I have been eating paleo about 60% of the time for about three weeks, but I'd really like to up that percentage in order to over-haul my diet for the long run. A little background: I'm a 23 y/o female. 5'5'' and about 115-120 lbs. (I don't weigh myself, ever). I have full intention to switch to paleo eating for good, but I have a hard time with follow through. I don't have any major weight-loss goals or anything, but would like to firm up.
My plan is to commit to full paleo for 2 weeks, allowing carbs like sweet potatoes and fruits if need be. In these first two weeks, my main focus will be just getting used to preparing and eating paleo meals all the time. The second two weeks, I will try to add in exercise at least twice a week and limit by carbs (sweet potatoes and fruits) to PWO only. After that first month, I will continue and probably add in one or two more work out days per week.
In your opinion, should this be an effective method to transition? If not, what would you tweak? Any helpful thoughts are appreciated!
"...allowing carbs like sweet potatoes and fruits if need be."
Ohhhh need be! Why would you even consider not eating these foods? They are allowed on a paleo plan. Since weight loss is not a goal of yours you don't need to restrict these foods. Don't make yourself miserable. Eat all the allowable foods that you enjoy and feel good about it. You can tweak things later if something doesn't work well for you but for now I would just ENJOY all the healthy choices you have available to you under this plan.
Otherwise I think you plan sounds great You know where some of your biggest challenges are and you are addressing those. Planning and preparation is an issue for many of is. Just don't try to be spartan or perfect or anything extreme for now. Now just find some good food you enjoy, make it, put some butter on it and enjoy the heck out of it.
I found for myself it was easiest to just go cold turkey on all grains and starches and fruit for a few weeks and then add in the starches and fruits later. I mostly eat VLC for weight loss but I think even if you're planing on maintaining rather than weight-loss it is an invaluable experience to completely overhaul your tastebuds and craving cycle. Once I went very strict low carb paleo I didn't have issues with eating too many nuts, fruit, occasional starches the few times I eat them. And for sure I don't find myself craving stuff like wheat, sugar, etc anymore. It's just resetting your body's food expectations. Also, I let myself completely not pay attention to calories the first few weeks. I ate liberal amounts of fat that first month or so. I feel like I really needed the freedom so I could conquer the grain monster. Now I'm a lot more careful about measuring my fats so I can keep my calories down but at first I didn't pay them any attention.
Anyway, good luck! Self experimentation is the best way to do this. There's no perfect paleo macronutrient ratio that works for everyone. You just have to check out what makes you feel the best.
Agree with total avoidance of carbs until your system resets because they all (Apple, Potato, or 'a jolly rancher', will cause insulin spike)!
The problem many have is their fat phobia. Subconsciously they view protein as good, and fat as bad, and so will eat too little fat. So, to reset your diet try avoiding insulin spikes by eating low carb, high fat for a while and notice a reduction in cravings and a general increase in mood. When you increase the fat content of your meals, you become sated quite quickly.
Another idea to investigate is 'Intermediate Fasting'[IF], that is fasting for 23 hours and then eating one large low carb, moderate protein, high fat meal. This however is difficult for those who have yet to learn to differentiate between physical and mental hunger, and thus should be worked up to, i.e. skip one, then two meals...
Whenever someone describes his diet as "60 percent Paleo," my thoughts immediately turn to the dreck that comprises the other 40 percent. If it's Coke and Milky Way bars and whole wheat bread, is the 60 percent really worth it? Certainly there is nothing magical about grass-fed organ meat that will "cancel out" the harmful effects of gluten or fructose or whatever.
If you think the Paleo template isn't for you -- no judgment here -- then why not just go balls out until you deem yourself ready for the real thing?
But permit me just a little bit of judgment here. I can't understand not being "ready" for eating a ton of meat and vegetables and a bit of fruit here and there. Instead of thinking of this as learning a new diet per se, think of it as learning not to eat 98 percent of processed foods.
Don't be alarmed if your workouts suck to start with. Your body is adapting. Just enjoy being active and go with how you are feeling on workout days, push as hard/easy as you can. Be patient as your body adapts (now I need to take some of that advice myself!!)
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