Beginning Paleo Journey (Lost/Maintained Weight & got rid of foot warts)
This is a testimonial of how a Paleo diet has helped me so far (losing/maintaining weight & getting rid of my foot warts).
In February 2012 I was overweight (185 lbs). Eating pizza, candy, etc. from the Holidays steam rolled into a habit and I realized it had got out of hand. I had to do something about it.
Knowing nothing about nutrition, but previously having some success with a general calorie restricted diet (going from 215 lbs to 175 lbs), I remembered various people talking about eating a diet of oatmeal, chicken breasts and vegetables was a great way to lose weight. So I tried that.
Boy did that work. In a matter of months, I dropped to 160lbs in about 3 months. The chicken was dry and the vegetables kind of tasteless but as long as I added enough low-fat, low-cal condiments it was pretty good. And as long as the oatmeal had enough sugar in it, I actually liked it. Ok. I can see myself eating eating like this from now on. But all was not well.
My skin wasn't looking great, I had some dark-ish circles under my eyes, and the weirdest problem, a crazy breakout of foot warts. No matter what I would do, they wouldn't go away. I thought, well, I'm getting older. I guess this is just what the body does. I was taking a ton of supplements, but still felt unhealthy.
About the same time, I noticed my teeth weren't doing so great. Looking back it's easy to see copious amounts of diet coke (for years) and snacking on raisins like crazy (recently) didn't do me any good. But I thought raisins are grapes, that's good for you, right? And diet coke. It's not real sugar in there, how can it be bad? But I didn't really know anything at the time so what could I do?
Well, where do we go for answers when we don't know anything: Google. Long story short, I found out that maybe I was missing a lot of nutrition in my diet, namely by not eating the whole animal and by avoiding fat. Ouch. Really? I thought fat was bad for you.
So, off I went, starting to cook the whole chicken (and using the bones and left overs to make stock). Somewhere along the way Paleo and low carb keywords kept popping up and I ran across Mark's Daily Apple. Then there was Gary Traubes "Why We Get Fat" on YouTube. And of course "Fat Head" on Hulu which I had watched a year earlier which showed how meat had become vilified as an American food staple. Everything started connecting and making sense.
The funny thing is, I saw Fat Head a year earlier and tried to eat a meat-centric diet before, but without understanding the principles behind it, I just gained weight light crazy (most likely due to the other junk I was consuming). This time around I had a better understanding of what was going on.
I stepped down from my "healthy" granola bars and switched to nuts. Realizing oatmeal wasn't doing me any favors and that I didn't actually like it if it didn't have sugar in it (Have you ever had cooked oatmeal with no salt and sugar? Can anybody swallow that?), I decided to try eggs instead. Delicious. But aren't they high in cholesterol and going to kill me? I'd give it a go anyways. And then there's meat.
Hamburger. Steak. Fish. Shrimp. Scallops. Bacon. I started mixing things up and adding them into my meals. Oh so good. So delicious. And then something surprising happened, I forgot about condiments.
With the chicken breasts and vegetables I was living off condiments. Don't get me wrong, they can be good, but I just totally forgot about them as I was enjoying the varied types of meat with their fat. My tongue didn't need anything else to be satisfied. In fact, I started frying my eggs in bacon grease in the morning. What a way to start your day. Or how about frying a hamburger in bacon grease, then taking all the run off juices and pouring them over vegetables. Man, alive that's good. Oh and another thing...
I started forgetting meals. Right now I eat two full meals a day plus some nuts and cheese for snacks. So weird to pause for a meal and think to myself, "Eh, I'm not that hungry, it's only 4 hours 'till the next meal. I think I'll wait." What? Before I always wondered if what I ate was going to keep me full enough until the next eating. Every two hours I had to have a granola bar or something. Amazing. But there's something else too.
My warts were gone. I didn't notice them going away. Just one day I thought, "Y'know, my feet don't burn and itch like they used to." I looked down and my warts were completely gone. I don't know if it was the nutrients in the fat and protein in the various types of meat, or simply getting rid of the processed flour, oats, and granola bars that let my body recover, but something happened. In fact, over Thanksgiving, where flour was a mandatory part of every meal for almost a week, I noticed the warts starting to come back. But then, after getting back on my regular eating, they went away again.
I'm at the beginning of my "Paleo" journey with more flab to lose and muscle to gain. But it's worth noting this is the first time in my life where I've gotten to and maintained a weight in the low 160s since college (That's well over 15 years ago). And that's done with minimal exercise. (Worth noting, I tried workout programs with intensive regimes and complex, confusing eating programs -- that I couldn't understand -- and though they worked, I gained the weight back if I stopped.) This has been the easiest, most pleasurable way of eating I have found and am amazed how good a job it does managing my weight and health.
As a final note, as a Christian, I think it would behoove many to take a look at the body as something designed and not evolved. If you took a car and poured sugar in it's tank and the car crapped out, you wouldn't say the car must not have evolved to run on sugar. You'd say the car wasn't designed to run on sugar. In the same way, when you can take an organic machine and fuel it the same way consistently with positive results it would make more sense to say it's responding according to how it is designed. If the human body evolved so well, why hasn't it evolved to process grain more efficiently (or even GMO'ed grain for that matter). Can it not adapt in the 10,000 years the community claims grain has been widespread? Do we need a million more years of adaptation before grain is fully integrated? Why not roll with it and do our duty to help further evolution along and adapt to grains? It's ridiculous of course. The human body is a designed machine and we should treat it according to it's design. I doubt this is the first time this point has been brought up on these forums. But I'm new here and it's still something to think about.