- 23 Paleo Success Stories That Will Blow Your Mind
- Katie lost 85 lbs (and her fear of foods that contain fat).
- Jennifer kicked yo-yo dieting for good by adopting a Paleo lifestyle!
- Jody: Managing Mitochondria Disease with Paleo
- Jamison: After having a heart attack at age 26, lost over 100 lbs in 7 months
- Anthony: Lost 200 lbs in one year.
- Doug: Lost 40 lbs in 6 months
- Leah: Lost 40 lbs in three months.
- Meg: GAINED weight and found ways to love her body
- Chrissy: My diet was sugar-free and fat-free everything
- Grace: Lost 50 lbs on Paleo on a college budget
- Jeanne: Lost 100 lbs in 9 months
- Megan: Manages Reynaud’s Phenomenon, Celiac disease, and Hashimotos Thyroiditis with a Paleo diet
- Chae: Lost 140 lbs on Paleo
- John Mack: Lost 100 lbs in 9 months without working out
- Kathy: Reversed three years of Glandular Fever, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and insomnia with Paleo
- Steve: Went from 340 lbs to 8% body fat
- These success stories don’t have dramatic weight loss photos, but their results are equally inspiring!
- Jaclyn helped her son lessen his ADHD through Paleo
- Jennifer has found relief from Lyme and Hashimoto’s by following a Paleo Diet
- Bre’anna has also found success treating Hashimotos using AutoImmune Paleo…
- … And so has Jessi, following a Paleo diet.
- Gabriella has helped lessen her Chronic Lyme Disease symptoms with Paleo
- Nora has overcome Leaky Gut and SIBO with a Paleo Diet
- Caroline manages her Type 1 Diabetes with a Paleo Diet
- Ready to try Paleo? Start off with our 30-Day Guide!
- GO PALEO … with our 30 Day step-by-step Program
- 1. Getting all of the facts straight was tough.
- 2. Paleo doesn’t necessarily translate to weight loss.
- 3. Meal prep is my best friend.
- 4. You’re on your own when it comes to portion sizes.
- 5. There’s a blurred line with booze.
- 6. Eating out was really frustrating.
- 7. Saying no to friends got much easier over time.
- 8. Finding replacements for my favorite foods was possible.
- 9. I started seeing results fairly quickly.
- 10. My cravings started to disappear.
- 11. My favorite food did not taste quite as amazing after 30 days.
- Weight Loss Before and After: I Lost 90 Pounds With Paleo Diet
23 Paleo Success Stories That Will Blow Your Mind
When people find out I’m Paleo, I’m almost always faced with some sort of debate. I’ve been thrown into a lot of arguments over Paleo (I mean, a LOT of arguments). And while usually I’m thinking to myself, “Can’t you just let me eat my bun-less burger in peace?” I also start thinking back to all the Success Stories I’ve interviewed for this site. If you want proof that Paleo works (or if you need help convincing someone else) I’ll just direct you to the people below. Read their stories. Look at their photos. Then we’ll talk. -Kara
Many of these stories are from The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking. Get our comprehensive Paleo guide, meal plans, shopping lists, and weekly tips for YOUR first 30 Days of Paleo here.
Katie lost 85 lbs (and her fear of foods that contain fat).
I was so obsessed with “low-fat,” I literally wouldn’t eat anything unless it contained those two words. When you go through such a big change, you become really paranoid that something will mess everything up. Paleo released me from this idea that going out for ice-cream will set you back six months, or cause you to lose all the work you put in. Read her story here.
Jennifer kicked yo-yo dieting for good by adopting a Paleo lifestyle!
Believe that this is one of the best things you can do for your body, and your entire mentality will change. You will look at food as something to nourish your body. This is hard, but not impossible. I love this lifestyle more than I love food. Read her story here.
Jody: Managing Mitochondria Disease with Paleo
Jody was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease at age 34, a disease for which there is no cure. But having a “never take no for an answer” fighting attitude that we’ve seen in so many of our success stories, she went to the internet to find other possible solutions. Read her story here.
Jamison: After having a heart attack at age 26, lost over 100 lbs in 7 months
Think organic food is expensive? Have a heart attack. That’s pretty damn expensive. Read Jamison’s 180 here.
Anthony: Lost 200 lbs in one year.
Without working out. Yes; you read that correctly. When asked what he did for exercise, he said, “Well I started walking a mile…” Read his story here.
Doug: Lost 40 lbs in 6 months
“Fat, borderline alcoholic, and wolfing down every Twinkie in sight,” was how he described himself. Now, he’s a personal trainer and Crossfit coach in San Diego.
