I've gone quasi-paleo and it didn't hurt at all
Thursday, September 29, 2011
My brand-spanking-new husband and I began transitioning to a paleo diet this week. In case this is a foreign concept, it means we are trying to expunge processed and manufactured foods from our lives and stick to what humans ate for 100,000+ years, i.e. cavemen didn’t eat Cheez-Its. I've always had a feeling that man-made food products weren't a good idea. Some of them are beyond delicious, but I'm beginning to suspect those are like the devil. They reel you in on a scrumptiously amazing dish but there is always a price to pay. Like size 20 pants. If my choice is eating healthy food that nature made or squeezing into size 20 pants, I will take the spinach and steak any day.
The up side? I'm eating a 500 calorie breakfast and not even slightly hungry until 1. Then I'm not ravenous so I only eat a reasonable lunch. Even more amazingly, I am not gorging on everything I can find as soon as I get home at night, either. I eat dinner, and it's only one serving. It feels like my body is telling me it's getting what I need and I can relax now. I have found equilibrium. Of course I have 90 lbs. of bad compulsive eating habits to break which is not making this the easiest thing ever, but those demons are being faced separately.
All these years of "dieting" have taught me a few things, even if I did end up fatter each time. These tidbits of brilliance are shaping my expectations and plans, and it's keeping me on track with minimal withdrawal.
1. I suck with rules. I'm not denying myself anything, but I don't want to screw up this delicate balance I've finally found so I'm minimizing the quantities. I have a crap-load of wedding cake in the freezer and I can promise you I will have a bite now and again. And that's OK. I'm not "cheating" or "failing," because those words don't mean anything related to eating to sustain myself. I'm enjoying a flavor but trying not to have enough to screw up my system.
2. I need carbs. They don't have to be bready carbs or in massive quantities, but I need some carbs. I tried Atkins once and I was miserable. I was in a fog, I got weak and shaky, and I was generally useless. So I'm eating fruit and I'm not completely disavowing rice and potatoes. Hubby is showing signs of gluten intolerance so getting that into the “very occasional” category is very good for him, too.
3. I’m in charge. I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, and I won’t have to eat as much or as soon again if I eat the right stuff the first time. The food police aren’t going to give me a ticket for waiting to eat until I’m hungry or eating a little thing if I’m starting to lag before I can have another meal.
So no, we aren’t 100% paleo yet and we may never be. But I’m fairly certain that a 90% paleo diet is far better than a normal American diet or the usual crap we used to eat, so I’m putting my bets on it. I want to be healthy, and eating healthy will make the skinny come not far after it. Since Monday I can honestly say I feel better, am sleeping better, and am eating less so it’s looking like a pretty good bet.