I think that I have FINALLY figured out exactly what my personal version of Paleo is, and what works best for me, after only 12 months or so!
I've been eating Paleo since early 2011 and from time to time, really struggled with hunger issues, which lead to binges, feeling guilty, getting back on the Paleo bandwagon - And then falling off again a little further down the line.
In my quest to find out exactly what works for me, I've gotten some great answers from fellow Paleohackers, advising to up my fat intake/protein intake and other great suggestions. I've tried IF-ing also, but none of these methods actually 'cured' my hunger.
These past 3 days or so, I've figured that what works for me, is actually not what I eat, but exactly when I eat it. I have started eating every 3 hours and it's like a have a whole new lease of life. If I stick as close to 3 hours between meals as possible, I'm not getting that dreaded insatiable feeling after I've eaten. If I go up to 5 hours or so between meals, I feel so hungry and feels like I haven't even eaten after a large meal. But this 3 hours experiment means that I'm eating less at my meals, but am easily satiated. I've got so much more energy and my mood is fantastic.
Has this worked for anybody else, or has anyone else tried this method of eating? How long did it take you all to figure out exactly what works for you?
And also, do you think that there are any possible negative effects to what I am currently doing - Metabolism wise and digestion wise? If I feel this good, I'm assuming it's exactly what my body needs and I feel that this is how I should continue.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences, as always!
asked byMashanshell (522)
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on March 05, 2012
at 02:21 AM
2.5 years and I'm still tweaking -- because I'm still -changing-. I figure that managing my nutrition is a daily process, because I'm a different person, with different needs every day.
on March 05, 2012
at 01:07 AM
Congratulations! It's neat when that happens, right? I'll be a year in April and am still tweaking, just finished another Whole60 reset and it was definitely more interesting than my first. Found some common things such as nuts and coconut were actually hindering more than helping. Eliminated some dairy and what remains, sheep yogurt and something for my coffee - maybe a bit of butter, is perfect. Played with different carbs. I mean, I'm not going to say no if a big delicious slab of something from Cowgirl Creamery falls into my lap or some tasty mac nuts - just not keeping at home.
I'm 6 meals down to 2 or 3, but I subscribe to "eat when hungry stop when full" so that's always flexible. Usually Friday is my every couple of hours eating - the rest of the week goes into 2-ish meals. I think this reset I finally was able to find exactly what keeps me optimal. Quantities, fat ratio, carb ratio, eliminating certain components, etc. Leaned up just the right amount, gained a few more lbs of muscle, pretty damn fast on my feet. It's been a really rad experiment.. and it's such fun to tinker!
If you feel good, look good, are pleased with what's happening then I think you're doing exactly right.
on March 05, 2012
at 04:15 AM
Glad you found what works for you! I wanted to add a thought based more on the title to your question, maybe it'll be helpful to you or someone else.
First, let's start with a thought experiment (it could easily be a real experiment if you wanted to do it). Go stand in the shower and just turn the water on. Now, the only adjustments you're allowed to make to the temperature are to quickly move the faucet to hot or cold. If the water it too cold, you turn it to the hot side, if it's too hot, you turn it to the cold side. What happens? The water temperature is going to oscillate between burning and freezing and your shower won't be very good.
If you're into control systems theory, then you know what's happening: you're making adjustments quicker than you can measure them. I.e., when you turn the faucet to cold, it takes a while for the water to get cold, but by then you've tuned the fauct too far and once you recognize that it's cold, you go to the hot side, but you go to fast and you're too hot before your know it. But, if you adjust the water temperature slowly, you'll converge on a comfortable shower.
So why this thought experiment? The same thing goes for food, exercise, lifestyle changes. You can't change things too quickly because the measurement (how you feel) moves pretty slowly. I always like to advocate that people do their paleo transition the same way. Start with something big (because we know the SAD is bad), like a fully super strict paleo diet as prescribed by Robb Wolf or Whole 30, etc. Give your body a couple of months to adapt and see how you feel, then start making small slow changes and see if it helps or hurts. That way you can converge on something that really works for you.
That's a pretty long rambling post to say, do what works for you, which probably isn't that helpful, but you're the only one who knows how your feeling. You just have to not get stuck in the trap of making too many changes too quickly and not waiting long enough to see the effects, that's where people generally fail or fall off the wagon.
on March 05, 2012
at 01:45 PM
I've been tweaking the Paleo Zone for almost six years now. I've been tweaking Archevore Paleo for almost a year. I've been tweaking Archevore paleo while mercury chelating for four months. I'm getting older and getting closer to the "final Paleo Meal"( 2050?). I don't imagine ever stopping the tweaking. I TWEAK,THEREFORE IAM.
on March 05, 2012
at 12:14 AM
You have to ask YOURSELF how do you look, feel and perform? The answers you are looking for are in the answers to these questions.
"If I feel this good, I'm assuming it's exactly what my body needs and I feel that this is how I should continue."
I say congratulations, you have found the winning combination!
