It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!
I’d like to share my success story as one of your biggest overseas fans! I don’t have many pics showing the differences in appearance before and after my shift to a Paleo/Primal lifestyle that I really want to share with the world. As you may imagine, I’m not particularly proud of my old appearance back then, if you know what I mean…
Since I wasn’t very happy with my heath (high body fat percentage, many allergies, food intolerances, frequent headaches, blood pressure, etc.), I first tried the Zone Diet by Barry Sears. Before adopting a Primal lifestyle I was quite overweight and I was plagued with many health issues: allergies to pollens (a lot of them) and dust, frequent joint and back pain, frequent (almost daily) migraine attacks, difficult digestion, gastric reflux, sleep apnea…just to name a few.
Just by cutting all the “white carbs” like bread, pasta, pizza, biscuits, potatoes and rice, I was able to lose about 10kg of body fat in about a year. But then I hit a plateau and the weight loss stopped. I was looking for something to push through this plateau and then I found the “Paleozone” as an apparently more effective version of the Zone Diet. I went pretty much cold turkey and also cut dairy products, legumes and any kind of packaged food or food containing artificial ingredients, preservatives and/or vegetable oils and trans-fats. I had never drank alcohol in my life (I mean 100% zero alcohol) so it was easier for me on that front, but I was a pretty heavy consumer of sweets like chocolate bars, sodas, biscuits and alike.
At the beginning, what helped me stay away from those kind of addictive sweets was organic fruit, and tons of it. Then, after about six months (once I got rid of my “addiction” to sugary artificial products), I managed to cut back on fruits and lower my carb intake even more by eating tons of vegetables with lots of Italian extra virgin olive oil and organic coconut oil. In that phase I also found it very helpful to take a spoonful of L-Glutamine powder in water to beat the occasional night sweet cravings.
With this new approach I lost another 10kg of body fat while gaining some lean muscle mass in about a year and a half. Then, intrigued by the “Paleo” concept, I dug into it further by listening to some paleo podcasts like “Latest in Paleo” by Angelo Coppola. And, thanks to him, I was introduced to the main Paleo stars like Lorain Cordain, Robb Wolf and, of course, the great Mark Sisson.
After reading The Primal Blueprint by Mark and Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf (which I bought both in the English iPad versions and then as regular books when they were available in Italian), I added the right kind of exercise: daily long walks and stretching, weekly sprints, weekly resistance and body-weight training. From there, I was able to shed even more fat and gain some more muscle mass.
Also, after being totally keto-adapted from years of pretty low-carb dieting, I started experimenting with intermittent fasting (IF). Now I usually eat only once or twice a day to satiety. When I’m deeper in ketosis because of my IF, I feel my brain is even more focused and sharp, having access to my residual body fat as a stable source of energy all day long. This is a sharp contrast to the energy roller coaster I used to experience before my transition to this healthier lifestyle.
Now, compared to 2011, I’ve lost 22 kg of fat and gained about 10 kg of lean muscle, which show pretty well on my 170 cm of height! All the health issues that plagued me almost all my life disappeared completely (allergies being my biggest surprise), and my blood numbers have all been back in an optimal range since adopting this lifestyle. I also got rid of all my antihistamines, antacids, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs forever!
Now I don’t take any other supplements other than Omega-3s (I take 6 grams a day) and some Vitamin D during the fall and winter. My only treats now are a couple of dark chocolate squares once in a while. That’s it and I truly don’t miss anything.
By becoming a “Fat Burning Beast” I now enjoy constant energy levels all day long. And, if convenient, I can go even 24 hours or more just drinking pure water and I’m totally fine—with no sugar crashes or food cravings at all! As for my physical activity, I just walk at least an hour every day in the woods, I do sprints twice a week and a 30 minute total bodyweight workout on alternate days in the park.
I recommend this Paleo/Primal lifestyle to everybody: men and women, young and old, healthy and not so healthy. It will change your life for the better, believe me! All you need is some will power to get rid of (and then stay permanently away from) all the processed food and drinks. Plus, stick to real whole food and plenty of natural water. Then, couple that with the right HIIT exercise and get enough sleep. That’s all!