Why Paleo is not the Answer for Everyone

banging-head-against-wallInsanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result. (Said by somebody in the past … repeated way too often … but true, still.)



For the past 6 or 7 years I’ve been immersed in the Paleo movement.  I’ve eaten mostly unprocessed foods.  I’ve really enjoyed fatty meat. I’ve shunned simple carbs … and I’m fat.  I’m in decent shape in that I can participate in sports, get up and down a flight of stairs without dying and go for a good long afternoon hike with my kids.  But I’m still fat.

Paleo told me that I did not have to count calories.  Paleo said that if I ate lots of fat, but little to no carbs that the fat calories would not count.  I even pushed the limits of Paleo and lived in Ketosis for weeks at a time.  But I’m still fat.

30 Days ago, I decided that I was going to make some changes in my life.  I created my own 30 Day challenge with weight loss being one of the main components.  I worked at it pretty hard using Very Low Carb Paleo.  I lost some water weight and that was it.  (I know it was water weight because in 2 days of higher carb eating after 30 days I was right back to my original weight.)

If something is not working, you can either take on the guilt and blame for your failure or you can take a sharp left turn and try something different.  My belief system in Paleo was really the biggest issue for me.  After years of laughing at CICO (calories in, calories out) people and living with the hope that all that fat I was eating was not a problem, I had to try something different … because I am fat.

Before I go on, Paleo apparently works for some people … even many people.  There are countless stories of metabolic changes, large amounts of weight loss and generally life saving stuff.  There are 1000’s of good looking dudes and dudettes that eat low carb or Paleo.  And, I do think there are major advantages to eating the ‘outside of the isles.’  It just did not work for me.

I came to the conclusion that my experiment was the equivalent of banging my head against a wall.  I was getting the same result every time.  If I wanted different results, I would have to take a sharp left turn and try a different experiment.  Here we go!

Calories In vs Calories Out (CICO)

CICO basically says, if you take in the same amount of calories as you expend, your weight will stay the same.  If you take in less than what you expend, you will lose weight.  And most importantly, if you take in more calories than you expend, you will gain weight.  This 3rd part is where I believe I’ve been for several years.  Ingesting copious amounts of fat with my ‘meat and veggies’ meant that I was almost always taking in more calories that what I was expending … and I am fat. (Did I say that already? lol.)  My sharp left turn was shaking (or try to shake) the belief that calories don’t count. When you’ve held a belief system for so long, it can be hard to break … so this breaking will be an ongoing task for me.  The task of turning left lead me to the desire for a roadmap = a troubleshooting chart so to speak.  Because I could not trust my own thinking on this topic I decided to:

Find an Expert

As I set out to learn about CICO, I quickly came to the conclusion that there are WAY too many ‘experts’ out there.  People can speak with authority online and be perceived as being an expert and the reader will never know if they are full of crap or not. That is probably how I got to be where I am now (fat.)  So I made a list of criterion that my ‘expert’ was going to need to fill:

  • Had to be a CICO type of ‘expert’ (One who believes calories do count.)
  • Had to be in obvious good shape himself (I also wanted a male as I believe that men and women do sometime think differently especially when it comes to self image.)
  • Had to charge for information (Anybody can talk online, but if you charge for what you talk about, you have a much higher level of responsibility.)
  • Had to know how to breakdown calories for my weight loss (Give me a plan … I don’t know what I don’t know at this point. I need it made simple to start.)
  • Had to have a long list of satisfied customers with good results
  • And I wanted ongoing help to bring me through any setbacks (not totally necessary, but was something I felt I would need.)

BTW, this is how you would chose a car mechanic, an appliance repairman, a home renovator … any ‘expert’ really.  Don’t leave these choices up to chance.  Take responsibility for your decisions.

Enter the Sandman … actually Jason from Anyman fitness.

Check out Jason's amazing physique (no homo ... lol.)

Check out Jason’s amazing physique (no homo … lol.)

When I set out to find my ‘expert’,  Google was totally useless.  There are a million and one trainers and every single one of them is a total expert and completely ready to make you look great … unfortunately it was nearly impossible to weed out the scammers from the legit guys.  Even dropping anybody pushing foods or supplements still left me with way too many to chose from.

(Hint to other potential trainers: If I have to buy your food, or your pills for the rest of my life, I’m not interested.  I’m not looking for a marriage, just your knowledge.)

So I turned to Twitter and checked my timeline where I found Jason … we did not follow each other but we followed mutual people.  I checked up on him, and found he fit all of my prerequisites plus I trusted the people who were our mutual ‘friends’ on Twitter.  (I say friends, but I’ve never really met any of them … you know what I mean.)  BTW, for those building businesses, this is another way of finding clients.  Jason is active on the Social webs and is not afraid to post his opinion but does not sound like a total stuck up dick … something I found a lot of in my search for my expert.  Anyway, after watching Jason on Youtube, reading his Twitter feed and website, I decided to make contact and see what he had to say.  And here we are …

Shell out a Few Shells

So with the exchange of some mooooola, we are locked into a path together for the next 3 months.  After a series of questions and some intimate details, Jason drew up an eating plan (well, he gave me my macro counts along with food suggestions) and a basic workout plan.  I took a series of measurements and some really bad ‘before’ photos and now we get on with the work part.  I’ll do a proper review of Jason and his service after we have gone through an appropriate amount of time, but so far I’m happy with my purchase.

Keeping It Honest and Authentic

I decided it would be best for me to blog about this process to keep myself honest.  Making changes in a life can be hard … using ‘stupid human tricks’ like being publicly accountable can make change easier, or at least give yourself a better chance at success.  Don’t hide your candle – shine!

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