A few weeks ago, I chatted on the phone for a while with Louise Hendon from www.PaleoMagazine.com. We compared notes on what we love about the Paleo diet, and in this guest post, Louise shares one of the biggest benefits she got from going Paleo.
Getting Old at 20
I’m not exaggerating at all when I say that about halfway through college, I started feeling like I was getting old.
First of all, I started gaining weight. Not much, but a little bit here and there. More to the point, though, I kept getting tired and sleepy, I kept forgetting things, and I didn’t feel young any more.
Looking back, it’s not all that surprising. While I’d eaten pretty healthily as a kid, my favorite foods in college were chicken pot pie, cheese on toast (I’m British, and that’s what we call it…), cheap ramen, cheap wine, and digestive biscuits (the British version of cookies).
Not exactly a diet that screams out youth and vigor, huh?
So I Was Feeling Less Than Ideal…But What Possessed Me to Go Paleo???
Going Paleo was a huge decision for me. Seriously.
When I said that my favorite foods were ramen, toast, and biscuits, what I really meant was that those foods were a very significant portion of my meals. So going Paleo was a big deal.
And that’s why it took me a while. I didn’t actually go Paleo until several years later, when I was in law school. At that time, I’d started gaining even more weight, which was really starting to bother me.
I’d dieted a few times by then, but I HATED counting calories and restricting how much I ate. And I wasn’t very keen on spending a lot of time in the gym.
So, with some reluctance, I decided to try a Paleo diet. Which, it turns out, was a very good thing…
Benefits Beyond Weight Loss
Eating a Paleo diet to lose weight worked for me. I very quickly lost much of the weight I’d gained over the prior few years, and I started easily keeping it off.
And I know that’s what a lot of people are looking for.
But for me, the “side-effects” of going Paleo were much greater, and I didn’t expect any of them.
In college, I remember waking up most mornings and feeling very smart and very clear. I could recall equations (I was a physics major), I could easily solve problem sets, and everything seemed pretty easy.
But that was just my morning…
Shortly after I woke up, I would have buttered toast and tea with milk for breakfast. And then, my brain would just shut down. By 10.30am, I would be crawling back into bed, wondering what on earth had just happened, and the rest of the day would be no better.
And law school had been much the same experience.
But after switching over to a Paleo diet, everything changed for me. Like magic, I wasn’t falling asleep in the middle of the day anymore. I felt full of energy all day long. And my mind was clear even in the afternoon!
I can’t fully convey in words the beauty of feeling full of energy and excitement all day. However, it is by far the benefit of a Paleo diet that I am most grateful for every day.
Can You Get the Same Energy, Weight Loss, and More?
Everybody has a slightly unique experience, but my experience is certainly not unique. Many other people have experienced a surge in energy and mental clarity after staring a Paleo diet.
If you want to gain more energy, then here are 3 things to consider, even after you go Paleo:
- Make sure you don’t eat carbs for breakfast. Foods like sweet potatoes, fruits, and honey are definitely considered Paleo, but if you eat them for breakfast, they will often make you feel tired quickly.
- Get your adrenals and thyroid checked out. This could be especially important if you feel chronically tired.
- Sleep more. This seems like an obvious one, but yet it’s often the hardest to implement. I have had to make sleep my #1 priority for 6 months in order to correct my bad sleeping habits.
Ready to Start a Paleo Diet? Here’s What to Do…
If you’re new to the whole Paleo concept but want to try it out to see if it can also help you lose weight, gain more energy, and generally make your life better, then follow these 4 steps:
- Read http://thepaleovangelist.com/2015/07/20/how-to-start-eating-paleo-a-guide-to-the-paleo-diet/ on starting Paleo.
- Try some delicious Paleo recipes – like these.
- Pick up some Paleo snacks (like these) to keep with you in case you’re out or have to miss breakfast or lunch one day.
- Forgive yourself and enjoy the ride. It’s ok if you eat a burger one day or have a slice at pizza during a work lunch. Recognize that you were hungry and chose to eat that, but that you’re choosing to eat a Paleo diet again the next day.
And if you want more tips, then definitely download our free book, “15 Common Paleo Pitfalls”.