I swear I have talked paleo to death to just about everyone I know with some damn good insight and knowledge to back me up. I have bought people books, cooked them delicious food, showed them the progress I have made, provided them links to studies and articles, etc, etc. However, I have not successfully converted a single soul to even TRY paleo for 30 days. Sometimes I feel like I am talking to a wall. It is amazing how people just cannot let go of their grains and low fat lifestyle. And I haven't been talking to people of "perfect health." I've spoken to people with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, overweight, underweight, allergies, IBS, adrenal fatigue, and more.
For those of you who have been a ambassador for paleo and have a good winning percentage, can you please provide your tips and tricks?
disclaimer: I understand that people don't change unless they want to, but at the end of the day if someone is struggling with a disease or have weightloss issues there has got to be something that will at least try the diet.
I have found "abduction" to be about the most effective method. There's something about being locked away in a closet with no other sources of food that make people consider giving the Paleo option I offer them a try.
You are really annoying, are you not?
None of us have a winning percentage when it comes to converting people to our lifestyle. I don't try anymore. People rely on the white coats for their experts and food couldn't possibly be their problem...since the FDA would never allow us to eat anything that would compromise our health! And what do you know?...you don't have a white coat.
I have only one win. A 72 year old type II, high blood pressure, 50 pounds overweight, 5 stents in place with the 6th due for installation next year..every 7 years he got one....now off of cholesterol meds, off metformin, off high blood pressure meds, 50 pounds gone and feeling he is on top of the world.
Spread the word by your success.
In my workplace, the idea is catching on in the group I work with. The approach was simple, but not pre-meditated:
I introduced just a particular relevant concept (instead of the whole shabang) to a co-worker ... in this case I sent along the Primal Blueprint Fitness, which does talk a little about diet. This co-worker is (a) the level headed type who will do further research if there's compelling reason to, and (b) he is much more influential in our group than I am. Being the youngest and newest employee, my input simply does not carry as much weight as others (in work related and non-work related matters). Even if I'm living the positive results.
So what seems to work is identify someone else in the sphere of influence of the person(s) you wish to convert, and convert them. Someone else much more influential, as well as level headed if possible, even if they are not the more obvious candidate for the benefits of paleo/primal health.
This triangulation works with spouses/loved ones/close friends too, I would think. I'm pretty certain my wife would go closer to 100% paleo if one of her close friends started pushing for it. Since there's no suspicion of a controlling attitude if it comes from a trusted friend instead of a spouse (no knock on her, we all have those suspicions of mixed motives at times with those we are closest to, even subconciously).
And as well, if a friendship already has any tensions or undertones of say competitiveness or distrust, you'd need to convert someone else in the friend's circle who doesn't carry that psychological baggage with the friend.
Overall I do not try to push the paleo stuff on anyone anymore, people ask me about it because they see I eat differently and turn down a lot of food that goes around work, (Pizza, cake, donuts). They ask me about all kinds of stuff and I keep it as short as possible.
What do I need to eat to lost weight (meat, veg, and make sure you get sleep)
I give nutrition lectures at the gym to people that want to increase their performance, I really only scratch on the surface of what I've read/tried myself on the whole paleo/zone life styles. That gets people the results they want.
If they want to take it to the next step, well I can do that as well.
I have a cousin who just had a son, who is also dying of caner, I have a mother who has high blood pressure, a grand mother who has Osteoporosis and high blood pressure. Really the list can keep going on and on, the short is they do not want to listen, they don't care and would rather take medication to correct the problems then give up how they eat.
It honestly tears me apart on the inside because I know I can help them if they would follow my advice, they just do not want to.
When people come to you, you can help. You can not force your beliefs on others if they do not want to listen.
Ther are a few ways to successfully convert someone to paleo:
Don't say anything until they see your rippling abs, then casually mention that they came from this weird "paleo" diet.
Have a dinner party and serve paleo food. It has to be really really good paleo food.
Talk about paleo all the time. You lose some credibility, but frequency increases the odds bigtime.
But mostly, no one likes hearing about other peoples' special diets. So talking about foods and recipes apart from paleo might be a better way to convert an unsuspecting SAD-adherent. Even though I'm in a nutrition PhD program, no one I know gives a hoot about my dietary opinions (except my mom!)
People come to me for diet and fitness advice because I work very hard at staying in good shape. I have learned that unless you're asked, no one wants to hear about these two topics. They're sensitive issues.