This is a complete guide to the Paleo Diet in 2020.
If you’ve been wondering about the meaning of Paleo Diet and how to execute the diet plan succesfully, you are in the right hands.
In this article you will learn everything you need to know before starting this diet plan. You will also learn about some of the most famous people who follow Paleo.
Let’s dive straight into the article!
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The Paleo Diet is modeled after the diets our ancestors have probably followed. Although there is no way to follow the exact Paleo Diet, the basic idea is to stay away from processed foods and focus instead on whole healthy foods.
You have many questions in your mind right now. Don’t worry! We are going to give you all the information you need in this Quick-Start Guide.
Let’s start with the definition of this diet
A paleo diet is an eating plan based on foods similar to what might have been eaten during the Paleolithic era, which dates from approximately 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago.
The modern paleo diet is designed to match what our human hunter-gatherer ancestors ate thousands of years ago.
In spite of the fact that it’s impossible to know exactly what our human ancestors ate in different parts of the world, researchers think their diets consisted of whole foods.
Dr. Loren Cordain developed The Paleo Diet through decades of research and collaboration with people who share common interests around the world.
The Paleo Diet is a wholesome, anti-inflammatory way of eating – designed by nature, built on decades of research, and trusted by the scientific community.
But it’s about much more than the food you put in your mouth.
The Paleo lifestyle includes things as regular exercise, nutritious foods that our bodies are designed to eat, and a more natural, sustainable way of living.
It is not another fad diet or a quick weight-loss solution.
A Diet That Really Works!
The main goal of a paleo diet is to return to a way of eating that’s more like what early humans ate.
The human body is genetically contrasting to the modern diet that evolved with the farming practices – a.k.a – discordance hypothesis
Farming changed the way of eating of many and set up dairy, grains, and legumes as additional staples in the human diet. This comparatively late change in diet outmarched the body’s ability to adapt.
This mismatch is believed to be a contributing factor to the pervasiveness of different conditions like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease today.
A paleo diet typically includes foods such as lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds – foods that in the past could be only obtained by hunting and gathering.
A paleo diet limits foods that became common when farming turned up in the past. These foods include dairy products, legumes, and grains.
Other names for a paleo diet include the Paleolithic diet, Stone Age diet, hunter-gatherer diet.
Also called the Caveman Diet, the diet consist of a high-protein, a high-fiber eating plan that promises you can lose weight without cutting calories. How’s that even possible? Read more to find out.
But high-fiber and protein? Isn’t this a Mediterranean diet? Let’s delve deeper into this question to know the difference.
Both diets advertise healthy lifestyles and weight loss.
The Mediterranean diet and the Paleo diet encourage eating whole foods provided by nature and avoid all processed and refined foods.
They also eliminate all sugar and artificial sweeteners consumption and lean towards natural sweeteners in very small amounts.
Although there’s a certain connection, there are much more differences between these two diets and here are some of them:
As you have learned the Paleo diet principles are very similar to the Mediterranean diet principles, namely:
The key point of the caveman diet is to get rid of foods causing inflammation in our body and allow our body to recover.
However, The Mediterranean diet does not set any specific health goals. It simply advertises a healthy lifestyle by offering a well-balanced diet.
2. Food List
The Mediterranean diet does not exclude any main food groups except for sugar and processed and refined foods. It limits the consumption of foods such as red meat.
The caveman diet, contrary, avoid food groups that cause inflammation in our body such as:
3. Alcohol consumption
The Mediterranean diet minimizes alcohol consumption to one glass of red wine a day during the meal.
The Paleo diet completely removes alcohol consumption.
The Mediterranean diet equips us with all the necessary tools to start a healthy lifestyle without too many limitations. It advertises a healthy lifestyle and weight loss.
However, there is one thing to keep in mind.
The Mediterranean diet fundamentals were borrowed from a specific geographical region.
What this means is that people who live in that specific region have free access to seafood, fresh veggies, and fruits, whole grains. GMO or steroids are not even known in these countries.
In North America, a lot of healthy foods people consume contain GMO or hidden sugar. Even a simple bread contain hidden sugar that we might not even be aware of.
Did you know that the sugar content in the average slice of processed bread varies but can be as high as 3g? Some sugar is formed naturally in the baking process but it is often added too.
The Paleo diet was created to provide your belly with the healing environment by eliminating inflammatory foods.
Once the recovery is reached previously eliminated foods could be brought back.
However, we need to analyze how our body reacts to food consumption. If we cannot tolerate some foods, we would want to eliminate them from your diet.
So, it all depends on your goals. Keep in mind, that the best diet is the one you can stick to the longest.
Bottom line: When you’re thinking about your general health as a whole, it’s important to find a diet or meal plan that you can stick with and includes just about everything in moderation.
See you in chapter 2 where you will learn why to choose the Paleo diet instead of other meal plans!
In this Chapter, we will break down all of the reasons why you should follow this diet.