Leah: Lost 40 lbs in three months.
In just three months, she was off prescriptions for high blood pressure, had asthma, acid reflux, and a case of Candida. Oh, and she lost 40 lbs. Read her full story in The 30 Day Guide to Paleo.
Meg: GAINED weight and found ways to love her body
Meg is our one-and-only success story who GAINED weight. And after weighing UNDER 90 lbs in high school and battling an eating disorder, we’d say that’s one heck of an accomplishment.
Chrissy: My diet was sugar-free and fat-free everything
Egg whites, supplements, and protein shakes: can you say “blah”? That’s what she lived off of during her body building phase. Today, she says, “I didn’t know I could be this lean!”
Grace: Lost 50 lbs on Paleo on a college budget
Don’t have the time or money to go Paleo? Grace was able to lose 50 lbs on a college budget, and while studying bioengineering (not exactly an easy major people!). You can read how she did it here.
Jeanne: Lost 100 lbs in 9 months
After her first workout with her son (who served as her trainer) she thought, “No way I am going to work THAT HARD, and throw it all away with bad food.” Read her story here.
Megan: Manages Reynaud’s Phenomenon, Celiac disease, and Hashimotos Thyroiditis with a Paleo diet
Think Paleo is strict? Try the Autoimmune Protocol. This former DI All-American athlete and former VEGAN switched Paleo after she was diagnosed with three autoimmune diseases.
Chae: Lost 140 lbs on Paleo
Welcome to the gun show! After going from 300 lbs to 190, Chae could not lose a pound more…Until she did a Paleo challenge. Now she’s a certified trainer to help others do the same. Read more of Chae’s story on her website, Eat Suite Live Sweet. You can also find her story in The 30 Day Guide to Paleo.
John Mack: Lost 100 lbs in 9 months without working out
Yep, go ahead and hate him: He didn’t step FOOT into a gym until he was nine months in. But the guy put his work in: John has never cheated. Corn, rice, gluten-free cereal, beer, you name it; he hasn’t had any of it since he started Paleo.
Kathy: Reversed three years of Glandular Fever, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and insomnia with Paleo
Kathy’s doctors told her NOTHING was wrong with her. Does this look like nothing was wrong here?? Read how she took matters into her own hands here.
Steve: Went from 340 lbs to 8% body fat
Want to know what Steve’s original goal was? To get BACK to 300 lbs. That was his whole goal. It took him SEVEN weeks to lose 50 lbs. 10 months in, he was already down 140.
These success stories don’t have dramatic weight loss photos, but their results are equally inspiring!
Jaclyn helped her son lessen his ADHD through Paleo
Jennifer has found relief from Lyme and Hashimoto’s by following a Paleo Diet
Bre’anna has also found success treating Hashimotos using AutoImmune Paleo…
… And so has Jessi, following a Paleo diet.
Gabriella has helped lessen her Chronic Lyme Disease symptoms with Paleo
Nora has overcome Leaky Gut and SIBO with a Paleo Diet
Caroline manages her Type 1 Diabetes with a Paleo Diet
Ready to try Paleo? Start off with our 30-Day Guide!
GO PALEO … with our 30 Day step-by-step Program
The 30 Day Guide to Paleo is a fool-proof meal plan and guidebook for anyone that wishes to give the Paleo Diet an honest try for 30 days (and beyond!) When someone says “try it for 30 days,” we actually show you how to do it. Nice, right? Adopting a new way of eating can be challenging, but it’s something we have vastly simplified in our 30 Day Guide to Paleo program.
The Program Includes:
- Two different 30-day meal plans (60 days of planned meals, and shopping lists)
- Over 180 super easy recipes
- All the information you need to start Paleo today
- 30 Paleo Tips and Tricks Guide
- Exclusive emails for two months of guidance, encouragement, and tips
- Access to the 30 Paleo forums on our website
- and, Additional online support
I’m a huge fan of food. Pizza, watermelon, and craft beer are a few of my favorites.
I’ve also been known to complain about being overweight. I’m 5’7” and wear a size 10 to 12 depending on the brand, but even when I’m at my happiest weight, I comfortably wear a 10. I’ve got hips; what can I say?
But no month-long pizza binge goes unpunished. In September, I purchased a pair of size 10 jeans from my favorite store online that were ~perfect~ for fall.
When they arrived, I realized that I’d either picked the wrong size or I’d officially downed enough beer and pizza to make putting on my go-to size nearly impossible. (Spoiler alert: It was the pizza.)
So, I decided that for 30-straight days, I would dive into the Paleo diet, which bans all forms of dairy, grains, soy, and legumes. I also pledged to drink less and avoid added sugars and artificial sweeteners.
