canseco name and I believe we are distant relatives with the Canseco’s.

  8. Great story!! I know how it feels to have people comment on how you look younger. The best part is feeling younger. Keep it going.


  9. Congratulations! I am also 6’3” and topped out at 240 pounds. When I realized how bad my weight had gotten in early March of this year I decided to be more careful in my eating. Since March 3rd I have lost 21 pounds. I hope to be at 200 pounds by June. Nice work!


  10. Surely you are the younger, fitter brother of the other guy in the photo?!

    Great transformation, but what I love most about your story is the simplicity of it all for you. A great reminder to us all that this whole thing is really just so SIMPLE.

    1. I loved the simplicity too!! I currently have to eat more frequently and do more food prep than that for various reasons, but it’s a great reminder of the ease I’m looking forward too 🙂

  11. Mauricio.. incredible results. I’m sure everybody else will agree. Going primal really helps us access our biological potential and it looks like that was all you needed. Keep it up and enjoy.

  12. Great story. . .you’ve clearly leaned out and have a tremendous sense of what Mark would call “thriving.”

    I really love the “easy peasy lemon squeezy”–I think that should be the official slogan for Primal/Paleo living!

  13. Indeed, you do look 10 years younger. Congrats on the transformation.

  14. Good job!
    I started about the same time you did. And I am 6’1″. Admittedly I fudged on the diet more than 1 burrito, but I have achieved similar results: down from a high of 230 lbs to a recent low of 206 (and dropping). Thanks for your article.
    ~David R.

  15. Seeing as how you are exactly my weight and almost exact same weight, you are the most inspirational story to me yet. Congrats on your success! I am actually restarting Primal today (like I idiot, I actually stop sometimes). Best of luck in the future! I hope I can send in a six-pack pic sometime soon.

  16. Awesome.

    I haven’t managed to go totally primal, but we do eat more natural foods and less processed. It works so much.

    This is the first time, in a long time, I can say I weigh the same as I did last year at this time. I did lose 6 pounds last year, but gained that back over the winter holidays here. The stress of 2011 helped me lose weight and my parents were both healthier by the holidays, which made for good times to celebrate.

  17. Like you, I also started in January and what a difference. I’m in my mid-40’s and the creep is not necessarily “normal” or “inevitable” with age as conventional wisdom would have us believe. I’m 5 pounds BELOW the “best” weight I used to struggle, deprive, and restrict to maintain, and an inch smaller in hips & thighs. Only now no suffering at all! I ran my last 5K in December and enough with all that cardio. For years I’ve known it doesn’t work, I’ve seen it doesn’t work, and I now have the damaged hamstrings as a constant reminder it didn’t work…

  18. You look fantastic! I’d say 10 years younger is spot on. Way to go!

  19. Que guapisimo! I love your story. I have also seen my weight go down and I feel cheated. All these years I have gained weight despite eating “healthy” and now, I see that I was simply eating the wrong foods. Thanks for sharing your story Mauricio.

    1. +1 on feeling cheated by CW and so-called “healthy eating”.

      Stories like Mauricio’s, with rapid dramatic results, are visible proof that Primal works. You all are walking billboards!

  20. Great motivational story and I came to the same conclusion as you Mauricio after I was able to see my own results, that “It’s a way of life”. It’s more than just a diet, just a workout, just a whatever…It’s a lifestyle change and once that happens, the results are so much more worthwhile not to mention long term! Congrats on your success!

  21. You look good. Your pecs are enviable, they look as good as implants on a mens health model.

  22. Many thanks for all the nice comments. I must highlight that my beautiful wife is 7 months pregnant in the picture so she is not a Botero model…!!! She has now given birth of a baby girl and has gone PRIMAL TOO. She is from Spain. We are the PRIMAL disciples in Europe. Grok on. I hope my experience helps motivate some of you who have gone only half primal to go full on. I have some notes on email if you want them but if you have read the book that is all you need. I will reply individually to those who asked me questions. I also just registered to the website as I was only registered to receive the daily apple from Mark. regards and greetings from London. MSP

  23. Good job! I’m the same age as you Mauricio and about to go primal with my wife in tow. I’m hoping to be a success story in the future also.