Paleo Diet is one of the most popular methods for losing weight and maintaining health.
However, the Caveman Diet is also one of the oldest secrets of health. Its ancient history lies in heath benefits if it is done right, including weight loss, improved sleep, better absorption.
Paleo focuses on whole, unprocessed foods. This reduces and in most cases totally avoids, consumption of preservatives, additives, artificial colors and flavors, hidden sugars, artificial sweeteners, sodium, and flavor enhancers. You also benefit from avoiding toxins and increasing your nutrient intake.
In other words – eat natural, as your ancestors did.
The Caveman Diet is a diet rich in nutrients, which emphasize on fresh organic vegetables. Instead of relying on processed carbs such as bread and pasta, Paleo dieters get their daily dose of nutritious food through organic lean meat, veggies, fruit and berries, healthy fats, nuts, and seeds, all of which are full of vitamins and minerals.
Most people experience weight loss and muscle development while eating a caveman diet and keeping an active lifestyle. Other benefits they experience are:
The Paleo diet provides lots of fiber, which together with decent water intake and a smaller intake of sodium help to decrease the abdominal bloating many people experience on a Western diet. The caveman diet also helps to improve the gut flora which is essential in keeping healthy digestion.
So, here are 2 main benefits of the Paleo Diet.
An older 2008 study found that 14 healthy volunteers successfully achieved an average weight loss of 2.3 kilograms by following the paleo diet for 3 weeks.
In 2009, researchers compared the effects of the caveman diet with a diet for diabetes on 13 people with type 2 diabetes. This study found that eating the paleo way reduced participants’ body weight and waist circumference.
A 2014 study of 70 postmenopausal women with obesity found that following a paleo diet helped people lose weight after 6 months.
However, after 2 years, there was no difference in weight loss between participants following the caveman diet and those adhering to regular Nordic nutrition recommendations. These results tell us that other healthful diets may be just as successful at promoting weight loss.
The authors of a 2017 review noted that the paleo diet helped reduce weight in the short term but concluded that this result is due to caloric restriction, or consuming a smaller amount of calories.
Overall, the research suggests that the caveman diet may help people lose weight at the beginning but that other diets that reduce calorie intake may be just as effective.
Reducing diabetes risk
Will following a paleo eating plan reduce a person’s risk of developing diabetes? The results of some initial studies are encouraging.
Insulin resistance is a risk factor for diabetes. Improving a person’s insulin sensitivity decreases the likelihood that they will develop diabetes and can help those who have diabetes reduce their symptoms.
A small study in 2015 compared the effects of the paleo diet with those of a diet based on recommendations from the American Diabetes Association on people with type 2 diabetes.
While both diets improved the participants’ metabolic health, the paleo diet was better at improving insulin resistance and blood sugar control.
An older 2009 study of nine sedentary volunteers without obesity also found that the paleo diet helped with improving insulin sensitivity.
There is a need for more recent research on the paleo diet and diabetes, but the evidence to date suggests that eating like our ancestors may improve insulin sensitivity.
Grains such as wheat and quinoa contain many anti-nutrients such as saponins and lectins. These tiny molecules are very effective at evading your intestinal defense mechanisms, opening the tight junctions in your gut, and making you very sick if you consume them uncooked.
Cooking grains eliminates almost all but there are still some of these anti-nutrients, which causes an even bigger concern. Over time, the small quantities of anti-nutrients cause chronic inflammation and lead to inflammatory diseases like autoimmune illness and cancer.
A Paleo Diet eliminates foods high in these anti-nutrients.
Improve key nutrient ratios.
There are certain ratios that are extremely important to your health, and The Paleo Diet brings those ratios back into the balance our bodies were designed for.
For instance, the sodium-potassium ratio, which is a Western diet typically sits at 10:1, should actually be around 1:2 for optimum health.
Contrary to popular belief, neither added salt nor sea salt is part of a healthy Paleo Diet. In fact, high sodium consumption relative to potassium contributes to a high acid load in the body, which has many negative health conditions.
Americans eat on average about 3,400 mg of sodium per day. However, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day—that’s equal to about 1 teaspoon or 3 grams of salt per day!
The minimum physiological requirement for sodium is less than 500 mg a day — or less than the amount in one-quarter of one teaspoon of table salt.
Pro Tip: Always try to get the minimum daily amount (500g) from healthy foods like sweet potatoes, beets, and walnuts.
For example, research has shown that the high sodium content in many people’s diets contributes to osteoporosis. Another key ratio is the magnesium-calcium ratio and it likewise has an enormous impact on your health. The Caveman Diet, by nature, keeps you in balance with regard to these crucial nutrients.
Eat more natural and plant-based foods.
By the very nature of the diet, you will eat more foods in their uncooked form, and fewer processed foods. That means large amounts of vegetables, fruits, seeds, healthy lean meats, fish, eggs, and a tremendous amount of nuts.
