Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’

Hi Guys,

This post is a testimonial written by: Damien on http://www.robbwolf.com the main source of Paleo Diet. It is definitely worth to read. Enjoy. 

Almost two years ago, I wrote to you the email below to express my gratitude for all the good things you brought into my life via your book and the Paleo Solution podcast. I was also very happy to receive few words from you afterward.

Once again, it is time for me to take the time and thank you for all the things you taught me and many other people during those two years via the podcasts the Paleo Solution, the Controversial Truth (and the apparitions you did on other shows – loved the Rogan one), I am still listening to them weekly. Let’s not forget the links and other interesting (or funny) things on your Facebook pages.

Two years ago I was living in Australia, and I was trying to convince my parents via Skype to give a shot at the Paleo diet for 3 weeks since my dad was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and my mom from insomnia. As you can imagine, asking a couple of French 50+ year old’s to stop eating bread just didn’t work out… But there’s a happy ending to that story.

After living abroad for 10 years, spending most of those 10 years in front of computers (for my studies and job), hearing about Paleo diets and cavemen and so on, I decided it was time for a change. So I thought about it long and hard (for the majority of a year) and decided to quit my job in IT for Investment banks and come back home to see how  the situation was here. It was bad.

My father’s RA had become way worse than when I left Europe 2 years ago. But of course no one would tell me over Skype. My mum had put on weight and my sister too after her 2nd child. Being 17kg heavier than she used to be, she started getting clinically depressed.

As soon as I came back, I started going to all my dad’s appointments with the doctors and the unemployment office – because of course, he’d lost his job in the meantime. His company went bankrupt, and having been a builder for almost 40 years, being 55 with RA, he won’t be able to find another job. Thank God this is happening in France. Even though I think things have been pretty sh*t for a long time in this country, the medical system is partly taking care of him financially.

The whole situation looked pretty bad but still, I managed to change the eating habits of those 3 people. The gatekeeper was my sister.

I asked her if she wanted me to create a diet and training program for her to lose weight. Her answer: “Yes, I need help. I don’t know what to do, and I hate running!” – “No problems, what about weightlifting? Just 3 sessions a week and a nice 30 minutes walk every day?” – “Err, I don’t want to look like you!” (Since starting Paleo and lifting weights twice per week as S&C for my Muay-Thai, I’d put on 7kg in 2 years) – “You’re a girl, not enough testosterone, don’t worry”. 12 weeks later she’s lost 6.5kg and has a pretty decent deadlift.

Seeing that my sister managed to survive on a meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and the occasional dark chocolate diet, seeing she didn’t feel the need or craving for bread and cheese – and maybe fed-up of hearing me begging him to try – my dad gave it a go.

I pulled up the autoimmune protocol from your book and added some supplements like glucosamine, chrondotoin, etc. I asked him every day at breakfast, lunch and dinner how strong his joints pain were from 0 to 10 (once he told me that 10 meant he couldn’t walk). We started at an average of 8. Two weeks later, he’s around 3-4. It’s been a complete game changer for him. Where before he was relying only on what the doctors had said: “You can eat whatever you want, you have RA, food isn’t going to change anything, you have to live with it”. I was in the room when his doc said that (because I’d ask about food causing inflammation such as gluten and dairy) and I was fuming inside. But I didn’t say anything, after hearing how useless it was to argue with doctors.

At this point I had convinced 2 people out of 3. My dad was now thinking more about his diet and the pain “It’s painful today, oh yeah, we had some heavy cream with the fish at your uncle’s last night, I’ll avoid it next time” – I couldn’t believe what I’d heard. And my sister was losing bodyfat while getting stronger at the same time, she just wouldn’t stop smiling and laughing, all the opposite of when I came back. But my mum… she just wouldn’t try. I tried to talk to her, and she wouldn’t even consider it: “I NEED bread to get through the day”. So knowing her I waited.

And she took the bait. My dad had lost 2kg and my sister another dress size. Mum: “If I do your lifting thing, will I lose my belly fat? I just want to lose my belly fat.” – “Mum, 80% of the progress is the diet”. – “What’s the point of starting the diet? I’m going on holidays in 2 weeks.” – “Great, then, try it for 2 weeks, if you’re happy with those 2 weeks then we continue afterward, if you’re not, then you haven’t had bread and dairy for 2 weeks and you can have a feast on holidays. Deal?” – “Ok”. In 2 weeks, she lost 2 kg and slept like a baby: no more insomnia. She went on holidays for 12 days with my dad (during which I took care of the “farm”: rabbits, ducks, chicken and a huge garden) and they both came straight back to Paleo.

