• PALEO ADVICE
    posted October 30

     

    Here it is, folks.  Insightful but stern advice for how to take the Paleo Challenge to the next level.  I know what you’re thinking:  “Insightful, but stern. That’s not the Elliott I know.”  Well, I’m acting out of character just this once.  Then it’s back to puppies and rainbows.

    You’ve made it past the halfway point.  You have some intermediate measurements.  You can see if you’re on the right track or not.  So what’s next?  How can you finish up this Paleo Challenge with as much success as possible?

    Answer:  Eat a whole grain and low fat diet, with lots of long distance running.
    Ahhhhahahahahah… Look out Yakov Smirnov, there’s a new comedian on the block.

    First and foremost, remember WHY you are participating in this challenge.  Is it to eat and live a healthy lifestyle for five weeks, and then go back to the same garbage you did before? (the answer is No, in case you were on the fence)

    The point is to be held accountable for fixing your diet and lifestyle habits, so that they become new and improved habits.  HABITS.  Done repeatedly, over long periods of time.  This isn’t a fad.  We’re changing your life here, people.  How amazing is this:  You’ve spent decades running your body into the ground, and it can all be reversed within about a year of clean living.  These five weeks will give you exposure to that experience, and where you take it from here is up to you.

    In almost every Paleo Challenge we’ve run, there’s usually one or two members that check in at the halfway point with little to no improvement in their weight and measurements.  Their initial story is “I don’t understand, I’m doing it right.”  But a couple quick questions reveal significant progress-halting circumstances.  Lack of sleep, too much stress, frequent alcohol,…  If you are not seeing results, but you are not giving the paleo lifestyle a 100% chance, don’t even think about claiming that it doesn’t work.  Own up to your actions, and if you want to see changes you have to make changes.

    The other note I consistently need to repeat is “avoid carbs for breakfast.”  Carbohydrates cause the release of insulin, which is a storage hormone.  If you’ve been exercising, the glucose will get stored in your muscle cells to replace glycogen (the stored energy you just used up to move heavy weights fast).  If you’ve been SLEEPING for 7-8 hours, your glycogen is not depleted, and thus you will store it somewhere else for later use.  I’ll give you one guess where that is…  Correctamundo!  In your fat cells.

    Protein and fat for breakfast.  Don’t spike your blood sugar.  Wake up your brain.  Feel satiated until lunch.

    “Yeah, but…”
    But you go to work early.
    But you workout before eating breakfast.
    But Men’s Health said to eat a bowl of oatmeal every morning.

    Early work might mean 10-15 extra minutes to scarf down some eggs or leftovers from dinner.  If you wait until you get to the office to eat, you’re unknowingly doing intermittent fasting, which is a stress not intended for long-term use.  Imagine a tiny lizard saying “15 minutes could save you 3% or more on your body composition.”

    When planning your meals around your workouts, it’s all about nutrient timing.  The easiest way to address this is with a couple sample meal plans, using macronutrients.  You might hear different approaches to this, so understand this is just what I recommend.  It happens to be based completely on science and I have seen it work for many many many people, but it’s just my recommendation.

    And since we’re stuck inside the box thinking about “breakfast” foods and “dinner” foods, I’m just going to call them “Meals.”   Try some fish in the morning and see if your mind focuses up a little quicker that day.  The last meal (formerly known as Dinner) should occur around 2 hours before bed.

    The Early Riser:
    Wake up.
    Workout.
    Meal #1 – Protein, Carbs
    Meal #2 – Protein, Fat
    Meal #3 – Protein, Fat
    Meal #4 – Protein, some Carbs, a little Fat
    Sleep.

    The Nooner:
    Wake up.
    Meal #1 – Protein, Fat
    Workout.
    Meal #2 – Protein, Carbs
    Meal #3 – Protein, Fat
    Meal #4 – Protein, some Carbs, a little Fat
    Sleep.

    The Late Bloomer:
    Wake up.
    Meal #1 – Protein, Fat
    Meal #2 – Protein, Fat
    Meal #3 – Protein, some Carbs, some fat
    Workout.
    Meal #4 – Protein, Carbs
    Sleep.

    Oh, and Men’s Health should be renamed as Men’s Advertising.  I guess it’s cool if you want to know how many almonds Ryan Reynolds ate to get his 8-pack for Blade: Trinity, or one of the workouts the Spartans did to prep for 300 (even though you’d probably beat their times), or how to shave 100 calories off your meal by eating Del Taco instead of Burger King.

    I could spend pages reciting all the paleo food and lifestyle guidelines I’ve given before, so I’ll leave you with this takeaway:  You have all the tools and resources at your disposal to make any changes you want.  The commitment level is up to you.  If you’re a part of the Paleo Challenge, there is still a week and a half left to make some serious progress.  Everyone else, what the heck are you waiting for?

    Coach Elliott

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