4 Steps to Successfully Staying Paleo

Written by Alice O'Brien

Sept. 2, 2015

The end of another long day, you are walking into the grocery store. Your hands grip the shopping cart and knuckles whiten. Your heart rate increases, and you feel a surge of anxiety. “Stay to the edges of the store.” you tell yourself.

You walk to the produce department and get the organic broccoli, cauliflower, an onion, spinach, and romaine lettuces. Your cart is filling with all the things you have been told to eat. You are feeling better, heart rate has come down. Then your mind fills with the thoughts of your success. You haven't had bread in two weeks. You stopped having the candy at the office, and you haven't had a bowl of cereal in a month. A smile crosses your face.

Onward to the meat department and you get the organic chicken breast in a styrofoam container, and browse the beef, but just pass by, as there is none labeled “grass fed”. A pound of kerrygold butter and some eggs that have “cage free” printed on the box.

Walking toward the checkstand smile again, thinking how you had a coffee with butter instead of breakfast. You walk past the bakery and see the muffin you used to grab on the way to work. Bran muffin with raisins. Sounds harmless, and you skipped breakfast, and you have been so good for almost a month now. So you have the baker place one in a bag, and you tell yourself that you will split it your spouse.

You get home and unload the groceries, make dinner, clean and then finally you have a moment to relax. You think about the muffin, the thoughts won't go away. You tell yourself it’s a treat and will just be for tonight. You cut it in half but put the whole thing on the plate. You remember that you used to have ice cream as a dessert. This prompts you to make the late night drive to the ice cream store.

Falling into bed you are full, uncomfortable and feel guilty. “I did it again.. I failed another diet.” The words echo in your head for hours. Is there a better way to get healthy and stick to an eating plan?

Step 1: Take Labels off of Food

Some people call foods “good” or “bad” or “fattening” or “inflammatory” The truth is that they are all just FOOD. When you remove the label, you remove the power. You should be the one with the power. Don't create a better relationship with food, eliminate it. You don't have relationships with inanimate objects. Food should be the same way. Use food as a means of nutrition and sustenance.

Step 2: Make the Choice for Health

The first step is to make the personal choice that things need to change to reach health.. Assess your current health and diet. Answer the following questions:

Is your diet holding you back from the health that you want?

Are you eating nutrient dense foods?

Have you sought out resources for information on the most nutrient dense foods?

By answering these questions, you may develop a greater desire to stick to a Paleo diet that will assist you to your goals. When the diet becomes a tool that HELPS, instead of a RESTRICTION, it makes the food choices easier.

Step 3: Don't Deprive Yourself

Often when people start on a Paleo diet, they see the reduced food list and then instinctively reduce the amount of food that they consume. When that happens, you set yourself up for hunger and feelings of deprivation.

I recommend that when starting on a Paleo diet, you eat plenty and often, up to 5 times per day. This will help you reduce the feelings of being restricted.

Step 4: Assess Your Stress

We all know that a rough day at the office, a bill we didn't expect, or a fight with a loved one can make intelligent food choices more difficult. The reason for this is biological. It doesn't have anything to do with virtue or willpower. When the stress response system is activated, the body prepares for fight or flight. It does this by releasing hormones that boost blood sugar. If your hormonal system is less than perfect, the body may have trouble creating the sugar it needs, so it asks your brain to get some..NOW!!! This is where stress management, and meditation can help turn off the stress response and reduce that desire for “off plan’ food choices.

Still Need Help?

Perhaps you’ve read many articles like this, and you’re still having trouble sticking with a Paleo diet. Look up and to the right (or scroll down if you're reading on your phone) and you see a little form. Fill out the form and I’ll email you our What We Eat eBook. No meal plans, shopping lists or recipes. Just pictures and a few words from our resident food scientist about what she and her family eat. If you’ve read the book and you’re still having problems, schedule a free consultation we’ll work through what is going on together and come up with a plan that may include coaching, support and testing.

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