The last 6 weeks of my life looked something like this:
- Wake up and immediately begin working from bed on my phone.
- Shower? What’s that?
- Eat breakfast (that my husband graciously cooked for me) in front of my computer.
- Sit on my couch next to my dog with my laptop for the next 10-14 hours.
- Occasionally go to the bathroom.
- Eat the quickest Paleo meals I could possibly create throughout the day (mostly leftovers from my husband’s well-planned meals for himself, or a combination of coconut milk and applesauce).
- Work out? Ha ha! Yeah, right.
- Occasionally watch TV at night (with my laptop obscuring my view of the TV).
- Go to bed super late, still working on my phone until I pass out.
Here’s what that looked like…
It was awesome!! No, it was not. This is the lifestyle antithesis of what Mark Sisson and every other primal beacon preaches. The reason for all this nonsense was that I put together the Primal Life Kit sale in those 6 weeks, and it was a LOT of work on top of my normal responsibilities at Paleo Plan. I worked about 80 to 90 hours every week. The sale was a huge success, in that it brought the Paleo community closer together, it provided an amazing product for about 9,500 people, and it made a lot of very hard-working, passionate Paleo people a lot of money.
So it was worth it for sure. However, my body took a beating.
My neck flared up again, I’m weak as hell, and my nervous system is on high alert all the time. This weekend I tried taking some time off finally (after the sale was over) and I literally couldn’t relax. I’m fortunate that I’m not one of the many people out there who work this much all the time. My hat’s off to you guys – I don’t know how you do it.
So what does this have to do with losing weight?
Well, I get a lot of emails from people saying something along the lines of, “My main goal is to lose weight, but I don’t have time to exercise, so I’m not even sure this whole Paleo diet thing is worth doing. Is it? Is it humanly possible to lose weight without exercising every day?” Well, yes. Of course it is. I personally think too many people exercise too much, but that’s for a different blog post.
I’m not saying it’s healthy to not exercise, but diet is the most important aspect of weight loss, and I just want to confirm that you can lose weight or maintain your weight whilst sitting upon your ass all day every day and eating Paleo. I did.
I’m not claiming it was healthy weight loss. In fact, I’m pretty sure every muscle I previously owned is gone and I gained a little fat – but I definitely did not gain weight and I definitely lost a few pounds. I want to make this really clear: I do not recommend sitting on your ass all day if you can avoid it. But you can do that without gaining a ton of weight, as so many people do.
The key here is listening to your body’s hunger cues when you don’t have time to exercise.
It happens to all of us – it’s totally acceptable to go for a while without working out much at all. We have to live our crazy lives. But I think exercise is mistakenly considered crucial to weight loss and weight maintenance because people make one big blunder when they’re NOT exercising: they eat too much. They eat as much food as they would if they were exercising because they stick to their eating routine. We all get into habits with what we eat, but it’s important to remember to change things up, depending on what your body is telling you and how much you’re doing.
Basically, remember these two things when you’re not able to exercise much.
1. Listen to your body’s cues. If you’re eating your usual breakfast and you start to get full sooner than you normally do, stop eating. If it’s 3pm and you usually have a snack at that time, but you’re not hungry, don’t eat. If you usually have dessert, but you actually just aren’t hungry for it, don’t have it.
That’s what happened to me. I usually have a big bowl of soup for breakfast – bone broth, veggies, eggs and pastured pork sausage – but I found that I couldn’t finish half of it some days. My lunch changed, too. Normally I’d have meat and veggies and fruit for lunch, but I stopped craving meat (in fact, it made me nauseous at lunchtime), so I’d just have some applesauce and coconut milk mixed together with some other fruit. That would keep me satisfied for hours, and then I’d usually have my normal dinner: some sort of meat or fish with veggies and lots of fat.
We get attached to our meals and snacks, and a lot of it is just emotional eating – filling voids with snacks. Just remember you have a choice about what you eat, and your body will help guide your choices if you listen to it.
2. Drink enough water. A lot of people don’t drink enough water, and thirst can easily be mistaken for hunger. Not only that, but water is actually really good for you :) Make sure you always have water beside you so when you get the urge to take a sip it’s available to you.
Anyone else have any experience with this?