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Where People Typically Go Wrong When Starting a “Paleo” Diet

May 22nd, 2015
Where people typically go wrong when starting a paleo diet

We have just kicked off our latest 30 day challenge and we are absolutely thrilled about this!  This way of eating…REAL, whole food as nature intended has done amazing things for our health and well-being and we are certain it will do the same for you.

We’ve seen and heard from so many people sharing their testimonies on how this way of eating has helped them lose weight, better their health, and improve performance.  At the end of the day it’s a lifestyle change.  Once people experience the benefits…they usually never go back to the way they used to do things.

Having said that we have also seen people struggle with this transition, and end up not getting the results they had hoped for.   Unexpected challenges and difficulties always come up with any change, but especially with dietary changes that have become habitual over a lifetime.  In an effort to make this change as easy as possible for you and more importantly get you adapted to a better way of healthy eating, we want to help you be aware of the common difficulties that people have so you can AVOID them.

Not making it fun We see this a lot as people tend to resist change and not flow with it.   They usually end up eating the same thing every day for breakfast lunch and dinner and then throw their arms up in the air in frustration saying “what the heck am I supposed to eat” or “this is boooorrrring.”   This is not true…there is a whole world of meats, veggies, herbs and spices out there waiting for you to explore them…so explore more, try new things and embrace the change.  When we started eating this way, my wife’s idea of cooking dinner was fixing a bowl of cereal or throwing sandwich together.  Needless to say, it took some time to learn to cook and some courage to try new foods.  People that are bored or frustrated with trying this way of eating also seem to complain about being in the kitchen, the process of cooking and shopping for food.  The problem is not the kitchen, cooking, or shopping but rather the individual’s way of thinking that turns it into a problem.  Become aware when the voice in your head wants to label something into a problem, recognize it for what it is which is the old way…the old you that wants to keep you stuck and prevent you from moving forward.  Try not to react or identify with that voice and remember what you are doing here…you are doing something amazing for your self…you are improving your health and well being.  In order to make this work in the long run it has to be an enjoyable experience for you.  So get in the kitchen and dance with the dishes;)


Eating too many nuts & seeds.  Nuts and seeds are amazing!  They are also hard to stop eating for most people.  I am one of those people, as I cannot stop eating nuts…it’s nearly impossible.  I could eat 2 pounds in one sitting and not breathe while I’m doing it. When people say they haven’t done well on a “paleo” type diet, many times we see them eating too many nuts and seeds.  There are a few problems with nuts and seeds that you should be aware of.  For one they are extremely high in omega 6 fat which can be fairly inflammatory to the body….especially when you “crack out” on them.  They also have some gut irritation potential because of high levels of lectin load and phytic acid.  Nuts and seeds are very calorically dense and while we don’t want you thinking of counting calories it’s still a factor to consider with weight loss or improving health.  We definitely recommend taking it easy on the nuts  seeds.  Think of using them more of a condiment rather than habitually going for handful after handful.  We also suggest preparing the nuts and seeds properly by soaking and dehydrating them to reduce the gut irritating properties and maximize nutrient value. For detailed information on this and and how to do it, go HERE.

Eating too much fruit.  This is so common.  Sugar is sugar….and sugar is part of the problem, arguably the biggest problem in terms of making one sick and overweight.  Far too often people end up having bananas and mangos for breakfast, peaches and pineapples for lunch and strawberries for dinner.  You won’t get the results you are looking for with eating all that sugar.  This way of eating will consistently spike your insulin and put you in fat storing mode…not a good place to be.  Most people are extremely addicted to sugar but don’t realize it.  It’s very hard to step away from it, but if your goal is improving health or losing weight then you are going to have to step away from the high fruit consumption.  Think of eating just a little bit of fruit and stay with the “not-too-sugary” fruits like apples, grapes and berries.  Eat them in moderation and eat them with a quality protein source and fat as this will prevent your body from producing too much insulin.  It’s all about managing insulin through controlling your blood sugar.

Not sleeping enough.  One night of sleep deprivation will make you insulin resistant…meaning it will put you in fat storing mode.  You could be eating a perfect real food paleo type diet and doing everything right but if you aren’t getting adequate sleep it could put a stop to helping you lose weight as well as make you sick.  SLEEP IS SUCH A BIG DEAL!!  We are not talking about 6-7 hours…we are talking about 8-10 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a pitch black room.  For tips on better sleep please go here.

