Today I’m starting my second 30 Day Paleo Challenge. For anyone who is not familiar with The Paleo Diet, or “caveman diet” as it is commonly known, it is “the world’s healthiest diet, based upon the fundamental concept that the optimal diet is the one to which we are genetically adapted.” (thepaleodiet.com) The diet was created by Dr. Loren Cordain and has been featured on many news outlets, including Dr. Oz. While the description might sound like any other diet fad out there, I can tell you from experience that it works. At school, I had the typical college diet of alcohol and crappy food. With spring break coming up, I decided to try the 30 Day Paleo Challenge and saw changes in my energy level and fitness within the first week.
While the decision to try the challenge was primarily to control my beer gut, I also wanted to see if I could push myself to stick to a strict diet for 30 days. During school, I would work out five days a week, but after many of my workouts I would eat unhealthy and snack, which virtually eliminated my training efforts. I was frustrated that I wasn’t seeing results and it wasn’t until I read a lot about dieting that I noticed weight loss is attributed to a fitness/nutrition breakdown of 80% dieting and 20% fitness.
Once I realized what I was doing wrong, I decided to start eating healthier and began to read up on The Paleo Diet. My brother Ryan, who is a CrossFit and nutrition enthusiast had tried The Paleo Diet before and highly recommended it, so I decided to give it a try. Since this was my first attempt, I decided to set a weight loss goal of 8lbs. During this time I didn’t change my daily workout that much, but put together a Paleo meal plan of about four to five meals a day. While the plan is fairly strict about the types of foods and liquids you are allowed to eat and drink, I cheated a little and kept alcohol a part of my diet. Alcohol is considered a diet killer, but I was in my second semester of senior year and couldn’t give up a little bit of partying for a diet. Here is a quick breakdown of what you can and can’t eat on the diet:
When I first began, I had many urges to snack, as well as eat carbs and dairy foods, but after day three I felt those urges go away. I became uninterested in what I used to crave and woke up feeling better than I had ever expected. Eventually I made it through the 30 days and lost 10lbs while seeing large improvements in my weight reps and mile time. Like many people, I am skeptical of popular diets and exercises, but without a doubt I can tell you that this diet works and is the reason why I am trying another 30 Day Paleo Challenge.
Today is the first day of my second challenge and I will try to post weekly updates of my food log and workouts, but I can’t promise that I will be consistent with the posts. Unlike my first challenge, I will have the option of a cheat day at least once a week, but I will try not to use it. My workouts will consist of running, plyometric’s, pushups, pull-ups, kettle bell workouts (35lbs.), ab workouts and sports. I’m 5 feet 9.5 inches, 188lbs, and my goal is to lose 12lbs in 30 days. It’s an ambitious goal, but by setting it high, I feel like I will be motivated to stick strictly to the plan.