Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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January 26 2010

17 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

By Mark Sisson
278 Comments

Effective, healthy weight loss isn’t only due to the simplistic calories in, calories out paradigm. Nor is it solely reliant on diet and exercise. It’s everything – it’s all the various signals our body receives from the environment that affect how our genes express themselves and thrive. How we approach the subject matters, too. Our mood, our methods, our temperament. Our conscious decisions and our willpower. It’s setting good habits and expunging bad ones. Most of all, it comes down to keeping our genes happy by providing an environment that approximates evolutionary precedent.

1. You think you’re eating healthy, but aren’t.

Does your diet consist of a massive amount of “products”? Low-carb or not, you want to eat real food. Flagons of diet soda, plates of pure fiber in the shape of noodles, and loaves of 1g net carb “bread” do not a Primal eating plan make. You’re just feeding an addiction and consuming empty calories – sound familiar? Disregard the labels and look inside for what you know to be true: this crap isn’t food, and you shouldn’t be eating it. It’s about way more than just low-carb.

2. You’re under too much stress.

The stress response system is subconscious; it responds to stimuli and nothing else. Emotional stress, physical stress, financial stress, relationship stress – I hesitate to even make these distinctions, because the body does not differentiate between sources of stress. They all cause the body to produce cortisol, the fight-or-flight hormone that catabolizes muscle, worsens insulin resistance, and promotes the storage of fat. For 200,000 years, stress meant a life or death situation. It was intense and infrequent, and the cortisol release was arresting and extreme enough to improve the chances of survival. Today, our body responds to a stack of paperwork the same way. Traffic jams are like rival war bands. A nagging boss is like a rampaging mastodon, only on a daily basis. Take a step back from your life and take stock of your stress levels – they may be holding you back.

3. You need to watch your carb intake.

Carbs are key, as always, especially when you’ve got weight to lose. Veer closer to the bottom of the curve, taking care to avoid all processed food (hidden sugars). You might also try skipping fruit.

4. You’re adding muscle.

I always tell people not to get hung up on the scales so much. Those things are useful – don’t get me wrong – but they never tell the whole story, like whether or not you’re adding lean mass. The PB will spur fat loss, but it also promotes muscle gain and better bone density. If you’re feeling good but failing to see any improvements register on the scale’s measurements, it’s most likely extra muscle and stronger bone from resistance training. You wouldn’t know that just from the bathroom scale. If you absolutely need objective records of your progress, get a body fat percentage test (although these might not even tell the whole story) or try measuring your waist.

5. You’re not active enough.

Are you Moving Frequently at a Slow Pace for three to five hours every week? Remember: the near-daily low-level (between 55-75% max heart rate) movement should be the bedrock of your fitness regimen. It’s easy to do (because every bit of movement counts) and it doesn’t dip into your glycogen reserves (making it a pure fat burner, not a sugar burner). If you’re on the low end of the spectrum, crank it up toward five weekly hours and beyond.

6. You’re lapsing into Chronic Cardio.

Of course, you can go too far with the low-level movement – you can begin to lapse into Chronic Cardio. When you stay above 75% of your maximum heart rate for extended periods of time, you’re burning glycogen. Your body in turn craves even more sugar to replenish the lost stores, so you polish off a heap of carbs, preferably simple and fast-acting. You can continue down this route if you wish – I did, for a couple decades – but you’ll gain weight, lose muscle, release more cortisol, and compromise any progress you might have made.

7. You still haven’t tried IF.

Results vary, but if you’ve seemingly tried everything else, intermittent fasting can be a great tool to break through a weight loss plateau. Make sure you’ve fully transitioned onto a Primal eating plan and start small. Skip breakfast and eat a late lunch. If that feels okay, skip breakfast and lunch the next time. Just take it slow and pay attention to your hunger. Eventually, try exercising in a fasted state to maximize the metabolic advantage. If all goes well, your hunger won’t necessarily disappear, but it’ll change. A successful IF tames hunger, makes it less insistent and demanding.

8. You’re eating too much.

Low-carb isn’t magic. It reins in wild hunger and tames insulin, but calories do still matter – especially once you approach your ideal weight. In fact, those last few pounds often don’t respond to the same stuff that worked so well to get you to this point. Eating nut butter by the spoonful and hunks of cheese without regard for caloric content may have gotten you this far, but you’ve got to tighten things up if things aren’t working. And that’s the real test, isn’t it? There is a metabolic advantage to eating according to the PB, but if the weight isn’t coming off, something’s up – and calories may need to come down.

9. You haven’t overcome bad habits or developed good ones.

Be brutally honest with yourself. Do you engage in bad habits? If so, identify them. Make tentative, loose plans to disengage from their clutches, and tell people close to you. Make it public, so you can’t back out without losing face. You’ve also got to develop good ones. Follow roughly similar guidelines as when kicking a bad habit – identification, planning, publication – and you’ll be on your way.

10. You haven’t purged and Primalized your pantry.

Out of sight, out of mind; out of reach, out of mouth. Keep the crappy junk food out of your pantry, if not out of your house altogether. Go down the list and toss the stuff that doesn’t apply. As for the rest of your kitchen, check out the fridge interiors and grocery lists of some other Primal folks for inspiration, and visit Thrive Market for Primal approved replacements.

11. You’ve reached a healthy homeostasis.

It may be that your body has reached its “ideal” weight – its effective, genetic set point. Reaching this level is generally painless and effortless, but it won’t necessarily correspond to your desired level of leanness. Women, especially, tend to achieve healthy homeostasis at higher body fat levels. Breaking through plateaus can be hard enough, but plateaus ordained by the body itself can be nearly impossible. It’s probably going to take some serious tinkering with carbs, calories, activity levels, sleep, and stress. If everything else is on point and accounted for, you may be looking at healthy homeostasis. Then, the question becomes: do you want to mess with a good thing?

12. You’re low on willpower.

Willpower is like a muscle. It must be used or it will atrophy. You’ve also got to provide fuel for your will – little victories to start out. Go for a walk if you can’t muster the will for the gym. Take note that willpower, or lack thereof, might actually be an indicator of your body’s needs. If you truly can’t muster up the will for the gym, it may be that your body needs to recover. When that’s the case, overtraining is a bigger danger than lack of will.

13. You’re full of excuses.

If you find yourself having mini self-contained internal arguments throughout the day (and you lose), or (even worse) lying to yourself about what you’re eating and doing, you’re probably also full of excuses. Read this, maybe twice, then follow up with this.

14. You haven’t actually gone Primal!

We get a good number of new readers on a regular basis, and not all of them take instantly to the Primal concepts. And yet they come back. They read the archives, the comments. Something draws them near, while at the same time keeping them at arm’s length. Why is that? What’s stopping them? If that describes you, what are you waiting for? Take the plunge. Go Primal for 30 days and see how you like it. I assure you; the many enthusiastic community members are here because it works.

15. You’re not getting enough sleep.

Chronic levels of sleep deprivation cause the release of cortisol, our old fat-storing friend. The biggest spike in (fat-burning, anabolic) growth hormone plasma levels occurs in deep sleep. And a recent sleep study showed that truncated sleep patterns are linked to weight gain. Get seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

16. You haven’t given it enough time.

The Primal Blueprint is a fat loss hack, undoubtedly, but it isn’t always a shortcut. Some people get instant results from dropping carbs, grains, sugar, and vegetable oils, while others have to take a month to get acclimated and only then does the weight begin to slide off. Either way, though, this is a lifestyle. You’re in it for the long run. Approach it with the right mindset and you won’t get discouraged.

17. You’re eating too much dairy.

Some people just react poorly to dairy. We see this time and time again listed in the forums; dairy just seems to cause major stalls in fat loss for a good number of folks. There are a couple speculative reasons for this. One, folks coming from a strict paleo background may not be acclimated to the more relaxed Primal stance on dairy. Reintroducing any food into the diet after a period of restriction can have unintended consequences on body composition. Two, dairy is insulinogenic, which is why it’s a popular post-workout refueling tool for athletes. Does a non-strength training PBer need to drink a few glasses of milk every day? Probably (definitely) not.

Bonus Reason: Sprinting is not part of your fitness routine.

I’ve found that many assume that they’re getting everything they need from their workouts from plenty of low level aerobic activity and a couple of strength training sessions each week. Sprinting is often overlooked, but it’s one of the Primal Blueprint Laws for a reason. Nothing shreds you up faster than sprinting. I’d ease into sprints if you’ve never done them or are extremely out of shape or overweight. That is, I recommend you have some measure of fitness aptitude before you jump into a routine. But once you’re ready do 6-8 all out sprints (with short breaks between) once a week to break a weight loss plateau when all other attempts have failed.

Am I missing any other reasons? If you’ve successfully surmounted a stall in your fat loss, what was the ultimate explanation? Let everyone know in the comment board!

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278 thoughts on “17 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight”

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  1. I’ve been sticking to my primal lifestyle for a while now but I sitll don’t have the lean Mark Sisson body that I’m trying to achieve. It’s winter here so I’m not as active, sure miss walking in the woods on a nice sunny day. Winter sucks! I’d rather be carrying two 5 gallons jugs on the beach like Mark. 🙂

  2. How about optimal hormonal levels? I see that you addressed cortisol. You could be doing things right (strength training, interval cardio, primal eating, low level activity etc), yet have a higher level of body fat and low lean mass due to the following:

    1. High estrogen levels- aromatase inhibitors like DIM (cruciferous veggies have them), trans-resveratrol (atleast 250mg a day) etc. will help
    2. Low testosterone levels- products like Tribulus can help
    3. Low growth hormone level
    4. Thyroid issues
    5. Low DHEA (magnesium lotion can help)

    You can get a comprehensive blood analysis here:

    http://www.lef.org/Vitamins-Supplements/Health-Well-Being/Health-23000-1/Blood-Tests.htm

    A blood test can help you address specific individual issues that you can then tackle and hopefully achieve the body composition you want. cheers!

    1. Another point is that for many, LOW cortisol stands in your way as well. I am now on supplemental methylprednisolone to the tune of 8 mgs a day, and am finally able to lose weight.

      Cortisol is the key that opens the door for thyroid hormones to be used-no matter how strong your thyroid, without cortisol, you can’t use it. If you have symptoms of adrenal insufficiency-google it-a canary club saliva test showing circadian levels may tell you what you need. A blood test is moderate at best-it might look great at 8 am but that’s all you get, all day. Blood tests must be done fasting, before 10 am, if you want an accurate serum cortisol level.

      It’s extraordinarily difficult to get treated for AI-that darned conventional wisdom at work there too!-but if you need it, no amount of ‘other’ stuff-antidepressants, etc-will suffice. It really is a continuum of Addison’s-AI-normal-overactive-Cushings, not the either-or of “Addison’s or Cushing’s or healthy. No in between” that so many docs believe.

      http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com has some good info on adrenals.

  3. My only comment would to not toss the bad food in your pantry, but donate it if possible. Plenty of people in need out there.

    1. Or if there is no food pantry in your area (but their probably is) leave it in the break room at work. It’ll be gone in a heartbeat.

    2. No. Bad idea. Bad food is just as bad for poor people as it is for rich and middle-class people. It is garbage, so throw it in the garbage. It’s a good thing to donate to food pantries, but they already get lots of junk. Try donating things that are actually healthy. You could save a life.

      My mother is type 2 diabetic and sometimes gets food boxes from her local pantry. Guess what’s in them. Noodles, beans, and rice. For a diabetic.

      Before you jump all over me about how ungrateful I am at the thought of being given garbage food by the food pantry, allow me to point out that what a person eats directly affects their mental health, and mental health is often a factor that keeps a person poor. If you want to solve the poverty problem, or even make it less pervasive (some argue that poverty is incurable overall, and I don’t have enough data to argue either way), start by respecting poor people as human beings just like you, with the same nutritional needs.

      1. But there is also the fact that for many people the health risk they have is true hunger/starvation. ANY food is better than no food. And to waste a source of calories by throwing them in the garbage (especially after we have wasted water and other resources to produce it!) is just horrible.

        1. I’m not seeing a lot of starving people in America, especially among low income people. I’m seeing a lot of overweight and obese low income Ameicans because they don’t have access to healthy food.

          Having said that, I don’t condone throwing out food, even crappy food. Junk food is probably better than no food at all.

        2. … moreover, much of what we would throw away is what others would BUY. By donating it, at least they get to keep their money to use on other things.

      2. I am someone who basically eats primal (Weston A. Price Foundation without the grains, natural sugars and fruit). I am also someone who volunteers at a food pantry every week. Please donate the food to a pantry (even if “bad for you”). With the cuts in social services and assistance, pantries make the difference between a meal or no meal for many families. Breakfast or no breakfast for children for many. I would rather send a child to school with a serving of Cheerios in his belly than send him hungry. Trust me, unless you are in the trenches, you cannot know. There is just not enough to go around.

      3. THANK YOU!
        I grew up poorer than dirt and one time someone gave me a box of clothes.
        Oh yes, a box of VERY well worn, faded, torn clothing a couple of years out of date. And I was suppose to smile and feel grateful.
        Yeah, I still feel guilty that I didn’t appreciate that trash all these years later but it was a valuable lesson that real charity doesn’t mean giving needy people crap you don’t want anymore.

      4. Beans are especially good for a diabetic. Beans and rice.. Another fine example. Take oral meds as directed and watch A1C numbers.

        Oh yeah, and be grateful for your food.