Playing the victim role.   At some point you may be eating in front of family, friends and co-workers.  You will either decline a certain food or they may ask you a question about what you are eating.  Other people (usually the typical overweight/unhealthy American who frequents the doctors office) will have the tendency to say something to you in reference to the way you eating such as “oh…man that really sucks” , “I feel sorry for you”, or “I could never do that.”  Upon hearing this you may also start to think these thoughts in your head by saying “yeah…this does suck”…or…”sucks to be me.”  This will only get worse….soon you’ll be crying out for help telling the world about how bad you have it now that you can’t have soda, sugar and white bread.  Or worse…you may convince yourself that you can’t do this and start shoveling the Twinkies an Doritos in your mouth.  This is absolute non-sense and it should be recognized immediately for what it is, which is RESISTANCE that wants to keep you stuck.  It’s the same RESISTANCE that has everyone else stuck, fearful of moving forward and making positive changes happen.  Practice not playing the victim role whether it’s coming from external or internal voices.

See HERE for an article we previously wrote on how to handle “office food” and social situations.

Not cleaning out the pantry.  Plain and simple…you have to get rid of the crap that is holding you down.  If your pantry is still full of processed and refined food then it’s inevitable that you’re going to end up there eating it.  You may find yourself unconsciously in front of the fridge reaching for ice cream…how does this happen?  Food manufacture’s spend a fortune creating food that tastes amazing and is addictive…and they do a damn good job!  Get rid of the junk in your house!  Sometimes will power just simply isn’t enough.  Commit to this change!  Out with the old and in with the new!

Not focusing on quality People often hear “meat and veggies” and give no consideration to the quality of the food.  They end up eating fast food chicken nuggets, gas station jerky or some microwave dinner thinking that they are doing the right thing.  These types of meats are loaded with chemicals, have a poor fatty acid profile, raised on grains and typically loaded with sugar.   We ask that you buy produce as real as you can to it’s original state.  Make sure whatever you are buying doesn’t have sugar hidden somewhere in the ingredients.  Look on the back of every label…if you can’t pronounce it or don’t know what it is…don’t eat it! The best choice is to eat real food that doesn’t have a label, as close to nature as possible.  We realize not everyone can get grass-fed, grass-finished, wild caught and free range meat AND organic veggies/fuits because of proximity and cost issues…don’t stress about it, but do the best you can.

Too much stress.  You know those people who are always wound up, on the go, in hurry, be here, be there, got to do this, must do that.  They are missing the boat!  More importantly…is this person you?  Either case…we have to recognize that this is an extremely fast pace world that can sometimes take us over.  Know this…nothing is more important than your inner space and your peace…. and YOU are the one who controls it.  Ask yourself frequently if there is an ease and lightness in what you are doing?  This doesn’t mean you can’t work fast or effectively. Sometimes it’s not WHAT you do but rather HOW you do it.  Take some peace periods during the day, watch a tree grow, listen to some birds chirp and feel the breeze.  Damn that feels good:)  There are much more important things in life to consider than your busy “to do list.”  If someone comes to you and they’re all panic’d and stressed…see if you can chill them out a bit by not reacting to them.  This doesn’t mean not listening to them…quite the opposite.  Give them your fullest attention but remain completely still, free of any unnecessary tension, breath through your belly, relax your shoulders, let go of straining your forehead and just chillax.  You’ll be like a jedi knight when you notice them becoming more calm.  Bring that type of energy into every space.  Be calm in a world of chaos…this is huge and has everything to do with your health and well-being.

Getting on the scale.  People have the habit of getting  on the scale everyday.  The mind chatter goes something like this…

“Is it working?”

”I wonder how much I lost today?”

“oh no…I didn’t lose any weight today…this must not be working.”

“Should I stop?”

“What am I doing wrong?”

“Am I always going to be overweight?”

In the background there is a hurricane of fear.  This will cause further stress and the mind will put in you a constant state of worry.  Your body will think it’s under attack as it senses the threat that your mind is perceiving.  It can make you sick and it can most definitely prevent you from losing weight.

