When I work with clients I all ways start with giving them a basic template to work from regarding their food intake. Switching to a Primal aligned diet where we are avoiding grains, dairy (For a short time), legumes, soy, and all processed and refined junk food but adding in real food from vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, some seeds, fruit and good quality natural fats I see some fantastic results. However in many cases people just can’t quite make the full jump to this way of eating and we have few slips.
But is this a problem if people are still getting results?
That all depends on the individual, if they are fit, healthy and happy with their body then it’s probably not an issue assuming they are not getting any negative effects (Although we can probably assume something could be going on that isn’t manifesting in anyway at this point) However it is also very dependent on where along the journey to their individual goal they are, this is where the small steps rather than a great leap can be of benefit.
What do I mean by small steps?
Many people are coming from not just a mainstream “healthy diet” but some really poor diets of regular takeaways, junk food and processed junk. For these people a jump fully into a primal approach is going to be a lot harder than say someone who is already started on a more real food type diet. So for these people coming from such a poor diet that could be the first small step, just getting onto a real food approach, even if still includes some things that I wouldn’t see as optimal they will most likely still see some good improvements.
But for how long?
At some point we will probably find that the benefits of a small step start to dwindle, it will be at this point we need to take the next one. An example I often use is of one of my clients who really loved porridge for breakfast,(There are worse choices!)and had been eating it every day for years, he said from day one that he would struggle to let it go, so we kept it in at first, however the rest of the day his food would be to plan. For 5 to 6 weeks his weight consistently dropped then we hit a plateau. This was where his next step had to come in, he dropped the porridge to only twice a week and the weight continued to come off. He eventually got down to a weight he was comfortable with and has maintained ever since doing it his way (Not 100% to the template but it works for him)
So what I’m trying to highlight here is that yes going fully into this will probably be the quickest and most effective way of doing things, however assess where you are on your journey and experiment with different elements of the approach and see what works for you. If you really can’t drop the wine yet then take a small step first by reducing it, if you really can’t switch to cauliflower rice yet then go with a boiled rice instead of the special fried rice.
If you are still moving forward and still enjoying life indulgences from time to time it’s going to be much more sustainable than trying it fully and totally falling off the wagon and giving up because you resent it.
Lots of little steps will add up and eventually things will just happen without any real thought, it will just become what you do.