2

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Time frame for complete Paleo conversion

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 26, 2010 at 4:49 AM

About how long did it take for any of you to go paleo? How many cheats, days or weeks, did you have before knowing this is a permanent lifestyle change for you?

2b4f887f5fd32a37c6038eb0aaaf3bf5

(1648)

on June 03, 2010
at 10:10 PM

This is my experience Melissa. I can't expect myself to be all or nothing, or I'll give up. I'm gradually transitioning to 100%. I'd say I'm at stage 2-3 right now, and I'm three months in.

64c41a128b1865f595f9891bb9f13982

(40)

on May 29, 2010
at 06:46 AM

I poop every day - not a lot but every day and when I don't eat paleo it is stinky yuck - but hey at least my digestive system works really well.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 27, 2010
at 05:46 PM

@Trish Don't let Perfect be the enemy of Good. A little bit of Paleo is better than none. :)

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 27, 2010
at 05:46 PM

With regards to alcohol, I no longer drink beer (even though I would love to) -- usually I drink high-quality spirits such as Jameson (ostensibly gluten-free) or vodka.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 27, 2010
at 05:28 PM

Hmm 2-3 times a week sounds off. Our circadian rhythm actually suppresses bowel movements during night time, and typically causes one when that switch flips back on in the morning. I'm fairly certain once a day, in the morning is typical or expected. Me, I miss maybe 2 days a week, but otherwise it's pretty stable.

64c41a128b1865f595f9891bb9f13982

(40)

on May 27, 2010
at 05:06 AM

I did this too - happy hour does me in - and when I don't go I feel like such a loner - just need to do better with my choices - my friends are pretty supportive so I can't blame them.

64c41a128b1865f595f9891bb9f13982

(40)

on May 27, 2010
at 03:22 AM

thank you for the answers - they are all great - I do really well for about 3 - 4 days and then I completely fail for a couple - I've done a complete month and felt great. I guess I just need to keep trying and eventually it will be very close to 100%. I never thought I had emotional connections to food, as I've always been slender, now I know I do and don't really know how to change. :)

C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7

(2269)

on May 27, 2010
at 12:29 AM

I would check my dookie except I haven't pooped since Sunday. Before, this would be a mild cause of alarm. Now, it means my body is really efficient at extracting maximum nutrients from what I eat. So I take a dump maybe 2-3 times a week and it's super-easy, no grunting/straining/etc and rarely requires much, uh, cleanup. My 'roids are mostly gone too. People who think that crap builds up in your intestines and who eat haystacks of fiber that has them running to a toilet for a mountainous stinky loud crap every few hours have no idea how it's supposed to work.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on May 26, 2010
at 02:32 PM

Excess O6 "is" poison

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on May 26, 2010
at 02:32 PM

I noticed the biggest change when I balanced my O6-O3 the grain meat didn't make me feel good grass fed makes me superman, I'll work harder to get the good stuff

08ce57b1bbb3bda8e384234389c36d94

on May 26, 2010
at 02:28 PM

The term "poison meat" is a little strong don't ya think? True it's not optimal but it is light years ahead of consuming pasta, bread and franken oils.

8e75344356f4a455185ee52da0b90bf2

on May 26, 2010
at 12:11 PM

This! I had been low-carb for about 8months prior and went Lacto-Paleo cold turkey. I decided on a friday and went through my entire fridge and pantry and dumped every bit of bad food into the pig slop. On Saturday I went Paleo and never looked back. :) Aside from the "cheats" that I gave myself at the beginning (alcohol, dairy, artificial sweeteners) I have never fallen off the wagon. I just didn't want the crap foods any more. I will very rarely have a passing desire for pizza or a loaded jacket potato but not enough to EAT them!

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11 Answers

6
77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on May 26, 2010
at 02:27 PM

I think the "complete conversion" is actually a misnomer. I've been Paleo for more than a year, and it's still an ongoing process, mostly because I had to continue to educate myself.

At first I ditched all grains, legumes, sugar, and dairy, but I continued to use canola oil. Then I ditched canola oil but continued to eat grain-fed meat. Then I switched to grass-fed meat but I'm still learning to cook organ meats. Perhaps in the future, I'll learn to hunt and butcher my own meat. Or recognize edible/poisonous foods to forage in the wild.

