How to (Successfully) Transition your Diet

Mario Characters

This is a post from NF Team Member Staci.

Today marks three weeks since you set your New Year’s resolutions.

Did you resolve to clean up your diet?

…are you still going strong?

Studies show that 88% of people fail to keep their fitness resolutions for a year. The other 12%?

Nerd Fitness Rebels.

Rebels who defy conventional wisdom, who question everything, and who aren’t afraid to be different. We, the mighty 12%, are the Rebels who succeed. It’s how I transformed myself, and how you can too.

Today we’re going to be different; we’re going to learn how to actually make your healthy diet goals stick….with a little help from an Italian plumber.

Build momentum like Mario

Mario Wall

Think back to probably the most famous video game of all time: Super Mario Bros.

You start off as this little guy with no knowledge or armor at all.  If you run into a Goomba or any other bad guy, you use up a life and get sent all the way back to the beginning of the level…only to start all over again.

However, if you can find that super mushroom to eat first, you’re transformed into a bigger, stronger version of yourself, capable of taking a hit from the bad guys without having to redo the whole level.

If you can make it further without getting hit, you can get even stronger by collecting a Fire Flower.  These not only give you a new way to fight your enemies (fireballs!), but they also offer more protection – instead of two hits to die, you get three.

Building eating habits that stick are no different.

When you start out, everything is really hard.  Temptation is everywhere, and you have to be extremely careful. It might feel like it’s always someone’s birthday at the office, your kids are constantly screaming for ice cream, and you seem to gravitate towards unhealthy foods at the grocery store.

Every time you give into one of these temptations, you feel like the day is ruined and you’ve been set back at the beginning of the level.

But every day you succeed, you build strength (your own super mushroom), and it becomes easier and easier to pass up temptations.  If you do get hit by a bad guy, it will only be a temporary setback, not a level reset. If you can make it even further into the level and turn eating healthy into a habit (your fire flower), you’ll have gained the power to attack  temptations as they come at you. Goombas? No problem.

We’re all just tiny Marios, in search of powerup mushrooms before we kick Bowser’s ass….like this guy did in under 5 minutes

“Diets suck”

Diets suckWhenever anyone tells me they’re going on a diet, I cringe.

A “diet” typically means a temporary change in eating or drinking habits to achieve desired results. Most of the time spent “dieting” is miserable because you’re depriving yourself of all of the foods you enjoy….and you can’t wait until you can eat “normal” again.

Even if you do hit your goal, after the next six months of eating “normal” you find that you have gained all that weight back.

Diets are like the invincibility star of the weight loss world: you’re allowed, for a very short amount of time, to plow through all of your enemies…making a lot of progress very quickly. But when you get to the end of the level and it’s time to face stronger enemies like Bowser, you’re just as weak as when you started.

Instead aiming for an invincibility star, I want you to walk through the level slowly, collecting every coin and every power up we can find.

From now on, look at any changes to your diet (and refer to them as well) as a transitions to a new lifestyle. We’re not making temporary changes or getting started on the next diet…we’re building lifelong habits and lifelong health. We take rule two seriously.

Does that mean you can never have your double dipped frozen banana with everything on it ever again? No, but maybe not as often.

Don’t go cold turkey

Cold Turkey

So you’re ready for a change, ready to jump in head first, so you need to throw away everything that is remotely unhealthy.

Out of sight, out of mind, right?

While this does work for some people, it turns out there’s more to it than that.

Studies show that sugar, which is found in most processed foods, is actually highly addictive. When we stop eating these processed foods full of sugar, we can actually go through legitimate withdrawal and are in danger of relapsing into eating these foods again, in greater quantities.

Believe it or not, sugar releases the same “happy” chemicals in your brain as drugs such as cocaine and has been shown to be similarly addictive. 

Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?

  • “Just ONE isn’t that bad…”
  • “Why do I need to be skinny anyways?”
  • “I’ll start tomorrow!”

These are all tricks that your brain is playing to get you to eat more sugar, releasing more of those  “happy” feeling chemicals. Eventually, if you give in, (like with any other addiction) you’ll most likely show INCREASED consumption of everything you have been working so hard to keep out of your diet…undoing all of the hard work that you’ve done, and more.  This is why so many people lose 10 lbs, only gain 20 lbs afterwards.

