7 Paleo Success Stories to Inspire Your Weight Loss Efforts

Need to Lose Weight? Get Inspired by These 7 Paleo Success Stories


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Paleo Weight Loss Success Stories

First, I want to thank the many people who submitted their Paleo weight loss stories for this article. There were so many amazing transformations and it was very difficult to choose which ones to publish.

With that said, here are seven incredible Paleo Transformations that will blow your mind.

Read about 7 people who lost weight and regained health on a delicious #Paleo diet. Such amazing transformations!

Transformation #1

I have struggled with weight loss my whole life. I don’t care to think about the number of times I lost 50+ pounds only to regain it again and again.

I have always been a carbohydrate and sugar junkie, and after I stopped drinking alcohol to excess… sugary foods were the next logical step. I moved from one addiction to another. When I realized what had happened, I was all the way up to 215 pounds. That was in 2004. My back was such a mess; I could hardly get out of bed in the morning. I went to the doctor and he told me if I kept doing this yo-yoing with my weight, I was going to kill myself. He said I may as well just stay fat. I set out to prove him wrong.


I started walking, a little bit every day. The more I did, the better I felt. So I looked for an eating plan I could live with. I changed my diet and lost 70 pounds in about 9 months and found racewalking. I never knew I had a competitive bone in my body… now I was racing regularly and have even won a few walking competitions.

Fast forward to January 2, 2011, driving home from Phoenix after completing 100 miles in this third attempt at the distance. I was ready to give up on my goal of walking 100 miles in a 24 hour period because I had let my food addictions take over yet again and was back up to 170. I was 30 pounds overweight, and yes, I did just walk 100 miles, but it took me 45 hours of a 48 hour race. The more I trained for ultra marathons, the more crap I ate. I was desperately trying to keep my energy level up.

Trapped in a low fat, high carbohydrate cycle, I gained all the weight I had lost back on a Mediterraneanesque diet, a couple of pounds at a time. I mulled this over and finally posted something silly on Facebook about the Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon. If they would count the 30 extra pounds I am carrying around, I could just add a 5 pound pack and enter the heavy division of the marathon. A new, awesome friend saw it and sent me a private message about Paleo, and the rest is history.

12212012_after_paleo_pictureJanuary 12, I flipped the switch and removed everything containing sugar from my food intake. It is amazing how when I set my mind to NO SUGAR, I was able to just quit, cold. January 18 2011 I quit grains. It took a couple of weeks to learn to eat when hungry and to stop obsessing over food logging, and I lost 6.5 pounds by January 22. It was so easy; I didn’t even feel like I was depriving myself of anything. My energy level had increased dramatically!

I didn’t start my serious training until after I had lost a total of 12 pounds, which was January 30. Can you believe it? I lost 12 pounds in 18 days with little effort, and this time, I can actually see the weight coming off my waistline. It’s like a miracle for me, as I have ALWAYS been fat, even when I was thin. I know a lot of people who read this will understand that statement.

Today is February 5, 2014. I am in the 140 pound range, but care less what the exact number is anymore. I have not been near a scale in quite some time. I finally had blood work done last May. Before Paleo, my HDL was around 36 and my total cholesterol was 98. No amount of endurance exercise could bring it up. After Paleo, my HDL is 72 and the total cholesterol is 170.

I still find it hard to believe that my weight loss happened so effortlessly and was so easy to maintain this time.

Transformation #2

I finally decided enough was enough. I saw a picture of myself where I really looked big and it struck a cord. I knew I had to do something. I had weight problems as a kid eating lots of sugar and lost my “baby fat” in high school due to being more active and watching how much I ate. I worked out and went into the Army. Boot camp and Infantry school really whooped me into shape. I got out and stayed pretty lean until my mid 20’s.

3402-1Then the weight started to creep back on. I couldn’t eat crap and get away with it anymore. I went from a lean 175 up to 220, at my heaviest in my middle 30’s. I decided to do some research on losing weight and having success with the Atkins diet earlier, I started with the low carb diet. I downloaded a Jimmy Moore podcast and one of the first one’s I listened to was with Mark Sisson. I bought Mark’s book, The Primal Blueprint, and that’s where it all started. I made a lifestyle change and learned all I could about the Paleo or Primal way of eating.

I eventually found your podcast and learned a lot from listening you your show. I went from a very chubby 220 down to 180 pounds with not much effort! My heartburn, sore joints, bad skin (pimples) and other health issues disappeared. Once I went Paleo the fat started melting away and there it was, the muscle I knew I had! I was lean again and felt and looked much younger than I am. Many guys my age don’t look anything like they did in their early 20’s but going on the Paleo diet will give you that body you once had. Give your cells the right fuel and they’ll do the rest.

Back CameraI’ll never go back. Now that I learned what the human body does with certain foods it’s easy to say no to sugar and grains. I feel better at 41 years old than I did at 26, it’s amazing. I try to share with anyone ready to listen. It was a great journey learning all this new information and I still am hungry for more, we can never stop learning.

My wife has been a huge support for me and we do it as a family, kids and all. It can be tough sometimes with treats in school and the constant sugar that is thrown at our kids now a days but we keep up the good fight. Thanks for doing what you do Chris! I enjoy your website and can’t wait to read your book.

Transformation #3

I had resigned to being overweight forever. I steadily gained weight until I reached 25 years of age and weighed in at 313lbs.

image4My wake up call was a photo of me that a relative posted on Facebook. It was then that I realized my denial and I decided to make a permanent change. I created a blog to chart my journey and began seeking information regarding effective weight loss strategies. I found a podcast via a “diet and weightloss” search on iTunes. The Rebooted Body w/ host Kevin Geary was my gateway into the Paleo world.

