Friday, 24 July 2015

Pale-"oh no!"

Rewind almost 3 months, to the beginning of May, 2015. My scale had creeped back up to the 200lb mark, so after a few days of solid research and much deliberation, I (like many other desperate dieters) decided to try my luck with the paleo lifestyle. It seemed pretty straightforward – consume a diet as similar as possible to that of our cavemen ancestors (grain and dairy free), and exercise as often as you can. Finally, I believed I had found a plan simple enough not to totally mess up!

And in a way I was right; there’s no hidden fine print behind the paleo diet, and as long as you can stay away from all the processed crap of the 21st century you’re on the right track. I dove right in, and in no time at all was enjoying my strawberry coconut milk smoothies and cauliflower rice, all while shedding weight! My energy had drastically improved and I no longer had cravings for sugary and unhealthy snacks, but there was just one problem – my body wanted bread so badly that I had begun to obsess over it. It was at this point when a harsh reality sunk in: Staying away from junk food is easy, but following a diet that omits grains and dairy is hard. Sure, I saw results through this diet (I lost about 10lbs in the month that I tried it), but it got to the point where I just couldn’t see the logic behind it anymore. Grain and dairy both have scientifically proven health benefits, so why are they considered so evil on this diet?

Now I’m not saying that paleo is a terrible diet that people should stay away from. Like I previously stated, it did help me to lose a fair bit of weight, and if it wasn’t for the intense bread cravings I would probably still be following it. In fact, aside from its obvious nutritional flaws, the paleo diet actually gives some pretty sound advice – namely, stop eating crap and get off your ass. Although, shouldn’t that just be common sense to people who are trying to lose weight?

In the end, I couldn’t continue with the paleo diet, but I still incorporate some of its principles into my lifestyle today. For example, I have committed to totally omitting sugary drinks from my diet (all I drink now are water and my protein shakes). I have also significantly cut back on the amount of processed foods I eat, and limited my carb intake - because no matter how badly I’d love to eat an entire bag of rye bread with butter every day, it’s not very good for my waistline. Or my arteries. Or anything really.

Basically what I’m trying to say with this article is when it comes to weight loss and dieting, there is no one-size-fits-all method. You have to guess and test, and ultimately do whatever floats your boat. Also, you don’t have to eat like a caveman to be sexy.

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