December 11, 2014

Losing Weight on a Paleo Diet

photo: wikipedia

Guest Post By Meg White, with Intro by Crabby McSlacker

Please welcome Meg White, blogger at CavemanCravings.net!  She was willing share her success with the whole Paleo thing here, despite the realization that Cranky Fitness is not exactly a paleo blog. 

Unless our primal ancestors had a few packages of this stuff stashed away in their caves?


Anyway, I know there are lots of hard-core CavePeople as well as some Primal-Curious folks among the Cranketeers, so enjoy!

How I Lost Weight on the Paleo Diet: An Ode to My Past Love, Bread


Some rights reserved by jeffreyw

Oh, ye bread. How I would have missed you. That is: I would have missed you if I didn’t toss you out along with my chubby clothes—the clothes I had to purchase post-one particular lost summer of extra carbohydrates topped with sucrose, thank-you-very-much.

That’s right: I, along with so many other people, had a very, very lost couple of months, when turning to food seemed the only option. Backed by my sure-and-sturdy comprehension of “what we’re meant to eat” via the Food Guide Pyramid, I chased every full-tier spaghetti meal with my standard helping of … Oreos. Sometimes extra helpings; this depended on my mood and how long the television program I was watching lasted.

Clearly, I needed help.




The Paleo diet seemed like a fad diet, at first. “Eat what your ancestors ate!” seems sort of like a joke statement. Like: I personally don’t trust anything we thought, “way back when.” We thought the world was flat, for example. We thought “radioactive” drinks were healthy for rheumatoid arthritis and sold them by the bucket full, like water from the fountain of youth. Some surgeon in the fifties thought that shark cartilage was effective cancer treatment. Listen: we had no idea what we were doing for a long, long time. And I’m sure we still don’t.

(And there is plenty more information available on the science behind the Paleo Diet).

However: there’s not so much to argue about with regards to the Paleo diet. At least, I couldn’t find anything when I first started, and I’m about as argumentative as they come. Certainly, I continue to struggle with sugar cravings. (Oreos do, after all, still exist.) And I can’t pretend I actually live in the hunter-gatherer age. I still watch television, and I still wear clothes (in various states of low-tier fashion, usually). I don’t normally have to make my own fire, unless I’m camping and my boyfriend is otherwise occupied. (So, never.) I still live a very normal life here in this closing 2014 year. However, over the past two years, I’ve steadily lost weight and gotten stronger with the Paleo diet.

And here’s how it happened.


1. I canceled my gym membership.

This seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? But I wanted to understand how to live a more conscious existence, and I wanted to start running outside. It started slowly, at first. I was living in Greece at the time,--yes, Greece has seldom-used gyms--, and those hills (more like mountains) were ROUGH. But I started first with twenty minutes. And then I gradually increased to thirty. I made myself a running calendar, and I made a big red X every time I completed a day. I didn’t allow myself to have a single rest day from “being in the outdoors, testing my limits” for twenty days. And after that, I was addicted. But I was a little weak.

Note that running outside is not for everyone. Check out a few of my ideas for exercising anywhere. Some Paleo dieters don’t even run; they enhance their blood flow with jumping jacks, for example, and call “ten minutes of exercise” a day. I call it personal preference. Personally, back then, I was running for better mentality about my health. And it worked.

Comic by xkcd.

2. I stopped eating bread and pasta (and so many refined sugars).

See: the reason I was a little weak while running was because I wasn’t giving myself enough protein. The carbohydrates I was eating were, unfortunately, being stored in my body in extra layers of fat (since carbohydrates are just bits of glucose running through your body, looking for a fat cell to call home). And despite the fact that bread—oh my dear, my love!—was a mainstay in my diet, I nixed it to see what would happen. I started eating meat again—after a few months of trying “veg,” and I found myself pushing faster and stronger up those Greek hills.

Comic by xkcd.

3. I stopped counting calories.

When I began to initiate with the Paleo diet completely, I stopped counting calories. I looked at myself in the mirror and noted the way my muscles lacked their “softness” of earlier years. I was looking toned and strong, and I was tired of watching every single thing I ate. I tried my best to eat a “Paleo diet”—which is, essentially, beef, chicken, fish, vegetables, nuts, and fruits. But when I messed up, I made peace with messing up. I completely halted the guilty feelings I had had in my previous counting calorie years. It was incredible. I was finally “free” from food. I still needed it to survive, but the relationship was different. Finally, it was like food and I were compatible, on the same level.

4. I continued to follow the diet after I lost the weight.

It took a few months to lose all the weight I wanted to. (Which, at that time, was about twenty pounds. I’m only five feet tall, and twenty pounds is a good deal on my small frame.) I permitted myself to weigh myself on the same day, every two weeks. I think it was a Wednesday. After I lost the weight, I continued to follow the Plan. I continued to enhance my running game. In fact, I recently ran a Mini Marathon in a time that is, perhaps, not too embarrassing.

My snacks during this post-weight-loss time consist of dried fruit and nuts; my meals are healthy, well-rounded, and lacking in high-carbohydrate items, like breads and pastas. (I do, of course, go for the occasional starchy vegetable, like the immaculate sweet potato. Note that the Paleo diet is not low carb by nature! Low carb makes me crazy.)

