Have you ever found yourself in a rut where no matter what you try, nothing seems to work for you? I know I certainly have! When it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there is so much conflicting information out there that it’s hard to know where to start! And, even when we do start, the regimes can seem so strict that we end up feeling miserable. That’s not how it should be. Living a healthy life can and should be a positive, encouraging experience that makes you feel better about yourself and egg you on to achieve more of your life’s goals.
Where are we going wrong?
In modern Irish society, we are all so busy with work, commuting and taking care of the necessities after hours, that for most us, much of our day is spent sitting down. And we’re so wrecked at the end of it that we don’t have the energy for anything else except to sit down on the couch for the evening. It’s exhausting and demotivating.
Our diets don’t help either. Whether we’re grabbing food on the go, missing meals or simply choosing the handiest option instead of the healthiest one, it’s no wonder as a nation we’re piling on the pounds. But it’s not that we don’t try to live a healthy lifestyle, most of us try to implement a new regime about once a year – but for some reason each and every time we can’t keep it up. When you set yourself a regimen that is so strict that you can’t scratch without wondering if it’s allowed on the plan, the stress of sticking to the rules generally doesn’t promote an environment where you’re likely to achieve the long-term goals you hope for.
At Paleo Ireland, we promote a sensible approach to diet and exercise that is enjoyable and, therefore, easy to follow. Implementing a paleo lifestyle can help you to get to this healthy life you’ve been dreaming of.
Let’s see what some of the benefits are.
A Wealth of Options
Following a paleo diet doesn’t limit your palate. In fact, generally, when people move to a paleo diet they find a whole range of foods and flavours that they simply never bothered with before. This expansive way of looking at your diet means that you don’t feel as though you’re missing out.
You don’t have to drastically reduce your intake either. If you are aiming to lose weight for once and for all, crash dieting won’t help in the long term. But, by eating sensible portions of a paleo diet you can feel like you start losing weight without much effort – and without feeling hungry all the time. These unprocessed, whole foods provide tonnes of nutrients without the added salt and sugar nasties that can hamper our efforts.
The Focus isn’t on the Scales
A paleo approach to health doesn’t focus solely on the number on the scales. A weighing scales provides just one indicator of performance and health is vastly more complex than that dreaded number.
Your goals in achieving a healthy paleo lifestyle can be broad and varied. You may choose to monitor how you feel physically – your energy levels, mood, sense of digestive comfort, etc. Or, you might prefer to focus on how fit you’re becoming, or how well your clothes fit you. You can focus on what is important for you. But be sure to make your goals specific, measurable and realistic. You may also like to create short term goals and longer term ones, so that each day you feel as though you have been successful rather than focussing on a goal which may take six months to achieve.
Take Your Time
The paleo diet is one that can be implemented slowly over time. You don’t have to drop everything and change your whole world upside down right now. By acting as a new way of life, paleo doesn’t put you under pressure to do it all this very second. You can make the switch at a pace that suits you and your lifestyle. We understand that people have busy lives and you can’t just drop everything either in work or socially because you’re living your new healthy lifestyle – that is never going to work.
Too many big changes at once make it more likely that we’ll feel withdrawals and cave in by dialling the takeaway some evening when we’re feeling tired and hungry. A sustainable approach to integrating food changes into your life build you up for success – and a paleo diet works very well this way. In fact, as you make the change over time you’ll find that the food you used to crave just doesn’t do it for you anymore. That’s when you know you’re onto a winner.
The focus on sleep and activity in paleo can also help you to achieve your health goals.
Getting a good night’s sleep is a no-brainer. It gives our body time to rest and repair, making us perform better in our daily lives. We’re more likely to feel good, make good food choice and want to get active when we’ve had a good night’s sleep. And when we wake up feeling like this more often than not, we get a great sense of achievement from knowing that we have succeeded in our goal for health. In this frame of mind, you’ll find yourself asking ‘what’s next?!!’
You can find out more about Paleo Ireland’s range of healthy, easy to prepare menus and plans here.