How do I start off with Primal (Opinion)

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How do I start off with Primal (Opinion)

Post by Rig D on Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:08 pm

If you are thinking about “Going Primal” this thread provides information on how I recommend that you go about doing so. If you are a true “newbie” and don't really have any idea on what Primal is and means, please read How do I learn about Primal? Please don't just jump in without having a pretty good idea of what you are embarking on.

First off, if you are here, you should be looking to improve your overall health with an eye to the "long haul", not to just drop some weight. Adopt the whole PB Lifestyle, not just the food component. Don't be hung up on what your weight scale tells you. Check your "how do I feel meter" frequently. Always remember that you are conducting an N=1 life experiment, with you as the subject. Nobody else will react exactly as you do, find what works for you.

If you are overweight, you will lose on this program, but your emphasis should not just be on losing weight. And please note that this is not a “miracle weight loss” program that promises umpteen pounds lost in no time at all. Remember that it has taken you years to reach your current condition, be it fat, out of shape, whatever. It will take time to build the new you no matter how hard and diligently you apply yourself.  Don't expect to lose more than 1 or 2 pounds a week, but do expect that you will begin feeling better, have your clothes fit better/looser, and see other improvements in unexpected areas. You may encounter a period of feeling lousy when you first start (this is known as the carb flu), it should pass within a few days or a week.  It is fine to have an initial weight loss objective, but don't be terribly surprised or upset if, as you keep losing, you find that you feel significantly better at a weight that it either higher or lower than your initial target. If you keep losing and find that you feel worse, accept it, let the weight come back till you feel on top of things again.

I need to give a big tip of the hat to Naiadknight, a long since inactive MDA Forum user for providing the basis for my recommendations. Her thread started back in 2010 is still a good read and can be found here:Advice for Newbies

So here are my guidelines to making the transition to Primal living.
1. Keep it simple. Try not counting carbs/cals etc at first and see if it works for you.

  • Avoid the bad foods
  • Eat when hungry
  • Stop eating when not hungry
  • Never eat until "full"
  • Do not eat "by the clock"
  • Listen to your body, it will keep you informed.

2. Be sure to get your exercise. I think this is key, it helps your body in a variety of ways to improve overall health, even if it doesn't seem to have much effect if you do a “calories in/calories out” type analysis. You may have to work on your time management skills to effectively work it in. The basic theme is to move frequently at a slow pace, but 1 to 2 times a week you should put in some “sprint” work, which basically is going all out in intensity for a short period. If you are way out of shape, or very heavy, start off easy and gradually work to increase the time/distance/effort of your activity.  Remember that simply walking around is a great way to get started, you can add other things downstream as your ability improves. You are in it for the long haul.

3. Get the sleep. We all have different requirements, but experiment with this on your off work days to find out how long you sleep if you just let it happen with no alarm clocks to wake you up at an arbitrary time. If you have to be there at a specific time tomorrow, adjust your bed time to fit in the right sleep time.

4. Be patient and persistent. Give yourself 2 months on the program for your body to get through the initial transition and to see how the base level program works (or doesn't) for you.

5. Do not look for specific food/exercise advice on the forums until you have finished the 2 month intro period. Everyone is different, be sure you know how the base system works for you on your N=1 before you start trying to deviate all over the place. You can get widely different opinions from the on-line community, and these can and will confuse you if you don't have a good idea of how the base program has, or has not worked.

6. If possible, get your spouse (if any) to join your journey, even if they do not "need to." Having the spouse on board will make it a whole lot easier to shop, plan meals, stick to your guns and ride through any rough times.

7. Be realistic. If you need to lose weight, expect to see periods where the weight/inches fall off, but be prepared for plateaus where "nothing works." These can last a fairly long time. In my initial loss period, I had one plateau that lasted about a month.

8. Measure yourself, and keep a written record. Take some photos of yourself periodically for “before/after” views.  Weigh regularly, weekly is adequate. Take measurements monthly of neck/chest/waist/hips/thighs/whatever. Enjoy seeing and feeling your clothes become looser. If you decide to weigh daily, note that you will see many days of unexpected readings, where you may gain for no reason or unexpectedly lose. This is always hard to handle, but you will certainly not lose in a straight line of x lbs/day.

9. Entertain keeping a journal here. You will get lots of support.
Rig D

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Re: How do I start off with Primal (Opinion)

Post by Lovebird on Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:56 am

+1! Smile

There is no magic pill, yet doing this works like magic... Wink

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