11

votes

How strict are you about Paleo

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 17, 2010 at 7:04 PM

Following up with the "How long" question, I'm curious as to how strict people are?

I'd like to gather some statistics so if people could answer according the following number system:

  1. SAD either with or without the junk food, doesn't matter
  2. Weston A. Price/Nourishing Traditions (ie. eat some grains but soaked/fixed traditionally)
  3. Paleo or Lacto-Paleo, but with large cheats (50% of a meal) once or twice a week
  4. Paleo or Lacto-Paleo, but with small cheats (10-15% of a meal) everyday
  5. Paleo or Lacto-Paleo, but with small cheats less than 1 or 2 times a week
  6. Lacto-Paleo and no cheating
  7. 100% Paleo

To save a bunch of cross-referencing, please also add the number of months you've been Paleo. Thanks everyone! Especially the 0's that lurk among us. ;-)

Please answer like follows: Strict 2; Months 6

Medium avatar

(624)

on November 04, 2013
at 10:23 PM

So if you've run the stats on all these answers, maybe you could put your conclusions in the comment here?

D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 22, 2010
at 08:58 AM

Indeed; the one I eat is "barnblodpudding" which has extra iron, fiber, rye flour and no added sugar, so at 13g starch/100g I really don't mind having that once in a while...

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 22, 2010
at 04:54 AM

Oscillating between #3 and #7 for about two years now.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 22, 2010
at 03:24 AM

Evil black pudding. When I lived in Sweden I thought it was kind of paleo until I learned enough Swedish to read the ingredients: mjöl, söcker...blargh.

5740abb0fa033403978dd988b0609dfd

(2633)

on March 17, 2010
at 08:00 PM

Yeah, this question absolutely is NOT in the interest of categories and purity. Actually I think of it as an antidote to all the admittedly really good, yet categorical answers by seeing how people are actually choosing to live. I guess maybe it's support for the not so "pure" by seeing they are not alone and 50% Paleo is still vastly better than none at all.

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68 Answers

5
0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on March 17, 2010
at 08:11 PM

My husband and I (ages 37 and 31 respectively) have been paleo for about a year now.

Me: 5.5 (small cheat very rarely - like once every couple of months)

Hubby: 4.5 (his meals are usually perfectly paleo, but he won't part with his 1/2 cup of Haagen Daaz several evenings a week. ;)

Ask me who has more trouble keeping her weight in check, though. It's just not fair!

4
5ebeec76e20738d0a17cd724d64b1e0f

on March 22, 2010
at 07:56 AM

Strict 6; Months 12

I did cheat (or "experiment," as I like to say) at your #4 level for about a week after about 8 months, but it was a one-time thing (quite a disaster, actually).

Also, I think 6 and 7 are really the same thing; I see no reason to exclude dairy from Paleo.

3
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 18, 2010
at 12:34 AM

I'd say 4 or 5, definitely cheat less and less as time has gone on and cheats are less serious. When I started the cheats were BAD...candy, ice cream, crap...now they tend to be things like hummus or grits.

3
Be4b60059db3511771303de1613ecb67

(1137)

on March 17, 2010
at 09:00 PM

I'm a 6. I've been strictly Primal Blueprint (lowest carbs) for about 6 weeks.

Before that, I was at # 3 for about 6 months.

3
A1ae6a36ca0f4210882603e1255ea42d

on March 17, 2010
at 08:24 PM

Not sure I get it, I guess strict 4 (cheat with dark chocolate, a couple of beers, or a serving of bread cumulatively at least 3-4x a week), little over a year

3
587538a2db229b2ec884ea04cc3dc75e

(462)

on March 17, 2010
at 07:52 PM

Somewhere between 4 and 5, about one year.

I certainly don't "cheat" at every meal but I do have small amounts of grain almost every day, and every once in a while I will completely drop my guard and eat a bunch of cookies or something. I don't beat myself up about this, but I am working on cutting it down.

3
Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on March 17, 2010
at 07:15 PM

7, just getting started - 5.5 weeks

After an undetermined amount of time has passed (figured my body will let me know) I will probably loosen up the rules a little and start testing things like dairy in small doses.

