What is a Paleo Diet and How You Can Get Started
Ahhh, The Paleo Diet. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve likely heard of this way of eating that seems to transform all who follow it.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge fan of fad diets but it seems The Paleo Diet doesn’t often attract people just looking for a quick fix.
Those that try it, and reap it’s benefits, seem to be converted for the long-term.
I first heard of Paleo when I read an awesome book called The Paleo Solution, By Robb Wolf.
I’m a big fan of Robb’s and regularly listen to his podcast and this book really changed my views on how our diets affect not only our bodies but our health.
Much of the sickness and disease we face is less to do with bad luck and more to do with bad diets.
The Paleo Diet boasts anything from rapid fat-loss to the reversing of diseases. And there seems to be no lack of testimonials to back these claims up.
In this short post, I’ll provide an overview of what this diet entails and how to get started.
What is The Paleo Diet?
The Paleo Diet is modeled after the way people ate during the Paleolithic Era. It’s also known as the Caveman Diet.
The whole idea is that since our genetics are almost identical to our loin-cloth wearing predecessors, we should eat what they ate. Our modern diet has evolved faster than our body’s ability to process those modern foods well. Because of this, we’re fatter and sicker than ever.
By going back to eating how our ancestors evolved to eat, we get to reap the rewards they lived with. Strong, lean, and athletic bodies that were practically disease and sickness free.
But, before I tell you to blow up your fridge, throw out your microwave, and starting riding a horse to work; let’s get to what The Caveman Diet really looks like:
What To Eat on Paleo
- Lean Meats
- Nuts & Seeds
- Healthy Fats
Foods to Avoid
- Processed Foods and refined sugars
- Starchy vegetables
Simply put, base your diet on garden vegetables (especially greens), lean meats, nuts and seeds, little starch and no added sugar.
How Do You Get Started?
When you’re adjusting your eating habits after years of eating the same way, simple things like getting the groceries can be reason enough to throw in the towel.
With Paleo you can keep things simple. Go around the outside aisles of the supermarket. This will take you through the fruits, veggies, and meats sections, while missing the majority of the processed food sections. Go into the centre aisles sparingly.
Something else that’ll help you stay on track is having a meal plan. This has helped me a lot.
Meal plans provide a clear idea of what you’ll eat ahead of time and can be the difference between success and failure in forming new eating habits. (Click here for Paleo Meal Plans)
Lastly, get rid of Non-Paleo foods from your pantry. I know from experience you can whip up some pretty awesome Paleo grub. But it’ll be harder to stick to it when you’ve got Doritos or Twinkies staring you down every time you open the pantry door.
PaleoTest.com offers a nice free assessment that determines if the Paleo Diet is good for you.
My Personal Experience with Paleo
I’ve tried The Paleo Diet in the past and loved it.
It helped me discover that I had an intolerance for gluten and since I’ve removed that from my diet I’ve felt incredible.
It was quite easy to stick to the Paleo way of eating when I was cooking for myself at home, but I definitely found it tough in social situations.
Watching friends eat pizza while I was nibbling away on a salmon salad definitely got tiresome (and caused some weird looks). But, was it a price worth paying for my health? Heck yes!
So why don’t I follow it anymore?
Well, I love dairy. And, as far as I can tell, dairy loves me. I’m also a big fan of rice and my body seems to have no problem with it.
I may not be a raving Paleo dieter, but I have to admit it’s definitely left its mark on me.
Though I still make room for treats the majority of my diet is non-processed, mostly fruits, vegetables, and meats. I feel best when I’m eating this way.
Give it 30 Days
I’ll end with Robb Wolf’s greasy used-car salesman pitch: “Try it for 30 days and see how you look, feel, and perform”.
If you’re experiencing food allergies or gut troubles the first thing I’d encourage you to do is try The Paleo Diet. Heck, even if you just want to look better naked, you should try it. It could improve your health and your butt.
Have a question about The Paleo Diet? Comment Below
(For a more extensive and scientific overview click here)