Contrary to popular belief, The Paleo Diet is not based on the consumption of meat. The Caveman diet mainly depends on eating more plant-based foods. For this reason, you get all the benefits of eating more plants but still enjoy your lovely piece of meat.
The caveman diet (paleo diet) is meant to replicate the diet of cavemen from the Paleo era (10,000 to 2.5 million years ago).
It is based on saturated fats (e.g. butter, lard, duck fat) and oils (e.g. nuts, seeds, and coconut oil), “lean” animal proteins (such as wild animals, eggs and seafood) and fruits and vegetables.
It excludes refined foods, grains, dairy, trans fats, and excess sugar.
In contrast, the plant-based diet is based on eating whole, mainly unrefined plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes. It excludes animal foods such as meat, dairy, and eggs.
It also avoids highly processed foods such as oil, white sugar, and white flour.
Eating the foods your body needs will greatly reduce your hunger signals. It does this by balancing fluctuations in insulin and, therefore, improving your glycemic control, a large benefit for those with diabetes.
Even though simple sugars are high in calories, they actually elevate hunger signals, creating a vicious cycle.
On the caveman diet, you will consume a lower overall calorie count, while getting the nutrients your body needs.
You will also eliminate ups and downs in your energy levels. The benefits are many:
Forget macronutrients; focus on healthy foods.
While, I always suggest tracking calories because it creates valuable habits, on The Caveman Diet you don’t focus on macronutrient ratios (i.e., how much protein versus carbohydrate you consume).
This falls in line with our ancestral habits. Consider the different foods our ancestors ate: hunter-gatherer societies living near the equator ate higher levels of carbohydrates, while those farther north consumed higher volumes of protein and fat.
In addition, our ancestral diet changed seasonally, so macronutrient ratios fluctuated throughout the year. The truth of the matter is that focusing on macronutrients runs counter to one of the main assumptions of The Paleo Diet (Caveman diet): a focus on eating healthy foods, and not how many carbohydrates you eat relative to protein or fat.
That said, eating healthy natural foods leads to a diet that is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than the typical western diet.
Bottom line: While other fad diets have come and gone, and new ones appear on the marketplace every few months, The Paleo Diet remains.
That’s because it is based on decades of scientific research, and its fundamental principles are recognized by medical and health professionals who firmly believe in the supporting data.
So, you know what paleo means and why to choose it. However, you don’t know how to start. Don’t worry! We got you covered in chapter 3 where you will learn how to successfully make the change.
You have decided that you want to follow this plan. You don’t know how to make the switch.
In this Chapter, we are going to give you the basics of starting the change and adapting to it.
Be aware that every beginning is tough. However, with the essential knowledge in this chapter, you will be more ready than ever for making the change.
You want to make a change in your life by starting this diet. That’s great! You have made the first step and decided to change. Before starting this meal plan take a look into the recommended and not recommended foods of a typical Paleo Diet.
Grains, such as wheat, oats, and barley
Legumes, such as beans, lentils, peanuts and peas
Refined vegetable oils
Highly processed foods in general
Nuts and seeds
Lean meats, especially grass-fed animals or wild game
In addition, it’s important to note that if you are limited to less-than-ideal meats as staple food sources, one way to minimize any potential health consequences is to buy only the leanest cuts and supplement with other Paleo fats like grass-fed butter or coconut oil.
By also making sure to get plenty of micronutrients from vegetables or other sources, you can go a long way towards improving the quality of your eating plan.
Fish, especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel and albacore tuna
Oils from fruits and nuts, such as olive oil or walnut oil
Dark chocolate (not a typical paleo food, I know)
Pro Tip: You should only choose dark chocolate that has 70% or higher cocoa content. This chocolate will actually be extremely nutritious and healthy for you. Dark Chocolate has plenty of antioxidants that come with many health benefits including improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
Simple Paleo Snacks
There really is no need to eat more than three meals per day, but if you find yourself in the place where you are starving between meals, here are some paleo snacks that are simple and easily portable:
A bowl of berries with some coconut cream
Homemade beef jerky
Leftovers from the night before
A piece of fruit
This is a daily menu of what you might eat during a typical day following a paleo diet:
Breakfast. An omelet with parsley.
Lunch. Broiled lean pork loin and salad (romaine, carrot, cucumber, tomatoes, walnuts, and lemon juice dressing).
Dinner. Lean beef sirloin tip roast, steamed cauliflower, salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, avocado, onions, almonds, and lemon juice dressing), and strawberries for dessert.
Snacks. An orange, carrot sticks or celery sticks.
You didn’t see red meat in either one of the categories above. That’s because surveys on red meat had been contradictory so far.
Experts usually classify red meat as muscle meat from beef, pork, lamb, goat, or other land mammals.
Nutritionists and health specialists have spent years debating the benefits and risks of eating red meat in an attempt to determine whether it is good or bad for health. So far, results have been contradictory.