3
03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on March 17, 2010
at 07:09 PM

I don't like to obsess over categories and paleo "purity," but it would be somewhat interesting to see the answers, so I'll start.

I am probably closest to #4, about 5 months.

5740abb0fa033403978dd988b0609dfd

(2633)

on March 17, 2010
at 08:00 PM

Yeah, this question absolutely is NOT in the interest of categories and purity. Actually I think of it as an antidote to all the admittedly really good, yet categorical answers by seeing how people are actually choosing to live. I guess maybe it's support for the not so "pure" by seeing they are not alone and 50% Paleo is still vastly better than none at all.

2
48a1334b345df12f6291e9f1edf54693

on March 20, 2010
at 01:34 AM

Strict 6, if by Lacto-Paleo you mean that I also include dairy in my diet (milk excepted). I'd say that I'm a 6.5, because I'm basically a carnivore (carbohydrate @ <25g/day), but I do add salt to my food on a regular basis. I also do my best to eat the "right" meats and cheese, and when I do eat regular cuts of meat I'll cook it in grass-fed beef tallow to improve my 3-6 ratio.

I plan to reincorporate more fruit and vege's into my diet as time goes on and as my waist line continues to shrink.

I've been "paleo" since December of 09'.

2
3d6de27d32b0ed5599e644ebaf849c09

on March 17, 2010
at 11:32 PM

#5+/6- for 8 months. Basically strict on all food but drink alcohol Friday/Saturday evening (only wine or white spirits, fasted)

2
B1b9f0574aa9571f6aec6adb81d43190

(578)

on March 17, 2010
at 08:29 PM

Strict: 5. Months: 1.2

As I mentioned elsewhere, a beer at a friends party, a free cookie, offered slice of homemade cake, etc. - those things I don't really resist.

I gotta add I intermittent fast at least once per week, and was on the Stronglifts 5x5 program for the last 2 months. I think that adherence to exercise is just as important as the food we eat (80/20 rule barring).

1
E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on April 16, 2012
at 12:29 PM

Strict 7 (+ no nightshades + no nuts). >1 year.

I have to be super 100% strict Paleo because of my health problems (post-infectious IBS, SIBO, PCOS, prone to weight gain, insulin resistance, etc). I can't even have butter, dark chocolate, nuts and nightshades. Eating too much of even non-nightshades low-FODMAP vegetables, eating chocolate or even butter = abdominal pain, brain fog, severe bloating, etc. I have been eating strict Paleo for over a year now, but have only had to eliminate nightshades, chocolate and butter recently due to reappearance of some of my symptoms.

I hope that as time goes by, my gut heals and seals itself, because I would not see any problems in including butter, a bit of cheese, chocolate, some nuts and occasional coconut flour-based treats once in a while!

I believe that not everybody has to be that strict, it really depends on your health and goals!

1
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on April 15, 2012
at 09:22 PM

My original adoption of Paleo from 2004 - 2005:

100% Paleo 1.0 (biased towards the writings of Audette, less on Cordain). I remember two specific cheats in a year's time, once with ice cream and once in an attempt to re-introduce dairy.

My current iteration 2010 - current:

80% Paleo/90% Primal ? - Modified Paleo with 1.0 views, more dairy and less nuts than my first time around (in the form of hard cheese and heavy cream) and some long-term (2-3 month) experiments with safe starches. Also, I tend to cheat a little more often - with alcohol and certain gluten free foods (comprised mostly of foods that start with "tac" and end with "os"). I would say that I've had about 1 dozen "free weekends" where I ate decidedly un-paleo for Fridays and Saturdays since November 2010.

1
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on May 10, 2011
at 02:48 PM

Strict 5.5; Years 2+

Before this I was: Strict 4 for about 3 years

Before this I was: Strict 3 for 10+ years (but didn't know it had a name (Paleo) at the time. Just doing what worked for my body.)

1
8564091e3cf82ea53843c0dbcf57857a

(990)

on March 20, 2010
at 07:58 PM

Strict 6 for 2 years.

I eat homemade yogurt only because it helps my health. Hard aged cheeses because them seem ok. Other than that no milk, no cream cheese etc.

