My husband has been eating a mostly-paleo diet for several months, and has been trying to get me to come on board. I was anorexic about ten years ago and though I am healthy now, I still find myself worrying about calories when I get stressed out. I'm nervous about starting a whole new way of eating, potentially gaining weight, and having that trigger my issues with weight and food.
I eat a lot of whole grains now and not a lot of fat during the day, though for dinners we have a lot of avocados, salmon, free-range organic beef, and olive oil in our meals. A typical day for me would start with oatmeal made with skim milk and topped with a little brown sugar and cinnamon, then a grilled cheese (part-skim string cheese) sandwich on whole wheat bread with a piece of fruit for lunch, a small handful of nuts for a snack, and then dinner, which is sometimes paleo but sometimes is pasta or rice-based.
I'm finding myself terrified of what replacing my breakfast of oatmeal or cereal or bread with honey with something higher-fat and higher-calorie will do. I guess I'm just looking for others' experience jumping into paleo when their old diets were lower-cal, lower fat.
asked byMillie (5)
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on October 08, 2012
at 02:55 AM
I was there in the same place once. Looking back I think the advice I would give, if you were serious about going paleo, is to go slowly. Make the changes to diet slowly. Check out the feedback your body will give you.
on October 08, 2012
at 07:34 AM
It sounds to me like you don't actually want to go low carb or paleo. The majority of people here are convinced by the science and have at least some experience that it makes them feel better. I don't think you're convinced.
After presumably difficult years of anorexia you have found something that works for you. Do you feel bad on it? Doesn't sound like it. Are you worried it will shorten your life? Doesn't sound like it. I guess you don't need to lose weight.
If you are terrified of giving up your breakfast, why bother? Your husband presumably feels better. He wants what he's getting for you. Maybe you don't want that. It sounds to me that at least partly you don't want to lose control like perhaps you did in the past.
on February 01, 2013
at 11:36 PM
You eat like how I used to eat. I followed the food pyramid (now it's a plate) and ate lots of whole grains and lean dairy. At the time I thought I was eating very healthy. And I've never had problems with weight.
But when I ate that way, I struggled with fatigue, poor mental clarity, and skin problems.
Going paleo has dramatically improved these issues. I have way more energy for workouts (I've been an avid runner/athlete for years), I have better mental clarity (which is super helpful because I am a biology researcher), and my skin looks much better (especially after cutting out dairy).
In addition to those things....what I didnt expect...my anxiety/mood is better, my muscle tone is better, my joints feel better, my skin color/complexion/dark eye circles are better, and I rarely get hungry anymore (when I ate grains, I would be starving for lunch/dinner each day).
I also read a lot of scientific studies on paleolithic nutrition and I am convinced it is healthier than the conventional American "healthy" diet (whole grains & low-fat dairy = healthy). I highly recommend all of Dr. Loren Cordain's Paleo Diet books...he is a scientist whose main research focus is paleolithic diet, and he cites hundreds of studies that implicate that eating like a 'hunter-gatherer' is super good for you.
So I am a paleo-convert for life. I've been eating this way now for 3 years, and will never go back. I get way more variety of meats, fruits & veggies than I used to. The only downfall is that it requires that I cook & grocery shop a lot.
It sounds like you are on the right track because you are already careful about what you eat. But take the extra step further and go paleo. It will not make you gain weight (muscle maybe, but certainly not fat).
As far as where to begin...how I began is I cut out grains first. Then after a year of eating eggs and unprocessed meat for breakfast instead of whole grain cereal/bread...I cut out dairy. I agree with others who said to make little changes at a time.
on February 02, 2013
at 12:06 AM
I am conflicted in giving you advice. I struggled with an eating disorder for about a decade. I still struggle sometimes, like you, when I'm stressed. You say you are healthy now. That is fantastic! Whatever you do, please stay healthy. Eating the most optimal diet in the world won't help you if you start spiraling back into disordered eating patterns.
I'd maybe start slow if you decide you want to go closer to paleo. Adding fat is good for your health. If you're nervous about adding fat, maybe start with using 2% milk for a while. (Maybe a tiny bit less?) Or doing something like soaking your oatmeal in a little yogurt to neutralize the phytic acid. Trying out gluten-free bread, or learn about traditional sourdough if you want to eat wheat. (Assuming, of course, you're not gluten-intolerant.) If you're worried about switching from skim milk, why not try homemade almond milk (which is still relatively low fat but more natural) instead of whole (dairy) milk? Small changes, I think, are really key.
I'd add that for me the Whole30 program was a BIG mistake. I was bulimic, and still have bulimic/binge-eating tendencies. Any pattern of restriction spirals me toward my old food issues. That's why I'd say to start slow and see how you feel.
*If you do decide to try out paleo, maybe you could start keeping your relatively low-fat/higher carb diet but switching out the wheat for potatoes/sweet potatoes/etc. and dairy alternatives. I will say, though, that adding some fat for me was really helpful. I've cycled, personally, between moderate carb/high fat and moderate fat-carb-protein and both have worked relatively well for me. Paleo isn't about macros, despite what some people might say.
on October 08, 2012
at 03:59 AM
if the diet you were currently using was giving you the results you were looking for than you would not be looking for something else. Grab conventional wisdom by the horns, throw it away and start your life. Don't dip your toe in the water of health. Hold your breath, grab your nose, and jump in.