From there I subscribed to dozens of other great podcasters like Jimmy Moore, Dave Aspry, and Robb Wolf just to name a few. I’m definitely still learning and I’m still working on losing more weight but so far I’ve lost 111 lbs since I began my Paleo lifestyle back in May 2013 (a little over 8 months of eating clean).

Losing weight has been incredibly easy and fun. I’ve averaged a 14 pound loss per month and I’ve gone from a size 28 to size 16 in pants. I don’t see food the same way anymore. I’ve trained myself to filter out processed junk and I find joy in eating healthy whole foods. My kitchen is now my favorite place to be. New recipes make me giddy.

I would have never guessed I would ever be the type to get excited about a new cooking pan or fresh spices. Before going Paleo, the extent of my cooking skills was warming up a hot pocket in the microwave.

Transformation #4

I found out about the Paleo diet shortly after trying the vegan diet for a very short period of time. Something just didn’t feel right to me about the diet so I started reading articles and books about food/nutrition and that was when I really made the connection with Paleo.

Learning about grassfed meats and what it meant to eat meat from pastured animals just made sense to me, so I quickly abandoned the vegan thing. It was never an ethical issue for me although I completely detest the inhumane way animals are treated in these factory farms.

photo5During that time I had heard about Paleo from other people but really didn’t pay it any attention. Once I started to research it more it just started to make sense. I jumped into it very slowly but in a way that I could commit to. Before I made any changes to what I was eating I asked myself if it was sustainable and something I was willing to commit my entire life to.

Over the next couple of years I had already learned quite a bit about nutrition so combing my knowledge with the Paleo lifestyle, everything just started coming together. I was very active and feeling very healthy and it was just a snowball effect. The weight started to come off very easily.

I’ve never enjoyed counting calories or keeping track of my macronutrients so one thing I really enjoyed about Paleo was not having to do that and still seeing results. I have to recognize that Mark Sisson and his awesome blog really helped me understand what foods to avoid and how to make lifestyle changes that were conducive to becoming lean and healthy.

Although I don’t even like to label the way I eat, the majority of my eating is Paleo-like. For the most part I don’t eat grains, bread, beans, processed foods, sugar, etc. However from time to time I do indulge in all of these foods. Some of these types of foods I’ve lost interest in entirely, however I don’t deprive myself from things I still do enjoy and I eat them when I want, it just happens to be very little these days.

I think having a healthy relationship with foods means being able to eat the things you enjoy however the awareness that comes with it is what’s important. My goal is to eventually have NO interest in these foods but everyday my diet/lifestyle evolves and I let things these occur naturally.

The icing on the cake in my story is that this journey has also been my wife’s and although I’m the one with more of an interest and passion in this area she is right along with me and I attribute a lot of my success to having her as a willing and supporting partner.

Transformation #5

Last year I was 35 years old (I felt like I was 50, though) and about 50 lbs overweight. I have hypothyroidism due to a goiter, so my thyroid levels are never quite right. I was extremely tired ALL OF THE TIME!
At the time, I wanted to find a new endocrinologist because I felt my current one wasn’t very helpful. I found a new doctor who performed various tests, and found that not only was my thyroid still not acting right, but also that I had Pre-Diabetes! That doctor’s visit was a wake-up call for me, to say the least. I decided then and there that I was going to get healthy no matter what.

I had tried Weight Watchers in the past and had success with it, though it was a slow process, so I thought I would just do that. At the same time, my husband happened to mention to a co-worker how unhappy I was with my health and my thyroid problems, and she gave him a book for me to read that she had read when she discovered she had a gluten allergy. That book was Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution. And the rest, as they say, is history. TOTAL LIFE CHANGER!

usWhen I did Weight Watchers in the past, it took me 1 year to lose 25 lbs. In doing the Paleo diet, plus exercising, I lost 50 lbs in 6 months! I have NEVER felt better in my entire life! I have energy that I never thought I could ever have. I feel better now than I did in my 20s. Paleo has been a huge blessing in my life. I look great, I feel great, but more importantly I have learned how to live healthy forever.

P.S. My husband also started the diet with me and lost 30 lbs.

You’ve tried the Paleo diet and are now a total believer. Share the knowledge you’ve gained on your journey and inspire others by becoming a health coach. We need health coaching today more than ever before to help turn the tide of obesity and stop the chronic disease epidemic. Join the revolution.

Transformation #6

I started the AIP diet (a stricter version of
Paleo) when my son was about eight months old. I gained 30 pounds with my pregnancy and not only did I not lose the weight, I actually gained more after he was born. I was at the heaviest I had ever been and felt terrible. My health was in decline and I was despondent. The weight just wouldn’t come off and nothing I did worked.

Paleo Weight Loss Transformation - Beth ChenOnce I started the AIP diet, the weight started coming off. It was just a few pounds a week, but by the time he turned one, I was definitely starting to feel better. By the time he was two, I not only had lost all the baby weight but an additional 15 pounds. It was incredible. It was the first time in my life I didn’t have to exercise to the point of exhaustion and count calories.

Paleo Weight Loss Transformation - Beth Chen

For me, as long as I stuck to the Paleo template, it felt effortless. I didn’t feel deprived in any way. Additionally, my health started to rebound. My anxiety around my weight started to disappear and I finally felt comfortable in my skin. I had energy and could keep up with my very active toddler. For the first time, I felt like parenting was a joy, not a strain. The AIP diet changed the trajectory of my life. I was so inspired that I started a blog, bonaippetit.com, that’s all AIP and Paleo recipes.

Transformation #7

Big fan of your site and during those first few months in hell, your guidance, alongside others like Dr. Hyman, Whole30, Dr. Meyers, really helped me recover. If you were to stop reading right here, know that the Paleo diet is the correct diet for curbing obesity and strengthening your entire system.