Remember, we only have so much willpower. This is the same reason why we’ll do really well on our diets at the beginning of the day, but by the end, we’re struggling big time and will eat the next piece of food put in front of us, healthy or not.

“But what about programs like Whole30?”

While programs like these work for some people (and if you’re one of those people, by all means go for it), they’re often temporary changes that require incredible amounts of willpower. After all, these programs take you from an average American diet to an extremely strict paleo diet overnight. You think you’re doing the right thing, but you’re really setting yourself up for failure.  I will say that these programs are great if you’re already 85-90% of the way there and just need an extra push to get you to finish your journey.

So if I don’t want you to JUST GOT FOR IT, what should you do instead?

Slow and steady wins the race

Turtoise Hare

In 2010, my new years resolution was to “go Paleo.”

I didn’t get up on the 1st of January to purge of every bad food in my pantry, nor did I go out and buy only Paleo approved foods. I did something completely different.

I did nothing. I got up on January 1st, 2010 and ate exactly the same as I normally would.

The next time I went to the grocery store (a few days later), I didn’t buy any milk.  But I didn’t think of it as, “I can’t have milk anymore.”  I just didn’t buy any.  Every time I went to the fridge (normally looking for milk), I just grabbed water instead.

In the following trip to the store, I didn’t buy any again.  I wanted to, but I knew that if I could muster up enough willpower to walk by the dairy section without picking up any milk, I’d be fine.

After a few weeks of grocery shopping, not buying milk was a habit.  Since it was only one small change, it was easy: Even though I was missing milk, I could still have everything else in my diet.

After a while, I decided that the next time I went to the grocery store I wouldn’t buy pasta.  I would use what I had left in the house, but no more buying pasta.

And guess what? After a few weeks, I was no longer eating pasta. Since the rest of my meals were normal, I looked at it as: “this week we’re not having pasta.” I didn’t really feel as if I was missing anything.

Here’s a basic breakdown of the first few months of what I cut out:

  • January: Milk, Pasta
  • February: Bread (except for the roll I ate lunch on).  Dairy (except for feta cheese and yogurt).
  • March: Cookies an potatos (except for sweet potato)
  • April: Rice

In eight months time, I was fully transitioned. Now it’s 2013, two years later, and I’m going strong.  Could I have done it a little faster?  Probably…but I never felt deprived, and making the changes were a breeze.

Another type of “bad guy”


“Slow and steady” isn’t exactly a sexy slogan that motivates people to get moving. So how about: “dominate one bad guy before moving on to the next.”

In other words: make manageable changes to your diet, one small meal or snack (bad guy) at a time.

When I first wanted to lose weight, way before I found out about paleo, this is exactly what I did. I didn’t try to change my entire diet, just lunch. Knowing my normal breakfast and dinner put me way above the calories I needed for the day, I bought a bunch of the Steam Fresh vegetable bags and ate one for lunch every day.

This was my Goomba. Lunch was easy because it was pre-made, frozen, and foolproof; I would bring in 5 bags every Monday, and it was incredibly inexpensive (about $1.25 a bag)! Best of all, it was easy to follow through with since it was only one bad guy.

Start with one Goomba, then move on to the next bad guy.

So what I want you to do is look at your diet and find one big win you could make.  It could be removing one thing or changing up a meal.  A few big win examples:

  • Soda. If you have two 20 oz bottles of Coke every day, that’s 480 calories – if you replace just those with water and leave the rest of your eating exactly the same, you’re going to lose about a pound a week.  If you have four, that’s 2lbs a week, 8 a month, and 96 in a year.  Just by changing one habit.  (I also support taking baby steps and going from 4 bottles to 3, then 2, then 1 over a few weeks time).
  • Replace your morning bagel and cream cheese (about 500 calories) with 2 eggs and 4 strips of bacon. You’ll save 50% of the calories and eat better.
  • Instead of stopping at McDonalds on your way home from work because you’re starving and just can’t wait to get home, bring a healthy snack to help you make it home. Anything to hold you over until you can cook a healthy dinner.

Cheat days and cheat meals


Some people have a designated cheat day every week, or a designated number of cheat meals.  I’m not a fan of these for a few reasons.

First, using the word “cheat” signifies that you’re doing something wrong.  It’s sneaky – it’s bad.

