If you’ve been following a Paleo diet, you might be frustrated at why your weight loss results aren’t as good as you thought they would be. I stand firm in my belief that Paleo (or *ahem* part-time Paleo) is the ultimate way to meet nutritional requirements and maintain health. And with this way of eating naturally comes a svelte figure … if you go Paleo the right way.
It’s very easy to adopt poor habits when eating Paleo, or to completely neglect the basic premise of the diet in the first place—consuming organic plants, healthy fats and locally sourced protein. That’s basically it. Eat a ton of veggies and some lean protein with some healthy fat for each meal. That’s Paleo in a nutshell.
If you’re calling yourself Paleo but that isn’t how your diet looks, you might not be doing it the right way. Many people do Paleo by eating bacon with every meal, eating the odd salad and filling up on fruit and nuts. That is not the way to do it if you want to slim down.
Keep the following tips in mind if you want to get lean while eating Paleo (by the way, my book will help tremendously).
- Drink water. You need to drink about two liters of water per day. Water is essential for the body’s metabolic processes and is a major ingredient in weight loss.
- Eat vegetables. Fill your plate with a variety of colorful vegetables. Add some healthy fat (either sliced avocado or a nice drizzle of olive oil) and lean protein like chicken, fish or beef. Our perfect Paleo protein is ideal if you can’t imagine eating a plate of meat and veggies for breakfast. Just scoop it into a smoothie and off you go.
- Go easy on the fruit and nuts. It is very easy to overindulge in healthy foods because, well, they’re healthy. But you still have to watch your portions. You can easily eat 1000 calories worth of nuts in a sitting without realizing it and then wonder why the pants feel tight.
- Don’t go overboard with Paleo treats. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you do not need another muffin. Paleo treats are just that … treats. Just because you see a great recipe for a date/almond/banana brownie doesn’t mean it’s okay to cook it up and eat the whole thing. Paleo muffins and cookies are great to toss in the lunchbox as an alternative to a packaged processed food, but remember they are to be eaten in strict moderation, especially when trying to lose weight. (Note: just because a flour is gluten-free does not mean it’s calorie-free.)
- Eat fewer calories. If you eat too much of anything, you’re going to gain weight. Well, maybe except for celery. Just be conscious of how much you’re eating. Try plugging your daily food intake into one of those online calorie trackers and see what sort of damage you might be doing. You might surprise yourself.
- Eat more calories. Yes it can go the other way. Look up your healthy calorie range and try to be sure to eat at least your minimum daily requirement of calories. Too few calories and your body goes into starvation mode. That means it holds onto the fat you’re trying to lose.
- Adjust carb intake. If you’re not working out and you’re eating a lot of carbs, try eating fewer and see what happens. Too many sweet potatoes and Paleo treats will put weight on you.
- Eat more protein in the a.m. Most of us don’t eat enough protein in the morning. Again, our Saving Dinner Perfect Paleo Protein powder is ideal for this, but if that’s not an option for you, have some leftover chicken or fish or something in the morning. It will really help to fuel you and set you on the right path.
- Sleep more. You need 8 hours of sleep a night. Period. I know it sounds a little bit impossible, but if you’re doing everything right and the scale isn’t budging, sleep on it in a nice dark room for eight hours.