The Paleo diet is not a diet, but a lifestyle. To be very honest with all of our readers I have been on and off the a Paleo wagon now for years. Right now I am off and feeling the horrible effects of eating things that I know I shouldn’t. Dairy, grains, legumes, processed foods…too many cheats recently to even claim to be a Paleophile. Being someone who has been on and off the Paleo Diet too many times, we will go over today some tips to stay on Paleo for the long haul.
Paleo Tips for Success
1. Sugar detox. Try a total detox, like Whole 30. Take the challenge. Once you get the sugars out of your body, you’ll feel tremendously better. I’ve done the before, and plan on doing it again very soon. Yes friends. I’m sorry to break the news to you on my blog. I need to get healthy again. I used to be a fit mom. Now I’m a blob. This is the way to do it. I know my downfall with my Paleo Challenge is my sweet tooth. If there is a way to make chocolate fudge paleo, I can do it. Making cheater versions of desserts I love is my kryptonite.
Cheaters Never Win
2. Try not to cheat, but when you do, make it so worth it you have a sugar hangover for two day, and regret your decision tremendously. Why do we over eat, and eat all the wrong things?
Women feed their babies. When they do this, oxytocin is released into the system making her relax, and feel love toward her infant.
Birthday parties feed everyone invited. School parties do the same, and memories of those evoke happiness.
We go on a first date, and it’s usually dinner. We fall in love over food and wine.
Weddings happen, the reception has a huge buffet. You watch the bride and groom dance behind your plate of chicken and asparagus, later the happy couple smashers cake in each others faces.
When someone dies, you bring a casserole to the survivors house.
Old TV shows always have a neighbor bringing a pie to a new neighbors home.
You get together with friends…at a restaurant.
Food is associated with love and happy feelings in our society. Every social event has food tied in some way. We are conditioned to feel love when we eat, to feel comforted. Food is love.
Sadly, this is just one of the reasons why we as a society are overweight an unhealthy. Our waistlines are increasing with our health insurance premiums.
Food is ingrained in us,and we love comfort foods for all of these reasons. Try not to cheat. Beak the cycle for yourself!
What’s Your WHY
3. Figure out what your motivation is for changing your lifestyle. Is it health? To lose weight? Are you a serious Crossfitter who is jumping on because your box is a huge advocate for the lifestyle? Whatever your motivation, make it worth it. Because with Paleo, you WILL see results, quickly.
Rules Exist for a Reason, and They DO Apply to You!
4. Know the rules. Read a lot of blogs such as Mark’s Daily Apple or Robb Wolf‘s blog, the author of The Paleo Solution. Read books, listen to podcasts, know your stuff. The is so much information out there that people and experts debate on. Be in the know so you can make informed decisions.
5. Know the BASIC guidelines. No cereal grains, legumes (peanuts!), processed foods, dairy, refined sugar. Try to avoid Potatoes. Potatoes turn to sugar when digested. I realize this is not the most scientific explanation and not every chemical in the potato will be like you ate a spoonful of sugar, so please do not debate that last statement. There are plenty of you out there who just LOVE to argue every little thing out there on the interweb. Potatoes aren’t accepted on the Paleo diet. But if you want one, eat one. It’s your body. If you want to break the rules, break them. However, sweet potatoes are paleo.
Some references: http://www.paleoplan.com/2012/07-12/qa-are-sweet-potatoes-paleo/
6. This statement from Paleo Diet Lifestyle states ” Eat unlimited amounts of saturated fats like coconut oil and butter or clarified butter. Beef tallow, lard and duck fat are also good, but only if they come from healthy and well-treated animals. Beef or lamb tallow is a better choice than lamb or duck fat. Olive, avocado and macadamia oil are also good fats to use in salads and to drizzle over food, but not for cooking.” Some followers of Paleo will not eat butter, even clarified. Dairy is not acceptable on Paleo. However, some will eat dairy. Think of some of this as the Weight Watchers points plus. The paleo diet can work for you how you want it to work for you. If you want dairy, eat your dairy.
Know Your Limits!
7. If you are going to modify the diet for your lifestyle, make sure you know your limits. For example, if you will be eating dairy, don’t justify eating an entire pint of ice cream just because it is dairy. It’s easy to begin to bend the rules once you have cheated a little bit.
“I could never give up bread!” This is the most popular excuse I hear when I tell people about the Paleo lifestyle I live (minus the more than a few a week as of late I give in to temptation!)
Why do we as Americans love bread SO much?
Bread is a filler. It is a simple carbohydrate that turns into sugar when it is processed by our bodies (in a nutshell.) Oh, THAT must be why we are addicted to bread!
This far into Paleo, I cannot fathom eating a soft warm sweet roll from O’Charlie’s like I used to love, or several pieces of fresh bread from a variety of restaurants I frequent (but sweets…) Although the memory of eating those things is pleasant, I know how I feel now without having my body work to break them down, and would not want to go back to the old feeling, which was sluggish, bloated, and tired.
How did I stop eating bread?
As with any addiction, I quit cold turkey. Now if I only had the willpower to quit chocolate.
We stopped buying breads and started using bread substitutes like lettuce and meats. An easy solution to a sandwich is a wrap. Or, you could go for a bread recipe such as the one over at Primal Girl. I’m dying to try this recipe, but so afraid I’ll back slide to my gluten eating ways, even if it’s a cheat Paleo recipe. I’ve read reviews, and this bread is supposed to be the best out there. If I decide to get it, and find the time to make the dough, I’ll let you all know.
Knowledge is Power
8. Read about people who are very strict and who are successful in their diet endeavors. Nom Nom Paleo is a great recipe site. If you google Paleo, she usually ill pop up as the number one Google search. Great recipes and great stories about her paleo lifestyle.
9. Get support. Find a mentor. Talk to someone you trust. Married? Dating? Have a best friend? Share your goal and have someone close to you in your life you can share your ups and downs in your journey. When someone is supporting you, the chances you will be successful increase. This is why programs like Weight Watchers work so well. Do you want us to start a Paleo support group? Maybe this can be a project for the future.
Enjoy the Ride
10. On paleo you will be eating a lot of meat, a lot of plants, and drinking a lot of water. Enjoy being a carnivore! Learn to love steak and other meats in ways you never thought you could. Explore the world of vegetables and minimal fruits. Experiment with herbs. You’ll learn to love cooking!
When you begin Paleo, there will be times especially in the first two weeks you will want to quit. Someone somewhere will be eating something you’ll want really badly. Resist. Resist the urge to even take one bite. The first two weeks are the most difficult. You can do it!