I spent years trying to control weight with yo-yo dieting, calorie counting, long cardio sessions, low/no fat foods, "low GI" carbs, fiber, etc., etc.. All the stuff that's supposed to work if you do it right. Sometimes I'd lose a good amount of weight but I always gained it back. Sometimes even with strict calorie counting and gym visits, I'd lose nothing. I've known about Paleo for a while but unfortunately spent a lot of time trying to meld it with conventional wisdom -- eating lean meats, eating "good" carbs like whole wheat bread, avoiding "bad" fats like butter, etc.. When I finally went high-fat/low-carb, the weight started coming off effortlessly and immediately. I stuck with it and it kept coming off. I was slightly worried that I was mistakingly attributing the weightloss to the Paleo diet instead of some medical condition given the hard work it took in the past to just lose a few pounds! :) Honestly, this is what still blows me away about Paleo. I feel like I was flat out lied to by the government, by doctors, and by all those "experts" that say that more carbs, less fat, and more cardio are the keys.
Bonus: The second thing I noticed was high energy levels. In a high carb diet, you get into that cycle of bouncing from high carb meal to meal to keep energy constant. I see people at work running down to the vending machines in the afternoon to get some junk carbs for energy and it reminds me of those bad old days. With a high fat diet, the energy levels are consistent even when I end up skipping meals.
I wrote up some of these observations on my blog a while ago.
It took me 3 days to notice the first improvements.
I noticed that I could go 4-6 meals without being hungry. Previously, I ate massive amounts of food and was hungry within 1 hour, starving and cranky and miserable by 3-4 hours.
Energy levels were vastly improved within days. After my first few carb-heavy cheat meals, I noticed that I would crash pretty hard within 20-40 minutes (I'd get sleepy and tired and lose concentration).
I noticed that my chronic indigestion went away within about 2 weeks (no more gas and diarrhea). Any remaining gas was usually odorless rather than weapons-grade toxic.
I noticed that all the plaque from my teeth completely disappeared within 2 weeks. I had heard similar accounts, but this was astonishing to me. I would not have believed it if it had not happened to me personally. Morning breath was also substantially improved.
I lost weight from around my waist within about 12 weeks, nearly 4 inches (a little too much, actually).
Depression and chronic foot pain all but disappeared after years-long battles, although there were other factors to be considered (life circumstances changed, and I started wearing Vibrams, too).
It's kinda hard to talk about this stuff without sounding like a "believer." But I do think it's very likely that all of the above benefits were primarily due to going Paleo.
I am new to Paleo; I'm halfway through my third week. I decided for the first month to go "all out". Caffine took me a week to quit, I went cold turkey with everything else.
Two things I noticed within days and they continue to amaze me: No heartburn No headaches
Prior to making the change I would suffer from mild heartburn regularly (at least every couple days) and headaches every few days or once a week at minimum.
The Tums and the Excedrine have been on the shelf since day 1 of Paleo. ZERO heartburn or headaches. I'm thrilled.
I eased into a Paleo style of eating gradually (over a couple of weeks), rather than radically. But even so, as soon as I made some basic changes (getting rid of grains and sugar, mainly), the very first thing to disappear was my facial spots and pimples, which I'd had for several years previously. This happened within about 4-5 days of drastically reducing grains (which I used to eat a lot of) and refined sugar, and was actually my main initial motivation for trying the diet.
I took the leap after reading countless hours about different diets (I love nutrition!) and I have nothing but good to say about the lifestyle. I first started noticing weight loss. Then my mood improved dramatically. I was able to reason better and I feel more motivation in me than ever before, be it from strictly sticking to the diet or some other cause. I have been using the vibrams in conjunction to the lifestyle and they have helped my knee pain. After a couple weeks I had no more cravings for carbs. I was a carboholic before but now I don't crave anything of the such. I do, however, crave sugar everyday. This probably because I love fruit and dark chocolate. I know if I went cold turkey on them I wouldn't crave them anymore but at this time they shall stay with me.
Almost immediately: no mood swings due to drops in glocose levels in-between meals.
Fasting for 24 hours? Sure, no problem. Do the same on a moderate-to-high-carb food plan? No way.
Note that you'll most likely experience the health benefits even in the absence of weight loss, especially if you're insulin resistant to begin with (where Paleo here would imply low-carb).
Ummm...not to be too personal, but..
I think this was a gluten issue, but damn, why didn't the Dr. tell me it was so easy to solve? Instead, he said "I hope you never get pregnant because it is going to get ugly."
OK here is the list of benefits:
Waking at 6am ready to go...instead of "needing" to sleep until 10 or 11am every weekend to catch up.
No more gas that could clear a room. Or as that lovely boyfriend described "Smells like something crawled up and died inside of you."
No feelings that broken glass is moving through my GI tract.
Creaky joints. (I say the chicken broth solved this.)
Brain fog (that's a given.)
An unfortunate ability to diagnose Grain issues in others. Don't you just want to save the Planet?
I think I'm smarter. But maybe that's just me...???
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