I’ve been at the paleo diet for a month now, so I thought it was time for an update.
Just as a clarification, I didn’t go strictly paleo. I mixed in a little bit of what Mark Sisson has termed “primal.” So, I ate a little dairy in week three and then found that it may not agree with me, so I dropped it in week four. Other than that, I stuck to eating meat, fat, vegetables, nuts and some fruit.
First to the important stuff: did I lose any weight? Yes, I lost eight pounds and an inch and a quarter off my waist in the first week. And that’s where the weight loss and fat loss stopped. At one point, I’d lost 11 pounds, but that was after fasting, and the three pounds came back, added a friend, then dropped back.
I ended up fasting three times, the longest fast lasting 36 hours. That was bad idea. I felt like crap the next day. So, I’ve found that I need to limit my fasting to 24 hours or just skip meals when I’m not hungry.
As far as hunger goes, that’s probably been the best part. My hunger level went from unmanageable, where I was always hungry, to tolerable, where there were days when I wasn’t hungry at all.
One of the claims of paleo/primal/caveman living is that you’ll have boundless energy. That didn’t really happen for me. I am probably ever so slightly less tired, but I’m still groggy when I wake up in the morning, and there are evenings where I am totally spent. But I also have a mild form of narcolepsy (Don’t laugh. Ask my co-workers how many meetings I actually manage to stay awake during. They can count the total on one hand.), so tiredness is just part of being me.
How’s the food? Great, actually. With the exception of some really lousy almond flour pancakes I tried, everything has been good and filling and tasty. Before this experiment, I hated cooking. Now, I find I actually enjoy it and look forward to it. I ended up “cheating “three times with a couple of adult beverages, some ice cream and some gingersnaps. I didn’t have any horrible reactions, but the ice cream and cookies did make me hungrier later.
My performance at CrossFit also went to crap until recently. I think part of it is the fact that it just takes my body longer to react to changes. I’ve been eating the “Standard American Diet” (you can Goggle the term for more information) for 30 years, so obviously, a month of eating differently isn’t going to undo all that.
This has been a bit of an expensive experiment. Things like almond butter and almond flour and coconut water and lots of meat and organic food don’t come cheap.
Overall grade: Probably a B+. I would have like to have seen more weight loss and little additional energy, but the food choices and lack of hunger have been pretty terrific. I’m going to stick with this new way of eating for the foreseeable future, so I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
Drop me a line or post a comment if you want more info. There are a ton of great resources on the Web and in print.