On our East Coast Extravaganza, I told Erin that I was ready to commit to any kind of diet that she wanted to go on. I was heavy, low energy, and wanting to change something.
She first started us out on a three-week body transformation. The goal was to transform us from carb burning vessels into fat burning vessels. It was similar to, but not exactly like Mark Sisson’s 21-Day Transformation. Mark’s Primal Blueprint philosophy was what we eventually adopted.
At first, I didn’t think it would be something sustainable. I was skeptical, just like I am of any diet program. How do you make something a lifestyle rather than just a diet? Since 2009, I’ve simply been on a rollercoaster of going back and forth from overweight to normal, overweight to normal. I would like something that eliminates the roller coaster and keeps me at a normal weight.
And I think I’ve found it.
Time still has to dictate whether this will work in the long run, but I have high hopes. There are a lot of things that you have to give up living a Primal Blueprint lifestyle. Grains are the toughest. As skeptical as you may be about giving up grains, when you read the science behind what grains do to our bodies and learn about our diets from an evolutionary biological standpoint, and then feel the difference in energy and hunger levels, it is easier than you think to remove grains from your diet.
And what is great, is that it doesn’t have to be for good. As long as you stick with the diet 80% of the time, you will lose and/or maintain a healthy weight. Anything that doesn’t assume and allow a little cheating now and then will simply not work. As James Crumley said, “never trust a man who doesn’t drink.”
We arrived home from our trip at the end of June. It has now been 4 months since we got back. Here is a snapshot of my weight logging app, Libra.
The Primal Blueprint may not be right for you. Here are some things I like about it that you should try and find in any kind of diet and/or workout plan.
- It should not depend on purchasing THEIR product. Selling products is okay. After all, the people behind all of these diets are making this philosophy their life’s work, so they have to make an income.
- It should be a lifestyle, not just a diet program or just an exercise program.
- There should be a lot of research done (look for a thick bibliography).
- After a month of practicing the lifestyle, you should KNOW whether it is something you can stick with. Ask yourself…
- While in the losing stage, is it near effortless? While it the maintaining stage, it it completely effortless? Do you have more energy as a result? Are you sleeping better? Are you less gassy and/or bloated? Was the health screening looking top notch (or better than it was)? (All of these should be answered with yes. Otherwise, find something else).
What has really changed in my life is the way I work out. After reading the Primal Blueprint and browsing Primal Endurance, which delves in to more detail of the exercise portion of the Blueprint, I found out that my own workouts were not sustainable. It made sense, as I’ve noticed I have to change things up every so often as I get burned out.
I quit running in 2014 because I hated it. Now, it is back on the list of things I do again, because I’m not destroying my body doing it anymore.
I started CrossFit style workouts earlier this year, but had to back off of these intense style workouts. I have still maintained some of the CrossFit philosophy of changing up workouts almost every time I go to the gym, but now the intense ones are much less frequent. I found out that these types of “sprint” style workouts should only be done once every 7-10 days. All your workouts in between shouldn’t get your heart rate above 0.75*(210-age).
That is really easy to do exertion wise, but really hard to do mentally. It feels like you’re going to tip over on a bike. It feels like you’re walking instead of jogging. But the benefits are amazing. There is an amazing science here that you are privy to. You just need to check it out from your local library.
2 thoughts on “Living Primal”
Excellent work on your weight loss! I've come to the same conclusions you have over the last few years: there's more than one way to skin a cat, and if any system requires a lot of effort to sustain, you're unlikely to stick with it and should simplify (or try something else).
Thanks! It took much longer than all of my previous times, but it was much easier. Hopefully, that equates to something more sustainable.