If you are like most people, you might be thinking that starting a paleo journey will allow you to lose weight quickly. There is nothing wrong with thinking this way, for most of us, ditching processed foods is enough to trigger a good amount of natural weight loss. But at some point, your body will adjust to your new way of eating and your weight loss might start to slow because of it. When this happens, you should look at your current activity levels. The people who are the most successful on the paleo diet tend to be those who are the most physically active.
Now that the paleo lifestyle has started making its mark, it is easy to find a nice supply of yummy paleo desserts. There’s no shortage of websites, blogs, and even magazine articles ready to give you a delicious sample menu to try. And while all of this is great, it definitely doesn’t mean that you don’t need to be conscious of what you are eating. For example, desserts – no matter how healthy – are still desserts and should be eaten as a treat and not as an everyday staple. If you can, it is best to try to stay away from sweets, or at least allow yourself only one or two paleo treats a week.
It is also a good idea to remember that foods such as dried fruits, nuts and sweeteners are very calorie-dense and consuming them in moderation can be quite difficult. Even though they are paleo, it might be best to stay away from them completely if you are trying to lose weight.
Insulin resistance is an often undiagnosed but very real reason why many people tend to gain weight easily or struggle to lose weight. When most people think of the body having issues with insulin, they think of diabetes. But the truth is that you don’t have to be diabetic to have insulin resistance. If you might be a candidate for insulin resistance, it is important to take that into consideration when planning your meals.
Try to limit your nuts, seeds, and even certain seafood while you are starting your new lifestyle. The good news is that insulin resistance can be reversed so you aren’t losing these foods forever, just until your body adjusts to your new lifestyle.
You certainly don’t need to count calories, but you should base your meals on the protein + veggie base and drink plenty of water. While nuts, tubers, and fruits are paleo, the staples of every paleo plate are protein and veggies. Be sure to eat plenty of nutrient-dense food. Depending on what your needs are, you can aim for paleo foods that will give you the most nutrients, the most energy or make you feel fuller for longer periods of time. If you need some inspiration, do a google search for ‘foods for energy’, ‘foods that make you feel full’, etc and go through until you find some good paleo choices.
The best way to get a lasting meal is to try to make your meals around a balance of protein, vegetables and healthy fats. This can keep you satisfied for about three – four hours. This will help alleviate the wild blood sugar swings that happen after a typical high-carb breakfast. But most importantly, if you are feeling satisfied between meals, you are less likely to make poor food choices or allow old eating habits to creep back in.
More than anything, remember that gentle changes are going to make the biggest impact on your life. Don’t get caught up in extreme eating or exercise at the very beginning of your new lifestyle.