    I’ll be taking all my measurements and looking for improvements from my 5’10” and 84kg starting point. Let’s see eh?

  24. Wow! you look amazing! I’m about to start my primal journey and your results are so encouraging. Congrats on your success 🙂

  25. Great story!! My husband and I are both Primal and have seen great success. We also have three kids [5,2,4mo] and the two older ones are really thriving on a primal lifestyle. They aren’t interested in candy, sugary drinks, or anything like that. They are a little selective in their veggies, but they love fruit, meat, nuts, and fish. Their behavior and focus have improved tremendously. I would recommend, as your baby girl gets older, to avoid feeding her CW foods. You will save yourself a lot of trouble as well as setting her up for lifetime health and fitness success!

    Congrats again!!

    1. Thanks Joanne. I agree with you that Primal living should not be only for adults. I need to work on my wife though…!!! She is starting to eat primally but is still skeptical about the benefits for kids.

  26. Great job, Mauricio. Your example has encouraged me even more. My measurements are pretty similar to yours, but I still have a lot of work to do to obtain your wonderful results (I’ve been Primal one week so far, though I’m already impressed by my positive evolution).

    Thanks for sharing! Saludos from another spanish Grok disciple!

  27. I always wondered how most runners have a slim body and some like me do everything right,well at least since I started the Paleo/Primal diet a month ago and nothing changes in my weight,I do have more energy I will say that:) I havent lost much weight,just 3 lbs! Could it be that I may still be eating dairy ( full fat milk ,ricotta, chocolates-75% Cocoa as Mark recommends)once in a while?

    1. Hi Sippi

      I was having the same problem. Very slow at first, but now it’s melting off. It could be the dairy, your body may be intolerant. What’s your daily net carbs like? Are you taking any supplements?

      We’ve done years of damage to our bodies, I think it takes a little longer for some of us….

  28. Fantastic success I would say. Thanks for sharing such a positive story! 🙂

  29. On chronic cardio and long distance running–I read a book a few years ago (can’t remember the title to save my life. Sorry) where the doctor who wrote it said the unhealthiest people he saw were runners. The vast majority of them had heart trouble. His logic was that we are animals and only very inefficient animals would run for long extended periods. We would either run to escape and stop as soon as we were safe–or eaten!–or we would run to hunt. If we had to run that long to hunt food we were clearly not very good at it and mother nature is merciless in weeding out the weak and inefficient to maintain the integrity of the human race. This doctor claimed that we had a genetically programed “kill switch” that activated in the face of gross inefficiency, i.e. long distance running. The fastest way to kill us? Heart trouble.

    It made a weird kind of sense to me even way before discovering paleo and now I’m totally on board with the theory.

  30. Ok.My son-in-law gave me the Primal Book to read. for the past 2 yrs I’ve been trying to get in shape and keep getting sick. So I’m thinking I’ve been burning out. As a result, my weight has creeped up to 133 lb, I’m 32 % body fat – I’m 5 ft 2 in. and 56.5 yrs old. I’m a bit intimidated since you all look like young 20-30 year olds. I’ve just retired and have 4 grandchildren.
    It’s my turn! I played 18 holes of golf today and will be going to my bootcamp classes again starting Monday – 3 times a week. I’ll try walking more and plan on buying a hybrid bike over the next month…need to research.
    Any advise you can give me would be appreciated! I’ll check out the free book Mark sent me on fitness. I did my groceries Primal style yesterday, so I’m starting that tomorrow.

    1. I’m 64 and feel better than I have in years! Sleep like a baby, have abundant energy, and a better body than a lot of women half my age. When I went primal fifteen pounds seemed to just fall off. Concentrate on the food. That will have a much greater effect than the exercise. Sounds like you’re already doing enough of that.

    2. Lucie I’m 56 and my wife is 59, age doesn’t matter, we’re both into Primal and doing great. I had a lot of weight to lose, she not hardly at all, but we each love the way we feel now.
      Like Island Girl said, I think it’s 90% primal diet, the exercise only helps.