In my experience with working with hundreds of fellow Rebels, “cheaters” spend the entire week thinking about how deprived they are…how awesome their cheat ___ is going to be.  And then when the cheat day does show up, they overconsume, eating way more than normal since tomorrow the dreaded “diet” resumes.  Sometimes, this leads to a “food hangover” where getting back on track becomes far more difficult than it needs to be.

I want you to focus on creating healthy meals you enjoy in order to prevent this dread and deprivation.

Is this me telling you you can never have your Bluth frozen banana?  Absolutely not.  But if you DO have it, you weren’t cheating.  You weren’t doing anything wrong: that’s just a part of your diet…an occasional GOB.  You made the decision to eat that item, and the next decision you make regarding food will be a better one.

All part of the master plan (insert evil laugh here).

Getting back on the wagon

Big Wagon

So it’s someone’s birthday at work, and you decide to have that piece of cake.

At this point, you might as well have some oreo’s too, right?  And then for dinner, since you already had chocolate and oreos, you might as well have McDonalds.  You can get back on track tomorrow, right?

Unfortunately, this overconsumption of sugar is super addicting: you wake up the next day and your body is already craving it again!

So you go get Belgian waffles, and a few days later you find yourself depressed, seeing an ugly number on the scale, asking, “what went wrong??”

Remember Super Mario: One small hit early on sends you back to the beginning of the level.

Stop getting hit and resetting the level! Don’t wait until next Monday or the first of the next month.

Start again right now, right where you left off.

Have a bad meal?  Ok, don’t dwell on it.  Forget about it, it’s in the past.  Do better next meal.

Have that soda even though you’ve sworn it off? Well, ok, that stinks. Make sure you drink water and only water for the rest of the day.

We are all human and far from perfect. Instead of feeling bad about yourself for making a mistake, see what you did, learn from it, and do better next time. Consider trying to make up for it by having a little less next meal.  The most important thing here is that we moved forward.

Here’s five steps you can take to succeed after failure.

And if you do get sent back to the beginning of the game?  Learn from your mistakes and find a warp pipe to help you get back to where you were.

Think less, do better

Mario Star

When we first start up in Mario, we’re standing there at the beginning of the level.  No weapons, no armor, but we soon see a Goomba approaching. Shikaka.

It’s clear that if we don’t do something, we’re in trouble…but what DO we do? A quick mashing of the buttons shows that at this point you can really only do two things: move forward or jump.

Seems too simple, doesn’t it? Instead of looking for the perfect recipe, I want you to simplify the **** out of everything!

Not sure what to eat for dinner?  Try meat and vegetables.  What kind of meat and what kind of vegetables?  It doesn’t really matter!  Pick one of each, google how to cook them, and figure it out 🙂

Finding breakfast is difficult to make healthy? Instead of looking for something that looks or tastes the same, break the cycle. After eating steak for breakfast you may wonder why you ever ate cereal in the first place.

So, do you think you could focus on fighting one Goomba today, and then in a few weeks move onto a Koopa Troopa?

What questions do you have about transitioning towards a healthier way of eating?

How can we help? That’s what we’re here for!


PS – Team Nerd Fitness is on the hunt for a rockstar iPhone App Developer!  If you are interested, email us at with “IPHONE APP DEVELOPER” in the subject line and a link to an app you’ve built or worked on, and your experiences in building iPhone apps.


photo source: wagon, cold turkey, mario, waluigi, goomba, mario star, diet, characters

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62 thoughts on “How to (Successfully) Transition your Diet

  1. So my ultimate goal is to lose 7% or more body fat. I am currently at 27%. I have decided to try my best and go Paleo. That is my semi New Year’s resolution goal. Some days I am really good at it and other days I find myself using the…”well it’s only one non-paleo item, what will it hurt” My co-workers think I am nuts…
    I am doing this for me and no one else. I want to look and feel my best but the cravings get to me. I am struggling with packing meals for lunch at work or making enough food (sometimes for two) to have leftovers. I am a newbie Rebel and now I totally want to try slow and steady to win the race to transitioning to Paleo.Reading Nerd Fitness inspires me to try harder…

  2. Hey,

    thank you for your article. To me, switching to paleo was not a big problem. I was just ready in my mind for it. But what stopped me as first: a stomach flu. You usually are recommended to eat salted sticks and drink coke (well, I didn’t drink coke), but afterwards I was thrown back. Illnesses make it really hard to get fit, at least for me.