1
58a55f0986b8f49a8bc5666e10492569

on March 19, 2010
at 01:35 AM

Strict 6; Months 120

1
8347d512bca9b034d53da40dab8cd21c

on March 18, 2010
at 03:26 AM

Strict 5.5, months 2 and rising.

1
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on March 18, 2010
at 02:45 AM

Strict 4.5, months 10.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 18, 2010
at 01:34 AM

I have probably been about 3.5 for the past month and heading to 4 then 5 for sure. My worst cheats are the odd beer here in hot Mexican weather( it goes down SO good when you have been packing bricks in the sun!) and U-brew red wine for happy hour and with dinner.

1
0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

on March 17, 2010
at 08:27 PM

Some definitions in order. I suppose I am closest to 7, 100% Paleo, but for the fact that I occasionally have tomatoes, peppers, avocados, eggplants some new world plant foods/nightshades on rare (2-3 x a month). No dairy, grains, sugars, alcohol, added salt etc, so not really a category for me there, maybe 6.8

1
5740abb0fa033403978dd988b0609dfd

on March 17, 2010
at 07:06 PM

Me and our two small children -- Strict 2; Months 2

Wife -- Strict 4; Months 2

0
F6422a1f1bd72157b58c61da4acc74e1

(25)

on November 16, 2013
at 04:50 PM

i'm at about a 4.5,3 years in. happy at this level of immersion for maintenance and health with sanity relatively intact. Tried whole 30 twice and while the results were good i find it causes me to worry too much about food an sets me up to binge eat.

0
F6422a1f1bd72157b58c61da4acc74e1

(25)

on November 16, 2013
at 04:47 PM

maybe 4.2 for about 3 years. Aiming for 6 long term but it's hard to kick sweeteners, the occasional legume (peanuts, kidney beans) when there's no food in our share-house and beers when i'm out an drop my guard a bit.

4 works for maintenance but in my experiments with strict paleo e.g. whole 30 i usually start to drop weight again.

0
85063620a49720d8c7c3fb0a5805105e

on November 16, 2013
at 03:07 AM

I am a strict 6, for 8 months.

My husband, well that is another story, he is a 3. He cannot seem to give up the hamburger bun. He gave up everything else though.

0
A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on November 11, 2013
at 03:43 AM

Not strict enough :/

0
Fa14fbe0ac345e586fb407dbed9eda04

on November 05, 2013
at 01:57 AM

lacto paleo with high ffatay dairy(28% cheeses, butter, whole(3. 8%) or higher milk).

cheat weekly with 1 carbonated drink(250cc bottle or a 330cc can).

my carb intake consists of potatoes, sweet potatoes and fruit.

I do however, drink about three pints of beer every other week or so with my friends.

been paleo for about 4 months now.

0
Medium avatar

on November 04, 2013
at 10:19 PM

A strong 4 it seems...

0
47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on November 04, 2013
at 09:28 PM

3 trying to get back on the wagon.

0
95ab15c8ef50ff0daf87ccbdd52cd3b8

(2384)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

I dunno, I guess 5ish. I never had much of a sweet tooth so avoiding sweet stuff isn't much of a challenge. Nearly everything I eat is homemade by me. I don't worry about incidental amounts of sugar or cornstarch (like in a homemade stir-fry sauce), but I avoid nearly all processed foods, all "sweets" (other than 85% chocolate) and baked goods, and use good fats almost exclusively. I eat very little dairy other than butter and occasional hard cheese. I eat potatoes or rice occasionally, maybe 3 times a month; corn less often, and gluten grains and unfermented soy not at all. Most -- 80% or so -- of my meat comes from a local farm that raises it the right way.

I started almost a year ago and I've done a lot of experimenting along the way. Hard to say when I settled on the above... probably 3 months ago, give or take.

0
9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e

(298)

on April 16, 2012
at 05:34 PM

Strict 5 +/-, and Months 10

If there's a good beer around, I want it, and there's still Easter candy at my house.....

0
1785f576c1b6ad77b547f9443a469359

on April 16, 2012
at 05:16 PM

4 or 5 ; I fall off the wagon periodically and don't beat myself up about it. about 5 months

Going to go for a strict 10 for a month to "wash out" .... have to start "NOW" since I just ate some cookies after lunch.

