“grains… Grains… GRAINSSS!!!”
I first imagined myself as a shuffling, carbohydrate addicted zombie when I contemplated transitioning over to a paleo-diet, using the Primal Blueprint as a guideline. I thought that those words would ring over and over in my head like the mantra of something out of a vegetarian-George A. Romero movie. Surprisingly, I was wrong.
For those who aren’t familiar with a paleo-diet, the general rule of thumb is to avoid grain-based carbohydrates and instead stick with foods that our hunter-gatherer ancestors would’ve eaten- nuts, fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs. A balanced paleo-diet should consist of about 50% healthy fats, 30% protein, and 20% good carbohydrates. Of course, it’s impossible to be completely accurate, but as long as that’s what you’re shooting for, it should be good enough.
And, you know what, it’s working out great! When I used to eat cereal in the morning, a sandwich on a hoagie roll for lunch, and then a dinner that on any given night might include pasta, rice, or bread in some fashion, I would usually end up feeling bloated and lethargic. While my consumption was within a normal range according to LiveStrong.com, it was actually too much for my individual body to handle. It lead to some very unhealthy triglyceride and sugar counts, that according to my doctor, placed me as pre-diabetic. As I mentioned in a previous post, she told me to cut my carbohydrate intake from 330g a day to somewhere between 120g - 150g per day. The only way to achieve this number was to try something “old”. Over the past month, I have found that my meals are more satisfying without leaving me bloated and that I eat less but a little more frequently. This, in combination with following the Primal Blueprint fitness guidelines (rather than my traditional workout regimen) has led to the beginnings of a leaner figure.
I have never been “overweight” by most people’s standards. I ate relatively well according to conventional thought, worked out, did regular cardio, and weighed in the 185-190 range. However, according to the height/weight chart, I should actually be in the 160-170 range. This may not take into account muscle mass, but back in college I weighed 170-175 and didn’t lack for muscle. While my goal with this experiment was not to lose weight, that has been a side-effect. On my frame it really doesn’t take much loss to begin noticing a difference. My pants fit better, the small amount belly fat that I have is decreasing, and generally I feel leaner and more fit. Yet, I am taking in just as many calories as I had in the past. I’ve simply changed the composition of that caloric intake.
The entire goal of this is to bring my sugars and triglycerides down to a normal level so that I don’t slip into Type 2 diabetes. I won’t know whether or not my transition to a paleo-diet will achieve this goal until I have my blood drawn and worked up in December. Hopefully it will. Until then, I’ll enjoy the side-effects I’ve felt so far- increased energy level, less bloat, and greater overall fitness.