It is difficult to link one food or food group to health problems. This is because a range of other factors – including genetics, environment, health history, stress levels, sleep quality, lifestyle, and other dietary factors – may have a part in whether or not a person develops a specific condition or disease.
Despite the fact that eating red meat can provide your body with tons of iron, which increases your endurance and athletic ability, still, the body of evidence claiming that eating high amounts of red meat, especially processed meat, could lead to health problems is growing.
So how often can we eat it, especially on paleo? Isn’t it more than once per week too much?
Eating it in balance, with a variety of other wild proteins, is the key.
We wouldn’t want to eat only roasted chicken breast and wild salmon along with only broccoli and spinach. Instead, we have to focus on incorporating some grass-fed meat, some wild fish, and some pastured chicken.
Also, some eggs from pastured hens and some game meats, if accessible, we’ll reach a nicely balanced range of proteins, to accompany an equally varied array of fresh, local, in-season veggies.
Now, you have a basic understanding of all the foods you can eat when following the caveman diet. We suggest you implement the diet step-by-step.
There are 2 reasons we want you to take a look at:
Cutting ALL of your favorite foods from the next Monday will lead to nothing but demotivating yourself, and quitting after 2 or 3 weeks. Make the changes in your lifestyle steady and be consistent with them. Moving slowly allows you to make constant progress.
Everything in life takes time. You don’t have to rush things to get results. The results will come only if you are able to stick with something for a long time enough.
Bottom Line: So, you know what to eat and what to avoid in the Paleo Diet. You also know that you have to be patient and move slowly ahead your goals.
However, before taking any actions and starting the paleo diet, you have to learn all positives and negatives of this meal plan. See you in chapter 4!
You are ready to make the switch but you are not sure whether this plan is the right for you.
In Chapter 4 you will learn all pros and cons of the diet and decide for yourself whether to start it or not.
Keep in mind that we want to make things crystal clear for you, so you won’t be having troubles making the choice.
Grab an apple and keep reading!
The paleo diet is a very popular and also highly controversial diet. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of following this eating plan are described below.
Elimination of processed foods
The caveman diet is created of whole foods, which means less salt and sugar are eaten. This improves blood sugar levels and blood pressure and can scale down the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
High protein content
Proteins are essential for the growth and development of the skin, muscles, bone, and cartilage. Optimum amounts of lean protein in the diet contribute to healthy body composition and a lowered insulin response.
Pro Tip: An optimum amount would be from 1.6 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram.
The fats are healthy
Consuming adequate amounts of unsaturated fats such as those found in nuts, avocado, and olive oil gives rise to a healthy lipid profile.
The diet is rich in potassium
Eating many fruits and vegetables increases potassium levels, which is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure and healthy kidney and muscle function.
You may see improved satiety
A feeling of fullness between meals, due to the higher intake of protein and fats.
In 2017, when researchers compared people whose diets most closely matched the attributes of a Paleo diet to those whose diets least matched, they found a lower risk of all-cause mortality, cancer mortality, and cardiovascular disease mortality.
A thing to remember is that this could easily be explained by a higher overall diet quality between the groups.
Certainly, a group that eats more vegetables and less processed foods will likely experience better health outcomes – regardless of if they follow the caveman diet or not – compared to a group with minimal produce and high processed food intake.
A 2019 meta-analysis in Advances in Nutrition linked the paleo diet to lower blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
However, the authors warned that this is based on a small number of studies and that a few studies may have skewed results – so this should be interpreted carefully.
The paleo diet (the caveman diet) can certainly help with weight loss if there is an overall calorie deficit, similar to any other type of diet.
Indeed, research published in 2019 has shown that implementing a paleo diet leads to reduced body weight, waist circumference, and BMI.
Body mass index (BMI) is a value derived from the mass (weight) and height of a person. The BMI is defined as the body mass divided by the square of the body height and is universally expressed in units of kg/m2, resulting from mass in kilograms and height in meters.
You can use our BMI calculator to check what your BMI is.
Interestingly, an observational study published in 2019 found those following a paleo diet actually tended to have a higher BMI and rates of obesity compared to other dieters. These differences are likely due to the type of study.
However, in observational studies, people are simply implementing their perception of the diet on their own without guidance.
These people may practice a less-than-ideal paleo meal plan, which might explain the differences in weight.
If you want to check our recipes for Paleo Diet go to chapter 9 right now.
Though they are made with nut-based flours and honey instead of all-purpose flour and sugar, merely adapting Western-style indulgences to paleo-friendly treats is not likely to result in weight loss if these are consumed in excess.
Possible Benefits for Patients with Multiple Sclerosis?
According to a Akhtar Purvez, Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). Some people with severe MS may lose the ability to walk independently or at all, while others may experience long periods of remission without any new symptoms.
A modified Paleo diet has been widely advertised for patients with multiple sclerosis. The modified version follows many proponents of paleo, such as the elimination of most grains and dairy.