        1. Dana, clearly you have never truly gone hungry in your life. Yes, your mother may be a diabetic, but most people aren’t so that’s the exception, not the rule. Trust me, any food is better than NO food when you’re homeless or can’t afford to buy groceries and haven’t eaten for some time (for those who aren’t diabetic, etc.). Just because it doesn’t fit with the primal / paleo lifestyle doesn’t mean it’s horrible food that shouldn’t be eaten by anyone.

          I used to see a lot of homeless individuals when I worked in a large hospital; “bad” food from a local food pantry beats scraps out of the garbage or going hungry ANY day.

          As for diet and mental health; I’m a psychologist and I can tell you that your argument (in this context) is complete hogwash. While I agree that diet likely plays a role in mental health (to some degree), the research is limited and inconsistent. Most psychiatric disorders are not caused by diet alone or even likely mostly by diet. That’s not to say a diet high in sugar, food additives, and other toxic things won’t exacerbate certain conditions. Rather, at best, diet is only one of a multitude of factors in the vast majority of disorders. .

          Also, one or two meals or a week’s worth (from a food pantry) aren’t likely to have any significant effect on someone’s overall mental health. So, throwing food away (just because it’s not “primal” and in your opinion is “bad”) is, IMO, totally irresponsible.

          (Some of the “primal snobs” on here truly amaze me!)

        2. Just wanted to agree with the mental health professional. I have suffered from depression since high school, when I was running track and cross-country, eating very healthy, getting plenty of sleep, etc. I have tried various methods to cope over the years, but when I need them, the right antidepressant matched to me has been extremely helpful. All these other things can helpful too…but trust me, the depressed are not all depressed simply because they are not aware of or practicing some type of herbalism, yoga, exercise, nutrition, thyroid imbalance, whatever.

        3. That’s right diet is one of a multitude of factors. Heavy metals are a major contributer. Researchers, like Boyd Haley, have done impressive, solid, legitimate research, and they can’t get funded by NIH. I’m sure there are plenty of theories as to why that is the case. My depression has been alleviated by eating primal, but absolutely not cured. Not until I started addressing mercury toxicity from amalgam fillings using Andrew Cutler’s protocol have I started to experience “normal” emotional states. It’s unbelievable what I have come to accept as normal. Mercury’s half life in the body is 2 years; in the brain, it’s 20. Any healthcare practitioner worth their salt, anyone advising anybody on what to put in their body, should know about these two individuals. You can never completely heal anyone without understanding the impact that heavy metals have on the system, and how to safely remove them from the body.

      5. OOh I so agree with this person! I was criticized for throwing a gift box of chemical laden meats and cheeses into the garbage. I work at a hotel where the staff is pretty poor, but happy. I love them all dearly and would NEVER feed them what I know would hurt them deliberately.
        Instead, I would like to have this website in SPANISH so that I can deliver the message. Thank you for your insight.

      6. Dana, although this is an extremely old post, I want to thank you for your thoughtful contribution.

        I would also like to point out to AK that there is nothing snobbish about what you have said–in fact it is quite the contrary.

        Dana writes: “start by respecting poor people as human beings just like you, with the same nutritional needs.”

        Where is the snobbery in that statement?

        AK, your post is judgemental, unkind, and arrogant. Moreover, you most certainly are NOT the arbiter of whether her argument is “hogwash” or not. The issue of how nutrition, class, and personal effectiveness interrelate is a large issue, worthy of debate, and your shrink’s credential doesn’t qualify you to make a sweeping statement that settles the issue once and for all.

        I don’t believe Dana was saying that bad food causes diagnosible mental disorders. She was obviously referring to mental health in a general way.

        If you eat better, you’ll feel better and perform better in life, it’s as simple as that.

        You clearly misunderstood what she was getting at, you advanced degree-holder, you.

        1. I agree.
          Ak’s post is scientifically correct and appeared as “know it all”.
          Having credentials in Psychology doesn’t make a person an expert in Neuroscience nor does the teaching provided in Psychology degrees sufficient

        2. I agree.
          Ak’s post is scientifically incorrect and appeared as “know it all”.
          Having credentials in Psychology doesn’t make a person an expert in Neuroscience nor does the teaching provided in Psychology degrees sufficiently cover the latest research regarding etiology of Psychiatric illnesses.
          While not all mental illness symptoms are caused by nutritional factors,case studies and research shows that SOME individuals psychosis or cognitive loss is caused by vitamin b12 deficiency.
          Some people with Schizophrenia and Dementias are found to have high levels of homocysteine,oxidative stress markers,abnormalities in amino acid levels,mitochondrial abnormalities etc…..
          Additionally,people with inborn errors of metabolism often have psychiatric/behavioural disturbances due to a build up of Ammonia, lactic acid etc and need modified diets.

          http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/v18/n1/full/mp2011131a.html

      7. Valid point, low income people get all junk food. This is true especially in homeless shelters. No food is better than junk food. (Nobody is starving, even at a shelter) Atleast not in America. A lot of low income already have health issues from living on food stamps and no health insurance, unless your a baby making machine than you get Medicaid. Medicaid is horrible.

  4. Now my reading list is up to 81:
    — The 64 Food Rules from Michael Pollan. I recently bought the book but haven’t read it yet.
    –And now your 17 Reasons. I’ve got to spend some time thinking about these.

    I’ve now got a lot of good ideas to “chew” on.

    As always, your blog is loaded with great ideas.

  5. Hey Mark,

    Why not include some high-intensity workouts a la CrossFit? I know that it causes you to use glycogen stores, but the resulting benefits (greater anaerobic and aerobic conditioning) and neuroendocrine response must be in line with the PB. Somewhat akin to sprinting to spear an unsuspecting ruminant.

  6. I am convinced that if you have ever gotten extremely obese (50% or more bodyweight is fat), you have permanently changed (or maybe ‘damaged’ is a better word) your metabolism.

    Although I have been able to lose over 100 lbs with very little effort, I am still obese, and that last 60 lbs is really tough. Even on a restricted version of Dr Eades 6-week cure, after an initial 10 lb loss, I have stalled for 3 months.

    Fortunately, I am not tempted to go off the low-carb diet, and that has nothing to do with ‘willpower’ (whatever that is); it has to do with not having arthritis anymore, and not being hungry all the damned time.

    About the only things on the list I can see that I need to improve are exercise and sleep. For those, I need a couple of extra hours in the day, though.

      1. sounds like you’ve got some stress also if you can’t spare an extra hour a day. My wife and I no longer watch television. That freed up an amazing amount of time and we don’t miss it AT ALL.

        1. TV is not the problem. I haven’t watched commercial TV in about 3 years. I (about 3 or 4 times a year) use the TV to watch DVDs, but that’s the only time I even turn it on.

          Life is too short for TV watching. And I noticed when I stopped watching, I started sleeping better, my overall mood improved, and my blood pressure went down.

          My time is taken up with my ‘day’ job, my violin teaching (and I’m taking piano lessons myself), and my CHL classes (and I *really* need to get more active with my own blog postings). Oh, and my active participation in my Lions Club. I’m also a founding member of FoFD (http://fellowshipoffreethought.org/), which is just getting up and running with our first gathering in February.

          Yes, maybe I need to do fewer things. I’ve already cut back on the number of violin students (that was under duress, and by insistence of my wife), and I’ve limited my CHL classes to one per month. Plus, starting about 18 months ago, I got a (day) job with a much shorter commute.

    1. First of all, welcome to the century club! You’ve accomplished a helluva lot already.

      You & I are in very similar circumstances. I’ve lost 113 lbs & want to lose another 60 or so. So far, I’ve avoided an extended stall. Anytime the scale slows down, I’ve done a few things:

      1. IF! It’s a great stall-breaker.
      2. *Or* I EAT MORE – that’s right, feast it up for a day or two – not on junk, mind you, but get plenty of calories – it can help get your metabolism rolling.
      3. Add volume to the low-intensity portion of your workouts – more walks, longer walks, whatever works in your schedule.
      4. *Or* remember to have a rest day or two, perhaps in conjunction with the feast cycle. Again, this can help you recover if you’re trying too hard & perhaps getting a cortisol overload.

      Hope this helps.

      1. Chris and TX, How long did it take you to shed 100 lbs? Great work!

        1. It took just over a year for me. I lost the first 50 lbs quite rapidly, then tapered off. Kept it off for about 3 years, then started slowly gaining, then I took off the 20 lbs I’d gained back, kept it off for a year or so, then started slowly gaining. I’ve just now taken that 20 lbs off again (Dr Eades 6wc), and trying for the next 60.

        2. Terrence:

          Took me just over 7 months. When you’re a big guy, you can lose it pretty fast. But now I’m going at about 2 lbs a week or so, which is not a complaint.

  7. totally agree with the crossfit wod’s. I have been doing them for 2 years now and went full paleo after the Robb Wolff nutrition cert( well sometimes I cheat but pretty much on board.) Have noticed many gains with strength and feeling awesome. Just Pr’d my deadlift today at 190. last time I was at 170 about 6 months ago. I had no intention of losing weight but the weight, body fat dropped and turned to muscle making me way slimmer hence dropping size and some weight. I am 41 and have 3 boys and am in the best shape of my life, never having been very athletic before. Also willing to try new things. working on some ring work, goal is a muscle up!
    :0)

    1. Yay Mary Lou.
      I’m 45, been CF’ing for abou 18mos and of course finding my way to Primal through Zone. I have 5 kids, and find my 215 deadlift, 80lb strict press, etc. particularly useful with the heavy sleeping teenagers!

      I’m dialing back in on the diet and it is killing my metcons, but my strength WOD’s are PR’s lately.

      Keep up the excellent work… Your boys will be proud of their strong mama… their girlfriends will rightfully fear you!

  8. This may be different in the Primal world, but I know many times me or my clients would stall losing weight simply because they weren’t eating ENOUGH FOOD. They would inadvertently try to accelerate their weight loss by eating too few portions for a long period of time and their body would go into starvation mode. It’s a balance between portion size and fasting, but if you fast too much, etc., then you’re in for some frustrations.

    This is not only a great post, but a great title that will surely bring others outside of MDA to the site. Smart social media, Mark!

    1. I completely agree with needing to eat ENOUGH. I’ve repeatedly found when I inadvertantly eat less than my BMR requires, my body immediately reverts to faminine mode, reduced metabolic rate, and weight plateaus or even goes up! A result of decades of cronic dieting. I’m even careful of doing IF too often. I have found PB is the best, most sustainable lifestyle though…have so much more energy, less stress and a sense of well-being.

      1. this is what I’m worried about… I’m actually not hungry and I’m having a hard time eating enough… I just put my meals for today into sparkpeople and it only came to 1008 calories (26g carbs/71 fat/46 protein… although that might be more like 66 protein… the tracker and the nutritional info on the bag don’t jive)! I know that isn’t enough and I’m not trying to cut back at all… food just isn’t that interesting right now. I’m not even craving anything. I have about 100lbs to lose. I probably ate more yesterday but not more than 500 calories more, so I know that this is an issue I need to address.

        1. ha! on the bag meaning the bag of frozen fish…

          I’m also not eating any fruit right now.

        2. I’m in the 100lbs+ to lose camp, too. Around 1000 calories can be a little low, but I find that as long as I get enough protein and keep the carbs very, very, low, I can get away with about 1400 a day as a hard minimum (that’s my starvation level). I’m assuming that as long as I’m going down in volume, many calories are actually coming from stored fat, and it’s why I’m not hungry.

          For what it’s worth, I seem to need about 3000-3500 calories a day to maintain my weight on standard lower-carb (70-100g/day) eating plan, so my “dropping fat like Niagara Falls flows” level might be a tad bit higher than average.

          Good luck to you.

  9. #4 is very overlooked. People desperately want to lose weight, but they don’t realise it’s a good thing to gain weight if you’re gaining muscle mass.

    1. Yep. Focus more on losing fat, not losing weight per se.

      Of course, in my case I’m a tad over 100 pounds overweight so I know that’s pretty much fat. Which is one reason my target weight’s 140 (I’m 5’6″) rather than my high school weight because I didn’t have enough muscle mass back then. (I’m not particular about that target, it could be 145 and I’d be ecstatic, I just want a goal to aim at.)

  10. This is a great post, and just what I’ve been needing. I’m still pretty new to all this, so I’ve got my work cut out for me! Thanks for the info.

  11. For me, it’s #14, but I am moving in that primal direction. I started the transition from horrible, carb-laden eating to a more primal diet last week. And it is a transition. Have really cut down on the carbs and grains, but I’m not eating enough of the kinds of vegetables and fruit I should. That will come, however.

    I am eating less often (was trying to do the 6 meals a day thing and couldn’t keep up) with more fat but probably too many almonds! I am finding I am less hungry and feel less bloated.

    And this past week I lost 4 lbs!

  12. going primal – getting the family to tag along is making it difficult. it is getting better every day though!

    1. As my wife is seeing how I’m loosing weight and feeling better, she is becoming a lot more willing. She just got on the scale this A.M. and was excited that she’s lost seven pounds since last week. I think as she sees even more resuts it’ll become easier.

      A buddy of mine has a wife with a REALLY effecient metabolism and it’s she has very slack commitment just becuase it really doesn’t affect her looks to much.

  13. This post couldn’t be more timely. I was just thinking about what might be keeping me from shedding the last inch or two off my waistline before I actually look as fit as I feel.

