My 5 Month Paleo Transformation – Down 70lbs!

19 Comments

Written by: Dan

I wanted to take a moment to share my story and the transformation I have undergone in the last 5 months. A transformation that has truly changed my life.

Prior to going paleo I had tried just about every fad diet and exercise program known to man. I had tried many of the magic pill fat loss supplements. Problem was, I would see results for a few weeks, plateau then fall off the wagon and gain more weight than I started with. After graduating high school (weighed 215 pounds) I went on to 6 years of college where I received my doctorate in pharmacotherapy and followed that up with a year of residency. Sadly these years did not lend themselves to eating well or getting an appropriate amount of exercise. As with most college students, the temptation to eat bad/fast and drink copious amounts of beer were around every turn and sadly I cracked to the pressure frequently. The freshman 15 came and went quickly and turned into the freshmen 30, then 50, then by the time I knew it I was up about 90 pounds from my high school weight. After college my residency did me no favors either. 70-80 hour weeks once again left me with comfort foods and fast food at the ready. My weight further ballooned and I quickly found myself a whopping 100 pounds more than my high school weight (2011 weight- 320 pounds, BMI 37%). I was addicted to fast food. Lots of fast food. At least 3x a week on average. Looking back at those habits now I don’t know how I haven’t died from the destruction I put my body through. In 2012, I was able to add more exercise in and was able to lose about 20 pounds, but again plateaued at 300 pounds. I was stuck, my triglycerides were over 300 and my HbA1C was creeping into the low 6’s. As a healthcare professional I knew how troubling these numbers really were, but never had the will power to stick with a diet that took out all of the foods that I was addicted to and that were slowly killing me.

Beginning in March of this year my wife spoke with me about trying a new eating lifestyle she heard about from a friend, it was called paleo. My wife is in incredible shape fitness-wise and is actually training for a marathon, but was looking for a cleaner way of eating to improve our health together. From my previous failures with diets I was skeptical about starting a new one, but I said I think we should give it a try anyway. We started as hardcore as possible, doing the 30 day challenge to cleanse our bodies and our bad eating habits. I saw pretty good weight loss results in the first 30 days. I was feeling better, less aches and pains after working out, and for the first time in about 10 years went 30 days without fast food. My wife and I just kept going. I was dropping weight and body fat like crazy. We rewarded ourselves with 1 or 2 cheat meals a month after the first 30 days and began to even question the need for cheat meals at all (we tend to feel terrible after them). The beginning of August marked 5 months with a paleo lifestyle. I am proud to say that I am now down 70 pounds in that 5 month period and only about 10 pounds from my weight in high school. I will say that again, SEVENTY pounds in FIVE months from simply eating paleo. My exercise habits have only seen a few added workouts. I still can’t believe the difference a paleo lifestyle has made in my life. My BMI is now down to 26%. None of my clothes fit any longer (March was XXL, August I am medium to large size). I feel great and am hopeful that my next round of labs will show that a paleo lifestyle truly is the key to health. I still have goals to meet and I know the paleo lifestyle will not only allow me to meet them, but blow them out of the water. At this point in my life I plan on continuing the paleo lifestyle for the rest of my life. I’ve added high intensity strength training and am now working on building my body appropriately now that I am fueling it the right way. I am eager to find ways to help others see the light and conform their eating habits to that of a primal one. The paleo lifestyle has saved my life.

The Stats

Age: 28

High Mark Weight: 320lb (2011)
2012 A1c: 6.2%, Triglycerides: 300, HDL: 28, LDL: 108 EEEK!

Start of Primal Lifestyle Weight: 297lb BMI 35% (Feb 23rd, 2013)

Current Weight: 225lb; BMI 26%(Aug 5th)
Follow up labs: to be drawn soon!

Dan

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  1. Saul
    August 12, 2013 at 5:32 am

    Great job! A question for Dan. Dan, did you ever plateu and have to change things up? Or did you stick with the same method of eating the entire 5 mos. and did you include any “cheating”?

