Tuesday, September 29, 2015

To Paleo or not to Paleo....

Time certainly flies when one is busy with work and home life.  I can't believe I haven't posted in almost a month.  Time to address that.

I have been doing a good deal of reading and research on a new, old way of eating frequently referred to as the Paleo Diet.  The basic premise of this way of eating is that as homo sapiens, we evolved to process certain foods based upon what we were eating.  For thousands of years, what we had available for foods were lean proteins, fruits and nuts, and vegetables.  that's it.  There wasn't anything refined or ground or made into something else.



If you think about it, this means that to survive and thrive, our bodies adapted to these available foods and utilized them to the fullest.  Our complex system of energy production evolved to prefer these types of foods.  Obesity and type 2 diabetes were rare.  Of course the fact that there wasn't a lot of sitting around back then due to the needs of being hunter gatherers didn't hurt, either.

We even did fairly well with some refined foods for the last few thousand years because life still required a fair amount of physical labor.  then came the industrial and technological revolutions and suddenly we have people (like me) spending countless hours a day, basically immobile, doing very little physical movement.  Add to the refined foods and sugars in abundance and its no wonder we have an obesity epidemic in this country.


The anecdotal proof is hard to deny.  As the physical demands of life have decreased and the abundance of processed, sugary foods has increased, the obesity rate has gone through the roof. Not only in this country but other developed nations as well. To see this shift to not physical work and its effect on health, just look at China.  As their economy and lifestyles evolve to match those of the west, the incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes is skyrocketing.  Several articles have indicated that the rate of those with the disease has almost doubled in the last 10 years.

With all of this in mind, I am going to start following a Paleo approach to my eating.  I will focus on vegetables and fruits, eat lean protein, limit my dairy and cheese and virtually eliminate refined foods from my diet.  No more breads and pasta.  Much less regular potatoes.  No refined sugars.  I am also planning on moving more, getting up and walking at least once per hour.  I feel this will have a very positive impact on my health and my weight.

To monitor all of this I am making an appointment to see my doctor in a couple of weeks, during which I am sure he will be ordering blood work.  this will be a starting point for me and I hope that in 6 months, when he repeats the same blood work, it will show some significant improvements.

As of today, my current weight is 456 lbs.  That is up from this same time last year, but its not my highest weight.  that was about 2 years ago when I hit 480.  I don't plan on getting there, ever again. I don't have specific weight loss targets.  I am simply going to monitor my weight as an indicator as to how well my body is responding to the new eating and movement plan.

Along the way I am planning on getting back on my bike to add in more movement and exercise.  Its about time since its been several months since I last rode.

Get on your bike and ride!