What do you think of when you hear the word diet?
Most people would answer "you go on a diet to lose weight" or "got to get my bikini body for my holiday in 3 weeks better go on a diet" And this is the start of the problems with the way the word "Diet" is interpreted. It is negative from the off., it implies the thought of restrictions and misery
How many people do you know that have been on a "Diet" time and time again only to rebound put the weight back on with a little extra. Then try another "Diet" that doesn't work then revert back to their old ways? Again instilling the negative aspect of the word.
I prefer to look at the word diet as a way of eating. For example a cow's diet is grass (Or should be) and a lion's diet is Zebra and Gazelle. If you are following a Primal lifestyle (I Hope you are) your diet consists of vegetables, meat, fish, good fats, fruit and nuts as a foundation of the way you eat..
Various sources say that 90 - 98% of diets fail. Why is this? I believe the reason is they are started as a weight loss diet. A weight loss diet usually means restricting calories and cutting back on the fat, in other word putting yourself through a huge sense of depravity not just mentally wishing you could have something you shouldn't but physically your body screams out "feed me!"This manifests itself as cravings and eventually falling off whatever diet plan it was and returning to the old ways, regaining the weight and more as the body thinks better save some for when we go through this famin again.
When someone starts on a weight loss diet it generally has a timescale added to it, usually up to a maximum of 12 weeks, what happens then? Same story back to old habits and back to square one. Many diets do well for this period and there are some people who do keep the weight off long term but more often than not we see gradual weight increase each week, just a little bit at a time and a slow slip backwards starts to happen. Most just are not maintainable.
So how should we be approaching a lifestyle change?
I believe that the answer is in the question. It should be a lifestyle change for the long term not a quick fix. Think of it as a way of improving health and longevity not a lose weight quick and yo-yo back again. By switching to a Primal lifestyle you will most likely lose weight but I would rather you focused on losing fat and becoming leaner, you can weigh the same but look completely different, especially important if you are exercising as this promotes muscle growth. This is where you need to ask yourself what is more important the number on the scale or how you look in the mirror? Would you rather weigh a stone less or be in a dress two sizes down or reducing your waist measurement? The two may come together but if they don't what is more important your weight or how you look?
Don't put a time scale on your lifestyle change, it should be permanent, Yes it can be tweaked for individuals personal goals as there is no one size fits all approach, but the foundation is the same.The fastest route to your destination is a straight line, you may have to take a side route sometimes, that is where the 80/20 rule comes in, but you should always try and be on the the main road.
If you do have a weight loss goal in mind what happens when you reach it? Pat yourself on the back and go back your old ways? No stay on the path, you can probably afford to veer off a little more than you could before but it's about maintenance now and that is easy if you have made the commitment to your yourself to be healthy for the long term.
In summary, don't go on a "diet" in the usual sense of the word, A Primal Diet should be a way of eating for long term health benefits, You can lose weight for sure but don't make it your priority, think of all the other benefits like better digestion, less bloating, better mood and sleep, higher energy and better performance not to mention the positive comments from other people.
Keep it Primal