However, this version adds an emphasis on eating nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily and calls for a somewhat lower intake of meat and fish.
A 2014 study examining this modified diet in conjunction with supplementation, muscle stimulation, exercise, and self-massage found a reduction in tiredness and an increase in quality of life among those with progressive MS.
However, there are many limitations to this research – the study did not include a control group, it was only completed by 6 people, and multiple interventions (diet, exercise, etc) were conducted at once making it impractical to tease out the role of the diet.
A study in 2017 looked solely at the effects of a modified Paleo diet on individuals with relapsing-remitting MS.
Though the study was small, they did find an upgrade in tiredness and quality of life in the Paleo group compared to the control group.
This data is certainly limited and should be interpreted with caution – we can’t draw conclusions based on two small studies, and of course, a restrictive diet always also carries some risk.
Hopefully, though, future studies will further investigate if there are true benefits to a modified Paleo diet among people with MS.
Now, let’s see what the disadvantages of the diet are.
Difficult To Follow Long Term
Do you really want to skip out on cake on your birthday, or miss your Grandma’s famous mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving?
Instead, you can always choose to follow a modified version of this diet, where you embrace the healthy tenants – like eating more produce and limiting added sugar.
You can also allow yourself some grace to sometimes stray from stringent eliminations. This may be more feasible (and enjoyable) to follow for life.
Costly and Time-Intensive
Because the caveman diet eliminates processed foods, you’re going to need to make most meals from scratch. While that’s a healthy habit, it does take extra time. Meal planning and prepping can help with this.
In addition, cutting out inexpensive staples like whole grains and beans means your grocery bill might rise.
Similarly, following the stricter guidelines for meat and fish (i.e. grass-fed beef; wild-caught fish) can be more expensive than conventional counterparts.
Indeed, studies comparing Paleo diets to standard nutrition recommendations have found a greater cost to sustain this diet.
Small Risk of Iodine Deficiency
Though somewhat rare in the US, and iodine deficiency can lead to alterations in thyroid hormones and can cause the formation of a goiter.
Although goiters are usually painless, a large goiter can cause a cough and make it harder for you to swallow or breathe.
Table salt has been iodized to prevent these issues since the 1920’s – however, some paleo proponents advertise that people use alternatives like pink Himalayan salt, which contains less iodine.
Extremely stringent paleo followers may risk poor iodine intake, though this can be mitigated by eating lots of fish, shellfish, and sea vegetables.
The paleo diet also totally avoids one of the largest sources of iodine in the diet – dairy products.
The recommended daily intake (RDI) of iodine is 150 mcg per day for most adults
Unclear Impact on Gut Microbiome
The species and amounts of good bacteria in your digestive system – otherwise known as your gut microbiome – can be changed by changing your eating habits.
Traditional hunter-gathers like the Hadza tribe were shown in research to have a greater microbial variety compared to standard diet controls. Theoretically, this seems like a win for paleo proponents.
However, this group is thought to consume upwards of 10 grams of fiber a day – far less than those on the paleo diet consume in our society today.
By eliminating whole grains from a caveman diet, it can actually be more challenging for people to meet the current minimum fiber intake of 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men.
Indeed, research in 2019 showed that changing to a gluten-free diet – one pillar of the paleo diet – actually reduced healthy gut bacteria and increased unhealthy strains.
Eliminating fiber and polysaccharides in grains may hurt, rather than help, our gut microbiome.
Eliminates Food Groups
The caveman diet eliminates main food groups like grains and dairy and cuts out other nutritious foods like beans, lentils, and peanuts.
Though it’s still possible for you to meet your nutrition requirements without these foods, it’s more challenging to do so. For example, you’ll need to prioritize other sources of calcium when you cut dairy from your diet.
Other sources of calcium are Veggies, seeds, and Fruits:
Veggies and seeds:
green, leafy vegetables – such as broccoli, cabbage, and okra, but not spinach.
sesame seeds and tahini.
Furthermore, unless you have a medical reason to remove these foods (like a food intolerance) – there’s no scientific evidence that suggests eliminating them benefits your health.
We are not genetically identical to our ancestors from the Paleolithic period, as the paleo diet assumes. We have evolved in order to adapt to our changing environment.
The caveman diet does not account for the wide range of foods that were available during the Palaeolithic period and there is not enough evidence available for it to be established exactly what amount and proportions of foods were eaten during that period.
It is impossible to fully adopt the same diet as people did in the Palaeolithic periods, simply because animals and plants have evolved since then and are different compared to what they would have been 10,000 years ago.
Bottom line: Now, you have a clear picture in your mind of every positive and negative of the Paleo Diet.
In the next chapter we are delving deeper into weight loss during Paleo.
There is no statement as “the perfect diet” for weight loss. However, losing weight can be an easy task if you follow the tips in this chapter.
