Paleo-style eating: first impressions
So...I've started eating a paleo-style diet. I should note that I started eating that way before I found out that it was a style of eating. I'd read so much on the ill effects of sugar and processed grains that I decided to cut back to next to nothing. But I knew I'd need carbs -- I'd already read about the downside to Atkins -- so I decided to eat fruit and vegetables. Then Dale and Capt'n turned me on to paleo. A friend gave me a copy of Primal Blueprint by Mark Sission. It's pretty much the paleo diet, but takes into account that we live in a modern world with modern considerations. In practice, it's a bit less restrictive than the paleo diet as outlined by Loren Cordain (who created the diet). Loren is a like a Shiite-Paleo Dieter (minus the suicide vest) and Mark is like a Catholic-Paleo Dieter (minus the child diddling).
I've been at it for almost six weeks, so my observations are just short-term.
First off, the fat continues to melt away. I've lost 8 pounds in the last 6 weeks. That includes posting higher numbers at the gym. I also drink plenty of water (I piss like race horse all day long). The point being that the loss has nothing to do with water or muscle loss. I'm willing to bet that I've lost more than 8 pounds of fat.
More important than that: eating has lost its urgency. I eat paleo-approved stuff all day long. I've only been hungry once -- just this morning actually. Then again, I just didn't feel like eating during the second half of yesterday. And that's the more important part. I used to crave all sorts of foods all the time. The physiological reason as given by Mark is that, because of over-consumption of carbs, the body goes into a vicious cycle of eating carbs -> high glucose (blood sugar) levels -> increased insulin production -> low glucose -> craving cabs -> eating carbs, ad nauseum. I can attest to this, anecdotally at least. Eating is no longer a driving force for me. I eat when I want to, which can be anywhere from two to eight times a day. Again, with that one exception, I haven't felt hungry since I started.
I don't count anything -- not calories or macros. I just don't care anymore. I simply eat the paleo-recommended stuff. Well...I do that about 85% to 95% of the time. I'm not abstaining from grains and sugar for ethical reasons, just personal health desires. So I don't beat myself up if I choose to eat a hamburger patty with a bun sometimes. And, just between you and me, I still sometimes eat Muddy Buddies or H?agen-Dazs ice-cream. Just don't tell anyone. I started at a much lower percent, but as I've eaten well, I find that it becomes easier.
I've also found that I'm less demanding when it comes to my food. For lunch today I ate a grilled piece of chicken (cooked plain, not even spiced) and slices of avocado. I would have never accepted such a "plain" meal before. But know I like it. And I mean that, I'm not forcing it down while regretting every bite, I really do like it. I also tend to eat my veggies straight. I'll go through a tomato or bell pepper like an apple.
Another things is that I can quite eat the foods that I could before. I ate a bowl of cereal a week ago (it was Cinnamon Toast Crunch, goddammit!) and I felt sick afterward. The idea of eating another bowl of cereal does not sit well with me anymore. This I'm familiar with though. I've been here before when I ate clean (albeit on a diet with grains).
Lastly, I've found that getting up each morning is getting easier. I'm not exactly jumping out of bed, but I'm not dragging ass, either.
Anywho...that's just my observations six weeks into eating paleo. YMMV.