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Progressively Paleo

Going “Paleo” with your diet comes with a long list of benefits for health, performance and longevity. For most people at CrossFit Winnipeg, the Paleo Diet is what I would recommend before going to the Zone diet.

Making the jump to a wheat-and-sugar-and-dairy-and-legumes-free diet is not easy. And since we’re not looking at this is a temporary solution, but rather a lifestyle choice, we want to get into this in a manner that will stick.

Here’s a quick intro to the approach that I have been using for the last several weeks to get myself through the transition in a way that will stick.

Step 1 – Determine a few things that you regularly do in your diet that are not compatible with your goals.

I made a short list of some of the frequent problem areas in my diet.

Step 2 – Choose any one of those problem areas as the one you’re going to work on this week.

Step 3 – Frame your goal for how you’re going to address this problem in a way that you are confident you can handle.

For example, my first area was peanuts. I was eating a lot of peanuts and peanut butter. Peanuts are a legume – not a nut – and have qualities that are not favourable if you’re interested in being lean. I framed my first change as “Replace peanuts with other nuts, and peanut butter with almond butter”.

Step 4 – Practice implementing your new change for 4 – 7 days before returning back to step 2.

I’ve been doing this now for about 2 months and have made tremendous progress which seems to be sticking. I’d encourage you to allow yourself 1 – 3 cheat meals per week at which you do not gorge yourself, but you give yourself the freedom to eat some of those foods you used to regularly consume.

This is not a rapid guide to fat loss or performance increases, but you will experience both over time. More importantly, you’re setting a foundation for healthy diet habits for the rest of your life.

Some other changes I have implemented:

– One glass of milk per day
– One small dessert per day… later on I moved on to one small dessert on the day before rest days
– No more wheat products at meals

Let us know if you have any ideas for other manageable changes. Sometimes, realistically, “never eat ice cream again” is too daunting a choice to make that is pretty much doomed for failure. But over weeks, months, and years of small changes some very big changes can take place.

I have no time to edit this before publishing. I hope it makes sense. Feel free to ask any questions. If you’re not sure where to start in your diet, bring me a 3 day food log and I’ll give you some suggestions.

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