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6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results
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I started a thread a while back where I asked for some advise regarding how to tackle the paleo diet: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/..._reply;so=ASC;mh=25;

I thought I would report back on the progress and results of my new eating habits, if someone might be interested.

  1. It's a lot easier than I had expected. I used to eat a LOT of bread. Some days I never ate anything but sandwiches. Bread or grains was part of almost every meal I could think of that I really loved: hamburgers, fajitas, pancake, pizza, sandwiches, subs, etc., etc. I naturally thought that cutting out all grains would be really, really hard, and to make the switch easier I planned as a first step I would only stop eating gluten and lactose products. So I stashed up on gluten free bread and spreads, not necessarily paleo, but without dairy products in them, like ajvar relish and olive tapenade. So that I could continue eating sandwiches for breakfast as I was used to. It didn't take more than a few weeks for me to realize that I was much better off skipping the bread altogether. I had come up with a breakfast formula that satisfied me way better than the 6-8 cheese sandwiches and a bowl of yogurt + cereal that I used to eat ever did . Most days now I eat 120 grams low fat bacon + 2 eggs, or a ham omelet with a fruit salad and it's so good and satisfying that I actually never even think about sandwiches anymore.
  2. I'm more ripped than ever. Just 5 weeks of paleo diet did more to alter my body composition, in the good way, than had 5 years of "elite" triathlon training. I started training at age 25 and soon became pretty good at triathlons at the national level here in Sweden. Being 25 when I started and not in great shape I've always had a belt of fat around my waist that no matter how hard I trained would never really disappear. I just thought that it would always be there. But what I have noticed now is that when I pinch the skin on my belly there just isn't that much left to pinch. There's a very noticeable difference there. Even the missus says I'm starting to get too skinny :) I should add that right now I don't train at all at the same level that I used to. I've been taking a ne year break from tris and this summer I've been training less than half of what I used to do, and I haven't done any riding or swimming at all last winter/spring. Still I managed a HIM PR last weekend in my come back race!
  3. A main reason for trying this diet was to see if my immune system would benefit from it. I used to have frequent colds all year round and it often ruined my racing seasons. The future will have to tell whether this will improve or not. But so far I feel great except I actually got a sore throat after my race last Saturday but it went away the next day. I usually don't get over colds until 5-7 days have gone by. But it's still too early to say...

Bottom line is that it all looks very promising and I won't hesitate to recommend it to anyone!
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [jkLundin] [ In reply to ]
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How has your energy levels been during training sessions? What are you eating for carbs? Thanks.
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [nickwhite] [ In reply to ]
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I can't really say for sure because I haven't done that much of long distance training at all since starting the diet. All I know is that I haven't noticed a difference at all really, in everyday training.
I have just started to experiment with what to consume during training. I'm moving away from ready made sportsdrink powder to mixing my own. Right now it contains approx. 75% water 25% applejuice and 60g maltodextrin per litre. I'm considering trying out different ratios of fructose/glucose as well. The above blend was what I raced on last weekend along with regular gels and water. I ate fruits only (bananas, nectarines and melon) for breakfast along with two eggs. My energy levels for that race was as good as ever and I finished the race strong with a race best run split.
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [jkLundin] [ In reply to ]
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Ever have problems with ingesting fruit/fructose?
I started making my own energy drink- 1 scoop 1st Endurance EFS- .5 scoop maltodextrin. give plenty of energy, no fructose, and does not have the strong electrolyte flavor/content of 100% EFS.
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [bootsie_cat] [ In reply to ]
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I haven't tried with pure fructose powder yet but it seems there's a limit to how much apple juice my stomach can handle. 75/25 works but I have lots and lots of experimenting left to do before I can say something useful about it.
Regarding the fruit I feel that my stomach handles it better now than just a few weeks ago. I just have to think about eating fruits with low fiber content right before training...
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [jkLundin] [ In reply to ]
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No, my point was have you tried zero fructose- not 100% fructose. For many fructose can be the culprit.
Also juice has higher fructose than straight up fruit and aples have a higher fructose/glucose ratio than many fruits
and that is why apples/apple juice can be be for some people.
Going fruit/fructose free for some people helps (helped me a ton)- harder than it seems. Many "healthy" items are fruit juice/fructose sweetened. Most energy food is too.
Berries and bananas are generally tolerated the best.
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [bootsie_cat] [ In reply to ]
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I would wager that if any of us stuck to a more stringent diet for 6 weeks we would see differences. I could cut out ice cream and beer and see less fat around the my midsection, but why the hell would I want to do that?
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [jkLundin] [ In reply to ]
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I live mainly off of a Paleo diet. The version that I follow is called the SCD diet http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/. Most of the year I am very strict on this diet, only during long races does the diet vary. When it varies I normally eat Hammer products. During the change the first few weeks were a little hard. I lacked energy and found a 50mile ride was tiring. Now it goes without problems. I highly recommend either of these diets.
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [wil] [ In reply to ]
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It's the only way I can keep that excess 10 lbs off...Even with all the training I do.
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [jkLundin] [ In reply to ]
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Why would you stop eating gluten products, breads, etc? Do you have Celiac Disease or some other gluten allergy? Why stop eating diary? Are you lactose intolerant?