    My 2 cents

  3. Excellent article. I began, last February (when I decided to make a change), by cutting out soft drinks. As a lover of Mountain Dew, this was tough. However, I just stopped buying Mountain Dew. I started keeping a quart Gatorade bottle full of water in the fridge, which I took with me every time I got in the car (it’s hot where I live).

    As the year went on, I slowly made the changes I needed to, and now I’m 65 lbs. down and looking better than I have in years. 

  4. I like the idea of how you cut out one or two things at a time, so it didn’t feel like such a sacrifice/deprivation.  That’s kind of how I went about it, not that I’m 100% yet but I already don’t buy milk, pasta, bread, or any crackers/chips, and I don’t feel like it was that difficult.  I just gradually stopped buying each of those things, making the decision that I would figure out something to make that didn’t include them.  I’ve learned to be a better cook, and my food tastes much better since it’s mostly all homemade, with all ingredients that I know.  My habits are definitely changing!

  5. This is perfect timing.  I’ve been struggling with my weight for  years now.  It’s not too, too bad, but it’s higher than I want.
    I’m changing one thing this month: no eating anything after dinner.  I’m eating whatever I want, whenever I want the rest of the day.
    After a month of that, I’m going to have a specific healthy snack between my lunch and dinner, etc.
    It’s easy and one step at a time.
    I’ll keep you guys posted.

  6. I did the transition to paleo in an interesting way, following this same principle. First, I made the transition to black coffee, first leaving out sweetener (which I already did sometimes anyway), then using less and less cream until it was black. Then, I started drinking less coffee (I have one cup a day… and I allow triple the green tea volume if I don’t drink coffee on a given day). So Dairy and Coffee (the large amounts I was consuming anyway) went first.  Then, I cold turkied off the food I was eating, and switched to FULL paleo. But, I allowed myself to have all the fruit I wanted the first five days. This is still paleo, but I wasn’t forcing my body into carbohydrate/sugar withdrawal. The second five days, I allowed myself to have all the fruit I wanted, but I couldn’t eat the ones with a higher glycemic index (bananas, dried fruits, etc). The third five days, I could only have three servings of fruit a week, but it could be any fruit. And now, fruit is off limits. (Coconut, avocado, and olives are exceptions).
    Somehow, having the fruit there to replace the non-nutritional carbohydrates and sugars made the transition from it very easy. and I still lost a little bit of weight during that time, despite the amount of sugar I was eating (I assume the fiber slowed the release of sugar into my bloodstream and therefore moderated my insulin production :-D)
    Since cutting out the fruit, I have noticed dairy cravings, however. Interestingly, while sugar is addictive in the way of cocaine, metabolic studies have shown dairy to be addictive in the same way as opiates. I solve this by eating 1/4 cup of coconut milk (in case it is psychological and to provide some carbohydrate and fat if that is what I am physically needing) with 1 tablespoon of flax seed and 1 tablespoon of almonds (to cover micro-nutrient cravings and add a fat and protein balance); and it WORKS.

    I wanted to share this, because I know how hard carbohydrate withdrawal is, and I want to help any one else who might experience it.

  7. Great article!  This is how I started exercising a few years ago.  I told myself I’d just go around the block once (the “block” was a mile).  After 2 weeks it had become a habit.  Then I added “just 5 pushups”.  After that became habit, I’d add in something else.  

    However, with when I switched my eating to Paleo, I went cold turkey and gave up everything — including my diet Mountain Dew addiction — at once.  It was a rough first 4 days, but once I came through, I felt amazing.  Why did I choose to go cold turkey in this case?  Because I was skeptical of the whole concept and wanted to see what all the hype was.

    I agree with you — if I choose to eat something non-Paleo, I don’t consider it a cheat, I consider it a choice and move on afterwards. No guilt, no beating myself up, no death spiral into the depths of despair feeling like a failure.  Just, “I chose to do this and now I’m choosing not to.”

  8. This is a good idea to get you started, but when you get closer to your body fat goal, sometimes nothing but being strict and focused will get you there. I guess it’s all a journey. The other thing about doing it slowly is if you are going from a high carb diet to a low carb one, it’s hard to do it half-hearted. If you get post-carb crashes and crazy hunger, it’s tempting to just keep going on the carbs. I suggest you embrace low-carb all at once and learn how satiating the fat and protein can be when you aren’t a prisoner to carb-driven hunger.

