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paleo not for everyone?


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Most of the people I know who say they're going to try paleo give it a shot and stop. In the end they like bread and candy more than they want to change their lifestyle.

I suspect it's a little more complicated than that - I wonder if it isn't sometimes putting a higher value on the social benefits to eating with friends/family over any driving love of chocolate bars.

For example, I love reading the recipes over on MDA, but I always wince at the comments on the "surviving the holidays"-type articles that devolve into "You tell your grandma where to shove that pie!" It might be (mostly) a joke, but I'd bet that that kind of attitude probably turns off as many people as any love of bread. Obviously everyone is different, but if your grandmother is making you pie (or namak para, or pogača, or sticky rice balls, etc.) and you have some kind of social eating tradition in your family, then sometimes (maybe even most of the time!) respect has to win out over dietary restrictions (excepting allergies, of course).

And yeah, I think most people here seem to be aware that the occasional exception isn't a big deal, but a huge portion of paleo/primal/caveman diet proponents do take it to that religious level, and I wouldn't call anyone who wanted to distance themself from that as valuing candy over a lifestyle change.

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A couple of things are bothering me here.

First, your diet is just the sum of food you eat. So, yes, Paleo is a diet. Diet does not mean "food menu eaten for weight loss". You can choose a diet for weight gain. You can choose the "eat whatever I want when I want it in whatever quantities I desire" diet. In fact, a lot of Americans choose the last one.

i think you missed my point. Paleo is not one single diet. there is not one paleo diet now just like there was never one paleo diet during the paleolithic. Everyone does it differently. My version might look nothing like someone else's and we may both be doing it right. High carb for some, low carb for some, lots of fruit for others ... those are the variations that depends on who you are, what your goals are, etc. The lack of junk food? that's the universal part.

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I suspect it's a little more complicated than that - I wonder if it isn't sometimes putting a higher value on the social benefits to eating with friends/family over any driving love of chocolate bars.

That's part of it, for sure. but to be honest, anyone who is "paleo" can still have a slice of grandma's pie at thanksgiving. That's part of the "paleo isn't a religion" thing. It's really just a way of saying, "here's what you should be eating to do the best thing you can for your body". What you do with that information is up to you. At my wedding, I had cake. Duh. At thanksgiving, I have pie. Of course. Most people can.

the difference between the people I mentioned above is that some people do and and get back on the train. Many people eat that pie and then use it as an excuse to stay off the train, because ultimately they just like their junk food. Eating grandma's pie doesn't mean your bomb ed out of a paleo lifestyle. It's the stuff you eat for the week afterward that is more important.

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It's really just a way of saying, "here's what you should be eating to do the best thing you can for your body".

Totally! But to be fair, I think that's true of most diets ("eating styles", if you prefer) outside of the extremes. By the same token, at the extremes paleo is no different, and to those people (who also tend to be the loudest) it is a religion, and I think most of the real backlash (or frowning over "magic") comes from that end rather than from the diet drop-out end.

I totally agree that some people will look for any excuse to drop out, but again I think that points more towards similarities to other diets/eating styles than it does to differences - at least in cultural/action terms, which is how I look at these things. But I may just be a weirdo in having that perspective! :friendly_wink:

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i think you missed my point. Paleo is not one single diet. there is not one paleo diet now just like there was never one paleo diet during the paleolithic. Everyone does it differently. My version might look nothing like someone else's and we may both be doing it right. High carb for some, low carb for some, lots of fruit for others ... those are the variations that depends on who you are, what your goals are, etc. The lack of junk food? that's the universal part.

Well, I didn't miss your point. But, I did ignore it in order to make my own. My apologies if I've offended.

The fitness industry has hijacked certain words and as a result the meaning is changing in the wrong direction. "Fitness" and "diet" are the two big ones. It's literally impossible for anyone to create a specific diet that is applicable to a large population group.

The Paleo Diet is a "diet" by the true definition of the word. Which really refers to the group(s) of foods regularly eaten by an individual, group, or community. It did not originally refer to any specific calorie counts or meal plans or anything like that.

The whole "calories in/calories out" business is really a separate thing from diet. It's unfortunate that people now equate calorie restriction with the word "diet", but it's widespread enough to be a definition for the word in the Merriam-Webster.

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As a reformed "food blogger" I can tell you UNEQUIVOCABLY that "diet" IS the new "religion" of the masses and almost any specific eating plan out there that restricts entire segments of food is not only based on nutrition but moral choice as well. I have survived the vegans, I have survived the raw vegans, I have survived the real foodists, weston pricers, paleo-ligists, primalists and the archevorists....all in the name of health, not at all in the name of religion....I will say to ME that I feel better eating animals that have been cared for well and plants that have been allowed their natural life cycle because I think that is a good thing and also because I love ME and feel those foods treat ME well, but I certainly allow that you can choose to eat what you want and you don't have to agree with me. I may have defended my right to eat what I want to eat by saying it is healthier than some other alternative, but at the end of the day, lets face facts, we dont know for sure do we? I mean as a kid, butter was good, then it was bad, now its good again...even though I always LOVED butter and kept eating it even when folks said it was bad because margarine literally made me vomit (yes, literally....I can't eat polyunsaturated vegetable oil without extreme nausea....hows that for listening to my body?)....all we can do is make the best choices we can for ourselves with the information we feel is valid at the time...

i completely reject anyone who considers a food plan or any other way of life or religion as a way to put themselves above anyone else. That goes for food and everything else....we are all born naked and go out on a board the same way, we take nothing with us but our soul and the universe doesn't give a crap what you ate or who you voted for. AMEN.