    • Dan
      August 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      Saul, We started with 30 days no “cheating” or off-eating. We typically have about 1-2 meals a month after that where we would introduce the foods we werent supposed to eat (grains/dairy/legumes). We typically feel terrible afterwards and would question even doing it again. I basically am in a routine of foods I love and my wife (who is awesome) has cooked a wide variety of dishes she has prepared that keep us on track. We keep finding new things we can make/eat which makes being paleo even easier. Once I quit grains I didnt really miss them after about a month. I really looked at the science of it.

      During months 2-4 I added some additional running (more than my usual “play” running when I play basketball which I do 2x per week). This month I am seeing a slow down in my weight loss, BUT, I have added high intensity strength training (See Dr. Doug McGuffs works- Body by Science). When I say slow down, I mean instead of losing 3-4 lbs a week like I was, I might lose 1-2lbs a week. A lot of this is physiological too, I mean my body is starting to tell me I am getting to a suitable wait I think. More importantly I am still seeing a decrease in my body fat %. Since I am getting pretty close to my overall weight goal I am shifting my focus into turning the fat I have into muscle. I am actually expecting to see my weight loss slow even more or even stop as I try to tone up a bit, but if I keep seeing my body fat % go down I know I will be meeting goals fitness goals still. As far as health goals, the main thing will be my labs. As a healthcare professional I know that A1C and cholesterol can tell a much better story of health than washboard abs. Hope to have those redrawn soon.

      • Saul
        August 19, 2013 at 9:30 am

        Thank you for the response and for the great post!

        Saul

    • Pete
      August 21, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      Me too. Would love to know. Gotta say, this is an awesome effort. I think Paleo will just keep getting more popular because it’s real.

  2. Noah Aboussafy
    August 12, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Outstanding!

  3. Elenor
    August 12, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Amazing! Good for you — and kudos to your wife who got you started!!

    Is it tacky to say: “Hey look! Your man-boobs disappeared?” You could be a poster child (man) for that! I always remember the boy-kardashian (Rob?) on Dancing with the Stars complaining about his — and thinking : get OFF the grains and they’ll go away!

    You’re (fantastic looking!) living proof.

  4. Sandy
    August 12, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    You look fantastic now! What a change in just a short time. Thanks for telling your story, keep up the paleo/primal life! I agree, it’s do-able for life. I am sharing your story on my Pinterest Success board, and sending it to some family members.
    Sandy in Georgia

    • Dan
      August 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      Sandy,

      Share away! I want to help anyone and everyone who is trying to get healthy and change their lives. I have seen the light and want everyone to feel as well as I do!

  5. Fleur
    August 14, 2013 at 5:35 am

    That’s quite a transformation in just 5 months! I’ve started paleo 2 weeks ago and the weight is just burning off Paleo is just amazing!

  6. Kevin
    August 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Dan,
    You are an inspiration to me as well. The transformation you documented is amazing! It looks like I am shorter than you but built the same way you were and I am hoping my transformation has the same results (chest-wise) as you had. I have just started the Paleo diet 3 days ago. I am Type 2 and the third night I didn’t have to take any Lantus Insulin and my morning (fasting) BS was 104! Not only am I looking forward to the “beach body” I’ve never had it is looking promising that I will no longer have to take insulin. I may even be able to stop my oral meds too. In either case I am convinced I will benefit from eating primal.
    Keep posting your results on the muscle building program. I use to be into body building. I never had a problem building muscle. My problem was I couldn’t do it without adding a lot of body fat. Just didn’t eat right.

  7. Alan
    August 16, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    I got to say wow, that is impressive. I heard about paleo diets but I never ever thought it was that great. The transformation pictures are stocking I got to say. I meant wow, that is amazing.

  8. Evan
    August 19, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    70 pounds in 5 months is impressive work, man. Amazing. I’m keen to hear about your body-building program, so keep us posted!

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