At 36 years old (2018), I had given up on ever being thin again. I was 208 lbs; my weight had not changed much throughout my 30s. Always heavy set, always trying to lose—nothing worked. Even when I starved myself, worked out everyday, I had only managed to get down to 180 lbs (around age 34). Given my height is 6 ft, I was still—even at my lowest weight, still overweight—and it showed. And it was all gained back in less than a year.

The symptoms, or I should say, the physical health problems that manifested towards the end, was the impetus to this change to Paleo dieting. I had epigastric pain to the point of thinking I had esophageal cancer. My bowel movements could be summed up in one word: splatters. My sleep was five hours a night, if that. My mental facilities were dwindling. I could literally feel myself slipping (forgetting simple words, not able to keep track of days, short-term memory completely shot).

Paleo Weight Loss Transformation - Jesse

After my endoscopy, which revealed chronic gastritis, the doctor put me on an eight-month course of PPIs and told me to lose weight and to follow an acid reflux diet. “How do I lose weight?” I thought. I read about the acid reflux diet and it made sense, so while I was healing I followed this diet, but I found that it didn’t resolve all issues I had—more so, it just helped the healing of the epigastric issues. The problem with this diet, I soon found, was that it still allowed for plenty of refined carbohydrates—in fact, it was part of the diet! Bread, rice, noodles, etc. all were cool.

Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to give Paleo a try. After a lot of research, I put together meal plans and a list of foods that were higher pH so I could continue healing. I had given up drinking alcohol entirely a few months before and that seemed to help relieve some of the acid reflux, but there was still some pain after meals and bowel movements were only okay.

Paleo Weight Loss Transformation - Jesse

In a matter of maybe three months I had gone from 208 to 170. So, I continued strict Paleo dieting for another three and added intermittent fasting. I bought recommended supplements like reduced glutathione, methylated vitamin B, etc. I got into fermenting my own foods and making kombucha.

All of which literally turned me into a caveman. My lowest weight was 152 in May of 2019. Now that I had lost the weight, it was time to gain muscle. Easy enough, I kept on a modified Paleo diet, adding back in some legumes, lowering meat intake, but upping overall protein and vitamin intake through plants and supplemental shakes provided by Parsley Health. I am currently 160 lbs, cut from marble, and, most importantly, my physical health problems subsided.

Because of Paleo, I am not the man I was in 2018. I wasn’t even the man I was at 31. I feel like my physical age is somewhere around 26–28. People think I am in my 20s just based on looks. This is all thanks to the Paleo diet.

These stories are truly inspiring. Now I want to hear from you: Do you have a Paleo success story? Send us an email if you do and want to share it.

  1. I am a returning paleo dieter. Yes I said dieter, get anyone’s attention? I have lives every or almost every diet on the planet and a few years back lived the paleo diet. I went back to my old eating and guess what? I quickly found the weight too.
    In January of this year I turned 40, my son is 6. I quit smoking in Novemer of 2015 as I had promised to do before my big 4 0. I knew I wanted to be healthier and be here for my son as long as possible. Now look, I gained some pounds not many quitting, began gearing up to be 40 and realized I couldn’t keep up with my kiddo.
    I had a choice, either get healthy or get left behind. So my f U 40 campaign began. Like quitting smoking, I did not remove temptation this time. I have bread and pasta here in my home but I don’t choose to eat it. I do not force my son or fiancé to follow paleo but if it is some thing I am making they would like they get some too. I cook all of our meals so I do make them things I don’t eat, several times a day. For their diet I have taken out as many preservatives as possible and to to offer clean versions of the foods they eat.
    I have been overweight my entire life, I was born at over 10lbs. In 8th grade I weighed 189 lbs. my summer from grade school to high school I started my first extreme diet, actually began my lifelong eating disorders I would say now. I ate three eggs scrambled each day plain with Diet Coke to drink. Sounds great huh? I lost almost 30 lbs and started high school at 160. A yo yo dieter was born, now 26 years later I am finally learning how to treat myself in mind and body.
    I love junk food, sweets, ice cream, candy, bread, pasta, chips and pretty much anything else that slowly kills your body.
    On January 2nd I restarted paleo. This time knowing it was not a diet and knowing I was making these changes for me. I do cheat, less all the time since now cheating makes me sick. I have eaten some wheat, that was a terrible idea. I have eaten Ben and Jerrys, worse idea. That one sent me rushing to find a bathroom since the gastric distress was so awful about 5 minutes after my crime!
    I now weigh 196.8 I have been exercising regularly and not so regularly trying to find the me that works. I have done some long distance walks and even did a self 1/2 marathon walk of 13.2 miles. I also started running. Now keep in mind I was the kid in high school who during the fitness exam couldn’t run at all in our 1 mile timed race. That mile took me ove 16 minutes at 16! Yesterday I ran 2 miles. Look, I am not sprinting, I do stop fo 10 seconds if I need to but I have replaced the voice in my head that says “you can’t” to “what if you can?”.
    I have goofed off for about 25-30 days, some cheats, missed days of exercise and other than knowing a day of cheating costs me possible illness or days of gaining I know I am paleo. It is not perfect, I am not perfect but I want to be my best me, no one can tell you how to do that. You have to experiment a bit to find your way. Be kind to you.
    For challenges, we all have them. I sure do LOVE how a nice fresh hot dog roll smells, I miss the texture of bread but not more thank I care about me. I too started doing all of that almond flour baking, trying to replace my missing items with OK versions, guess what it did taste good but it slowed me down and made me crave more and more so now it is a treat thing not a daily item.
    For those who are frustrated just remember it is not a race, you are worth the effort and to look really hard at areas of opportunity to make changes. In paleo we don’t have to track but it could be there are hidden things we might miss. I know I found one once when making a pasta salad for my boys and I popped a noodle in my mouth to test if it was done! I have never spit something out so fast, now I ask them to test it or pinch it for doneness. Live and learn for all of us.

