I cannot believe it has been over a year and a half since I began this Paleo “diet”. I cannot stress enough that this is not a diet! I know, because I’ve done diets before and nothing compares to the ease and benefits of Paleo.
For one, I have been doing this a year and a half and nobody diets for that long. Diets are a way to lose weight fast but rarely do you keep the weight off. I started out weighing 214 pounds and have been at 183 – 185 for almost a year. This has not been a roller coaster of losing weight, putting it back on, losing it again, etc. I have been able to keep the weight off without adhering to strict rules, calorie counting or points. I simply eat the foods I know are good for me and by doing this, I rarely get hungry. Also, I feel different. My constant back pain is no longer, which I attribute to both losing weight as well as reduced inflammation. The way I was eating before (lots of carbs and bad food choices) included so many foods that were inflammatory and Paleo foods are VERY anti-Inflammatory.
Something else that has worked for me is giving myself a break every now and then. At times, I apply the 80/20 rule (80% Paleo and 20% non). This allows me to occasionally enjoy something that may not fit the Paleo way. Although, I do try and make healthy choices when I go off plan (it’s EXTREMELY rare I eat pasta or bread). For instance, I know a lot of people agree that sweet potatoes are not Paleo but I will eat them for carbs if I plan on doing cardio the next day. I will also enjoy an occasional dessert but for the most part, I stay away from sweets. I feel for some people (not all) this is important because so often diets are broken because people feel like they will never be able to enjoy their favorite foods. You can, just try to minimize it if you choose to cheat.
Something else that has REALLY helped me is lifting weights. I have been reading more articles that show the long term benefits of lifting weights (speeds up metabolism, builds bone density, help live longer) so I have cut back on the cardio and added more weight lifting. I know there are a lot of people who, for whatever reason, are against lifting. But the benefits are there and you don’t have to hit the gym. Thee are so many body weight exercises anyone (and any AGE) can do such as push ups, pull ups, burpees and squats. And there are modifications for most exercises to fit just about everyone. You just need to find what suits you and go for it. I had been so convinced that the way to lose weight is cardio but the weight comes off in the kitchen. Instead of five days a week of cardio boot camps, I now do one day of sprints on a stationary bike, one day for about an hour on the bike and I try to get a few days of weights or a fifteen minute HIIT workout.
If you have not yet started Paleo, I hope this gave a little bit of my journey and how it has benefited me. I’m sure results vary for everyone but I think the more you learn about it and read testimonies, you will agree!