Monday, June 4, 2012

The Paleo experiment

The Paleo diet is now very popular, and has gained a bit of momentum in mainstream media and the internet. This post is about how I got into the Paleo lifestyle,
For people not familiar with this diet or lifestyle, it is explained a lot better by people who have been doing great work for much longer than I have been a practicing doctor. Trying to put it across clearer than them is overly ambitious. Here is a link from someone I am a huge fan of.

What I want to do is to put across to you my personal experience with this diet.
Hopefully, it may resonate with you, and get you going in your quest to get healthy.

At the worst shape of my life, I was 82kilos at 168 cms and looking like the typical portly Indian doctor. Not the model of health to my patients, but compared to my colleagues and patients, I looked pretty normal.
India is known in the west as a place where people starve. Well, that was a few decades ago. Obesity is the norm in our urban areas now. Diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia are exploding.

I had quit exercising when I had moved to the UK and never restarted it after I returned home.
Deciding that enough was enough, and feeling slightly hypocritical while advising my patients to lose weight, I decided to turn things around. I turned to my old friend, the bicycle. The last time I had used it regularly, I had dropped 10kgs with ease but that was in 1996.
I started biking and got up to a steady mileage of 20-30kms a day before work.
I didnt change my eating habits much. I was still downing large quantities of "healthy grain" Indian breads like chappathis, and dosas. I lost 6kilos in a few months and people were congratulating me on how much better I looked. I felt alright, except for falling sick with viral infections every 2 to 3 weeks, I didnt think much of it, because thats the way I'd always been. I figured, being exposed to sick people in the hospital everyday predisposed me to become sick more often. It was "normal"

One night, suffering from the flu, and browsing a cycling forum, I came across the "Paleo diet"
It pretty much changed my life.
I eased into it, after I failed once, going cold turkey on grains.
The weight loss was effortless, I was getting stronger, I stopped falling sick, I had more time because I didnt have to exercise for 12hrs a week to keep my weight loss going.

I'm now at 65kgs for the last 2 months. I'm now as light/heavy as I was when I was in school.
But thats not the full story. I'm faster stronger and healthier. I dont fall sick, I have almost unlimited energy.
I can go without eating for 24hrs and then return home and haul rocks around the garden.

How I did it, doesnt really matter, but I thought, if I get my story out there and it inspires someone, atleast one other person to take charge of their own health, then I've succeeded.
I'll try and put it out in bits and pieces so that this post doesn't become a crashing bore.

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