  2. I began taking the Lady Soma Fiber Cleanse on December 20th, 2014 and have been on it for 3+ weeks now. I have currently lost 15.5 lbs in 3 weeks. I have had absolutely no negative symptoms and actually had to start just taking one pill and only taking it in the morning.

    I still have 43 lbs to go for my goal weight. I am hoping to lose another 5 lbs in the next week with this product.

    I will begin going more frequently to the gym now, as I have shed a few pounds that has motivated me.

  3. Hello,

    10 months ago I dragged myself to a yearly physical. I was so embarrassed and scared I had not been to a doctor in years. What was the point; I was 95 pounds overweight, I was tired, depressed, and I believed grains and carbohydrates were healthy super foods! I went to the bulk section of whole foods every week to buy grains and sugars and ate them almost exclusively. My stomach would hurt, and I would feel nauseous from the sweet porridge I would eat. I felt so confused about why this low fat diet was failing me. My entire family was overweight and all of them had given up on losing weight.
    After I submitted my blood work my doctor called and said my blood sugar was high and diabetes was possibly in my future… Everything inside of me lurched and I knew far too much about diabetes to shrug it off. Images of amputations and blindness flooded my mind. I began to cry and I went to bed that night saying this was it. I have one last chance before a lifetime of doctor visits and stress. The next day I started my research. I followed every diet book out there and found the paleo diet! It made so much sense. I understood how healthy clean foods were much better than packaged refine carbohydrates I had been eating. I knew exercise was important too so I started hitting the gym, walking, lifting weights! I worked out and walked 5-6 days a week.
    Today, a year later, I have officially lost 83 pounds, I have fifteen pounds to go. I cannot believe how much better I feel. I am so proud of myself. I am now only 26% body fat from 40% at the beginning of my journey and a recent blood work shows everything in the normal range!!! I know that if my old habits creep back in I will soon be back in my old fate, but I now realize I have strength and control over my destiny. My life is in my hands, I might not have been blessed with the best jeans, but I will fight extra hard to make up for it!

    Thank you to everyone who has supported me, and I know that if I can do it anyone can!

    • thankyou I have been reading all these transformations and wow its me all the way ever since I got out of the army my weight has gone up – I can not do a lot of exersing due to my legs,, so I have watch the weight come on,, loose some and poof its back on again.. today is day 1 of paleo and its everything I enjoy eating I do not mined cutting out all this crap we have todays world.caint wait till I can say hey I lost 50 lbs… well thanks again and wish all a heathy life. jim.

  4. I have just been diagnosed with Lupus and after suffering for some many years had no clue why. Two years ago already forty pounds over weight I quit smoking of forty years, two packs a day and gained another sixty due injuring both my feet with plantar fasciitis not being able to walk I now need to loose a total of 100 pounds. I am tired of being sick all the time and more than loosing weight I want to be healthy and feel good. I have started treatment but the steroids are working against me with the weight loss. I looked into the Paleo and I fell in love. on day two, refuse to get on a scale until after thirty days. just to be able to function and not to have brain fog or the afternoon crashes would be a huge plus. not sure if it will help with the disease or not but one can only hope. also being on steroids I can now walk, going to take the fur kids for a quick one tomorrow and we can find a place that is clear. love everyone’s stories, the good and bad, makes it clear this isn’t a miracle and needs to be work at. Good luck everyone!

  5. I would like to get inspired, but when I read about people who lose 20 to 30 kg in 6 months I just get angry…. why is it that I do all the work, and mind my food an in 4 months I only loose 6 kg? True, I could have gained them, or more… but I still need to loose about 15 kg’s why is it not working for me… and I get fricking tired of people telling me I look good and maybe I don’t need to loose anymore, I am 1.75 meter and weigh 82, that is way too

    • Marjanna, you lost 6 kgs in 4 months and not happy? With that rate it would be 18 kgs in a year. That’s what I call slow and sustainable weight loss, friendly to your body and health. Yes, at 1.75 and 82kgs you need to loose more weight. But you do not need to loose it faster. This is not a diet that you will keep, loose the weight you want and then go back to your previous eating habits. Because in that case you would gain back all the lost weight very fast. This is a lifestyle and there is no finish line. You need to do it while keeping in mind, that this is going to be permanent, this is the way you are going to be eating for the rest of your life. You need to find a balanced state of mind where you feel good (I mean physically), you are happy with the way you are eating and training (you are training aren’t you?) and at the same time slowly loosing weight too. Who cares if you get to your target weight in 6 months or in 2 years? This is not a race after all. And no, in the beginning, until that important mind shift occurs, it is not going to be easy. Whoever says that, is oversimplifying things. Be ready to fight for what you want. If you check the success stories, you will see, that those are people who don’t expect things to be easy. They end up doing crossfit, running half marathons and doing tough mudders. They (we) are ready for a fight. In all other areas of life, we need to fight for what we want, why would this be different? If it was that easy, wouldn’t we all be slim, sexy and healthy? But most people are not. From my own experience, you need to get your motivation right. You sound like your main motivation is the weight loss, and that is not good. For permanent success (you do want to stay at your target weight permanently once you get there, right?), weight loss needs to be the welcome side effect of a healthy way of eating where the main goal and motivation is health and strength. I do this because I want to be healthy and strong as long as possible, well into my old days. I don’t need diabetes, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, inflamed joints, depression, autoimmune disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, cancer … Because I firmly believe that those conditions can be to a good extent avoided or postponed if you eat foods that support your health and avoid foods which are downright harmful. My advice: get your motivation right and all else will come to you. Good luck,

