Meet the old Ragan.
Weight has been a struggle for me since high school, but in my late twenties I found myself at an extreme of obesity. I began working with a friend and personal trainer who recommended a low-carb diet. In looking for resources for how to carry out the diet I stumbled upon Mark Sisson's blog and began to learn about paleo/primal eating.
After a few false starts and experiments with low-calorie dieting (I had a hard time giving up bread at first since I fancied myself a baker), I finally kicked grains and beans, including some milk in the form of cheese or creme. Once the diet commenced the weight just seems to fall off. Around the same time I should note that I also began weight lifting and triathlon training and racing, but while both of these activities have contributed to my fitness, I don't consider them major elements of my weight loss. After most of my intense training efforts I find that I am very hungry and typically replace all of the calories expended, so there is no real net loss.
I've been fairly diligent on the diet for a year and a half now and have lost a total of 65 lbs. I typically eat a couple of "cheat meals" a week that are neither paleo or low carb, but the rest of the time I remain fairly strict in the diet.
Meet Ragan Today.
What was the biggest challenge to adopting a carbohydrate-restricted or paleo diet?
Finding quick and convenient snacks could be a challenge, but with the increase in paleo cookbooks we've found it easier to find alternatives.
What advice (if any) would you give to someone interested in trying a carbohydrate-restricted or paleo diet? Were there any obstacles that you overcame that could help future dieters?
Stay away from refined grains like the devil and also be very careful of milk. I had a great love for Latte's and Cappucino's that for a while kept my carb levels higher than I thought. Once I realized how much sugar is in these drinks heavy on the milk, I switched to black coffee, espresso, and sometimes a coffee with creme. I also got rid of everything in my house that was not low carb and was tempting to me so that when a carb craving did come, as it would at times, I had nothing I could fill it with and would ultimately find a low-carb snack instead.