This wasn’t my first clean eating endeavor. I’ve made two attempts at the Whole30 diet (which is basically the Paleo diet with stricter rules). My first trial lasted 10 days and the second attempt lasted 30 (minus eight cheat meals). So I figured 30 days of Paleo would be a walk in the park.
But I invite you to close your eyes and visualize Donald Trump leaning into the mic because boy oh boy was I WRONG!
Here’s what I learned during my month-long journey:
Check out how the host of The Biggest Loser makes the perfect healthy sandwich:
1. Getting all of the facts straight was tough.
The rules for Paleo can be super confusing. I’ll explain more later, but there are a lot of blurred lines on what you can and can’t eat on Paleo. This is probably because there’s no official Paleo authority who defines the guidelines. When I tried the Whole30 diet, I really appreciated that the program had super-rigid rules. If I was ever uncertain about being able to eat a specific food, I could use their guidelines to determine if the food was compliant or not. With Paleo, bloggers and Paleo followers on social media seem to like to make up their own rules, which leads me to my next problem…
RELATED: Gone Paleo? Here’s a Shopping List for Beginners
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Paleo’s going well.
A post shared by Allison Berry (@berryintothis) on Oct 25, 2016 at 9:28am PDT
2. Paleo doesn’t necessarily translate to weight loss.
One Pinterest search for “Paleo desserts” had me scrolling through photos of Paleo cakes and fudge that were technically in line with the diet. But they were also loaded with natural sweeteners, like coconut sugar and maple syrup. I ultimately decided to skip baking Paleo treats.
RELATED: Should You Try ‘The Virgin Diet’ to Lose Weight?
3. Meal prep is my best friend.
I’m already a fan of making my meals ahead of time since it makes planning what I’m going to eat for the week so easy. So I spent my first Sunday researching recipes, grocery shopping, and cooking meals I knew and loved from my rounds of Whole30. One meal I found myself coming back to throughout the month was this one-pan pesto chicken and veggies recipe that I prepared with a Paleo-friendly pesto. It was a great lunch or dinner option.
After learning that Paleo bacon is a thing (it’s just sugar-free bacon) I made lots of Paleo bacon and asparagus egg cups for weekday breakfasts. It was a nice change from not eating breakfast, ever.
4. You’re on your own when it comes to portion sizes.
I was surprised that the Paleo diet offered no set recommendation for portions. As long as I stuck to the basic outline, I was free to eat as much as I wanted. This felt kind of like a trap. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was bound to overeat without portion recommendations in place. I tried to keep myself from overdoing it by dividing up Paleo blog recipes into the servings they was supposed to make and stowing the rest away. But when it came to snacking, I often went back for a second apple in the afternoon or an extra serving of veggies and guac.
RELATED: ‘The 4 Mistakes That Sabotaged My Weight-Loss Journey for Years’
5. There’s a blurred line with booze.
From what I can tell, Paleo die-hards don’t want to tell you not to drink. Some sources say it’s fine while others leave the decision up to you entirely. Since no Paleo guru insisted I quit booze, I still ordered cocktails at dinner and said yes to beers with friends after work as usual.
RELATED: 7 No-B.S. Weight Loss Tips That Will Actually Help You Lose Weight
But while my healthy meals left me with more energy and fewer stomachaches, I still hadn’t kicked any bloat by the day 10. So at that point, since my goal was weight loss, not just healthier eating, I decided to stash my corkscrew and banish alcohol in all of its forms for the remaining 20 days.
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Happy rooftop season y’all ✌️
A post shared by Allison Berry (@berryintothis) on Apr 10, 2016 at 4:33pm PDT
Hearst Looking for more tips and tricks? Conquer the paleo diet with ease with the help of The Ultimate Paleo Diet book.
6. Eating out was really frustrating.
Like, really frustrating. Before date nights with my boyfriend or dinners out with friends, I’d obsessively comb through restaurant menus looking for Paleo options. More often than not I had to plan some substitutions like asking for a different side or to hold the parmesan sprinkle. And even with all of that preparation, the reality of not knowing every single ingredient in my food started driving me crazy. Was the chicken cooked with canola oil? Did my veggies contain any soy? By the time I hit day 15, I’d decided to stick to eating only the food I’d prepared at home for the rest of my experiment.
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7. Saying no to friends got much easier over time.
Sticking to food I’d prepared for myself meant turning down brunch invitations and staying in on Saturday nights to avoid temptation. It was kind of a bummer, but I started getting used to eating all of my meals at home and grew confident in my ability to make better choices and avoid alcohol. Toward the end of the month, I allowed myself a couple of nights out, but I stuck with drinking seltzer and lime.
