The new year is here! The new year is here! AKA New Year’s Resolution time. Everybody is talking about starting a diet January 1st or January 5th. I mean, who doesn’t want to shed the extra 10lbs put on between Thanksgiving and New Years? I for sure have my hand raised…
I have a little secret for you- Diets don’t work. Please don’t yell at me or close this page, just hear me out.
Diets. There are a million out there: Atkins, low carb, Weight Watchers, South Beach, Jenny Craig, the Grapefruit Diet, 3 hour diet, Cabbage Soup diet, Juice diets, Mediterranean Diet, “cleanses”, Flexible Dieting, Whole 30, 21 Day Sugar Detox… there are like, a trillion. It is my opinion that a diet isn’t worth doing if it’s not sustainable.
First things first, why do you want to go on a diet?
>Do you want to loose weight?
>Be a healthier you?
>Perform your sport better?
>Have more confidence?
>Fit into your wedding dress or tux?
>Heal digestive issues or sickness?
In my mind, there are two reasons to diet:
- To drop weight quickly once.
- To drop weight quickly OR slowly once and maintain it. AKA make a lifestyle change.
I began the Paleo lifestyle over two years ago after reading* about the food culture we American’s have developed for ourselves. Long story short: we’ve screwed ourselves with our fast food, GMOs, and chemicals. We are destroying our bodies with processed junk. When I first began eating Paleo, I ate very strict for 2 months. I didn’t eat a bite of chocolate or take a sip of alcohol for two months. I lost weight, I got more toned, I had more energy; it was glorious. It did however blow when I went out with friends. Soda water and lime please! It was torture.
After two months, I wanted chocolate. And by wanted I mean NEEDED. I think it was just after a holiday so there was 50% off holiday Reese’s, my weak spot. And 50% off bags of peanut butter M&Ms. Also a pretty big weak spot. Needless to say, I easily undid my two months of hard work in the following two months. I could not stop!!! I was a MESS. After that point it was even harder to go back to eating remotely strict Paleo. I had never eaten so much chocolate and had never had to many unhealthy processed foods cravings in my life than I had in the two months following my initial change to Paleo. I screwed up, I was following the Paleo DIET for two months, not the Paleo lifestyle.
After a couple of months I was slowly getting back into the swing of things. I was reminding myself why I started eating this way in the first place; to be healthier and happier with my choices, to feel better and know that I was treating my body properly. No chemicals, only whole foods.
About a year after that I decided to go on the 21 Day Sugar Detox. No, I did not like it and I do not recommend it for everyone, but I’m sure it does work for some people- just not for me. I was so annoyed that I wasn’t even allowed to have fruit. (You’re only allowed to eat one green apple or one pre-ripe banana a day). I was actually ANGRY. I was getting sick of meat and veggies. I can eat the same meal several days in a row, but I cannot eat the same meal for breakfast, a snack, and lunch several days in a row. At this time I thought that I might be allergic to nuts because my skin was breaking out a ton, so I didn’t even have nuts to snack on. I was literally angry, I felt like I was wasting my time. Oh- and dark chocolate IS allowed on the 21 Day Sugar Detox, sooo I see no point. Strike 2, another diet.
Fast forward several months, my roommate was going on a Whole 30. Meaning she was going to eat strict Paleo for 30 days. No exceptions. No grains, dairy, legumes, processed foods, and no sugar of any kind- even honey. I did this with her and got killer results. The dress I had altered for my sisters wedding only two months before fell right off me. I had to wear a belt to keep it on. It was magic. I felt great, and not just “yay I lost weight” great, I was happier and had more energy etc etc. 30 Days later I began my vacation in Europe, I was eating any and everything I could get my hands on. I mean, I deserved it! I was traveling! Taking advantage of my new surroundings!
I gained at least as much weight as I lost in the following 30 days. Strike 3.
I’ve finally learned my lesson! Screw loosing weight quickly and screw deprivation. I’m excited to stop these silly Paleo diets and go back to my healthy and happy weight and MAINTAIN it with my killer Paleo lifestyle.
This is what works for me and what I’m planning on doing come January 5th.
-Paleo paleo paleo.
-Don’t be perfect. Life is about balance, so is food.
I think that the Paleo lifestyle is fantastic. It promotes only healthy and natural sustenance while promoting sustainability, farming, non-GMO companies, local sources and cooking. If you are not eating Paleo now, once you transition into a Paleo diet you will likely loose weight and feel better. Success.
Everyone hates cooking for one reason and one reason only: It takes far longer to cook than it does to eat! Make your Sunday Funday your Sunday Cookday.
>>>>Make your meals ahead of time:
>>>Make ahead breakfast sounds weird to some people, but I suggest my amazing make-ahead mini quiches. They’re bomb.
>>>Roast a couple trays of veggies for lunches and dinners
>>>Try baking a couple of proteins.
>>>If you like mayo, chicken or tuna salad is a super super quick and delicious option. >>>Pop frozen fish in the fridge as your week progresses for an easy “I forgot I need an extra dinner and I don’t want to spend much time cooking”
>>>The crockpot is your friend!!! Make a butternut squash chili or no- bean chili Sunday morning, have it done by Sunday night- eat it for dinner and pack the rest to go. Or make is Sunday overnight and store it in the morning.
>>>Portion your food for the week so it’s already in easy to go containers for each meal. If you have leftovers, freeze them for the following week or for a week when you’re not at the top of your game.
>>>Always have snacks to alleviate potential weak moments. (Or make it smoothie time).
-Don’t be perfect!
If it’s a birthday, anniversary, girls night out, or you’re simply having a rough day; Drink the wine, eat the chocolate cake! And then wake up and eat your egg quiche for breakfast and hop back on that Paleo clean eating- gut healing train.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Let me know what you think about this post. I’m curious for your thoughts!!
*When I first became interested in Paleo I read the Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf. This book really opened my eyes to food as fuel. Why we eat, what nutrients we need, and what we are doing to our bodies when we eat the fake processed ‘food’ we can so easily and readily get our hands on. Of course every type of food lifestyle has books about how awesome it is and why it is the superior way to eat. You can find contradictions with whatever you want to find contradictions with. However, I believe that this book will challenge your thoughts and views about food, especially grains. Yes you will roll your eyes and skip a few pages here and there, but overall I really enjoyed learning about what we should eat and why we should eat it. Let me know if you want to borrow my copy.