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  1. #1
    TinaC's Avatar
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    Smile Hello

    Primal Fuel
    Hi.

    I am new to this website and forum. I have the book Primal Blueprint on order from Amazon.com and it should be here in a few days.

    I would like to ask a question even though I haven't read the book yet. I have a very open mind and I'm not judging the book or anything or anyone here, I'm just curious to know what your thoughts are.

    I read some of the posts and I see that most people following the program lose weight and see dramatic improvements in their health. If this is the right way, how do you explain how some people, I'll use Alicia Silverstone and Alanis Morisette as examples, lose weight and have major health improvements on vegan diets like Eat to Live?

    I'm not looking to debate the two plans, I really would like your thoughts. After reading hundreds of books on diets and nutrition I'm just so confused and I'm kind of paralyzed and afraid to move forward and change for fear of making my health worse. Does it all boil down to "not all plans work for everyone and all bodies are different"? So while a vegan lifestyle brings health and well being to one person, it might make someone else's health decline? And, vice versa.

    Thanks,
    TinaC

  2. #2
    lecz0r's Avatar
    lecz0r is offline Senior Member
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    I won't go into detail dissecting what I think the differences and merits are, but...

    I became a vegetarian 4 years ago (from a standard western diet) and I did indeed lose weight in the first couple of months, I felt great as a matter of fact. I now believe I went through a detox period. (I had a similar experience when I began eating Paleo.)

    My health steadily declined over the years, despite being quite physically active and doing my best to do what I thought was 'healthy'. I lost and could not gain any amount of muscle. Most veggies that I know eventually start to look emaciated and I was getting there. I was scrawny everywhere except my belly and chest, prolly 23-25% body fat. After 4 years I started feeling really poor, mentally and physically, so I started looking for solutions.

    Immediately after I began eating quality meat, way more fat, and stopped all grains and sugars, I saw a huge improvement in my mental state and energy levels. After only a bit over a month I'm gaining muscle while slowly loosing fat on my chest and upper stomach. I don't think I could ever go back at this point, I feel like a different person and after a few more months I might look like one.

    I guess my point is... sure you can loose weight as a vegan, its even likely, I'd say. But there is a difference between starving your body with malnutrition and eating in a way nature designed your body to eat. Weight loss is not directly correlated with overall health and wellness, even if Weight Watchers wants you to think so.

    I don't really buy the idea that some plans are best for some people and others for other folks. There are plenty of diets, even cheesy 'fad' diets will allow you to lose 5 or 15 lbs up front, but I'd bet hardly any of them are really healthy or sustainable for any amount of time. Most of my co-workers are on some kind of fad diet (because they're mostly all overweight) and NONE of them enjoy them. I have not heard from many people who follow Paleo that don't enjoy it. We are all humans and our bodies function 90% the same even after factoring in various disabilities, allergies, diseases, body types, geographies, ancestries, etc.

    I think that Paleo/Primal isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle shift back towards where it came from.

    K - no more ranting from me... sorry! Welcome! Best of luck to you and know that you have a lot of support around these parts!

  3. #3
    SheGlowsPale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lecz0r View Post
    Weight loss is not directly correlated with overall health and wellness, even if Weight Watchers wants you to think so.
    +1
    The pain of discipline or the pain of regret? You choose.

    Oh look - I made a Journal.

  4. #4
    TinaC's Avatar
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    lecz0r,

    Thank you for your thoughts and opinions. I appreciate your reply. Not all vegetarian/vegans become emaciated and weak (check out Mike Mahler online, he is a vegan who trains with Kettlebells and he is huge. ) This is why I have a hard time reconciling in my mind how two opposites of the diet spectrum can both lead to good health. Doctors like Dr. Fuhrman and Dr. Mark Hyman have people eat a whole food vegetarian diet and their blood tests really improve, and then there are people who do the Paleo/PB diet and their blood tests also improve, it all leads to diet paralysis for me. I will read the book and give the plan a try and see what happens. I would like to lose a lot of weight but I want to gain health at the same time. Either way it will be an improvement over the junk food diet I've been eating lately.

    Thanks again,

    TinaC

  5. #5
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    I have to say I have been dieting using CW for my entire life. As far as im concerned all diets work for weight loss. However this seems to me to be the only sustainable eating plan I have found. I am 100% off grains. My 80%/20% is that I don't eat red meat or pork. Adding fats like nuts & avacado have been a great way for me to find satiety without craving sugar. The hardest part is forgetting everything that you ever learned about health, & trying to eat things like bacon & so on. Ill get back to you in a year & see if I feel the sameas I do today. However I have never felt better in my life, & have lost 30 lbs in only 8 weeks with no cravings. The other thing is be prepared to get grief from every person you know about this lifstyle. Ignore them, & dont try to convert. You will only look like a whack job if you preach. I am the last of the readers in this world, I only read "self help" books. When I read PB, I couldn't put it down. Something just clicked...good luck on your journey.
    "Don't dream it, be it"

    -Dr. Frank-N-Furter

  6. #6
    lecz0r's Avatar
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    I might also refer you to the book The Vegetarian Myth. There are (should be) other aspects to consider when choosing what to put in your body. I don't agree with the entirety of the book, but the 3/4th that I do, I think is stellar.

