Today i'm going to try and highlight that although this approach is grounded in our ancestral roots there is no one way of doing things, with a few experiments you can come to your own plan.
Where to start.
I always like to start people on a three week reset period where we adopt a strict Paleo based diet. No grains, dairy, legumes, white potatoes, rice, processed food or alcohol. This stage can be hard and may seem restrictive but it is there to allow the body to reset to a more optimal level, giving it time to eradicate toxins that can come from a mainstream diet.
Now for some people this may be the optimal way of doing things long term particularly if they have underlying health conditions. But this isn't everyone, so we can start to consider what other food types they may be able to include in their strategy.
So how to experiment?
After three weeks we may consider introducing dairy back into the diet to see if we have any negative effects (See my previous post for more indepth detail) If you don't then you may want to add some dairy back in, all from full fat cheese, yogurt and milk. It's not essential but can be a nice addition to your diet giving some good nutrition and sustaining fats. It important to always be aware of how you feel after you have eaten it, and you may find that you can tolerate some and not others.
Let's start by saying that although we do keep carbohydrate lower than a mainstream diet they are not all bad! Real food sources. sweet potato, squash, parsnips, carrots even white potato in some cases, all are carbohydrates but will effect everyone differently. If weight loss is a goal then keeping the carbs lower can be helpful, remember that they raise blood glucose levels, this in turn stimulates insulin and fat storage.
However if you are physically active throughout the day or regularly exercise you can probably manage a slightly higher carbohydrate level. If you are performing well in your sport then you probably don't need much more, but if you feel they help your performance then adding in a little more may be of benefit just keep it from real food.
Using the 80/20 rule.
This really depends on where you are in the pursuit of your goal. If you are happy where you are and you are healthy and feeling good then a little indulgence can be ok. However you should always consider the consequence is it worth how it makes you feel? (My previous post goes into more depth on this rule)
If you do use the 80/20 then be aware of the potential slip back to your old ways, having some of the old can reawaken cravings so be careful how far the slip goes.
This lifestyle can transform people's lives but everyone can take it to there own level and that is the decision that you have to make. Work within the rules and find the best approach for you.