One of the most common refrains I hear about Paleo is that it is too difficult to maintain. I say that is bullshit.
Bullshit. There. I said it again. Its really not that difficult to maintain a healthy Paleo diet and enjoy eating.
I'm probably in the best shape of my entire life right now. I'm not an Adonis. I don't walk down the street and people marvel at my muscles. I don't have 4% body fat. I'm at a normal, healthy place and did it by eating Paleo and doing Crossfit 4-5 days a week. Compared to other people my age, i'm fairly sure i'm in the top 10% when it comes to healthy looking & feeling.
My point of writing this isn't about patting myself on the back, but trying to get YOU the reader to motivate. I have a ton of friends who are frustrated with their bodies. They point at some part of their body and ruefully wish that there was an easy way to lose weight and look good without having to eat salad for every meal, while wishing they could have ice cream.
I'm telling you - its easier that you think. You just need to follow my plan. Why? Well, it worked for me and I was still eating pizza, hamburgers, ice cream, pasta and bread - all of those "OH GOD YOU CAN'T EAT THAT" types of food.
I want to state, again, that i'm not in perfect shape. I still have body fat. There's some girls at Crossfit that can kick my ass in workouts. That's life. There's always going to be someone who has a better body or is stronger than you. My point here is that you can do Paleo, lose weight and still eat "BAD FOOD".
Consider that we have 7 days in a week. 3 meals in a day. That's 21 meals. Right? Well...read on for my suggestions.
Instead of 3 meals on Saturday & Sunday, try to do 2 meals. Instead of eating Paleo on weekends...eat whatever you wish. Your goal isn't eating 6 bad meals on Saturday & Sunday but trying to eat 4 bad meals.
But, you can only really do this if you eat strictly Paleo from Monday to Friday. Also, you need to work out at least 4 days week. Doesn't need to be Crossfit. But it does need to be a workout where you are breaking a sweat. Walking on a treadmill at 3 miles per hour does not count, even if you burned "1,000 calories". If you must walk - do it at a vigorous pace. My friend Chris hates to run - so he walks at 4.5 miles per hour and works up a great sweat for 1 hour of walking. Sure, it takes longer but that's HIS way of doing cardio which is 100% fine.
That's my method right now. I eat pure Paleo from Monday to Friday. No sugar. No bread. No pasta. No rice. No beans. No alcohol.
Weekend comes? Hooray - drink up, have some pizza. Enjoy some Rita ice cream. Go to Fiore's and have a roast beef special. Drink a beer or three.
Results? I lost weight. I feel great. I'm alert. I do NOT get sleepy at work at 2pm. I'm not eating salad at every meal. I have fruit. Bacon. Meat. Veggies. Etc. I drink my coffee black now...and (gasp) I like it black now. I have tried coffee with cream and I feel like i'm drinking a hot milkshake. Once you appreciate black coffee....GOOD black coffee you will find the nirvana of what good coffee really tastes like. Oh, and for a treat drop in dark chocolate into your hot coffee. Delicious!
One secret is that I use Paleo Cuisine. I can't tell you enough how great it tastes. I'm telling you right now that if this was mass produced and available like McDonalds that more people who gladly eat Paleo over the crap that is out there right now. Its delicious. Plus takes 8 minutes to get ready. One of the biggest issues I had with Paleo is making food for myself would take 30-45 minutes of prep time, and other 30-45 minutes to cook. Now I get home from Crossfit, boil water - drop in your entree & side bag of food and its ready in a few minutes.
Breakfast is easy for me. I eat the same thing every day - Bacon, 3 egg omelette (varies on what veggies or protein I have in there) and a fruit cup with black coffee.
Lunch? Dig Inn has been my "go-to" place. I also do Benny Burritos Mexican salad with chicken for lunch or maybe 1/2 rotisserie chicken with veggies from Dirty Bird To Go. That's basically my rotation for 5 days a week. I sometimes even order whole wheat wraps from Benny's 1 day from Monday to Friday.
OH NO. THAT'S NOT PALEO!!!!!!
See. But its one meal. Maybe you want rice one day. Go for it.
The problem with "diets" is people get so fixated on the rules. I use Foursquare to check in and still get "THAT'S NOT PALEO!" when I check into places like Rita's Ice Cream. Big deal. Are you losing weight? Do your jeans fit great? How do you look in the mirror? If the answers are positive then you are doing something right.
My goals now are trying to take things to the "Next Level". Last weekend I did three "cheat" meals and one Paleo meal. Maybe I get my cheat days to one day (Saturday) instead of two days. Maybe I try to start drinking Paleo-friendly alcoholic beverages like red wine, and cutting out beer - or get to the next level and see if I can drink one day a week instead of two or three.
But that's me. Where are you at right now? If you are bummed about your body and really want to lose weight - I can help. But you have to stop lying to yourself.I had a friend who would order a salad every day for lunch. Every day. But she would have it with "Light Ranch On The Side". She would dip her fork of food in it and every day i'm sure she thought to herself "I'm eating salad everyday!"
She wasn't. She was slathering on the "light" ranch dressing and wondering why her stomach and hips were getting bigger every year. When she would workout, she would go on the stairmaster at a low speed and read a magazine like US Weekly. If you are working out at a pace where you can read a magazine - you might not be working out. If you cry about "not having enough time to work out", you are lying. Crossfit takes 45 minutes. They have morning, afternoon and night classes. People who say they can't find the time to workout just don't WANT to find the time.
That's my rant. Get off the couch. Get sweaty. Eat healthy, and allow for "cheat weekend" - and get yourself to "Level One Paleo".