Paleo Diet can make your weight loss journey easier than you imagine.
It depends on your willingness to succeed.
Consistency is key when it comes down to losing weight, so don’t give up and things will work for you.
Everybody wants to look better and feel confident in his/her own skin. For this reason, people put themselves on many diets to achieve success.
Keep in mind that a diet itself can help you lose weight but if you don’t work out you will lose not only fat but muscles. Also, an unbalanced diet that is low in protein will cause muscle loss.
If you want to get all the information about combining workouts with the Paleo diet go to chapter 7 by clicking here.
However, I suggest you read this chapter also to have a wider perspective on the subject.
There is one condition to lose weight, which is being in a calorie deficit. If you read other guides like this one that we have written on the site, you would know that this is the only condition to decrease your body fat.
However, just telling people to eat less and increase their daily activity is not what sells books, different fancy diets have come along. Remember that every diet’s purpose is to put you in a calorie deficit to lose weight.
There’s no magic pills, herbal drinks, or whatever you see on the web, which promises fast results!
Knowing this, we can move on to a couple of ways to help you lose weight with Paleo.
Don’t Do It Alone.
One of the hardest parts about losing weight is trying to do it all on your own.
Making major lifestyle changes without any social support is not only difficult but often unsustainable in the long-term.
Having friends or family around you to encourage you, or even make changes along with you, can greatly increase your success in any major lifestyle change, particularly the change to a Paleo diet.
You can share recipes, plan partner workouts, and encourage each other on your journey to better health.
Don’t know anyone locally who is able to support you? There is a large community of people following a Paleo diet and lifestyle on different FB groups. Make quick research and I promise, you will find people that share your interest in the Paleo lifestyle.
Move throughout the day.
Sitting too much can decrease the benefits of an exercise program and stall weight loss. Unfortunately, if you work in an office, commute by car, and watch a few hours of TV each night, it’s not hard to see how you could spend the vast majority of your waking life (up to 15 hours!) sitting on your butt.
And unfortunately, exercise alone isn’t enough to reverse the harmful effects of too much sitting. When it comes to weight loss, getting active throughout the entire day, and not just the hour you spend at the gym is a crucial component of a well-rounded routine.
Making the moving throughout the day a habit can not only benefit your weight and promote fat loss, but it can also improve your overall health and reduce your risk for chronic disease.
Eliminates Added Sugar
Like highly processed foods, eating too much added sugar can be destructive to your weight loss efforts and health in general.
It adds calories to foods and is low in nutrients. Not to mention, high intakes of added sugar may increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
The paleo diet eliminates added sugar and instead advertises natural sources of sugar from fresh fruits and vegetables.
Although fruits and vegetables have natural sugars, they also provide many essential nutrients like vitamins, fiber, and water, all of which are beneficial for health.
Reduces Calorie Intake
To lose weight, you generally need to reduce your calorie intake to get in a deficit.
That’s why it’s important to choose foods that are filling, as they can decrease hunger and help you eat less.
If you struggle with hunger, then a paleo diet could be great for you, as it is incredibly filling.
In addition, studies have shown that a paleo diet could help you produce more hormones that keep you full after a meal, such as GLP-1, PYY, and GIP, when compared to diets based on traditional guidelines.
High in Protein
Protein is the most important nutrient for weight loss.
It can increase your metabolism, reduce your appetite, and control several hormones that regulate your weight.
Paleo diets encourage eating protein-rich foods like lean meats, fish, and eggs.
In fact, the average paleo diet provides between 25–35% calories from protein.
Low in Carbs
Reducing your carb intake is one of the best ways to lose weight. If you want to learn more information about the low-carb diet – check our guide here.
Paleo diets reduce your carb intake by eliminating the main sources of carbs like bread, rice, and potatoes.
It’s important to note that carbs aren’t necessarily bad for you, but restricting your carb intake can lower your daily calorie intake and help you lose weight.
Eliminates Highly Processed Foods
The modern diet is a major reason why obesity is on the rise.
It encourages eating highly processed foods, which are packed with calories, low in nutrients, and may increase your risk of many diseases.
In fact, many studies have found that the increase in consumption of highly processed foods mirrors the rise in obesity.
The paleo diet restricts highly processed foods, as they were not available during the Stone age period.
Instead, it encourages eating lean sources of protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats, which are lower in calories and rich in nutrients.
Be Sure to Eat Enough.
Many Paleo beginners believe that less food is always better when it comes to losing weight. This belief makes you deprive your body of the calories and nutrients it needs to function optimally and causes additional stress.
It also decreases your caloric intake too much that it lowers your resting metabolic rate (how many calories you burn just staying alive), which can cause weight loss to stall or even reverse.
No matter what program you choose, dieting should never be about starving yourself. Calories do count, but when it comes to weight loss, undereating is just as problematic as overeating.
What makes a Paleo diet special is that it is more satiating per calorie than other diets, which helps you eat less without fighting hunger or counting calories.
