I’m in maintenance mode on my weight which means that I am still sticking to the Paleo Diet, but every now and then, I have decided that it’s okay for me to eat non-Paleo food. I only make the exceptions in the following situations (and even then, I try to make the most Paleo-friendly choice I can):
- Special events
- Professional settings
- Night out with friends
The reason I don’t do it more often, however, is because of how my body responds to non-Paleo foods now. When I eat something with wheat or dairy, my stomach ties itself up in knots, I get really gassy, and the pain just isn’t worth it. Besides, the vast majority of my favorite foods are either Paleo or have Paleo analogues that are easy enough to find or can be made.
What maintenance doesn’t mean to me is eating lots of non-Paleo food in smaller portions. I am not reintroducing anything non-Paleo into my diet for consumption on a regular basis. I’ve learned a lot about food and my body in the last two years, and I’ve found that my body is very amenable to the Paleo Diet. I feel energized, youthful, and I don’t gain weight. I always feel full after meals, and I never have cravings between meals. The only non-Paleo food I ever really get hungry for every now and then is chocolate. Fortunately, I like bittersweet chocolate, so eating 80% chocolate is fine for me (which many Paleo people say is Paleo-ish enough).
I’m not done with Paleo. I will never be done with it. I’ve found a diet that my body does well with, and that is psychologically sustainable and ecologically and ethically friendly. If anything, having reached maintenance mode has only further strengthened my love of the Paleo Diet. It got me to where I am today in terms of health and fitness, and I never want to go back to the life I lived before. This is too much fun!