Dec 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm #1282693
So, starting the Paleo diet tomorrow. Thought it might be interesting to some if I chronicle, somewhat, how it goes for me. I'll try to chronicle once a week on weight lost, how I feel, etc. Certainly won't be anywhere near daily, as I'm just not that committed to chronicling!
A few starting thoughts:
Why Paleo? Good question Doug! Well, I read the book (The Paleo Diet, Loren Cordain) over the weekend and it seems to make a lot of sense. While I'm not a fan of "this is the only way to eat!" diets, I am a fan of science, and there's plenty behind this particular diet. Also, it's actually pretty close to how I normally eat when I'm eating 'healthy,' so it should be fairly easy for me to do. Biggest changes for me: no dairy (I love cheese and hot chocolate!), but lots of fruit, which I hadn't been eating. So I'm not only feeling pretty good about sticking to it, I'm actually pretty psyched.
Why diet? Well, I've been in a nutrition funk for quite some time now. Well over a year. Haven't exercised much at all, and have been eating about as bad as I ever have. It has impacted my physiological and psychological well being significantly. It's also impacted my backpacking significantly. I weigh 200 pounds (I'm only 5'8"), which makes me obese, especially since a good 100 pounds of that is all gut ;-) A year or so ago I weighed about 175. When I stepped on my scale Saturday and saw 200, which I have never weighed in my life, I knew it was well past time.
Just diet? Heck no. I need to get my fat butt off the couch/chair and start exercising again. I'm going to start slow so I don't injure myself: I'm doing a program called The 10-Minute Trainer by Tony Horton to start. Within a couple of weeks I'll incorporate some kettlebell workouts as well.
Goals? My immediate goal is to lose 10 pounds by Dec. 31. Easily doable. Longer term goal is to lose 30-40 pounds by mid-August.
Miscellaneous: Below are a couple of pics (not of me, that would ruin your appetite! Hey, money making idea! The pics of Doug diet! Feeling hungry, look at pics of me in my skivvies! Instant loss of hunger! Only $19.95!) of the recyclables left over from cleaning out my fridge/cupboard, and the food I gave away that I should no longer eat. I spent approximately $225 this weekend to get food for this diet, what I bought should last perhaps a week and a half (I only shop at organic markets, so that's a high number, you could do it for much less, I'm sure, at regular supermarkets).
This thread is pretty narcissistic, isn't it? Yeah, perhaps. But I thought someone considering the diet might find it interesting. If not, perhaps it can become one of those cool, fun, trashy-novel-type chaff threads.
What I gave away
The recycle bin was pretty much empty before I started.Dec 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm #1808621
@saparisorLocale: Pacific Northwest
Good luck, Doug!Dec 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm #1808641
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
"Longer term goal is to lose 30-40 pounds by mid-August."
Easy way to do that is to plan a long thru-hike and carry only one pound of food per day.
–B.G.–Dec 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm #1808651
@jdw01776Locale: Southeast Texas
"Longer term goal is to lose 30-40 pounds by mid-August."
Don't be suprised if you lose more. Paleo plus interval/circut training worked for me. I recommend getting a copy of "The Paleo Diet for Athletes", it has more recipes, plus it will help with creating a menu for backpacking…Dec 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm #1808661
Good luck to you Douglas.
I'm personally tempted to try it just to see how I feel/what happens. Keep us posted, I'm interested in how you feel.Dec 4, 2011 at 8:57 pm #1808767
@kwersalLocale: Western Colorado
Good luck, Doug! I'll be following your progress with interest, especially since I'm thinking I am due for some dietary changes, myself…Dec 4, 2011 at 9:34 pm #1808777
I'll be watching this too. I've been torn between the Paleo, and the gluten free, and the slow carb diet that Tim Ferris promotes. I need to lose 30-40 so I can ride my bike in the Iron Horse Classic next Memorial Day.Dec 4, 2011 at 9:57 pm #1808782
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Good for you!! Keep us posted. But, I think you need to just hike more :)
The last two weeks have been interesting for me. My wife was out of town for 2 weeks, and every night I alternated between Taco Bell, McDonalds, and Del Taco for dinner. This past Friday night I treated myself to a super-sized meal at Burger King. Lost 5 pounds since she left, although I did one 2 day trip and a few day hikes in between. So much for diets :)Dec 4, 2011 at 10:07 pm #1808786
Losing weight: reduce your calories.
Heck, even the twinkie diet will work:Dec 5, 2011 at 8:20 am #1808896
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Good luck, Doug! I'd love to read how it goes for you.
One thing, for the first week or so you will probably go through the paleo blues, when you feel exhausted and weak. It's natural as your body adjusts to the ketogenic metabolism. Don't give up! It will pass. However, at the same time you should start seeing results fairly quickly, as your body swings down to its ideal level of homeostasis. Once the ketosis sets in you should start feeling fantastic.Dec 5, 2011 at 8:53 am #1808908
@maynard76Locale: New England
The paleo blues- also known as the Atkins flu. Lots of people give up early because they lose energy at first and never let their body adjust. It can be a shock to the body if you lived your whole life on a diet of steady sugars then – bam nothing! You will not want to eat junk after you start feeling good. You will need to either learn how to cook or have someone cook for you. This can be a challenge for some people but learning to cook is a skill well worth the effort.