The real world is bizarre enough for me....Blue Oyster Cult!

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Well, I didn't miss your point. But, I did ignore it in order to make my own. My apologies if I've offended.

I took no offence and you are 100% right, so no harm. Just wanted to make sure I was clear. The word "diet" has been run away with. Who was it that said humans are the only animal for whom diet is a verb?

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Totally! But to be fair, I think that's true of most diets ("eating styles", if you prefer) outside of the extremes. By the same token, at the extremes paleo is no different, and to those people (who also tend to be the loudest) it is a religion, and I think most of the real backlash (or frowning over "magic") comes from that end rather than from the diet drop-out end.

I partially agree, but I think in a broader sense it's the product of people not letting things go when they could/should, on *BOTH* sides of the discussion.

Example at a recent department meeting at work. The food served was sandwiches with salty prepackaged deli meat and cookies(sigh). I ate a sandwich to play the part, despite the fact that it was mostly bread, perilously low-meat, and almost totally devoid of vegetable matter. However I opted not to get any chips or cookies, or a second sandwich. The following conversation ensued:

"John, aren't you going to have anything else?"

"No thanks."

At that point the conversation could have ended, but it persisted and got a bit pushier.

"We got all this food for the department meeting, if no one finishes it, it'll go to waste."

"I'm sure someone else around the office will be happy to take it after the meeting."

"You don't need to lose weight, why not just have a cookie?

Eventually I killed the line of conversation with:

"I had a big breakfast, I'm not particularly hungry" (more or less a lie, but it served its purpose).

I played it diplomatically, but still, I was forced to offer explanations beyond simply "nope, I don't want a cookie". I sidestepped discussing my views about what I believe is healthy in order to keep up appearances at work. If I started discussing, even in a polite, non-judgmental manner on how I see bread largely as filler, and cookies as unhealthy by any standard, I would have been seen as preachy and gotten pushback. And so I think it goes both ways, and there's a little bit of a double standard. People offering foods that others don't want to eat(this isn't just a paleo thing) can't just leave it at "no thanks" without appending at least one comment/additional attempt to push the food - and doings this is completely socially acceptable, which forces people to go a bit out of their way(or in some cases, lie about not being hungry) just to avoid seeming preachy about diet/nutrition or ungrateful for the food that others have provided.

I agree about not getting preachy about the way one chooses to eat, but at the same time, people should be able to stop at "no, thanks" without requiring an explanation or being offended. I don't push my views on diet on others, but situations like the above make it difficult - I had to actively dodge that line of conversation because of the persistence of others, rather than simply offering a "no, thank you" and moving on.

"Restlessness is discontent - and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man-and I will show you a failure." -Thomas Edison

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I partially agree, but I think in a broader sense it's the product of people not letting things go when they could/should, on *BOTH* sides of the discussion.

.

I agree about not getting preachy about the way one chooses to eat, but at the same time, people should be able to stop at "no, thanks" without requiring an explanation or being offended. I don't push my views on diet on others, but situations like the above make it difficult - I had to actively dodge that line of conversation because of the persistence of others, rather than simply offering a "no, thank you" and moving on.

I agree. I hate these conversations. Some people get so offended with "no thank you" My friends are getting more used to it though.

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I'm a paleo dieter and so is my husband from time to time, but we both do it for different reasons. My husband originally started on the paleo diet to cut weight quickly for powerlifting. The high-protein low-carb diet helped him pretty much hemmorage bodyweight. He dropped like 20 lbs in 3 weeks.

I started paleo after seeing his results, but my results were far from the same. I've lost weight on it, but slowly. I gave it up after my initial try because I love carbs! I got back on it for the same reason I had done it initially, to lose weight, but the second time around, I really paid attention to how it made me feel. Now, I get the appeal for people. When I eat what I want, which is usually crap that's bad for me, I alternate between feeling heavy, greasy or bloated. Sometimes I have energy, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I can sleep, sometimes I can't. It's a food-related roller coaster. When I'm paleo, I'm more consistent. I don't feel any negative effects from my food, my energy level and sleep patterns are stable. I actually don't feel anything, which is great. Your food shouldn't change the way your body feels. For those reasons, I stay on it.

My husband on the other hand loves his pizza and cinnamon rolls, and he works out like a beast so that he can eat them. He only eats paleo when he needs to lose a few pounds. He's been to the doctor and he's healthy as a horse. Do I wish that he would eat better? Sure, but it's his choice and he's found alternative ways to watch his health. The same goes for your husband. If he's healthy and he doesn't feel one way or another about the whole organic/grassfed/unprocessed aspect of eating, then let him do his thing. It's his body afterall.

When people ask me for diet advice, I typically suggest paleo for them, just because it does help break the cycle of processed foods and greasy fast food. There's no drawback to giving that stuff up. It's aso great for people who want to start eating more fruits and veggies, but just can't seem to do it. But you're never going to convince everyone that paleo is for them. Most people can stand to cut back on carbs and eat more protein, but it is a bit extreme for a lot of people. Just try to educate people on the diet and be there to answer their questions if they seem interested. And lead by example. :)

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