My reasoning for following the paleo diet is very simple – I feel great! I am blessed with high metabolism and a generally high activity level so putting on fat has never been an issue for me but I have had periods in my teens and twenties when I ate anything I could get over in an effort to put on muscle to get more “fit”. I followed all the advice about bulking up in the muscle magazines and my health deteriorated.
After a a decade of this approach, on and off, I was tired of being bloated, poor skin quality, acne, sugar cravings due to the carbs, and started reading up on other dietary approaches that would allow me to clean up my diet and maintain, and hopefully improve, my athletic performance.
The paleo diet made sense from the very beginning and the immediate improvements to my overall health encouraged me to keep at it. I’ve been on it now for the past 6-7 years and the improvement to my overall health is dramatic. I started out slowly by introduced a little bit of paleo to the main meals and gradually phasing out all the modern crap. In the last 3-4 years my diet has been 95% paleo. Not 100% because I am human and I allow myself to slip in the company of good friends. And importantly, those 5% of junk food (junk food as in bread, pasta, pastry, cheese, and other “normal” modern Western food) is a stern reminder that I feel so much better on the paleo diet.
I’d recommend to try to go 100% paleo for a week to test it. Go forever if you can but let’s be realistic. With a bit of planning you can do a week on pure will power even if you hate it in the beginning. If you can’t you may need to wait until your health is bad enough to realize it’s time to shape up and in the mean time, read this article on Omega-3. Use the Paleo Cookbook to prepare your first week on the paleo diet. Select the recipes and plan your shopping to make it easy to cook paleo as a part of your normal schedule.
During a week of paleo diet you will experience three immediate health benefits:
- From day 1 you will feel satisfied but not bloated after your meals. None of that post-lunch coma.
- In the middle of the week you will notice that your energy level stabilize and you will not have the highs and lows of the modern carb-fuelled diet.
- Towards the end of the week your skin quality will improve as your body has less toxic waste and your level of silent inflammation reduce.
If you manage a week I am sure that you will be convinced of the potential of the paleo diet to transform your long-term health to the better. However, you now have a possibly bigger challenge: How do you incorporate the paleo diet into the busy every day habits you have formed over the years?
This is where phasing really helped to transition. Lunch and dinner was fairly easy as I learnt more recipes. I found that breakfast was the most difficult meal to go 100% paleo on. Being Swedish, I am programmed from birth to equate breakfast to sweet bread. Nowadays, I usually have something like mackerel, tuna, sardines or a piece of ham together with almonds and some green leafy salad for breakfast but it’s still the meal where I am most likely to slip and have a piece of bread with cheese, especially Saturday mornings.
The free intro to the Paleo diet I give you if you subscribe to my newsletter will give you the history, the rationale for the modern man to follow our ancient ancestors diet. Check out the book and start planning for your first week of your new life!