In my efforts to lose weight, I’ve tried dozens of diets. I’ve starved with the 1200 Calorie Diet, tried to choke down the Weight Watchers’ meal replacements, and even cut all carbs on the Atkins Diet. Dieting has never been easy, as they tend to be fairly strict.
However, in recent months, the Paleo Diet has caught my attention. It allows me to eat as much as I want of the one thing I love most in the world: meat! Perhaps it may just be the diet to lose weight…
Understanding The Paleo Diet
You may have read dozens of Paleo Diet weight loss success stories, but do you know if they’re true or just marketing hype?
Here, we’re going to take a close look at the Paleo Diet–both in terms of a diet for improved overall health and a weight loss diet. If you want to know about the Paleo Diet for weight loss, you’ve come to the right place!
What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleolitic Diet, Caveman Diet, or Paleo Diet is an eating program that eliminates all foods that would not have been present in the days of the cavemen.
Think back to what life must have been like so many ages ago. Stone caves were the dwellings of choice, and wild creatures roamed the world. Men were hunters, women gathered food, and together they brought in enough food to survive.
Allowed in the Paleo Diet
- Wild animals — There would be plenty of meat, as there were dozens of wild animals to hunt and fish for.
- Berries — Berries grow in the wild, and they would have been the dessert of the caveman days.
- Veggies — Most vegetables grow in the wild, and they would have balanced out the high protein content of the cavemen’s meat-rich diet.
- Wild grains, seeds, and nuts — There was no agriculture, so any grains, nuts, and seeds would have to be picked in the wild.
Forbidden in the Paleo Diet
- Dairy — There were no dairy farms until thousands of years later, and the cavemen hunted cows for meat, not milk.
- Grains — Wheat, rice, and corn don’t grow well in the wild, and it took agriculture to make these grains available.
- Processed or artificial food — It goes without saying that cavemen had no factories to make instant noodles, canned soups, and potato chips.
Basically, the purpose of the Paleo Diet is to get back to the all-natural eating habits of our cavemen ancestors, eliminating all the harmful foods that mankind has adopted over the years. If you want to learn more about the paleo diet, be sure to check my newbie guide here.
Trying the Paleo Diet for Weight Loss
The Paleo Diet is not a weight loss diet at its core, but its purpose is to improve overall health. It is NOT a balanced diet, but leans heavily towards protein and fat. You’d have to eat A LOT of vegetables to get enough carbs to balance out your protein and fat consumption, so it’s not a diet for everyone.
However, do the Paleo Diet and weight loss go hand in hand?
If you are careful with the way you eat, the Paleo Diet CAN help you to lose weight. The diet will reset your metabolism, clean all of the chemicals and toxins from your body, and improve your digestion. It will take time, but it will help to cleanse your body.
How to Follow the Paleo Diet for Weight Loss
If you want to lose weight on the Paleo Diet, you’re going to have to be smart about it!
You’re going to be eating A LOT of meat, nuts, and fats with your fruits and vegetables, so it’s going to be a fairly high calorie diet if you’re not careful. You’ll need to be strict with your calorie consumption, following a strict meal plan to ensure you don’t overdo it on the calories.
Do More Exercise
You can only limit yourself so much, as you can’t starve your body by feeding it too few calories. It’s important that you increase the amount of exercise that you do, as that will ensure that you burn MORE calories every day. The more calories you burn doing exercise, the more you can consume to avoid going hungry. I personally chose to do martial arts for that.
Balance Your Carbs
If you’re eating a lot of meat and proteins, you’re probably getting a lot of fat and very few carbs. This can lead to weight loss problems, so make sure that you eat enough carbs–but the healthy, complex kind. Get a lot of your calories in nuts, seeds, and wild grains, along with vegetables and fruits.
Get More Fiber
For those trying to do the Paleo Diet for weight loss, fiber is the key to staying healthy on the strict diet. The more roughage you eat, the easier it will be for your digestive system to process the protein and fats you’re eating.
Oddly enough, a lack of sleep can slow down your weight loss. If you feel very tired, you’re more likely to overeat, and your metabolism works more slowly. Sleeping properly ensures that your body can produce growth hormone, which will burn fat and build muscle. Make sure to get a solid 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, and you’ll find your weight loss is much easier.
Don’t Focus on Weight
Is it the weight you want to lose, or is it the FAT that matters? You may not lose much weight while dieting exercising, but your body fat percentage may be going down drastically. Don’t bother with losing weight, but make sure that your focus is placed on burning fat by eating right and doing lots of exercise.
If you drink a lot of coffee or tea while dieting, it can mess with the levels of adrenaline and cortisol in your body. You may be unable to lose weight at a steady pace thanks to the hormonal imbalance promoted by the caffeine, so consider cutting coffee and/or tea to see if that can help you lose weight.
Is the Paleo Diet Effective for Weight Loss?
If you’re very careful with your calorie intake and the way you eat, you’ll find that the Paleo Diet can be effective as a weight loss diet. You’ll need to do A LOT of exercise to burn off all the fat and protein you’re eating, and prepare for a few digestion issues for the first few weeks or months of the diet. However, in the long run, you’ll find that the Paleo Diet can be effective as a weight loss diet if you control calories and make an effort to eat balanced meals.
Want help with your Paleo Dieting? It can be tough to try this new diet without understanding it completely, but thankfully Paleo Leap has a great ebook to help you diet properly. It deals with every aspect of the Paleo Diet, explaining things in a way that’s easy to understand.
Use the book to achieve success in your Paleo Diet and your weight loss!