4

votes

Can the Paleo diet actually be followed without changing your life completely?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 17, 2012 at 4:53 AM

Hi,

I've been interested in diet, exercise and nutrition for quite some years now and would like to help others with their weight problems but there seems to be a lot of miss information about all kinds of ways of eating and exercise these days. I'm 40 years old and weigh 12.5 stones, have low colesterol and a healthy heart due to plenty of cycling.I thought I knew a good few things about nutrition by following a low GL type way of eating until I read a few articles on 'The Paleo Solution' by Rob Wolf. After reading this book I'm totally confused with what I can actually eat without signing up to this regimented way of eating. Maybe this is the perfect diet but what we have to consider is that food is one of life's pleasures and this way of eating is like signing up to some sort of religious cult. So your'e not meant to eat grains now because they could cause you all sorts of problems. Well please answer me why some of the countries that eat rice everyday live to over 100 years old and don't have many problems with cancer/diabetes etc. I'm really interested in discussing this with anyone who can give valid opinions.

Chris :-)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 18, 2012
at 12:25 AM

Most definitely! That's nearly the only thing I've yet to challenge in paleo dogma.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 17, 2012
at 10:00 PM

Or butter or whatever.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 17, 2012
at 05:30 PM

"I literally swoon at the obscenely sweet taste of fresh peach." YEP! Can't wait until the height of summer when they'll be insanely good. (Not to mention red peppers, tomatoes - I used to hate tomatoes until I had one literally right out of someone's garden in July. It was a cherry tomato and I swear it was as sweet as a raspberry!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 17, 2012
at 04:01 PM

Good question. I am in the camp that carbs are wonderful and that glucose is my friend and not my foe. I eat bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and rice (if it's sushi :)). Paleo doesn't have to be low carb.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on May 17, 2012
at 03:38 PM

Fabulous answer!

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on May 17, 2012
at 02:49 PM

At dinner, instead of pasta maybe I have grass-fed brisket. How big a change is that??

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on May 17, 2012
at 02:32 PM

Chris, please clarify the term "valid" opinions -- since an opinion is just that... a verbalization of one's personal bias... and therefore, cannot -be- validated. There is either fact or opinion. Fact can be validated, opinion is just there... neither right nor wrong, and suited to discussion, but not proof.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 17, 2012
at 01:13 PM

"Relatively tasteless"? *De gustibus non est disputandum.*

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 17, 2012
at 01:12 PM

"Relatively tasteless"? *De gustibus non est disputandum."

87b7d250ea30415ed4c1afd809f4053f

(968)

on May 17, 2012
at 12:39 PM

60lbs in 6months, that's awesome! Love the cauliflower tip, great idea :)

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on May 17, 2012
at 12:00 PM

In my opinion, grains are nutritionally devoid, relatively tasteless, and only give pleasure in terms of insulin reward. Every time I've attempted to eat grains after being long-term paleo, I haven't gotten that "rush" I used to get post-carbohydrate. Legumes, as much as I miss southern staples such as beans and cornbread, or lima beans drenched in butter, the amount of gastro distress they cause me is on-par with grains. I still eat *some* dairy, in the form of butter and hard cheese, anything else tends to deliver more lactose than I am comfortable with.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on May 17, 2012
at 06:33 AM

http://muscleevo.net/the-fat-burning-food-myth/ - something interesting I came across yesterday

5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 17, 2012
at 05:07 AM

For the non-British readers, 12.5 stone = 175 lbs = 79.4 kg.

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10 Answers

8
F4d04667059bc682540fdfd8b40f13a7

on May 17, 2012
at 05:37 AM

In answer to the question in your title - yes you can eat this way without changing your life completely. It's your choice how long you want to spend researching, sourcing food and cooking.

Have a look at this MDA article for your question on countries who traditionally eat rice

Correct me if I'm wrong fellow PH'ers, but I think a lot of us would agree that food is a pleasure - I consider my Paleo diet anything but dull and repetative! Giving up grains, legumes and dairy really isn't that much of a hardship.

