On September 27th, 2015 I completed Ironman Chattanooga, and since that moment I feel like I have gotten so much of my life back.
I started back at CrossFit on October 4th and went 5 times last week, going 3 days on and 1 day off to recover. I can already feel some of the gains physically, although I know that getting my strength back will be a journey as I lost roughly 25% on many of my 1-rep maxes.
The other change was going back to eating a diet that is 85% paleo.
From 2010 – March 2014 I ate roughly an 85% paleo diet which helped me put on 20 pounds of pure muscle and reduce my body fat percentage to 5 – 7%. It felt amazing to be that fit, but my body also never craved crappy foods, and when I would eat too much gluten I could feel it in my stomach. The reason I was not eating 100% paleo was because my protein powder was whey, which is dairy, and 1 – 2 times a month I would eat pizza (my vice). As far as alcohol consumption, I am not a big drinker, consuming perhaps 1 – 2 beers a week, but never more than 2 or any hard liquor.
Once April 2014 happened I began training for Ironman competitions and my paleo diet dropped to 50%. I was occasionally drinking Gatorades, natural colas, Cliff Bars, and other snacks that would help me survive my long endurance workouts. I ate for fuel and made sure my body had good stores of sugar in place for the amount of hours I was putting into my training.
Now, over the past 2 weeks I have been back to eating 85% paleo and have lost all of my sugar and grain cravings. Were the first couple of weeks difficult? YES!
My body craved the sugary foods the entire time, but I knew that if I stuck to my high protein and high fat diet then eventually my brain would lose those cravings. Sugar is highly addictive (proven by research), which is why our daughter has not had any sugar-laden drinks or foods as well as grains, which are converted into sugar and spike blood sugar. Indeed, the more you eat those kind of foods, the more your body will eventually crave them.
It feels so great now to be 2 weeks in eating 85% paleo and I finally feel like the cravings have subsided, although I was definitely tempted this weekend at numerous parties. If I went to those parties during my Ironman training then I believe I would have eaten those sweets, but now that I am losing the addiction my body is finally adapting, with the cravings fast disappearing.
You can all do the exact same thing I did, but the key is sticking to mostly good fats and good proteins and staying away from sugar or grains. Your body will definitely crave them for the first few days like mine, but stand your ground and know eventually that all cravings will subside.
Here is the food pyramid I follow for those of you looking to eat the same way I do:
—-Nuts and Seeds
———Fruits and Vegetables
————–Grassfed beef/Pasture Raised Chicken/Wild Fish