After 3 months on the lifestyle change, my dad’s RA pain has gone to 2 now. He’d started at 8. He doesn’t clench his hands anymore, doesn’t have cramps in his fingers either and almost doesn’t limp anymore (his right wrist and left foot have been deformed by the RA).

Right now I am thinking into getting him to lift weights twice a week. I’m looking around the internet to see if it is a wise thing or not due to his condition. I am aware that what I am doing now with Paleo and weightlifting sounds like “when the only tool you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail” – and by being conscious of it I try I always ask myself if my approach is the right one – but he has lost 14kg in the last 5 years since the RA started. The guy was a builder, short and strong, you could say he used to look like one of the dwarves in the Lord of the Ring movies!

Anyway, hopefully I should be able to put some muscles back on him and also to get the RA pain down to 0 so he can slowly try to get off the antibiotics and Enbrel.

So that’s it. That’s the happy ending Robb, and it’s thanks to you. I used all your advice, all the experiences you shared with us, your greasy salesman pitch and so on. I had never been much of a family man, but now at the age of 29 I can finally enjoy spending time, sharing and teachings things to them. I can finally help them. We always used to fight with my sister and it was nasty, now we’re making up for this wasted time. My dad was never a big talker, now he opens up more because he sees I care about him and try harder than the doctors to “fix” him. And I can now spend some one on one time with my mum during our morning walks. I’m confident that one day my brother will give it a go too, and my nieces are having a better start in life now since my sister gives bacon and eggs to her 2 year old’s instead of cereals and biscuits for breakfast.

I know this whole story sounds a bit mental: “Paleo fixed my family”, but it kinda did. And I have to say it is thanks to you Robb. Like I said two years ago, “You are one of the few people I admire and consider a role model in this world.” And I still think so.

Many times you asked on the podcast why people where still listening to the show when you felt you had answered all the questions. It’s going to be weird again, but hearing your voice is comforting, because it feels like sh*t hits the fan everywhere, in every part of the world, it’s all doom and gloom but when I listen to the podcast it reminds me that there are few guys like you who haven’t given up on doing the right thing, doesn’t matter what, and it gives me hope. That’s what I think anyway.

Right, this is getting a bit long, and I don’t want to waste too much of your precious time. So thank you for all you do, thank you for the positive impact you had on me and my family.

I want to be like you when I grow up! Man… you look better at 42 than me at 29! Congratulations on your second child, you and Nicky have a great Wolf pack :) I wish you all the best, you deserve to be happy and have a great life Mr. Robb Wolf.

Much Love – but not gay Love! (You look great but I still prefer girls – petite, blond, blue/green eyes so you’re not my type, haha).

One last time: merci, sincérement.
Damien.

Damien before : December 2011, 6 months before going Paleo, 77kg, 3 Muay-Thai sessions per week + 2 bodyweight conditionning sessions per week.

Damien after: March 2014, almost 2 years on the Paleo diet, 84kg, 3 Muay-Thai sessions per week + 2 weightlifting sessions per week (following Robb & Greg’s advices on the podcast to include some barbell traning).

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by Chris Kresser (web)

picture of paleo template signpost

Over the last couple of years, as the popularity of the Paleo diet has expanded, a lot of controversy has emerged over exactly what a Paleo diet is.

Part of the problem is that there are now a number of authors and bloggers – from Mark Sisson to Kurt Harris to Robb Wolf to Paul Jaminet to myself – that advocate what might generally be called a Paleo diet, but with slight variations in each case. This has unfortunately led to some confusion for people new to the “Paleo diet”.

It has also spawned new terminology in an effort by each author/blogger to clarify the differences in their approach, such as Mark Sisson’s “Primal diet”, Paul Jaminet’s “Perfect Health Diet”, and Kurt Harris’ former “PaNu or Paleo 2.0″ and current “Archevore” concepts.

So what’s the controversy or confusion all about? It usually revolves around the following questions:

  • Is the Paleo diet low-carb or low-fat? Is saturated fat permitted? If so, how much?
  • How much protein should someone eat on a Paleo diet?
  • Does the Paleo diet include dairy products – or not? Which kinds of dairy?
  • Are any grains at all permitted?

In the early days, following Loren Cordain’s book, The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat, the Paleo diet was considered to be moderate in carbohydrate and low in saturated fat (though monounsaturated fat wasn’t restricted).

