I realise this is a much debated and often opinionated topic that has health professions and to some degree sporting and lifestyle groups divided, but after adopting a similar diet about 18months ago due to numerous health issues ranging from candida, leaky gut and a severe gut bacteria imbalance here are my experiences;
Firstly I didn’t set out to go Paleo but gravitated towards it as I began to cut out all refined carbs and packaged foods, along with sugar including fruit. 3 years ago I was diagnosed via blood tests as lactose, soy and almond intolerant therefore my diet had already been significantly changed and looking back they were the early warning signs of things to come as the list of intolerances grew. The biggest issue for me initially was fruit as it played a massive role in my daily diet as an endurance athlete, as for most in this sport the education always suggested carbohydrates were the key to training, racing and recovery. Adapting not only my body but changing my beliefs to using a different fuel source became the hardest and most challenging aspect of the new eating plan. How did I tackle it? Well the same way I tackle most issues, tasks or challenges, via education, trial and of course error! However I continued to work with my doctor to monitor bloods and stool samples ensuring I took all guess work out of the equation.
Like many weight loss happened rather quickly but I think this was due to large reduction in fibre, therefore water loss.
As I continued to train my energy levels decreased and now that I refused to use gels or quick energy sources my sessions really suffered, that said at this stage all my learning had been reactive to problems as they occurred rather than proactive by planning, reading and learning from other low carb athletes. One of the biggest mistakes made is to think your the first or only person to encounter problems, always remember with technology today help, support and information is always there.
I’m now about 18 months into my journey and feel that slowly things are coming together physically but also mentally ( another overlooked aspect of paleo LIVING)
The last thing I will share is if you struggle with stomach issues like bloating, gas or intolerances don’t blame the diet until you check the body! I neglected this for to long and all it’s taken is a simple digestive aid and my stomach feels great again and foods actually get used for energy again!
For those that are interested, already trying or still skeptical, I encourage you to take ownership of YOUR health by reading, asking questions and investigating what the actual concept of not only Paleo but being HEALTHY truly means.
Self-empowerment via education is an amazing feeling when it comes to your life!
I Encourage all to visit a paleo store and see how transparent they are, educational books galore from a variety of authors with research backed concepts….. That said I’m well aware this isn’t for everyone but don’t make that decision based on anything but your knowledge.
Here is a picture from my local paleo store with education a plenty!
If anyone has further questions on this topic feel free to contact me, I definitely don’t claim to be an expert but have done my share of reading, experimenting and investigating to help most.