Enjoy the Food to Stick with the Diet

The easiest way for you to stick with a new and different diet is to eat foods that taste good and that keep you filled up. I tried many other diets that were conducive to weight loss but didn’t leave me satisfied or didn’t taste great. On top of that, the food wasn’t varied, and I quickly developed palate fatigue. Palate fatigue is when you get tired of eating the same food over and over again. This often happens to people who stick to a baked chicken breast diet. Palate fatigue is one of the reasons my wife was reluctant to try Whole30.

To her surprise, the number of amazing and delicious Whole30 compliant recipes was massive, and many of them were very quick and easy to make. One of the complaints people tell me is that they’d try a healthy diet, but that the recipes are either too difficult or take too long to make. While this can be true of some recipes, this is not always the case and should not be a barrier to adopting a healthy lifestyle. Thankfully, my wife persevered through finding delicious recipes for us to make some really amazing foods for us that allowed us to be wildly successful on our first and subsequent Whole30’s.

One strategy we use to keep our meals fresh and exciting is to find new things to make every week. While we have repeat recipes we enjoy from time to time, Sherry tries to incorporate new recipes once or twice per week depending on what we decide to eat. This introduces us to new foods, and also teaches her new techniques and combinations which allows her to come up with new recipes of her own. More importantly, it keeps us from getting bored with the foods we eat.

When you transition from a Whole30 to Paleo, things can get pretty complicated if you begin making foods that are analogues for non-Paleo foods like breads, muffins, and other foods typically made with grains. This is where Paleo gets a bad rap. Admittedly, Sherry will say that these foods can take up to 5x the time time make. Some of these are worth the effort while others sometimes fall short. The bottom line is that there are plenty of foods that can be made easily and with common ingredients to eat healthy.

Enjoy what you eat. Search out for foods you already enjoy that are easily adapted to Paleo or Whole30. Chances are if you stick with meats, vegetables, and fruits with spices devoid of sugar and artificial sweeteners, you are likely able to easily keep eating foods you already enjoy which will go a long way to aid your success in eating well.

Post-Weekend Recap

This past weekend was a lot of fun, but it involved a lot of something I don’t do very often: drinking alcohol. I always get bloated and retain a lot of water after drinking, and along with the empty calories from sugar, I avoid drinking most of the time. This past weekend, I caught up with some of my National Guard buddies, and we also had our St. Barbara’s Ball. Both of these involved imbibing some impressive amounts of alcohol. I didn’t weigh myself on Sunday, but I did this morning, and what I found was what I expected; holding on to more weight than I’m comfortable with. A lot more.

So, like I always say, it’s back to the wagon. Back to strict portion sizes and only Paleo foods. Also, back to my running more often than once or twice a week like I’ve done for the past three weeks. The good news is that I know what to expect; a few days of holding on to the weight followed by a steady weight loss.

It’s okay to have some alcohol every now and then. It’s okay to even eat the cheesecake dessert (I sure did!). But I also know not to make it a habit, and I’m going to get right back to the plan and resume my normal Paleo diet.

Podcast: Extra Skin

This is a question I’m asked pretty regularly by people who are obese and worried about what their skin might look like after losing a large amount of weight. Listen to my podcast to hear my thoughts and experiences on the matter.

Kevin Smith

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A poorly-kept secret of mine is that I’m a fan of Kevin Smith and his movies. I’ve enjoyed them for years and I’ve followed his podcasts and interview shows as well. When I noticed one day that he had lost a lot of weight, I was curious. I was also a big guy, and seeing another big guy have success in weight loss made me wonder if it was possible for me to do the same. I dug into his story and found that he had quit sugar.

Really?

I thought it was too good to be true, but it led me down the path to believing that it just might be possible for me. Shortly thereafter, I had that fateful conversation with my cousin Sarah who told me about Whole30 and the Paleo Diet. The rest is, as they say, history.

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Kevin Smith: Thank you. You, quite possibly, got the ball rolling for me and my amazing weight loss.

I’ve been there

img_6470I was obese. I was always tired, always eating, always hungry. I felt like I was trapped and doomed to a shortened life due to my weight and failing health. When I thought that any chance for me to lose the weight was expended, I turned to Whole30 and the Paleo Diet. Those two programs saved my life.

I see the same ads on TV, Facebook, and the rest of the Internet that you see. Beautiful and sculpted bodies all telling you how to get their beautiful abs, tight stomachs, and how to lose weight to look as fantastic as they do. The problem is that many, if not the vast majority of those people, have never been obese. No, it’s not a mark of pride. I am ashamed and embarrassed that I weighed over 312 lbs at my highest. That’s horrible, and I truly wish I’d have had the education and information to have kept me from reaching that high of a weight. But my point is that those people who have never been so heavy and never had to struggle with losing it the way I did can never truly know the struggles.

I know.

That’s not to say people who have never been obese don’t have good information. Many do. But when someone who can eat just about anything in any amount and still stays thin tells someone like me who gains weight easily that I just need to, “Eat in moderation, bud,” I want to strangle them. No, “Bud,” it’s not that easy for the rest of us.

I don’t say anything here that I don’t believe, and I don’t sugarcoat any of it. I don’t like sugar (sorry for that dad joke there… but I am a dad, so…). Everything I write about is from my experience with losing over 150 lbs, 110 lbs of it without exercise. It can be done; I’m literally living proof.

And that’s the point. I am proof that an obese person can merely change their diet and lose dramatic amounts of weight and regain health and possibly years of life.

Simple Food Rules

People mistakenly think The Paleo Diet is hard. It’s not. It’s actually quite simple. Eat foods that avoid:

  • Added sugar/processed sugar
  • Beans/legumes/soy
  • Grains
  • Dairy
  • Alcohol

While those are the basic rules, I think that Michael Pollen’s Food Rules are actually a good addition, and they make a lot of sense:

  • Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
  • Avoid foods containing ingredients you wouldn’t keep in your pantry.
  • Avoid food products with more than 5 Ingredients.
  • Avoid anything “lite”, “low-fat” or “non-fat”
  • Avoid food you see on television.
  • Shop around the walls of the grocery store; avoid the middle.
  • Eat mostly plants.
  • Eat your colors.
  • Eat animals that have eaten well themselves (most animals do not do well eating grain, just like us).
  • Eat all the junk food you want as long as you make it yourself.

There’s also a GREAT website I enjoy and I think you should check it out, too! It’s called MUST HIKE MUST EAT, and even if you don’t hike, there’s LOTS of great information there.

Get some rest

Study after study has shown how important sleep is to not only our mental and physical health, but it turns out it’s super-important for weight loss efficacy, too! I know first-hand that if I don’t get around seven and a half hours of sleep, I will likely not lose any weight in the night.

Eating right and having a great mindset for weight loss and better health can all be undone by not getting enough sleep. More often than not, when I’m analyzing why my weight loss has stalled, it usually comes down to one of two things: either I am not eating enough and put my body into starvation mode, or I’m not getting enough sleep. This weekend, a lack of sleep has been the culprit.

My weight is down a bit finally from it’s highest, but still not where I feel comfortable. Of course, I didn’t get enough sleep again last night, so I plan on rectifying that tonight; I’m going for a solid eight hours.

Sleep isn’t just good for your mind; it’s good for your body and it helps you lose weight. Make sure you are doing everything you can to set yourself up for success. Sleep on that!