Luckily, my cravings are less nagging than they’ve ever been before; I feel like I’ve finally found a “diet plan” that can fuel me with nutrition and health for a long, long time.

In fact, many doctors and proponents of the Paleo diet state that Paleo:
  1. Can help you lose weight.
  2. Can reduce your risk of gut problems, like leaky gut syndrome. Note that leaky gut syndrome can lead to an unfortunate overall immune response. Furthermore, leaky gut syndrome is linked mental health.
  3. Can help you gain good muscle to rev your metabolism.
  4. Can introduce you to some of the most delicious snacks and foods in the known universe. 80% dark chocolate is actually where it’s at—which is not anything I knew back in my nutella-by-the-spoonful days.
  5. Can bring you renewed vitality. With Paleo, I finally had the hope to begin exercising, understanding what was going into my body, and noting how my body felt as a result. I’ve never wanted to jump off the lifestyle. After all: Paleo is more assimilated with what “life” actually is than any other diet plan, in my opinion. It allows you to mess up; it allows you to come rolling back. It initiates well with my rough-and-tumble lifestyle of traveling around the world. And I love it!
Meg White, blogger at CavemanCravings.net, is a tried-and-true Paleo addict, running around the world, searching for the most nutritional and tasty treats in every country she finds. Follow CavemanCravings.net for Paleo diet tips, Paleo diet recipes, and Meg’s eternal zest for good food and good times.


14 comments:

  1. Paleo can be a great thing, i know some people who've done very well on it. As long as i'm doing well on raw vegan, though, i think it's where i will stay. Everyone needs to find what works best for herself and stick to it.

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    1. Mimi, amazing you're able to stick to raw vegan. I liked it, but I felt a little too weak for my running habits. My mind had never felt so clear during my raw vegan months, though! I do think there are a lot of similarities, so it wasn't a strange switch. Lots of vegetables, no dairy, etc. Keep doing what you're doing! Clean, nutritional lifestyles rejoice!

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  2. As a certified gym rat, I actually like your idea of quitting the gym. For so many it brings up such negative connotations. And there are so many more natural ways to exercise (yes, even resistance exercise) that don't have the baggage of a gym membership. Great article, Meg!

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    1. The gym is definitely a good place to start (and continue on!) for so, so many. (It's where I found my love for exercise, truly. And I know how encouraging it is to see so many people working toward similar goals, all around you.) But since I travel so often, I needed to find a better way. Something about running outside that never gets old! (Except in sub-zero, of course. :)) Cheers!

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  3. at first I scoffed at paleo---till I realized so so much of it Im already doing.
    Im with mimi and it is all just about finding our fit---and sticking with it.

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    1. Haha I scoffed, as well! Something about other people telling me what diet plan I "should" be on sort of rubs me the wrong way, sometimes. I tried it just because it's the most natural step, for me, to incorporate both raw and cooked vegetables alongside a good intake of protein and fat. Sometime when my hair started to look super shiny and I was finally able to fit into my old, small dresses again, I think I was hooked. Of course, I mess up all the time. Who doesn't? Good luck, Carla!

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  4. It's great that you found what works for you. Congratulations! I've never been able to stick to any sort of diet in my life. As soon as I cross something off the ok list, it becomes my favorite thing in the world, and the only thing I could possibly eat at that moment. Hmm - maybe I should try crossing kale off the list? But like you, I discovered exercise and got back in shape (and have stayed there for over 10 years). It feels amazing, and once the habit took hold, I couldn't imagine going without my regular endorphin dose.

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    1. It always takes me a few days to "kick" the thought of sweets or whatever when I transition to a new diet haha. Exercise always helps. I couldn't live without those endorphins! :)

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  5. Its really amazing to see your entire weight loss journey. You have got unbelievable change. Hats off for the efforts you made. I would like to share my venus factor diet plan with people as I have tried it and got 100% positive results. Hope it helps them as well. Cheers!!

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  6. Paleo is okay, but so is the original Mediterranean diet. I'm glad you are doing well. Any healthy eating style that can be sustained by the person will work.

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  7. Paleo is the only way to go, but the carb cravings are intense. I know people that use a Doctor supervised plan with Belviq and Phentermine it's the best diet rug combo ever created - safe and effective! Some folks have gotten 12% Weightloss in 12 weeks and control your craving! more: http://fox4kc.com/2014/09/24/metro-doctors-small-study-finds-weight-loss-drug-combo-may-be-beneficial/ read more about how this new diet drug Belviq it is helping people like Ellie Wenker, who has lost 60 plus pounds at: http://belviqdaily.blogspot.com/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K5yxWWfmfw

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    1. www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K5yxWWfmfw Don't keep it a secret. Only 2% of obese get doctor supervised plans like Belviq, and 1 / 3 Americans are obese!

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  8. Paleo is a very good for losing weight. It is a proven way to lose weight but also a total guideline of weight lose can plays a big rule to lose weight. I think this is the one guide http://bit.ly/1wR4r3u what i think a complete guide for weight lose. You can check this either.

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  9. I love your writing, it is so funny. I don't think our ancestors had popcorn too much.

    I know this isn't exactly a Paleo blog, but that type of diet does have its merits. Staying away from processed foods, wheat, and dairy has been proven to have health benefits.

    Of course, nothing is wrong with a little junk food here and there as long as you have some self control!

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