The Paleo diet is based on the types of food that we presume the early humans used to consume. This mainly contains fish, meat, fruits and vegetables. Dairy foods, cereal products and processed food are excluded from it. According to health scholars this diet reduces the glycemic load in the body, increased consumption of nutrients and vitamins and is a balanced diet of fat, proteins and carbohydrates. Many people have started following this diet. If you think you are one of those people who would like to try the Paleo diet, you should know these 5 things.
What is included in the diet?
Many people want to move to Paleo because they want to lose weight. But you can’t just jump into the Paleo diet without any prior information. There is a right way and wrong way of doing this. When you’re ready to move on to a Paleo diet, the point is to change your diet in a way that fuels your body in the same way that it used to before. Don’t just substitute all your unhealthy food with Paleo approved ones. The important thing to remember about this diet is that it constitutes vegetables with a protein source for most of your meals. Then you can add it fresh fruits with some rich complex carbs like sweet potatoes. Basically, the right way to go about Paleo is to focus on real foods like healthy fats, lots of vegetables, protein, and fruits in moderation. Eating processed food or sugary carbs is by switching from normal candy to Paleo candy defeats the purpose of the diet. The main foods to avoid on a Paleo diet includes
- Cereal grains
- Refined sugar
- Processed food
- Refined vegetable oils
How to transition
You might be wondering how you should transition to the diet. Should you transition slowly or go in all at once? Well, each method has its own pros and cons so you can decide which one will suit you better.
You can slowly transition to the diet over the next weeks or months. You eliminate one type of food, substitute another and make adjustments along the way. This way your change is gradual and your body is not shocked into it. You’re less likely to run out of willpower as you are slowing pushing your body towards a big change. However, the results of this will also take more time and you need to stay determined despite the result not being obvious. You can also start using recipes for the paleo diet.
Go in all at once
You can go 100% Paleo from the first day. Remove all cereal, dairy and processed foods from your house. The transition will be over much faster and you will probably have some drastic weight loss within the first few weeks which can be really encouraging. However, going Paleo all at once requires enormous willpower. It is an enormous shock to your body and it can be very easy to slip up.
At the end you have to decide for yourself which will be easier on for you.
How to deal with friends and family
You might think you have the right way to stay healthy but telling that to others is not such a good idea. Don’t act like you know everything about healthy diet and avoid showing off your healthy lifestyle to those around you. Everyone has their own way of living their life. It is not for you to judge those around you who still eat carbs and processed foods.
You will also need to take in stride the strange looks you get from people who seemingly thrive on carbs. Asking a waiter to substitute an item in your order with something more Paleo friendly may get you some weird looks but that comes with the territory. And even if, at some point, there is not Paleo substitute available for you then don’t freak out. You don’t have to eat every single meal that is in accordance with Paleo. The purpose of Paleo is to make your life healthier and some accidental carbs won’t set back your progress.
The struggles of going Paleo
If you have decided to go in all Paleo, then you need keep some things in mind like cheat meals and carb flu. You will be craving all sorts of junk and fast food which means you will probably end up eating a cheat meal of pizza and cookies a few weeks in to your Paleo diet. However, your body by now is used to healthy, real meals and a cheat meal could wreak havoc on your stomach the next day. So be careful about that.
Carb flu happens to people who have consistently fed their body carbs for years. When they transition to a Paleo diet it can be very difficult for their body. Think of it as a withdrawal. Your body has to readjust to pulling carbs from the fat in your body instead of the glucose that was readily available before you switched. Not everyone Paleo person is affected by carb flu and its intensity varies from person to person. But for those who are affected it can be quite a struggle as it leaves them depressed and sluggish, making them more likely to go back to old habits consuming pizzas and ice creams. You can treat this problem by eating more to fat, protein and vegetable. If a low carb diet is really difficult for you then you can add in a FEW carbs, such as fruits. Also, if you transition slowly to the diet you are less likely to suffer carb flu.
The Paleo lifestyle
Many people like the idea of going healthy with a Paleo diet but going in 100% scares you. Maybe you have heard that without dairy your bones will lose all their strength. Or you cannot imagine life without pizza! Well the, you need not worry about going in 100%. You try the Paleo lifestyle, even if it is a little bit. You can make small changes in your diet. For example, you can stop intake of Coke and incorporate more fresh meat in your food instead of the processed meat. You don’t need to have a 100% Paleo diet to have a healthy diet. If you can maintain a little bit of it then that is better than going all in and failing to keep up with any of it. Even the little changes can have long term, big effects. This is not about living like a caveman or being aggressively healthy or a 10 day cleanse. This is about making your body healthy for the long term. Even if you cut back on all the junk food and soft drinks, you can improve your health and lose a lot of weight. This is a permanent lifestyle change so make small changes that you can stick to. Health and happiness is the purpose of this diet.
A Paleo diet is not easy but it has been proven to show positive effects on those who practice it. If you are really committed to healthy eating, then you should definitely give this a try. Even if it is a few Paleo changes.