  14. It’s a strange thing (or not) that certain foods also have psychological associations for people. “Comfort eating” can come from the (reassuringly?) familiar sugar spike of eating sugar/carbs but also be brought about through conditioned learning that “this is what I eat when I’m feeling down.” I recall one woman telling me that her “sad food” was always a plate full of chocolate biscuits (cookies)

    1. Hm. But there are ways to make cookies that aren’t so bad for you. Someone out in the foodie-blogosphere just published a book with lots of almond-flour-based recipes, for instance.

      One time my household worked out a way to make homemade Lara bars with dates and nuts. No added sugar. Delish. I wouldn’t recommend them to someone who really needs to carb-restrict (I won’t touch ’em with a ten-foot pole for a while, if ever, now), but they’re the better of two evils for someone who hasn’t shaken the comfort-food “need.”

  15. for my five penneth i think often when folks adopt a paleo-ish way of eating/lifestyle they still go at it too linearly..fars too linearly.
    Various anthros have loked at existing evidence to suggest how many cal deficit days would be had per week etc but still its kinda missing the point to some degree.
    If one lops out grains and all the other sheeite, walks oodles and hits some type of resistance training fairly regularly (i’m presently doing daily but tabata-ish sets of basically doing an ‘ive lost motor function type dance but with weights in my hands’) as well as Vit D if ones not getting sun, a really good Qualite huile de poissons, maybe a tadge of eeeeodine and a tadge of magnesium,oh yes and a light box as well if not getting reg sunny one should lose weight very nicely and very obviously.
    And if you’re hungry and one doesnt wanna bonk out by eating protein during le day eat a few pounds of broccoli or as much you can stuff down yr gullet with a bit o fat on it..and some Alfred Vogel a scattered and i will wager you will eat far less at dins have that cal deficit and accordingly lose a goodly amount of fat and might even get to look all stud-muffinly Sissonesque
    if thats what you incline to.
    For me its all about quality of mind.

  16. I definitely struggle with getting enough sleep. My cavebabies never sleep through the night… and now the Cavewife wants another. Hooray.

    1. 300-500mg of magnesium citrate taken and hour before bed will help with better sleep.

      1. Sleep is my issue too. Years on Lunesta and can’t seem to sleep well even with the aid. I take magnesium before bed, do yoga, keep the house dim and cool AND have white noise. Any advice? I want to get off the sleeping aids and have REAL recovery sleep.

        My cortisol IS high right now, but I’m working on that as we speak.

        1. Try tart cherry concentrate there are several organic brands and it helps a lot of people with sleep and inflammation issues. most people only 1Tbs. before bed.

    2. I co-sleep with mine. I still get awakened at night but not *as* awake because I don’t have to lie there listening ’til I’m sure I heard her, go into her bedroom to find out what’s wrong, go into some other room for whatever thing she’s asking for (usually a drink of water), then go back to bed and hope to get sleepy again.

      People make that a lot harder than it has to be.

      Also… make sure your bedroom’s dark enough. Too much light screws your melatonin production and your sleep quality. I’m still working on that one.

  17. I love this list! Awesome! I think for me that limiting dairy, maximizing sleep, tying IF, and remembering to do my sprinting are the things to focus on.

    1. m, that’s not a study; it’s an opinion piece. Headline is very misleading. I went to one of the journals they cited and looked up the guy quoted in this article…the only study I found was one he did which SUPPORTED the use of antioxidants. If you send me a link to an actual study, I can maybe comment.

  18. Another home run post Mark! Heck, anyone who uses the word “flagons” in a sentence has my attention. I think I’ve come up to a bodyfat “setpoint” (#11) in my recomposition quest. I think the answer is more sprinting and heavier lifts.

    1. Was it the flagon with the dragon or the chalice with the palace? 🙂

  19. I’m not sure about #12 … the idea that willpower is a muscle that can be developed. I think it’s more like a fixed supply commodity that is used up during the day, and replenished by sleep.

    One of the reasons for the success of the paleo diet/lifestyle is that is requires *less* willpower. If you break your addiction to sugar, you’re not craving carbs all day. If you eat enough fat, you don’t battle hunger pangs. Short sprints require less willpower than long grueling runs, and so forth …

    1. I agree completely with the will power model presented that says it is a matter of sugar addiction, not so much will power that will harm you. Now that I am off carbs, I no longer feel the need to binge on endless carbs and the weight is dropping. This is the only food plan that I can succeed on while not being grouchy, moody or feeling like I need to cheat. It has been slow, but steady, but at almost 60 and being female, that is to be expected. I find that eating cooked veges is a more rewarding satiety than raw, a good mix is asparagus, green beans, peas, broccoli, cauliflower with a bit of sauteed fennel thrown in for flavor. I try and eat a bowl full 3 times a day, I prefer frozen over fresh, less work, less spoilage, and consistent quality.

  20. 18. You cheat WAY more than you realize. Instead of the 80/20 rule, you have managed a 60/40! 😉

    My real world experience so far, starting out pretty fat around 26% bodyfat is this. Simply going primal will start knocking weight off at a pound or more a week! Then I stalled and had to cut out cheese. Then I stalled again and had to cut out nuts (or at least move them to the every-once-in-a-while status). Primal minus nuts and cheese got me down to about 12% bodyfat where I am now. Where I have been for 3 months! 12% bf is very healthy; I could change nothing and stay here. But I’d like to go a little lower. At this point it’s just sheer calories. So I can torture myself day-to-day and try to eat less every day. OR…. I can do intermittent fasting. Which is what I’ve started to do. Wish I could tell you how it’s going but it’s too soon to tell. If you aren’t losing weight, all the reasons are underpinned by – too many calories. As long as I don’t OVER eat on non-fasting days, I don’t see how it can’t work.

    1. THAT is what I want. I have not measured body fat, but I know I was somewhere around the 26% range. 6’1″ 285 lbs jan 2011, june 2011 185 lbs. 100 lbs lost in 6 months with no real plan, just calorie deficit, and eating healthy foods, with lots of cardio, minimal weight training, maybe 2 times per week with cardio 4-5 times per week.

      Now I am 200 lbs. I maintained that 185-190 range for probably 3 months, and I strayed from eating right consistently. Started eating like crap more often. Spiked at 215 lbs about a month ago. about 2 weeks ago started eating very strict with a goal of keeping it very strict with no cheating for 2 solid months. So far I have lost 15 lbs in a week and a half. Again, not sure on body fat. Goal is to weigh 170-175 lbs with less than 10 percent fat. I am most likely in the 15 to 17 percent range right now. I am hoping to be lower 190s maybe upper 180s by feb 1.

      1. Ryan I am in the same boat you are. Started at 285. Got down to 207 in a year or so. Now spiked to 215 in just 2 weeks. What were you eating to drop the 15 pounds so quick. Also are you restricting to low calories? Any help would be great. Thanks

  21. Can’t think of anything you left off. Great article, Mark. I think the more principles like these are stressed the more empowered other people become to take advantage of their health and their lives.

  22. i have to second what jeff p mentioned. i have been really strict in my eating (doing a 30 challenge for myself) cut all dairy and alcohol out (and grains have been out for a while)… but i wasn’t eating enough. i spoke to a few of my trainers at my crossfit, and they told me to eat more…

    the last 4 days i upped my intake (all quality food)… I have now dropped 5lbs…

    As much as i think IF is a great tool, i think for some of us it hinders our process more then helps…

    1. Increasing calories by 1000 above regular consumption or so for a couple of days followed by a day or two of lower calories can help build muscle and boost metabolism. Wild animals follow a non-linear eating pattern. Nature does not go by average.
      Eating same amount of meals, same amount of calories everyday is not the best strategy.

  23. I thought your comments on number #1 was interesting. Panu blog recently had an article where he compared low carb substitutes to having candy cigarettes. I am going to try not to have my low-carb versions but I still struggle without them.

  24. Great post once again. I finally realized this week that small amounts of sugar were holding me back. I cheated far more than I liked to admit. So, I went cold turkey on Sunday. Day three of no sugar, unless it is in fruit form in small amounts. I am already noticing a difference. Now, if I can just keep my husband from snoring at night!

    1. Check out Worlds Finest Earplug @ Amazon. They have made it possible for us to sleep together again. (hubbie is KORG sugar/carb lover)

  25. I love #7 Intermittent Fasting! Fasted today for the second time, first on a day I trained. I was a little hungry before midday workout but had increased strength and in-road. Most amazing thing is I didn’t feel like overeating at dinner. Is 2x/week fasting til dinner something that could be done for short periods (3-5 wks) or can it be done as a regular routine?

  26. I left out dairy as part of a challenge, and lost 12 lbs since 4th Jan.that includes also p.shakes that didnt really felt good on me, tried many types!

    Great post and good reminder. I love the links you put for more detailed information.

    1. been low carbing for years, just recently cut out dairy and lost 40 pounds! used to do protein shakes but now switched to a protein powder called carnivor. which is basically a beef protein isolate.

      1. Dairy is a problem for me, but dammit, I LOVE yogurt. My wife drains it to make it “Greek” style, which lowers the CHO content, but it’s still a problem for reasons I don’t fully understand.

        Interesting how the Carnivor sales copy trumpets the “no cholesterol, no fat” mantra. Which basically means they are following the CW superstition.

        And the use of the word “Bioengineered” to describe it sent shudders up my spine. Color me skeptical concerning anybody’s ability to improve on natural beef.

        But, it’s an idea worth trying: I might try adding some sous vide pork or beef to my shakes to see how they taste (I would probably need to do up a batch with no added seasoning). One of the neat things about sous vide is that low-temp, long-duration cooking tenderizes the toughest cuts of meat without destroying as much of the nutrition as other cooking methods. Three days at 137*F will reduce some cuts of meat to mush, which might be suitable for a protein shake. And if I make my own, I don’t have to worry about replacing the healthy saturated fats and cholesterol that are “bioengineered” out of Carnivor.

        (*) According to the food safety guides I have seen, 137F for several hours is sufficient to kill all of the bad microorganisms in pork, except for botulinus spores (which appear to be able to survive anything short of incineration), so you should add a little vinegar to your sous vide pouch (or do a vinegar “wash”), and be sure to immediately eat anything you cook sous vide. Leftovers should not be kept for more than a few days, and you need to handle them properly to prevent botulinus spores from ‘hatching’ and multiplying.

        Trichinosis, BTW, appears to be a non-problem with commercial pork in the US (and is eliminated at 137F after a few hours). All of the recent cases in the US have been traced to wild game, mostly bear meat that was improperly handled or cooked.

  27. I am one of those peeps that Mark refers to when he says that I keep coming back but have not gone fully PB yet. There is a reson for this, it would be that I am, wiat for it, a vegan. I know this will cause all the meat eaters to roll their eyes and walk away but I am one for a variety of reasons but it is mostly an ethical and taste choice. I happen to wholeheartedly agree with Mark’s PB as it does advocate getting your meat from good, organic sources [ie places where the animals are more likely to be treated ethically] but I know I’ll NEVER eat red meat, chicken or diary again. I have however taken on the advice of cutting the crap, lowering the sugar and upping my protein [soy protein powder shakes and more nuts etc] and I’m amazed at how well I feel, how I never have hunger pangs anymore and the bloated belly has practically gone. Thanks Mark, I expect vegans aint high on your list of folks to help but you certainly have changed my outlook to food and exercise [which in turn is helping my weight loss, 26lbs lost 49lbs to go] so thanks a million!

    1. Mike Mahler is a vegan strength coach who maintains great health being a vegan. You can check out his website for info on good non-animal protein supplements, food etc.

  28. Good tips on the stress and lack of intense workouts. Sprinting and lifting heavy weights consistently can really make you leaner. Muscles are your metabolism, as the saying goes. No 17 seems incomplete, however. I’m lacto-paleo and it works for me. Dairy is not a commodity. Whole, raw, grass fed milk (not to mention butter and cream) have about as much in common with conventional store bought skim milk as a pot roast does with a corn muffin. Why do you lump it all together?

    1. That’s where I want to get. Lacto-paleo, particularly fermented grass-fed milk. Good source of the useful form of vitamin K and saturated fat. I can’t get raw milk yet but I have already noticed an extreme taste difference just in switching to GF. It’s not homogenized, but having to shake the carton’s a small price to pay.

  29. Not sure if its been mentioned but my tip is to be strictest most when you’re at the supermarket. Its easier not to buy stuff thought of as treats, than it is to not eat them when they’re in your cupboard! I bought a massive bag of dried dates the other day and I’ve just been munching on them non stop! (practice what I preach; not what I do!)

    1. With regard to buying “treats”…. I absolutely agree it is easier not to buy it than not to eat it once it is in the pantry.

      Whenever I want a “treat” (aka brownies) I ask myself “why is it a treat to put crap in your body?” If that doesn’t do it, then I ask myself “How many burpees will you have to do to burn that off?” That usually works since I’d rather do anything than burpees.

      And every once in a while I just eat the damn brownie! Sometimes if you’re really fiending for something you wind up eating more of everything else just to get the feeling you were looking for from the thing you are denying yourself. Eat it, forgive yourself and move on!

  30. besides the obvious on not buying crap that isnt real food(why would you sabotage yourself anyways??), overexercising, undersleeping, stressed adrenals all lead to a lower metabolism and high cortisol. it isnt as much the caloires or the carbs as it is creating a health metabolic atmosphere. undereating is not going to help the situation and neither is more exercise. A LOT of metabolic health is mental…it’s all in the head

  31. What about birth control? I’ve heard rumors that it inhibits weightloss in women. Is that true? If so, is there a way around it?

