Like many people who were overweight, I tried diet after diet and failed each time. In the beginning, I would see some good results, but as time went on, I would end up eating more, eating foods I shouldn’t, and eventually just giving up entirely. What are reasons I was able to succeed this time versus all the others?
- Variety of food. The amount of Whole30 and Paleo diets available either in great cookbooks or online is staggering. I think it’s impossible to find a new recipe for every day and you can probably go your entire life without repeating a recipe twice. The great news is that these foods are all healthy and made of natural, whole ingredients. That brings me to the next important point.
- Delicious food. One of the main reasons I would fail at previous attempts to lose weight was because the food just wasn’t all that good. A person can only eat so much baked chicken breast before getting palate fatigue. If I want to eat chicken breast and salad, I can, but I prefer not to. There are so many delicious Whole30 and Paleo options available, I never have to eat bland, boring foods again.
- Feeling better/energy levels. Once I got past the sugar dragon, I felt amazing! I wake up with a clear head, with lots of energy, and I feel like I’ve actually rested (and yeah, you still need 7+ hours of sleep. Eating well doesn’t negate the need for good sleep). I feel better throughout the day, and this next point is huge.
- Eliminated cravings. Tied to the previous point, once the sugar dragon is kicked, the cravings go away. Now, when I feel hungry, it’s likely that I’m either genuinely hungry (as in I didn’t eat enough at my previous meal) or I’m bored. Typically, a glass of water, tea, or coffee and finding something to do makes the temporary hunger go away for a little while. In worst case scenarios, a handful of almonds, cashews, or pecans goes a long way to staving off hunger for a bit.
- Mindset of changing lifestyle permanently. This is one of the most important things I’ve done toward succeeding in losing weight and improving my health. Before I did my first Whole30, I realized that I needed to make a permanent, life-long change. I couldn’t go back to how I used to eat. That had gotten me obese and unhealthy. I didn’t want to be that way anymore, and I changed my relationship with food from thinking of it as being entertaining to thinking of it as fuel. It’s okay to enjoy the food you eat (heck, I’d go a step further and say it’s important), but it’s not okay to use it as a source of entertainment. There are better, healthier activities to use as entertainment.
- Perseverance. Along with the previous point, I realized that the changes wouldn’t happen overnight. Things would not go perfectly as planned, and there would be bumps in the road. There would be temptation and there would be setbacks. I knew this going in and expected them. When I experienced something that would have caused me to stop eating healthy in the past, this time I knew it was all part of the journey. I embraced my failures and decided to learn from them instead of allowing them to define me. In the end, I persevered and got through the worst so that I could experience and appreciate the best.
There are many different diets within the low-carb/high-fat realm. Ancestral eating is another term used for these types of diets. Regardless of what you use or how you apply it, it’s hard to argue the results that I and many others like me have experienced. Regardless of what method you choose, going into it with the right mindset and realistic expectations is going to be key in your success. Arm yourself with the best information you can get: read, read, and then read some more. Then commit, and make it happen. It won’t be easy, but the results will be well worth the effort.