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It has become increasingly obvious to me that a great many people believe that this paleo thing begins and ends at the dinner table. If this is you, you could probably use a little wider perspective and a little less frustration.
The trouble is in our nature. When it comes to health and nutrition, people tend to look for one specific thing they can put their finger on that, if fixed, will relieve them of all their problems. We have plenty of examples of this fatal flaw in action. We blame heart disease on cholesterol, obesity on fast food, and an entire flawed government on whoever happens to be president. This same attitude causes many people to search for that one magical diet, movement, or supplement that will finally get them results when nothing else has worked. If paleo is just another trip down that road for you, you are likely to think of it as a “diet”. But remember, “The Paleo Diet” is simply human nutrition from an evolutionary perspective. I have said it 1,000 times, “diet” should not be a verb! Stop doing diets. I have heard from more people than I can count who seem to be doing diets like pushing the next button and then staring intently at their bodies for 3 to 5 weeks. When they don’t get the aesthetic results they want they get frustrated. What they are missing is the all important health factor in all of this. I know I sometimes sound like a broken record, but you will eventually end up frustrated if you only pursue aesthetic goals without consideration for improving your health. Don’t get me wrong, you may reach your goal, you just won’t be able to maintain it for a lifetime like you will if you truly get healthy.
Following this same line of thinking, it is silly to expect to eat the natural human diet without consideration for anything else that made you human. I hate to say that paleo is a “lifestyle” because that word is almost as over used and irritating as “diet”, but it’s really true. I think most of us understand that there is more to health than just food. Think about someone in your world who is your age and truly healthy. Please note that I said healthy, not skinny. (If you are overweight you may have a tendency to measure health in size. Stop doing that. The opposite of fat is not healthy.) Most of you pictured a person who is lean, well muscled but not bulky, full of energy, and happy. Now try to name the “diet” that will get you a body just like that. Okay, stop wracking your brain, it doesn’t exist. Getting healthy will require proper exercise, good sleep patterns, stress management, and proper nutrition.
Proper exercise means moving like a human. Lift heavy things, sprint, jump, climb, throw, push, pull, crawl, and walk. Avoid “cardio,” but sometimes work plenty hard to get out of breath. You might need some help in the beginning. Form is important if you want to maintain a body that will still do all these things for years to come. Get mobile, as well. Do not underestimate mobility!
Go to bed! I have recently been roped into creating a Facebook page and I now know what you are all doing in the middle of the night. Log-out and get some sleep. Sleep might be the most underestimated necessity of all. Bad sleep patterns can rob you of your chances of ever reaching your goals, whatever they may be, and fat loss goals are no exception. Bad sleep = elevated cortisol = midsection pudginess, among other things.
Stress management is something you will have to figure out for yourself. I don’t know the causes of your stress, but please take the time to evaluate their worth. Is your stress coming from something you legitimately can’t avoid, or is it self imposed and unnecessary? Are you putting up with bad people in your life? Could you be looking for another job? Promise me you will give your stress some thought. You may not be able to change anything at the moment, but it’s worth addressing.
Finally, proper nutrition is what this sight is all about. The basics are all here. Start reading.
Some of these things will be best effort for some people. For example, if you are a fire fighter you are gong to lose some sleep every few nights. Do what you can in that area and try to make up for it by having your exercise, nutrition, and stress dialed in. In other words, you may not be able to turn your life into that of an indigenous hunter/gatherer, but small deviations from the plan are no excuse to throw the baby out with the bath water. Do your absolute best and keep moving forward. And keep us posted on your results!