Let’s start with the numbers: 7 lbs. in 7 days! I know, I was shocked too. However, keep in mind that a big part of this amount is water weight. Since I eat much less carbs, my body also retains less water. Fortunately, I still feel energetic and have no dips in my energy levels throughout the day. Also, after weight lifting my muscles seem to be recovering at the same pace as they did before the Paleo diet. This seems to demonstrate that my post training recovery is similar and this should prevent muscle atrophy (I hope)! I am keeping a close eye on feeling weak or lacking energy since that may be a concern (although there are no signs at all yet).

As I mentioned before, Saturdays are a pretty intense workout day for me. This is what I did last Saturday:

  • Youth martial arts class (teaching and joining in the interactive games)
  • 60 minutes of weight lifting (chest and shoulders)
  • 30 minutes of a Modern Martial Arts class (Drew taught the rest of the class)
  • 30 minutes of a Strength & Conditioning class (instructed the rest without joining)
  • 1.5 hour Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, of which about 40 minutes rolling (grappling with your opponents)

As you can imagine, I was eating all day (to a point that my clients said: ‘Are you eating again??’) Nonetheless, I dropped a good amount of weight that day, mostly because I couldn’t keep up with my water intake vs loss.

Sunday and Monday I was mostly out of town, which did not make this diet any easier. Luckily, we were able to bring a lot of previously prepared foods and we had access to an empty fridge where we stayed. This made it more manageable but it was still not easy at all.

So far I have been able to keep up with the diet but it is definitely a challenge. This is not how I normally eat at all. I can imagine the Paleo diet is a slight change for many people but for me it’s pretty much a complete turnaround. The temptation is not a major issue right now, however the biggest problem is variety. This is why we’re exploring more options to cook the same foods, the problem is that I am a picky eater so I am forced to resort to the same foods pretty often. I have to say I am eating many different things but considering the amount of food I have to eat, it gets quite boring.

So far this week these have been my workouts:


  • 45 minutes weight lifting (chest and shoulders)
  • Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class (60 minutes)
  • 30 minutes Strength & Conditioning
  • Modern Martial Arts (60 minutes)


  • 30 minute run
  • 45 minutes weight lifting (back)
  • Modern Martial Arts (of which I joined 30 minutes)


  • 60 minutes weight lifting (upper back and shoulders)

Planning on doing later today:

  • 60 minutes Strength & Conditioning
  • 60 minutes Modern Martial Arts

I have not yet measure my body fat % but will most likely do tonight. I will keep you posted!

By Sander Vanacker, owner, head instructor and personal trainer of Define Defense Martial Arts & Personal Training.

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