I had some interesting reactions at first. I stared going crazy with fat! I ate pork belly, bone marrow salads, anything cooked confit then I eat a ton of nuts as snacks- almonds cashews macadamias ect. after a while those cravings evened out.
I lost 60 lbs in a summer and had a six pack for the first time since forever. I stared eating out more and letting myself eat more not so great stuff and lost my sixpack but I maintain a healthy weight and almost never get sick anymore (ill get a cold once a year). Im defiantly cleaning up my diet and training to run for the first time in my life. I usually jog like 2-3 miles every other day Im upping it to 5-10 most every day.
heres some tips:
buy fresh veggies in small amounts things will go bad if you try to buy a weeks worth at a time.
-Buy frozen veggies, flash frozen is more nutritious than veggies that have been sitting around a while and frozen wont go bad for a long time.
– its usually cheaper in the long run to use CSAs and meat shares. You will get better quality foods and they will be local. A bonus is you will eat in season and be forced to find recipes for what ever they give you.Dec 11, 2011 at 8:16 am #1810901
Week 1 pretty much in the books. A synopsis:
I've been pretty strict on the foods (Cordain's book), but haven't really followed his 'program' (menus). I just take him at his word early in the book and eat all the lean meat, non-starchy veggies and fruit I want. I eat at least a good serving of fruit or veggie with every meat (though I often 'snack' on shrimp and nuts throughout the morning at work). My only cheating was Friday night – a small handful of beef jerky (a guy at work makes it, the best beef jerky I've ever had! He uses high quality meat, but he uses salt, so the salt was breaking the diet), an organic chicken pot pie and a cup of hot cocoa. It was enjoyable and less than my 3 allowed cheats per week on level 1.
But the diet itself is quite enjoyable, really, which makes it not all that hard. I could do without flaxseed oil……. but I've always loved beef/turkey/chicken/seafood, and I'm one of the weird guys who loves veggies, and who doesn't like fruit? I do miss my cheese and hot chocolates, but I don't miss the pasta and bread and butter all that much. And even the salt is fairly easy to leave behind. My breakfast this sunny Sunday, as I write this, is some leftover top sirloin cut into thin strips and sautéed with leftover scallops and mushrooms in olive oil infused with white truffles, and a handful of cherry tomatoes on the side. Ummmmm, yeah, I like this eating plan…..
I did have the tiredness Miguel and Brian warned about in the first week (thanks for the warning guys! I don't remember it being mentioned in the book), falling asleep every afternoon at my desk for about 10 minutes. But that's starting to pass. Of course, I'm also coming off a fairly bad diet for the past few months, so I'm sure that's a contributing factor.
As of this morning, I've lost 6 pounds, so I'm very pleased. I've only been doing the 10-minute cardio workout as I get my fat old body back into workout shape, so I'm really pleased with that weight loss with so little exercise. I'll be ramping up the exercise next week and week after and am really looking forward to even better results! Also looking forward to the energy boost as my body adjusts, I think it's not too far away for me. Psyched!
So, overall, it's working on the weight loss front like gangbusters. While I realize my initial loss is mostly water, it's still quite energizing. Waiting for the energy front, hope to hit that this week. I'm also going to try a couple of the recipes in the book to see how they are.
Enjoy your Sundays!Dec 11, 2011 at 8:35 am #1810904
@curtpetersonLocale: Pacific Northwest
Great start, Doug! Just any FYI – Cordain has backed off his take on fat in a big way since that book came out. In fact, adding in high quality fats (coconut, well-sourced animal fat) often accelerates fat loss in folks. Not like you need that right now, though :)
Getting into the nitpicky and nuanced for just week one, but I'd worry more about the nuts than I would the extra lean meats and the salt.
Keep it up!Dec 11, 2011 at 8:57 am #1810908
Interesting to see how different bodies tolerate different diets. I don't process meat very well so I've been mostly vegetarian for the past 6-8 months.Dec 11, 2011 at 11:15 am #1810936
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Doug, great job! Good to hear how it's affecting you.
Be very careful about lowering your carbs, but not adding back enough calories in the form of fat. Fat is necessary for you to maintain the amount of calories you need everyday that are usually filled by carbs. You don't want to lose weight from starving yourself, but from your metabolism changing to a ketogenic one. Also fats, as I've been reading in Maffetone's book recently, are more than just energy storers; they are vital to your body being able to handle inflammation and contain a lot of nutrients that neither carbs nor protein carry. Butter is actually all right to eat, as long as it's from grass fed cows, but just not too much of it, because it is made up mostly of Omega 6 fats, the ones that we have too much of in our diets.
