Thursday, July 11, 2013

The post about Poon versus Paleo

Yesterday morning I got to sleep in an extra hour before I did my 10K tempo run along the rail trail. Since I was working from home, I didn't have to be out the door until 6:30am.  It was a muggy morning,but there were lots of people out on the trail by 6:30am.  I ran into my former yoga instructor.  She follows me on Twitter and Instagram so she knows what I've been up to.  She was biking down the trail headed for work and said she was wondering when she'd run into me.  Seeing her made me miss her yoga class.  She was a great instructor and financially I can't do yoga right now.  I'm just focusing on running, physio, and balancing/core exercises.  Maybe in the fall I'll see what classes she's teaching through our local Parks and Rec programs.

Julien has been attending day camp all week.  It has been a struggle to get him there everyday. Once he's there he's fine, but he cries before I drop him off.  He goes there to play games, do sports, do crafts.  Today they went to a big water park in Kitchener, Ontario.  Initially he didn't want to go, but we talked him into it. I think it's important for him to do stuff like this because he's an only child and sometimes I think he's a bit too attached to us.   He has never spent the night away from both of us.  And either hubby or I have always put him to bed at night.  Don't get me wrong, I love all the time I spend with him and I love that we're so close, but I want him to be more independent and more confident.  He's happy that tomorrow is his last day of camp.  I wanted to put him in for another week in August, but I don't think it's gonna happen.

So my lovely colleague from work, Adriana, suggested this question to me as a blog topic:
I do have a topic for you to discuss that might be interesting. Wondering whether you would still recommend doing the Poon diet or if you'd go straight to Paleo, knowing what you know now, why and why not. Is one better than the other? Maybe Paleo is too strict for someone starting out. It also seems that you're eating pretty much gluten free. Have you noticed any other benefits besides weight loss? 
Great questions Adriana, and I'm gonna do my best to tackle them.

Knowing what I know now, I would still encourage anyone who needs to get healthy and lose weight to get a referral to Dr. Poon's clinic.  I needed the bi-weekly doctor visits and the regular weigh-ins.  There's just something more official and serious about having somewhere to go where there's a file on you.  If you don't live in the greater Toronto area, you can order his book on-line and get your family doctor to monitor your weight-loss.  When his clinic initially left Toronto and I couldn't make it there for regular weigh-ins, I went to my family doctor who weighed me and keep track of my blood pressure.  I needed the accountability at that time, so Dr. Pitt stepped up!  I know of a few people who have ordered his book on-line who live outside of North America.  Good luck Anna:)

Dr. Poon's diet and Paleo are similar, especially in Phase One.  Although there are things allowed on Dr. Poon's diet that Paleo does not allow (ie: sweeteners, dairy, legumes), I always limited those things when I was in serious weight-loss mode.  I mostly stuck to fresh veggies, fruit, lean meats and seafood.  I rarely bought anything from the Ontario Nutrition Store.  Not because I didn't think they were good products, but because even though they were "allowed" treats, I knew I would over-indulge which would be detrimental to my goal.  I know that I can definitely have too much of a good thing.

Transitioning to Paleo for maintenance was much easier than I expected.  Cutting out the sweeteners, dairy, all grains, legumes and anything processed (sugar and carbs) wasn't too daunting considering that if I ate any of that stuff, it was in very limited quantities.  Now Paleo has become second nature to me.  It's just routine. I knew that moving forward from a 125 weight-loss meant that I was never going to be able to return my old eating habits.  I wanted to eat as clean as possible and be the best runner I could be.  So Paleo has worked out nicely for me.  I haven't had any problems eating out (when I have to with clients) while following Paleo. I need to be just as strict now as I was when I was first starting out.  I have come to the conclusion that this "diet" phase never really ends.  I'll be on this diet forever.

As for being gluten-free, I have a ton of energy, and I have no problem completing long runs without "carb loading".  I've been sleeping better because I've been going to bed earlier.  I was really run down about a month ago, and I finally started to get myself to bed by around 11pm.  That is early for me because I was up reading blogs till after midnight most nights.  Also, I find that following Paleo has done wonders for my digestive system (read: everything works the way it should).  The benefits of being Paleo definitely surpass the limitations.  For me anyway.  Although I don't eat certain foods, I also don't worry about measuring or serving sizes.   I don't have to count calories and just eat until I've had enough.  That being said, I'm not sure how it's going to work for me in the weight-loss department.  I may just have to do a real basic Paleo/Poon version of Phase One.  I'll make that call in about a week or so when I weigh myself again.  That would be lean protein, leafy greens and veggies grown above ground.  Phase one of Dr. Poon's diet, but still Paleo!