RELATED: This One-Day Plan Will Help Jump-Start Your Weight Loss
8. Finding replacements for my favorite foods was possible.
Part of my nightly routine was a snack after dinner. I’d chow down on Pop-Tarts, chips, cheese—you name it, I craved it before bed. I didn’t want to change every part of my daily routine, so I kept myself stocked up on green apples and bananas and snacked on them with a side of almond butter. I was expecting to miss the crazy sugar rush, but was actually surprised to find that my pre-bedtime ritual was a completely mindless process. I could have gotten the same satisfaction from grazing on apples all along. For my post-workout snack, which was usually a protein bar or sugary sports drink, I was able to find a Paleo-friendly protein bar that quickly became a staple on my weekly shopping list.
9. I started seeing results fairly quickly.
Once I finally stopped drinking, it only took about three days for my waistline to start looking smaller (right around day 13). Toward the end of the experiment my roommate said, “Your face looks skinnier.” Win!
RELATED: 9 Questions That Reveal Whether a Diet Will Work for You
10. My cravings started to disappear.
After a couple of weeks of nixing cheese and grains, I actually got to a point where I wasn’t craving pizza constantly. (Seriously, I craved pizza every day.) I also didn’t miss other junk foods that I’d mindlessly toss into my shopping cart, like bags of chips or blocks of cheese. I’m not saying that I didn’t complain when I could smell free pizza in my office or when I checked my boyfriend’s fridge for snacks and found half a leftover pie from the night before, but I consider the disappearance of my urge for ‘za to be a major accomplishment.
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A post shared by Allison Berry (@berryintothis) on Jun 21, 2016 at 6:09pm PDT
11. My favorite food did not taste quite as amazing after 30 days.
When I finally made it past 30 full days, I knew my victory meal would be a pepperoni pizza (obviously), plus some pasta to split with my roommate, and a bottle of wine. But even with all the hype, I have to admit that the first bite didn’t taste as amazing as I remembered. I still ate and enjoyed three slices, but the flavor didn’t seem as strong as it had in the past.
RELATED: Exactly How to Use Cheat Days to Lose More Weight
The bottom line: I don’t think that Paleo is an easy fix for losing weight or a lifestyle change that anyone can make quickly, but at the end of my experiment, I lost 3.2 pounds and was able to pull on my jeans without having to shimmy around my room. They were still a smidge tight, but I was happy to see that the waistband wasn’t cutting into my sides. And my roommate seems to be right. If I look in the mirror at the perfect angle, my face does in fact seem to be a bit trimmer.
Since I discovered that I can easily change my eating habits and that it is possible for my tastes to change, I would consider going Paleo again. But I’m not sure this is a realistic way for me to eat every meal (I can’t quit you, cheese). Instead, I’m going to keep up my meal prepping habits so I’ll always have healthy options on hand. I’ve also upped my exercise game (my nemesis) from precisely zero trips to the gym per week to at least four. Oh, and I’m also proud to say that my bed has been and shall remain Pop-Tart-free.
Weight Loss Before and After: I Lost 90 Pounds With Paleo Diet
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
I have struggled with my body image for several years. I vividly remember the first time the topic of my weight was brought to my attention. I was thirteen years old, rocking Abercrombie gaucho pants, figuring out all things middle school. Moving into high school, soccer helped to keep me fit and trim, however I still struggled with how I looked – a never ending cycle of self-doubt and comparison to others.
College came and with it those freshmen 15 …. 20 …. 30 pounds – a dash of depression here, a sprinkle of sorority drama there and voila! you have the perfect weight gain sundae (literally ..pints of Graeter’s ice cream were my jam!) Entering my first years of teaching proved overwhelming and stressful and, instead of learning how to cope with these feelings in healthy ways, I continued to eat and drink my way through them.
In November 2016, a month before my wedding, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and began taking a steroid medication that didn’t help keep the pounds off.