Let go of the mindset that your progress is measured by a number.  YOU are not a number…you are a living organism that needs proper nourishment in the same way a flower needs good water, clean soil and sun.  Create positive thoughts in your mind and trust the process.  Have a vision of where you want to be but don’t be attached to any outcome.  Be patient.  The body is going to do what it’s going to do when it’s going to do it.  All you can do is provide it with an optimal environment and trust this journey.

Not eating enough food.  People have it ingrained in their heads that when they go on a diet it’s all about eating less food, mainly less calories.  This is not about eating less food!  It’s about eating until you are satisfied which happens much easier when you start to incorporate quality protein and traditional fats.  Again…this goes back to the “weight loss” mind set of conventional thinking which is that my health and looks are a measurement of my weight and if I eat less then I’ll lose more weight.  Bad way of thinking…failure to thrive!  Eat until you are satisfied.  This is a lifestyle and you don’t want to be starving the rest of your life!  Listen to your body and give it what it wants!

Not eating enough fat.  Nearly everyone who has been living on Standard American Diet is adapted to using sugar as a primary fuel source.  This way of eating will dramatically reduce your intake of sugar and so sugar will no longer be an abundant source of energy.  Instead your body will become adapted to burning fat as a primary fuel source which is the body’s preferred source of fuel.  Conventional thinking however has conditioned the puplic in thinking that fat is the enemy so people tend to go very light on the fat.  That’s not going to work here…you will crash and feel tired all the time.  Be liberal with the fat and do it up with coconut oil, butter, ghee, and palm oil, etc… You will thrive and your body will thank your for it.

Want more help? Join our 30 Day Challenge here and get step by step instructions on how to maximize your results by changing your diet and lifestyle!

by Chad Walding, DPT

Would you like to supercharge your metabolism so you can burn more fat… even while you sleep?

Then The Paleo Secret’s 30 Day Challenge is just for you!

Click here to get all the details and join thousands of other people across the country who have been melting off fat in just 30 days…

Photo ofChad Walding
Chad Walding
Job Title
Doctor of Physical Therapy
The Paleo Secret

16 Responses

  1. Robert says:

    Eating highly processsed food, take-out food and junk food snacks is most often the cause when people can’t lose weight.

  2. Patricia Pierce says:

    I have already eliminated highly processed food, take-out and junk to a degree but not completely

  3. Terry French says:

    I started this 30 day challenge on Sept 15 2015. I turn 69 in a couple weeks but had a heart attack in 1994, congestive heart failure in 2009 [with a triple bypass and pacemaker/defibrillator] and 2012 throat cancer [with chemotherapy and radiation] I lost about 50 lbs but shortly put it back on. I was 5o lbs overweight and didn’t know where to go until I found the paleo diet! I had just stocked my pantry but still threw out all the bread, dairy, processed foods and canola oil! On the 15th I weighed 198 lbs but as of this morning [4 days later] am already down to 188! I will do this!!! Thank you.

    • brenda.walding says:

      Awesome Terry!! Thank you so much for sharing your progress. Many people that have gone through debilitating disease conditions like, heart issues and cancer, have little hope that they can improve their help. You are an inspiration!! Please keep us posted of your progress. We would love to see before and after pics and hear how things have progressed over the next couple months. Keep us posted! –Brenda

  4. Allynn Riggs says:

    Purchased the 30-day program then promptly had to leave town and internet access for over ten days. Finally back and trying to catch up. Looking forward to basically feeling better and hopefully a bit lighter. Last year my GP suggested I begin taking a diuretic to reduce the swelling in my ankles and feet and perhaps even lose a few pounds. Three months later, with the only other change being the addition of some moderate exercise in the form of swimming one mile 3 times a week, I had gained thirteen pounds! I stopped taking the diuretic but continued with the exercise. Now ten months since my last dose of the diuretic I am back to my starting point weight-wise but am more fit, with fewer inches, than a year ago. I will be adding yoga and meditation to my regimen to help reduce stress and cortisol levels. With these changes I am hoping the Paleo diet will kick me over the plateau I have been on for eighteen years.

