Paleo vs. Weight Watchers – which should you choose? If you’re anything like me – every time you start a diet, it goes a little something like this:
Start diet. Stay really strict on said diet. See some results. Get tired of dieting/counting calories/restricting. Binge and eat all the food. Gain the weight back plus more, probably. Feel guilty. Start new diet.
Unfortunately, this was how things always went for me – until the day I decided to try Paleo. Without exaggerating, this decision changed my life.
Suddenly, I was no longer a frequent rider of the fad diet rollercoaster. I was actually eating (unlike when I was dieting and felt like I was NEVER eating), my body felt better than ever, and I was seeing the exact results that I had been chasing while on Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, or any other fill-in-the-blank diet.
If you’re riding that same diet rollercoaster, let me tell you that there’s a better way of life. It may be time to ditch the diet and adopt a lifestyle instead.
On a diet such as Weight Watchers, the program is based on a point-system. You track the foods you eat and the goal is to stay below your assigned point value each day. This type of tracking can be effective for weight loss, but it’s not always sustainable.
Personally, I like to enjoy the experience of eating. I don’t want to think about how many points I get for each food and if it’s going to put me over my total. It’s stressful. And when you eat in a stressed state, it can really throw off the way your body digests the food. That’s not good to say the least.
With Paleo, there is absolutely no tracking necessary. You just eat real foods. This makes the whole experience more pleasant for me. Within the parameters of Paleo, I eat until I feel satisfied and then I’m done. My mind is happy. My body is happy. Life is better.
Artificial sweeteners. Egg Beaters. Pre-packaged foods. All of these things are “allowed” (and maybe even encouraged?) on Weight Watchers or similar diet plans.
Technically, you could eat a diet composed entirely of these things and still land below your desired point-value. As we know, though, calories are only one portion of the overall picture of health.
When you adopt a Paleo lifestyle, the packaged food and unpronounceable ingredients become obsolete. Automatically, you begin making better choices for your body.
Your vegetable consumption increases. You discover those brussel sprouts you’ve hated your whole life are actually delicious when tossed in avocado oil and sea salt and roasted in the oven. You start eating foods loaded with vital micronutrients – vitamins and minerals that help your body function optimally. Nutrient-dense, REAL foods for the win.
Back in my dieting days, the hardest part of sticking with it was feeling as if I was depriving myself of something; whether it was food or dinners out at restaurants, I always felt like I was missing out on something.
After trying Paleo, I never felt that weight of restriction on me. I could eat as much as I needed. I became much more in tune with my body’s hunger signaling mechanisms, and I would eat when I needed and stop when I was satiated.
Sure, it was hard to kick the bread habit at first…but a couple weeks into it, when my body had adjusted and I felt better than ever, I hardly even noticed. I was giving my body exactly what it needed, and it wasn’t craving anything else.
And once I realized I could go out to dinner with friends and still enjoy myself while sticking to the Paleo guidelines, I was sold.
The thing that I may love most about Paleo is that the focus is shifted from weight loss to overall health. While maintaining a healthy weight is important, it’s not the only indicator of wellbeing. With a traditional diet program, the goal is usually solely based on losing weight. And when that number doesn’t budge, it becomes incredibly frustrating. You may cry. You may quit altogether.
When you eat Paleo, you’re not specifically chasing a number on a scale. You begin to measure your health in other ways.
You might notice your energy increases throughout the day. Your skin might clear up completely. Your sleep quality might skyrocket.
All of these things have nothing to do with weight and everything to do with HEALTH. And, big surprise, you’ll probably even shed the weight that you’ve been trying so hard to lose.
So, if you’ve tried the Weight Watchers thing and not seen much success, I’d suggest a change of pace. Give Paleo a try.
Start eating a diet composed of real foods. Stop calorie counting and depriving yourself. Start measuring your health and wellbeing in other ways.
Ditch the diet and adopt a lifestyle that will not only increase your health but will also be sustainable for the long-term.