Sometimes when you start diets such as the Paleo Diet, you can begin to see some really incredible results must faster than you had imagined. Ten, twenty, maybe thirty pounds can drop off while making very little adjustment to your physical activity. By eliminating certain trouble foods alone, this type of rapid weight loss can energize dieters immensely—and understandably-so!
There is a phenomenon—referred to as plateauing—that can deliver a great deal of frustration to dieters that have been having tremendous success. Basically, plateauing means leveling out after having been on a weight losing pace. Maybe you lost 30 pounds in 6 months, but for the next 5 you didn’t gain or lose anything. This lack of movement in progress can often lead to many falling back to old habits and then rapidly re-gaining much of their lost weight. While this is certainly something to watch out for, it’s not as common as most people might think—and it definitely doesn’t happen as quickly as many believe.
Lose Weight Fast
The Paleo Diet, and other metabolic-type diets have the potential to fundamentally alter the way your body processes the foods that you eat. Somewhat counter-intuitively to many, the drastic lowering of carbohydrate intake can actually turn your body into a fat burning machine. It’s this type of action that allows low-carb diets to provide some really amazing results, and provide them fast.
This metabolic shift exemplifies the magnificence of the human body to adapt to it’s current environment. Faced with a lowered availability of carbohydrates, your body will figure out how to utilize fats more efficiently, able to largely rely on them for a source of cellular energy. Unfortunately, this type of adaptation can also work against those looking to drop pounds once their bodies get used to the lowered caloric intake.
As with all things, balance is key to allowing yourself to find long term success in reaching your health and weight loss goals. Serious weight loss goals are much like marathons in that those who start sprinting out of the gate are the first to lose momentum. Those initial drops in weight can certainly serve you well in that they provide a sometimes much-needed sense of possibility, but they usually aren’t sustainable.
“[Most] aren’t victim of the having the rules to their dietary games being changed but, rather, more likely to have strayed form their diet plans”
A study conducted by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases found some enlightening results while investigating the periodicity of decline in weight loss sustainability. While measuring when such phenomena such as plateauing may or may not occur, researchers found that this type of metabolic adjustment wasn’t seen for as much as a year. While certainly validating the concept itself, the established timeline suggests that many dieters that run into this issue around the 3, 4, 5, or 6 month marks aren’t victim of the having the rules to their dietary games being changed but, rather more likely to have strayed form their diet plans.
White Knuckle Dieting
One of the largest issues with diets that are constructed purely for rapid weight loss; with names like the 3-day diet, the 48 hour diet, the weekend diet, etc. is that they don’t account for the long term. You can suffer through just about any kind of diet for 72 hours, nursed by the knowledge that you’re going to be able to gorge yourself at the very-near finish line.
This extrapolates for any other diet however, Paleo Diet plans included, in that those that really can’t stand the dietary lifestyle—tend to go back to old habits.
People who suffer through the avoidance of carbs, and sugar, and even alcohol may be able to lose weight fast initially as their bodies are freed from so many modern toxins. Eventually though, their weight loss will decrease in frequency, although not plateaued by any stretch. It’s during these periods of psychological turmoil—frustration with results, wearing down of resolve, or maybe just caving to social pressures—many find themselves tip-toeing back to their old habits.
After having shifted into different dietary lifestyles, their bodies are often overwhelmed by even a half-hearted submission to old ways. Maybe it’s just a beer after dinner, maybe pizza one night a week; the fact is that these foods are no easy task for their bodies to handle anymore. These foods, especially the carbs, are often stored as fats by the body which will greatly impede the progress of weight loss.
The Paleo Diet, as well as other low-carb diets, have great potential to help you reach your weight loss goals. If you reach a point of frustration where you feel you are unable to lose anymore weight, know that it generally takes at least a year for this to happen due to metabolic changes. More than likely, any plateaus you may be experiencing are more related to your diet than anything, or perhaps your periodic separation from it. Keep your goals in mind, remember where you started from, and don’t worry if your weight fluctuates slightly. Think in months—not weeks, and especially not days. This will help preserve a sense of inner calm and harbor the cultivation of a foundational balance for you.