Day 13

Morning Weight – 86.3kgs (thanks to all that extra food from last night sitting in my belly)

Breakfast – Tom Yum soup with chicken as per yesterday.

Lunch – 500g of sweet chilli chicken wings. The meat itself was grass fed and so very high quality. The sauce unfortunately contained a small amount of sugar, making it non-paleo. But overall not too bad.

Dinner –

After my 500g chicken wings, I didn’t really fancy any protein, so just went for salad. Lettuce, cabbage, tomato and celery, did the job nicely.

Snacks

Dates (frowned upon by some Paleoites due to the high fructose levels). Truth be told I ate far too much of these, but they are too nice.

Handful of almonds.

Interesting side note – this morning when I woke up my co-ordination was terrible. I kept dropping things, which is very uncommon for me. Side effects of all the MSG from last night maybe?

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Day 12

Possibly a tough day ahead as I was working in London, so getting paleo food would be difficult. I managed to buffer some of the pressure away by having today as a designated “Cheat day”, but I wanted to limit the damage done to the later part of the day.

Breakfast –

3 fried eggs – bog standard hit of protein. Kept my hunger at bay for a long time, so fulfilled its purpose.

Lunch –

Miso soup with spinach and chilli, and a small amount of noodles. The noodles obviously aren’t paleo, but its the best I could do where I was. All told, the lunch came in at roughly 350kcal, taking my kcal to about 650 for the day so far.

Dinner – Cheat meal!

And then the wheels came off! Had a Chinese take away (which Im not happy about, as I hate MSG, but it was the girlfriends choice) followed by a tub of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, and a 250g box of chocolate covered Brazil nuts. I managed to limit the damage from the Chinese by choosing grilled duck breast with bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. All told this must have come in at about 3500-4000kcal for this meal together, putting my daily intake at a non-too-shabby 4500kcal. Back to Paleo tomorrow (maybe).

Day 11

Morning Weight – 85.2Kg

Breakfast –

Some more yummy Tom Yum soup, with a chicken breast (its in there, just submerged). Great way to start the day.

Lunch / Dinner –

As I didn’t have my breakfast until reasonably late, lunch and dinner was combined into one meal. I had chicken and shredded Asian salad (a mix of cabbage (red and white), carrots, red onion, celery and coriander) dressed with soy sauce. Completely forgot to take a photo, so you will have to take my word for it!

Review of The Paleo Diet So Far

I know I am only 10 days in, but I thought it might be a good idea to have a mini-review of how things are going so far. Overall, the diet is reasonably easy to stick to, once you get a good understanding of what is allowed and what isn’t. Dairy and grains are the easy things to avoid, as its obvious what they are, and they food products they are contained in. What can be difficult is the “Hidden” non-Paleoness of some items. I mentioned Black Pudding, which contains wheat. A lot of condiments, such as soy sauce and vinegar also often contain yeast. Tinned produce is difficult because of the added salt and preservatives, which aren’t paleo.

Another issue with food selection is that there are various definitions regarding what is actually paleo. Strict paleo omits sweet potato, peanut butter, peanuts, and also limit eggs and fatty cuts of meat – and then you get varying degrees of strictness after that. Some paleo-ites also practice restriction on fruit due to the fructose. Interestingly, the strictest form of paleo that I have come across is the Loren Cordain variety, and he places next to no restriction on fruits. I guess the main message is to use paleo as your main framework, and then work around that on the grey-areas, such as fruit, eggs, peanut butter and sweet potato.

In terms of energy levels, I haven’t felt at all tired. In fact, I am probably consuming more food than normal, but as it isn’t of the refined variety the calorie density is much less, so I can get away with it. In terms of food selection, I genuinely enjoy eating meats and fresh fruit and vegetables, and don’t really like potatoes, grain or dairy products, so I haven’t found it that hard to stick to. The hardest thing to give up has been my evening hot chocolate!

 

Day 10

Morning Weight – 86.0kg (you can see how the massive chilli last night affected this!)

Breakfast –

Same as yesterday – 3 egg omelette with spinach and ginger zinger.

Lunch –

Chicken breast, two tomatoes, hard boiled egg and celery

Dinner –

Prawn Tom Yum Soup (you can’t see the prawns because they have sunk!). This was really nice – reasonably spicy, full of good compounds like vitamins and ginger. In future I might make this with real chicken stock – i.e. boil a chicken carcass for a few hours. That way I will get plenty of good joint health things like glucosamine, which would be a healthier way to get it rather than through tablets. I can see this meal making up quite a solid part of my diet over the next few weeks, as it was quick and easy to make.

