I Got Dunked Then Duped!

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After a disappointing body fat test (the one where you are submerged into a water-filled tub), I decided it was time to lose some serious weight.

I read about the Paleo Diet and the countless success stories. Needless to say I was sold! If you’re not familiar with the diet, simply put, it’s the one where you eat like a caveman/woman: no dairy, wheat, or refined anything. Not even legumes! I would forever be relegated to animal flesh, vegetables and fruit. Could I do this? Sure, if it worked. And that it did. At least in the beginning.

I missed my old carb-loaded diet so getting adjusted to this new diet took some time. During this period, I was unintentionally creating a small weekly calorie deficit through exercise which caused me to drop weight at the rate of half a pound per week. I was thrilled to see the results on the scale and in the mirror. I finally found a diet for life!

Aside from the fat loss and lethargy, another physiological change occurred: I stank. My body smelled worse when I sweat and my breath reeked. This was due to ketosis, a process whereby your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbs. I put up with the odor because I liked my new physique and because I got used to the odor.

Three months later, I retook the body fat test and was thrilled to learn it dropped by nine percentage points. That’s huge! I had finally found the panacea of all diets.

Boy, was I wrong!

As the months, then years went by, (three years total), and despite faithfully abiding by the diet, most of the weight came back despite keeping with my five days a week exercise schedule! How was this possible? Well like most things in life, there’s a reason.

Here’s what I concluded: I wasn’t paying attention to portion size so I was eating more than I could burn. Yup folks, it still comes down to calories. It was time to stop depriving myself and be rid of Paleo forever.

I’m back to eating whatever I want. That means, bread, pasta, rice and even dessert. I’ve managed to lose the weight I regained by creating a small daily calorie deficit (approximately 200-300 calories) and by exercising five days per week. I’ve finally returned to the lean self I was when I first started on Paleo.

So you see, it’s not about restrictive diets like the Paleo Diet or any other trendy diet you heard about. It all comes down to one thing: expending more energy than you consume.

It’s that simple.





14 thoughts on “I Got Dunked Then Duped!

  1. Carolyn Page says:

    Well done to you! 🙂
    Everyone is different; what suits one won’t necessarily suit another. I’ve investigated many types of diet/eating. I was a vegetarian during the 90s and early noughties, which I enjoyed. However, now I eat a balance of the food groups, and absolutely luv vegetables. I allow myself one or two sweet treats per week (a cake or two). I weaned myself off the daily chocolate/biscuits, etc., and, months later am feeling quite healthy!
    We really are what we eat… Loved this post.. 🙂

  2. Nancy says:

    Thanks for your sharing your experience with Paleo! Paleo and keto folks claim that a benefit of these diets is you don’t have to watch calories or portions. Maybe in the beginning you don’t have to as much because you’re already eating healthier foods to cause weight loss, but from your experience it seems in the longer term you still have to watch portions. Sounds like you have a better plan now! 🙂

    • Frieda P. Fontaine says:

      Yes Nancy, so true. So many people don’t understand that weight loss comes down to creating a SMALL calorie deficit. So many rush into diets thinking it will fix their weight problem only to get disappointed.

  3. jameswharris says:

    I keep trying different things. Currently, I’m trying intermittent fasting, eating during an 8-hour window and not eating for the other 16. I lose weight, but I don’t know if I can keep it up forever.

    I keep reading that 95-98% of people who diet regain their weight. That means only 1 out of 30 to 1 out of 50 can keep weight off. Makes me feel like I’m constantly swimming against a swift current.

    I actually feel healthier when I’m gaining weight.

    • Frieda P. Fontaine says:

      I can sympathize. It’s been one long experiment for me. But I find there’s no clearer way to lose weight than to create a small calorie deficit on a daily basis. I also find that in doing so, you can still eat your favorite foods, just in smaller portions. Once the weight comes off, you MUST continue to watch those calories or the weight will return. It’s an exercise in discipline and patience.

  4. Stephen Ellis says:

    Your writing is superb. You have a technique that reaches out to a lot of people. Re your diet: I am of the opinion that “fad” diets never work. My brother lost a lot of weight following the Atkins diet…but gained it all back. It’s true that a calorie is a calorie no matter how you disguise it, but that same calorie reacts differently on each body that consumes it. To me, the diet that makes the most sense is, simply to be careful what you eat! If you eat a slice of bread and it bloats you…stay away from grains. If eating meat upsets your stomach…stay away from it, etc., etc., etc. Eat whatever gives you energy and makes you feel good! The ice-cream that kills some people’s diets may be fine in your system. Try eliminating some foods from your eating habits until you find what your body likes and doesn’t like. It may not be the same foods you were raised with, but your body will let you know. Try it. I think it will work for you.

    • Frieda P. Fontaine says:

      Absolutely! Listening to your body is key. Diet is never a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Some people can process grains better than others while some must avoid it at all costs. It comes down to finding a diet that is well-balanced and agreeable with your digestive system. Once that has been determined, the number of calories consumed should be recorded and noted to ensure excess energy isn’t being consumed. After performing this ritual for some time, you will be trained to know if you are eating too much for your body weight and energy expenditure levels. This will prevent weight fluctuations. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I’m flattered that you enjoy my articles.

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