    At this point, based on everything that I've learned thus far... I'm really not happy with grains and legumes, not at all. And its pretty much impossible to be a vegetarian, let alone a healthy one, without massive amounts of them.

    edit: Also I did not mean to indicate that all vegetarians become emaciated. It is simply an observation that seems to hold true for the vast majority (not every last one, just most) of the veg*ns that I personally know... I don't know any body builders or movie stars.
    Last edited by lecz0r; 06-16-2010 at 12:11 PM.

  7. #7
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    The fact that some people can be very healthy on a veg diet really doesn't mean that much, actually - lots of young people are healthy on a total crap diet, for a while at least. Even your implicit comparison is pitting some wealthy celebrities who make their living on their good looks, have private chefs and nutritionists, against average people with regular jobs (people on this forum). It's not an apples to apples comparison. How many professional athletes are vegans? Maybe a few percent.

    People need to be continually reminded that PB is NOT mainly a weight loss program. It is a way of thinking about what you eat that definitely allows you to lose weight if that's your goal, or it helps you get fit and muscular if that's your goal - notice that this forum has a substantial component of serious athletes. In addition to weight loss, for me, eating this way improved my: skin, sleep, digestion, mood, exercise recovery, and general energy levels. Now if you'll excuse me I need to go do 100 pushups!

  8. #8
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    I'd like to emphasize something tfarny touched on... similar to other low carb, adequate fat and protein diets, this one isn't about "weight loss" necessarily - its about HEALTH. However, with that increased health comes "fat loss" not just weight loss, as well as insulin sensitivity, and reduced risk of the big killers in the U.S. (Heart disease, cancer, diabetes) as well as obesity and probably Alzheimer's. I lost a good amount of weight on Weight Watchers (about 20Lbs) but the weight I lost was overall weight aka I still had a belly (that I could NOT lose) and little muscle definition despite working out (and I gained that 20Lbs back later). I'm four months into the PB and I can see my stomach muscles and most people haven't noticed my weight loss, because I've replaced the bulk of that fat with muscle.

    Also, unlike the "partial starvation diets" like WW, I don't crave sugary foods anymore. I'd imagine eating vegan you can still eat things like beet sugar since it's plant based, not to mention grains and starch. For me at least, that was the key. I can hold desserts up to my nose now, and there's no "Pavlovian" triggers that make me want to eat it.

    Regarding the comparison, I'd argue that anyone who's going to make a conscience change in their diet in an effort to be healthier will do just that. Even someone who says they'll cut out refined carbs for complex carbs or whole grains. That tells me they'll be making other decisions when they're at the store buying food that will benefit them (less soda, fewer desserts, more veggies perhaps, etc). The degree to which it benefits them, and how long it will last, is the real question. And yes, it's still a question for me as I'm still a newbie.

    Also, I'd refrain from referencing a vegan body builder when making an argument - it doesn't help. Someone will always have images of a muscled up guy on a different diet (or steroids). For example, if you go to www.CrossFit.com you'll find a few thousand whole food Paleo eaters who are in REALLY good shape.
    Last edited by barryman9000; 06-16-2010 at 01:49 PM. Reason: clarification

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    TinaC's Avatar
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    Thank you all very much for your thoughts and your rational replies. I was afraid to post the question because I know of some other forums where if I posted such a query, I would be attacked by the other members for challenging their lifestyle.

    It is hard to let go of all the nutrition information I have been reading for the past 13 years, most of the material emphasizing a vegetarian lifestyle. I started reading because I had about 40 pounds to lose. Fast forward to today and I now have 80 pounds to lose and a huge sugar addiction. I still feel like it was me that failed at the vegetarian/vegan thing and not the diet. I could have eaten much healthier but I'm realizing now that once I eat any type of refined/unrefined grain, it drives me to eat sweets.

    I'm not a huge meat eater so this may be a real challenge, but I really would like to give it 100% and see what this way of life can do for me.

    I am glad there is so much support on this board and I look forward to being a part of the community.

    Thanks,
    Tina

  10. #10
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    TinaC, I was on a modified (non-vegetarian) version of Eat to Live for about 2 years. It was great at first and then became unsustainable. As stated above, any diet that gets you to focus and eat unprocessed food is likely to cause a positive change initially; the big question is it sustainable for the longer-term. For me, the excessive emphasis on sweet tasting fruits and fear of fat on E2L caused me to get hungrier and hungrier. When I upped my exercise to try to build more muscles, the appetite escalated, and I started adding in small snacks and treats (all E2L) until the weight started increasing.

    I have been fully primal for only about 8 weeks, so it's too early to tell, what I can say is that I really have not lost weight, but according to my scale have lost 3 pounds of bodyfat and gained 1.5 pounds of muscle (I am petite). What I can say though is that the difference in my eating pattern is dramatic. Rather than a drop in blood sugar every couple of hours, I am able to easily go 16-17 hours w/o food and look to add more IFs. In addition, I do not have any cravings for sweet, sugary foods that are my downfall. My mental state has improved (less fuzzy brain), and I've also been able to do brief weight routines and seem to be firming up. I'm also a foodie and enjoy preparing and eating the food much more.

    My suggestion is to give it a go, and see how you feel after several weeks. Everyone probably is different, but this diet seems to be intuitively better for me.

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