  31. Island girl – wow, that makes total sense, I really would like to complete another half-marathon, but maybe I really should stick to 5k’s. Thanks for posting that!

  32. Amazing job! Goregous family. You do look 10 years younger and you probably feel 10 years younger too 🙂

  33. Ey nice job, im also in mexico but having a hardtime to follow the primal way of eating, sure aprecciateif you could give some pointers

  34. Constak….I live in London where the Mexican food offering is quite limited so I am not tempted at all. I am going to Mexico for xmas and new year’s and it will be tough. As Mark Sisson recommends it is good to have “holiday’s” where you temporarily get out of the primal diet which is what I plan to do. If you live in Mexico then you should avoid rice, beans and tortillas. There is plenty to eat in Mexico to avoid but I agree it is tough. You will feel better though. mexican food makes you feel gassy and bloated, but it is sooooo good. rgds, Mauricio

  35. Good job! Crazy how similar his story is to mine. Ran marathons yet kept putting weight on as I got older. Ate what I wanted. Finally started Crossfit and ate Paleo/Primal. Dropped 30# of fat (at least) and had to get all my suits refit (also in banking). My new diet is almost exactly the same… bacon and eggs for breakfast, salad for lunch and meat and veggies for dinner. Don’t forget the red wine! Cholesterol dropped like crazy, too. Fun story!

  36. Wow, Great to see and hear from you Mau, and very big congratulations on all of your accomplishments, most especially having the discipline to follow a Primal lifestyle. I for one have been on and off with Primal for the past 2 years (I only do it 2-3 months prior to CrossFit competitions we have here in Laredo in the summer and again in the winter). Today marks my 3rd week going Primal (again) and I was looking over on success stories b/c I was about to throw in the towel. Not sure if you remember me (We would play basketball back in the day in my back yard, I was Mauricio Murillo’s neighbor, and I still see you brother Gabriel every now and then). Anyhow, I’m still the 6’0”, 170 Lbs., skinny dude, yet a lot older now. I to have also ran my share of marathons, but now I just do Crossfit, trying to maintain my fitness. I just can not manage to get below the 16% body fat, so I went Primal again for these next few months to see where it takes me.

    Great success story and thanks for the motivation!

    Juan de Dios Benavides
    Laredo, Tx.

  37. Hi Juan de Dios, Of course I remember you. What good times playing basketball in your house with Murillo. In Laredo where you have the mix of American and Northern Mexican food (southern and coastal mexican food is healthier) I think it would be harder to be primal so I admire you a great deal. In addition in Laredo we used to drink a lot of beer which goes straight to the belly. I do not buy beer anymore and when I get home stressed after a touch day and am peckish I will have a Spicy Seed Mix from Whole Foods and a small glass of white wine instead of beer. With dinner I will have a glass of red of course without fail. I have also eliminated all sports drinks. They are rubbish. Stick to good old fashioned water and you will thrive. Contact me on [email protected] if you want more tips and to catch up further. un abrazo, mau

  38. Hey Mauricio, its Rafa from portugal, Benny fw me the e-mail, congrats man nice job there!Come visit us soon, we only drink red wine this time :p

  39. Great tips, Maui! Hopefully I’ll be able to drop some very reluctant pant sizes with these recommendations, also. Congrats, dude!

  40. Why don’t you just call this what it is. An advertisement and not real information. The sycophants on this site sound like any infomercial you can watch at 4 AM.

    1. Emilio: This site is not an infomercial! Everyone shops for food; it’s what you take home in the bags and prepare that drops the weight. All this diet info is free on other websites listing what to eat and not eat, etc. If people don’t want to buy books they sell, fine

  41. ShunkW….i live in London so not sure what they show at 4am in the US but you clearly have too much time if you are awake at that time watching tv. I wrote this letter to thank Mark and to help others. Your loss if you do not use it. Rgds, MSP

  42. Congrats on the success and thanks for sharing your story. Would you tell us, how often do you do the Insanity workouts? What other details can you share about your workouts?


  43. Great story! In ’05 I ran three marathons in a 4 month stretch (Big Sur, San Diego, San Francisco) and I still was stuck around 220 lbs. Stopped eating carbs and the weight just melted off.