Going on a paleo weight loss diet seems like a fad thing to do, but it really isn’t. Despite the fact that the paleo diet is getting Instagram-famous, it remains a simple and effective diet for anyone looking to lead a healthier life and shed off a few pounds.
But what is a paleo weight loss diet? A paleo weight loss diet is a paleo diet with more focus on losing weight.
A few adjustments are made here and there so you can best utilize the diet to shed off those few extra pounds before summer or this big event you are buying a new suit/dress for.
In this article, I’m going to take things one step after another so that anyone can easily follow a paleo weight loss diet and get results without feeling they have to climb Mount Olympus to get their dream body.
The Paleo Diet in 30 Seconds
The Paleo diet focuses on eating natural, whole, unprocessed foods (both animals and plants) like fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. The focus on the diet is to eat as our Paleolithic ancestors ate thousands of years ago.
This means you can only eat foods they could hunt or gather (since this was before farming) and you can’t eat anything that’s not found in nature. This rules out sugar, most dairy, grains, and all processed foods.
The Paleo diet is very simple to follow, and there are some alternative versions of it where they are more open or more restrictive depending on the concept behind them.
The main concept behind the Paleolithic diet overall is to start eating foods that our bodies have taken their time to get accustomed to – from an evolutionary standpoint.
The core belief of the Paleo diet is that most modern health issues such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases, are caused because of the foods we eat that our bodies can’t process well.
The Paleo diet focuses on foods that our bodies have taken their sweet time (thousands of years) to learn how to get what they need from.
Followers of the diet believe that in the last 10 thousand years or so, our diets have evolved faster than our bodies can adapt, and our bodies have not fully adapted to those modern foods yet, so instead, by getting back to foods our bodies can digest well, we can avoid the risk of all those modern health issues.
If you’re wondering how is the Paleo diet different from other diets like the Keto diet, you can check out this Paleo VS Keto head-to-head comparison to learn what they share in common and how they’re quite different to each other in many aspects.
How is the Paleo Diet different from Other Diets?
The Paleo diet is more of a lifestyle than it is a diet. The diet requires no calorie counting or macronutrient calculations. You can eat whenever you want, whatever you want, and as much as you want – as long as you’re eating natural foods.
This is because that’s how our ancestors lived. Since they didn’t have easy access to foods 24/7 like we have today, they ate when they found food and didn’t worry about anything else.
However, this difference is one you should keep in mind. While they didn’t have easy access to foods, we do. So by simply eating when you feel hungry and stop eating when you feel full, you’re following in their footsteps. We can’t just eat when we find food, because food is around us everywhere, and it’s literally one phone call away – wherever you are in the world.
Does the paleo diet work?
Before going on a new diet, one always has to wonder; does it even work? Is it worth the effort?
While there is not enough research for anyone to full-heartedly say that a paleo weight loss diet will 100% work for anyone, research does suggest that diets that emphasize whole foods are effective for weight loss.
The reasoning is also easy to follow; whole foods are more filling and have fewer calories, so even if you eat more of them, you will still be eating less in terms of calories consumed.
By eating only whole foods and eliminating processed foods, you are also reducing your risk of many diseases that the processed foods are directly linked to.
You can find the research I’m referencing in the “Sources” section at the end of the post.
But research is also not everything. We have many people around the world reporting amazing results by following a paleo weight loss diet, some even followed the diet without a paleo weight loss meal plan and they still got amazing results.
These two points alone make me confident enough to recommend a paleo weight loss diet to any of my friends, and If I can recommend it to a dear friend, I can definitely recommend it to you.
Enough chit chat, let’s get into it.
What is a Paleo Weight Loss Diet?
A Paleo Weight loss diet is a paleo diet that is aimed at helping you lose a few pounds. There is no one-size-fits-all here. Meaning, I’m not going to give you a foolproof paleo weight loss diet to follow. Instead, I’m going to give you a few guidelines on how to create your own paleo weight loss diet yourself.
Here are a few words of wisdom to follow to create an effective weight loss diet.
- Eat your veggies.
No one in the whole world is right all the time. Except for your mother, she really does know what’s best for you, and when she tells you to eat your veggies, you should. Now that you’re all grown up and are looking to live a healthy life, you should, again, eat more veggies.
Vegetables can’t be underestimated; they are low in calories and contain fibers, vitamins, and all kinds of nutrients your body needs.
- Eat plenty of fruit
Fruits are nutritious, delicious, and very filling. You should aim to eat 2-5 pieces of fruit per day. Don’t worry about their sugar count, they are not as high as they make you think.
- Try low-carb
The Paleo diet is not a zero-carb diet, but it is, by nature, a low-carb one. However, you can try a modified paleo diet that’s low in carbs. Some people find that zero-carb diets – even though they are a bit harder to stick on – can be very efficient for losing weight.
