I’m a huge advocate for grain-free and sugar free living for everyone, but I do realize that sometimes people like to follow the 80/20 rule. What’s that? Well it’s a mindset that allows you to follow your healthy eating plan (I hate calling it a diet) 80% of the time, but allowing yourself to enjoy something “off-plan” 20% of the time.
So for Paleo enthusiasts, it may allow them to enjoy the occasional dairy, processed sugar, and other non-Paleo foods. The problem with this as an all-the-time idea, is that it completely derails progress, causes additional health issues, and leaves you feeling like garbage. It also screws with your mindset, because you create a barrier between allowed and not allowed foods, while permitting yourself to “cheat”.
In all honesty, I have a really hard time giving up processed sugar and gluten free desserts. These are my nemeses, and I know I have to avoid them entirely if I want to make progress, because 1 turns into 2, turns into 15, and 80/20 turns into 50/50, and I feel like crud.
Needless to say I am NOT a fan of the 80/20 mindset when it comes to this lifestyle. I am especially strict when it comes to gluten. There is no “little bit” of that in my diet. I don’t touch the stuff. I’ll explain in a later post why you should avoid it too, but for now, trust me, it’s not as good for you as people think.
I managed to stay 100% Paleo for 2 months because I didn’t touch any sugar. It was amazing. However, for the past few months, I’ve been on an up and down roller coaster of 2 weeks with no sugar, 2-3 weeks with some sugar, and back and forth. My weight loss completely stalled, in fact I gained and went back up to 198. This is especially discouraging because I still have a lot of baby weight to lose.
So how do I stay encouraged? How do I stay positive? I remember 3 things:
- Paleo is a way of eating that helps me feel my best. Regardless of whether or not I’m losing weight, I do feel great when I eat a lot of nutrient dense whole foods, lots of vegetables and fruit, and avoid grains, dairy, and sugar. My joints don’t hurt, I have more energy, and I am more focused.
- This is temporary. I did it before, I can do it again. Breastfeeding my baby (which keeps me from losing weight very quickly) is a very short season of my life. So why stress, when I know the weight will come off when my son has weaned?
- This is a lifestyle. I didn’t switch to Paleo as a result of a fad, it was a natural progression of filling my plate with nutritious foods when I removed the grains. I do enjoy treats on occasion, but for my health, well-being and sanity, I need to be sure they are Paleo-friendly.
I’ll keep you updated on my progress as I work on getting off the roller coaster and focus solely on eating Paleo once again. Goodbye sugar (it makes me REALLY hangry when I detox from it), goodbye rice (I don’t need you anyway), and goodbye baby weight (you’ll leave eventually).