The Paleo Diet is just like any other diet. And let’s face it right now…anytime you go on a diet it sucks incredibly hard.
Because everyone and their mother focuses on what they CAN’T have when it comes to dieting.
“Oh I can’t have red meat because it’s too high in fat.”
“Yeah, bagels are my favorite it food. But I’ve sworn them off for ever because they have too many carbs.”
“Oreos? Straight to my thighs, thanks but no thanks.”
Take a look around you and find something else that is inherently based off of negativity. Not only does everyone involved absolutely hate it, but they’re incredibly cynical and bring everyone else around them down.
Now, I’m not about to go on some hippy-esque rant about how everyone should love each other and everything no matter what. But I am going to give you a few mind hacks that will make you do a complete 180 on how you think about dieting.
Your Social Life on the Paleo Diet
The first one, and probably the most important one. You’re social life. In any typical diet you have to throw this bad boy out the window because the temptation will be way to intense.
Why not make it part of your plan?
That’s why I have my cheat days on Saturdays, i.e. college football. John Romaniello is a huge Jets fan, so he chooses Sunday.
Have a birthday party or some other event to go to during the week? Easy, just flip-flop that day with your cheat day.
The whole point of going on a diet is to feel good about yourself. And you can’t do that if you cut out your social life (plus you won’t be able to show off your hot new bod to everyone who gave you crap for trying to make a change).
Take home lesson: Use your social life to your advantage.
Stop being so damn negative.
Seriously. You’re sabotaging yourself. I know I said I wasn’t going to go all hippy on you, but hear me out on this one.
Think of your favorite food. Ok, now…stop drooling…now think of the last time you went on a “diet”. How often did you think about your favorite food? I’m going to assume all of the time. When you finally broke your diet, I’m also willing to guess it was with that food. It doesn’t matter if it wasn’t allowed because of macronutrients or because you’d just eat a days worth of calories in that food alone.
I’ve seen it happen in everything from college football games, to military infantry training and even hustling a game of darts in the bar. You don’t want something to happen, even though you know it’s a huge possibility (don’t let the wide receiver take away your outside leverage, don’t let those two enemy soldiers hear you sneaking up behind them, don’t hit a Triple 1 because we need a Triple 20). And then it happens. You’re outside leverage is gone. Those soldiers heard you and radioed for help. And you just lost because you hit all 1’s and the other guys win with their next shot.
Instead you need to focus on positives. Not just things that are good, but also thinking like “I can have oreos in a few days and they’re going to tast like unicorn tears” instead of “holy hell I want oreos right NOW!”
As a dieting strategy, this leads right into…
Deferred Eating aka Going Off of the Paleo Diet…sorta
Obviously this involves a cheat meal, or at least a cheat day, which I’ll cover next.
But first, deferred eating is as simple as making a wish list. Whenever you get a craving for something, you just write it down. On a napkin. In you’re phone. In a text to yourself. On your child’s forehead. Wherever you’ll get to see it.
Then you think positive like mentioned above. Get away from thinking that you can never have that food your craving again, and turn it into “I’m going to eat so much of that on my cheat day.”
Quick personal testimonial . I started doing this after reading Tim Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Body because I always found myself craving Oreos and Lucky Charms during the week. So the first week I wrote down Oreos. Come cheat day I would eat two whole packages of double-stuf Oreos and a gallon of milk. Next week the same thing, except I only ate one package. Third week, I moved onto Lucky Charms and had a whole box. Week four….
Any and all sugar cravings were gone. I had my fix and I knew that if the craving ever came about again I could indulge on my cheat day. But that day has yet to come. Even on Super Bowl Sunday with Oreos and cupcakes and brownies galore. Had no cravings and no qualms about passing it up.
Cheating is allowed when going Paleo
Like I just semi talked about above, cheating has a massive effect on the overall adherence of any diet. As long as it’s done right and in a disciplined manner.
Dr. John Berardi suggests following the plan 90% of the time, and allows that 10% to happen whenever. Spread out through the week or all at once.
Most Paleo resources I’ve seen are the same way, except they go for an 80% compliance to 20% cheat ratio.
Tim Ferriss and Joel Marion suggest some sort of cheat day where anything goes.
Whichever way you do it, it’s proven to be beneficial. Think about it this way…people think they can stay on whatever restrictive, negative diet they choose for as long as they choose. But humans are inherently lazy and get bored easily.
There are very, VERY few things in this world that you will be able to stay consistent with throughout the rest of your life. I’ll bet my life savings that sticking to a restrictive diet that you hate is not one of them. Don’t be afraid to take breaks and indulge every once and while.
The Paleo Diet, and every other diet for that matter, is best implemented with the tips mentioned above.
If you want to check out a FANTASTIC resource for Paleo recipes “The Paleo Recipe Book” is packed full of easy recipes. And to make it even better it’s full of incredible pictures of what you can make. Click on the picture below to check it out…