I'm now 8 months and 30 pounds into my journey of fitness, kicked off last Christmas after having read Tim Ferriss' Four-Hour Body and Gary Taubes' Why We Get Fat. Through 2011, I've been continuously studying fitness and nutrition, and have recently been ingesting many books, blogs, podcasts, movies, and websites, several of which lean toward the Paleo flavor of the low-carb diet. The first thing I noticed when reading The Paleo Diet is that I'd actually been eating this way for awhile, since I'd started with 4HB and had pretty much dropped all of the beans out of the diet other than Chipotle salads, and I'd added in a lot of fruit (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, in addition to juicing an apple or two into my "green lemonade".
There's a bit of controversy around Paleo or other low-carb diets (or any diet in existence for that matter), and I still regularly discuss the pros and cons of the diets with friends and family, but all I can say is what I'm personally experiencing, especially after having transitioned into a Paleo Diet more fully:
- I'm still continuing to lose weight at the rate of 1-2 pounds per week
- My energy is still sky high
- My allergies, hives, and asthma have gone away
- I sleep soundly through every night, and wake up ready to jump out of bed on most days
- My blood pressure has continued to drop into more optimal numbers
- My strength numbers have continued to increase (from two pull-ups to six, and now jogging an 11:00 minute-mile when I previously couldn't jog a full mile without stopping mid-way to catch my breath)
I'll be going back in for another round of blood work soon to ensure that all the numbers still look great, and in the mean time, I'm actively seeking out local grass-fed beef and dairy, omega-3 eggs, wild-caught fish, et cetera.
As for my latest stats, since I haven't been in for blood work again yet, I just have the following to report:
- Weight: 163 (down from 191 in December, and 172 in June)
- Waist Size: 34" (down from 41" in December, and 36" in June)
- Body fat: 15% (down from 26% in December and 17% in June)
- Pull-ups: 6 (up from 0 in December and 2-3 in June)
- Blood Pressure: 115/70 (down from 130/85 in December, and 122/74 in June)
My main focus over the next few months will be bringing down body fat from 15% to 10%, and increasing strength. It's been a very interesting year, and I feel like I've learned a lot. I still don't have scientific proof that this diet/lifestyle is the best over the long haul, but it has definitely worked wonders for me over the past year.
I thought this might be a good time to summarize the things I've implemented over the past year, ranging from what I believe had the most impact and I'd most strongly recommend, to those things which may have had less impact or are more controversial.
Other than on rare special occasions, I generally stick to the following rules:
- Cut out all soft drinks, both naturally and artificially sweetened.
- Cut out general sugar and artificial sweeteners from everywhere in the diet.
- Cut out all sugary or processed snacks (this does not include berries or other low GL fruit).
- Cut out all potato chips, french fries, and potatoes.
- Cut out white bread and anything made with white flour.
- Seek out grass-fed beef, pastured pork/poultry, and wild-caught fish.
- Eat whole foods whenever possible.
- Eat something green with every meal (salad, kale, broccoli, spinach, et cetera). 9.Cut out all bread and wheat products.
- Cut out or limit dairy products (unless you have access to grass-fed/raw dairy, which is rare).
- Supplement "green intake" by drinking "green juice"
As for what I've recently been reading/watching/listening to:
- The Paleo Diet
- Nourishing Traditions
- Why We Get Fat
- Body for Life (coming back to the book that originally got me started after about 10 years)