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31 May 2012

Paleo: My Attempt At The Caveman’s Diet

Diets were never my thing. I found the very idea appalling! How could someone follow a certain pattern of eating? What if I felt like eating a specific food on a certain day? I have cravings all the time. One day I feel like chicken and on another, I feel like chocolate. There may be diets that allow chicken but what about chocolate? The general idea of working with an eating schedule was never going to stick with me.

When the doctor said I needed to lose weight, to ease the pressure on my knees, I said WTF. How was I going to lose weight without working out? I could barely walk! Then, my husband said the dreaded word. DIET. I did not buy it. What diet on earth could make me lighter without exercise? There was no way in hell I was going to subject my taste buds to granola bars and oat meals day after day! The very thought of eating less started to make my stomach tingle with hunger. Diets are not my thing. He shoved a book on Paleo diet in my face and insisted I take a look.

The only thing more painful than following a diet is reading 90 pages on why I should. I grudgingly agreed to diet, without bothering to look at the book. I had to do what I had to do. Either I was going to die of starvation or I would lose enough weight to get back on my feet. If I lived, I decided, I would trash the “meal plan” and celebrate with a buffet at Max Brenner.

The first day went by without much of a hassle. It was his idea, so the husband cooked. He was trying really hard to help me stick to this diet. I missed rice but I survived. By the evening of the second day, I felt malnourished. I was starving and I was craving for real food. The husband was out when I came home from work. I threw my handbag on the floor and ran to the kitchen. I dug in the fridge and found 2 thin slices of steak from the previous week. I quickly cooked them and gorged them down as if they would disappear if I waited any longer. Then, I went looking for something sweet. Half a packet of Oreos later, I started feeling guilty. I had not even survived two full days of my diet. How was I going to last 8 weeks?

Surprisingly, that was the last day I gave in to such weakness. Once a day, I would crave to eat something but I would stick to my diet. On the odd occasion, when I felt like cheating on the diet, I would buy my husband the snack and take a bite out of it. The husband was doing his best to make the food look delectable. He decided that larger portions would help cope with my hunger. I came to acknowledge that he was a rather amazing cook. I successfully managed to get through the first week of my first attempt at ‘dieting’ without missing any particular food too much. In fact, by the end of the week I had started to enjoy it so much that I joined in the cooking. Some of the stuff we cooked was fun and everything was so easy to cook.

We never had to throw away anything we made but I wondered how long I could hold off on the cravings. The diet was primarily meat, eggs and lots of greens, with a bit of fruits and nuts. Grains and diary were a big NO. From a magazine I read recently, I found out that Paleo stood for Palaeolithic and the diet itself was based on the caveman’s diet back in the years. Apparently, this is one of the hot diets of recent times. That was encouraging. Suddenly my Paleo diet was ‘cool’.

As we cooked, we tried to understand the effects of the various flavours on the food and appreciated the different smells. We did not just watch but learned from Masterchef every evening. It was all fun but was it working? The increased portions were worrying me. I was not starved any more but was I losing weight? That was the real test. Gingerly, I stepped on the weighing machine on Day 7 of my diet. It took me a bit to realize that I actually weighed lesser. That was the fastest I had lost weight, without any workout. That clinched the deal. No matter what, I was going to stick to this diet! The husband is, obviously, very happy.

I still have a long way to go but it is not so hard anymore. Once this is done, Max Brenner awaits me. Dieting may never have been on my bucket list but I can add it on, now and mark it done. Been there done that. Woot!

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