What’s with the Paleo Diet?

You do not need to be a paleontologist, dietitian, nutritionist, doctor or anything like that to be interested in the Paleo Diet. All you need to be interested in is leading and living a healthy lifestyle.

If you’re not familiar with the “Paleo Diet” yet, you will soon hear about it.  This diet seems to be gaining more and more popularity as more and more people are seeing great results when they adhere to a Paleo Diet, or some call Paleo lifestyle.

Well, what is Paleo? I think Greg Glassman’s, founder of CrossFit Inc., definition is spot on.

“Eat meat and vegetables, healthy fats, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.”

The Paleo Diet seems to be pretty straight forward in that context and in reality, I found out it actually is!

When my wife and I decided to take the plunge into the Paleo Diet, I was very hesitant. I (like most people) love food and love to eat it. I assumed that by following the Paleo Diet I would be eating a lot of chicken, salad and a whole lot of bland foods. I found out early that my assumption was way off.

When asked about the Paleo Diet, I will quickly say “it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle!” I believe “diet” gets people in a particular mindset.  People who go on diets typically don’t make long term, lifestyle changes. When I talk about a Paleo Lifestyle, I’m referring to a long term lifestyle change.

I suggest starting with the Whole 30 challenge. Basically, in a nuetshell, it’s 30 days of hardcore clean eating. It’s designed to reset your body. It’s not easy starting out, but those who finish the Whole 30 challenge report how much more energy they have, improved performance and an feeling better overall.  The true success comes after the Whole 30 challenge. That kicks off a lifestyle of making changes that will last.

Following the Whole 30 challenge, I suggest to sticking with an 80/20 plan. 80% of the time, eat Paleo, 20% of time, eat whatever you like. I’m a big believer in moderation when it comes to eating. There are very few people who can adhere to long-term strict eating habits. The 80/20 rule makes living a heathly lifestyle achievable. Make good choices most of the time, and allow yourself to eat a piece of cake every once in a while.

With a lot of planning and preparation on my wife’s part, I can proudly say that we have been adhering to a Paleo Lifestyle for two years now and I have never felt better. The Paleo Lifestyle has changed the way we live.

10 Tips When Eating Paleo

Enjoy eating Paleo. Enjoy what you eat. If you are unhappy with what you are eating you are unlikely to continue to keep eating that way, and once the nutrition is gone, staying fit and healthy becomes much harder.

Pre-cook food. Spend a few hours at the beginning of the week and cook big batches of food. This will allow you to minimize the amount of time that you have to spend cooking during the week.

Cook more that you need. This is similar to the previous tip, the idea being that if you cook more than you need for one meal then you can eat it later, or the next day.
Rather than cutting yourself off from all of those foods which you enjoy that aren’t 100% Paleo friendly, simply eat smaller amounts and be moderate.

Do not keep junk/unhealthy food that you know you shouldn’t eat, in the house. For most people, if it is in the house they will eventually eat it.

Do not run out of food. This is horrible. Do not let it happen to you.

Try planning out your meals for a week. This comes easily to type one personalities, for the rest of us it can be a nuisance. Though this has the benefit of ensuring you know what you need in the house for the week, and eliminates that time wasting period during which you try and figure out what you should cook for dinner.

Keep a handy meal replacement shake/can of tuna in your car/office/desk/bag for a paleo friendly snack in case plans change.

Learn to use spices; this will do wonders for you and will offer variety and different flavors to your meals.

Eat lots of vegetables; try and eat a good variety with many different colors.

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