I am just starting the 30 day Paleo plan and did my measurements today. I am a 28 year old female, 5'5", 220lbs, and 38% body fat. I need to lose around 80 pounds and would love some advice. I have a long history of yo-yo dieting, binging, and weight fluctuation. This time last year, I weighed 150 lbs, so in a year, I have gained 70 lbs, due to binge eating. Exercise is difficult for me right now, given how out of shape I am and I am very sedentary most days.
I am planning on having no carbs ( except veggies), fruit or dairy for the first 30 days, then I would like to incorporate sweet potatoes and fruit occasionally.
Is it okay to have dark chocolate (in moderation) while on the 30 day intro to Paleo?
I have no doubt that the Paleo plan is sustainable for life, my only worry is the complete lack of dairy, potatoes, fruit and wine for the first 30 days.
I was in the same situation as you. Given your history of yo-yo dieting and disordered eating, I would say you are probably setting yourself up for failure. My advice would be to forget about snacks, nuts, chocolate, and restricting carbs, fruit and dairy.
The most important thing you can do is get into a habit of "normal" eating. When you've done that, you can see where you want to go from there - if you want to try restricting things.
For now, eat three meals a day and to your best ability, eat only "real" food. Think of what your great grandmother might have given you and put it in the context of paleo foods. Try eggs, bacon and a banana for breakfast, a nice beef stew with chunks of carrots, celery etc. for lunch and roasted fish and potatoes for dinner, and a favorite piece of fruit for "dessert." Try that for 30 days and don't beat yourself up if you eat something you regret. There are no "cheat" meals. This isn't a game. This is your life.
From my own experience, you can't break out of disordered eating by putting yourself in a situation where you are going to be thinking obsessively about fruit, potatoes, cheese and chocolate. Just look at some of the posts on paleohacks from people who claim to be addicted to carbs or who bemoan how "evil" nuts are, etc.
Please remember that the complete lack of dairy, potatoes,fruit and wine for the first 30 days thing you are going for is but one version of paleo. You need NOT restrict all of those thing to get started and with your history that type of restriction could spell disaster.
Do you have a plan to deal with the desire to binge? You can white-knuckle it for only so long. I do think that eating paleo will help with the urge to binge but it's not going to cure you most likely. It's been discussed here before so you may want to do a search and see if you can find some suggestions from people who have dealt with the same thing. Try to take advise from others who have walked the path you need to walk. Losing weight is only half your battle.
It is not necessary to do a 30 day thing if you do not want to. You might try limiting dairy to butter.
Walking five times a week for 30 minutes a day will be key. Lift light wights and move up to heavier as you progress.
Eat a really nice breakfast each day. Nuts make a good snack during the trasition time. Eventually you can move off of the nuts.
You will do great.
If I had the time and resources, I would ALWAYS have a bowl of grass-fed meatballs at the ready. Learn to make some and they will make Paleo ez mode any time you don't want to cook. I have the smallest tupperware containter that has meatballs of about 2oz or so proportion and it houses a lot of them to say the least.
Lunch? Throw in bacon + meatballs, done. Hungry before dinner's ready? Grab a meatball. Penultimate Paleo snack, if you ask me.
In regards to exercise, you'll probably hear the same thing from all of us - do some weightlifting! Look, us guys really don't find anything more attractive(for those of us that lift, of course ;)
My advice would be not to restrict yourself too much at first, especially with your history. Simply Eliminating grains and added sugars (including natural sweeteners like agave and honey, and artificial sweeteners like aspartame) will likely make a huge difference in your carb intake. Emphasize whole foods, and maybe avoid super high glycemic fruits like bananas and mangoes. Eat plenty of meat, eggs, fish, veggies of all kinds and "good" fats -- coconut oil, grassfed butter, fatty cuts of meat (bacon!), and olive oil. Think of this as a lifestyle experiment not a diet that you will either pass or fail. You will figure out what works an doesn't work, what foods are convenient and delicious, what gives you tummy troubles, etc. and then you can tweak -- become more restricted, or maybe add in some stuff. You want this to be simple and sustainable.
I started simply (I just wondered "can I go 7 days with grains sugars or legumes?". Yes I could and I felt great!) about 8 mos ago and am down 35-40 lbs (from 202, female, 5'3"), find real pleasure in my food, and don't see myself ever going back to my old ways. I've tweaked a lot, reduced or eliminates certain foods, am doing the whole 30 now, and though I've plateaued a few times, the fat gradually continues to disappear. It really doesn't have to be hard! Good luck!
I would do what Marie suggests, however I would still limit the carbs. Not zero carb. You don't have to be extreme. For me, limiting carbs had a miraculous effect that I would not have gotten had I continued eating fruit, especially at breakfast, and large quantities of potatoes. I limited my starches to a quarter sweet potato at dinner and unlimited veggies. A high protein, high fat breakfast made it possible for me to go through the day with no snacks and no lunch. Low carb made me realize all my disordered eating was not my fault. With no hunger to think about all day I realized I wasn't a weak-willed psychological basket case. It had never been my fault. Now that I'm normal weight I no longer limit my roots and tubers because my insulin sensitivity has been restored.
Good for you for making the decision to get healthy. I'm a 50 year old female and lost about 70 lbs over the last 8 months or so. I went all in, eating only meat, eggs, fats (butter and coconut oil) and green vegetables. I did not eat any fruit, and played around a little with sweet potatoes until they started waking up my sweet tooth. By doing this I almost instantly lost all cravings, and my hunger regulated itself.
I know people are going, "ditch the snacks!" But, some times we think we need them... especially when starting out. Here's what I like, hard boiled eggs,coconut flakes, olives, 12 almonds, a carrot, almond butter, seaweed strips, a slice or 2 of lunch meat (these might contain sugar though), a bit of dark chocolate, a scoop of coconut oil, 1/4 of an avocado, or glass of almond milk. Look for things with natural fats. After doing this for a bit, I sometimes skip a full meal and maybe just eat 2 of those things, like 2 slices of roastbeef and some green olives.
Take it all one day at a time, don't strive to be perfect. Don't sweat the weightloss bit as much, you'll see other changes first. Don't weigh yourself everyday. Read some good books on the subject if you think it will be beneficial to you. Congrats on taking your health into you own hands! Cheers! :D
If you want to restrict carbs, the dark chocolate should probably wait. I have a very difficult doing no chocolate at all. I did a diet that had a green drink with chocolate. I think it had xylitol, which is not the worst sweetener ever. (it may have been stevia, I don't recall). Anyhow, it was really wonderful to have the chocolate craving satisfied by greens.
I love the advice above about going with real foods at first. When radically changing, it can be facilitate by easing in, rather than 'cold-turkey' (although cold turkey does make an excellent snack).
I really recommend making a food plan, a menu, or cooking on weekends, with whole real foods, and freezing. My job gets so much of my energy and focus that cooking during the week is really hard for me. So I try to have lots of healthy foods in handy meal or snack sized portions for grab-n-go out of my own freezer during the week. I love sliced red bell peppers for snacking ~ I usually want crunch for snacks.
I am also sedentary, as I have a genetic condition that impairs my joints. I love watching my scale drop when I'm eating full 30 paleo.
fructose, beets, sweet potatoes 11 Answers