Then, as low-carb diets rose in popularity and many low-carbers switched over to Paleo, it seemed that the lines between low-carb and Paleo began to blur. For these folks, the Paleo diet is high in fat – especially saturated fat – and low in carbohydrates, with a moderate amount of protein.

More recently, some authors/bloggers have advocated a diet based roughly on Paleo principles but that also may include dairy products and even certain grains like white rice and buckwheat, depending on individual tolerance. Still others have suggested that a high carb, lower fat diet – provided the carbs come from starchy vegetables and not grains – may be optimal.

So what is a Paleo diet? Is it low-carb? Low-fat? Does it include dairy? Grains?

We’re not robots: variation amongst groups and individuals

The answer to that question depends on several factors. First, are we asking what our Paleolithic ancestors ate, or are we asking what an optimal diet for modern humans is? While hard-core Paleo adherents will argue that there’s no difference, others (including me) would suggest that the absence of a food during the Paleolithic era does not necessarily mean that it’s not nutritious or beneficial. Dairy products are a good example.

Second, as recent studies have revealed, we can’t really know what our ancestors ate with 100% certainty, and there is undoubtedly a huge variation amongst different populations. For example, we have the traditional Inuit and the Masai who ate a diet high in fat (60-70% of calories for the Masai and up to 90% of calories for the Inuit), but we also have traditional peoples like the Okinawans and Kitavans that obtained a majority (60-70% or more) of their calories from carbohydrate. So it’s impossible to say that the diet of our ancestors was either “low-carb” or “low-fat”, without specifying which ancestors we’re talking about.

Third, if we are indeed asking what the optimal diet is for modern humans (rather than simply speculating about what our Paleolithic ancestors ate), there’s no way to answer that question definitively. Why? Because just as there is tremendous variation amongst populations with diet, there is also tremendous individual variation. Some people clearly do better with no dairy products. Yet others seem to thrive on them. Some feel better with a low-carb approach, while others feel better eating more carbohydrate. Some seem to require a higher protein intake (up to 20-25% of calories), but others do well when they eat a smaller amount (10-15%).

The Paleo diet vs. the Paleo template

I suggest we stop trying to define the “Paleo diet” and start thinking about it instead as a “Paleo template”.

What’s the difference? A Paleo diet implies a particular approach with clearly defined parameters that all people should follow. There’s little room for individual variation or experimentation.

A Paleo template implies a more flexible and individualized approach. A template contains a basic format or set of general guidelines that can then be customized based on the unique needs and experience of each person.

But here’s the key difference between a Paleo diet and a Paleo template: following a diet doesn’t encourage the participant to think, experiment or consider his or her specific circumstances, while following a templatedoes.

In my 9 Steps to Perfect Health series, I attempted to define the general dietary guidelines that constitute the Paleo template:

  • Don’t eat toxins: avoid industrial seed oils, improperly prepared cereal grains and legumes and excess sugar (especially fructose)
  • Nourish your body: emphasize saturated and monounsaturated fat while reducing intake of polyunsaturated fat, favor glucose/starch over fructose, and favor ruminant animal protein and seafood over poultry
  • Eat real food: eat grass-fed, organic meat and wild fish, and local, organic produce when possible. Avoid processed, refined and packaged food.

Within these guidelines, however, there’s a lot of room for individual differences. When people ask me whether dairy products are healthy, I always say “it depends”. I give the same answer when I’m asked about nightshades, caffeine, alcohol and carbohydrate intake.

The only way to figure out what an optimal diet is for you is to experiment and observe. The best way to do that is to remove the “grey area” foods you suspect you might have trouble with, like dairy, nightshades, eggs, etc. for a period of time (usually 30 days is sufficient), and add them back in one at a time and observe your reactions. This “30-day challenge” or elimination diet is what folks like Robb Wolf have recommended for a long time.

As human beings we’re both similar and different. We share the same basic physiology, which is why a Paleo template makes sense. There are certain foods that, because of their chemical structure, adversely affect all of us regardless of our individual differences. These are the foods I mentioned in my “Don’t Eat Toxins” article.

On the other hand, each of us is unique. We grew up in different families, with different dietary habits, life experiences, exposures to environmental toxins and lifestyles. Many of our genes are the same, but some are different and the way those genes have been triggered or expressed can also differ.

For someone with an autoimmune disease, dairy products, nightshades and eggs may be problematic. Yet for others, these foods are often well-tolerated. This variation merely underscores the importance of discovering your own optimal diet rather than blindly following someone else’s prescription.

I think it’s a complete waste of time and energy to argue about what a Paleo diet is, because the question is essentially unanswerable. The more important question is, what is your optimal diet?