Has this Paleo diet been investigated in any peer-reviewed controlled studies? If so, what were the outcomes? Was there an overall lowering of BMI, BP, cholesteral levels, or other objective measure?

From your brief description, it sounds like the most likely cause of the changes you have seen is calorie reduction. You said you were normally eating 6-8 cheese sandwiches per breakfast. That's an enormous amount of calories. Staying on your previous diet and just reducing the cheese sandwiches to 2-3 would probably give you similar results.

I'm not busting your chops, I'm genuinely interested in the investigative path you took to follow this particular dietary strategy.
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [Trieatalot] [ In reply to ]
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Hi,

I'll reply to you more seriously tomorrow, now it's bed time. Those are questions not to be answered on a whim.
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [Trieatalot] [ In reply to ]
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Many, many people have trouble breaking down the proteins in gluten, it doesn't only affect those with Celiac disease. Some people never realize they are gluten intolerant or sensitive - they think it's other things. My wife doesn't have Celiac, but gluten screws her system up big time. Being gluten free isn't all that bad nowadays, there's some really great gluten free products, particularly in the pasta group. Bread is the one thing I kind of miss, so I get it every once in a while.
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [Hoffman] [ In reply to ]
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"I could cut out ice cream and beer and see less fat around the my midsection, but why the hell would I want to do that?"

Yeah, why the hell would you wanna lose fat around your mid section? That's just ridiculous! ;)

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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [jkLundin] [ In reply to ]
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I would be interested in seeing a few days' food logs from you. I am curious of what you eat, when, how much you're training, and when.

Proud member of Fishtwitch and the ST Grammar Police
disclaimer: I am a PhD, not a medical doctor. The closest I get to surgery is topology.
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [Trieatalot] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Why would you stop eating gluten products, breads, etc? Do you have Celiac Disease or some other gluten allergy? Why stop eating diary? Are you lactose intolerant?

My main reason for trying this diet was that I had heard of, anecdotally, several athletes that had success with this diet. They reported less frequent infections in the upper respiratory, losing body fat and feeling better over all. I have a story with a terrible immune system which has left me with common colds, sometimes as often as every month during the winter/spring time. This of course have interfered with my training. I felt that I would try anything really to strengthen my immune system, especially since I nowadays have kids in kindergarten coming home with a virtual smorgasbord of viruses on a daily basis.
My personal, non scientific, theory was that if I was just the slightest bit intolerant to either gluten or lactose, then my immune system would have to work in some way all the time just to handle all the grains and dairy that I stuffed my stomach with. But this was just a theory of my own and nothing that I can support with any scientific evidence. I have, however, since then read some stuff that Lorain Cordain and Joe Friel have written on the subject and they seem to be of the same opinion.

"Has this Paleo diet been investigated in any peer-reviewed controlled studies? If so, what were the outcomes? Was there an overall lowering of BMI, BP, cholesteral levels, or other objective measure?"

If you want some scientific studies that seem to support the idea that grains and dairy aren't the best:

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6823/5/10

http://www.springerlink.com/...ent/h7628r66r0552222

http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/3/1/39

http://www.ajcn.org/...ontent/full/81/2/341

There's a lot of "just so" hypotheses in the area of evolutionary biology that has to be taken with a "grain" of salt, but I feel that this approach to nutrition is promising in all its simplicity.


"From your brief description, it sounds like the most likely cause of the changes you have seen is calorie reduction. You said you were normally eating 6-8 cheese sandwiches per breakfast. That's an enormous amount of calories. Staying on your previous diet and just reducing the cheese sandwiches to 2-3 would probably give you similar results."

Maybe it would. But the thing is that I do absolutely nothing, within this diet, to restrict the amounts that I eat. I just eat until I'm satisfied. Eating 2-3 sandwiches would leave me craving more. Cutting out both grains and dairy makes it easier to avoid sandwiches because they are nothing but grains and dairy.

"I'm not busting your chops, I'm genuinely interested in the investigative path you took to follow this particular dietary strategy."

The Paleo diet was also appealing to me given its simplicity. It all makes sense I think. I don't think that it's the answer to everything that has to do with nutrition. But it does make sense that what humans ate 100 000 years ago when the selective pressure of evolution was much greater than nowadays, would be foods that are mostly beneficial for our survival, fitness and health. At least I wouldn't die or get ill from starting to eat only fruits, vegetables, fish and meets! It was worth a try I figured.
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [tigerchik] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
I would be interested in seeing a few days' food logs from you. I am curious of what you eat, when, how much you're training, and when.

I would love to as well ;) but I generally feel reluctant to logging what I eat. Don't wanna go anorectic. That's the good thing about this diet in my view; that you don't really have to think about what you eat. You just eat what you feel like, if it's paleo that is.
But if you really want to get scientific about what to eat and when I could recommend reading "the paleo diet for athletes" by Friel and Cordain.
All I can say is that it's really a lot easier to know what to eat than I thought before I tried. One month into it I don't have any more problem deciding what to eat for dinner than I had before.
The one big down side to it though is that it's EXPENSIVE with all the fresh fruits and the meets (preferably grass fed or game). I virtually spend all my money these days on food. Well, I'm not rich either so hopefully that will be better once I get a permanent job again.

