The way I eat is to manage my autoimmune disease and help with energy, but weight loss was a really wonderful side effect. If you go to the “My Story” section of this website, you can see I have lost a lot of weight. This really helped raise my energy levels and made me feel more self-confident. I think whether you eat Paleo, Autoimmune Paleo, Gluten Free, GAPS or any other elimination diet, the key is finding foods that make you energetic and minimizing or getting rid of foods that make you lethargic or have pain. I have grouped these steps into tiers so you can just try each tier one at a time and then stop when you feel good or maybe try to go back a tier and introduce back some foods to see if those foods agree with you. This is they key to trying any of the elimination diets.
Most people will only need to do Tiers 1,2,3
Tier 1 – Remove Soft Drinks (especially with Phosphoric Acid)
Drinking your calories is any easy way to gain weight. If you drink soda with phosphoric acid it is an easy way to ruin your body, especially your teeth. Everyone has seen the science fair project of the effects of soda on teeth. Try pouring some soda down your clogged drain in your kitchen-it does wonders! You need to cut these out in steps. First get rid of Coke/Dr. Pepper – Anything with Phosphoric Acid. Start drinking Sprite or 7-Up to get those bubbles. Then cut those out and go to lemonade. Then go to tea/pure fruit juice. Eventually you want to be drinking water with the occasional fruit juice or tea.
Tier 2 – Track your food (My Fitness Pal)
The easiest way to help control food intake is to see just how much you take in! Try My Fitness Pal or Cronometer on the website or as an app on your phone. For me, there were some 3000 calorie days and some topped at 4000 calories with 500g carbs!!! For My Fitness Pal, just say you want to maintain weight at first, trying to lose a pound or even a half-pound a week on there is for later. We just want to see what you are eating, get a baseline!
Tier 3 – Manage sugar/carbs
Now that you are tracking your food, try to keep your carbs around 150g per day for weight loss and 150-200g per day to maintain. Maybe try to lose a half-pound a week and see what My Fitness Pal recommends. You do not need to eat low carb to lose weight. You may lose weight, but it is not maintainable in the long-term.
Tier 4 – Gluten-free
These tiers are for people with Gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease. It is easy to still eat out for everything. There are lots of gluten-free products and shops these days. Start trying to cook on occasion. I lost 90 pounds on the non-gluten diet in a year and ate out for just about everything, only baking some wings or a non-gluten pizza every once in a while.
Tier 5 – Autoimmune Paleo/Paleo
This is for people with autoimmune disorders or bad sensitivities to certain foods. You want to eliminate these foods for a couple months or so and then bring them back one a a time. All of your food needs to be cooked at home so you know what goes into it.
The key to keeping on these stricter diets is the BATCH COOK. I take two hours on the weekend to cook all of my meats for the week: grass fed beef, ground turkey, grass fed lamb, and chicken. Those meats are put into the freezer and taken out to thaw a day or so before eating them. I will sometime cook some veggies (asapargus, brussel sprouts) in the fat from the grass fed foods. The rest of my food for the week is steam in the bag veggies, carrot chips, sweet potatoes, avocados, etc. which can made right when the meal is eaten. This way you are never out of food and have to resort to eating something that will not benefit you.
Try to use something like cron-o-meter to track nutrients to make sure you are getting all of them. I actually had to start putting sea salt on my food (my intake of sodium was 500mg/day) because I was eating so much potassium (6000 mg/day) that my ratio of sodium to potassium intake was off.
Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor or dietitian, take my advice with a big grain of salt and consult your medical care professional about dietary changes.