If you want, you can also create your own mix of the paleo and keto diet, which many have tried to great results. It’s up to you in the end; you need to understand your body and lifestyle well enough to figure if any of these options can work best for you.
- Sleep Well
Sleep is when your body gets to rebuild itself. Sleep is when your body finally gets a chance to do all those tiny changes it can’t do while you’re awake, so you need to give it enough of it. Sleeping less than 6 hours per day is bad for you, so is sleeping more than 9. 6-8 hours of a rest every night is what you should be aiming for.
- Be More Active
Can you go to the gym? great, do it. Can you run or jog every morning? every second or third morning? Great, do that. If you can’t do any of these things, the least you can do is go for a 30-minutes walk every day.
It’s crucial that you stay active and move your body as much as possible throughout your day. We’re wasting our lives being sedentary on chairs and couches, and it’s hurting our health.
Regular exercise, when combined with good nutrition and rest, can transform your body in a matter of months.
How Can The Paleo Diet Help You Lose Weight?
There have been studies about the effects of eating whole foods and diets like the Paleo diet on weight loss, and they all unanimously confirm that eating natural and whole foods is better for your health.
In one of the studies, 14 healthy medical students followed the paleo diet for three weeks. By the end of the study period, the students lost an average of 5.1 pounds (2.3 kilograms) and the circumference of their waists was reduced by an average of 0.6 inches (about 1.5 cm).
There have been studies that compared the paleo diet and other traditional low-fat diets and have found that, even if the calorie intake remains the same, a paleo weight loss diet is more effective than the traditional low-fat diets.
In a study, 70 obese women of ages 60 and over followed a paleo diet or a traditional low-fat, high-fiber diet for 24 months. Researchers found that the women who followed the paleo diet lost, on average, 2.5 times more weight after only six months than their counterparts who followed the traditional diets.
After 12 months, they found the women lost, on average, two times more weight than their counterparts, and after the experiment’s period of 24 months ended, both groups had lost weight (and regained some weight again). However, the women who followed the paleo diet lost 1.6 times more weight overall than their counterparts over the same time period and with the same calorie intake.
There was also another study with 13 subjects who had type 2 diabetes. These people followed a paleo diet for three months then they followed it by a diabetes diet that was low in fats and moderate-to-high for another three months.
The study found that when following the paleo diet, they lost 6.6. pounds and 1.6 inches more from their waistlines than when they followed the traditional diet.
Now it’s worth noting that these studies are nowhere sufficient to conclude that the paleo diet is the best diet for weight. What they show is that the diet does have the potential to help individuals lose weight effectively.
What is still needed is more studies and research on the long term effect of the paleo diet. Since the paleo diet’s rise to popularity happened only recently, we don’t expect these to come to the surface anytime soon, not for a couple more years at the very least.
Studies comparing the paleo diet on other aspects of health (and not only focusing on weight loss) are also needed. There should also be studies that compare the paleo weight loss diet to more diets – and not only traditional diet- as this can strengthen the diet’s credibility a lot.
A simplified example of a Paleo Weight Loss Meal Plan
Here is a simplified example of how your diet can go:
|Breakfast 1||Avocado, banana, Kale, and apple smoothie with almond milk|
|Breakfast 2||Chopped Bananas with blueberries and almonds|
|Breakfast 3||Coconut milk, mixed berries, and spinach smoothie|
|Breakfast 4||Fried Broccoli in coconut oil with toasted almonds and a poached egg|
Examples of Lunches
|Lunch 1||Scrambled Eggs with wilted Spinach, pumpkin seeds, and grilled tomatoes|
|Lunch 2||Mixed Salad leaves with fried seabass and pumpkin seeds. You can add olive oil dress if you wish.|
|Lunch 3||Mixed Salad with Tuna, seeds, and boiled eggs. Use olive oil.|
|Lunch 4||Mixed vegetable and chicken soup with turmeric|
Examples of Dinners
|Dinner 1||Grilled Lamb chops with wilted spinach and spiced red cabbage|
|Dinner 2||Red pepper, baby corn, salmon stir-fry, and broccoli.|
|Dinner 3||Beef Stir-fry with mixed peppers fried in coconut oil.|
|Dinner 4||Roast Chicken with a stuffing of onions, carrots, and rosemary.|
Other Health Benefits to the Paleo Diet
If you’re looking to get into paleo just to shed off a few pounds, that’s great, but let’s take this chance to introduce you to some of the other health benefits of the Paleo Diet.
It Can Reduce inflammation
Inflammation is not a bad thing, in general. It’s a natural process that helps your body heal and fight infections.
However, there is a thing called chronic inflammation, which is harmful to your health and has been linked to increased risks of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
The nature of the paleo diet and the foods you eat are very helpful in fighting chronic inflammation and reducing it.
