I've seen many "ex-Paleo-types" acknowledge this, but I found this a very interesting admission over at Robb Wolf's site:
It’s safe to say that the “Paleo Movement” has taken off. What started as a relatively small bunch of ‘reformed Zoners’ and ‘ahead of their time meat lovers’ has evolved into a large group of people dedicated to performance, health and longevity. The overall ruling concepts of Paleo are pretty much the same across the board – and like any diet or training program getting started is the hardest part but once you’re in, results will follow – at least for awhile… But in time circumstances and needs change. Your body adjusts and what worked once or for awhile may not be the answer anymore.Now the rest of the post is about Robb's Paleo Charlie's Angels whose services one can contract to figure out how to get Paleo working for you again, but I think it's more interesting that this is being admitted. I will differ with the notion that Paleo-principles are quite so similar across the board. It seems almost the opposite to me, hence so many different versions of/books on the Paleo diet.
Matt Stone did a piece entitled Paleo Fail discussing the low carb angle of this phenomenon. He writes:
Because of the roughly 3-12 month window of tremendous vigor, vitality, and effortless weight loss that many, myself included, experienced on a low-carb diet – I have dubbed this the low-carb “honeymoon.”
Of course there's always a contingent that accuses Matt, and guys like Anthony Colpo of just being disgruntled low carbers who got angry at the world because low carb didn't work for them. Sound familiar? I'm accused of this when discussed around the web all the time. What's most odd to me about this is that the source of the accusations are quite often folks experiencing limited success themselves adhering to an LC diet. Somehow, I guess, they think it's more noble to "stick it out" in the face of diminishing returns, or even deleterious effects, rather than to change course entirely.
You know, I think most folks -- especially those who've gotten overweight/obese eating the SAD -- will experience a honeymoon period converting to just about any more real-foods diet because they'll either be eliminating some foods they MAY be intolerant to (e.g. gluten containing wheat or dairy) or vastly improving their micronutrient consumption, protein quality and fiber intake. It is very tempting to buy into all the theories on why one might be feeling better, engendering fear of eating any amount of "fill in the blank" toxic food. But when one finds their health deteriorating once again it can be downright paralyzing to try to figure out what to eat anymore when the low carb paleo "stops working".
Now the low carbers eating refined LC foods have some wiggle-room to cut that crap out of their diets. A second honeymoon of sorts. But once you've gone pretty purley paleo and it's still not working -- what more tweak? This is a problem for low carbers who believe that it's the carbs that are the problem. Once you've eliminated all the carbs, what then? Well that's when folks who haven't already done so jump on the intermittent fasting bandwagon, looking to O6's and eliminating their beloved commercial mayo, etc. At least there's more to explore, though I'm not seeing many having much great success over the long run doing so. With the hardcore paleo, however, there's nothing left to eliminate.
This is a problem, as I see it, in wedding oneself to a particular dietary philosophy. On a "professional" level, it makes even trying another path difficult and takes quite a feat of bravery to admit so. I've noted this frequently recently as pertains to lots of low carbers, most especially the arguably most notable "success story" Jimmy Moore. On a "personal" level it must be an especially frustrating self-imposed prison sentence.
I've previously coined the term "bipolar orthorexic" and I'll repeat it. Not continuing doing whatever inspires your current orthorexia does not mean one has to go full bore the other way and dive face down into a plate of Krispie Kremes for breakfast, fast food burgers and fries for lunch and a pizza for dinner. No - I'm NOT accusing all folks following strict dietary regimes of eating disorders per se. However, I'd dare say that many do exhibit some of the same symptoms those with eating disorders display when it comes to the level of cognitive dissonance they can tolerate before considering shifting dietary course. Food for thought.