9

votes

What paleo habits have the highest payoff:effort ratios?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 18, 2011 at 11:19 PM

I'm new to paleo and incorporating at least some paleo elements into my diet (increasing fat and meat intake, eliminating grains and sugar, decreasing industrial oil intake), shooting for fat loss and, more importantly, improved well-being (including reducing my tendencies toward food obsession). I may not ever be "all the way" paleo (loath to give up dairy and legumes???except peanuts and soy???entirely, loath to vow that I will never, ever eat wheat or sugar again even when I'm drunk and it's 4:30a.m. and everyone's going for pizza), but I'm definitely interested in what paleo has to teach me, and even just in the couple of weeks I've been tinkering with paleo principles in my diet, I've felt an improvement in satiety and a reduction in food anxiety.

In my recent reading about paleo eating, I've heard a fair amount about the 80/20 rule???do you think this applies to eating paleo? What do you think are the 20% of behaviors that have 80% of payoff in paleo eating?

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on September 19, 2011
at 08:54 PM

How is it difficult? You just stop eating packaged food and eat fresh food instead.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on September 19, 2011
at 05:52 PM

yes, BUT. That is an oversimplification that works for people who have really messed up health. White rice, buckwheat, and even amaranth seem to be fairly innocuous and while nobody would recommend a grain based diet, simply saying no grains= happy is part of the reason non-paleo eaters dismiss this community.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 19, 2011
at 01:52 PM

I agree totally. I'd only comment that I think for the bulk of at least the US population, eliminating vegetable oils is simply too difficult to really be a feasible option.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 19, 2011
at 03:02 AM

I love this question, simply because I think evaluating payoff and cost is the most important part of making decisions, and it is easy to forget that.

D5096ff5baffc0ba5d20b21346414a7a

(1112)

on September 18, 2011
at 11:55 PM

+1 Kurt Harris... His 12 steps is a great beginning point if you do not want information overload. You do not have to understand everything or make a decision about every idea that is out there to get started and reap the benefits. He has the 12 steps ranked in order of importance.

B36613e945134be5813e6526f9a3a86c

(499)

on September 18, 2011
at 11:51 PM

This is, indeed, basically exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!

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9 Answers

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15
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on September 18, 2011
at 11:33 PM

I think Kurt harris' twelve steps are exactly what you need. See here http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

First step is fix sleep.

Next step is no sugar that is not naturally in the food (read berries and some fruit. Don't go overboard and eat 10 apples because you want a candy bar)

Next is eliminate gluten grains. Wheat reduces nutrient uptake even in people who don't have GI issues.

Definitely read the rest at the link.

In terms of exercise, lift heavy and move quickly 2-3 times a week and move your body as much as possible (walk and use the stairs, carry your bags instead of rolling...)

Good luck!

B36613e945134be5813e6526f9a3a86c

(499)

on September 18, 2011
at 11:51 PM

This is, indeed, basically exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!

D5096ff5baffc0ba5d20b21346414a7a

(1112)

on September 18, 2011
at 11:55 PM

+1 Kurt Harris... His 12 steps is a great beginning point if you do not want information overload. You do not have to understand everything or make a decision about every idea that is out there to get started and reap the benefits. He has the 12 steps ranked in order of importance.

8
C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

on September 18, 2011
at 11:35 PM

No grain = happy human being. Good habit, highest payoff.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on September 19, 2011
at 05:52 PM

yes, BUT. That is an oversimplification that works for people who have really messed up health. White rice, buckwheat, and even amaranth seem to be fairly innocuous and while nobody would recommend a grain based diet, simply saying no grains= happy is part of the reason non-paleo eaters dismiss this community.

5
40449b985898b088a64660b40f329f0f

(951)

on September 18, 2011
at 11:49 PM

I think the 80/20 rule is a helpful one, but only when used as a way not to take yourself too seriously and not to eat a little candy every single day. The biggest payoff I believe is the removal of grains/wheat/gluten. The positive effects that cascade from the removal of those is in incredible. There is PLENTY to consider after that, but that is in my opionion the best place to start. Then start to weigh your options regarding sugar in all forms.

4
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 19, 2011
at 01:51 PM

The simplest thing is elimination of all grains. I think if people just did that they'd see an incredible improvement in digestion, elimination, all the gut stuff. That then opens the door to much better living overall and everything else you do becomes so much easier and more effective.

It's really easy for people, too. Just tell them, eat meat and potatoes. Few people have issues with classic staple of western eating.

Eliminate grains, the rest are details.

3
C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on September 19, 2011
at 03:56 AM

I say this a lot, both here and at reddit.com/r/paleo. To get 80% of the results from 20% of the effort, cut out Harris's three neolithic agents of disease.

The rest is just hacking.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 19, 2011
at 01:52 PM

I agree totally. I'd only comment that I think for the bulk of at least the US population, eliminating vegetable oils is simply too difficult to really be a feasible option.

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on September 19, 2011
at 08:54 PM

How is it difficult? You just stop eating packaged food and eat fresh food instead.

2
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on September 19, 2011
at 05:56 PM

Many people have said to eliminate grains. That is the easiest way to frame things, and is probably the single piece of advice that most easily will get you on the right track for a paleo diet,

BUT, That is an oversimplification that works for people just starting a paleo diet or who have really messed up health. White rice, buckwheat, and even amaranth seem to be fairly innocuous and while nobody would recommend a grain based diet, simply saying no grains= happy is part of the reason non-paleo eaters dismiss this community.

Once you have established a good groove of paleo eating, incorporating some non-gluten grains is something you're 'allowed' to play with without being kicked out of the paleo club.

I would also agree that good sleep has the highest payoff per effort.

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on September 20, 2011
at 02:32 AM

Many people will say eliminating grains is #1.

I haven't found that to be the case. I've found that eliminating high levels of omega-6s is provides 50+% of my benefit. Having more than 1 meal's worth of high omega-6s means negative effects on my well-being. Cutting out seed oils and adding in a large dose of fish oil is easy with a good pay-off.

I'm trying to sell paleo to my parents and really think that getting their fats sorted out is the highest pay-off with the least effort required. Who can't switch their fats to coconut, olive and animal oils? Eliminating wheat/grains is rather difficult, it's everywhere and it's a food that folks tend to crave to some degree.

Going lower carbohydrate has a rather high pay-off to effort ratio as well. Easily follows from a grain/wheat-free diet...

1
9ac8a7b68cf079b22de42b703e466e64

(787)

on September 19, 2011
at 05:42 PM

Definitely grains. Second would be sleep.

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on September 19, 2011
at 03:39 PM

Walk for your food.

Eat meat.

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