Only you can find out what works for you - I think giving it a try for a month is the best way to start. If it doesn't work, you've not lost anything.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on May 17, 2012
at 12:00 PM

In my opinion, grains are nutritionally devoid, relatively tasteless, and only give pleasure in terms of insulin reward. Every time I've attempted to eat grains after being long-term paleo, I haven't gotten that "rush" I used to get post-carbohydrate. Legumes, as much as I miss southern staples such as beans and cornbread, or lima beans drenched in butter, the amount of gastro distress they cause me is on-par with grains. I still eat *some* dairy, in the form of butter and hard cheese, anything else tends to deliver more lactose than I am comfortable with.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 17, 2012
at 01:13 PM

"Relatively tasteless"? *De gustibus non est disputandum.*

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 17, 2012
at 01:12 PM

"Relatively tasteless"? *De gustibus non est disputandum."

7
3b0b95dfc6dc5c18e535945f4aab0866

on May 17, 2012
at 05:48 AM

Search for "safe starches" articles under Perfect Health Diet and others, by Paul Jaminet and a roundup by Jimmy Moore. BTW from what I understand, traditional asian societies did not make rice the main component of the diet, that is a recent thing, and yes, diabetes is soaring in asia now. But the issue with grains was never so much about rice, but the cereal grains of wheat, oats, barley, etc...

Quite frankly, I suggest you research the results people get from going off grains - that is a major component of the health benefits that people get. Do what Robb Wolf asks - just go off for 30 days (and do the other things he says). If after 30 days you don't realize the awesome benefits then congratulations you didn't join a cult. But if you like others awesomely see so many longtime issues go away and gain obvious health, well, why would you go back to before? Congratulations, you joined a cult.

3
1e58ba5c171a122541d8b4873f604327

on May 17, 2012
at 06:43 AM

You do not have to radically change your life to improve it a little bit! IF you want radical results, you will likely need radical change, but If you start eating more vegetables and less bread, you will likely be better off.

While the paleo "diet" has been getting a lot of attention, and is possibly the easiest way to explain to your friends why you won't eat doritios at the cook-out, to me it is a philosophy, and the diet only makes sense in this context.

The way I see it, the paleo philosophy stems from a simple concept. It's a question I ask myself: "is the activity I'm about to participate in something that I might have done before the agricultural revolution?" If I'm about to eat a loaf of bread, the answer is no, if I'm about to climb a tree, maybe yes. But I don't decide my actions solely based on this answer! The same can go for diet. Sometimes I eat corn tortillias, sometimes I have some bread. This doesn't mean I'm not following the paleo philosophy, it's just not the only thing I consider when making decisions. As you said, eating can be a way of life! No one can be "100% paleo" (without a time machine), and who would want to?

Why do I want to favor things that were done before agriculture? Because it's more likely that our bodies are adapted for them. (to me this is paleo in a nutshell)

I have a friend who goes for vegetarian paleo, for her the questions of animal rights trumps the paleo question. For you, the social aspect of food might trump the paleo question (but I do this its a good idea to give it a real try so you can make informed decisions!)

In other words, you don't have to have a regimented way of eating to improve your life, but I think using the paleo philosophy as a tool to make healthy decisions is a great choice. Try asking yourself the question, and go from there!

2
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on May 17, 2012
at 02:27 PM

I have to say that I think that giving attention to your food, where and how it's sourced, and how it makes your body feel is definitely life-changing. What I've noticed, though, is that for me (a woman nearing 50, born when my parents were already in mid-life, to parents who were, themselves, born in the early decades of the 20th century), what more aware eating has done is actually RETURN me to the way of eating that I had when I was growing up. Eating fresh food, prepared at home, most of the time. Choosing my food from animals raised in the way nature intended them, and eating foods prepared from their base ingredients using traditional techniques that my own mother used in HER kitchen -- fermenting, sprouting, bone-broths, etc.

Your question is interesting to me in that it seems to me that you imply that, somehow, having awareness of your nutrition and health and choosing with care from the foods you eat and having that be life-changing is, somehow, less good than just staying with the status quo. That has not been my experience, and for myself, I am -glad- of the changes this way of eating and living have brought into my life. Since we've switched to our fast-food, restaurant-based, quickie way of eating, we actually have -diminished- our opportunity to truly find JOY in our food, and in sharing that food in the company of friends and family. Having returned to my more ancestral diet, I find that opportunities to share the joy of food with others, and cherish food's place in my own life, have expanded, rather then contracted.