For example, fresh fruits and vegetables which are at the core of the paleo diet are a great source of antioxidants that can bund and neutralize the free radicals in your body that harm and damage your cells during chronic inflammations.
Fish, another food at the core of the paleo diet, is also rich in omega-4 fatty acids that can suppress certain hormones that promote chronic inflammation.
It can reduce belly fat
You want to reduce your belly fat not only to look good in photos but also because belly fat is extremely unhealthy and has been linked to increased risks of diabetes, heart disease, and other serious health issues.
The Paleo diet has been shown to be very effective at reducing belly fat. One study focused on 10 healthy women who followed the paleo diet for a period of five weeks. By the end of the five weeks, the women lost an average of a 10-pound weight loss, but more importantly, they experienced a reduction in waist circumference by an average of 3 inches.
Reduces Blood Sugar & increases insulin Sensitivity
Insulin sensitivity is how easily your cells respond to insulin, and increasing insulin sensitivity is actually a good thing. This means your body is more efficient at removing sugar from your blood.
The good news for those with diabetes is that several studies have shown that the paleo diet can reduce blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity.
A two-week study was done on 24 obese individuals with type 2 diabetes that followed either a traditional diet with moderate salt, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and legumes or a paleo diet, and found that by the end of the study, both groups had an increased insulin sensitivity.
However, the study found that the effects were stronger in the group that followed the paleo diet. It’s also worth mentioning that in both groups were individuals who were very insulin resistant, but only in the paleo group did these individuals experience increased sensitivity.
This means that the paleo diet is a much better choice for those with a family history of diabetes as it can, theoretically speaking, reduce your risk of becoming diabetic at some point in your life.
It can Reduce Heart Disease Risk Factors
The Paleo diet is similar to other diets that are frequently recommended to promote heart health.
It’s not really surprising that there have been many studies that showed that a paleo diet can reduce risk factors linking to heart diseases since it’s low in salt and it encourages only healthy fats, fresh veggies and fruits, and lean sources of protein.
Some of the risk factors the paleo diet can reduce include blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and Triglycerides.
Living Proof (Paleo Weight Loss Before and After Examples)
Here are some examples of awesome individuals who followed the paleo diet and got great results with it.
Anthony changed his life without Working Out!
The most amazing thing about Anthony’s story is that he actually lost all this weight without working out. He says he tried walking for a while, but then it just didn’t work for him. He just stuck on the diet and he was able to achieve amazing results with it.
I highly recommend Checking Anthony’s full story here.
Doug lost 40 pounds in 6 months and became a fitness trainer
Doug described himself before going on the diet as ” Fat, borderline alcoholic, and wolfing down every Twinkie in sight”
He then decided that his health was not going to go down the drain, and as a former marine, his iron will was ready for another challenge! Check out his amazing life-changing story here.
Here are more amazing stories right from Instagram:
An Actually Helpful Paleo Weight Loss App
I would like to start by saying that you don’t need a paleo weight loss app to get the best results with the diet. However, those apps are helpful in keeping you stay on track.
They can monitor your nutrients and help you plan all your meals. They can indeed make your life a little bit easier, but they are in no way necessary for you to achieve the best results.
If you’re looking for a paleo weight loss app, look no further than Nom Nom.
Nom Nom paleo is an award-winning app that will make your paleo cooking as easy as it could be. It offers more than 145 delicious recipes.
The app has a gallery of more than 2,000 high-res images that will help every step of the way. The easy-to-use and fun interface is designed to make it as intuitive as possible to use the app to scroll through the recipes and plan your paleo meals easily.
The Paleo Diet Plan is a free Android application that offers a comprehensive way into the paleo diet by including all the necessary info you need to implement it in your daily life with ease.
The app offers samples of weekly paleo menus and meal plans to choose from. There are recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and even desserts.
Is Rice Paleo? Is Potato Paleo? etc…
This type of question is one you will face on a daily basis, and this app is designed to help you stay on your paleo diet by answering all these questions.
Whenever you find yourself wondering if a certain food is paleo or not, simply use the app and it will find the answer in its database of over 3,000 food items and tell you whether it’s paleo or not.
But it doesn’t stop there, the app also include in-depth articles to explain why these foods are paleo or why not.
Fuhrman J, Sarter B, Glaser D, Acocella S. Changing perceptions of hunger on a high nutrient density diet. Nutr J. 2010;9:51. Published 2010 Nov 7. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-51
Astrup, A., Bügel, S. Micronutrient deficiency in the aetiology of obesity. Int J Obes 34, 947–948 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2010.81
Barr SB, Wright JC. Postprandial energy expenditure in whole-food and processed-food meals: implications for daily energy expenditure. Food Nutr Res. 2010;54:10.3402/fnr.v54i0.5144. Published 2010 Jul 2. doi:10.3402/fnr.v54i0.5144