What are you going to experience when starting a paleo diet? I mean, let’s face it you have to cut out all those processed foods, the sugar, and all the take-out junk food. Isn’t that gonna hurt?
I can only talk from my own experience and from what others have told me. And when I first started I had the awesome sugar detox guide to help me through the process and it’s often what I recommend people use to help them through.
To be honest, when starting paleo there are obviously pros and cons, but you will be happy to know that the pros far outweigh the cons.
Pros Of Starting A Paleo Diet
1. Feeling less bloated – this was an initial huge bonus and of course it makes sense when you aren’t consuming all the grains and gluten, which blows you up. Seeing your stomach shrink makes you feel better instantly. Feeling a bit skinnier is always a good incentive to keep on going.
2. Fast easy weight loss – Losing a few pounds in the first week is a bonus and definitely helps boost your motivation to keep going. If you continue to eat paleo the weight keeps coming off steadily…YEAH!
3. Eating lots of food – I certainly didn’t felt deprived in any way by changing to a paleo diet, the paleo diet food selection really offers a great variety and keeps you full and satisfied. I’m thoroughly enjoy eating this way, and would never go back to my old habits. For someone who used to be addicted to bread and pasta and all things carb, that’s saying alot!
4. Increased energy for most of the day – Overall my energy greatly increased as a result of starting paleo but I did get a slight slump mid afternoon. I increased my carbs intake earlier in the day to work through this and after a few of weeks as my blood sugars became steady, this mid afternoon slump disappeared.
5. A feeling of lightness – this is a great feeling. It’s kind of like you feel that your health has improved and there is an inner lightness. Probably the organs sighing in relief from not being bogged down by all that junk and all the heavy carb load
6. Mental clarity – what we eat affects us on so many levels. And before starting paleo I was literally living in a constant haze. Getting mental clartiy back was a huge bonus. Brain functioning better, that’s a good thing.
7. Improved sleep – I was really struggling before to get the right amount of sleep. But I have been sleeping 8-9 hours a day, easy. And good soild sleep too. I am waking up feeling energetic, not tired and sluggish like I was before starting paleo.
8. An inner calmness – I do feel more calm and relaxed, odd…but true.
The Cons Of Starting A Paleo Diet
There are a few things in the initial stages that aren’t exactly pleasant. BUT you just have to know that those effects are your body going through a detox and adjustment process. They will pass so it’s worth perservering. And of course the pros do outweight the cons.
So what are the cons?
1. Headaches – By mid to late afternoon you may experience some rather bad headaches. Make sure you drink plenty of water and I found that getting some more carbs into the body helps with the symptoms. Of course make sure they are Paleocarbs – the good carbs, like an apple or something.
2. Slight energy slumps – I think these come associated with the headaches and are due to the carb/dehydration component. Again, if you eat something and get some more water into you will usually recover within 10-20 minutes.
3. Diarrhea – In the first few days you may get a slight bout of diarrhea. All that extra fibre and protien does get the bowels moving. Also if you are eating too much protien and not enough fat or vice versa, that can also create diarrhea. Sometimes you just need to tweak your protein, fat and carb intake to get this in balance. And generally it does pass after a while.
4. Thirst – Drink lots of water. Believe me you will want to because boy do you get thirsty. Another sign of the body’s detox process.
For me that was it! Not too bad really.
But I know there are people who experience tiredness and lethargy, muscle cramps, constipation, an amplification of symptoms for a week or two, and blood sugar lows where you get the shakes (increase your carbs or fats). It really just depends on ‘how bad’ your diet has been prior to starting the paleo diet.
Just keep drinking water, eat when you are hungry, even if you think you are eating alot (which you will), eat good carbs from your selection of fruits and veges and not just protein. And if you find you are really struggling, just ease yourself into it instead of going cold turkey.
Any new lifestyle program takes time for your body to adapt. The benefits far outweigh the process of going through it so just stick with it.
Have a great day
P.S. One of the very best ways to get started on paleo, ease yourself into it and lose weight faster is to do a sugar detox. The sugar detox guide has 3 different levels you can follow so you start at a level that’s comfortable for you. I did it this way and loads of people do. It also contains loads of the questions you’ll want answered, and tells you what to eat. It’s one of the very best gifts you’ll *ever* give yourself!