NAME : Grace
BEFORE WEIGHT : 207
AFTER WEIGHT : 117
POUNDS LOST : 90
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
I have struggled with body image insecurities since I was a pre-teen. In high school, I was slim and fit thanks to year-round soccer – however, even when I was “skinny”, I was never happy with the way I looked. As the years progressed and the pounds packed on, I noticed myself buying baggier clothes to hide what I didn’t want others to see. It wasn’t until the past year or so when I really began to become unrecognizable, even to myself. I would shy away from photos and I would avoid events that I was worried I would run into old high school peers at. I was increasingly self-conscious.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
There were a couple “turning points” that caused me to commit to my weight loss journey. In April 2017, my husband and I weighed the same weight (207 pounds). That was SHOCKING to me …. I asked my husband as well as my mom to be honest with me about how I looked. My husband was reluctant (because who wants to tell their wife that they’re fat?! I don’t blame him for avoiding my crazy) but my mom was honest in that I didn’t look healthy.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I reached out to a local personal trainer, Vitorno Martinelli (the most Italian name ever, am I right?!). Vito and I met up for an initial consultation and, although I had reservations, I committed to a month of sessions. I began my Paleo lifestyle journey on April 8, 2017. I removed gluten and dairy from my diet (which helped to decrease my Crohn’s flare ups).
I consistently did cardio and I worked out with Vito four times a week over the summer. Once I returned to work, I decreased my sessions with Vito to twice a week and still did/do cardio. I continue to avoid gluten and dairy.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
I began my journey on April 8, 2017.
I lost 10 pounds within the first month.
From April 8 – July 28, 2017 I lost 50 pounds
From April 8 – November 16, 2017 I lost 90 pounds.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
I had to learn how to manage my Crohn’s Disease and take care of my body.
I had to learn how to eat in a way that would not only help me to lose weight but to also help keep inflammation down and not cause flare ups.
I had to change my mindset and develop as a person. I needed to learn how to love myself and my body …especially my body.
Never before had I spoken positively to myself about how I looked.
Never before had I coached myself and worked to change my mindset.
My family is awesome and has always been supportive. They have been there every step of the way and loved me through thick and thin (literally …. too soon?)
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
I definitely had a couple times where I would just get frustrated. Frustrated that I let myself get this way in the first place. Frustrated that I was spending summer days at the gym. Tired because of all the workouts. Sassy because I wanted a margarita … because who doesn’t want a margarita on a hot summer day?!
Buying clothes definitely kept me motivated! I go to a cute consignment shop and those ladies, I am sure, thought I had a shopping addiction because every Saturday morning after training I would be at the consignment, Americano in hand, ready to peruse the clothes!
Positive self-talk is HUGE! I never bought into that cheesy nonsense of “You can do it, Grace!” but boy was I proven wrong when it actually started to work and my mind began to shift in a positive way!
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
Recently, the weight loss has been slowing down. October and November have proven to be very busy with both work and personal travel plans. I was used to losing 4-5 pounds a week consistently, however lately it has been 1-2 pounds a week. Mindset is EVERYTHING! I turn negative thoughts into positive thoughts. I am not all sunshine and rainbows, but the way a person talks to themselves and loves themselves is HUGE in overcoming any obstacle.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
It took me 5 months to lose 80 pounds!
It took me 6 months to lose 90 pounds.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
I am going to run my 3rd half marathon November 26, 2017 and have been able to consistently run 9 minute miles with some 8:50s sprinkled on in there … I am hoping to do a sub 2 hour half which is HUGE for me … I used to struggle to run 10:30 miles. I actually really enjoy running now …. I love what my body is able to do and how I feel when I am out there with just my mind and my strength.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
Emotional. Emotional. Emotional. Ice cream – check! Alcohol – check! Fast food – check!
My senior year of college I ran two half-marathons to try to lose some weight. However, I maintained weight because a) I wasn’t eating a nutritious diet and b) I had already been struggling with Crohn’s symptoms since my junior year of college, but just thought that that was the way I was.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
I knew how to workout from years and years of club and varsity soccer. However, once college started, I didn’t have the structured workouts that I had had with high school soccer which meant that I didn’t need to workout, right?!
When I first began working out again (lifting and cardio), one word for you .. YIKES! Who knew 45 minutes on the elliptical was the longest time ever?! I began to adapt to the workouts and the duration of them and now I hate missing a workout – it makes me feel better mentally and physically and I am a more leveled and balanced woman and teacher because of it.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- As a teacher, meal prepping was easy in the summer and crucial once school started again! It is such a time saver and a great way to know what you are going to be eating! It can get tricky thinking about what to make here and what to eat there … it simplifies everything!
- Surround yourself with positive people! Negativity and sour apples will only bring you down. At some point in life, you need to realize who is worth it and who is not. If there is one thing that this journey teaches you it is who your real tribe is! Those who support and love you no matter what. Green eyed monsters are real!
- This journey is about putting yourself first! I am the first person to admit I have a really hard time saying “No” to others … but how freeing the power of NO really is! You will need to put yourself first throughout this process and sometimes that will mean saying no to happy hour or to a night out … but that is OKAY!