    1. Abby, contrary to what main stream medicine tells you, birth control pills are not very good for you. It has shown to decrease libido in women. All that extra estrogen (estradiol) is not doing your body much good. 90% of all cancers are estrogen driven. It can also cause zinc and other mineral deficiencies.

      1. Yeah, I know it’s not great for you but it’s necessary. I have endometriosis, so I have to take BC continuously.

    2. It made me *gain* weight both times I got on it. I’ll never use it again. And I have weird period problems.

      Look at your vitamin A intake. Not beta carotene, real A. When I started supplementing A from fish liver oil, my really heavy periods subsided and so did the cramping. (And we’re talking so heavy I didn’t dare leave the house the first day or two of my cycle. Bad, bad juju, and I had no health insurance or extra money to go get it checked.)

  32. Oops, I meant to add that I’ve heard it inhibits the loss of those last 10 pounds.

    1. Hey Abby,
      Birth control raises insulin (which locks FAT INTO FAT CELLS). I don’t think everyone is affected but a great majority of women are (and in the clinical trials). I lost a lot of weight despite birth control AND being hypothyroid… but it took A LOT OF WORK. I’d second Kishore. It also causes Vitamin B12 deficiency which can lead to anemia. Raises SHBG — a protein in the blood which binds up estrogen and testosterone — vital hormones for fat mobilization and muscle growth!

      -grace

      1. Hey Grace,
        Thanks for your response. What is SHBG? Is there anything you did in particular for fat loss? I eat extremely well (primal/paleo) and workout a lot. I’m by no means fat but I’m not seeing that last 10lbs move at all. I’ve been tickering with my diet to see if any thing works but there’s not much else I can do diet wise that I’m not already doing. I take continuous BC and was thinking maybe this is the reason for my stubborn last 10 lbs.

        Thanks for your help!

        1. Abby!

          Of course… A-L-L of Mark’s 17 reasons can be the prompt for more fat loss. I’ve had all plateaus secondary to the 17 reasons (and then 10 more *haa!!!*). He forgot one — eating your kids’ leftovers out of HABIT. Stopped doing THAT and sent it to the circular collection!

          SHBG = sex-hormone binding globulin.

          The low-mod intensity exercise 3-5 hours per week is KEY imho. To get the fat cells trained to release readily and frequently, I think this is vital for anyone with insulin resistance (birth control can cause this too — as can decades’ worth of grain, veggie oil and high-fructose-corn syrup ingestion).

          In fact, 4-6 hrs might be more helpful… + HIIT + weight lifting (slow or xfit-styel). Anyway. My 3 cents’ worth (inflation)!

          UR doing GREAT~!
          grace

  33. C’mon Mark! It’s time to review GCBC. The reason why nuts and cheese are problematic is because of their high CARB content, NOT calories. Still don’t matter!!!

    1. Louis D. – First, I’m not thrilled about being scolded on my own site. Second, I disagree with your assertion that carbs are what’s problematic about cheese and nuts. The relative amount of carbs in nuts and cheese is quite low. In 300 calories of macadamias that I have as a snack on occasion there are only 4 grams of carbs. Unless you’re a zero carber (and PBers aren’t) that isn’t high.

      1. I’m disappointed that you’re so sensitive to criticism–though I would consider this more accurately described as disagreement. I don’t believe the comment was disrespectful, but you can rest assured that I won’t comment here again.

        1. Louis,

          If you still disagree that carbs are a problem in nuts and cheese then you probably shouldn’t be posting about nutrition here or anywhere else.

        2. Louise – I must agree with Kevin and Mark on this one. PB is not zero carb, more like 50-150g carbs…but it is deliciously easy to overdose on the calories eating nuts. I once ate an entire can of cashews (not the greatest nut to eat, surely). I don’t even want to know how many calories that was…probably a day’s worth. Also your comment was a bit “eh” respect wise, imo.

        3. Hannah: Cashews are not actually nuts. Botanically, they are seeds. They must be processed to render non-toxic (they have a caustic oil which is removed by heating), which makes them non-paleo. They are fairly high-carb, about 30% by weight.

        4. As Hannah does, i also agree with Mark and Kevin. Mark KNOWS exactly what he’s talking about, he is an expert on nutriton!
          Louise, i totally disagree with you!
          I do agree with everything in Mark’s Book “Primal Blueprint!”

        5. It was more your tone. Even if you’re not typing in all caps, if you use a few all-cappy words and then follow it up with a bunch of exclamation points it still comes across as shouting.

          That said, it makes no sense that it’s not calories that make people fat, yet, if you get your weight low enough, all of a sudden it’s the calories. I don’t know about carb content driving the problem with nuts and cheese, but *something* is going on, and it may be something hormonal rather than being a strictly energy issue.

          If someone out there is having problems with nuts and cheese, try looking at your nut and cheese intake and substituting it for a week or two with the equivalent amount, calorie-wise, of meat. See what happens. If you lose weight again, it’s not the calories.

          Another person here commented that we should all listen to Mark because he’s a “nutrition expert.” You know, the CW folks telling us all to starve ourselves on grain-based low-fat diets are “nutrition experts” too. Mark himself says in his About Me that he doesn’t know everything. Let’s look at the information presented, please, and not fall prey to cult of personality. The latter helps no one.

      2. Hello Mark, I have truely loved your book from the day i recieved it in the mail. in the PB you discuss Intermittent Fasting. several years ago I did very well (12 pounds of fat and BF% from 22 to 14) in 8 weeks with no exercise using a popular diet book called the “warrior diet” by Ori Hoffmekler. I wish to get your take/ thoughts on his book and type of diet and if it would lend itself to the active lifestyle i lead as a Soldier in the US Army. Thanks for any and all future assistance.

        1. Nicholas, the warrior diet is probably fine, but my take on it is that it’s pretty regimented as to when you eat. I’m not into regimentation. I eat when I’m hungry or have the time and don’t eat when I’m not. As long as you eat primal foods, though, the warrior diet timing probably can’t hurt. Maybe the not eating during the day works out well for you in your current profession. And to that end, thanks for all you are doing as a soldier, Nicholas.

  34. Mark or anyone in the know- If I am already having a problem getting in calories(supposed to get about 2000 and usually top out at 1500) would intermittent fasting send me into starvation mode or does that not apply to PB? I had gastric bypass(wish I had found this way of living in 2001) and I have a hard time getting in all of the food, especially lean meats and veggies which are very filling. I am allergic to nuts except hazelnuts so I have a hard time getting the calories in small foods. I have added oils which has really helped. Any other suggestions and a response to the starvation mode thing would be great. I am at 344 (down from 535 in 2001) and the last 46 have been due to PB since I had stalled for years until I found PB(Thank you Thank you!).
    Thanks!
    Amy

    1. Hey Amy, you would want to make sure that you are getting enough quality calories. Since solid food is harder for you in large amounts, I would recommend a good quality whey protein added with some additional fiber to keep your protein levels high. Also, Mark’s Damage Control formula will make sure you are covering all bases. A decent amount of organic butter, cream etc. will get you some extra calories without having to ingest too many carbs.

  35. I know this is going to sound kooky, but it wasn’t until I combined some of the Gabriel Method with eating primal that I really began to see change. I think my mental roadblocks were holding me back and doing the visualizations and affirmations seem to be helping (and really, I’m as surprised as anyone. I don’t usually go in for that kind of thing).

    Also, supplements have helped me (especially fish oil) and making sure that I’m eating enough.

    1. ABSOLUTELY! Those mental roadblocks can keep you from doing what works. I hear ya’ on how it can sound “kooky” but it’s so true, if you don’t BELIEVE you can get to a certain weight or leanness, it won’t happen. You’ll keep sabotaging yourself without realizing it. Step one is you have to believe you can do it, visualize your new skinny self. It’s the primal diet that gets you there, but you’ll subconsciously cheat and veer from the path to success if you don’t BELIEVE first.

  36. I don’t really agree with trying IF…unless you have all the basics nailed down. Like a good Paleo diet, a regular Primal type exercise routine, and you are getting the proper amount of rest. To try IF with out having the basics down, in my opinion will make things worse.

  37. I’ve been 100% primal (probably 90% paleo) for 4-6 months now and the fat loss hasn’t happened. I’m getting the results of my cortisol test today so hopefully that is the cause.

    1. Because telling fat people to stop eating has *totally worked* for the past forty years–or throughout human history, really.

  38. As I read down the list I can see that I have done pretty good on some reasons and failed on others. Time to make a course correction.

  39. PB goes a long way to correct the nutritional deficiencies that result in excess adipose tissue and fluid retention. Although eating primal addresses insulin resistance (less carb dependency) and to some extent adrenal resistance (less stress), it still needs to address leptin resistant (hormone released from adipose tissue that communicates with the brain) and any individual subconsious issues which make being overweight “safer” than not.

  40. Sure enough I just found out that I have high cortisol as well as a completely flipped cortisol profile. Low in the morning and high at night. No wonder I have problems sleeping.

    1. Magnesium can help you relax and induce better sleep. It’s probably one of the most under-rated minerals.More than 60% of Americans are deficient in it.

  41. I love intermittent fasting, but I also found that eating lean for a couple days, followed by a day of eating a normal, or almost above normal, amount of calories really jump starts my metabolism.

    1. If you ramp up your calories really high for a couple of days and then back off a bit in the next couple of days, you will actually burn more calories from increased metabolism. Of course, the extra calories should be high quality and not ding dongs with mountain dew!

  42. Green tea. Green tea really does add that additional metabolic rev without causing tension or nervousness. Plus, no acid stomach like coffee might create. It’s the l-theanine in tea that creates such a sweet balance with the caffeine. I take a capsule a day and 2-3 cups sipped throughout. I also drink white tea.

  43. Thyroid problems and a big problem for a lot of women that cannot loose weight. Optimizing thyroid hormone levels through a full panel of blood tests, TSH, T3, T4, free T3 and free T4 if you just seem to not be able to loose weight or are just feeling wiped out all the time.

    I have found eating kelp (miso soup, seaweed salad, sushi or just pills) in addition to hormone suppleamentation helped me loose the 10 lbs I could just not loose no matter what.

  44. I find it amazing how people can be overweight. I find it difficult to gain wait. I guessing being young with an extremely high metabolism helps.

    Working out intensely like I do probably has something to do with it too… but, exercise is sooo much fun!!! Who does not love to exercise? Anyone?

    1. I really “enjoy” exercise, i find that a good work out actually helps me get a good nights rest, it goes hand in hand!!

    2. I was normal weight in my teens and early twenties. Hated exercise. Ate anything I wanted. Could not gain more than five pounds and that was in wintertime. I suspect it was differences in light exposure.

      It’s definitely hormone-driven for most, if not all, people with weight issues. High insulin seems to be the most common culprit but it has all sorts of causes.

      My worst weight gain came in response to reproductive hormone level changes–being on the Pill or having a baby. If one hormone’s out of whack it will affect others.

      People think this is about stuffing your face all day. My hypothesis is that fat people eat a lot because they’re fat, not the other way around. If your insulin is high then you can’t release your stored fatty acids between meals and burn them for energy.

      Because, as it turns out, everyone–even thin people–stores their energy-bearing foods as fat *before* burning them for energy. This was documented in the first half of the twentieth century using a heavy form of hydrogen called deuterium. In slender people, the fatty acids are released from adipose tissue between meals for between-meal energy needs. In fat people, insulin is almost always chronically elevated, which prevents fatty acid release. Hunger then becomes a symptom of energy deprivation and the fat person eats again to meet energy needs.

      Weird, huh? I see this discussed nowhere in the mainstream “diet” literature, yet Gary Taubes includes it in his book. There’d be a lot less fat-bashing in our culture and a lot more real help for obesity if people just knew this one thing about human metabolism.

  45. What timing! This my first comment although I have been reading for a while. I have been eating paleo/primal for the last 3 months and have not lost a single pound. In fact I just recovered from a 5# gain which I attribute to copious amounts of peanut butter which I have cut (enjoyed the reference). I have recently started the “stubborn fat protocol” cardio perscribed by Rusty at fitnessblackbook.com which I do after a weight training session for about 20-30 minutes. I now always include sprints with my cardio and I think I am heading in the right direction. Usually 1/1 mintue sprint/walk for 10 then 10 of steady state cardio which is only 20 min and a great post-lift cardio. My next endevor will be the IF. I think it may do the trick.

    My advice to those on the fence…FREE YOURSELF from the grains. I not only don’t miss them, I don’t even see their relevance anymore. Eat real food. It tastes good!

    GROK ON! Thanks a million, MArk!

  46. I see a lot of people these days, me included, under a ton of stress. No way fat will leave the body under these conditions.

  47. I am so glad I found your site. I have thyroid issues and struggle so much with my weight right now…not obese, but just not where I want to be. I am noticing some weight loss bc of primal eating…but are there foods I should add or avoid for my condition??? Do you recommend taking natural thyroid supplements instead of synthroid? Just wondering if there is a more natural way to go or if I have to be on this medication the rest of my life. Thanks.

    1. There’s a thyroid medication called Armour which is pork-thyroid-based. I think even people who keep kosher and halal are allowed to take it by their respective religious authorities since it addresses an important health issue. Not every doctor prescribes it, but maybe yours would.

