2

votes

Your biggest surprise?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 14, 2011 at 5:49 AM

What's the biggest surprise you've had as a result of changing your diet to or toward Paleo? Anything you read that you were surprised actually turned out to be true? Anything you didn't learn before switching that was a jolt to learn, when physical and mental changes began to kick in? Support from unexpected places? Lack of support and even hassles from people you thought would be supportive? Think about all of the facets of your new Paleo diet/life.

C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 15, 2011
at 04:48 PM

Well I wasn't aiming for weight loss, so it's hard for me to say what I'm doing. I did fall naturally into an IF-type pattern, and on days when my work schedule allows it I work out while fasted. Maybe one more cool surprise was my delayed-onset muscle soreness all but vanished. I can can exercise every day now with no fatigue or soreness the next. In fact now I only get sore if I don't work out, so I put in at least 10 minutes of high-intensity work every day. That may have something to do with it.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 15, 2011
at 01:11 PM

Ugh, not fair! I'm almost 4 weeks in lost 10 pounds the first week and nothing since! What's your secret! I have 30 pounds to lose!!!

9fb6900af6e722fc80ab46782fa94e2c

on April 14, 2011
at 11:12 PM

Hard to pick just one accepted answer since there is no one right answer, of course, but I liked Kelly's list for its variety of good and bad, plus a couple of alerts (e.g., possible craving penalty for having sugar). I'll be hoping to experience more of the good stuff as I continue.

9fb6900af6e722fc80ab46782fa94e2c

on April 14, 2011
at 09:50 PM

It's great fun to Paleo-fix a recipe and have it come out better than the original. I think I'm going to be quite surprised by how much space I gain when the gluten-free flours and starches and sugar are gone this weekend.

9fb6900af6e722fc80ab46782fa94e2c

on April 14, 2011
at 09:37 PM

I first tried Brussels sprouts at age 56. That's some indication of the overall dietary conversion I'm experiencing. I pick up things at farmers' market that I can't even name and then scan cookbooks to find out what the heck to do with them.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 14, 2011
at 09:04 PM

Yeah, I started increasing mine about 3 days ago and my chapped lips have improved but are not back to 100 percent normal. It's definitely vitamin C, so go with fruits that have a 100 vitamin C content.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 14, 2011
at 08:58 PM

Oh Ali - you know me now :) I may just build a heat map of paleo-ers around the world. Perhaps Mr. PaleoHack can help.

Eb800baf10f5c42478f803b7cb09aa6a

(119)

on April 14, 2011
at 07:55 PM

Flavour!! I am so loving your rationale for changing citizenship.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 14, 2011
at 06:53 PM

yeah, maki is an indulgence, but in the grand scheme of things, i think it's a good one. we always get a seaweed salad and then sashimi, which i love, except I could eat $$$$$ of it. I don't miss the nigiri rice. I save the rice for my maki splurges. Also, nama shoyu is a slightly better option than soy sauce because it's fermented. (I know, it's still soy, but...just sayin)

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 14, 2011
at 06:49 PM

Defending what I eat is my only complaint. It really does get old.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 14, 2011
at 06:48 PM

Thanks for mentioning chapped lips...mine have been chronically chapped for quite some time now. I will have to try upping my fruit intake.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 14, 2011
at 06:47 PM

I have a similar piss-off, sans that one other person. 8)

030167d1516b20d4a79f326dded608b0

on April 14, 2011
at 06:44 PM

+1 on veggies tasting good. I love, love, love eating simple now. I can taste everything, and it is good. Brussels sprouts are my new found favorite.

C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

(4069)

on April 14, 2011
at 06:13 PM

I have had the same pleasantly surprising and welcome effect.

C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 14, 2011
at 05:45 PM

I mean makizushi and nigirizushi, complete with rice, wasabi and a bit of soy sauce. Tasty, but not paleo. :)

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 14, 2011
at 05:15 PM

sashimi is extremely paleo, no? or do you mean more rolls?