But, if you are looking for some sort of timeline:

It took me about three days, and I was sold. Excessive hunger went away (previously had to eat every 2-3 hours), I had greater energy and improved mood, my dental plaque completely disappeared in 2 weeks, and it just got better from there.

I had chronic, debilitating foot pain for about 6 years, and that disappeared in 6 months.

Cheat days were every week or two in the beginning, with ice cream and pizza being my favorite cheats. Now, I don't crave pizza at all. It took about 6-8 months for that to happen, and I was quite surprised by it.

I think what made it easier for me was that I didn't start Paleo as a temporary "diet" to lose weight. I started it because I was interested in health and athletic performance, and I was invested in making permanent lifestyle changes from the outset. I think I see a lot of people struggle with sticking to it because they start out thinking of it as a diet, and then they have a hard time making the conceptual shift to thinking about it as a permanent lifestyle change.

5
93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 26, 2010
at 07:44 AM

Once I noticed I stopped getting migraines, I knew it was permanent.

Here is a tip: Instead of waiting till you run out of "bread, tortillas, pancake mix, flour, beans and peanut butter" -- just throw them all out in one fell swoop.

8e75344356f4a455185ee52da0b90bf2

on May 26, 2010
at 12:11 PM

This! I had been low-carb for about 8months prior and went Lacto-Paleo cold turkey. I decided on a friday and went through my entire fridge and pantry and dumped every bit of bad food into the pig slop. On Saturday I went Paleo and never looked back. :) Aside from the "cheats" that I gave myself at the beginning (alcohol, dairy, artificial sweeteners) I have never fallen off the wagon. I just didn't want the crap foods any more. I will very rarely have a passing desire for pizza or a loaded jacket potato but not enough to EAT them!

64c41a128b1865f595f9891bb9f13982

(40)

on May 27, 2010
at 05:06 AM

I did this too - happy hour does me in - and when I don't go I feel like such a loner - just need to do better with my choices - my friends are pretty supportive so I can't blame them.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 27, 2010
at 05:46 PM

With regards to alcohol, I no longer drink beer (even though I would love to) -- usually I drink high-quality spirits such as Jameson (ostensibly gluten-free) or vodka.

4
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on May 28, 2010
at 01:21 PM

Here is what it was like for me: Stage 1: Trying to include better foods in my diet and getting rid of the really bad things. Still eating some cheat meals, but not eating candy bars or soda anymore. Trying to eat healthy foods that weren't part of my diet before like fish or kale.

Stage 2: Noticing positive changes, but still eating frequent cheat meals. Learning how to cook so I can avoid non-paleo restaurant ingredients.

Stage 3: Mostly paleo, except for social occasions and eating out. But this leads to be noticing that certain non-paleo foods really do have negative physiological effects because I feel terrible the day after these social occasions.

Stage 4: Learning to say no to foods that really make me sick. Cheat meals get better- can contain things that aren't paleo or that good for me, but don't make me feel sick.

....maybe a stage 5?

Stage 5: Total paleo?

2b4f887f5fd32a37c6038eb0aaaf3bf5

(1648)

on June 03, 2010
at 10:10 PM

This is my experience Melissa. I can't expect myself to be all or nothing, or I'll give up. I'm gradually transitioning to 100%. I'd say I'm at stage 2-3 right now, and I'm three months in.

3
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on May 26, 2010
at 11:42 AM

Two weeks saw results(non weight) and felt great ate some sugary bread as a reward and crashed...Hard emptied my cupboards of poison(Donated to foodbank) and went "all in" , I've only made safe pseudofood to quell any odd craving, such as coconut blueberry muffins/pancakes/bread... Coconut flour is refined, but at least it's not poisonous to me, and other than feeling like I ate a brick, I don't crash or feel bad after

honestly once I tried Grass Fed Steak the first time I knew I wouldn't go back to poison meat. I've always loved Salmon and Seafood now the trick is finding quality eggs, the Walmart 350mg O3 eggs taste better than the cheaper eggs but I'm sure there are healthier eggs for me

getting your family on board is 10x more important than being on board yourself

now it's easy, the old cravings are literally gone when I get hungry and dream of food, it's not bread or garbage chips , it's Meat!