      • i totally agree with einstein. i was on this diet about a year an a half ago. i was 14.5stone and 5 foot 2inch i felt tiered and depressed and couldnt run or walk. i went on the paleo diet and went down too 11.5stone in just under 3months with little to no gym work. i did basic home stuff like sit ups pull ups push ups etc and did walking. eating healthy is good. but some peoples bodies are different. losing weight is still losing weight even slowly. and better yet, im sure you feel better in general and thats the WHOLE reason for this diet. not to look good but to feel good. i lost all my stomach problems like cramps and acid reflux on this diet from my years of drinking fizzy drinks and living high refind sugar life style.
        so in general its a great diet but its not so much a diet to lose weight its a diet to make you feel 200% better. thats how i see it now.

  6. I was reading some research findings recently about how exercise increases the functioning of mitochondria. It also eliminates insulin resistance. The study showed that doing 30-45 minutes exercise daily for 10 days was sufficient to show these changes. Danged if I can recall where I read it but it was quite significant I thought. My sister who is a classic yo-yo dieter kickstarts her weight loss by commencing exercise. However her focus shifts somewhere else and then the weight goes back on. Now I can understand why she loses weight so efficiently when she focuses on it with excercise. I on the other hand exercise consistently and avoid the crap so have a very stable weight with a BMI of 20.

    • to exercise correctly is important and it is a whole science in itself, same like paleo. whoever wants to do it right, should read Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint and be guided accordingly. there is more to it than meets the eye.

  7. Hello, I am a 58 year old female that has had a weight problem all of my life. Right now I weigh 310 lbs and have been trying to lose weight really hard for the last 2 years. My highest weight was 349 lbs in March 2012. Have been on and off “diets” since I was about 12 years old. I would struggle so hard to lose a few pounds and then gain them back plus more. My Dad always referred to it as “backing up to get a running start at gaining”, thanks Dad. I have had my gallbladder removed due to gallstones, a total hysterectomy due to many problems since the onset of puberty (mainly PCOS). I have recently (9/13) had my thyroid removed due to the many nodules that had formed on both sides of the thyroid that after 3 different biopsy attempts it could not detected whether or not the thyroid was cancerous. I have been SO VERY FATIGUED for SO MANY YEARS I cannot even tell you. My quality of life just plain sucks. I took care of a father with dementia for several years at the same time working full time and then some for our local Power/Electric company where I was employed for 23 years in the most stressful payroll department. My mother died suddenly at age 67 of a heart attach several years prior to me taking care of my father. I have type 2 diabetes and have for some 15 years (mother and father, siblings and grands all have/had type 2 diabetes). I have hypertension, mixed complex seizures, liver disease, high cholesterol, etc (yes etc) I am with the lowest amount of energy one can have and still function at all and I AM TIRED OF IT. I want to give this diet a try and see what happens. I feel like my endocrinologist needs to work more on my thyroid replacement as I don’t feel like it is working well yet. I am taking synthroid 175 mcgs and cytomel 50 mcg daily and still I AM SO VERY FATIGUED! I need encouragement and help. I appreciate your articles and really want to try this. Sorry I have rambled on so. 🙁

    • Dolores, looks like you really are in need of help. Some of your problems can’t probably be fixed even by paleo (it is not a diet, it is a lifestyle by the way), but I believe many of them can, at least partly. It is never too late to start. You are at the right place if looking for answers. I assume you are pretty much motivated by now and will do whatever you can to get better. It will take time and effort, but will be well worth it. My advice: start out by buying a copy of Paul Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet and read and study it well. It will give you the theoretical background of why you need to eat in a certain way to get better. Without this, your efforts will probably not last long. Knowledge is power, and doubly so when it comes to paleo. Those 20 bucks and the time I spent on that book were the best investment of my life. I got health as my interest rate. Once you finish that book, you will find your own way. There are many others to read.
      Marks Sisson’s Primal Blueprint, Chris Kresser’s Personal Paleo Code etc. These I can recommend because I have them, read them and find the information contain therein very useful.
      This lifestyle is a living and never ending thing. You won’t stop “dieting” once you get better. You’ll get hooked to feeling good and will want to know more. Good luck.

  8. I started the diet (Perfect Health) in November (so it’s been over 3 months now) and have lost 16 pounds! It hasn’t been very fast overall, but then I am post-menopausal (I’m 54). Actually I didn’t go on this diet specifically to lose weight, but to regain health (but I really did want to lose weight as a side effect too!)

    So, I didn’t really notice at first if I was losing weight or not. I just focused on the different aspects of the diet, trying to improve my nutritional status and feel better. I have to say that when I started walking 30 minutes a day, that was when I began to notice the weight really coming off. I only did that for about a week or two then other health problems and family problems interfered. Still I am continuing to slowly lose the weight. Slow is how I prefer it, actually. I don’t want my hair to fall out!

    • The way you do it there is no way to avoid sucess. But do find the time to move. Moving is important. It isn’t about the energy expenditure, but the endorphins that get released during exercise. Free high anybody 🙂 ? And being able to move freely is an important aspect of a quality life.

  9. Thanks to Chris for sharing my story. I want everyone to know that when I changed the way I ate at the start of my journey into Paleo land, I didn’t eat any paleoized treats at all. As I said in the story, I was a sugar junkie, so trading store bought carbage for homemade carbage was not going to help me at all. All I ate the first year or so was meat, veggies, fat, and a little fruit. I also ate some full fat Greek yogurt in the beginning. As I started to exercise more, I ate more roots and tubers. I do paleoize a muffin or two now, but those are not my staple foods. My lunch today: roasted asparagus and mushrooms, pot roast with turnips, carrots, celery and onions. Dinner tonight: 3 eggs, half a sweet potato fried in coconut oil, and a little breakfast sausage.