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 14, 2011
at 05:13 PM

I was convinced I would turn into a tub of lard eating 100g of fat daily. I was wrong.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 14, 2011
at 03:42 PM

I had the same dental experince - my hygenist actually got the other hygenists fromthe office to come in and take a look at the lack of tartar - I felt like a science experiment! They really couldn't believe the only change that I had made was diet.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 14, 2011
at 03:37 PM

A lot of these sound like me as well. The allergy thing is annoying, but I'm starting to think it's a histamine thing more than allergies...

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 14, 2011
at 03:35 PM

I expected the lack of support/understanding, but I also expected people to warm up to the idea, so to speak. Most people think this is a "phase" that I'll get over, or that I'll start eating gluten again once I lose enough weight.

535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on April 14, 2011
at 02:12 PM

I have about the same experience as Kelly. The extra energy alone is worth the required discipline.

8c2ed9a35f6c4d35a3552a13ddabec8d

(525)

on April 14, 2011
at 07:48 AM

well that's an a bit of an overstatement. Of course we know, but I was watching a program the other night and they wanted food to be labeled, kept banging on about high sugar (good!) or high calories and high fat. But they never seem to mention by the way this loaf of wholemeal bread is bloody high in carbs.

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22 Answers

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2
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on April 14, 2011
at 01:11 PM

many surprises!!

  1. how much energy I have now

  2. how surprised I was when the brain 'fog' lifted, didn't even realize I was in a fog!

  3. memory is getting better

  4. how bad my breath is now....um, hubby said I smell like the garbage?!! thats a good/bad thing

  5. body odor when I sweat is almost non existent

  6. new allergies have arisen, but this is likely given them the opportunity to be isolated and caught my attention...so a good thing!

  7. how much happier I am in general

  8. how easy it is to eat; and how I eat and loose weight and inches silently but steadily

  9. how easy it was to remove sugar but surprised, once I ate a treat loaded with sugar, how I craved it for days afterwords

  10. how uneducated we are about our daily diets and the SAD, its scary!!

  11. how people want to argue with me all the time because they want me to eat more (I'm eating exactly what I want and need, leave me alone!) and how they then compliment me on how great I look....

535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on April 14, 2011
at 02:12 PM

I have about the same experience as Kelly. The extra energy alone is worth the required discipline.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 14, 2011
at 03:37 PM

A lot of these sound like me as well. The allergy thing is annoying, but I'm starting to think it's a histamine thing more than allergies...

9fb6900af6e722fc80ab46782fa94e2c

on April 14, 2011
at 11:12 PM

Hard to pick just one accepted answer since there is no one right answer, of course, but I liked Kelly's list for its variety of good and bad, plus a couple of alerts (e.g., possible craving penalty for having sugar). I'll be hoping to experience more of the good stuff as I continue.

9
Medium avatar

on April 14, 2011
at 07:03 AM

I'd say finding out everything I thought was true about nutrition to be the opposite to be fairly surprising.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 14, 2011
at 05:13 PM

I was convinced I would turn into a tub of lard eating 100g of fat daily. I was wrong.

6
C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 14, 2011
at 02:00 PM

  1. Weight loss. I took up Paleo to ease my joint pain and gastrointestinal distress. I'm now three weeks in, 20 lbs lighter, my pants have attained Hip-Hop levels of gravitational susceptibility and my belt is too big. All the while my performance in the gym continues to improve.

    Oh yeah, the gassy bloating is gone and my joint pain is a fraction of what it once was.

  2. Not missing wheat or sugar. Before, in any given week, I would probably eat a dozen sandwiches, a pizza or two, half a dozen bagels and ten servings of pasta. Since giving it up I haven't had a single craving. I do miss sushi, and I'll probably indulge in some once in a while, but going without doesn't feel like deprivation.

  3. Vegetables taste good. Before, greens were largely indistinguishable, and some were just revolting. Now I revel sinfully in the explosive palate of brussels sprouts, subtle variations in the age of a bell pepper (nightshades don't bother me), the soothing bite of kale, the enticing bitterness of spinach and the thick, sparkling richness of the collard.

    I am so awed by this new dimension of sensory delight I may become Canadian. Flavour this expressive simply demands an extra letter.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 14, 2011
at 05:15 PM

sashimi is extremely paleo, no? or do you mean more rolls?

