There was food. Wait, that's not how it goes. Unfortunately, that is pretty much how it goes in my life. Food. Gotta have it. For most of my many years I have dieted. I've done Nutri-System, Jenny Craig (twice), Weight Watchers (twice), Adkins, Fat Flush, South Beach, Low Fat, Low Calorie, The Grapefruit Diet, and I'm sure others that I cannot remember at the moment. I have lost weight doing ALL of these diets. Every one of them. I've also gained it all back, plus some, every time. So, that brings me back to--
In The Beginning...
When I began my exercise journey nearly two years ago, I had no intention of messing with my diet/nutrition. Thank you very much, but no thank you. I wanted nothing more than to exercise my way to weight loss and to merely attempt to moderate my eating. After all, I am a veteran of all the above mentioned diets and know how to eat, right? Well, not so much...but here is what really happened:
I went to CrossFit OKC for personal training with the owner/trainer (Jason) twice a week. I asked him to send "homework" home with me to do in between. I was becoming afraid that I was going to get weaker and less able to do ordinary things much too early in life. I worked at it...hard. Progress was made. I even began losing a little weight. I started going to regular class time workouts after a few months and then began going to the gym about 4-5 days a week. After 6 months, I looked and felt much better, but progress was tapering. I began following the Zone Diet (Barry Sears) and that changed EVERYTHING. I think I lost about 15 pounds in about 3 months. And, it was really easy. Now I have taken it a step further and I loosely follow the Paleo Diet (Loren Cordain.)
So, why do these diets work better? First of all, they are SIMPLE. Not EASY, but simple. Simple as in you eat meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. That is about it. Hard because you don't eat bread, grains, cereal, sugar, and for hard-core Paleo followers-no cheese or milk. The more I stay away from grains and sugar, the better I feel. And by that I mean that I feel better in EVERY way. Less tired, more alert, clearer thinking, etc. I can do workouts better. Plus, I look better. I eat almost no grains anymore. If I do, I immediately notice that I am bloated. It is as if it is an allergic reaction. And...maybe it is.
Yes, I have read most of the Paleo and Zone books, and I have read an infinite number of articles about them online. I know there is scientific data to support their views, but personally, I have no interest in getting bogged down in the chemistry and science. All I know is that it seems to work, and it seems to work for everyone I know who has seriously tried it.
For what it is worth, here is my suggestion to anyone willing to take my advice. Try it. Drop the grains for a while. Just eat meat, vegetables, fruits and nuts for a few days. Eat like a cavewoman! Or, try the Zone Diet--there is a little latitude with the Zone on eating grains. My friend Christi has a great blog with her Zone recipes and meal plans. Check it out!
What do you think? Are you ready to give it a try?