0
3ab63fb5ddb0180f2ebb077c487fbbc4

on April 16, 2012
at 04:45 PM

Only been Paleo for 5 weeks, stayed a strict 7 the entire time.

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on April 16, 2012
at 11:52 AM

100% PALEO, 90% of the time.

0
3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on April 16, 2012
at 11:48 AM

Strict Paleo-Lacto for 6 weeks: #6

0
99aca1e07394135ea1e040582ce54b4d

on April 16, 2012
at 10:55 AM

Between a 5 and 6 - some weeks 5, some weeks 6.

Coming up to 6 months.

0
Fc891327db916c10347b008acde0daca

(1022)

on April 16, 2012
at 10:34 AM

4/5 I guess, 6 months

0
A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

on April 16, 2012
at 01:30 AM

I'm just getting started both with the diet and here on Paleohacks.

Months: .5 (two weeks today, actually) Strict: 4 or 5, depending on classification of drinking.

I'm a home brewer and have suspended the hobby for the moment. I've done a few GF beers, but I'm mostly sticking to clear spirits (I love my Martinis!) and wine for the relaxing drink or three after work.

0
1bbcd2122d9c75b07440f22ef57d6448

(2934)

on April 16, 2012
at 01:11 AM

Strict: 5 Months: 2.5

I did a full 30 days of strict paleo -- no grains, sugar, dairy, nothing. The end of that fell right around the start of my crew season, and I added dairy in (for the easy calories and convenience) without problems. I follow the model outlined in Loren Cordain's Paleo for Athletes, and my cheats all fall in the "post-training" window where I have a bit more leeway in what I eat; still, these are small (a scoop of ice cream or a cookie) and infrequent. I was following a paleo-ish diet before I switched, minimizing carbs but not excluding grains; since I've switched I find myself aiming for higher carb and moderate protein and fat to keep up with my training.

0
Bf2291448a06d573f0fdc87cd514e512

on April 16, 2012
at 12:53 AM

I love eating paleo and the lifestyle of it, but living in a frat house I tend to lack willpower to eat paleo all the time..but it's usually beer or cookies that gets me. But I'm fine with that - until I'm able to completely sustain myself on my own and actually have uber amounts of money, I'm going to remain at a 4.

0
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on April 15, 2012
at 10:43 PM

4/5, since August 2010

Started off as a strict Paleo for about 5-6 months, then started including starches and have felt much better ever since.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 15, 2012
at 09:22 PM

7, 6 days a week....

Date night is sushi, chocolate bar and movie.

0
A1a7413b99e03bc77f02d95c4170ea43

on April 15, 2012
at 08:56 PM

Probably 5. A year and a half.

0
16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

on April 15, 2012
at 08:46 PM

Strict 5.5 since January 2012 (pastured butter is my only dairy, no gluten, low carb), before that I was a 6 for 2+ years - with very very little cheats at all ever.

0
5b5abb28f3cacf4f5a01497f2895d072

(238)

on April 15, 2012
at 08:38 PM

Pretty strict 5 or 6 days a week, my wife can't (won't) follow the diet so one day a week eating what she wants makes things easier.

0
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on May 31, 2011
at 08:28 AM

Strict 5 . Months 18.

0
47e1e207e9cd7df2a5adcf571f17f76f

(288)

on May 31, 2011
at 01:37 AM

Strict - a combo of 4/5; Months - 6

0
2ab6415f5f20b8fe1d34a94c7be85e6a

on May 31, 2011
at 12:45 AM

Strict 5; months 3

0
C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

on May 30, 2011
at 11:10 PM

Strict: 5

Months: 16

Improved just about everything: Priceless

0
19f284f6a288385785998c9abe851d5b

on May 10, 2011
at 10:00 PM

Strict 5; Months 3

0
3b803506ca7d7b5796bc16ee5b9f11d3

on May 10, 2011
at 08:27 PM

I'll say a 5, 20 months in.

0
61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on May 10, 2011
at 07:59 PM

Strict: 4/5; Months: 6

Considering cutting out dairy/nightshades (allergy issues), but haven't yet made the leap.

