Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Diets - the good, the bad and the ugly

Michelle Koen wrote a great post yesterday about diets and specifically looked at a few that are trendy right now. One that she mentioned is the Paleo diet - which, if you've been reading this blog for a while, you'd know I dabble in now and then.

Like Michelle, I prefer to take a nutrition approach like Paleo and bend it to my will...that's my way of saying that I modify the "rules" to suit myself. I don't believe that dairy is evil or that grains will kill me. I do prefer to keep grains and other starches to a moderate level, rather than build all of my meals around them, as most folks tend to do.

On the weekend I decided I'd do a couple of days of Kek-style Paleo eating, mainly because I had a weight goal I was aiming to hit on Monday, and I know that a few modifications to my meals can kick that along a bit. So I dropped grains and starchy veggies entirely for two days, piled extra green leafy stuff on my plate and upped my fruit intake to push my carbohydrates up to an acceptable level. I also ate yoghurt - any nutrition approach that bans yoghurt is never going to win me as a fan...

Some interesting things happened:
1. I got a lot more creative with my food (kale chips or paleo pancakes, anyone?)
2. I was not hungry, except shortly before dinner time, which is completely normal for me.
3. 500g disappeared in two days and I hit my goal.

Yesterday I had my usual big bowl of oats for breakfast, then went back to my half-arsed Paleo eating for the rest of the day. I think I'll continue on with it for a bit, throwing in some oats when I feel the need.

So, my point? I guess it's this: Slavishly following a diet that you find difficult and unpleasant is never going to work as a long-term approach. But taking something that's popular and modifying it to suit you can be a good thing. Just do your research first and understand why it works and how it's likely to affect you.

I'm off to finish my Paleo pancake with mixed berries and yoghurt...


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