030167d1516b20d4a79f326dded608b0

on April 14, 2011
at 06:44 PM

+1 on veggies tasting good. I love, love, love eating simple now. I can taste everything, and it is good. Brussels sprouts are my new found favorite.

Eb800baf10f5c42478f803b7cb09aa6a

(119)

on April 14, 2011
at 07:55 PM

Flavour!! I am so loving your rationale for changing citizenship.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 15, 2011
at 01:11 PM

Ugh, not fair! I'm almost 4 weeks in lost 10 pounds the first week and nothing since! What's your secret! I have 30 pounds to lose!!!

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 14, 2011
at 06:53 PM

yeah, maki is an indulgence, but in the grand scheme of things, i think it's a good one. we always get a seaweed salad and then sashimi, which i love, except I could eat $$$$$ of it. I don't miss the nigiri rice. I save the rice for my maki splurges. Also, nama shoyu is a slightly better option than soy sauce because it's fermented. (I know, it's still soy, but...just sayin)

C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 14, 2011
at 05:45 PM

I mean makizushi and nigirizushi, complete with rice, wasabi and a bit of soy sauce. Tasty, but not paleo. :)

9fb6900af6e722fc80ab46782fa94e2c

on April 14, 2011
at 09:37 PM

I first tried Brussels sprouts at age 56. That's some indication of the overall dietary conversion I'm experiencing. I pick up things at farmers' market that I can't even name and then scan cookbooks to find out what the heck to do with them.

C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 15, 2011
at 04:48 PM

Well I wasn't aiming for weight loss, so it's hard for me to say what I'm doing. I did fall naturally into an IF-type pattern, and on days when my work schedule allows it I work out while fasted. Maybe one more cool surprise was my delayed-onset muscle soreness all but vanished. I can can exercise every day now with no fatigue or soreness the next. In fact now I only get sore if I don't work out, so I put in at least 10 minutes of high-intensity work every day. That may have something to do with it.

3
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 14, 2011
at 11:40 AM

Better mental state. Much less anxiety and much less prone to get angry, yell at the kids, etc.

C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

(4069)

on April 14, 2011
at 06:13 PM

I have had the same pleasantly surprising and welcome effect.

2
21a2813241857e7532967e32e490061b

(50)

on April 14, 2011
at 03:23 PM

  1. I tanned easily. I had read about from other people but didn??t really know if I could believe it until it happened to me.

  2. My dental health is better. I had read that it could help and the first thing I noticed was that my gum stopped bleeding when I brushed my teeth. My last dentist appointment my dentist commented that my tartar was diminishing (before my dentist was usually surprised how quickly it came back after cleansing) and also said that next time I didn??t need an x-ray for the tooth that she wanted to repair year ago. I took that as a sign it was healing.

  3. I didn??t care much for meat before but now I really love it. I also have started to eat some things that I disliked or even hated before. I thought I would get sick of this and wanting to go back to less stricter diet but I have no desire ever going back.

  4. I don??t have to eat every 2 hours. I do 16 hours IF usually without difficulty. Before I would eat when I woke up and often eat just before going to bed because if I went hungry to bed I couldn??t fall asleep.

I hoped it would resolve my other health issues but no such luck. But these things at least make me think I must be doing something right.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 14, 2011
at 03:42 PM

I had the same dental experince - my hygenist actually got the other hygenists fromthe office to come in and take a look at the lack of tartar - I felt like a science experiment! They really couldn't believe the only change that I had made was diet.

2
7f4c64d6caca80c74a6c2d91efa3259b

(831)

on April 14, 2011
at 09:33 AM

Various surprises but the main ones are:

I'd heard from a friend who'd been following Paleo for a few months that she felt so much more energetic. OK, but I just assumed that was because she was feeling better because she had eliminated her gluten issues. Anyway, I needed to lose some weight (well, about 75lb or so ideally), other diets didn't seem to do anything for me, I like eating meat, so I thought why not give it a go (of course, it helps that my friend is a cutie :) ). So, two-and-a-bit months on, I'm 28lb and 3 belt notches down, and I also have that energy boost. Feel much livelier.

The other biggie is the lack of support from non-paleo people. All the usual comments like "saturated fat is not healthy", "you're not getting any fibre", "you need bread/pasta/rice to fill you up", right through to "glad when you start eating normally again"!!

