There is a misunderstanding that, I have a feeling, may be prominent among us. Some of you may have heard people talk about how they are “90% Paleo” or Paleo to some other rational degree. Some of you have probably heard me say that I eat that way. I have talked to many of you about how your degree of commitment to our nutritional philosophy is directly proportional to the rate at which you experience results. I want to challenge you guys who feel that others seem to be experiencing more success than you, to ask them what they are doing. Then be honest with yourself. I think there may be some mixed ideas, however, as to what “90% paleo” means when I say it.
When I speak of the 90% Paleo concept, what I mean is that if I were to take any given month and highlight the days that I ate according to a strict Paleo philosophy, 90% of the days would be highlighted. That’s 27 days out of 30. Also, of those three days, I am talking about one meal, or one item in a meal, that would not fall under the Paleo heading. And, to be honest, I still refuse to eat sugar even when cheating simply because that shit is absolutely poison. If you enjoy the mood roller coaster, and shitty performance, and lethargy, and taking 3 days to get back on track, have at it. It’s not appealing to me.
What I do NOT mean by “90% Paleo” is that I eat Paleo for 90% of the day. Or, even worse, that of each meal, 90% of it is Paleo. What we all need to understand is that fat loss is hormonal. Insulin is a hormone. A storage hormone. High glycemic carbohydrates elicit an inordinate insulin response. Insulin not only tells your fat cells to store any extra energy, it also dictates that they hold on the what they have. Hormones take time to regulate. U can’t eat whatever you want, then eat paleo right before the WOD and wonder why you still suck. Back to the time thing. Dr. Sears stated in his book that it takes about 9 days of abstinence from high glycemic carbs for insulin levels to begin to normalize. Let me sum this up. When you “cheat” you are telling your body to hold on to its fat stores for today. For many of you that one message will actually stay in effect for two to three days. So if you cheat with carbs even a little bit every day, you are probably wondering where your results are.
If you haven’t done 9 days of strict Paleo, you haven’t even started yet. We will call this the normalization period. After you have made it past this point, typically cravings subside, the body’s biological demand for insulin is reduced, and the beneficial effects of this eating philosophy are beginning to be observed. Until then, every time you cheat, you are starting over. This may not be convenient to you, but it is how it works. It’s black and white.
The CrossFit food prescriptions can be found here. Notice it says “no sugar.” Notice it says “no sugar.” Do I need to say it again? A lot of you have notified me of your desire to be rx’d athletes. This is a great goal and should be your first one after the goal of performing all movement with precision and perfection. However, true rx’d athletes are rx’d with their forks too. Let’s stop being children and start taking care of ourselves. You can do it, but will you?