I know that food culture is a bit different over in the states compared to here, but if you are already used to cooking your meals yourself the switch won't take much effort. Instead of pasta or rice to accompany the dish I just have carrots, sweet potato, parsninps, cabbage, cauliflower and even the odd potato here and there when I need extra carbs. Really good stuff that has lower GI than the grains and thus will leave you satisfied for a longer time and keep your insulin levels in check.
For breakfast it's a lot of fresh fruit, a couple of eggs + ham or low fat bacon. The fruit has also lower GI than bread and cereal and will make your energy levels last longer. Some people have difficulty digesting some fruits but you will have to find which fruits works for you. It's also a matter I guess of what is available for the season.
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [jkLundin] [ In reply to ]
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Interesting that you said you would crave more sandwiches, not that you were still hungry. I have altered my diet, not quite paleo as it's my belief that cutting out an entire food group is not always a good idea, and have lost weight and body fat. Part of it was cutting back on the carbs. I have always eaten whole grain, but now I try to avoid sandwiches with a lot of bread and use a ww tortilla/wrap instead. I do feel much better and seem to not get sick as often. Some people report that when they cut out gluten they have less GI discomfort, but anecdotally I think that may be because they are actually getting adequate fiber due to increased fruit and vegetable intake. Very few people are actually gluten sensitive. One question-why apple juice as part of the race drink, since apples and apple juice are known to stimulate the bowels?
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [pookie87] [ In reply to ]
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About the craving: that was exactly what it was. I seem to have no bottom in me when it comes to sandwiches, I can just eat and eat for hours on end.

Apple juice was what I had at home the first time I would try mixing my own. Simple as that. Will try others too but had to stat somewhere, I didn't know that apple juice was something that people have problems with.
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [jkLundin] [ In reply to ]
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Do you feel like you have to eat a large volume of food to get enough energy to support your training? If you were training more do you think you'd have trouble eating enough?

Proud member of Fishtwitch and the ST Grammar Police
disclaimer: I am a PhD, not a medical doctor. The closest I get to surgery is topology.
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [tigerchik] [ In reply to ]
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My guess is that I would have to eat somewhat more of starchy foods, like potatoes, quinoa and maybe brown or black rice. However that wouldn't be a problem if I time the meals right before and after workouts.
Probably it's possible to eat "paleo only" and still do just fine with a relatively high training load of say 20h/week. But it would require quite large quantities of fruits to be consumed, at least for me who's a rather big guy. It would be easier to stray from the paleo for some key meals to get in proper amounts of carbs.
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [jkLundin] [ In reply to ]
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I find the no grain idea very interesting. I've read a bit about it, and have cut down the amount of grains I eat and upped the amount of yogurt and nuts. [I am pretty sure that yogurt isn't paleo but I'm not trying to follow any special diet - just trying to eat more protein and fat].

I'm a vegetarian so I run into conflicts there with paleo, Marks Daily Apple, and eating plans/ideas that use a lot of meat.

Proud member of Fishtwitch and the ST Grammar Police
disclaimer: I am a PhD, not a medical doctor. The closest I get to surgery is topology.
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [tigerchik] [ In reply to ]
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I hear you on the vegetarian issue! I've been a vegetarian too back in the day and think that it's another down side with this diet. You need be one hell of a mass murderer to sustain it :) According to paleo thinking even beans, peas and lentils is a no no and because of that it would be totally impossible to be both paleo and vegetarian. Even more so since you need to combine grains with legumes to get the proteins you need, and two wrongs doesn't make a right unfortunately.
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [jkLundin] [ In reply to ]
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I tried the paleo way of eating for about 2-3 weeks and had to stop. The gas bloating and bathroom issues were horrible. Any issues with that and suggestions on dealing with it?

Kevin
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [kevmar] [ In reply to ]
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I had in the beginning, but found out that it was because of intolerance of dried apricots. Once I stopped eating those my stomach has been fine. But I can't eat too much of apples or pears either, some is fine though.
Cabbage and cauliflower are notorious for gas production as well but that's something you gotta learn to live with :)
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Re: 6 weeks into paleo diet - so far very impressed and pleased with the results [jkLundin] [ In reply to ]
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One thing that really cracks me up about the Paleo diet:

How many of our Paleolithic ancestors did Ironman triathlon (or endurance sports in general)?

In other words, the Paleo diet can't match up the fact that you're trying to fuel a completely unnatural, nonsensical (from an evolutionary standpoint) sport with a natural, logical diet. The two just don't jive.

I've experimented with Paleo, and to go TRUE Paleo, you'd have to pick a sport other than triathlon - such as farming, or hunting lions.

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield

Nutrition & Human Performance Advice
http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com
Last edited by: pacificfit: Sep 4, 10 8:01
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