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A Food Journal

Food-journal

Whether starting out or needing to re-align, a food journal is a great idea.

Food Journals and a working lunch…

Food Journal you say? But …this is Paleo! We have moved away from all that…Well yes and no. The foods incorporated into our programs give you the physical means to deal with hunger and cravings and we  find that many of our old issues and difficulties do resolve in the absence of the mood swings, irritability and imbalance we have experienced as carb addicts.

But for those who have used food as their “coping mechanism”, it can sometimes happen that, having strived to overcome, we fall back into those old patterns and habits and just like that, the weight starts to creep back on.

The trick is to catch yourself as you fall.

And here’s where a food journal comes in: it makes you accountable and it makes you think and in this way you start to get back control. Start by opening a new book. On page one make a list of all the things you have been doing that are making you gain back weight. Don’t be shy, dig deep, you already know the answers. Ready?  Now list, like this: too many lattes, too much snacking (be specific) too many nuts (what had started as a few turned into a handful and then the whole packet), grapes by the pound….still paleo  but somehow it’s all got out of hand….

So now watch your hand form the letters and write the words. Sometimes being present with the words as they write brings everything up sharp and into perspective. Have you noticed sometimes when things are getting tricky we simply “check out” for moments of our life here and there and pretend these things are not happening, that we don’t have any control. Well you know what – we do. You do. It’s you who is putting the food into your mouth after all. No one else. You simply have to be aware of what you’re doing and catch yourself before you fall.

Now draw up a second column and make a note of what you are going to do to change that habit. Walk past Costa’s or change your route to work? Nip out at lunch time and buy something for lunch or pack a little something from home? Change your routine. Shake it up.  Become aware of the habit, of what you are doing and change it up. You can do it. Do you want to know something good? The American Journal of Preventive Medicine published this 20 week study confirming  that those who kept a food journal dropped double the weight of dieters who did not record their food habits. But you have to be real with it. Record what you eat not what you think you are eating and not what you think you should be eating.  It’s just you and reality sharing the moment and that’s all that counts.

Tinned-mackerel

Healthy Fast Food

And my working lunch? Here it is paleo and clean.  This little meal kept my hunger satisfied all afternoon.  I ate around two o’clock having fasted through the night from 8pm.  Then ate supper at six with Michael and the kids.  Tomorrow we are going to do it different.  We will start with the typical PaleoWorks style breakfast and fast through the day for a late tea.   Sometimes it’s good to change things up a little!  Try a food journal yourself and let us know how you go!

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Weight Loss and Fasting

weight-loss-and-fastingMore please on weight loss and fasting….so read the latest email response on our last post.  The following point is key: use intermittent fasting to gain back control when you veer off the paleo diet track.  It’s simple, pro-active and empowering.  Take a deep breath and push the reset button.  Here’s how…..

Intermittent fasting is about taking a break between meals.  Allowing your digestive system to rest and to build up hunger.  During holidays and celebrations the temptation is to overeat.  Even if we are still eating paleo food there are plenty of ways of overeating “paleo” food including baked goods which take us a long way from the diet of our ancestors.  Er…Paleo Cake and frosted muffins anyone?

There comes a time however when it is appropriate to draw a line under that!  Conventional wisdom suggests we do this by entering into a “detox” – a period of calorie restriction and vigorous daily exercise: that we eat less and exercise more.  But you don’t go to the garage to put less fuel in your car and expect it to do more for you?  Exercise makes you hungry!  Exercise makes you ravenous and if you are not careful you will find yourself back at square one.  Exhausted, hungrier than ever and chained to a never ending tread mill that you simply don’t enjoy.

There is however, another way and it’s not a new idea.  Conventional dietary wisdom wants us to eat three meals a daypaleo-fasting-weight-loss (breakfast, lunch and tea) and to supplement this with snacks.  When using intermittent fasting as a weight loss tool, we might eschew breakfast and not consume our first meal until past 1pm.  If you add this to the time spent asleep in bed since your last meal then you can see an estimated total fasting time of 14 + hours.

In this fasted state (also known as ketosis) you will find that your body will naturally work harder to provide energy to it’s tissue from your fat stores.  Hold onto your hats you are now in fat burning mode!

The point is that you are not eating less but the time window in which you eat has been reduced.  In ancient tradition every fast was broken with a feast.  Well, I’m not going to argue with that! There is no reason to eat less if you are following paleo guidelines in your diet.  Simply eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full!  Try it and see – it is impossible to overeat fat! Hormones produced naturally when real food is consumed actually manage the whole process for you so don’t worry.

If you were following a diet based on calorie restriction you might miss a meal to count the correct calories but you would not replace that missed meal with additional calories at a larger “break fast” for example.  So you might think you are doing the same thing but in one you would be working with your body to trigger fat loss and in the other you would be fighting against your body and it’s natural hunger to produce weight loss.  In one you will experience a profound sense of well being, an absence of hunger and a curious kind of symmetry with those who have lived before and who knew how to satisfy hunger.  In the other you would be hungry, period.  And miserable.  And cross.

Early man did not eat three meals a day.  Whose idea was that anyway?  Early man underwent numerous short periods of fasting and ketosis and many paleontologists believe that this ketogenic adaptability was instrumental in human evolution.  It is a normal healthy state and it triggers fat burning. So whether you’re looking to get back on track, enhance or accelerate the fat burning, weight loss and fasting are an excellent partnership Try it and see.

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