      Also, be very careful with soy and cruciferous veggies. I would avoid the former as much as possible. The latter are less damaging to the thyroid if you cook them first. (Not steaming–real cooking, long enough to kill the goitrogenic compounds.)

  48. I posted this elsewhere in the forum but I’m desperate. I am following all 17 rules (including sleeping by 10:30 – and until I wake up). Totally clean diet, but I cannot do sprints (instead I do HIIT on treadmill or bike or elliptical). Other than that I think I’m totally clean. (see below – and please help!)

    The doctors think I’m a liar…

    I have happened along this site whilst trying not to just give up. I take 150 mgs of eltroxin a day (like synthroid). My ‘numbers’ are supposedly fine and I feel fine. However, I cannot lose weight?

    I exercise at least 1 hour a day 5 times a week (20 mins of HIIT, plus weight lifting (to where I’m breathing hard), plus some stretching (yoga, pilates, etc). I sometimes space this out over the day so I don’t do it all at once.

    I eat VLC and do IF 2 or 3 times a week (from dinner one night to dinner the next). I weigh and measure all my food and eat approximately 1200 calories a day (average). While eating VLC I cannot manage to eat more – it makes me gag. If I eat junk foods I can easily eat more. No dairy (Except butter), no nuts, no alcohol, no caffeine, lots of good fats plus some supplements.

    If you do the equation (Weight loss = Calories in minus calories out) then I should be super thin. Instead I am over 40 kgs overweight (90 pounds). I notice with higher periods of exercise that I can get thinner by tape measure but the scale only moves up and down around the same number (95 kgs).

    People look at me like “Why is the fat woman eating steak with butter?” or better “She always turns down food – she must be sneaking it in somewhere” – “Who is she kidding”.

    Even the doctors say – “Oh you must be measuring your food wrong” or “You must not be counting everything” etc.

    This is so sad 🙁 . I can see others are experiencing something similar so maybe there is hope???

      1. Hi Scout – I live in Denmark and this medicine is illegal here. I got some once in the US and took it for 6 months (gradually upping the dose) but it didn’t do anything different for me so I stopped it.

        I sleep before 10 pm (up at 5:30 am naturally), I eat little fruit (once or twice a week), I eat mostly cruciferous veggies, and take fish oil, magnesium, zinc and vitamin d (in winter).

        I can up calories by adding in coconut oil or more butter – but it makes me SLEEPY.

        I really thought the IF’ing would be a savior and I feel great doing it – but alas no weight loss :-(. I’m stuck (literally) at 95 kgs. I’m 156 cm tall (5 ft 2 in I think). I almost never cheat (a coffee once a month or a teeny bit of cheese once a month) – otherwise no cheese, no nuts, no caffeine, no alcohol, no sugar, no grains (except flax once in a while – is that a grain?), mostly meat – some veggies.

        Any thoughts – I’m willing to try anything! My doctor said I should try a stomach surgery – I was like “Hello – I can eat 600 calories a day by myself and still not lose weight – without surgery” – but she says “That is not possible”. I documented it at a weight loss club where I used a liquid diet for 8 weeks (nothing else). It was 600-700 calories a day plus I exercised 4 times a week (and 1/2 walking everyday). I lost – wait for this – 2 pounds! WEEW!!!!

        Anyway – I’m not stopping or giving up. But honestly, sometimes something in the back of my head says “hey you could weigh 95 kgs and sit on your bottom and eat junk”. I know all the other reasons not to do that – so I don’t… but the thought is always there.

        (“crying”)

        1. Oh I forgot – I also drink about 4 liters of water a day. Really no other beverages.

        2. Too much exercise maybe? Strange as that sounds? Which are you eating more of, fat or protein? If you’re VLC you should be eating much more fat.

          Might make it easier to sneak in more calories too. I bet your body’s freaking out from not getting enough calories. 1200 calories a day is semi-starvation.

          Dunno if you have tried those or if they would work but they’re worth a shot.

        3. Hello,

          I too share your weight loss woes. I have been paleo for about 6 weeks now, and while I feel great, no weight loss to speak of.
          All I can suggest to you is to do an internet search for something called “Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome”.
          This may be your key…

        4. Kelly, you may want to take a look at these videos: http://journal.crossfit.com/2010/04/insulin-body-weight-and-energy-production.tpl

          In the third one, he talks about what happens to people who’ve messed up their systems through caloric restriction and classic “yo-yo dieting”, and how even if they eat correctly, their insulin sensitivity remains elevated, thwarting their progress.

          He says the only solution he’s seen is a combination of ephedra/caffeine, and armour thyroid. (I know that’s a really quick synopsis; it’s worth watching, though!)

        5. Kelly,
          I am going through the same thing right now! I see that this post was from 2010, did you ever find a solution?

  49. I find people are either eating too much or way to little if they are having trouble losing weight, though I agree stress, sleep quality, etc have some bearing. For some reason people tend to do some wild stuff to their metabolism with fad diets. I have always been a big fan of moderation and sensible eating with a good balance of macro-nutrients.

    1. If you’re fat, you’re not getting a good balance of macronutrients no matter what the current prevailing hypothesis is.

      There’s no dietary need for carbohydrate. Plant foods have good nutrients in them and most Westerners like having lots of variety in their diets, but we can live without carbs.

      If there is any “fad diet” out there today it’s low-fat/low-cal. It’s amazing to me that any deviation from that is automatically dismissed as “fad” or “unhealthy” without anyone looking at the science. The real science, not Such-And-Such Expert Said So.

  50. I know, I know, comments like “wonderful post” are quite boring. But this time I will do it anyway: I love this post! If I am totally honest to myself, I already know that I am not doing everything the best way I could do it – but sometimes you just need a reminder. Thank you for that!

  51. So, I think rule 8 applies most. How, though, do you figure out if you’re eating too many calories? And, how do you figure out your limit? Been following Primal lifestyle since October and have gone from 22 %bf at 180lbs to 18%bf at 170 lbs. Good progress! But, I’ve stalled. I’ve been stuck at 170 lbs. Tracking calories in fitday, it shows I eat an average of 2500 calories a day and 100 grams of carbs…what should I change? I was thinking about dropping calories to 2000 and see what happens…does this make sense???

    Thanks,

    Pat

  52. Hello. From July 2004 to July 2006 I lost 130 pounds by rejecting all refined carbs (flour,sugar) and grains dairy and corn. I had to have extensive plastic surgery to remove hanging skin.
    in 2007 I began slowly eating the things I shouldn’t…and now 3 years later I am up 70 pounds. A month ago, I did a general calorie reduction and a week ago, I went to a 1250-1400 calorie carb limited diet-back to no refined carbs. At first, 4 days into it the scale showed a 2 and a half pound reduction…over a week later the scale is back the 2.5 pounds. Usually my first week of caloric and carb restriction would show a 7-8 pound loss.
    I am frustrated and confused. Suggestions?

    1. Julie, I too lost on low carb. I gained back some of the weight with 2 pregnancies, and am having trouble taking off that last pesky 15 lb. I hate to record, but I have a pretty good idea of my carb intake, and I am generally in the 15-25 g range. I’ve been strict except for 1 day in the past month. Why scales no move? Grokette mad! Congratulations on your previous success and good luck with your weight loss journey… and keep posting. I truly believe that primal/paleo is the way to go, even for those of us who have to try harder.

  53. When it comes to losing weight the less you spend the better. Losing weight on a budget is ideal after all; you can live and eat like a king or like a peasant. In the old days peasants couldn…

  54. What about body fat loss plateau? My weight is good! I’m not trying to lose any weight but need to lose BF around my waist and love handle areas.
    The BF plateau is my challenge for the past 2 years. Tried Paleo and crossfit and now, need to try something else! Anyone else been here and hit a plareau?

    Any ideas??

  55. How about us pre-menapausal, 50 year old ladies??? Would that matter? My husband has shed 30+ pounds, me 5. I could stand to lose about 10 more. Cupboards & fridge – primal. I cycle PV at least once a week, yoga at least once a week, walk my Lab 2-3 times a week. Husband has me do squats/pull-ups/jump rope/dead lifts when he’s out in the yard (but his timing is different every day). I don’t take any medications/hormones/mega-vitamins of that sort. Just calcium & flax/fish oil. Just have that old-lady waistline creeping up on me that’s me driving crazy I refuse to buy elastic waistband pants!! hahahaha! Please help!

  56. I have been stuck at the same weight for 2 weeks now. In the past 14 days I have exercised 1692 minutes and taken 167,132 pedometer steps, most aerobic.

    I fast walk (4 mph) every morning for 2 miles. I walk 3 mph every day for 45 min, 15 minutes of those carrying 2 lb weights and working out my arms. I walk up and down stairs 5 days a week, 2 times a day for 5 min each (that’s 20 flights a day). I Zumba twice a week. I do a variety of other things from ab workouts, to squats and lunges, to stretches to weight training.

    I eat 1200-1300 calories a day of good food, spread out over 5 small meals. I am 5′ tall and weigh 141.5 pounds. My VO2 max is 39 and my heart rate at my Lactate threshold is 150. I will be 57 on Saturday

    I have been gradually increasing my workouts for the past 2 months while maintaining the same calorie level. In May, I was in boot camp, In April, I was in Hot Yoga. Now I am back in a different boot camp. Until 2 weeks ago, I had lost a total 12 pounds but went from a tight size 12 to a size 8.

    Still, my bmi is too high and I am very frustrated at not losing a single pound in the past two weeks. I record and track everything I do and eat. I only drink water and eat no snacks other than fruits/veg/whole grains.

    What am I doing wrong?

    1. “other than fruits/veg/whole grains.”

      There’s your answer. Cut down on the fruits, eliminate the grains, and eat only veggies that are edible raw.

      1. I don’t think that is the problem. I am on a 1200 calorie diet and at the rate I exercise, I definitely need complex carbs within that calorie amount.

        1. The human body is capable of getting by on less than 600 calories a day (that was clinically established over 60 years ago). You do *NOT* need any carbs, complex or otherwise, in your diet as long as you are getting sufficient protein; and you will find that it is possible to lose weight on 2500 calories a day if you aren’t goosing your adrenals into overdrive insulin production.

          It isn’t *all* about insulin, just *mostly* about insulin.

  57. Man I get pretty jealous of the posts that say they lost 7 lbs in a week, I have been completely primal for 10 days and have only lost 2.5 lbs. Much of that was probably water weight anyhow, how is this possible? Im even watching my calories and I stay around 100 carbs a day. How is it possible to cut out all bread, noodles, sugary foods, alcohol soda and not have weight fall off me? I dont get it 🙁

  58. So relating to Jessica’s post…I get the feeling that doing “everything” right does not give us all the same results…at least not right away…being 51, pre-menopausal with my thyroid a bit on the low side seems to thwart the efforts I gladly make living Paleo…or perhaps almost, as I continue to run 60 minutes 5 times per week with 30 minutes of stretching crunches….the weight loss is excruciatingly slow…but perhaps my system doesn’t want to let go of those last few pounds..??? Could exercise “stress” perceived by the body play into this this “slow” loss some of us experience…or simply age?

  59. Well I know for me it is a fight with my body for every pound. I am down to 300 now but cannot seem to lose more than 10 pounds at a time then I plateau for 4-8 weeks. My doctor said I am fighting my body’s natural set point since I have not been under 300 since the 4th grade, my body is needing to adjust to each new weight frustrating but at least I lose an inch or two in my waist during each plateau which I hope means I am converting fat to muscle during that time. Even when I do not lose weight I feel so much better so I cannot really complain. I really want this last 100 pounds gone though so it does get frustrating sometimes.

  60. You didnt address raw dairy, which seems to be fine with most. If the farmer is not using drugs to keep the cows pregnant, there is no problems with hormones and such. Not to mention that raw dairy that is from grassfed animals is full of progesterone, which keeps estrogen in check. Estrogen is the ultimate fat gainer. Also, the high calcium to phosphorous ratio maintains proper thyroid function which is healthy for the metabolism and the high calcium steers tryptophan from converting into excess serotonin, which can cause depression, weight gain, estrogen imbalance, etc… a downward spiral. The whole anti fruit thing is also bullshit. The thyroid needs glucose oxidation to function. If you are not getting glucose from carbs, you are going to get it through either the protein you eat or from your muscle tissue. Depriving your body of glycogen alone is anti thyroid. You dont need to go overboard on carbs 100-150g a day is enough. But for God’s sake, eat some carbs, unless you want to have a ruined metabolism and become carbohydrate intolerant. Next comes hypogonadism. Pick your battles. Either completely shredded with low body fat and also hypogonadal with a ruined metabolism or shredded with some body fat and completely fertile with a healthy metabolism.

  61. thanks for the website…i’m trying to lose weight, i eat 1200 calories a day consist of only fruits vegetables, chicken and fish and workout everyday…it’s so frustrating that i’m not losing weight!

  62. Thank you for an additional fantastic blog.Where else could I get this type of information composed in this kind of an incite total way? I’ve a project that I am just now doing work on, and i’m sure this will aid me a lot..and I’ve been looking for this kind of material since from couple of days….Thanks!

  63. Wow!, this was a real quality post. In theory I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real effort to make a good article… but what can I say… I keep putting it off and never seem to achieve anything

  64. wow, Im viewing your site and my brother was reading the same blog on the iphonei guess youre pretty important, lol

  65. “you may try skipping fruit” are you serious? If we cant eat fruit that’s good for us, what on earth are we supposed to eat?! I read that and didn’t even bother reading the rest of the article. What a joke.

