A while back a good friend of mine (my bestest) Sarah-Rose wrote about her experiences with eating “paleo”, which she rather amusingly calls the “dinosaur diet”. You can read about her early thoughts here.
She had a fairly positive experience eating paleo, and at the end of it had also shrunk a little. As I am forever unhappy about my figure and trying to slim down, I figured Dave and I, for the month of October, could go on a little diet change of our own.
Rather than go full dinosaur, we decided we would do something that had proven to be very successful for me in the past and go low carb. Before I moved to Scotland, I spent a few months doing pilates and cut my carbs considerably, and after sticking to these and a few other good habits, dropped a stone before my move (1 stone = 14lb = 6.5kg).
I’m not really looking to lose a lot of weight, to be honest. Over the last few months of gym-going, I’ve toned my legs and arms quite a bit and can run a lot longer/further. I just think a healthier, less-stodgy-foods lifestyle is better for me overall.
And while we cheated a little in the first 10 days or so of October, lately I’ve been sticking to it really well:
* Water water water!
* Gym. I give myself 4 set times to go, and if I fail once a week? no big deal.
* Alternate exercise. On a Sunday I’ll walk with Dave if the weather is good enough, swim, or do some yoga or pilates in the house.
* No pasta, rice, potatoes, noodles, bread!
* Fruit only or low fat yoghurt for snacks.
* Or oat cakes with marmite. But rarely.
* Eating earlier in the evening and smaller portions.
* Soups! Nom. Lucky the weather lately has been horrendous.
I’ve also formed/joined a wee “lunch club” at work. 3 of us meet every day for lunch and just eat big hearty salads. We take turns buying salad greens, peppers, cucumber, avocado, dressings, croutons and a little cheese.
So as of October 17th? I am feeling amazeballs. I just have so much more energy, and for me that’s incredible. I live in a post-meningitis haze of exhaustion 90% of the time. So to have energy in the afternoons at work, and even better, in the evenings, is making a major difference to me. I can’t wait to see how I feel at the end of the month. If I’m still feeling good (and I feel more in shape), I’m probably going to just keep going with it.
And then, maybe? we might go paleo. The idea of not having beans/quinoa/lentils/chickpeas scares me a little, though. And no dairy? eeek. I love my Onken yoghurt (I eat a tub a week) and the very occasional icecream.
One other secret to my success (well, in the past!) is allowing myself a cheat day. On Saturdays I can have a little bread, a little potato, some icecream at the movies. I find that if I tell myself whenever I have a craving “You can just have it Saturday!” I end up waiting… and then not actually having it. It’s very rare that my Saturday calorie count is that much higher than the rest of the week.
I think without it, I’d buckle to chocolate and ruin the whole diet by eating like a slob for days. This keeps me under check, even if it’s just a psychological crutch.
So yeah.. watch this space. If it makes a huge difference, I’ll definitely tell you. I just know we needed a change from our bad habits.