It’s never easy to transition into a new lifestyle. It takes work, dedication, and, most importantly, patience. But it is important to remember that you aren’t just changing your lifestyle, you are changing your life. It took time to get where you are in life, good and bad, and it will take time to steer your life in a new direction. The good news is once you start fueling your body with food, you will begin to see amazing changes, not just in your body but in your mental clarity and energy levels as well. Before you can get there, you have to start with the transition into paleo foods.
In the beginning, changing your eating habits will be a bear. You will have cravings, you will have to plan your meals, and you will need to have a grocery list whenever you go shopping. There will be no more ‘making a quick run’ into the store on your way home from work because every time you go to the store, you will know exactly what you are going there for and exactly what you will be making with the ingredients you are buying.
This isn’t a sprint, it is a journey. And in the beginning, this journey might make you feel cranky, out of sorts, hungry, and tired. Depending on your current relationship with food, starting the paleo transition might make you feel like you are being pushed to your limit and leave you wondering why on earth this seemed like a good idea in the first place. But if you can do this, really do this, for one week then your whole life can change.
Many people experience ‘transition symptoms’ when they begin to eat in a new way. It isn’t just the tastebuds that are adjusting, it is the whole body. Food is fuel and clean eating doesn’t just fuel the body, it cleans the body. In the beginning, toxins are being pulled up, organs are getting cleaned out, and the digestive system is working overtime to flush everything out. This can take anywhere from a few days to a week. But once that week is done, everything will begin to change.
A shrinking waistline isn’t the only benefit of eating paleo. Many people say that they feel lighter, they have more energy, skin issues are cleared, and they have a mental clarity they have never experienced before. Most importantly, many people become more conscious of their relationship with food, causing them to think before they eat and make better food choices. Given the chance, the paleo lifestyle can do this for you too.
The key is finding ways to stay motivated while you are transitioning into paleo eating. Think about the things that make you happy, other than food, and use them as rewards every day. It might seem silly, but forming new eating habits takes work and it is important to teach yourself early on that there are rewards for all of that work. Plan one reward a day for the first two weeks and gradually cut it back to one or two small rewards a week. Remember, these rewards are designed to keep you motivated when you are dealing with the symptoms of transition. Soon enough, the unbelievable health benefits of your new lifestyle will be reward enough.
No matter what, remember you are human. If you fall, get back up and forgive yourself. Taking control of your health is a very hard and very brave thing. It will take time to get where you want to be in your health journey, but remember, you are worth it.