I think my body has finally adjusted back to my Paleo lifestyle. How do I know this? Well, my weight continues to plummet and my cravings have subsided and now I only feel hunger before meals (as it should be). I feel energetic, my body is lean and without bloating, and I feel more focused. Waking up is easier, as is falling asleep the night before. My skin feels better, my clothes are fitting properly, and in some cases, even getting too loose. Yes, Paleo continues to be a good thing for me.
I receive emails from folks asking me questions about how I do this or that on Paleo, and ultimately, my answer boils down to a few truths. This is what I do in a nutshell:
- I don’t eat anything at all with grains, added sugar, soy, legumes, and most dairy.
- I eat a portion that would fit into a cup made of both my hands (this is a Whole30 trick that works wonders).
- I don’t snack. This one is controversial to my wife, but I will admit that my cheat for this is to drink a cup of coffee whenever I get hungry too soon.
- I don’t cheat. I call it sabotage. I never, ever, ever allow myself to go off-plan without a good reason. What’s a good reason? Vacation, special dinner with friends for a special occasion, holidays, and birthdays. Even then, I try to limit the amount I eat to mitigate the impact to my body.
- I exercise at least three times a week. This is not for weight loss but for cardio, strength, and stress relief. It helps those three things far more than any effect I’ve seen it have on my weight. If anything, exercising has aided plateaus.
- I keep track of not just my weight, but my size, body fat, how I feel, how clothes feel, etc. There are so many measures of our health that I don’t allow myself to focus on one. Only when a few or more of these measures are out of whack do I change what I’m doing.
Don’t stick to the diet? You will not have the success I’ve had. Don’t eat smaller portions? You will not have the success I’ve had. Eat snacks regularly? You will not have the success I’ve had. Allow cheats more than once a month? Guess what? You will not have the success I’ve had. Will you see smaller weight loss or other improvements in your health? More than likely, yes, but you won’t see the huge results I’ve had.
I am strict, almost to a fault. It’s because I put my health first and everything else second. I lived a life without rules as it pertains to food, and it nearly cost me my life. That’s not hyperbole. Had I not undertaken the steps necessary to get healthy again, I would likely be a far worse health than I was, with loss in mobility, flexibility, and even basic function. You are in charge of your health. There are no quick and easy fixes. However, the solution is simple. It just takes discipline and perseverance.