5 Tips for Going Paleo
Thinking about going Paleo? The Paleo diet has gained popularity in recent years. The plan is all about eating natural, unprocessed foods. People on Paleo consume grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, pasture-raised poultry, and organic fruits and vegetables. They aren’t allowed to eat any refined sugars, artificial ingredients, or dairy. Benefits of paleo include healthy weight loss, gaining lean muscle, increased athletic performance, and improved focus and mental clarity. Ready to give it a try? Here are five tips for people trying the Paleo diet for the first time.
1. Analyze your eating habits before you start.
It can be hard to jump into a diet plan and feel like you aren’t allowed to eat any of the foods you normally consume. Before starting Paleo, take a week or so to write down everything you eat. Figure out what foods fit in the Paleo diet and alternatives that you also enjoy for the ones that don’t. This way you’ll have a better idea of how much (or little) is about to change before you even begin. You will also have a good idea of how much food you eat and how many times per day.
2. Don’t guess.
Once you start going Paleo, you should never guess if a food fits within the diet. There are plenty of resources online and elsewhere that you can utilize. Supposing that some foods fit in the Paleo diet can prevent you from reaping the benefits of a consistent Paleo habit. On the other hand, automatically rejecting foods without checking if they are Paleo may be unnecessarily restricting yourself.
3. Ignore your previous food rules when going paleo
Paleo goes against some of the traditional norms of which foods are “good” and which are “bad.” For example, foods naturally high in fat often gets a bad rap. On the Paleo diet, there is no reason you can’t eat avocados, coconut oil, egg yolks, fatty meats, and other similar foods. The fat that is unhealthy comes from processed food.
4. Choose an amount of time to commit (and tell it to someone).
Paleo can be a lifestyle, but deciding to make a permanent switch can be overwhelming for some people. Determine how long you are going to stay on the diet from the beginning. Maybe you will try a week and then reassess the situation. Maybe a month sounds doable to you.
Whatever you choose, having someone else keep you accountable is incredibly helpful for any diet plan. Let a friend know you’re going Paleo, or even do the plan together. Having another person to encourage – and sometimes reprimand – you can help you reach your goal.
5. Make exercise part of your plan.
Whether you are going Paleo to lose weight, gain muscle, or just have a healthier lifestyle, a diet alone won’t take you all the way. Like any diet, Paleo is best when it is done alongside a regular workout plan. As Paleo is a low-carb diet, make sure you are eating enough to support the fitness you are doing. Talk to a doctor, personal trainer, or nutritionist to figure out how many carbohydrates you should be eating to get healthier while not overexerting yourself.
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