Voluntarily restricting calories isn’t an effective weight loss strategy, but naturally consuming less food without trying is truly the fundament of weight loss.
This means you can eat meals that are satisfying without counting calories, and naturally eat less than you would on a typical Western diet.
This is one of the key reasons why a Paleo diet is a better choice for a weight loss diet than any of the popular methods out there like the vegan diet.
The main difference would be eating ANIMALS, but the second big difference is PROCESSED FOODS.
Their stand on eating animal-based products
Vegans will not eat anything that originates from animals. Obviously that would include meat, but vegans also exclude eggs, honey, milk from their diet.
But also gelatin, as that is produced from animal bones. Vegans don’t just leave it at their diets, they will also restrain from things like wearing leather.
Paleo, on the other hand, eats anything that our stone-age ancestors ate, so fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, and nuts. Their focus lies more on the second main difference.
Their stand on eating processed foods
The Paleo diet focuses on getting your nutrition from real, whole foods and avoiding processed and refined food.
Vegans, on the other hand, focus less on how processed their foods are. They would eat an Oreo, as it’s technically vegan. However, people on a Paleo diet would never eat any cookies for that matter.
Paleo and Veganism come from completely different perspectives. Paleo comes from a nutritional perspective, while vegans come from a more ethical perspective.
I suggest you look into our Plant-Based diet, as both a Plant-Based diet also looks at what to eat from a nutritional standpoint.
Bottom line: To lose weight you have to be in a calorie deficit. Following the tips in this chapter can help you through your journey to your dream weight.
See you in the next chapter, where we will give you a fundamental shopping list for your needs!
The next time you go to the grocery store you will be more ready than ever with this detailed list of foods for your needs.
Leaving your old habits behind is part of the change.
With this essential shopping list buying only the necessary products will be an easy task for you.
Grab a cup of tea and dive in!
Have you ever been to the grocery shop and wanted to buy “a few” products but ended up filling a whole shopping cart? If so, then congratulations! You are a human being and you have emotions.
Often we buy products based not on rational but emotional thinking. When we see our favorite food on the shelf, we instantly decide that we need that specific food, and forget about our grocery list.
Our favorite foods vary from person to person but the most frequent ones are chocolate, burgers, pizza, sushi, or anything else that gives us that boost of dopamine.
It’s all good until we get to the pay desk. After we pay the expensive bill we wonder, was it worth it?
If you have ever found yourself in this situation, then we have a solution for you. With this crucial shopping list, you will always buy everything that you ACTUALLY need.
Fruits and Vegetables
We cannot start the list with something else, other than the foods every kid should eat to grow strong and healthy!
Apples – good for your heart
As they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but on Paleo, they provide the all-important fiber as well as a variety of nutrients. Just one medium-sized apple gives you 17% of the fiber you’re trying to get each day.
Avocados – Rich in healthy fats
Avocados are a stone fruit, which offers more than 20 vitamins and minerals with a creamy texture that grows in warm climates. Avocado health benefits include improving digestion, decreasing the risk of depression, and protecting against cancer.
Melons – reduces blood pressure
No matter which melon you choose you’re going to be getting vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber, on top of that, they are naturally sweet which will help curb any sugar cravings. One cup of balled cantaloupe gives you all the Vitamin C and Vitamin A you need in one day.
Bananas – a great pre-workout and also rich in potassium
Monkeys still eat them, so you know we’ve been eating them since back in the day. They also provide you with fiber and potassium. Eat a banana and you’ve taken care of 12% of both your fiber and your potassium for the day.
Oranges – a healthy immune system
Vitamin C is what we’re after with oranges, and it’s well known that they help your immune system improve if it’s been overtaxed. Eat one orange and you won’t have to worry about Vitamin C for the day.
Berries (often frozen) – may help lower cholesterol
Berries are something that the gathering crowd would have gathered while the hunters were off searching for animals. No matter which berry you go with you’ll be getting antioxidants and fiber. 100 grams of raspberries takes care of a quarter of the fiber you need.
Broccoli – brain health
Every child’s worst nightmare, broccoli will load you up with vitamins, and the fiber it contains is important to take in when consuming all of the meat Paleo entails. More than a full day’s supply of Vitamin C in a one-cup serving.
Brussel sprouts – rich in antioxidants
A cruciferous vegetable, Brussels sprouts will actually supply you with more Vitamin C than oranges, ounce for ounce. One cup gives you all the Vitamin C you need for the entire day.
White or red cabbage – I make coleslaw at least once a week and use the rest in a stir-fry
Carrots – rich in fiber
Not just good for your eyes, the beta-Carotene in carrots will help strengthen your immune system. Just one carrot supplies you with all of the Vitamin A your body needs for the day.