    • Thanks, as a fellow sugarholic, I appreciate your details about how you made this work. I’m sure I have enjoyed the homemade goodies too much, justifying them because they were healthy treats. And yes, Laura, I probably should try more good carbs. I actually lost weight fairly easily when I did the HMR diet with shakes, lots of healthy carbs like roasted root vegetables, and lots of beans. But paleo sounds more healthy–and when I did testing with Dr. Mercola he diagnosed me as a slow oxidizer (I think), which he said meant I needed to eat no beans, root vegetables or grains, but lots of spinach and leafy vegs, some butter, lots of fat like coconut, nuts, and lots of red meat, basically paleo. But obviously something isn’t working or I’m just not doing it well! Thank you both for the suggestions.

      • Lots of fat is very realative. Since fat is the most caloric dense macro nutrient, everybody with weight loss issues needs to track his intake. 4 ounces will cover half your daily caloric needs. Protein is the macro nutrient that sends a strong satiety signal to the brain. More chicken breasts and beef liver pls!

  10. I love hearing the success stories. But like Linkate, Tim and Maggie, I too have been doing paleo/Atkins very low carb for the past 6 weeks and have gained, not lost. I’m more bloated and tired than I ever was when I did Weight Watchers–low fat and high whole grain carbs. But I have read most of the popular paleo books and all of the Adkins books and am a firm believer in low carb, high density, high healthy fat, high quality food. But I must eat too many calories or not the right foods for my personal make up–or else my age (nearly 60), lack of thyroid and the fact I’ve been in full menopause for 20 years must be against me. Will keep trying, but like Maggie, I’m afraid it doesn’t work the same for me as many say it does for them. The more of the beautiful, delicious almond and coconut flour and coconut fat recipes I make, the bigger I get! Plan to find a local trainer who supports paleo lifestyle. But I am happy for those who say it works so easily and well for them.

    • Stop baking pls. Almond flour is very caloric. Increase your vegetable intake an reduce the fat. Eat more lean meats and move more. Eat only foods that sound good when you are really hungry. If you eat for enjoyment when not hungry, you won’t loose weight. Calories do matter,especially at 60+when a reduced metabolic rate is completely normal.

    • I agree with another comment, cut out paleo junk food if weight loss your goal. Track your blood sugar. Try resistant starch. Also, work on lifting weights or body weight exercises – you may not lose weight on this last approach but may help change body composition (when my weight loss stalled, I was able to get down a size with weight bearing exercises).

    • There’s a faction in the Paleo movement who refuses to believe this and unfortunately, a lot of them blog, but at the end of the day, fat storage is a function of the endocrine (hormone) system. It is governed by the level of certain hormones. You’re post-menopausal and you no longer have your thyroid, meaning you’re probably on Synthroid. I would be surprised if you didn’t have issues with fat release (the necessary prerequisite to “fat-burning”).

      In your shoes, if I had access through my insurance, I’d see an endocrinologist, with particular interest in my estrogen, progesterone (are you taking HRT?), thyroid and insulin levels. Also leptin if they will test for that.

      If you’re eating any sort of gluten- or wheat-based low-carb food substitutes, stop it.

      Also, animal fat is healthy. Try eating more of it and less almonds. Coconut is usually OK unless you have an allergy. The medium-chain triglycerides are supposed to aid in weight loss.

      If you’re still eating dairy you might experiment with going without it for about a month or two and see if that helps. My body seems to sort of do OK with ghee but as soon as I reintroduced heavy cream I started retaining water. Sometimes people with gluten issues also have issues with casein, one of the two major proteins in dairy. It shows up in cream and cheese.

      Also, one of the things about Atkins is you’re supposed to start at 20g (and you can do Atkins completely by Paleo rules, something most people don’t seem to know) and then gradually re-introduce by about 5g a week. That is, the first two weeks you eat 20g of digestible carb per day (fiber doesn’t count), then as you reintroduce you go to 25g daily, then 30g the next week and so on and monitor what your weight does. If your problem really is being too low on carbs, you’ll figure it out pretty quickly. If you’re getting mixed or confusing results, do the reintroduction more slowly because maybe with your hormone issues you are having trouble adjusting.

      Carb’s the least necessary macronutrient of the three. Even when you do reintroduce it, don’t go thinking, “Oh, I’ll be able to eat wheat in six months”–think instead, “I get to eat lots more veggies. Veggies are healthy.” Rethink this whole dietary habit thing, get more nutritional bang for your buck.

    • I’ve also had my thyroid out, and I’m peri-menopausal. I had to cut baked stuff to evenings only, and reasonable (somewhat small) servings of such. I do eat rice maybe once a week, and some ancient grains, but no gluten/wheat.

      I noticed a dramatic increase in my energy levels when I kept low carb for breakfast/lunch. Breakfast is eggs and greens, lunch is a salad with beef or chicken or sliced meat with crudites and a half a citrus fruit. I usually eat a more carby afternoon snack, such as a berry smoothie (blueberries, strawberries, ice, almond milk, stevia), and then I have a serving of carbs at dinner, which is equal portions of protein, veggies, and carbs, like a stir fry with rice or a steak and sweet potato. Sometimes I have fruit after dinner, or a piece of gluten-free toast with low-sugar marmalade. When I’m fighting cravings with the hormone surges, I have a small glass of chocolate almond milk, but also only after about 3pm. Everything I eat is low FODMAPs.

