Paleo Weight Loss Plan – How to Start a Paleo Diet
Any “diet” can help you lose weight, but not every diet is healthy and good for you. Losing weight is a good thing and can reduce your risk for diabetes and heart disease!
Research has indicated that for obese people, even losing as low as 5 to ten percent of extra weight can decrease these risks by half. There are so many benefits to losing weight and having a healthy diet.
Even though the Paleo diet has been around for years, it has only recently started to really make its mark. That is because more and more people are starting to realize the amazing health benefits that come with eating the way that our bodies were meant to eat.
Eating Paleo means eating the way that our ancestors ate. Long before drive thru windows and frozen foods people had to wake up every day, find food, and prepare that food. As you can imagine, this required a great deal of physical and mental strength. Our ancestors had to be at peak performance at all times so that they could keep up with the physical demands of their lifestyle.
For them, food was fuel. Fuel that was needed to survive. This is what makes the paleo diet so unique, because when we eat paleo we know that we are truly fueling our bodies and not just ‘filling’ them. There are many diets out there that claim they can help you to lose weight, and many of them will indeed help you to reach that goal. But there is a difference between losing weight and fueling the body.
Weight loss is great, and even losing just a little bit of weight can help to protect your body against illness. But that doesn’t mean that you are giving your body everything it needs to fight off infections, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you are doing anything that will help you to increase your energy levels.
On the other hand, eating paleo helps you to reset your whole body. This means that you will be able to increase your mental clarity, clear your skin, raise you energy levels, and find your body’s ideal weight naturally. And you will be able to do all of this while boosting your immune system, reducing inflammation in the body, and giving your body the tools it needs to be truly healthy.
Whether you are looking to simply shed a few pounds or you are looking to completely transform your health, the paleo diet can help you to achieve that. While starting this way of life might seem intimidating, with a little effort it can fit into every lifestyle.
For instance, if you work long hours, you can look for meals that you can batch cook and freeze. This will give you something to eat for dinner each night, and you can use your leftovers as lunch the next day.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on paleo friendly foods, look to buy non-perishables in bulk wherever possible and try buying your meats online. Additionally, plan meals that are based around ingredients you can find in your local grocery store, instead of a health food store. These are just some of the ways to cut costs while gaining health.
2 – Dealing With Detox
During the first few weeks of any diet changes, you are likely to experience cravings and a bit of emotional discomfort while your body is adjusting to a new way of eating. This is a positive thing, because it means that your body is healing itself from past food choices.
What does this mean? Simply put, when you eat something that your body was not meant to eat, your foods do not digest properly. It takes a massive amount of effort for your body to get rid of those foods. And when it can’t get rid of those foods before your next meal, then your body will try to store that as fat so that it can start to focus on digesting the next batch of foods.
When you start eating truly clean, then your body has the time it needs to not only process the new foods that you are eating, but to also get around to doing something with all of those fat stores.
But even though the end result is finding true health, there can be a bit of a bumpy road for you to get there.
As your body starts to clean itself, detox symptoms are likely to arise. This can be anything from breaking out and feeling sluggish to headaches. Even though getting through this detox phase can be a headache – literally – the good news is that these symptoms will usually go away in a week or two.
In the meantime, here are some simple strategies to make your detox easier:
- Drink lots of water to keep things flushing and moving through your system. Room temperature is best.
- To combat headaches, take vitamin B2. This is a natural anti-inflammatory and can be found at most vitamin shops
- Consider taking a spoonful of apple cider vinegar every day. Always look for ‘the Mother’ on the bottle (usually the Braggs brand has this). This is best in aiding digestion.
- Think about doing meditation and restorative yoga for a few minutes in the morning and evening. This will ease any muscular tensions as well as combat mental fogginess.
- Allow yourself to rest as much as possible. Detoxing is hard on your body and you need to give your body the time it needs to heal.
And the good news is that once you get through the first few weeks, you will likely feel better than you have in years. More often than not, people say that they feel more energetic, happier, have more mental clarity, clearer skin, and just an overall sense of well being. To make things even better, people generally say that they are sleeping better and feeling fuller for longer periods of time between meals.
5 – The Secret to Never Getting Hungry on the Paleo Diet
One of the best ways to find quick success in your paleo journey is to make a plan to never let yourself get hungry. We tend to make poor decisions when we are hungry, and many times those decisions can sabotage our paleo journey. Just one trip to the drive-thru can destroy days, or even weeks, of progress.
If you are able to keep yourself from getting hungry, you are able to avoid all of that. But for many people, this is easier said than done. Busy work schedules, hectic home lives, and everyday stressors make it seem almost impossible not to fall into old eating habits.
But when you have a strategy in place, you are better prepared to deal with the things that might otherwise derail your healthy eating journey.
So How Do You Make Sure that You Never Get Hungry?
Start by planning all of your meals. Make the conscious decision to set aside time each week to put your menu together for the next week. After you have your menu together, make a shopping list for your menu. While this might seem like a headache in the beginning, over time you will find meals that you want to cook frequently, making your meal planning go much faster. Additionally, you will find that the more familiar you become with your grocery shopping trips, the easier these trips become and the faster you can navigate the store.
- Have an Eating Schedule
Once you know what you are going to eat, you should take some time to plan when you are going to eat. It is best to eat every three hours in order to keep your body from getting hungry.
As for your snacks, look for things that already come prepared. This way you will have something ready to eat whenever you need it. For example, having a mix of almonds and cashews on hand will keep you feeling full and eating paleo – even when you are on the go.
