Way back in June I made the move across the country. From Albuquerque, NM to Winston-Salem, NC. It was a long trip down I-40 and gave me plenty of time to reflect on how my life had changed during my time in New Mexico.
One area of my life that had not really progressed was my physical fitness. When I moved from Kansas to New Mexico I was in pretty good shape. I ate a pretty healthy diet and did a lot of work at the gym. In New Mexico my goal changed from getting into great shape to helping my friends get into great shape. I think we made some good progress but it was easy for me to slack on my goals during this time.
When I made the move, I decided that my goal was to get back into really great shape. I want to be able to run a marathon and get a six pack. These were goals I had when I started working out and getting in shape. I knew that this would be my chance to really control my diet and lifestyle.
The first couple of weeks in Winston-Salem I was cooking all my own food and riding my bike everywhere. I would even ride my bike to get groceries. It seemed like a great way to control the quantity of food I was eating. This was a great diet but it was not sustainable. I was spending all of my time riding my bike and cooking. By the time I had finished for the night, it was bedtime.
I ran across a website trying to figure out a way to build muscle without a gym. It is http://www.marksdailyapple.com. The website blew me away when I spent some time reading through the articles posted on it. It was more than I bargained for. It wasn’t just a diet, it was a lifestyle.
I ended up posting the website on my twitter feed (https://twitter.com/bodyfatcalcpro) and followed the lifestyle immediately. The diet portion of the primal blueprint is a low carb, high fat and high protein diet. It works on the premise that you can train your body to run off of fat rather than off of carbs.
Running off of fat is really important because it gives you the advantage of a constant energy level throughout the day. That is important to me because on my old diet, I would have eat for what I was planning on doing that day. So if I had planned to hit the gym hard that day, I needed to eat lots of calories. Likewise, if I was having a rest day, I needed to lighten up.
Of course that works great if your day goes exactly as planned. I’m sure many of you know that things come up and plans change. So on that days where I ate to hit the gym and I ended up not going, all those carbs I intaked turned into fat.
Another advantage of the primal diet is that I found a way to cook all of my meals ahead of time so I don’t spend time during the week doing all of my cooking. I am equipped with a microwave, a crockpot and an electric skillet and I’m able to do most of my cooking on Sunday for the week. Lots of beanless chili and shredded chicken / pork to make into various dishes during the evenings.
Since my energy level is not dependent on my immediate food intake, I can and do skip meals. Not only is this diet helping me stay healthy and allowing me to do my cooking on a single day a week, but it is actually supporting my lifestyle. I work late on most nights and like to go directly from work to social activities. Most nights I don’t eat dinner. On my old diet that would leave me energyless and fatigued. Not so with the primal diet. Since my body has a constant supply of fat to burn, my energy levels will last me through the night.
Some of you might question how well the diet actually works to lose weight. I can tell you that I’ve lost 20 pounds since I started it back in July. Those were the 20 pounds that never seemed to leave before and I lost them on this diet. The funny thing is that I had no idea. I randomly found a scale one day at work and I was shocked when it showed me 20 pounds down. The diet was working so well for me that I figured that I probably gained weight. I felt great. I had lots of energy. My diet was cheap to be on. The fact that I lost weight was a nice little bonus.
I’ve tried a bunch of diets during my life and here is the advice that I can give you. The diet that works great for me might not work well for you. Each body is different. Your lifestyle is going to change what your diet looks like. The primal (paleo) diet fits well for me right now. If you have a hard time fitting a diet that makes you healthy into your current lifestyle, this might be a good fit. I know it is a good fit for me.