      I lift easy weights, and walk at midday when the sun is high. I don’t lose weight fast, but it’s steady, and my moods are much more stable than they were six months ago.

  11. It is so difficult to find positive people, things, situations… I am very happy to read about the success stories told above, and congratulate those people for their accomplishments. It is great that they took their time to post about their experiences.
    I feel sorry for people who cannot find happiness in good situations…

  12. Very depressing to hear the 30 day success stories. I really want the Paleo thing to work for weight as well as about 8 other things, but after 30 days of strict adherence to “the code” I have nothing to show for it.

    I’ll keep plugging along though. I notice the stories were all for much younger people. Maybe at 60+ the lifestyle is less effective.

    • Tim – None of these stories are from a 30-day reset period. Many of these people have had success over several months to even a couple years.

      Healthy weight loss takes time and patience, so don’t give up!

      • The stories definitely are long term but many of the posted comments are of noticable progress since the beginning of January. Those are the comments that give me pause and depress me..

        Thanks for your comment though, it is much appreciated.

        • It should not be about weight loss in the first place. I lost 16 kgs in 6 weeks, which was a welcome side effect but my motivation was health. I wanted to feel good and healthy again. Forget about the weight. For longtrerm sucess a change of mentality is crucial. Don’t tell me at 60+ your main motivation is vanity and a sixpack. I am 47, do have a sixpack (visible in good lighting only), but most importantly I am strong lile a bull and never felt better,not even at high school. Primal for 2 years and will stay so till my last breath.

          • desire for weight loss != vanity. When you get to be 60+ and don’t have your 6 pack anymore, come talk to me. There is more to it than that “Einstein”.

            Assuming what is important for you is important for everyone is a bit pretentious IMHO.

            • Assuming health is important for others is pretentious? I dont’ give a damn about my sixpack. As I said health and strength was my motivation. The rest is a side effect. If it was only about my vanity, I would have gone back to eating crap a long time ago. If health and strength dont motivate you,nothing will.

              • If a six-pack is a side-effect of getting healthier, that’s yet another reason to want a six-pack. If you get healthy to get the six-pack or just get healthy to get healthy, you’re still getting healthy. I don’t see the problem.

                • You don’t see it because there is none 🙂 But in itself a sixpack might not be motivation enough to pull this off when it gets hard. And it does fm time to time. Real motivation is health and strength. Never mind the extra weight. A strong and healthy body can easily carry around a few extra pounds. A sick body is going to greak down even if slim. And then the soul is left with no place to stay. That’s the real problem. And that’s motivation enough to eat and live healthily.

          • Why in the world wouldn’t a 60+yo man want to look nice and have a six-pack? Unless you are very unfortunate, you’re not dead at forty. The last guy I dated was in his early 60s. They still care, believe me. I will too, in another 20 years.

    • I understand the frustration of Linkate and Tim. I went strictly Paleo about a year ago for 3 straight months with no weight loss – in fact – gained a few pounds. I think my downfall was over-consumption of almond products; I baked a lot using almond flour, which I later understood was high in calories. This week I started again on the Paleo Diet but with modifications to allow occasional consumption of the non-Paleo-type foods. Also, reducing the amount of meat in ounces per meal and less red meat. Hope it works!

      • There are issues with almonds that have nothing to do with the calories. Being a seed food, almonds contain antinutrients that discourage consumption. (Think of it as the plant world’s version of Mama Bear mauling you if you go near her cubs. Seeds are plant babies.) They also contain a lot of omega-6, which can mess with metabolic signaling.

        I have zero problem with red meat. In fact I feel better when I eat it. Everyone should be careful with blanket advice about a specific food. You can get around the antinutrient issues with almonds if you prepare them properly (hint: if you bake with almonds, get the defatted, blanched flour instead of the merely ground-up almond meal… and if you use almond butter, look up how to make crispy almonds from the Weston Price folks and grind your own butter), and you have no idea whether red meat affects you negatively unless you experiment. I have no idea why it would give some people problems unless it’s CAFO and they’re sensitive to whatever came through from the cow’s feed. We have long species experience with ruminant meat, probably by a good million years or more.

  13. All these stories do is make me want to cry. I am 60 pounds overweight and yet have always tried to eat well. I started low carb/ paleo mid January and i haven’t lost a pound. Even when I was trying to eat less than 30 g of carbs daily. So I gave up and had a little rice and some root veggies. Promptly put on two pounds. I give up.

    • Mid January? So it hasn’t even been a month and you’ve given up? Please have a little more faith in yourself. And please, *please* tell me you realize the two pounds you were up from a little starch likely aren’t pounds of fat regained, but just water weight that came along with the glycogen being refilled?

      Give it some time. You didn’t put those 60 extra pounds on overnight, and they won’t come off quite that quickly either.

      For all the people…and there are a few…who are lamenting slow or no weight loss after transitioning to Paleo, I recommend working with someone in your area if you can find someone. (Check on Primal Docs: http://primaldocs.com/physician-finder-intro/)

      Sometimes there’s a lot more going on inside us than can be affected/corrected by diet alone and while some people will experience that magical instant fat loss, some won’t. That doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen; it means there are other things that should be addressed that might help things along (hormones, adrenal function, liver function, etc.)

      Don’t call it quits on yourself after less than one month. You deserve better than that, don’t you?