- Always Have Enough Protein
One of the biggest reasons that we get hungry is because we don’t have enough protein in our bodies. Protein isn’t just responsible for helping us to feel full, it also provides energy, muscle building, and immune system benefits.
But as amazing as protein is, many of us are protein deficient. And if you eat a lot of processed foods you are likely living on very little protein.
It is a good idea to start taking note of roughly how much protein you are eating each day and how you are feeling each day, (as well as how you are feeling the next day). You will likely find that the days when you have more protein are the days when you are feeling more full and satisfied.
One of the biggest struggles with changing your eating habits is dealing with hunger, when you use these simple tricks to keep you feeling full you will be less likely to make the impulse decisions that will set you back on your healthy eating journey.
3 – Paleo for Lazy People
On the surface it might seem like eating Paleo is only for the healthiest of healthy people. The ones who love to be in the kitchen cooking clean meals, the ones who obsess over spending time at the gym, and the ones who have trained themselves to scrutinize all of their food choices, making sure that they are only eating the absolute cleanest foods possible.
This makes the thought of living a paleo lifestyle unappealing to say the least. Who wants to spend their lives obsessing this way? But there is good news, eating paleo doesn’t have to mean that you obsess over everything that you put into your body. It doesn’t need to mean that you are spending all of your time at the grocery store and it certainly doesn’t mean that you will be forced to eat bland foods that you wouldn’t even serve to your pets.
The beauty of Paleo is that it isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ lifestyle. You don’t need to fit into a ‘Paleo box’ in order to live this way. Yes, there are rules, and they need to be followed. But those rules can be easily applied to every type of cook, whether you are a lazy chef or a kitchen overachiever.
- Batch Cooking
One of the easiest ways to save time while eating paleo is to learn the art of batch cooking. When you batch cook you are setting aside a certain period of time each week where you prepare most, (or even all), of your meals. Batch cooking will mean that you spend a few hours in your kitchen each week, but after that you will be able to go about your week with ease.
When you get hungry you will not need to worry about figuring out what to eat, finding time to prepare it, and then dealing with a mountain of dishes to clean up afterwards. Instead, your meals will be waiting for you whenever you are ready for them. All you need to do is heat it and serve it – and sometimes you don’t even need to heat it.
- Make Meals that You Can Freeze
When you are thinking about the meals that you want to prepare, look for things that you can prepare and freeze. There are a lot of benefits to cooking this way. The most obvious is that you don’t have to worry about your foods spoiling. Whereas foods that are stored in your fridge will need to be eaten in a few days, your frozen meals will still be ready to eat weeks from now.
Frozen meals are also a great choice if you are getting started with the paleo lifestyle. It is a good idea to find one or two freezer friendly meals that you like and keep them in your freezer as a backup meal. This way if you ever have an issue preparing your paleo dinner, you have a backup meal in the freezer.
- Find Foods that Don’t Spoil Easily
When you are planning your meals, look for things that don’t spoil easily. For example, if you are using ingredients such as plantains, then those have a shelf life of days. On the other hand if you are making a dish that requires apples, then you can make that dish weeks from the date when you actually bought those apples.
Some examples of Paleo foods that don’t spoil easily include sweet potatoes, onions, eggs, and peppers.
On the other hand, things like leafy greens need to be eaten quickly,
4 – Quick Start Steps
If you are ready to jump in the paleo lifestyle, the first thing that you need to do is make sure that you have your home, and your lifestyle, ready for you to make this change. Many times people get so excited about starting a new health journey that they don’t take the time to properly prepare for that journey. The result is usually frustration and weight gain.
Don’t let this happen to you. While making the commitment to begin your paleo life is exciting, it is also a major change in your life. In the beginning, your excitement might be enough to keep you motivated through these changes, but as time goes on that excitement will wear off and you need to be set up for success when that happens.
- Clean Out Your Kitchen
To start, you want to clean out your kitchen. This is likely going to be hard but it needs to be done. You will be getting rid of any dairy (except eggs), breads, grains, and processed foods. Additionally, if something is not organic, you want to get rid of that as well.
If you have family members who are still going to be eating these things, designate a ‘paleo free’ zone in your home where they can keep their food items. This will help to keep the temptation from you while allowing them to freely enjoy the foods that they love.
If everyone in your home is starting a paleo journey, then you want to make another plan for those foods that you will no longer need. Many times taking them to your local food pantry is a great way to allow those foods to serve someone else, even if they can no longer serve you.
If you have foods that have been opened, for instance cereal boxes, then offer those foods to your close family friends.
- Find a Buddy
One of the easiest ways to get started quickly is to find someone to go on this journey with you. Together you can make plans, celebrate your wins, and bounce back when you stumble. If your buddy is someone who lives inside of your home, it might be a good idea to find another buddy who lives outside of your home. Working with someone who has a different home environment from your own will allow you to get different perspectives on recipes, food habits, and more.
- Set Realistic Goals for Yourself
Goals are an important way to keep yourself motivated. When you have a system of goals and rewards, you are able to keep pushing yourself to reach the next level of your weight loss journey.
But while setting goals is a necessity for success, you do need to make sure those goals can be realistically reached. For example, let’s say that you have a goal of losing 10 pounds in two weeks Is that really healthy for your body? And even if, by some miracle, it is healthy for your specific body…have you factored in work, kids, and other potential challenges when you gave yourself a timeline for this goal?
What is going to happen if you are not able to meet that goal in the timeframe that you want? You risk losing your motivation, becoming frustrated with yourself, and derailing your entire weight loss journey.
While goals are an important part of your weight loss success, you need to take the time to be sure that those goals can be reached in a realistic and timely manner.