I stopped eating wheat before I found paleo, because I'd been diagnosed with celiac disease (after YEARS of problems that nobody managed to be able to diagnose, compounded by confusing symptomology from a constellation of congenital autoimmune issues), but it was discovering paleo and the wide range of wisdom and new ideas shared in this community that allowed me to find ways of dealing with my situation joyfully and productively -- and that provided tools to allow me to help others who were also struggling to see if maybe this was helpful for them -- if its not, maybe something else will be, but it took me 47 years to find this... so I always tell people never to give up searching for their path to good health -- it's worth it!

Just my 3.5 pence

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on May 17, 2012
at 03:38 PM

Fabulous answer!

2
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 17, 2012
at 11:46 AM

Make small changes to start. A lot of people like the total immersion of things like Whole30 and 30-day paleo challenges, but they're completely unnecessary. You don't even need to take paleo to 100%. Paleo often says eliminate this and that, but it works nearly as well to simply minimize those things. It's effortless to switch out poor fats for good fats. It's not so bad to simply to keep a gluten-free household and not stress eating out (gluten be damned, I'm having my burger on a bun!)

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 17, 2012
at 05:42 AM

Can the Paleo diet actually be followed without changing your life completely?

Yes. It's just a way of eating. Th rest of your life can carry on as before.

1
5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 17, 2012
at 09:59 PM

Honestly, I'm starting to think that most of the health benefits of paleo are from reduced seed oil intake.

My minimalist version of paleo would simply be "swap out your canola oil for coconut oil."

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 18, 2012
at 12:25 AM

Most definitely! That's nearly the only thing I've yet to challenge in paleo dogma.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 17, 2012
at 10:00 PM

Or butter or whatever.

1
B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on May 17, 2012
at 03:53 PM

Change is difficult and involves grief. Sometimes a lot of grief. If Paleo is a big change for you and it seems monumental and horrible, then you are either not ready for such a big change or you are sitting squarely in the denial phase of grief with some possible overlap into the anger stage. This usually looks something like: "What do you mean I can't eat bread! Bread is good for you! Don't you people know anything? What? I can't have beans either? You sound like a bunch of freaks." Most of us have either been here ourselves or heard this spiel from someone who later decided to try Paleo. It's a common reaction because you want to cling to what is familiar and what you thought was right about nutrition.

If you are here at this site, I assume something about Paleo has intrigued you or feels right to you but you aren't ready yet to dive in and leave your old way of eating behind. There's no rush. Start slowly. Read more. Ask questions. You will eventually move through the stages of grief enough to give Paleo an earnest try or you will decide you are not ready and try something else.

I wish you luck. For the record: After giving up processed foods and junk, which seriously hampered my sense of taste, and turning to whole foods cooking with an emphasis on meats and veggies, I have found more absolute pleasure in eating than ever before. I literally swoon at the obscenely sweet taste of fresh peach or the savory goodness of my chicken sausage soup. I would never go back to eating bread and other foods that used to be part of my diet.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 17, 2012
at 05:30 PM

"I literally swoon at the obscenely sweet taste of fresh peach." YEP! Can't wait until the height of summer when they'll be insanely good. (Not to mention red peppers, tomatoes - I used to hate tomatoes until I had one literally right out of someone's garden in July. It was a cherry tomato and I swear it was as sweet as a raspberry!

1
10cadc0a2dff90c849c6d088832be324

(741)

on May 17, 2012
at 12:27 PM

I personally allow just a bit of rice. Though I did make some sushi with gra ted and cooked cauliflower instead of rice last night and prefered that. I'm just under 6 months into paleo and just shy of 60LBS off. I'd say I'm paleo about 98% of the time and I'd say I'm loving every bit of what I'm doing!! Love sandwiches? Replace the bread with steak! Love pizza? Try a bacon crust. I tried eating a klondike bar on mother's day and even though it tasted the same as always there was no wow. Foodwise once you're in you'll discover that conventional eating is no longer appealing.

87b7d250ea30415ed4c1afd809f4053f

(968)

on May 17, 2012
at 12:39 PM

60lbs in 6months, that's awesome! Love the cauliflower tip, great idea :)

1
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on May 17, 2012
at 11:50 AM

If you start following a seriously Paleo diet then the benefits (increased health, happiness, and energy) then your life will be completely changed without even thinking about it.

That's kinda the whole point.

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