Living Paleo For Dummies
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Three weeks into the Paleo diet, you should really be feeling like a champ. You're well on your way to creating your new Paleo lifestyle. For the most part, your cravings have been kicked to the curb, the sugar demon has been banished, and rather than thinking about the foods you miss, you're thinking about the goals you want to tackle when your 30-Day Reset is complete.

But your transition isn't complete yet; that's why you need to hunker down for the full 30 days. Some people may be unsettled by the return of a craving or two during the third week. Try not to be disappointed or frustrated if you do feel some unwelcome cravings. Their appearance is totally natural and not unusual.

This week is key because during these seven days is when your new behaviors that you've been honing since the beginning of the 30-Day Reset really start to become concrete habits.

If your eating habits before the 30-Day Reset involved a lot of fast food, processed and packaged foods, it may take a little bit longer for your body to rid itself of unwanted compounds and to heal. Stay the course, and be patient with the plan and yourself.

What happens during the third week

Your body is still adapting, but the finish line of transitioning from a sugar-burner to a fat-burner is in sight. If you've traditionally eaten a diet high in processed foods and sugar, your inflammation is easing off and your body is healing. Inside, your systems and tissues are beginning to be at peace, no longer inflamed by antinutrients and blood sugar spikes. You're well on your way to living Paleo.

  • Fat burning for energy: Your insulin response to the food you eat is moderate and appropriate, so you don't get mood swings or sugar highs (and the associated crash), and your energy is stable throughout the day.

  • Consistent mood: Because your blood sugar is no longer swinging to extremes like Tarzan, your moods are more predictable and appropriate to the situation. You feel light-hearted and optimistic.

  • No more detox pox: The symptoms of digestive distress, allergies, and acne/blemishes brought on by your body adapting to the Paleo diet are usually cleared up, and other long-term ailments are drastically alleviated and continue to improve.

  • Less hunger: Your appetite may fluctuate during this week, and you may find that you simply have no desire to eat as much as you used to. As long as your energy and mood don't suffer, pay attention to your body's signals and eat less. Just be sure to take note if cravings reappear or if your energy or sleep suffers.

Tasks and assignments during Paleo week 3

Your third week is all about feeling empowered by your new behaviors and success. Now is the time to share your experience with others and try out some new restaurant-related skills to help you make the transition from the rules of the 30-Day Reset to a real-world, Paleo lifestyle.

  • Tell a friend. By now, the people around you may be noticing your sunny outlook and your slimmer silhouette. This is the ideal time to share what you've been doing and to lead by example instead of trying to blatantly recruit them to the Paleo lifestyle.

  • Eat in a restaurant. During your 30-Day Reset, you've probably been eating your meals at home or packing food with you when you venture out into the world. It's time to be brave and face the challenge of a restaurant menu. A meal in a restaurant is a welcome treat, and it gives you the confidence to know you can take your new habits with you everywhere you go.

  • Plan your celebration. In just one more week, your 30-Day Reset will come to an end. You owe it to yourself to mark the occasion with a non-food reward. Avoid the temptation to fantasize about "celebrating" the end of your strict 30 days with a forbidden food. Instead, plan an event that commemorates the mental and physical strength you gain during 30 days of Paleo eating.

Troubleshooting Paleo challenges

Bodies are wonderful, unique entities, and although most people begin to experience significant improvements by the third week of the Paleo diet, in some situations, the adaption and healing process take longer.

If you have a medical issue — for example, hypothyroidism, IBS, or diabetes — the transition may take more time. If you have a history of obesity or yo-yo dieting, you, too, may need a bit longer for the magic to happen.

And if you consumed fast food, packaged and processed food, sugary treats, and alcohol for an extended period of time before beginning your 30-Day Reset, it may take more than three weeks to reverse the damage. But the damage can be reversed!

No matter what the cause, if you're in the third week of the 30-Day Reset and aren't enjoying positive changes to the degree you'd like, your best option for success is to consider extending your 30-Day Reset beyond 30 days.

That is probably unwelcome news, but the only way to rid your body of inflammation and transition from sugar-burning to fat-burning is to continue to let your body rest by providing it with high-quality nourishment — and to completely avoid stressing your body with the problematic qualities of grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, and alcohol.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Melissa Joulwan is the author of the paleo recipe and lifestyle blog Dr. Kellyan Petrucci, who is a go-to expert in the nutritional field, helps patients build the strongest, healthiest body possible through her family-based workshops and consulting practice (

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