After a disappointing body fat test (the one where you are submerged into a water-filled tub), I decided it was time to lose some serious weight.
I read about the Paleo Diet and the countless success stories. Needless to say I was sold! If you’re not familiar with the diet, simply put, it’s the one where you eat like a caveman/woman: no dairy, wheat, or refined anything. Not even legumes! I would forever be relegated to animal flesh, vegetables and fruit. Could I do this? Sure, if it worked. And that it did. At least in the beginning.
I missed my old carb-loaded diet so getting adjusted to this new diet took some time. During this period, I was unintentionally creating a small weekly calorie deficit through exercise which caused me to drop weight at the rate of half a pound per week. I was thrilled to see the results on the scale and in the mirror. I finally found a diet for life!
Aside from the fat loss and lethargy, another physiological change occurred: I stank. My body smelled worse when I sweat and my breath reeked. This was due to ketosis, a process whereby your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbs. I put up with the odor because I liked my new physique and because I got used to the odor.
Three months later, I retook the body fat test and was thrilled to learn it dropped by nine percentage points. That’s huge! I had finally found the panacea of all diets.
Boy, was I wrong!
As the months, then years went by, (three years total), and despite faithfully abiding by the diet, most of the weight came back despite keeping with my five days a week exercise schedule! How was this possible? Well like most things in life, there’s a reason.
Here’s what I concluded: I wasn’t paying attention to portion size so I was eating more than I could burn. Yup folks, it still comes down to calories. It was time to stop depriving myself and be rid of Paleo forever.
I’m back to eating whatever I want. That means, bread, pasta, rice and even dessert. I’ve managed to lose the weight I regained by creating a small daily calorie deficit (approximately 200-300 calories) and by exercising five days per week. I’ve finally returned to the lean self I was when I first started on Paleo.
So you see, it’s not about restrictive diets like the Paleo Diet or any other trendy diet you heard about. It all comes down to one thing: expending more energy than you consume.
It’s that simple.