  66. You left out emotional binging! i do it a lot when I’m stressed and depressed. Sometimes when i’m not satisfied with my workout i deviate and run to a cupcake shop and devour a 500 calorie cupcake with icing and raspberry jam inside! Feels so good when i’m eating it but later i feel darn awful!

  67. i am not eatting junk food. i jog a hour each night, do a little yoga. i dont drink soda. i dont eat junk food. i eat fruits and vegetables. but not losing weight. 🙁 can someone tell me why

  68. Mark,

    I have reviewed the list you provided and feel that I am really in compliance with your suggestions. I eat real food only, I do daily 18 hour IF, I consume no grains/starches/legumes/tubers/sugars/etc, I have stopped chronic cardio and I sprint but I still cannot seem to stabalize/lose weight. I have gained 8 pounds in a month after YEARS of weight training so I cannot believe that the 8 pounds was all lean body mass. The belt and mirror tests appear to be holding up but I just can’t phathom that at 5’8 I should be almost 200 lbs, especially knowing that during my 2 daily meals I consume no more than 2000 calories. My Bod Pod analysis indicated that I needed at least 1700+ based on my BMR and I am active EVERYDAY burning up at least another 1000 calories in activity alone. If my numbers are a little off, I think that I should at least be maintaining. I have stopped my obsession with the scale only weighing once every couple of weeks but the weight is slowly creeping up. How much can one reasonably expect to gain in a month.

    Your thoughts

  69. Hi, well i have a question, I weigh 220lb and im 5’4″ aprox. I have tried loosing weight but it just dont weem to work. Most of me is muscle, and now I have high blood pressure, and it is so far today 155 over 113. I am seriously worried. I am very active, I swim, walk everywhere. I used to be a runner, and i still never went under 210lb. I eat healthy. Lots of fruits and vegitables. And lots of things that have lots of fiber. I dk what else to do.

  70. Number 7 is NOT a healthy choice. You will lose weight, but you will gain it back by overeating at the next meal you eat. You should not ignore your hunger, or exercise while fasting. This will result in a lowering of weight, but your metabolic rate will slow down and enter starvation mode before too long. The best way to lose weight: eat the proper amounts of healthy foods and get lots of exercise. At least this is what I`ve learned from personal experience and from my university education.

  71. Hi, I desperately need some help. I am 36 and mother of four children. I lost all my weight from all the pregnancies after my last child several years ago doing the slim fast thing. The weight literally “fell off.” Now that I have gained some knowledge and realized that wasn’t the healthiest thing to do I am trying to do something different this time. Over the past several years I have gained nearly all my weight back. I have went through a fast trying to detoxify and give my body a boost. I am literally not eating very much at all. (less than probably 300 calories per day). After almost 3 weeks of this I have only lost “6” pounds. I mean really?? I don’t plan to do the fasting thing for long because I know after prolonged amounts of time that’s really not healthy but I just thought I would have lost more weight by now. I am getting so discouraged. To go through such drastic measures and still not lose hardly anything is so depressing! Please give me any suggestions.

    1. I think your problem is too few calories. You are eating fewer calories than people in concentration camps were given by the Nazi’s. There is a book by Julia Ross that addresses the havoc mostly women wreak upon themselves through extremely low-calorie dieting. The book is called “The Diet Cure.”

      I have a wonderful doctor who said I must follow a Paleo diet because of food allergies and for weight loss. I was perfect in my eating for two weeks and only lost two pounds. He looked at my online food journal pages and said my 1,000-1,200 calorie intake was waaaay too low. He asked what my energy levels were like, and they were very low. He told me to increase my calorie level to 1,700 – which was adding two snacks to my day.

      My energy levels are much higher, I averaging 4-5 lbs. a week in weight loss, and I feel great. I also limit my carbs to 50-75 grams/day, and cycle my carbs. One day low, the next day higher.

      I also avoid all dairy, eat no grains, no caffeine, no yeasts, and the only fruits I eat right now are berries usually blended to make a smoothie.

      Low-calorie dieting can also mess with your hormonal balance – making it more difficult to lose. Until I was on the right dose of natural thyroid, started hormone replacement therapy, and dealt with my adrenal fatigue doing the things tha Mark recommended in his post, there was no way that my body was going to release that excess weight.

      Your body may need some adjustment and healing time from all of the stress that dieting has done to it. Eating Paleo is a great way to do that! Just make sure you are not doing it more damage by starving and abusing it through too few calories.

  72. i think for most people, or most teenagers (2 be exact) it’s the fact that they aren’t getting enough sleep. If school started at at least 9:00 am, i bet any1 that child obesity would drop

  73. Re: sprinting. My left leg is paralyzed from the knee down, so sprinting is out. What exercise would you recommend in its place?

  74. Love your information. I have recently read the leangains approack, eat stop eat and many you’ve mentioned. These two being the most informative. Love your information. I have recently read the leangains approack, eat stop eat and many you’ve mentioned. These two being the most informative. I spent my life from 20 to 42 at 5-10 from a size 2 to a size 6. Lean and a sports enthusiast. At 45 I’m 30 lbs heavier and hating my body. Still fit, very active. Body has changed. But so has my life style. I have tried “diets” pills and calorie counting in the last three years – eatingnhealthy, little and often. Spent months eating 1100 calaries a day. With no pissitive results. Recently I just went back to eating anything I felt like then looked in the mirror and said -time to stop eating fatty! i then went on a 24 hour fast and felt better. After I ate a light meal I then fasted 18 hours and ate again. Continued that for a week and then actually looked at what I was doing………I have spent the majority of my life fasting 15 hours a day, eating literally whatever I wanted and weight was NEVER a thought. I simply didn’t like to eat before about 1pm. I ride jumping horses competatively and really never took the time for breakfast with my morning routine. My body was use to what now is called intermittant fasting. I have now done allot of research on a lifestyle choice I had voluntarily used unknowingly for 20 years. BTW the weight has dropped off and I have a renewed sence if energy and I feel absolutely fantastic. The only thing I do differently monthyvutamin B12 shots. I don’t like the pills and this is simple for me. Its taken me a 3 year struggle to realize what works for my own body. I dont feel hungry, maybe thirsty is the correct response at times. I still have my coffee with cream in the morning and drink hot water and a lemon slice through the day or as a warm drink. Your 17 Reasons for not loosing weight make sense and I liked the read!

  75. I have kids and it’s hard to throw out the things that they eat when I’m the one struggling with weight. What do you suppose I do about that?

  76. What do you do if your job means you break the chronic cardio category? I work on my feet for 8 hours straight in a very busy cafe. I have a second job which is also physical. I also working out in the 75-85% range at the gym for 30 minutes a day in addition to my job but I can’t seem to lose weight!

  77. I’m having so much trouble with weight loss, I know I know .. No scales right? I have an obsession. It wont budge … And the days it does I’m so ecstatic! The days it goes up, is well .. rather horrifying.
    I’m 19 and 134 pounds Mostly fat. OF course the scale yesterday said 130. I’ve come down a lot from (when I was 14) 170 pounds or so. That wasn’t a healthy loss though. I’ve been on and off primal for a while. I’ve officially stuck to it over a month.
    My diet consists of meats, Veggies, nuts, and water usually. I spice it up sometimes with special flowers. But I haven’t acceded 60 carbs at all. And they’re all healthy carbs. Granted I cannot afford grass fed meat all the time, I try my best. I sprint every other day or so, my lungs can only handle small bouts of sprinting a week. I do dancing, and lift weights.

    I was 118 10 or so months ago, I felt healthy and I felt good.
    I want to get back to that good feeling. I don’t even necessarily need to be 118 again, just have a better body composition. And feel good, but alas its February, Summer is almost here. I haven’t worn a bathing suit since I was 12… these things don’t happen overnight. This I know. But … What am I doing wrong….

  78. I stumbled upon this,looking for a reason I have stalled. Once upon a time, I was very fit and limber. ROck climbing, kayaking, biking across states. I got fat and out of shape,and stressed out by a family member. Eating real food makes sense to me, and lower carb or non-white carbs seems to help. I plan to increase the realness of my food and add more slower exercise to get off my stall. I have been easing back to healthier habits over the past 5 weeks. I feel better, even though I have lost maybe a pound, if that.

  79. I stumbled upon this site, while looking for ways out of my stall. Once I was very fit, rock climbing, kayaking, biking across the state. I did carry some excess fat but now I am truly fat. However, for the past 5 weeks I have been easing into healthier habits like eating real food and body weight workouts. I have only lost a pound if that, and can’t tell if my clothes are looser. I used to workout to have fun. Eating real food gives me more energy and life.

  80. I have been on treatment for very low thyroid and severe adrenal fatigue now for two years. I also have severe food allergies and Hoshimotos. I switched to Paleo, only eat meat I prepare myself, veggies, a few nuts, and coconut. It has been months now, I have lost a little weight, mostly water weight, but seem stuck, and am honestly sooo frustrated. I used to be a size 8, lifted 5-6 days a week, ran 2-3 days. With my adrenal fatigue I am absolutely not supposed to elevate my heart rate too high, so am limited to walks/hiking, and I do some weights with 5, 10, 25lbs. I have always been strong, but can’t seem to push thru this, or lose any weight. I take a wide array of supplements. I have a pet sitting service, and house clean for a few of my clients. I take longer to do the cleanings than I used to, and have to stop and take breaks during 5-6 hour cleanings now, and am very tired when done.
    Economics have left me incapable of returning to my doctor for followup help. I am hoping you might have some suggestions for me as I am at a loss at this point. BTW, I am a 62 year old female… Thank you! for any help/suggestions

  81. I just started, but am feeling SO hungry. I don’t know the exact number, but am quite certain I am consuming WAY MORE calories than I used to, simply because of the amount of protein and fat I’m taking in.

    I recently lost around 45 lbs and thought I’d switch to Primal to see how this would shake things up, but I’m really worried I’m going to gain all the weight back now.

  82. Nice info, in most instances, you should pick dieting solution program that contains the appropriate portions of body fat, carbs as well as protein. It is worth noting that individuals have different physiques and as such, you should consider getting software that recognizes to it that this is met. It should show you what suits your system and what you should avoid.

  83. I dropped 13 pounds in 20 days and then plateaued, so this is a great article. I increased my weight training greatly, so it’s likely that some of it is muscle gain and some bone density gain. I dropped all processed sugar, oils, grains, etc. We cook everything from scratch so I know what I’m getting. However, I think my one failing is the dried fruit. It’s made a great snack but might be giving me too much sugar; so, now, I’m thinking about dehydrating kale.

  84. I lost around 15 pounds with absolutely no exercise (only calorie counting, making it like 1200 calories a day). My weight loss stopped eventually, because I guess it got used to the low calorie intake. So I increased my calorie intake to around 1800 calories a day, for about a month (did not gain anything). I went back to 1200 calories a day, but I still did not lose a pound! I got so frustrated and then I began to jog. I started jogging around two weeks ago, and I still have not lost a pound! I am so frustrated with the scale, but I am feeling better about myself. I am happy I finally began to do something that is active, and I am accomplishing something I’ve always wanted to be able to do.

    I am still waiting for the numbers to go down, but as long as I keep jogging, I will be happy.

    I might try the sprinting suggestion sometime. My friend told me (before I jogged) that I was very good at sprinting short distances. Maybe I’m even better now that I am a little bit more active.

    I will beat this plateau if it kills me (okay, not literally but…lol)!!

  85. no one should ever skip breakfast, its a essencial part of the day. dont eating for 3 hours does make you hold on to fat and slows down your metabolism.

  86. To lose weight you should always get your diet under control. It takes about 1 hour to burn 600 calories but only take few minutes to eat that many calories if you are eating wrong.

  87. I started a new healthy eating regime on Jan. 09th, 2012. Up until June, I lost 65 pounds by eating 1,200 calories a day and walking 30 minutes every other day. Keep in mind, I was at 365 pounds when I started. In July I was sidelined by plantar faciatis and I started stationary bike for 30-40 minutes, 20 repetitions with 15 pound dumbbells and 10 laps of swimming daily. I feel great but my weight loss plateau

  88. By keeping your metabolism working efficiently, you can burn body fat constantly. Any cardiovascular exercises such as jogging, walking or aerobics are great exercises to add to your workout routine. Also follow the standard food guide to keep from over eating and for good health.

  89. Its like you read my thoughts! You appear to understand so much about this, such as you wrote the ebook in it or something. I think that you could do with a few % to pressure the message home a little bit, however other than that, this is fantastic blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

  90. Are you eating every 2 to 3 hours, at least 4 to 5 times a day, snacks in between meals, I wouldn’t go over 500 cal a meal, and your snacks should be 100 or less, if your not eating every 2 to three hours your body will think its starving itself and will slow down your metabolism or make it stop, it will store fat bacause your body will go into survival mode, so this could make you gain weight, eating every 2 to 3 hours small portions, combined with a hardcore excercise, example turbo fire, or insanity, should fix this promblem, all your excercises should be hard if it’s easy for you to do your not gonna get the results you want, you have to go your hardest everytime you excercise, really push yourself, I would try really intense workout videos, like turbo fire, insanity, p90x, etc, I am doing turbo fire and I love it I lost 26 lbs in 3 weeks cause I really pushed myself hard, and ate right, I even ate pizza and French fries and some junk food one day each weekend and still lost weight, but if I eat like that I will do like 3 turbo fire videos, this worked for me and still is working I am a mother of 2 I just had a baby, and I’m not gonna stop, if this don’t work I would go see a doc, good luck!! I hope this helps!!

