Anybody who has been around for the past thirty years or so knows that obesity is more than a small problem in the United States. Most noticeably this problem effects women, and the struggle with weight comes twofold for us ladies. First of all: Women are far more pressured than men by the media of what is considered a perfect body; and secondly: women have a much harder time burning fat and losing weight than our male counterparts due to our body physiology. Simply put, women are meant to have a higher BMI (Body Mass Index) than men, and it isn’t something we can help. But we can work ourselves in a healthier direction.
Around a year ago I found a diet that I thought sounded a little insane. A mutual friend informed me of this diet where you eat only met, vegetables, fruits, and nuts, and the interesting thing is: you can eat as much as you absolutely want and you won’t gain a pound.
I was skeptical, but after reading some literature on the subject I began to understand the mechanics behind the diet. It would be strict, and would require that I cut out not only regular carbohydrates (breads, potatoes, and whatnots), but also cut out dairy and sugar. You can’t deviate from the diet either, at least not in the first month or so. After your body has adjusted to the new types of food you intake, you can have some chocolate here and there and slowly add back in certain things you were missing (if you still want them at that point, that was something I learned really quickly).
The basic way that the diet works is that through restricting both sugar and carbohydrates from your diet, but increasing protein intake, your body will burn fat as opposed to muscle which is your body’s first source of energy when in a caloric deficit. While fat loss may appear slow at first, as your body becomes accustomed to getting what it actually needs and burning fat, you will find yourself loosing inches faster and faster, and when pairing this diet with working out as well, you will build muscle slightly faster due to having ample protein in your diet. Building muscle only helps you loose fat at a even more increasing rate, because the more muscle you carry around requires higher levels of calorie intake to maintain.
To be blunt the diet is fairly straightforward. You are given a simple list of the things you can eat which are as follows:
Seems a bit restricting doesn’t it? But you have more play with this list than you can even imagine. So you have a big plate of broccoli, just leave off the salt and the cheese, you still have a delightful snack that you can eat-eat-eat! Want an omelette? Don’t add any cream (like most people do), but fill it up with ham, red and green peppers, and mushrooms and munch all you want? How about some crab stuffed tilapia? There are tons of recipes that you can eat and enjoy on this diet!
That isn’t saying that this diet is a cake walk. It requires a lot of dedication, and unlike programs like weight watchers, finding acountabilla-buddies might take a bit of searching around. One good thing about the diet is that after you have adjusted your body to it once, you can go back to it again and it won’t take as much time to re-accustom yourself to it again later. Paleo also manages to turbo-boost your metabolism, so you are left with more energy than you are probably used to, which will make adding exercise into your daily routine much easier.
It is a hard diet to keep, turning down cupcakes and pastries that we have taken for granted is a hard thing to adjust yourself to. But you can allow yourself little exceptions. Whenever I go full tilt on the Paleo diet my one little vice that I keep is allowing myself to put cream in my coffee. It didn’t slow down my weight loss or inhibit my new reservoirs of energy, and quite frankly the next time I went on Paleo I tried to cut out the cream completely and because I didn’t feel any real difference I decided to put it right back into my routine. You can find a niche that works for you, but you have to be able to sit down and make a reasonable assessment of what is and is not worth keeping in your diet.
It is hard, I’m struggling with going back on my diet again now. But if you can stick it out and give it your all, it can certainly work wonders for you and your body, and even your self confidence.