  9. I’m a teenage athlete and went Paleo in January 2012 for most of the year but I lost too much weight and had no energy for my exercise.  I do think eating low carb makes sense and it feels good to eat like our primal predecessors but nothing makes me swim faster and punch harder than a bowl of pasta or a cup of rice.  I don’t want to criticize what is being said here I just don’t believe cutting out carbohydrates is suitable for everyone, especially athletes..and those still growing. 

  10. Great article. Really puts things into perspective and makes achieving your health goals seem achievable. Each little step forward makes a diference

  11. I trained for my marathon in on a paleolithic diet with no problems. Not even sugary drinks before/after a training. Only on the morning of the Marathon itself I had a few energy bars to settle the stomach and was able to push my body like never before cutting my time from 3h45m down to 3h15m the year before.  

  12. Hey!

    There are definitely many arguments for and against paleo, and I’ll totally agree that it’s not for everyone.I believe in paleo and I definitely work out for 4-5 hours a day and can’t tell you the last time I’ve eaten pasta or rice or bread (it’s seriously been that long).  I have way more energy now than ever before.

    Alllll of that being said, this wasn’t aimed directly at transitioning to paleo, it was more transitioning from an unhealthy diet to a healthy diet.  I personally transitioned to paleo, so that was one example I used.  :)Staci

  13. Hey!
    I definitely think that strict diets have a time and a place – I’m doing whole30 now, actually, but I was already 95% paleo, so needed that extra kick in the pants.I know that personally, I never experienced “carb flu” or any of that because the transition was so slow, and I could quickly learn ways to get around it (like upping my fat intake).  I definitely think that going from super high carb to super low carb, slow and steady is the way to go for a lot of people.

    This is the same as quitting smoking – some people can just magically stop, but the majority of the population needs some sort of help 🙂

  14. That’s how I started exercising too!  

    “I made it 5 minutes yesterday, maybe today I can make it 7”  🙂

  15. Thanks for sharing!  It’s insane what different foods can do to the chemicals in our brains, isn’t it?   Carbs and sugars are definitely the hardest!

  16. Yup – not going to lie, when I have a stomach bug I still have ginger ale, though I go for a home made version that’s way healthier than the sugar filled ones at the store 🙂

    Crackers are usually recommended because of how plain and easy to digest they are, so I just usually try to stick to super plain foods that my body is used to having, and usually try to stick to soups and other things that are easier to digest 🙂

  17. I totally agree, Steve. “Cheat meals” lead to obsession, guilt and bingeing. No bueno on all accounts.

    I personally like to live by the 90% principle: 90% of the time I eat clean, 10% of the time I allow myself “opportunity meals,” or things like yogurtland or cookies (mmmm… Thin Mints are coming soon…). Knowing that 90% is about 3-4 meals a week for me, I have that in my mind so that every time a “cheat” comes around, I don’t obsess over never having it again. I can let the ones that don’t matter pass me by, and enjoy the ones I choose to indulge in.

    There’s a lot to be said for moderation. Pick and choose your battles wisely!

  18. I believe the first time you legitimately resist temptation is the real day one of a diet. With that in mind you can make things a lot easier on yourself by preparing meals ahead of time like Staci suggests. My breakfasts and lunches are so routine now, that the only temptations I face are at dinner.

  19. Thanks this is really encouraging to read. I’m transitioning into Paleo. As a coeliac giving up grain/rice portion of my plate isn’t difficult. Sugar and dairy however are huge deal, they pretty much make gluten free food taste decent. So I’m doing Paleo monday to fridays, some would say its a cop out but its worked for the last 3 weeks and I feel like I can relax and not feel guilty about it on the weekends. Thanks again, I loved this article.  

  20.  Apple sauce – inoffensive, all natural.  But don’t kick yourself for eating saltines when you’re sick.

    Staci, Steve, it officially happened – my body has adjusted to paleo-ish eating.  I went away this weekend to a city of decadent foods, tried to eat (in type and portion) as my former self normally would, and my stomach revolted.  It’s awesome to take just a bite of cake because I genuinely don’t want more than that.

