So, you read up on it and decided it would benefit you to switch to a Paleo lifestyle. Most sources suggest going cold turkey for 30 days and seeing how you feel/look/perform. However, this may be easier said than done, especially after the holidays (I’ll be honest with you: it can be a bumpy ride even under perfect conditions). So, here are some tips you can use to make things easier on yourself.
Right after the holidays, you’re probably on sugar overload, so Priority #1 is taking care of that. During the first week, remove anything that tastes sweet, except fruit, from your nutrition. This includes: white/brown sugar, honey, fructose, stevia – all sorts of sweeteners, whether natural or processed – and anything containing such ingredients. In short, if it tastes sweet, don’t eat/drink it! The only exception is whole fruit (not juiced), but limit them to 2 pieces per day. You should feel okay after going 1 week sugar-free, but if you need more time in this phase, feel free to take it.
After that, it’s time to eliminate grains, legumes (i.e. beans), and dairy. Depending on your body, choose the most damaging food group and remove it from your plate first. Every 1-2 weeks, eliminate one more group until you are eating 100% Paleo. If you have other sensitivities – to food groups such as FODMAPs or nightshades – get rid of them in a similar manner.
In my case, for instance, I don’t eat legumes anyway, so I ignored them, and I’m not lactose intolerant, but I am sensitive to grains. Therefore, the latter was the first thing to go for me after getting rid of sugar. I still ate cheese for a while until I felt ready to eliminate it.
If you transition this way, by stages, you probably won’t experience any withdrawal symptoms. However, if you’re feeling spaced out, lightheaded or dizzy, your body may need more salt, more carbs, or more of both. So, add a baked sweet potato and a little bit of salt to your plate, and enjoy 🙂