Snacks –

Pineapple, cashew nuts.

Day 9

Morning Weight = 85.2kg

Breakfast –

3 egg omelette with spinach and ginger zinger with broccoli and carrot.

Lunch –

Left over green Thai chicken curry with beetroot salad leaves and cheery tomatoes.

Dinner –

Forgot to take a picture of this, but it was a big chilli, with 500g beef mince, onion, garlic, paprika, chilli, cayenne pepper, carrots, celery and spinach. Its a lot of food, but from time to time I don’t mind having a bigger dinner if I feel I need it. Quite often it reduces hunger the next day, which stops me picking at snacks foods.

Day 8

Morning Weight – 85.7kg

Breakfast – same as yesterday (beef, lettuce, ginger zinger + broccoli)

Lunch –

Chicken breast seasoned with fennel, hard boiled egg, lettuce, and beef tomato. I seasoned the beef tomato with a bit of mineral salt, and it was very nice!

Dinner –

Thai Green Curry (chicken, almonds, green pepper, chilli, garlic, onion, and coconut milk). I usually go for really spicy curries, so this milder one was quite nice. I don’t often use coconut milk, as in the past it has given me a stomach upset, so I will see how I feel in the next few days. In the short term though, I haven’t had any ill effects.

Day 7

Morning Weight – 86 kg

Breakfast –

Left over beef from last night with a beetroot salad, and ginger zinger with added broccoli.

Lunch

Left over Moroccan chicken from yesterday afternoon, along with a salad of rocket, tomato and cucumber.

Dinner-

Casear-style salad with hardboiled eggs, anchovies, chicken breast, cress and lettuce.

Overall I feel pretty good today, no sign of any ill effects from the ice cream (dairy) or diet coke (aspartame) from last night, so it looks like I can handle them in small doses.

Day 6

 

Morning Weight – 85.7kg

Breakfast – same old eggs, spinach and ginger zinger. Managed to get more broccoli into the zinger this time, and it juiced quite a bit better!

Lunch –

Moroccan chicken (marinated with paprika, cumin, coriander), homemade chunky guacamole (2 avocados, chilli, cherry tomato, coriander and lemon juice) and lettuce. Recipe as always from “Jamie Does…”

Dinner –

Beef roast with horseradish and roast parsnips. Not pictured – Coconut flavoured ice cream and diet coke.

At the start I said I would have one “bad” meal per week, and this is it. The main course isn’t that bad – except that parsnips aren’t strictly paleo – but dessert was a bit naughty, with 500ml of ice cream and some non-paleo diet coke as I watched a film. I made sure I took plenty of fish oils both before and after the meal to improve my insulin sensitivity, as well as some extra calcium to help neutralise the acidic soft drink. The massive hit of protien pre-ice cream will also have helped blunt the insulin release. Lets see if this makes me feel rough tomorrow. I have enough beef left over for breakfast for the next 2 days!

Trends In My Body Weight

As you can see this week, I have had a range of weight from 86.9kg (Day 1) to 85.2kg (Day 5). It really would be tempting to think that all this is down to lost body fat. But that wouldn’t be the case – each 1kg of fat is worth about 7000kcal. So a decrease of 1.7kg would be down to a 12000kcal deficit. Over a 5 day period, this would equate to a daily under eat of 2400kcal, which is higher than my basal metabolic weight. To achieve this, I would have to eat NO food, and burn around 500kcal through exercise.

 

This is why weight is a reasonably poor measure of body fat. It’s easily affected by factors such as hydration and amount of food in stomach/GI tract. In sports people, it’s also likely to be affected by muscle glycogen status. Muscle glycogen is stored along with water, and so as it is used up, water is released and excreted. So a disproportionate amount of weight is lost relative to actual glycogen used.

 

Weight loss in the early days of a new diet is often quite high as a high-carb based diet increases water retention; therefore going onto a lower carb diet would result in a quick loss of water, and hence weight.

 

Weight can be useful to see general trends. Just don’t get excited by a sudden drop in weight, or too down from a sudden increase. If the general trend over a 5-day period is downwards, this is good news. The best way to measure fat-loss is through the use of calipers and skinfolds, but this really isn’t available to everyone.