  21.  This post was so encouraging! I feel like I’m on the right track because I just cut one thing out of my diet at a time. (I started with ice cream then soda) I didn’t feel like I was depriving myself because on days when I REALLY wanted ice cream, I bought a milkshake instead (which is way better than 1 litre of ice cream to myself). Instead of soda, I initially drank juice. Now I’m okay with just water. Even when I’m at Burger King or out with friends, and everyone else has a soda, I just drink water or wait until I can get water if I don’t want to pay for it. 🙂 So far it’s working!

  22.  I like your article. Especially about making the foods taste good because healthy foods CAN taste good. I really wasn’t sure about cheat days. I just read 4-hour body. Seemed really confusing and hard to believe. Anyway i like you better so i am going too trust your judgement on this. 

  23. I love your article though I can say for me making the all at once change is hard and the small steps change is even harder. I was able to stop buying crap and alter breakfasts at the same time. I also switch to making dinners that are healthy about 60 percent of the time and doing that much was easy. I even started taking lunch to work every day……. and that is my current big boss. I have great yummy lunchs but the deli in the building has pizza subs with spicy chips and pop….. yeah that normally ALWAYS wins and my good lunch goes in the trash. Reason is normally I put off eating for to long until I “MUST” have grease and sugar. I even bring in great snacks to eat such as fruit and veggies. I am thinking I might go by a huge bag of chips and maybe juice boxes for a unhealthy snack when I have the craving to keep me out of the deli and do that until I can regulary stop going to the stupid deli. The bright side is my trips are not causing me to gain weight which is the same as lose weight or keeping your weight in check when you are 7 months pregant 🙂 (PS I gained all the weight I needed to for a healthy pregancy so this is not unhealthy and me not gaining additional weight makes the docs happy.)

  24. Your Arrested Development quote may my day! Stay strong fellow warriors! Focus on being good and then great!

  25. Maybe some people can “magically stop”, but I doubt it. I am one of those you might think had “magically stopped” drinking (now 25 years ago) and smoking (now 3 years free of that), so when I started reading about switching to paleo eating, I knew that for me at least it had to be “all of nothing” as in, either I’m committing to this thing or I’m not ready yet.
    However, behind committing to make any of these changes in my life, though it may have appeared to others to have been a sudden (magic) change, there was a lot of mental preparation and internalizing and thinking the thing to death before coming to that magical right time to do it. That’s just my experience and opinion.
    Oh, and I liked your take on not beating yourself up if you stray from the path, but just get back on and keep truckin’. I haven’t (yet), but if I get to a point where I think I just can’t live another second without a drink or a smoke or a piece of chocolate cake, the cake may win, but life will go on and how happily it goes on is up to me. 🙂

  26. I think it is is important to examine why you gave into temptation and figure out how to fix the problem.  So for example, I am working on eating better at lunch by replacing a sandwich with a large salad.  Yesterday, I failed at this and ate junk food.  Why?  Well I got really hungry late morning and I used up all my will power.  So it was down hill from there.  Conclusion:  I need to have a healthy snack available to eat when I am hungry. 

  27. I find that learning to replace the “bad” stuff with good stuff that is just a satisfying, my diet is considerable better. Most people simple can’t eliminate their favorites. I love ice cream but will choose whole frozen fruit or gelato – making sure that there’s no HFCS. 
    Choosing to cook my meals instead of buying pre-made or eating out means I can control what goes in. I’m never going to give up my foods (lucky for me, I never liked fast food) but if I can control what’s in it, I can keep calories in check and make things more nutritious. If I’m going to regiment anything, I make sure it’s my workout so just in case I do have a non-designated cheat day (which I don’t subscribe to) I at least know to put in an extra workout for the week.

  28. I just start this exact approach, so far 1 week of paleo lunches and my next step will be paleo breakfasts 🙂 very timely article thanks staci

  29. Don’t make resolutions! as simple as that. Healthy eating should be a part of everyday life, don’t wait until January 1. Why?. We are bombarded with images of people who are slimmer and wealthier than us, so we tend to be dissatisfied faster because we don’t reach our goal quick, don’t expect to lose the weight that has been accumulated during years and years in one week!. According to a report by The Leisure Database Company, British Health and Fitness industry is estimated to be worth £3.9 million, at start of each year, we fuel this industry as we embark on resolutions. But according to a research, half of us will fail to stick to them for more than a month. If that’s you, help in hand, with regards to willpower, people generally fail when they try to change to much at once but if you do things in minimal effective doses will help you to reach your goal: only change your breakfast to start with, then build up to changing lunch as well, and so on. It is similar to take a complex thing and break it down into smaller pieces!