Oh, and how easy it was to drop sugar/sweetener. Used to hate drinking coffee without some sort of sweetener but since starting Paleo, I just dropped it and now don't bat an eyelid at it. In fact, I now walk past pastry shops (and even in-store bakers in supermarkets) and can feel myself starting to retch at the previously alluring smell of Danish Pastries, doughnuts (or donuts if you prefer), eclairs etc.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 14, 2011
at 03:35 PM

I expected the lack of support/understanding, but I also expected people to warm up to the idea, so to speak. Most people think this is a "phase" that I'll get over, or that I'll start eating gluten again once I lose enough weight.

1
C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

on April 14, 2011
at 06:14 PM

I turned into a cook!

9fb6900af6e722fc80ab46782fa94e2c

on April 14, 2011
at 09:50 PM

It's great fun to Paleo-fix a recipe and have it come out better than the original. I think I'm going to be quite surprised by how much space I gain when the gluten-free flours and starches and sugar are gone this weekend.

1
D0501f0cc09c961a06c3d188361e7b07

on April 14, 2011
at 06:07 PM

I have also been surprised at the lack of support from friends/coworkers. I've been steadily dropping pounds/inches over the past 4 months, my energy has increased and I feel more awake. I get to cook with my fiancee every night and we love trying out new recipes for meat/veggies.

A lot of people are appalled I've given up grains. I thought I would miss comfort foods like pasta and french bread. I don't. When I want a comforting meal we cook up a steak and serve it with sweet potatoes and bacon-y brussels sprouts.

I'm getting used to defending my diet, but it gets old. I guess the proof is in my pant size.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 14, 2011
at 06:49 PM

Defending what I eat is my only complaint. It really does get old.

1
065bc9a541c742defb28b9c58ad34fbd

(1783)

on April 14, 2011
at 05:16 PM

Lately I've been surprised by how ridiculously happy I can be, all the time, when I eat right. I'm constantly smiling, for no particular reason. I'm sure it's obnoxious to those around me.

It also surprised me how much my body started to crave exercise once I changed my diet. Instead of my brain saying "aw man, I should really go for a run or something", my body seemed to be saying "yay let's go running and jump on things!!" It's been an interesting change. It's also surprising how strong I've gotten, and how quickly, with a good diet and good exercise.

1
97069359651f864ccd1f20b4ff261cf8

on April 14, 2011
at 12:06 PM

1) How offended people get when they find out you don't eat BREAD or PASTA. Oh my!

2) Rediscovering flavors of foods. It's like falling in love.

1
85ae4ff705fa1c5d5fd77272dd05fd32

on April 14, 2011
at 10:35 AM

Regaining a sense of smell after 30 years without.

0
Medium avatar

on October 14, 2013
at 07:59 AM

I'm just on my 13th day, energy level is still low on and off but getting better. People have begun to give comments about how fresh I look. And I can actually already see a differens in hair, skin and nails. Annoying though that I'm so freaking hungry, but even eating like a horse I haven't gained any weight.

Hopefully hunger and fatigue will ease in a while. It's not by far as bad as the first week :)

0
390cc4c6b2d0c60785e083b9fdd45b1d

on October 14, 2013
at 07:14 AM

the energy and overwelming urge to exercise. Found my self doing multiple sets of burpees on the kitchen floor while waiting for my food to cook....!

0
Fa51f2da1ed61c1177813672b07fe7a5

(20)

on October 14, 2013
at 03:43 AM

a) realizing I really DO like the taste of meat. I had convinced myself red meat was gross, bacon was overrated, etc. SO NOT TRUE

b) clearer skin

c) more level blood sugar levels

0
A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on October 13, 2013
at 05:31 PM

That saturated fats aren't evil. Cheers!

0
61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

Most of what I've noticed or become aware of others have already mentioned above.

One thing that is surprising is the online community of Paleo/Primal/Archevore "leaders," if you will, are able to back up claims with studies and, when they're not, they aren't afraid to say they are just speculating. It's refreshing to get honest opinions about health. 8)

On the downside, I thought I could have converted my husband by now (9 or so months), but he remains disinterested. He is also still surprised that when I make pasta or bread (per his request) that I don't want any of it.