08ce57b1bbb3bda8e384234389c36d94

on May 26, 2010
at 02:28 PM

The term "poison meat" is a little strong don't ya think? True it's not optimal but it is light years ahead of consuming pasta, bread and franken oils.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on May 26, 2010
at 02:32 PM

I noticed the biggest change when I balanced my O6-O3 the grain meat didn't make me feel good grass fed makes me superman, I'll work harder to get the good stuff

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on May 26, 2010
at 02:32 PM

Excess O6 "is" poison

2
Ce0b5fd94b1034e96cf710b6f138c29d

on May 26, 2010
at 12:24 PM

Pretty much overnight, actually. I just went cold turkey on the f00d.

2
8347d512bca9b034d53da40dab8cd21c

on May 26, 2010
at 09:52 AM

How long did it take for me to go Paleo? I learned about it on a Sunday, researched it during the week, and began it the following Friday.

How long did it take for me to decide to stick with it? About two weeks, at which point my eyes were opened and I realized it worked.

2
Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on May 26, 2010
at 08:42 AM

Three days of research to make the decision.

One month paleo test with no cheats to see how it affected me.

Saw obvious benefits after 30 days and decided going back to "normal" eating made no sense.

1
64242a1130eb51f4852f78beed38b3d5

(1343)

on May 28, 2010
at 06:10 PM

I say it was around 90 days. I cut it as hardcore as I could and saw results in 2-3 weeks, toughed it out and will never go back.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 26, 2010
at 04:35 PM

Check your poop! It's how your body tells you "you did good yesterday!". If it's messy, sticky, smelly, or anything of the sort, you did wrong.

I used this as my guide. It took a while to figure out what cheats I was allowed (beer!) and not allowed (cake, cookies, etc) based solely on my body's reaction to it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 27, 2010
at 05:28 PM

Hmm 2-3 times a week sounds off. Our circadian rhythm actually suppresses bowel movements during night time, and typically causes one when that switch flips back on in the morning. I'm fairly certain once a day, in the morning is typical or expected. Me, I miss maybe 2 days a week, but otherwise it's pretty stable.

64c41a128b1865f595f9891bb9f13982

(40)

on May 29, 2010
at 06:46 AM

I poop every day - not a lot but every day and when I don't eat paleo it is stinky yuck - but hey at least my digestive system works really well.

C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7

(2269)

on May 27, 2010
at 12:29 AM

I would check my dookie except I haven't pooped since Sunday. Before, this would be a mild cause of alarm. Now, it means my body is really efficient at extracting maximum nutrients from what I eat. So I take a dump maybe 2-3 times a week and it's super-easy, no grunting/straining/etc and rarely requires much, uh, cleanup. My 'roids are mostly gone too. People who think that crap builds up in your intestines and who eat haystacks of fiber that has them running to a toilet for a mountainous stinky loud crap every few hours have no idea how it's supposed to work.

1
F81ee244dfd600a4888b4a1bfd25db87

on May 26, 2010
at 06:56 AM

I tried to Zone a couple of times.. didn't last a week. Tried paleo three times but succumbed due to social pressure. The fourth time I stuck with it no matter what. Trying to see food as fuel helped in the beginning.

The first week was tough, as expected. I felt tired, had headaches, bloody gums.. I like to think that this is because my body was adapting to another energy source (mild ketosis), and change comes with pain. During the second week, energy levels came back up and I didn't feel hungry anymore (the opposite, had trouble falling asleep b/c of it).

I did a full 30 day strict paleo with one semi-cheat (had to eat boiled potatoes out of politeness one day). The 31st day we went to a burger joint and ordered a big burger (+bun) and a huge sugary milkshake. Felt bad all night, good way to keep the paleo edge for a long time :)

0
Cfccbcf3450ac4919311ded8ef162d49

(2312)

on May 26, 2010
at 06:48 AM

Until I ran out of bread, tortillas, pancake mix, flour, beans and peanut butter. :-)

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