I lost 85 lbs the way Chris Kresser describes below. To be clear my body’s needs have changed – I no longer eat strictly paleo, but paleo has taught me so much about my body…and I never made weight loss the motivator…it was always about getting healthy and learning to listen to my body/mind… Chris Kresser has, for a long time, been a wonderful part of teaching me how to do this.
Of note: I was bedridden and extremely ill, this journey was about healing for me, not weight loss. The weight loss was a secondary pleasant thing that came about.
For me learning what my body needs and how I eat has been a continuing evolution. One that is not over. I am not married to any one system, but I can speak to the fact that Chris Kresser and other sources of paleo information was a critical piece for me to becoming healthy again.
Chris talks about the problem with losing weight and keeping it off below:
The problem is that to lose body fat, we need to be in what’s called a “calorie deficit” for an extended period of time. This means that the number of calories entering our body (i.e. what we eat and drink) have to be lower than the calories being used by our body (i.e. general metabolism and physical activity).
Seems simple, right? Just “eat less and exercise more.”
Unfortunately, this advice rarely works because the brain has powerful mechanismsfor overriding our efforts to lose weight. If you consciously reduce the number of calories you eat, your body responds by lowering your metabolism to match your reduced intake. So as you purposefully eat less calories, your body finds ways to use less calories. All while ramping up hormones that raise your appetite and drive you to eat more at every meal to regain the fat you’ve lost.
In other words, it’s extremely difficult to eat fewer calories than your body uses through sheer willpower alone—and this is exactly why calorie-restricted diets fail.
The holy grail of weight loss, then, is an approach that naturally and spontaneously leads to lower calorie intake. In other words, eating less without trying to eat less. Many diets promise this, but there’s only one diet I’ve seen that actually delivers over the long-term: the Paleo diet…
…Research shows that a Paleo diet is more satiating per calorie than both a Mediterranean diet and a low-fat diet. That means it’s more filling for the same number of calories compared to other popular diet methods. This is crucial for weight loss, since it helps you eat less without fighting hunger or counting calories. As I mentioned before, if you’re constantly fighting hunger, your brain will respond by reducing your metabolic rate and increasing your appetite. (read more)
Chris Kresser too has been one of my long-time teachers and consultants. I started following his blog while he was still a student and then I became a patient of his once he started practicing medicine. He’s been a consistent source of vital information and personal support and inspiration. Chris is the sort of practitioner of medicine I talk about here, a partner in my care. So I’m going to plug him here explicitly today. I am very grateful to Chris Kresser.
He’s now pretty much reached the status of celebrity doctor. He’s been on tour recently promoting his new book, Your Personal Paleo Code. If you’re still struggling to understand your body and it’s particular needs I highly recommend this book and Chris Kresser’s excellent, information laden website as well.
I’ve rarely been explicit about what dietary protocols I’ve followed, because I’ve learned that people are all unique and I’ve seen healing happen in many different ways. Our paths are all different. Still finding others who share what worked for them is an important part of finding our particular path. Chris Kresser is a keen proponent of such a philosophy as well. His books is called a PERSONAL code for a reason. And so he has supported me even as I’ve needed to eat legumes (Oh, no!!) and other not strictly paleo foods due to my very severe histamine intolerance. (by the way, I soak, sprout, and then cook legumes in a pressure cooker, eliminating most all of the issues with them)
For people who’ve been on psych meds this collection deals with a lot more of those issues: Psychiatric meds and FAT — fat and obesity is not a straightforward thing and a lot of nuance is involved. Every body is different.
For information on how it all came together for me dietarily (and losing weight) here are a few posts to look at:
And here are more that do not discuss weight loss as that is how I learned what I needed to learn…only concentrating on getting healthy:
Gluten: if you’re unconvinced see the collection of studies from medical journals here (with commentary and additional links to info on gluten and mental health)
This is a really great video of a woman (and doctor) who healed her MS this way: