The Paleo Diet. I HATE that phrase. I don’t like Paleo being called a diet. I don’t like when I see it splayed across magazines with a claim about weight loss. And I wasn’t thrilled about Dr. Oz touting it as a new weight loss diet.
Paleo is not a “diet”. For the record, I’m not on a diet. Diets are restrictive. Diets are temporary. I’ve been on a diet before. I meticulously tracked every calorie I ate and exercised for hours a day. Guess what?!? I lost weight! Duh. When you eat next to nothing and exercise all day and turn down plans to go out with your friends and ice cream with your husband you’ll lose weight. But along with the lost weight came anxiety, injuries, and overall miserable-ness.
When I started eating Paleo, not only did I physically feel better, but I finally had the mental freedom to stop obsessing over the calories I ate. When I undertook the Whole 30 in January, I finally stopped constantly obsessing over the number on the scale and the volume of food I eat. When you eat real food MOST of the time, there is no need to restrict, obsess and count.
There is a stigma about Paleo in the HLB community- just as there is starting to become a negative attitude about any diet. I agree whole-heartedly that extreme restriction is unhealthy and the diet mentality is harmful. I am with most people on that. Many people think that the Paleo diet is no good because it is restrictive- you can’t have grains, dairy, sugar, alcohol or processed foods. But I do not, ever feel restricted. Why?
1. I don’t restrict myself with whole foods.
Whole, nutrient dense foods make me feel good. It’s very easy to eat enough to be full and then stop. There are no unnatural sugar cravings, food with no breaks and hangry episodes. I am able to eat three large meals a day and a snack at night and not really think about when my next meal is.
2. I don’t miss grains, dairy, and especially processed foods.
I didn’t really drink much milk (unless it was in cereal), I tried oatmeal one time when I was craving it and it was bland and disgusting, and I don’t crave processed foods or fast food at all. I don’t buy them. They are not an option. Sorry, but I don’t crave McDonalds or Oreos. That’s not food to me. Bread? That’s not anything special. Who needs bread when I can have fried plantains or sweet potatoes?
Fried plantains= happiness
3. When I want to indulge, I do it.
Yes, I miss ice cream. So guess what? When I really have a craving….I get it. I am learning to do the same with alcohol. I used to try to go months and weeks without having a single drink so that when I finally allowed myself one I went overboard. Now I have a drink or two if I want one. This usually ends up being once or twice on the weekends. I find that when I allow myself to have something when I want it, I don’t obsess over it and over do it.
So this is how the Paleo diet works for me. Am I 100% Paleo 100% of the time?? No! Who is? Aliens??? I consider my lifestyle to be healthy. That’s why it upsets me when people bash is and say it’s way too restrictive and fosters unhealthy eating habits. I don’t agree. This lifestyle actually HELPED me emerge from unhealthy disordered eating habits.
Do you think it is too restrictive?
Do you think Paleo fosters disordered eating?