Part Two: Paleo Diet
Part One can be seen HERE.
Starting in my teenager years in the late 80’s all the way up to very recent I always followed a low fat, medium protein, high carb diet when trying to loose weight. I know, I know…. this goes totally against the low-carb rage that engulfed this country several years ago. When I was younger I studied nutrition and actually attended college studying nutrition for a year. Anyways, I have avoided low carb due to my love for pizza, potatoes, and bread.
A few months ago I heard about a way of eating called The Paleo Diet. Also referred to as The Caveman Diet the premise, as I understand it, is to eat what a caveman would have eaten. Low carb in nature – the Paleo Diet in its purest form dissallows grains and processed foods. That’s right – no pizza for me and no bread. No corn, no potato chips, no white potatoes. As of publication of this I have not had bread in close to 6 weeks. The Paleo can be used to loose weight – or gain muscle mass – or both. Strange I have found it that when I go to the grocery store I walk to the fruits and vegetables, down to the meats, over to the eggs – and out the door. That’s it – no walking down aisles.
In 5 weeks I have lost 15 pounds. Let me tell you how I have done it.
What have I been eating?
My diet has been consisting of beef, pork, fish, turkey, shrimp, chicken (lots of chicken), eggs, almonds, bacon, grilled squash, grilled zucchini, onions, baby carrots, salad, protein shakes, and lots and lots of water.
What have I not been eating?
I have been avoiding all breads, cereals, rice, soups, beans, dairy products such as cheese and milk, pizza, pasta, sugary desserts, and anything that comes in a box. Basically if it walks, fly’s, swims, or grows on a tree or vine I tend to eat it.
Why not eat whole grain breads and other “natural” foods?
Well – I am no expert. You can go type in “Why eat Paleo” and get better explanations than I can provide.
Two main reasons have been explained to me. First – the human body has evolved over thousands of years to eat – you guessed it – meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, etc. Consuming sugary foods as well as highly processed foods can lead to health problems with the human body including retaining excessive fat. Is this true? I don’t know – I am just a 42 year old guy that has carried around an extra 25 pounds or so for a couple decades and have struggled to make any headway at all.
The second reason Paleo “works” is that by eating very low carb (I am talking one serving of fruit per day – no starchy vegetables) – your body will seek energy from the fat stores. Many people following Paleo can literally see their fat melting away over time.
What is the difference between other “low carb” diets and Paleo?
The biggest difference I have seen is Paleo really emphasizes the quality of food you eat. Your supposed to eat farm fresh eggs, range free chickens, and grass fed (no grain fed) beef. Other “low carb” diets emphasize low carbs at pretty much the expense of eating pretty much anything. Yup – low carb pizza exists.
What have been the cons since being on Paleo?
It is expensive. Gone are the days of buying a couple pizza’s to feed the whole family for $9.00. With Paleo – I need meat and vegetables. Have you seen the price of steak lately? Expensive.
Possibly unique to me but I am hungry all the time. I can eat a hamburger patty and a large salad and down some water. 30 minutes later I am feeling hungry again. Lack of fiber? Possibly.
Taking a trip is not easy as I can’t just pop into a gas station and eat Paleo.
What have I liked about it?
So far – I feel strong. Energy loss has not been a problem but that might just be me. My performance at Crossfit has gotten better. I have lost 15 pounds and when I look in the mirror I can see an improvement in definition and muscle mass. I had a guy in my stickfighting class last week say to me, “Damn…..your arms are getting big!” My head enlarged a few extra sizes as at 42 years old that was good to hear.
This has been a two part series about my endeavour into Crossfit and Paleo. Many crossfitters follow the Paleo way of eating . Paleo presents a huge challenge when it comes to preparedness as it is not easy to store foods that are compatible to the Paleo Diet. So, to be honest – I’m not. I have many canned goods, freeze dried foods, rice, beans, and wheat stored. The reality is from my limited experience with Paleo is the ability to maintain a Paleo-based food storage problem is not within my means or ability. My need for FOOD in a SHTF situation far outweighs my need to eat Paleo.
While living a “normal” life I will continue to do Crossfit and follow the Paleo way. I have liked the results and recommend it if you want to give it a shot.