Adhering to a lifestyle like Paleo can be tough for people who are new to it, especially for those who have not very seriously looked at their relationship with food and how it effects the choices they make in their diet. Personally, I find the Paleo Lifestyle to be full of delicious, satisfying, and diverse foods. I no longer miss grains, dairy, or sweets. Honestly. I’ve learned to not only live without those, but to savor and enjoy the plethora of foods I am able to eat without consequence.
When Sherry and I began Paleo, we added foods to our diet that included Paleo-friendly sweeteners like honey, dates, and coconut sugar. We thought, “It’s Paleo: we can eat it!” What we found, however, was that while these were Paleo-friendly, they slowed or halted our weight loss progress. For me, I could count on at least a three day cessation in progress anytime I ate one of these Paleo-friendly “Treats.” I learned quickly that just because it’s Paleo doesn’t mean it’s okay while trying to lose weight.
That brings me to something that I missed early on in my own journey that I’m hoping to clue you in on: there’s a difference between Paleo for weight loss and Paleo for health and nutrition. Technically, they involve the exact same foods and rules. However, I have modified it a bit to suit my mission.
For weight loss, I restrict the amount of foods made with any kind of sweetener at all, even if it’s Paleo-friendly. Sugar is sugar, even if it’s natural and unprocessed. In my experience, it’s hitting the same craving hot spots in my brain, and eating some of these Paleo treats makes me want more of them. Thus, I have concluded from my own experience (and Sherry has echoed this) that even the natural sugars bring about the cravings. This is bad, especially when you’re trying to lose weight and eat well. What’s worse is that my weight loss slows or stops completely when eating these Paleo-friendly treats. No thank you!
For health and nutrition, Paleo is sustainable and the Paleo-friendly treats don’t have the same effect if you’re looking to maintain your weight. I will introduce more of these muffins and treats when I’m at my goal weight, but for now, I’ve asked Sherry to avoid them for us. She’s also noticed the same thing with her weight loss, so it was an easy sell.
I will admit that we are both looking forward to hitting our goal weights so that we can start enjoying more Paleo treats. For now, however, we just have to pass.