I briefly wanted to share my experiences so far with going from a Zone eating style to a full Paleo eating style (or rather – a Mark Sisson Primal Eating style). As outlined in a previous posts (here, here and here), my goals are losing some weight whilst working on my VO2max, hence I am going for 50-100g of carbs, 150-200g of protein, and 2000-2500cals overall per day (the balance obviously being provided by fat).
I have to say, for me it is not such a big change. I had cut out sugar in favor for more complex carbs a while ago, and I was eating very little starchy stuff, apart from bread (quite liberally though), oats, and sometimes rice. I was also rather heavy on dairy products, especially semi-skimmed milk, cottage cheese (an English thing – loads of protein, little fat and lactose), and a special brand of low-fat Greek yogurt. The idead behing the dairy was in particular to provide protein – I was on 150-200g already and that was difficult to get otherwise. As an aside – I do find it difficult to get those amounts of protein per day from meat and fish alone: 100g of protein tend to be just below 500g, and whilst I am not against eating animals in principal, I consider those amounts rather excessive.
So the biggest changes on the downside for me were
- No more bread
- No more oats
- Reduced dairy
whilst I upped the following
- Nuts (pretty much never ate them beforehand)
- Eggs (sometimes, but not often)
So what is my experience with this so far? Firstly, I have to say that I am hungry even on 2000+ calories, and I remember not having been hungry on 1600 cals/day on a Zone diet. It is not a bad hunger though – just slightly uncomfortable – so I’ll deal with it for the time being an see how it goes. I also feel a bit light-headed at times, and I have the impression that upon easy exercise I am slightly more quickly out-of-breath. For those reasons I though about scaling down my gym session yesterday, just to “take it easy for the first few days”. I decided against it though, and I am glad I did. In fact, once I got running I felt very good and not at all weaker than before – if anything I felt more energetic than the last time I did the same workout – which might well be due to the fact though that I trained quite a lot of running in between and was starting from a low base, so improvement is to be expected.
In summary – the jury is still out, but in balance I am actually rather positive.
To be continued…