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13 Apr

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!!!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  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 :)

    Nick wrote on April 13th, 2012
  2. Great job! Congrats on all your success!

    Crunchy Pickle wrote on April 13th, 2012
  3. Dude, great story, VERY similar to my experience with PB. Great looking family, and great advice from your boss!

    BG wrote on April 13th, 2012
  4. 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.

    Decaf Debi wrote on April 13th, 2012
  5. Gosh, I do that on my iPhone too.

    You DO look younger, such a change in your face! Congratulations. And you have a beautiful family. :-)

    Alison Golden - PaleoNonPaleo wrote on April 13th, 2012
    • I can definitely see the change in his face too. Great job Mauricio!

      Becca wrote on April 13th, 2012
    • 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.

      Matthew Caton wrote on April 13th, 2012
      • Mattew–do you have a link to this study or at least the abstract? I would love to read this study!

        Fritzy wrote on April 14th, 2012
        • 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

          Taco wrote on April 15th, 2012
      • Interesting, where’s the study on this?

        Meagan wrote on April 15th, 2012
  6. Awesome job, Mauricio! What a difference three months can make!

    Anne wrote on April 13th, 2012
  7. ¡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 :)

    Álvaro wrote on April 13th, 2012
    • 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.

      Primal Texas wrote on April 13th, 2012
    • Accu-Measure calipers are probably the most cost-effective way. I’ve compared them to hydrostatic weighing and they are very, very close.

      Joseph Fetz wrote on April 13th, 2012
    • 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

      Mauricio Sada-Paz wrote on April 14th, 2012
  8. 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!

    Stuart wrote on April 13th, 2012
  9. Way to go, Mauricio!

    Keep your tailor busy.

    Primal Texas wrote on April 13th, 2012
  10. Agreed, definitely a youth elixir.

    rkd wrote on April 13th, 2012
  11. What a great transformation, Mauricio!

    liz wrote on April 13th, 2012
  12. Great job. The results are outstanding.

    Jeff wrote on April 13th, 2012
  13. 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?

    Joy Beer wrote on April 13th, 2012
  14. Congratulations! My mom is from NL. I wonder if you know her family name, Canseco del Valle.

    Kiki wrote on April 13th, 2012
    • Kiki I do know the Canseco name and I believe we are distant relatives with the Canseco’s.

      Mauricio Sada-Paz wrote on April 14th, 2012
  15. Wow. You do look ten years younger. Well done!

    Suhail wrote on April 13th, 2012
  16. Terrific! And I might add your wife is one lucky lady 😉

    Siobhan wrote on April 13th, 2012
  17. 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.


    Brett wrote on April 13th, 2012
  18. Fantastic! Great progress :-)

    yoolieboolie wrote on April 13th, 2012
  19. What a beautiful family. I will be forwarding this to my husband :)

    samui_sakana wrote on April 13th, 2012
  20. 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!


    Matthew Morris wrote on April 13th, 2012
  21. Wow! You weren’t kidding when you said you look 10 years younger! Amazing!

    Laura, RD wrote on April 13th, 2012
  22. 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.

    Sian wrote on April 13th, 2012
    • 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 :)

      Alyssa wrote on April 13th, 2012
  23. 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.

    Christina wrote on April 13th, 2012
  24. 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!

    Catalina wrote on April 13th, 2012
  25. Love it!

    Susan wrote on April 13th, 2012
  26. Indeed, you do look 10 years younger. Congrats on the transformation.

    RBart wrote on April 13th, 2012
  27. AMAZING… You look like a whole new person!
    Grok on!

    Erica wrote on April 13th, 2012
  28. 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.

    David wrote on April 13th, 2012
  29. 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.

    Jason wrote on April 13th, 2012
  30. 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.

    Amy J wrote on April 13th, 2012
  31. 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…

    Paula wrote on April 13th, 2012
  32. Meeeeoooow. More photos please 😛

    Nionvox wrote on April 13th, 2012
  33. Great job man!

    Adam wrote on April 13th, 2012
  34. You look fantastic! I’d say 10 years younger is spot on. Way to go!

    Chris wrote on April 13th, 2012
  35. Awesome

    joe wrote on April 13th, 2012
  36. 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.

    Lorena wrote on April 13th, 2012
    • +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!

      Chica wrote on April 14th, 2012
  37. 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!

    Alby wrote on April 13th, 2012
  38. You look good. Your pecs are enviable, they look as good as implants on a mens health model.

    cts wrote on April 13th, 2012
  39. awesome story look amazing!

    mars wrote on April 13th, 2012

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