When I was morbidly obese, I hated the way my hair looked when it was up.  That is because I had such a fat neck (which actually looked like no neck), and fat upper back hump.  In the summer I still wore it up A LOT because I was freaking hot all the time.  Weighing around 300 pounds in the humidity is not pleasant.  Ironically, after Julien was born I had all my hair cut off which meant my fat neck and back hump were in plain view all the time.  This summer I have been wearing my hair back in a pony tail and most recently, a ballerina bun on really humid days.  I had to look at my reflection with my phone in the mirror to see what I looked like, and what a pleasant surprise. I actually look completely normal.  I like the way my neck looks because I actually have a neck! And I don't have a fat upper neck hump anymore either. For the first time in my life, I can wear my hair up or down with confidence.

Summer 2004

Summer 2013

16 comments:

  1. o.O thanks for calling attention to my fat upper back hump and no neck! That has never been a blip on my radar but now it is a solid ding!
    I kid. I look like theheavy picture of you from the back but I don't care about a fat neck. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great Post Leigh! I agree about not needing carb loading for energy. My energy seems to be the best it's ever been:)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Leigh, thank you for the comparison, I was wondering about the same a few days back..I have personally not tried both, I just stick to healthy eating...basically meat, veggies and fruits, sometimes lentils but that's my usual diet and it helped me lose all my weight and now I eat the same thing even when I'm maintaining my weight but I do count calories that has helped me a lot. Now I'm looking for diets that will help me get stronger and do more workouts/ longer runs, do you think just adding more protien helps? I love seeing your food snaps usually gives me a good idea :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a bit of a protein whore. But works for me may not work for someone else.. You really have to experiment!

      Delete
  4. I've noticed to that my neck is no longer like a tree trunk. It's actually much slimmer and longer looking. :-) Marion

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for this post - good info all around. I'm wondering about Paleo myself...just might be hard as I don't eat meat....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can and have lost weight while eating strict Paleo but I find that I still have to watch my serving sizes with the fats, eat low glycemic fruits; and limit the starchier veggies (sweet potatoes, carrots). I also measure my food because the theory of eating how much I want does not usually work for me (I will overeat, even the healthy stuff). This is just what works for me after switching to a Paleo lifestyle a year and a half ago. PS - I'm not always this strict, just when I want to tighten things up.

      Delete
  6. Hi Leigh,
    Thank you for this detailed description of Dr. Poon and Paleo. I have the Dr. Poon Metabolic Diet book and have been to their Brampton clinic (it is not far from me). With my Doctors ok, I went on Phase 1 and what I appreciated about it was that it broke me free from a lot of cravings after about a few days. I have a wonderful Doctor now (not before though) who has recommended Dr. Poon.

    Now due to my liver issues, my Doc felt it was safer for me to modify after Phase 1 and I agreed since I cannot digest alot of protein. Beef and pork - even lean are in particular hard for my system. So I now have a small amount of grains - but mainly veggies and small protein. I really love the Dr. Poon book though. Dr. Poon's writing style is very matter of fact and straight forward. I have been to the store as well and agree with you on some of the goodies - I just walked past them otherwise they would become my new best friends. :D

    That said, if it wasn't for finding you, I probably would never have found the kick-in-the-butt that I needed on top of my health diagnoses.

    The difference in your neck from 2004 to this Summer is really amazing. I will post a positive affirmation about myself on my next post as well. Sorry for hogging so much space in a reply!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome Linda:) I'm certainly not perfect, and I am in awe of those that can utilize the Ontario Nutrition store. Sadly I cannot. Too much of a good thing and all...

      Delete
    2. I am actually the same way Leigh! I probably typed that incorrectly - the Ontario Nutrition Store would be a best friend to me too but I can't have too much temptation around me either!! :)

      Delete
  7. Hi Leigh,

    As you probably have read on the Poon facebook page I am having issues moving from phase 1 to phase 2 with Poon. Mainly because of portion control. I also might consider Paleo as a long term lifestyle myself. But for now my goal is to shed these last 15 lbs!

    Thanks for this post, it has given me a bit more insight on where to go from here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The last few pounds are definitely the hardest! Dr. Poon is easily converted to Paleo:)

      Delete
  8. Excellent post, I love reading your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I really enjoy reading these posts about what you eat, Leigh. You are right that the "diet" never ends. As my WW leader said many years ago, "You just keep doing what you have been doing." Yup. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think I agree with Canon, these posts about what you eat are very intriguing to me. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Leigh! Since you brought up your digestive system and 'everything working as it should' can I ask whether there was any problem adjusting when you first started the Poon diet? I have read various Paleo books that say not to take fiber supplements but I don't know if Dr Poon feels the same way. Hopefully the book will arrive next week, but I wonder whether constipation is a problem for people on Poon or Paleo. Thanks, love your blog!

    ReplyDelete