Cauliflower – packed with nutrients
Asparagus – high in fiber and vitamins (K, C, A)
Asparagus helps to cleanse the body and has plenty of different vitamins and antioxidants to keep you feeling good throughout the day. Pair it with the salmon you bought and you have a full caveman meal. A 100-gram serving provides 8% of your fiber needs.
Celery – support digestion
Often thought of as diet food, celery is a fantastic veggie to eat on Paleo and one that provides antioxidants and helps curb inflammation. Celery gives you over 5% of your fiber from a 100-gram serving.
Cucumber – lowers blood sugar
You’ll benefit from the hydrating nature of cucumbers. They’re mostly water (80%), and that water gets absorbed by the body the same as if you drank a glass of water. There’s basically no fat in cucumbers.
Garlic – your best friend versus colds
Ginger – another best friend for a running nose
Kiwifruit – for a beautiful skin
Kale or Swiss chard – one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet
You can get in on the kale craze on Paleo and choose between curly kale, baby kale, and even dinosaur kale. It’s all good for you and will help your digestive system. All the Vitamin A you need in a one-cup serving.
Lemons and limes – rich in vitamin C
Mixed lettuce leaves and various leafy greens (I like to make A LOT of healthy, yummy salads)
Mushrooms – rich in vitamin B and fiber
Onion – one more friend versus colds
Pumpkin – rich in vitamin A
Radishes – high in nutrients
Red or yellow peppers – high in iron
Spinach – also high in iron
The phytonutrients in spinach will protect you from free radicals and help the body in several ways. There’s also fiber, protein, magnesium, and potassium, all while being virtually fat-free.
Sweet potato – high in potassium
Tomatoes – high in vitamin D
The lycopene in tomatoes is an important antioxidant, so you’ll want to be sure to cook them to help the body absorb more of it. A medium tomato supplies you with one-fifth of two key vitamins, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
Other favorites include beets, celeriac, peas, green beans, peaches, pears, apricots, frozen peas and spinach
These are my favorite sources of protein that I use in many meals. I eat A LOT of eggs (4-5 a day) and just a little bit of bacon, sausages and cold meats.
If you wonder how I control my cholesterol levels, make sure to cast an eye on our low-cholesterol diet.
Free-range eggs – lots and lots of eggs as I eat and cook with a lot of them.
Ground grass-fed beef mince – Buy in bulk and keep some in the freezer. Beef mince is highly versatile and can be used in many cuisines. Check our top 5 recipes for Paleo Diet here.
Lamb meat (loin, chops, shanks, or cutlets) – I eat lamb 2 times per month.
Gluten-free sausages – Choose sausages made from grass-fed or free-range meat and check for additives and preservatives. They’re awesome for a super quick meal.
Whole free-range chicken – Otherwise a bunch of chicken thighs and wings. I like to cook with the whole chicken, skin and all, but breast or thighs are just fine.
Fish (preferably oily) – Make it a habit to have grilled, pan-fried or baked fish once a week. We go for salmon or trout but white fish is fine as well. Alternatively, get a packet of smoked salmon.
Cooked or raw prawns – I often keep some for the freezer.
Pork – I buy a whole pork shoulder or leg and then roast it slowly in the oven until the meat is very tender. In contrast, I cook it diced up with spices in a slow cooker until very soft.
Then flake it apart with a fork and you have a batch of pulled pork which can be used in different ways. I often use pork in recipes. I don’t eat bacon every day but I certainly enjoy it a few times per month. Look for free-range bacon with as little additives as possible.
Greek, full-fat yogurt or coconut yogurt – I eat yogurt 1-2 times a week on days I don’t feel like eggs in the morning or as a snack. If you’re sensitive to dairy, please stick with coconut yogurt.
Primal/Keto: halloumi cheese – Personally I don’t like cheese. However, if you are a cheese lover, simply grill it to serve with eggs, in an omelet, or a salad.
Primal/Keto: Parmesan or Pecorino – Aged cheeses contain very little lactose and are great sources of vitamin K2 and probiotics. I add a little to salads, sauces, and dips or to have as a snack.
Good quality, dried salami, ham, or gluten-free sausages– Occasionally I buy good quality cured meats to have as a snack and for entertaining or to add to omelets in the morning.
Not as regular but I enjoy making a big pot of mussels marinara and I like to grill or roast some duck or turkey as an alternative to chicken. So these are my other go-to protein choices.
Fats and Oils
Coconut oil – Cook with it (heat stable), eat it, drink it, rub it on your skin. Long shelf life.
Macadamia oil – Great, neutral-tasting oil for cooking (has a much higher smoking point in comparison to olive oil or butter) and is great for homemade mayonnaise.
Virgin olive oil, extra-virgin olive oil – Use for low to medium heat cooking (below 180 °C/355 °F) and extra-virgin olive oil for cold uses like in salads, dips and to sprinkle over things.
Ghee – Use for all cooking needs, including baking. Heat stable, long shelf life. It’s mostly fat with hardly any lactose or casein left so usually safe for those with dairy sensitivities.