I have toyed around with dozens of healthy eating plans over the years. I have had success with some, but most are incredibly difficult to stick with long-term. Frankly, I hate the idea of counting calories for the rest of my life, and I get bored very easily when I have to eat a narrow range of foods. When we make healthy food choices, it is practically impossible to overeat, so counting calories and measuring servings isn’t necessary. But the reality for most of us is that we do need to count and measure for a bit, at least until we get used to what a real food portion looks like. Unless we follow a plan that automatically limits us to the healthy choices.
The healthy eating style I have found the easiest to stick to has been the Paleolithic diet, which many of you know consists of eating like a hunter-gatherer would. Meats, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and healthy oils are all on the menu, while grains, dairy, processed foods, and sugar are taboo. The main difference between Paleo and a “real foods” diet is basically in the quantity of meat recommended. Paleo tends toward the consumption of more meat, which is great for anyone who exercises a lot or is trying to watch portions. As a guy who likes to eat plenty of chicken, fish, and steak this one suits me really well.
Because of the items on the “to eat” list, Paleo is automatically a low carb diet, which is great for diabetics. And because it includes a wide variety of foods, I never feel deprived when I am eating Paleo. Still, I have typically only followed it about 80% of the time. I still occasionally have a slice of wheat toast, a whole wheat english muffin, or a portion of rice or whole wheat pasta.
In an effort to get my health even more under control, and to lose a few more pounds, I have decided to take up the 30 day Paleo challenge to see if it is a way of eating that I can adopt full-time. If all goes well, I anticipate reducing the amount of protein I take in over time as well. Though I like to eat meat or fish daily, I don’t necessarily want it to be the main event at meal times. A plant-based diet leads to longer, healthier life. But I’m a dude, I like hot meals, and I don’t think I could adopt a vegetarian lifestyle without losing my smile. If God didn’t want us to eat animals, he wouldn’t have made them so tasty.
At any rate, starting today and for a full 30 days I am going to attempt to follow the rules of the Paleo diet. I found a nice little cheat sheet over at the Crossfit Ferrum blog that will give a better idea which foods are ok, and which are not.
I plan to share my progress on here weekly, including some data on what it does to my blood sugar and weight. If you are looking for a sustainable way to eat healthy without needing a graphing calculator to plan your meals, why don’t you join me for the next 30 days and see where it takes you?