    • brenda.walding says:

      Awesome Allynn! You are gonna rock it! I love that you are adding yoga and meditation. Stress is a HUGE factor that can really sabotage your weight loss efforts. Best of luck and keep us posted!

  5. Rose says:

    Hi just to say I’m a new convert & im taking my time in taking in all that I need to arm myself with what I need to make this work, a lot to take in but like I said I’m going slowly but surely, I will be taking up the 30 day challenge as & when I feel confident & armed with my new found knowledge

  6. Rita says:

    I started your program today. I live with my husband and teenage daughter. I can not rid my kitchen of the unhealthy foods “they still have to eat” please give tips on how to Handel this. At 45 I was s healthy wt but I was a smoker and poor diet and genetics. I had a stent put in my heart. I quit smoking and traded nicotine for sugar. When I quit smoking my son his wife and my husband lived with me and they smoked. My son and his wife has their own home now. My husband has since quit smoking. So I’m hoping he will eventually will follow this lifestyle. I had my 52 birthday yesterday. I weigh more than ever even being pregnant . I am so tired of being sick and tired please help me be successful. I have a daughter to raise and need all the help I can get.

    • brenda.walding says:

      You deserve to feel good! You ultimately can’t make anyone else do this, but you can start with YOU. Just because your family doesn’t want to do this, doesn’t mean you can’t. Perhaps, if you do this and start feeling better and looking different…they will start to pay attention. Often this is what happens. When we first started this lifestyle, we talked to our family until we were blue in the face about making changes in their diet. They got sick of us and then it got awkward. We finally dropped it and focused on leading by example. After a while…they started to notice a difference in us…how we looked, felt, etc. and started asking questions. This was a much better approach! What a gift you can give your daughter…to have a healthy and happy mom AND be a healthy role model for her to learn from. You can do this Rita!! Best!

  7. Carolyn Sue Groves says:

    Is this where I’m to share how I’m doing?
    So far I haven’t followed the rules, but I’m not quitting. I haven’t been able to empty the nasty stuff from my home. I’m not the boss in my kitchen. My daughter who lives with us, is not willing to do this even though she needs to as bad as I do.
    I am in control of what I put in my mouth, and am committed to breaking my sugar, bread, and soda addiction. I’ve been stressed about my weight for most of my adult life. Also my husband is on dialysis three times a week, and on a fluid restricted diet. He is supportive of my efforts.

    • brenda.walding says:

      Good…don’t quit! Just pick up where you left off and keep making better choices. Perhaps if you stick this new way of eating and get positive results, your daughter will want to do it too!

  8. Berenice says:

    I just recently started the 30 day challenge. I had started on a cleanse that was given to me by my homeopathic doctor, so I had already stopped consuming sugar,wheat, grains and limit the consumption of fruit. I have already noticed a change in the way I feel and my energy level.
    My husband is joining me on thus journey and it has been fun trying new foods and getting creative in the kitchen.

  9. Cindy Trammell says:

    I am just starting out. I am gathering information and working on my pantry. My husband and two sons live with me not everyone is on board but I am going forward. I am 58 and have struggled with my weight since my 30’s. I have tried so many diets and most work for a while but then I end up gaining some if not all back. I am gluten sensitive so I have already stopped eating grains but thanks to the information I have been reading with this challenge I feel like this will make a big difference.I am praying this will be the end of my search for the right way for me to eat and exercise.

  10. Mary Beth Falvey says:

    I am 79 years old, am obese, and have a plethora of health problems, I currently take 12 prescription medications a day to keep everything under control. I have “dieted” and gained back weight many times. My closet has a least 4 sizes of clothing hanging in it. I bought into the 30 day program a week ago and as I read all or the literature I started to leave things out of my diet that were not on the Paleo shopping list. I started the diet yesterday (Sunday dinner) and weighed and measured myself before starting. To my great surprise, I had lost 5 pounds in the week before I started .The Cauliflower soup last night was delicious. I ate the shrimp cold separately as an appetizer instead of in the soup. I also enjoyed the half of a small spaghetti squash with butter and salt and pepper. I am planning to have a small bowl of soup for lunch with a salad of greens and cut veggies topped with a few leftover cooked shrimp and balsamic vineger and olive oil. So far this has not been hard at all!

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