Anyway, keep up the good munching!Dec 11, 2011 at 3:38 pm #1811014
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"Butter is actually all right to eat, as long as it's from grass fed cows, but just not too much of it, because it is made up mostly of Omega 6 fats, the ones that we have too much of in our diets."
Speaking of which, add some wild salmon to your diet, if you find it palatable, for the omega 3 fatty acids. Stay away from the farm raised stuff; it's pure crap.Dec 11, 2011 at 3:46 pm #1811015
I do eat wild salmon, try to eat it twice a week. I love salmon! Ate a bunch of mussels today – not sure I'll do that again. Don't care for the taste of those. But also love scallops and shrimp – both wild caught.Dec 11, 2011 at 4:22 pm #1811021
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"I do eat wild salmon, try to eat it twice a week. I love salmon!"
Another great tasting oily fish is Black Cod, also known as Sablefish. I don't know if you can find it on the East coast but, if you can, give it a try. Wonderful flavor, succulent flaky flesh, and packed with omega-3's. It can be a bit pricey, though. We only have it for a special treat. Another way to sample it is to go to a good Japanese restaurant and ask them for Kazu Black Cod. This is Black Cod marinated in sake lees and flame broiled. To die for.Dec 11, 2011 at 9:09 pm #1811085
Nice to see this Doug.
Tomorrow will mark two weeks for me on a modified paleo experiment. I haven't been following any one author in particular but I've been mostly reading up at these sources:
http://www.robbwolf.com (good podcast here too)
Paleo has quite a few incarnations but the common elements seem to be:
Eat organic (everything), grass fed meat only if possible, no grains, no legumes.
These are the tenets I've been following. I'm eating dairy (greek yogurt, butter (Kerrygold brand is pastured), not concerning myself w/salt right now, red wine, occasional small portions of dark chocolate, lots of bacon (mmmbacon).
A typical Fitday entry looks like this:
And my daily weigh-ins:
I'm down 9lb in 13 days. I feel excellent. I have zero food cravings. That last part is significant for me as I typically have a strong sweet tooth (similar to cigarette cravings when I smoked). I chalk most of this up to fat induced satiety combined with minimized insulin/stable blood sugar. I'm keeping my carbs low but trying to avoid ketosis (carbs have been between 50 and 80g in a typical day).
I'll be following along here to swap tips/see how your experiment is coming along.Dec 11, 2011 at 9:16 pm #1811088
I forgot to mention that I've also been eating handfuls of red lettuce and raw broccoli throughout the day but I don't bother weighing or logging those most of the time.Dec 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm #1814434
Finished with week 2 and all is going pretty well. This just isn't a hard 'diet' to stick to. I don't even have cheat meals, just cheat hot chocolates a couple of times a week. I'm still having a bit of trouble motivating myself to work out hard instead of intermittently, and my weight loss is suffering a bit for it. I'll get my head around that soon enough.
While I wouldn't say I'm full of energy, I'm not dog-tired like I was during week 1, so I must be getting used to it. I dropped 4.5 more pounds in week 2, totaling 11.5 lbs so far. A quarter of the way to my goal already, can't beat that. The interesting thing about this diet, so far, for me, is that even when I don't exercise I still don't gain weight. I generally maintain, but I've even lost a pound on a day when I didn't exercise. That hasn't happened to me in, like, forever. Usually, no matter how hard I diet, if I don't also exercise I'll gain weight. So I can't imagine how much quicker I might start dropping weight if I can stick to an exercise program for a bit.
So, so far so good. I love what I'm eating, I haven't been craving any sweets (unusual for me as well). And let me tell you, I work with folks who love to bake, and we have a counter full of goodies every day during this time of year. And I do mean goodies. Haven't even really been tempted. I like that.
Now excuse me while I have one of my cheat hot chocolates. My only craving. Well, that and this little filly I've had my eye on for a bit now, some serious cravings there. Drop another 10, I might even risk rejection and ask her for a hike…… ;-)Dec 20, 2011 at 6:03 pm #1814437
Any idea how many calories you're taking in? And do you know what you were taking in prior to the diet change?Dec 20, 2011 at 6:14 pm #1814441
"Any idea how many calories you're taking in? And do you know what you were taking in prior to the diet change?"
Really, absolutely no idea. I've never been a spreadsheet/note taking kinda guy. Certainly less calories now as I was on a junk food binge for a bit before starting Paleo – plenty of empty calories unfortunately. Even when I was eating fairly well I snacked on toast/butter, lots of milk and lots of cheese.
But I'm not hungry at all these days, I eat til I'm satisfied, and pretty much snack most of the day – just healthy snacks (carrots/celery, shrimp, usually eat an avocado during the day as a snack).Dec 20, 2011 at 6:20 pm #1814443
Fair enough. I'm mostly interested in if the weight loss is actually due to content vs just taking in less.Dec 20, 2011 at 6:34 pm #1814450
"I'm mostly interested in if the weight loss is actually due to content vs just taking in less."
If I had to guess, I'd say a bit of both. Couldn't even begin to guess, though, on the percentages.
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