No one knows your body like you do and it is inspiring that you didn't give up and kept trying different combinations for a year or more until you found one that worked. You have learned how to listen to your body and that is a wonderful thing!
It took me about 8 months to get the winning combo, mine is paleo zone!
Good Luck! Hope you have less falls off that Paleo Wagon now that you have your nutrition sorted! :)
on March 09, 2012
at 10:10 PM
I first went Cordain-style paleo in April 2009. That worked well for losing weight, but combined with IF I found that I was getting cold, hungry, and suffering from sugar/starch cravings.
In January 2010 I went high-fat from animal sources, especially dairy. Fasting became effortless, performance was good. I am convinced that this form of paleo works.
Later that year, not sure exactly when, I added back salt and root vegetables and then eventually rice. The carbs mostly replaced protein, though I notice very little difference substituting saturated fat for starch beyond glucose needs.
So my big-picture tweaking went on well over a year. Very recently I decided to try a variety of supplements, largely because I was trying to get my girlfriend pregnant, and for one reason or another we succeeded on the first try. :) I am back to almost no supplements.
That said, I do still think I should be eating more seaweed and gelatin. So there is obviously future tweaking to be done. And I really hope that we learn more and get to tweak further!
on March 05, 2012
at 01:31 PM
I've been paleo for a few years now, and I'm still tweaking. It's because my body and goals keep changing. I started for health because I was unhealthy. As I got healthy, I shifted to strength, because that was a goal for me and had been neglected as I got healthy. Strength parameters are dialed in, so I'll be shifting to leanness and longevity. As I age, I'm sure that will also require adjustments. The tweaks are smaller now, of course, but are still important.
on March 05, 2012
at 01:19 PM
I've been paleo for about 8 months and I feel like I'm approaching what works for me. I started off at about 30 - 70 grams of carb per day, but gradually started gaining weight and was feeling sluggish physically and mentally. I did an elimination diet for a couple of months in order to figure out what I could safely eat. I was diagnosed with celiac disease and react to trace amounts of gluten. I started feeling better in that regard, but still was having hypothyroid-type symptoms. Recently, based on some 23-and-me findings, plus recent buzz in the paleosphere about higher-carb eating and other ways to support thyroid, I started eating more fruit and potatoes, seaweed, brazil nuts, and seafoods. I'm gradually increasing carbs and it's working well so far.
on March 05, 2012
at 12:49 AM
That's so awesome! I'm happy for you. It is a work in progress for all of us I think. If your eating pattern works for you, stick to it! As always I find it's helpful to check in with yourself often and see what the body needs. If you are doing something that doesn't feel right, you'll know.
The experience here has been interesting. It wasn't until I started eating this way that I realised how much my body had been suffering. A year of crash dieting, stress and sadness had left me with depression and a body that felt utterly drained no matter what. Everything felt wrong, although I couldn't put my finger on it and doctors told me I was fine. A month of eating more meat and fat still didn't help that much, because I was so reliant on fruit. It was only after going low carb for about 2 weeks that I started to feel truly alive. It's so cool because many of us go through our whole lives never feeling right or happy inside and not realising why. I've never felt as centred as I do right now, and I've only been eating paleo for two months or so. I feel so good that I can eat starch and fruit again and stop myself and more importantly, love myself no matter what happens. (Binges aren't a problem because I binge on delicious things and I go outside because there's a genuine desire to move, not as some awful punishment!)
I do think that it will take some time before I feel completely strong. I forget that it's only been a little while since I started and I have 19 years of poor eating habits to assauge. It's just incredible that a couple of weeks of low carb could bring back my hunger signals, my energy and help me sleep. It's not that sugar is awful, but my body couldn't function without it, much like any addiction. I also seem to have stabilised at eating about 2-3 meals a day.
It also took a little while figuring out what foods were great and what was hurting me. Double cream is so delicious I can't stop eating it. Egg whites make me ill. Too much muscle meat is not good- got to balance it out with liver, salmon, sardines and oysters. And too much fruit will make me a little crazy, although my tolerance is higher now.
Good luck to you! I hope you continue having success and feeling good.
on March 04, 2012
at 11:28 PM
I will celebrate my one-year anniversay the first week of April.
So far, there isn't one way. What works terrifically well one month will need to be re-worked and revised the next. I started with a month of LC, then moved up to moderate carb (for paleo) and drifted into IF (intermittent fasting.) I have high-beef weeks and high-sardine/salmon weeks and high-veg weeks.
Right now, what's working is that I'm cycling when, how much and what I eat. Three days of each week I eat 0-300 calories in an ADF pattern (alternate day fasting;) otherwise, I use IF and usually eat one 4 course meal per day (fruit--salad--sardines/salmon--cooked veggies and meat) and enrich with home-made yogurt with fruit every other day. In a few weeks, I'll probably fast 3 days every other week and IF in between.
The only thing that hasn't changed since I started is my need to make significant changes about every 3-4 weeks to keep my energy and fat loss moving along nicely. I'm hoping to be done with weight loss this summer and then I'll need to fine-tune my maintenance shuffle.