A friend recently told me that a person’s ability to lose or maintain their weight is based upon 80% of their nutrition and 20% on their physical activity. If she had told me this three months ago, I would have had my doubts. But two months ago I started an experiment that now has me agreeing with her 100%. I’d been at a weight plateau for a few years. No matter how much I worked out, I couldn’t drop a pound. Not even half a pound. In fact, I was gaining weight. Frustrated, I asked my trainer for advice. He simply said, “Change your diet, go caveman” meaning, eat only simple, all-natural, unprocessed food. He’d tried it as an experiment and saw significant results.
Here's a video that basically explains what I "caveman eating" means:
(I'm not following a strict Paleo Diet, but it’s probably the closest thing to how I'm eating)
I started this experiment the day after Easter, around the same time I got injured. Since I couldn’t workout, I could only rely on nutrition to keep my weight in check. I wont’ lie to you, the first week was hard. Brutal. I had to give up cereal, zone bars, rice, pasta, etc. Basically, if it didn’t exist 2000 years ago, it wasn’t allowed.
I had to eat more nuts, fruits and vegetables (and admittedly, I don’t like fruit very much). I also had to eat lean meats, poultry and lots of seafood. Luckily, I was already going this so it wasn’t much of a stretch. The hardest part of the day came at 3 pm when I would normally have a zone bar.
After 2 weeks, I started to see results. Yes the scale finally dropped a few lbs, but I also felt better, leaner. But I soon got sick of eating baked potatoes and nuts; I had to change things up. I hated eggs but tried eating boiled egg whites. Turns out it’s a great snack so now I have one in the morning as well one in the afternoon.
I also learned that my body requires me to have a starch for breakfast and potatoes just weren’t cutting it. So I’ve made an exception and allow myself to have granola for breakfast. Yes, it’s a processed food but I buy organic granola and measure out exactly one serving. I love Erin Baker’s Double Chocolate Chunk granola [asa]B000K8R578[/asa]so it’s my one sweet-treat-of-the-day (other than fruit). I believe that we need to allow ourselves small exceptions, in moderation, to sustain the bigger effort.
It’s now been about eight weeks and I’ve lost seven pounds (with a significantly reduced workout schedule). I’ve completely changed my attitude about nutrition. I always believed that it was an essential part of our health, but now it’s a proven fact to me that it can have just as, if not a more, significant effect than exercise to our overall health!