On April 1st of this year I pulled the trigger and joined a weight loss program at Huber Personalized Medicine. On that day I weighed 283 pounds with a body fat percentage of 37.3. I had 75 pounds of risky fat. In other words I was obese. This was the most I ever weighed in my life. Aside from that I knew my body was unhealthy. You know it is time to lose weight when it is difficult to put your socks on! I could not wear my favorite t-shirts and had to wear the same shirts over and over. I knew it was time for a change but I could not find the strength on my own.
To understand my journey of weight loss lets rewind to August of 2010. On August 10th, I wrote How I Lost 30 Pounds. This was a good accomplishment. I have always battled with losing weight and then gaining it all back and usually more. I was on the right track of keeping the weight off and living a healthy lifestyle, or so I thought. Then, out of nowhere I lose focus. I revert back to my old eating habits. Before I knew it, I had gained the weight back that I worked so hard to lose.
Somewhere, along this journey I read an article on the primal/paleo lifestyle. It is gaining popularity now, but I first heard about paleo on The Survival Podcast. It is a relatively new lifestyle. Paleo is not a diet, it is a way of living. If you choose paleo, not only will you adjust your eating accordingly but working out is different too. Interested? Good, read below to learn more about paleo and how to jump-start fat loss.
What is Primal/Paleo?
- Ever heard of a caveman? I know we have come along way since then, but paleo takes its cue from a point in history when people had to hunt (meat), forage (veggies and fruits) and run or fight for your life (working out). Its simple, eat anything that nature provides. Avoid processed foods, breads and pastas, sweets and no soda! I went cold turkey and for the first seven days, I ate nothing but protein. You will need to retrain your body to use stored fat for energy. Your body probably uses carbohydrates for energy. When you cut-out that source your body looks elsewhere. When that happens your body becomes an efficient fat burning machine!
- There are similarities and differences between primal and paleo. Both, suggest to eat a low carb diet, cutting out grains, eating protein and veggies. The biggest difference is that paleo experts believe that saturated fats are bad. This is where I have to side with the primal side of things. Fat does not make you fat. I use butter, coconut oil and eggs as part of my diet.
What to Eat?
- Eggs – Lots of them! I usually eat five hard-boiled eggs a day.
- Meat – I buy ground turkey and make my sausage by adding the seasonings myself. I also use it to make turkey burgers. Bacon! Enough said, you should be on board already. Ground beef and steaks are on the table too but I tend to stick to the ground turkey. I eat processed meats (deli meats) occasionally, but when you do avoid the nitrates! They make nitrate free bacon and deli meats.
- Fish – I do not eat fish, I like it if it is prepared correctly and but no one is else my family does. I like meals that are quick and fish takes to long for me.
- Eat local and organic food when possible. Hit up farmers markets, fruit and vegetable stands or join a CSA (community supported agriculture). If you partake in a CSA you usually get produce in return for the work. A great way to reduce your food bill!
- Nuts – limit these to about a handful a day if your goal is to lose weight.
- Veggies – There are options to buy locally, make to sure to check them out!
- What about my sweet tooth? – Sweets and processed foods are on the bad list. Stay away as much as possible. You will reach a point when you can incorporate “paleo” friendly desserts. We have made some and taste as good or better than then sweets loaded with sugar and grains.
How to Work Out?
- Traditional ways of working out is wrong! Spending hours in the gym can be counter-productive for the body. If you have worked out before, you are aware that in order for the muscle to get stronger, tears must occur in the muscle and then the body rebuilds it. Our muscles are made for abuse. However, the joints and ligaments are not. Some suggest, that getting three to four hours a week is ample when it comes to working out.
- What about cardio? Spending an hour on (insert your favorite machine to bore you to death) is not efficient. If we take a cue from our paleo buddies, cardio would consist of interval training. Interval training is riding a bike (or whatever else you choose) for twenty minutes. For two minutes, maintain a moderate pace and for the next thirty seconds, max it out. Alternate back and forth until the twenty minutes is up. If you were running this would be a sprint. This emulates, the idea that our primal ancestors had to flee from a threat. This would require short bursts of energy to escape. No long distance running for them.
- Get off the couch! Our primal ancestors never worked out. Their lifestyle required them to be busy. If we stayed busy through homesteading our bodies would get in shape. Chopping wood is a great workout. Every man should grow a beard, throw on a flannel shirt and chop some wood. It is good for the soul.
- Huber Medicine – A great weight loss program that focuses on food and being active. Penny Krebs is the head honcho of the weight loss program. Tell her I sent you.
- Primal Power Method – I first heard about Gary Collins through the The Survival Podcast. I highly recommend reading his books if you want to dive into a primal lifestyle.
- Marks Daily Apple – Another great resource for going primal.
- Nerd Fitness– The nerdiest guide to going paleo. There are legos!
- Paleo 101 – A great introduction article on the Paleo lifestyle.
- I know, you are wondering how much weight and fat I have lost since I started! As I mentioned above, I weighed 283 pounds with a body fat percentage of 37.3. Which translates to 75 pounds of risky fat. I weighed in on June 4 and I weighed in at 241 pounds with a 28.5 body fat percentage. I now have 38 pounds of risky fat. I have lost 42 pounds, 8.8 percent body fat and dropped 37 pounds of risky fat! I did all of this in a little over two months! The program works! If you are on the fence about doing this, just start doing it. I went cold turkey but you can gradually work your way into the program. Good luck!