A lot of people ask me what I have done to lose weight. Apparently the fifty pound difference over the last seven years, or even the twenty pound difference in the last seven months, is obvious to others. Weird! When I respond with a simple, one word response of “Paleo,” I often get confused looks. While some people have no idea what I am talking about, most people have heard some sort of a description about the Paleo, or Caveman, diet. Whether or not people have heard of it, I often get asked to elaborate on what it entails. This is usually what I tell people: I eat any kind of meat, non-starchy vegetables, some fruit and nuts. No sugar. No dairy.”
While I will admit this is nowhere near what some “Paleo Purists” would consider to be an accurate description of the Paleo diet, it is the lifestyle I live and what has worked for me. I started this adventure as part of a 21 day Paleo Challenge – The Primal Blueprint version that was held at the CrossFit gym we were going to back in July, 2012. On day one, we went in and recorded our weight, and various standardized body measurements and were let loose on our own to figure the food part out. The rules were simple, workout three times a week and record everything you eat and drink. Simple, right?
I spent the first two weeks hungry every two hours! It was like I had a sudden onset of Prader-Willi syndrome! Thinking logically about it, my body had adapted to fueling itself on the complex carbohydrates found in grains, which convert to sugars, and now I was starving myself of those things. But logic doesn’t exist when I’m suffering from psychoglycemia (a term I use for the crankiness I exhibit when I am hungry, a combination of psychotic episodes and hypoglycemia).
By the end of the second week, my constant state of hunger had subsided and I felt I had a good grasp on the diet. It really was easy! Think about it, what’s wrong with eating a rib-eye steak, grilled vegetables, and a salad? I felt great! No more mid-afternoon slump, no more uncomfortable feeling after gorging myself on endless amounts of bread served at restaurants, and I was also noticing positive changes in my strength. Anyone can argue that if you maintain a consistent weightlifting regiment, you will see gains. I agree, and admit that I was seeing those gains, but the gains I began to see as I moved further into the challenge have been noticeably larger than before I started Paleo. Needless to say the perks of weighing what I do and having the body that I do now (which is still a work in progress) are great too.
It was because of these changes that I never looked back when it comes to my diet. It’s definitely safe to say that Paleo is more than a diet for me, it’s a lifestyle. At the same time, being practical, as with anything in life, is important. There are definitely times where I say “paleo-schmaleo’ and have a piece of bread, or an ice cream.
Do you have questions about Paleo or my experiences with it? Leave me a comment or questions and be sure to follow my blog and I will do my best to get back to you!
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