I am interested in what people are having success with? Please, no short-term anecdotes- I want to hear what has been working consistently for you for at least 6 months time. I appreciate your input!
Alligator, I don't think you will actually learn much from this question, only because every one is unique and what works for one person often will not work for the next. However, that is really usually only the case when it comes to specifics, and not generalizations which can generally be applied to populations and then manipulated on a per-person basis.
Only because you asked, but don't do the same thing and expect to get the same results. Every body is different. what you do will depend on your goals. Personally, my goals are just to keep improving physically- become stronger and leaner. I don't have any autoimmune issues, so I find that I can tolerate some dairy and carbs just fine. I go out for sushi a couple times a month and do fine with the amount of white rice that comes in 1-2 rolls, but would not make white rice a staple everyday carb source. I eat steak about once a week as well, usually at a restaurant.
I have come full circle through paleo/primal and essentially right back to where I started from pre-2005.
My Diet consists of mainly chicken breasts, pork, tuna, tilapia, shellfish, cottage cheese (Friendship brand, no salt added), mixed green salads with red onions and purple cabbage (sometimes steamed broccoli or asparagus), mixed nuts, and sourdough rye bread for carbs (Genuine Bavarian I think is the brand name). Pretty basic and easy to remember.
I eat 1-2 slices (20-40 grams of carbs) of sourdough rye bread with breakfast as my only dense carbs for the day. My other meals are 3 salads with a lean protein and a handful of mixed nuts. I am doing carb-refeeds every 5-7 days where I consume 1 gram of carbs per lb of desired body weight. Eggs are tasty, but bad for my skin. As is coconut oil. Sweet potatoes have lost their appeal. On the carb refeeds I am doing mainly sourdough rye bread, honey, and quinoa or oats (obviously none of which is paleo). I guess this means I mustn't frequent these boards anymore, which I am sure will be a delight for some.
I don't really care about meal timing but try to separate my meals by 2-4 hours, sticking to the aforementioned meals. Whether I intermittent fast or not makes no difference to me physique or performance wise. I sometimes will end up doing lean gains eating window just by accident, but making an effort to eat in a window of time and arranging my day around it is too tedious for me.
Yes...VLC for a couple months and reached a state of mind that was both alert and reflective. I dropped coffee about half way through also. Just gotta say addictions/dependencies waned and died away while I was in ketosis. Quite an experience. If you have never tried it I highly recommend for a few months. I don't stay VLC for "years" on end and have not been in quite a while actually, but as far as a "euphoric" state this is as close as I have come.
I did, once.
I had gone paleo, with 20g of carbs. I felt miserable for three weeks, getting off carbs was harder than when I quit smoking. Then one evening I was ravenous after not having lunch. I went to the Dutch Goose in Menlo for dinner. Two large beef patties, two pieces of cheese, ungodly amounts of thousand island dressing. Some onions, cherry tomatoes. It was like I was totally and completely high. My poor bf was wondering why I was giggling, loopy. I got home, plugged my values into my food diary. It's the first time I had hit 65% fat 10% carbs, 25% protein. Turns out I had not reached enough fat the three weeks prior.
I now eat to be around or at those values. but haven't been high since.
I wish I could answer this definitively, but it has been a constant moving target that shifts with the seasons.
Starting out, VLC was the bomb, I pretty much narrowed my food down to red meat, liver, salad, and kale, and felt like a rock star for about 4 months, but that could have also been because I just took away the foods that were actively making me unhealthy (people often experience that when they begin any whole foods regimen).
As my health improved adding back starchy roots and fruit felt pretty awesome.
The next "breakthrough" was when I started making bone broth with a lot of salt, and drank that instead of coffee in the morning for about a month, hot damn I felt good!
The problem with getting it right though, is that it there is point of diminishing returns as feeling well becomes the new norm, and you start to second guess that you ever felt as bad as you remember feeling. Years into eating better drifting off plan also started to hurt less, as my capacity for true omnivory returned, but in that is also a slippery slope back to baseline, and some of my old health problems returned even though I didn't feel bad.
So, I think the gold at the end of the rainbow might be feeling "normal" most of the time, not having to scrutinize every food choice, celebrating our successes, but maintaining a watchful eye, and not forgetting that lifestyle can often trump dietary choices.
Sure.. There is always room for improvement, mostly because I have a hard time finding the foods I'm looking for (at least in my local area).
I eat lots of soups (home made, with bone broth), eggs(scrambled, fried, omelettes and pickled), chicken (I refuse to eat "lean" meats like chicken breasts without the skin), various seafoods, unpasturized grass fed jersey milk kefir, butter, ghee, salads, kraut, kimchi, sprouted/fermented alternative grain porridge (with black strap molasses and butter), potatos if I want them.
The majority of foods I eat are real food, not out of a package or a box. I spend a bit of time preparing and cooking them.
I am no longer strictly paleo but I feel and perform better where I am now. Not everyone can say that they feel like they are in their prime at 50.