    1. Heather, that is the worst advice I have yet to read on here. I think you need to go to another site. You’re not understanding or getting anything from this one and what true health is. Please go eat pizza and French fries somewhere else.

  91. Oh yeah I would also write down everything you eat and drink, and don’t go over 1200 cal a day,

    1. Just stop. You don’t regulate your calories. You don’t over exercise. You don’t snack nonstop or eat every 2 to 3 hours. Every person should listen to their own unique body. You are old school and I sincerely hope no one takes your antiquated advice to heart.

  92. I am going to try intermittent fasting. I think that really works. It is also nice to do meditation with fasting because your body is light. Careful not to starve and get dizzy and giddy though, keep hydrating and eat fruits and raw food.

  93. First of all you can sum this all up into one sentence: You’re not in a calorie deficit.

    Foods you eat are irrelevant, and type of workout is irrelevant.

    However there is some kind of phenomena when you can be 7 days straight in a 1000 calorie deficit and the scale barely moves down, and then suddenly one day it starts dropping hard and fast. I would like to know the reasoning behind this.

  94. I have to admit that all 17 reasons are spot on as far as what is required to make a body- and with that, a life – transformation.

    I would only add, not that it is not mentioned but I believe it should be more obvious to everybody, that people should make en effort to stop trying to lose weight but focus on ways to lose fat.

    It is far healthier to keep track of your overall body fat than keep measuring your weight, not to mention that it is a more accurate health indicator than weight loss.

    With that in mind, it is certain that in that list anyone trying to make body changes will find one or more reasons that he/she is not succeeding in it.
    Thank you for making it a group for us to refer to.

    1. Pump some iron. Resistance tranniig, (weight tranniig), can help both sexes stay lean by building muscle and raising metabolism. The fact is, hours and hours of aerobic exercise won’t help most people lose weight fast because your metabolism drops back to normal fairly quickly after stopping the exercise. If you gain muscle, however, your body’s resting metabolism, (the amount of calories you burn when you’re just sitting still), increases, because muscle requires a lot of calories to maintain. Studies have shown consistent weight tranniig to raise the body’s metabolism by 15%. This means an average woman might burn 200-300 more calories at rest every day! Resistance tranniig is the gift that keeps on giving! Although, keep in mind that muscle mass weighs more than fat (don’t be surprised if you gain weight but look slimmer).

  95. Hi – I am trying to lose weight but finding it difficult, mainly because 3 years ago I hurt my ankle and can no longer walk, run or sprint, which pretty much brings me to a standstill.

    Lack of a nearby swimming pool or gym here as well as I’m rural.

    Any ideas?

  96. I like to run at night because after I run I never get hungry so it keeps me from snacking.

  97. Another reason: Those special events featuring family and friends and SAD food choices. It’s just on event right?… that seems to happen several times a week. I am never disappointed when I pass on the SAD food, but I am disappointed when I allow myself to have that 2nd beer.

  98. They tried to sell me Carnivor once when I said no to whey protein (I take ALA and D, so I went to buy them during gold card week.) I asked why it would be better than a steak, and being told “it has no fat” I walked away.

    Regarding 1 – I’ll give you eating a loaf of paleo bread, but shirataku noodles have been eaten for a long time in Asia, and not for weight loss/health food, but just as a food. Why doesn’t it count as a food?

  99. My problem is loosing to much weight. I think I need more carbs, but I don’t want to eat bread, potato, beans and rice. I eat tons of vegies, fruits, meat, eggs soup and salad. Any recommendation on how I can put some weight without stepping out of PB?

  100. In my mid-40s I put on weight for the first time in my life. I was able to lose the weight with the Adkins diet and no exercise.

    Over time I regained the weight and began to try to lose it in earnest at 53 or so (female BTW). I cleansed, exercised and watched calories and started PB and could not lose. I was doing Power Plates 3 times a week, so I could see muscle, which was good, but I was sooo frustrated with the belly fat.

    Finally I went to an Ayurvedic MD. She diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s Thyroid, so stress and lack of proper sleep (from teeth grinding and apnea) were the biggest factors.

    It has been a two year journey. I eat basically Primal, but she has me on a winter diet that includes orange veggies daily. I do Power Plates 3 times a week, sleep so much better due to my new dentist-made mouth guard, something I resisted play tennis 3-5 times a week.

    I am very physically fit and feel good, but I definitely would like to lose 3 pounds of belly fat and the love handles. At 57 I sometimes think I’m just being too vain, but belly fat is supposed to be so unhealthy, ans I hate the look of it, so yes, I’m still trying to lose it. I take my Porcine thyroid upon waking, wait hold hour and take 1Tab of olive oil on an empty stomach with a half lemon chaser. I follow that with warm lemon water and healthy flora caps. In half hour I eat breakfast. I can’t go longer without eating, but that makes 14-15 hours since dinner. The olive oil jump starts the liver and keeps my colon active.

    Those of you with lots of weight gain should try that morning routine. I also use Nature’s Sunshine Collatrim before bed. And I have done their small intestine cleanse too, as improper absorption can be a problem.

    Overall I feel good, I just wish I could get rid of that stubborn belly fat. I’ve even considered the mechanized fat melting (basically its the step they do before lipo-suction) but I can’t bring myself to it. Any suggestions?

  101. DANCE!! Bump, grind, twerk, bellydance, dougie, whatever. Move that hot new body! I think it encourages people to get in touch with their bodies, which is an aspect of living primally that is very lost on most westerners!

  102. Having put on 3 stone (that’s 42 lbs) over the last couple of years and always yo-yoed with my weight since being the fat kid at school I have been reading MDA and PB and lots of other sites about primal/paleo eating and IF and have decided that all the reading in the world isn’t going to help me I need to actually DO something. So for the last 3-4 weeks I have been wheat free trying to avoid processed foods, plenty of fish, big salads, a few nuts here and there, big veggie stews (I can’t afford free range meat and won’t buy battery farmed) limited potatoes, cutting down dairy AND fasting until dinner time 2 days per week AND 4 x bootcamp style workouts (squats, lunges, pressups – all the rights stuff)plus 2 x yoga per week and I have lost a measly 2lbs. I am overweight and out of shape and feel like I am putting in a load of effort with virtually no result. 3 weeks on the Cambridge diet with no excercise has seen me lose about 12lbs in the same time with half the effort. What am I doing wrong? I am so disappointed.

    1. yeah but did you gain all that weight from the cambridge diet back afterwards? plus more?? I think primal is about something that is sustainable for life and loosing weight slowly. that being said, you have to make sure you are not eating too much primal food, or perhaps you have a medical condition that is preventing weight loss (hypothyroid)? and maybe also not eating to little to fuel all the workouts you are doing? its all about balance and finding what is right for you.

      1. ps you may have also gained muscle if you just started doing this type of intence exercise. how are those clothes fitting?

  103. Thanks Sarah, I guess it will be a slow process – I’m not going to give up. I am actually wearing a pair of jeans I haven’t worn for a while so maybe things are starting to change…

  104. This might fit into the “you’re not active enough” category, but I just wanted to put it out there that about 90 percent of Americans are sitting too much. In fact, most of us sit for about 80-90% of our day! Watching TV, working, driving… Our bodies weren’t made for all of this sitting, and honestly, it is no wonder that our nation is facing a weight problem!
    If you want to lose weight, you’ll have to cut back on the sitting. A NextDesk or any adjustable height or standing desk is a good solution here. Check us out at http://www.nextdesks.com for more of the benefits of standing. No matter the desk you choose, just start standing and you’ll feel healthier, lighter, and happier overall!
    Thanks for the post.

  105. I’ve been dieting for 1 month now since I hit 185 pounds. I’m 19 years old, female, and 5 feet 3 inches tall. I cut out sodas, fast food, dairy, grains, and sugary products. Now I’m at 187. ??? I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong. I’m trying to be more active, but it’s hard because it’s winter here. I do multiple workouts a day though. I eat tons of protein. I usually only eat chicken, chicken salad, water, bacon, ham, and eggs. I cheat every blue moon, and I’m guessing that’s where the two pounds came from. But I used to eat fast food three to four times a week, and drink about 4 sodas daily! I don’t know why I’m not seeing any progress now that I’ve given up all of my favorite foods just so I can fit back into my clothes. I don’t have a pair of jeans I can wear right now. I’m trying so hard!

  106. Often hear about Low Carbers ( I am one with paleo 80/20) that gain back some weight. My 18 yr old daughter decided to go LC which put me back to an Atkins, LC diet. What an eye opener as to how many Carbs I was eating. Some of us Low Carbers that have been eating this way for a while lost count of their carb intake. Not saying I was gaining weight or felt unhealthy but working with and cooking for my daughter was an eye-opener.

  107. Yes, this is helpful. It’s all information I already know, but it’s a great reminder. I especially struggle with #1! I have done low carb for years, but make the mistake of curbing cravings by devouring low-carb snacks like Atkins chocolate, low-carb brownies, etc. What a joke! Instead of eating one normal brownie, I end up eating half a baking pan of low-carb brownies! And I get so sick afterwards (I have an intolerance for malitol and other similar ingredients). So not only have I made myself sick, but I’ve also slowed any progress of weight loss. It’s an easy thing to get suckered into, because you think “oh it’s only 1 net gram of carbs per serving, so a couple servings can’t hurt!!!”

    Anyway, it’s time for me to get back to Primal again and just ditch the brownies altogether! 🙂

  108. Hi Mark,

    great article.

    I have a lot of problems with some of the listed reasons.

    My main problem is as you wrote “chronic cardio”. I’m doing daily 2-3 hours of cardio. It’s 99% constists of running. And as you wrote I always crave some sweet things.
    I dont’ eat starches, grains,sugar,dairy(only raw goat milk) but eat a lot of fruit and honey. And don’t know how to cut down and quit from too much fructose too.
    And also how to cut a little bit with cardio, I always feel that I need more, and realise that that much is too much, feeling stressed too.
    All my day is about cardio workout, working as a freelancer but my productivity is gone, feel like don’t have enough time because of excess exercise.
    Constantly failing to plan my day, because of the things I mentioned.

    Regards
    At

  109. I really need help right now. I have cut out gluten and alcohol from my diet. I hardly eat dairy, in fact the only dairy I have upped was on advice to get more protein in my diet: natural yogurt.

    I drink 2 litres of water every day. I live off plenty of veg and fruit, lean meat and fish. I’m hardly hungry so my meals as tiny and I usually don’t eat more than what would be the size of my fist (or a bit more) on my plate.

    I’m constantly told by my friends I eat rabbit food and still I can’t shift the weight. I do put on weight when stressed and I noticed that when I go to the gym or do a lot of exercise I have what is like a “crash”, get very fatigued, can’t get out of bed for days and put on between 10-20kg of weight at a time.

    I just can’t lose weight I have tried everything and now I’m thinking of starving myself because I just don’t know what to do. I was medicated for an underactive thyroid for 8 years but recent tests showed it’s now normal and the medication never worked or helped. I am now 30kg more than my normal weight of 65kg (I’m now 95kg) I yo yo between 90 and 95 but just can’t lose the weight. I’ve had loads of tests and all show I don’t have Cushings or Diabetes. I have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (medically and scientifically – my mitochondria can’t produce ATP energy) and I have PCOS but I walk everywhere and I can’t drive so this forces me to walk. I’m seriously at the end of my tether. I’ve spent over £10,000 on seeing private doctors, specialists, naturopaths etc you name it! I lose about 5kg on their super strict programme but then if I get tired or stressed again then whoop before I know it I’m super fat again.

    Please please please help me!

    1. Seems to me like you’ve answered you own questions: “I lose about 5kg on their super strict programme but then if I get tired or stressed again then whoop before I know it I’m super fat again”

      You don’t know how to handle stress (change) and change is an integral part of lifestyle and health changes. Go see a personal trainer who gets results and who can coach you through stress.

  110. ok I really need help im 14 ive ran 2 miles everyday for 6 months & for about 2 weeks I did insanity, I used to be 162 pounds now im 154 pounds. I always eat vegetables and not much junk food. why is it that in such a long time I only lost so little ? :c im really worried cause I always try being healthy and doing as much as I can .

  111. I am one of the most active people I know, I race dirtbikes, I spend more then 2 hours at the gym everyday, run more then two miles everyday, and I eat fairly healthy. My biggest problems are with stress and sleep problems. I don’t know how I am supposed to solve those problems and finally drop this unwanted fat. I would prefer not to say what my problems are but they are relatively severe. Mostly involving my family. How am I supposed to fix that? I have worked out for nearly, no lie, everyday for the past four months and have had minimal results. What do I do?

  112. So, I have been exercising (intense cardio and weight workouts) eating very healthy, and drinking plenty of water and green tea. I stay away from soda, I dont eat out hardly at all, and I get at least 7.5 hours of sleep a night. I cannot lose a single pound! My face looks super fat! I weighed less when I was having 3 starbucks drinks a week and eating out at least twice a week. It is so very frustrating because I dont know what else to do!

  113. What the heck kind of educated person would tell anyone wanting to loose weight to ever skip meals? That is ridiculous. Do NOT skip ANY meals if you want to loose weight. Each an at least 200 calorie high fibre breakfast. Healthy fruit and vegetable filled lunch and small dinner at least 4 hours before you sleep. This speeds up your metabolism!

