I personally have a few pounds to lose. What’s wrong with a few extra pounds? Well first thing is that my jeans start feeling tight and uncomfortable and the seat of my pants feels like it is going to split any day. I also don’t like the way I look in the mirror, with the extra chin, the rolls, the tummy and others. My family doesn’t like that I snore more at night. I get winded when I am chasing the kids around, or even just walking up and down the stairs. My blood pressure is usually high, and who knows what is going on with my cholesterol. By keeping these extra pounds on, I am gambling with my health since I am consistently at a risk for heart disease, which scares me.
So what am I doing about it? I am on a quest to lose some weight. What is the biggest reason that people struggle with their weight? It comes down to self control. Not giving to cravens, and in fact replacing cravings for sugar with other cravings for more healthy food. My guide is Mark Sisson’s new book Keto Reset Diet. Now I am just starting my quest, so I haven’t completed the program. In fact I am just a couple months in, but I am already seeing results.
I haven’t yet started the keto part of the diet. That comes after 21 days of prep work by eating Paleo. What is Paleo? It is a high protein, low carb diet that prepare your body and mind for the battle that is coming with ketogenic diet. With low carbs, that means no pizza, nachos, soda, and bread. Just the thought of it scares many people away. I love sandwiches, so I wasn’t sure that I could even get started. As many people know, most diets create a see saw battle with weight, where they stick to the program for a few weeks and lose some weight, and then they drop from the program and gain the weight plus a few extra pounds back. Over time, the man or woman that participates in the see saw diet puts more and more weight on.
Once you start paleo, and incorporate into your life, it doesn’t feel like a diet. It doesn’t feel like you are doing without. So you continue to eat right, and your body appreciates it and rewards you with more energy to do the things you want to do.
So let’s talk about Paleo, and the top 10 tips to losing weight with Paleo.
Rule 1 – Be Selective of the Type of Carbs You Eat and Limit the Amount You Eat.
The first week is tough, because your body goes through withdrawals from the carbs, sugar, trans fats, refined foods and the carbs that are found in today’s highly processed foods. Carbs have become the source of energy for your body. Therefore, when you are constantly feeding your body carbs, there isn’t a need to deplete fat storages for energy.
When we take the carbs out of the diet, and reduce the amount of sugar available for energy, your body will be forced to find other sources of energy. That source of energy will be fat stores.When your body isn’t getting what it wants, it starts to rebel. You start to feel sluggish. Perhaps you are starting to feel headaches. You may have cravings for sweets and carbs.
After the first week, the craving start to go away. Your body starts getting used to using fat for energy. And better than that, you can go longer without food before you get hungry. You will also have more energy than ever before.
Rule 2 – Make Quality Protein and Fat the Basis of Your Meal Plan
Paleo is a high protein, but also a high fat diet. Through adaptation, our bodies are meant to process fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and meat. When we eat meat in its true form, a big part of eating meat is eating fat. The 80s brought a culture of low fat milk, low fat food and drinks. Who remembers Tab softdrink? The milk that we received from our mother’s at birth certainly wasn’t low fat. If you see what has happened in society since the introduction of low fat foods, it is the exact opposite of what we wanted. Obesity is becoming the norm.
Over the past 40 years, we have been brainwashed to think low fat is good. So it is hard to start lathering your vegetables with butter. Start drinking whole milk. When you introduce fat back to your diet, the weight starts to come off. Remember if what you are doing isn’t working, do the opposite and you may be pleasantly surprised. In fact, a great fat loss tip on Paleo is to start your day with coffee that has butter and coconut oil as a source of dairy instead of crème or milk. It will make you feel full, and watch the pounds melt off.
Rule 3 – Stay Away from Drinks and Foods with High Sugar Content
Paleo is about not eating or drinking foods and drinks with high sugar contents at any time, but especially not later in the evening. This may seem like a common sense idea, but how many of us are drinking soda or alcohol late in the evening before going to bed. Switch to water instead. Let your body rest and heal while you sleep, rather than processing the food that you just put in your body.
Rule 4 – Prepare Yourself to Get Quality Sleep
Talking about Sleep, it is one of the most important parts of your day to help you get healthy. So prepare your mind and body for quality sleep with these good habits. Don’t watch TV or work on your computer right up until the time you go to bed. The artificial light that we receive through our eyes right before we go to bed, actually affect our sleep. Through thousands of years of adaptation, our bodies have been taught to shut down when the sun goes down. By using artificial light right up to bed time, your body isn’t programmed to shut down when you want it to.
So spend some time reading or soaking in a bath or meditating before you go to bed. One habit I recommend is reviewing your day. What went well, what went wrong. Think and plan about your next day. If there are any problems that you haven’t found a solution for, think about that problem, and let your brain find a solution when you are sleeping. Think of the things that you are grateful for in your life. These habits will give you a good perspective and prepare you for a good nights sleep and a good next day.
Rule 5 – Exercise Doesn’t Have To Be That Strenuous To Be Effective!
Exercise is an important part of a healthy person inside and out. Again our bodies have adapted to thousands of years as hunters and gatherers. When our ancestors were awake, they were constantly on the move, looking for food, shelter, fun and games. Today, many of us spend a lot of time behind a desk on our butts, and just getting 20 minutes to walk is sometimes a struggle. Make that walk a priority. It doesn’t mean that you need to be a marathon runner.
As a matter of fact, that type of running isn’t necessary at all. If you walk every day. Work out 3 or 4 times a week for 30 minutes pushing heavy weights, and do some sprints once a week, your body will react.
Rule 6 – Eat Healthy Snacks
Instead of snacking on cookies and chips, eat nuts, seeds and dark chocolate. You read that right, I said chocolate. Dark Chocolate with 70 – 95% cocoa to be exact. They are in the healthy fats category. Now, you can’t go crazy. Everything in moderation. Put they are honestly more satisfying than chocolate bars and cookies. They are filling and sweet, but not too sweet.
My kids don’t love dark chocolate, but to me it is better than milk chocolate. A handful of a little bit of dark chocolate with some cashews, almonds and sunflower seeds does the job.
Rule 7 – Eventually Use Intermittent Fasting
When you have embraced Paleo and made it the basis for your diet and exercise, and you are losing weight and having success, you will find that you actually aren’t hungry at every meal! And if your weight loss plateaus, but you still have weight to lose, that is the time to start using Intermittent Fasting. You can do this by just not eating your breakfast, and see how long you can go before you start to feel hungry.
The same way that you can’t run a marathon on your first try without training, you probably won’t be able to fast for 24 hours without getting really hungry. But maybe the first time you make it to 10 am, or 12pm, or 2pm before your body starts telling you that it needs food. You body will react to this lack of food by using your fat as an energy source. By pushing your comfort zone and controlling your cravings, you will have more control over your hunger and your body.
This is the first step in going Keto. After 21 days of Paleo you have prepared your body to now begin the Keto Diet, which will last 6 weeks. This is where you reduce your carbs even further. Through this diet, you will become fat efficient. You will look better, feel better and be healthier.
I am not going into the science of Paleo and Keto, rather I will leave that up to the expert, Mark Sisson. You can find lots of expert advice and the science that goes behind Paleo in his book Keto Reset Diet, and even more information at Mark’s blog, Marksdailyapple.com. The success stories are a true inspiration. If you have any questions about Paleo, this is the place to go.
Also, if you are looking for some delicious paleo recipes, take a look at www.primalpalate.com.