0
D55aaabb103bee5c86a3d75401830229

on April 15, 2011
at 02:00 AM

I didn't get enough sleep last night, and I actually yawned this afternoon (once). I realized I couldn't remember the last time I yawned during the day, and I used to yawn all day long. These are just the surprises...I could go on and on all day about stuff I've ready other people experiencing that have happened to me too.

My fine straight hair can go a whole day without getting oily/limp.

I don't have to pee as much. I'm getting to that middle age lady stage, and it was getting ridiculous how many potty stops I needed. I'm soooo grateful. My current theory is the k2 in the kefir.

How quickly my body decided meat was my comfort food instead of high fat carby foods. When I'm blue, bacon (not Lucky Charms) is my BFF!

What it feels like to be able to trust my appetite. I finally let go of counting calories and carbs and I'm able to let my body call the shots. I don't think I've experienced that since before my teens.

Hurray for Paleo!

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 14, 2011
at 05:31 PM

The biggest surprise is that I became Vitamin C deficient which manifested in chapped lips. I remedies this by eating a little more fruit and drinking some lemon juice in my water.

I also quickly lost some fat. I was already moderately lean (16 percent bf) but I am pretty sure that after just a few weeks, I'm down to at least 14 percent.

I expect the biggest change to come from radically diminishing gluten (I do eat some still about once a week), although I am not sure how that will manifest itself.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 14, 2011
at 06:48 PM

Thanks for mentioning chapped lips...mine have been chronically chapped for quite some time now. I will have to try upping my fruit intake.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 14, 2011
at 09:04 PM

Yeah, I started increasing mine about 3 days ago and my chapped lips have improved but are not back to 100 percent normal. It's definitely vitamin C, so go with fruits that have a 100 vitamin C content.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 14, 2011
at 04:19 PM

This is a fun question and one I was contemplating this week. Kelly summed up a lot of what I experienced too but I'll chime in. My biggest surprises:

No more need for deodorant No more hypoglycemia (HUGE for me) More energy Eating is more enjoyable rather than a chore Cravings for bread and sugar are totally gone I can go up to 15 hours without food and not even feel poorly More balanced moods My dreams are more vivid and I remember them the next day (?) Teeth are whiter

Biggest piss-off for me is that I know only one person who eats like this. I feel a bit isolated. Luckily I have the paleohacks community :)

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 14, 2011
at 06:47 PM

I have a similar piss-off, sans that one other person. 8)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 14, 2011
at 08:58 PM

Oh Ali - you know me now :) I may just build a heat map of paleo-ers around the world. Perhaps Mr. PaleoHack can help.

0
Cc2a43461ec5b2b7ba5d55215ea0f068

on April 14, 2011
at 01:27 PM

Well, all sorts of things have disappeared: headaches (migraines, except for the one at menstrual time), fibromyalgia issues, vague aches and pains - that was a surprise. I didn't know I'd have more energy, better skin, the curl back in my hair, my GI tract straightened out, feel a lot less hung over after one drink or that I'd be sleeping better. It is shocking otherwise reasonable people think that this is just a "diet" not a complete life change, and that somehow the USDA food pyramid is "healthy." They're just not making the connection. They still think eggs and butter are bad for you.

But the REAL shocker is after not even six months of predominately eating this way, is how fast my system goes kablooey if I have a cheat day.

0
C1c86f42410cd4788bd9c5cf801dcd8f

(2246)

on April 14, 2011
at 10:40 AM

Tasting food.

Huge increase in sense of smell and taste.

0
8c2ed9a35f6c4d35a3552a13ddabec8d

on April 14, 2011
at 07:46 AM

The fact that no one really has a clue as far as diet is concerned.

8c2ed9a35f6c4d35a3552a13ddabec8d

(525)

on April 14, 2011
at 07:48 AM

well that's an a bit of an overstatement. Of course we know, but I was watching a program the other night and they wanted food to be labeled, kept banging on about high sugar (good!) or high calories and high fat. But they never seem to mention by the way this loaf of wholemeal bread is bloody high in carbs.

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