  30. Any ideas at going paleo while vegetarian?  Everything I’ve read said it is near impossible, but I really just don’t like meat. I’m good with oatmeal for breakfast and a salad for lunch, but dinner is killing me.

  31. I’d love to know this too… I guess it includes lotsof eggs, nuts, seeds, avos, and maybe a allow legumes cuz really, what is so bad about legumes.?

    Dr fuhrmans diet is sort of a vegetarian paleo diet.

  32. What about people who are ind anger of developing osteoporosis? MY father has arthritis, which I may get later too (I’m 27, go to the gym, have developed runner’s knee problems). 

  33. hi everyone. it’s funny. i read this article a little while ago, thought oh wow! this staci woman is awesome. she really gets it! this TOTALLY speaks to me. and… then i proceeded to go Paleo. 100%, of course.


    i failed. i felt awful. the usual. and so i will drown my sorrows in fries and cake and whatever.
    and then i read it again.

    and decided to change my tack.

    i am not going paleo. right now.
    i am doing two things:

    1- no vending machine food at school (this is huge.grad school is stressful. i eat when stressed. i’m out all day on Mondays and don’t get home till around 10 and so i’d be starving, grab some chips and, you know the story.). 2- no more keeping ice cream in the house. ice cream is bingable food #1.

    in addition, i’m trying to cook most of my own meals.

    that’s it. no vending machine food at school (going strong, so far on that one)

    finished all the ice cream a few days ago.

    still trying to walk 10,000 steps a day etc…
    do you guys have any suggestions?

    thanks for reading

  34.  Haha don’t worry Megan, that’s called “being human” ;). 

    If it helps, I’ve found the following works for cravings: forcing yourself to eat regular meals, even if you aren’t hungry. With paleo you’re not going to gain weight eating protein and fat, and you’ll stay full.

    The only times I get sugar cravings are when I let myself get too hungry, and that only happens if I don’t eat regularly or my meals are too carb-heavy, so I get hungry quicker.

    Hope it helps!


  35. I first learned about Paleo from your website and I was pretty skeptical at first. I did a lot of reading and research and decided that going Paleo made more sense than any thing I have ever come across. As a carb-aholic, mother of 3 children, full time student,and part time employee, I was super stressed, busy, and plump. I transitioned slowly for about a month and my first full week of living Paleo has been incredible. My husband barely even noticed the changes until I sent him to the store and told him NOT to buy cereal, dairy, or pasta. I don’t own a scale so I’m not sure about my weight loss, but I know it is happening quickly. I’m already back into jeans that I wore between baby #1 & 2. More importantly, I feel amazing! I have so much more energy, my mood is lifted, my mind is clear, and I sleep well again. Pesky health issues are disappearing too! All you moms out there need to put down the 100 calorie snack packs and make real changes for the health of yourself and your family. Put down your phone while your at it and have a Wii dance party with the kids. You’ll love it! They’ll love it! I’m looking forward to my Paleo life!

  36. my research has told me that this is the perfect diet for your concerns. the calcium in dairy that is so widely thought to support bone health is rarely absorbed due to the acid content of dairy foods. the high nutrient content of the Paleo diet has shown solid results with the reversal of bone loss in those under 30. Arthritis is another issue altogether, but the nature of Paleo is supposed to reduce imflammation. sounds like you got a win-win. Read  The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain(sp?). It’s an easy read and he lays it out straight.

  37. I just realized I’m NOT a fail. My eating habits are still less than stellar but after re-reading this, it seems that doing one little thing has helped me consume less of my biggest weakness (ice cream). I quit buying ice cream in “bulk” and will only buy a single serving at a time. I could easily down a pint but now I just get a single scoop… sometimes a two scooper if I’m feeling naughty. So, one bad habit has been drastically improved. On to those pesky candy bars that are always begging me to eat them at work…

  38. Rockin article. great metaphor. I also DIED laughing at your “cold turkey” photo. well done!

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