0
0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

on May 10, 2011
at 07:43 PM

5, but with as few cheats and as little dairy as possible, for 3 months now.

0
43d33eea1cbc69af32352b1753a40458

on May 10, 2011
at 06:07 PM

Strict 4; Months 12 - 2010

Strict 6; Months 5 current

0
91219405abedbfd400ce00dea242a00f

(1044)

on May 10, 2011
at 02:57 PM

Was:

Strict 5, Months 3

Now:

Strict 6, Months 3

0
1d952d225819b0229e93160a90bf9bf8

on May 10, 2011
at 02:41 PM

4 or 5 ish,6 months.Fell off the wagon hard the last two weeks(vacation, lot of bar trips,easter candy,too many Mexican restaurants with big chip baskets and slow service).Slowly getting back to normal after realizing how crappy I feel.

0
B7fec4bf394de8dfa6403067aea94e1b

on May 10, 2011
at 01:49 PM

From 0 to almost 6 (cheats about 2 times a month), 9 months.

Cururently, almost 6; 2 months.

0
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on May 10, 2011
at 12:09 PM

I'm pretty much lacto-paleo at about a 5. Beer once or twice a week and maybe something made of corn or rice.

0
012cd1af3a019840bf276eafab2dfb69

(0)

on May 10, 2011
at 11:40 AM

Strict 5; Months 8

0
9cfa1ab909f6f89544be665d4ef6e3ea

on May 02, 2010
at 12:06 PM

Strict: 6

Months: 10

0
23e12b6f370a326165c219ea46b06a18

on May 02, 2010
at 02:09 AM

A couple of months (still learning). I avoid,processed foods, grains, rice, pasta. I do eat Greek yogurt 2-3x a week with curd...I cook with dabs of butter now looking for grass fed beef tallow...my treat is pure dairy icecream, 2x a month and 80% chocolate here and there...eating a lot of greens grass fed proteins and farm raised eggs from a local farmer..some fruit and nuts...fish oil from Nutisea...enjoying it so I would say I'm about a 4/5

0
A27774151362c5e398adbe70e5de657d

(288)

on March 22, 2010
at 12:53 AM

4.5 for years would be my closest placement based on your chart.

I do regularly use a sprouted grain english muffin (3 time a week) for burgers, but that's about as WAPF as I go.

0
D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 19, 2010
at 11:09 AM

Between 5 and 6.; months 18

The cheat meals consisting of the Swedish version of black pudding (= 52g carbs, some wheat and rye flour) w/ lingonberries & bacon once a month or so. Occasionally I go crazy on Turkish yoghurt (10%).

I don't really feel that having a sandwich, pasta or similar is a "cheat meal" as it just makes me hungry! :-)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 22, 2010
at 03:24 AM

Evil black pudding. When I lived in Sweden I thought it was kind of paleo until I learned enough Swedish to read the ingredients: mjöl, söcker...blargh.

D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 22, 2010
at 08:58 AM

Indeed; the one I eat is "barnblodpudding" which has extra iron, fiber, rye flour and no added sugar, so at 13g starch/100g I really don't mind having that once in a while...

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 18, 2010
at 10:09 PM

7- was doing some butter and yogurt, not a lot. now off it. cheat with a smoothie coffee and whip cream or dark chocolate once every 2 weeks. paleo 7 months.

0
Ce0b5fd94b1034e96cf710b6f138c29d

on March 18, 2010
at 08:34 PM

Strict 7, seven weeks.

0
Fd35eb89073e3a758066b7fcaad63d7c

on March 18, 2010
at 08:43 AM

Strict 4.5 months 2

0
F5652c7726ee903e9f55945bdf377d06

on March 18, 2010
at 04:58 AM

Strict 5 for 2 1/2 years

0
F5652c7726ee903e9f55945bdf377d06

on March 18, 2010
at 04:57 AM

Strict 5 for 2 1/2 years

-2
70d9359a2086e890a4c3bccb2ba8a8cb

(2254)

on March 18, 2010
at 06:42 PM

Strict:5, Months: 18

(assuming that "Paleo" doesn't necessarily mean that all meat is grass-fed, organic, etc.)

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