  114. OK…I’m off the bread and grain train , only use a tiny bit of dairy in my coffee, make and eat my own yogurt sparingly AND swim at a medium pace 5 days a week for 30 minutes in the morning. (but I do have a more sedentry lifestyle due to pain issues and I dont’ take any medications!)
    I do eat beef, pork, chicken and fish but don’t eat cheeses, drink soda’s or cook with or eat any processed if possible.
    I cook most my meals for myself and my hubby ( I love to cook!) and I try to get a serving of greens and a serving of fruit each day.
    I have cut out all sugar except what I drink in my coffee, but I do cook with honey when needed.

    I am a 59 year old woman and have had both ovaries my uterus and my cervix removed in 2006.

    I have been 50 lbs overweight for a couple of years…and since starting a more primal way of eating and cooking over the past few months, I am still 50 lbs overweight !
    I am beginning to believe that I will never lose the fat! It’s very frustrating and motivating. Got any words of wisdome for me??

    Thanks,

    Bev

  115. I really appreciate that you listed “You’re under too much stress” as number two. I think that the effects of stress, of all kinds, is grossly misunderstood and enough attention isn’t put on this topic. Stress reduction techniques, such as deep breathing, exercising, meditation, are all wonderful ways to reduce stress and can also bring awareness to areas of your life that can be modified. And once cortisol levels in the body are low/normal, hopefully weight loss comes easier. Great post!

  116. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it,
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  117. Yeah, sprinting is better. Than say long distance running. First, you only have to actually run a few yards, which tricks you into thinking you are doing less work, when you are really running harder than you would by running longer. Secondly, you don’t have to travel that far. Long distance just feels wrong running in short circles, so you are forced to run down the block a couple of times for it to actually feel like taking a jog. But then, you’re out in traffic, running laps around the same people over and over, it gets really annoying if you don’t like people gawking at you all the time. Then, if you choose to run a long straight line, what if you need to come back for some reason, it takes quite a while to get back to home base. So, in my opinion, shorter bursts of high intense running is way better than taking a vacation to go run fifteen miles to get the same burn. Who has the time anyway, with the economy like it is, where people actually DO work three jobs, juggle kids, and possibly go to school? No one has time to be a slave and be a long distance runner, unless it’s your job, then you’re set and never mind anything anyone else says.

  118. What did you mean by “plates of pure fiber in the shape of noodles”? I’ve been making zucchini noodles with my spiralizer. Is that OK?

    Back story: I lost about 30 pounds in three months, but in month #4 I haven’t lost any weight. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. I’ve got about 60 more pounds to lose.

  119. This is a dumb website. There are a few good tips, but even a broke clock is right twice a day. This guy seems like he’s trying to start a cult.

    1. Hi Jake,

      I agree, websites in general are kind of a dumb idea, but it’s what most of us have in lieu of healthy grandparents passing down their tips and tricks for maintaining health. I don’t know about you, but dying from complications relating to diabetes like my great-grandmother, grandmother and mother does not sound at all appealing to me. If you have other areas that direct you towards evaluating your own health and improving it, feel free to point us in that direction–afterall, that’s what an online community is for, isn’t it? To share some things that work in a “take what you need and leave the rest behind” kind of way.

      I have to admit that while I don’t like all the advice on this site (I’d rather be a non-sprinting, vegetarian, green-juicing hippy who has a miraculous ability to eat anything I’d like, but unfortunately, my body has different ideas–meat, veggies, some fruit, low-FODMAPS, no dairy, no sugar, no grains and, gasp, sprinting seem to work better). A cult based around healthy food, good sleep, exercise and stress management sounds better than a sharp stick in the eye, from my perspective. Anyhow, a broken clock is right twice a day and this blog might have two good take aways for you. Take what you like and leave the rest behind.

  120. hi! iam naveed and iam 14 years old… i want to ask few questions about losing weight… iam 160lbs and i want to lose weight fast.. before dieting i was 163 and now iam 160lbs.. its about 3 weeks why iam not losing fast… because i dont think that i eat too much calories… i exercise everyday for 1 hour.. like different exercises, weight lifting, mountain climbers, bunch of different exercises….. i eat 1 apple at morning and nothing at school till i come to home and then 1 cup of grapes and 1 apple.. and then at evening i drink coffee with milk {added} with 2 buscuit without cream.. without sugar no cream nothing .. and then i go to exercise for 1 hour… after then i drink 3 or 4 glasses of water….. and then at about 11 pm i eat again apple and grapes and 1 glass of milk and then go to sleep…. all this things that i eat per day is about minimum 500 calories and maximum 700 calories without the exercise burning…. so plz tell me is it fine about my meal or not.. is it healthy or not……

  121. What’s up to every , because I am really eager of reading this web site’s post to be updated daily.
    It includes good data.

  122. I am a student and i want to lose weight but being bust in losing weight i may lose my marks i want to improve both
    Please help …..

  123. Well it’s been about a month overall of limiting to 1800 cals day mixed with a few days a week exercise, with NO weight loss.

    About 6 months ago I started ‘eating well’ and lost 15 lbs in about 2 months. So THIS time is EXTREMELY frustrating. I’m mostly eating granola/milk, coffee/cream, salad (measured cheese, sun seeds, dressing), and pears.

    I am doing very well on counting calories, try to add more than less to be conservative. Today I am 238, and a month ago I was 242, INSANE. It makes ZERO sense. It’s like burning 450 cals at the gym 3 or more days a week is doing nothing at all.

    My only hope is I am losing inches. I’m 54 almost and if the stats are true, then losing weight is harder when older. BUT how do you figure the LAST 15 lb loss out? What’s changed from 6 months ago?

  124. Eat when i am hungry or have the time and do not eat when I am not. As long as you eat primal foods, though, the warrior diet timing probably can’t hurt.

  125. I went through this list and marked everything off. Bam. This did not answer anything for me. All of this is common knowledge. I am looking for why I can’t lose weight– why it won’t come off– and why no one seems to have an answer that isn’t complete and total sense. I am already aware of the obvious.
    I am about 40lbs over weight — I don’t eat dairy, carbs, sugar, soda, glutton, or even fruit. There is nothing left for me to cut out of my diet. I only eat 10 oz of lean protein (mostly fish) a day, never add back fat for cooking, and 10 oz of green vegetables. Every day for nearly 5 years. (I commit to this 10 months out of the year). I work out 5 days a week for 2 hours. Cardio and light weights… No more than 10lbs.
    I am 5’4″ and weigh 167.
    My weight has not budged in 2 years.
    I’ve had tests run by doctors and nutritionists. Everything looks stellar. No one can tell me what is wrong. I am certainly willing to try and commit to anything– but I admit, my spirit is broken. I’ve struggled with weight my entire life— but I never struggled with eating behavior. With my obsession, I surprised I am not anorexic.

    1. Ally,
      You sound like you’re in a pretty sh***y situation. Have you considered getting a personal trainer?

  126. This was so helpful! I have recently began my weight loss journey. I’ve been going at it pretty strong and my drive is amazing right now. I’m so motivated to drop the weight. My goal of 20 lbs in less than a month is next to impossible but I’m going to stick with it and see how close I can get in the time frame I have allotted myself. I am 5″9 and I was 175 when I started on the 4th of march. I’ve dropped 5 lbs ,4 of which were in the past 2 days. I’ve quit smoking, which is probably not helping with my stress but I’m determined not to start back. I’ve given up alcohol, sugar, carbs and I’ve started to work out again for the first time in a year. I will now cut way down on the fruit after reading this, try to get more sleep and do all that I can to reduce stress. I will do almost anything at this point to get closer to my goal. Thank you so much for the good read! If you have any suggestions please shoot them my way!

  127. I think throwing out food is worse than eating them .I would donate.its up to them to eat or not but I would donate.some people may think that donating junk food is not kool but let’s put it this way …if u r out in the cold n naked would u put on some ripped used dirty blanket to survive or would u expect a brand new clean designer coat instead ? Remember that dirty blanket will keep u alive at least for another day.we must learn to appreciate what we get.

  128. Good morning Mark,

    I tryed paleo diet last year. I was 125lbs and lost almost 10 pounds the first week wihout even working out really except walking. When summer came and the kids at home, it started to be difficult to keep up with the diet. Then by Christmass, I was weighting 130lbs. I wasn’t eating a lot but I have the feeling that my body was stocking fat… One month and a half a go, I came back on pd. I am working out, jogging and yoga. Sticking to the iet but guess what? Haven’t lost 1 pond??? I really have the feeling my body is working against me. I am drinking a looot of water. Yes I cheeted BUT occasionnaly and for sure, with all the veggies I am eating, almost no carbs, a small amount of meet almost no nuts, there is nooo reasons I didn’t drop ponds so there is something else. I am 44 years old, so I guess, as a women, maybe my body is starting to change but again, I am in the frog with that weght thing… I don’t aim for 110 but 120 I would be be please since I am 5’2¨… 1 pond on me look like 10 :p At least my husband tells me that my body changed, so I guess something is happennning, but at 130, there is certainely place for a couple of weight drops.

    Thanks for your help

    isabelle

    1. Isabella,
      What’s different from the first time you followed PD and lost weight versus your current attempt where you’re not losing weight?

  129. Skills can be imparted, but the will to persist and persevere is inborn… a talent you have been blessed with. Well done.
    Regards:
    Healthmoor.com

  130. My biggest problem is portion control. I have gotten so used to eating big meals that I am not being satisfied with small meals. I have lost some weight but not as much as I could lose. Any suggestions on how to overcome this.

    1. Wendy,
      What does your budget look like?
      I had the same problem and I bought a set of smaller plates and started to eat 4x/day (7AM, 9AM, 12PM, 5PM) and that stopped hunger during the day… still struggled a bit at night. I’ll let you know if I figure that one out.

  131. I take the medication Lyrica for neuropathic pain.Its known for encouraging weight gain. I also turned 50 4 years ago and have found that since entering the Peri-menopause I cant shift the weight. I have chronic ill health and cant exercise at all apart from a bit of gentle yoga. I eat 2 meals a day fasting from after my evening meal to lunchtime the next day and non of it makes any difference! Its very frustrating.

  132. Another big plus of the primal WoE is a reduction in anxiety. I advise a diet low in sugars and starchy carbs for all of my anxiety clients. As well as reduction/elmination of caffeine and sodas and the like. Sometimes diet is the defining factor in bringing anxiety into normal range.

  133. I am on the plateau because – I think – I have osteoarthritis and pretty much any kind of running, sprinting etc hurts my knees, hips, back. Also I’m confused as to whether my evening glass of ‘red’ is also conspiring against me ! Any helpful ideas are welcomed…..thank you !

  134. This is a great list. It’s interesting that some of these reasons aren’t negative at all, like the one about gaining muscle. Since muscle weighs more than fat, replacing the fat you’re losing with muscle will indeed make you weigh more. This definitely emphasizes the fact that weight can be very misleading, as are the conventional ways of measuring and categorizing a person’s weight, such as BMI. For example, a person who is very muscled will likely (according to BMI) be labeled as obese, even when he or she has shredded abs, which is pretty humorous.

    On the note of weight loss, I think it can be difficult to lose weight when you don’t have a concrete plan — here a resource like https://bowhealth.com/weight-loss-calculator/ may be useful, at least with giving you an idea of the journey you have before you.

    From my experience, the most important part of health (including losing weight), is knowledge. That is, the more you know about health, the healthier you’re able to become.

  135. Thank you,i have lost 40 pounds in 2 months and i shutted the mouths of those bastards in my school who made fun of me.now also feel much better with my self (i won’t say the cliche stuff about boosting my confidence because being self-confident was never my strong trait)Ireally feel happy and proud now I just cant find the right words to express it.please try this diet it is 100%worthy .

  136. First of all thanks for sharing your blog with us , I am also a fitness freak and seriously your tips help me a lot ,I definitely include your tips in my diet plan . And keep sharing like this.

  137. I think another reason most people don’t lose weight effectively because they do not take into account weight training. Cardio is great but I believe only a balance between cardio and weight training help you lose weight faster

  138. Nice advice, but you have no idea what you’re talking about. Folks, ignore this poser.

  139. I have tried everything and I am eating healthy as well. I don’t know why I am not losing my weight.

    For breakfast, I eat Fruits and 1 egg
    For lunch, I eat soup (Chicken and Vegetable Soup )and salad
    For Dinner Salad

    I don’t know if I am eating right things or not ??????

    Please recommend

  140. #18 If you’ve fixed all 17 and you’re still stuck. It’s timing. You should not eat anything between set mealtimes. NO snacks. Every time I would IF I’d lose a couple pounds, but then when I would resume eating I’d gain it back. What was going on is I would graze small amounts all day. I finally broke the plateau when I limited myself to eating only at 3 set mealtimes. How much I ate in total and what I ate did not change at all only the timing, but I slowly started shedding the extra poundage.Even though my grazing was low carb I was still getting a continuous insulinic response which was preventing the fat from being burned for fuel.

  141. It surprises me how many people simply fail because of the number 1 reason you mentioned ha! A lot of them are all so common though.

  142. After reading Mark’s book 21 day Total Body Transformation I came to the conclusion that in general I’ve been following this way of living for years. I’m a few tweaks away to total transformation. One question though I make my own no chemicals all organic wines. Can I still drink wine? How Much? I’m 6ft2in and weigh 205.
    Thanks Kim

  143. Thanks Mark. Swollen fingers now not as swollen and pain gone. In a stall yet feeling good.