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Paleo Diet Week 2: Creating New Habits and Being Strong

The second week of the Paleo diet plan may feel less exciting than the first week. After a week or ten days, the Paleo way of eating begins to feel more comfortable, but it hasn't quite reached the stage where you can safely call it a habit. There's still more work to be done to make living Paleo feel like second nature.

The good news is that many of the benefits of the Paleo lifestyle — consistent energy levels, quality sleep, clear skin, energized workouts, and a positive outlook — begin to appear. These are all signs that the healing process in your body has started. And that positive trend will continue as long as you continue to fuel your body with quality, Paleo foods and restore it with adequate rest.

What happens during the second week

After more than a week of Paleo foods, your body is continuing to adapt from burning sugar for energy to using your fat stores for fuel. This is a good thing, and you want to do everything you can to support that process. That means sticking to your no-sugar guns and eating plenty of high-quality fats and vegetables.

You may be surprised to find that cravings make an unwelcome reappearance sometime during your second week, and they may be for foods you didn't even realize you missed. This is your body trying to trick you into giving it the familiar foods you don't need — kind of a last-ditch effort to test your resolve.

Right around the ten-day mark, you should start to feel some of these celebration-worthy effects:

  • Renewed energy: You'll probably find that you wake up feeling bright and energized — and that energy remains pretty consistent throughout the day.

  • Buoyant mood: You just may find yourself feeling inexplicably happy. This is the result of stable blood sugar and quality fuel.

  • Detox pox: The odd symptoms — like digestive distress, allergies, and acne/blemishes — brought on by your body adapting to the Paleo diet begin to disappear. If you have longstanding health issues, you should notice them starting to alleviate.

  • Looser-fitting clothes: At this point, you may start to notice that your clothes are fitting a little differently, maybe your pants are a little loose around the waist, or you have to move your belt a notch.

At this point, you may be feeling so good that you're tempted to step on the scale to see whether you've lost weight. This is a terrible idea! Instead, keep the scale in the closet, and keep your mind on the goal: To complete the first 30 days with no cheats, no treats, no slip-ups, and no deviation from the plan.

Tasks and assignments during Paleo week 2

Your second week is all about staying on track, settling into your new habits, and continuing to focus on self-care. You want to create a support system for yourself in case you hit a snag, try some new foods to help fight boredom, move your body, and plan how you'll celebrate your halfway point.

  • Recruit an ally. Forcing family or friends to join you in the 30-Day Reset is a bad idea; people need to decide for themselves when they're ready to take on the challenge. But asking people to support you in your mission is 100 percent appropriate.

    You may want to identify two people to be on your Paleo team — someone to help you during the day when you're at home or at work and someone to be your rock during the evening to make sure you don't run into trouble between dinner and bedtime.

  • Try a new recipe. If you kept your meals simple during your first week, you may be ready for something more enticing this week. (Just be sure to double-check the ingredients list to make sure they're compliant with the 30-Day Reset.) Something as simple as a new recipe can help renew your enthusiasm if it starts to flag at your midway point.

  • Have some fun. Get outside and play; it's the easiest way to lighten your mood and help take the focus away from food, without losing sight of your Paleo goals. You don't have to actually live like a cave man, but enjoying fresh air and natural light goes a long way toward contributing to a more balanced lifestyle.

  • Plan your celebration. At the end of your second week, you'll be halfway through the 30-Day Reset. How will you celebrate? To reinforce your success and acknowledge the changes you're making, marking the occasion is important. Choose an activity or reward that's not associated with food, and make a fuss!

  • Review your journal. If you make journaling part of your 30-Day Reset, review it from time to time to see the evolution of your experience. Seeing patterns emerge can be enlightening, and by reading your journal, you can see how far you've come in a very short time.

Troubleshooting Paleo challenges

Here are more tips to help you manage potential pitfalls.

  • Cravings: The sugar demon is probably in hibernation by now, but that doesn't mean that you're immune to cravings. You don't need to give in to those cravings; you're stronger than that. To help combat cravings, review your journal and remind yourself of all the hard work you've put in so far. Decide that you will absolutely not give in to signals to eat foods you don't really want.

  • Weird dreams: Some people report odd and even food-related dreams during their second week of the 30-Day Reset. To alleviate sleep-related discomfort, you may try eating a small snack of protein and fat before bed and do some intentional relaxation.

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