    • Your motivation is wrong. I am sure you have other problems apart fm extra weight. Depressed,lacking energy,sore joints,beathlessness-sounds any of this familiar?Couple of other things too?Do it for your health.To feel good and strong again.Don’t even go near a scale.Some people loose weight fast(I did),some much slower(my wife).If you do it for health,long term sucess and weightloss will follow.This is not a race.It is a lifestyle.There is no end to it once you start reaping the benefits you get hooked. This is the one and only addiction I recommend to everybody:-)

    • Linkate, My Fiance’ and I have been living the Paleo lifestyle now for 5 weeks & his weight came off pretty rapidly but mine has been very slow. He has lost 13 plus pounds & me, 8 lbs. It took at least 3 weeks for me to show any weight loss. I am 46 years old & I have had a hysterectomy so I have taken a lot of thing into consideration for my slower weight loss. Please don’t give up & don’t think of it as a diet, Make it your way of living & before you know it you too will see result’s. Maybe try eating a little less & exercise a little more. I know at the beginning stage of our Paleo lifestyle change, I was eating the proper foods but way too much meat. Maybe try adding more yummy veggies to your plate. This is your life your trying to save & it’s worth saving so keep it up & just try small changes until you find what works for you. Good luck & stay strong!

      • I also wanted to add that my fiance’ has been able to lower his blood pressure med’s & even though he has lost 13 plus pounds people are telling him he looks 20 lbs thinner. We walk on our treadmill 30 minutes per day at 2.5 speed….nothing to hardcore.

    • It’s a good idea to visit a doc anyway for a baseline and monitoring if you have insurance and can swing it. Here are some other issues you may have.

      1. I can’t tell if you’re male or female. If you’re female, and it’s been less than a month, your hormones may not be in the right balance to allow release of fat stores to commence and of course, that balance changes throughout the month, as it should. If you’re on the Pill, that’s definitely going to slow you down. (If you must be on the Pill, ask your doc about switching to a progestin-only formula. Fat already secretes estrogen, and you getting more estrogen in a drug is going to make your problem worse.) If you’re not on the Pill and you’re female, at least give it longer than a month.

      2. Do not try to eat low-fat.

      3. Don’t overdo protein. Different experts disagree on the ideal protein intake but try not to go over 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight a day. The numbers I typically see are 0.8g-1g of protein per pound of LEAN bodyweight a day, but if you can’t measure your bodyfat percentage, you can’t really determine that. Play around with it some and see what you get. Nutrition database websites are very helpful for this. So’s a food scale so you can see what X amount of protein looks like. (Eventually you won’t need the scale anymore.)

      4. There is no absolute 1:1 relationship between exercise and fat loss. There are fat athletes, skinny lazy people (I don’t use the term “skinny fat,” I think it’s stupid), and every graduation in between. BUT, if you have dialed in your diet to allow fat-burning to happen, increasing your energy demands should increase the rate of fat release from your stores.

      5. If you’re already exercising, you could be looking at gaining lean mass at the same time you’re losing fat mass. It’s too early to tell unless you have access to Bod Pod, DEXA, a good bodyfat scale or someone who knows what they’re doing with calipers. But you may find this is a definite problem later. At that point you will have to go by fit of clothes or body measurements more than the number on the scale.

      And… this won’t be a popular opinion but you might look into a *quality* nutritional supplement because you are probably short on something. People with chronic health issues and a history of bad eating usually are. Personally, I look for a multivitamin with real folate in it, not folic acid (Chris has an article about that here somewhere on his blog) and methylcobalamin for the B12, and I supplement real A and D3, and I try to stay on a multimineral that is chelated. I have good luck with those. Until you make better eating habits into an *ingrained* habit, your body needs the materials for healing. Just my opinion, insert disclaimer here about me not being a doctor, etc.

      Most of all though, persevere. Even if eating Paleo never produces significant fat loss, you’re still eating better than a majority of the population, I think. This dietary template removes the least nutritionally dense foods from your diet in favor of the foods with greater nutrition. Your body will thank you later.

    • Hi Linkate,
      I hope you stuck with paleo. I’ll send some good thoughts your way! I’m just starting. I’m the same as you, 60# to lose. I’m looking at this as a gift of health to myself and my family. I started because I want to lose weight and I’m motivated by the idea of living pain-free, being healthy and active as I get older, being free of depression, and living vibrantly. So far, I feel so much better. And, I’m not a spring chicken!

      I’ve also been doing some Aging Backwards exercise tapes, Barre exercise tapes, and walking. I’m going to start boxing workouts next week. I’ve really noticed a big improvement in my upper back muscles since I’ve been stretching and doing light weights. I sleep more soundly, I’m not as sore when I wake up in the morning. Amazing.

      I’m ok if the weight comes off slowly because I know life might knock me off balance and I need to be in the right frame of mind to take care of myself.

  14. I definitely appreciate seeing these transformation stories but I would very much like to see some success stories from people recovering from anorexia too. I’m recovering from anorexia and I could definitely use some inspiration in that process!

  15. I went from 180 lbs to 163 lbs since the beginning of January. I am noticeably slimmer and I’ve gone down 2 dress sizes. It feels amazing! Love Paleo lifestyle!

  16. After giving birth to twins, I wasn’t sleeping enough or eating the right foods. I managed to gain over 30 pounds over about a period of a year, even though I was exercising a lot. I was eating a lot of whole grains, fruit smoothies, vegan protein powders, and the occasional piece of fish or lean meat. The weight continued to creep up, and my doctor tested my thyroid and said everything was okay. I couldn’t figure out what was going on or why I couldn’t lose weight until I went to an acupuncturist — Jamie Koonce — because I was starting to have pain in my back from carrying around all the extra weight. She told me to do a modified version of the Paleo diet which is similar to what you recommend in your book, Chris. She is doing a lot of cool things with yoga + Paleo (http://jamiekoonce.com/), and helped me get back down to my pre-baby weight within 6 months. According to Jamie, my “spleen qi” was weak, so I take a tonic herbal formula for that. I’ve never looked or felt better because now I have more lean muscle and less fat than I did before having the twins.