Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Adventures in Paleo

I have written about my exercise ADD and my avoidance of any restrictive diets here, so when my husband came home 7 months ago completely in love with this "new" workout Crossfit the first thing I said to him is "I'm not doing Paleo".  At this time he had no clue what Paleo was, but I had done enough research on diet and exercise to know that most crossfitters eventually try Paleo.  Fast forward 7 months and the hubby comes home  and says..."I think I'm going to do the 6 week Paleo challenge at the box".  My response "ok I guess we can try it"

I know right, I was completely shocked at myself that I was even willing to consider it and even more shocking is the level of research and preparation that I took on (I did eventually get tired of him relying on me for info on a diet he initiated and had to force him to do some research of his own).  But a few thigs were different...last year my approach was everything in moderation also known as IIFYM (if it fits your macros) combined with moderate exercise.  And while I managed to lose 13 lbs and keep it off, I still have and additional 25-30 lbs to lose.  I know that counting calories is not a long term solution to weight maintenance for me.  There is only so long that I can deal with the torture of daily food logging before I rebel (even with all of the convenient apps it is still a PAIN!!). So I was starting to look or a way of eating that would allow me the freedom to eat tasty food without the need to strictly count calories.

Paleo has been that way of eating.  Now I am not currently a die hard Paleo fanatic and I'm not sure that I am convinced of the whole ancestral, evolutionary, grains are poisonous aspect of it, but I do think the focus on eating real foods is a good one.  From the beginning I gave myself permission to be 75-80% compliant (my husband is doing very strict paleo for the challenge).  I didn't want to obsess over the fact that my salad had conventional dressing or whether I shld use cream in my coffee so making room for 20-25% "non-Paleo" insured that I wouldn't drive myself crazy and quit.

We are now entering week 4 of the Paleo challenge and I can say that I can see continuing to eat in this way. I have tried soooooo many foods that would never have crossed my mind and I feel good about the foods we are eating. When I am eatig mostly real food, I don't get that super hungry feeling so many "diets" leave you with and when I feel deprived I take a while to determine what I'm truly hungry for and then I have it.  I have become that elusive "healthy" consumer who shops the perimeter of the store.  I am easing the kids into it - introducing them to one new food while keeping some of their kids favorites (mac and cheese...chicken nuggets) and they have been fairly receptive so far.

The weight loss aspect has been interesting - TMI warning - the first week I lost 3 lbs.  It was mostly water weight as I noticed I was in the restroom a lot more but not drinking extra.  The 2nd week I gained those 3 lbs back but that was also my period bloaty week.  The 3rd week the period bloaty weight started to subside and I was down 2 lbs. Then finally this week - week 4- I am more bloaty and up almost 4 lbs.  Well week four did start with Superbowl Sunday and a pretty epic non Paleo day and of course there were leftovers and that damn delicious maple nut fudge...but not 4 lbs worth. (oh yeah then there was the return to weight lifting...even more water weight)  So the rest of this week will be a little more strict with the real foods and see if I can get back to that lovely low weight I saw in week 1.