Unless you’ve been living in a bubble these past few years, you’re surely familiar with the Paleo Diet. It has taken the diet community by storm. What exactly is the Paleo Diet?
Basically, it’s supposed to mimic the way we used to eat — and by “we” I mean our ancestors, from way back when — hundreds of years ago, when there were no grains, no packaged foods, no processed foods, and not a lot of sugar.
The idea behind the diet is that since people way back when used to eat basically just meat and vegetables, and because they were so thin and lean, that we should adopt those eating principles today.
What do I get to eat?
When most people think of Paleo, immediately they start to wonder what, then, are they actually allowed to eat? Well, this is by no means a thorough list, but it should get you started down the right path:
- Meat: grass-fed beef and pork. No grain-feeding allowed.
- Fowl: your chickens, turkeys, and duck.
- Eggs: one of the absolute staples of Paleo, you should be eating eggs nearly every day for breakfast.
- Fish: another staple of the diet, you can have nearly unlimited quantities of fish.
- Oil: one of the best healthy fats, you can cook your meat or fish in plentiful sums of olive and coconut oil.
- Nuts: walnuts, cashews, almonds — you get the idea.
What about my pasta?
If you’re like a lot of people, then grains and wheat are a big part of your diet. I used to be the same way. Who doesn’t love a bagel in the morning, a sandwich in the afternoon, and a big bowl of pasta for dinner?
All tasty food, but not exactly good for your physique. On the Paleo Diet, these types of foods are simply not allowed. No questions asked. Yes, it can be extremely difficult to give up on your favorite foods, especially when they are addictive carbs.
My suggestion to you would be to start off slowly, then work your way up. It’s hard to stop eating carbs cold-turkey and to just become full-on Paleo overnight. So why not start one meal at a time?
If you typically have a bagel or muffin for breakfast, you should start eating eggs and turkey bacon instead. Do that for a week, then move on to lunch. Most lunches consist of some kind of sandwich, so why don’t you try out a nice Cobb salad instead?
Again, try this for a week, and if you’re successful, then move on to dinner. Ditch that heavy bowl of pasta, and try grilling a piece of steak or chicken, and pair it with a nice salad and some grilled vegetables. Once you have a routine in place, you will make progress.
Is Paleo right for me?
Personally speaking, I could not commit 100% to Paleo. I found it way too restrictive. But your mileage may vary, as they say.
I like to have the occasional piece of cheese, or a cheat meal Saturday where I can eat whatever I want, or even a nice IPA beer on a special occasion. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to give it a try.
Again, start off slow, and see how you like it. Make slow, gradual progress, and keep track of how you’re feeling if your energy levels are higher and if you’re starting to lose weight and/or put on more muscle. It doesn’t hurt to try.
Paleo sounds interesting — where can I read more?
Glad you asked. Obviously, this post is not meant to be an exhaustive look at the Paleo Diet. So if you’re interested in reading more, we recommend the following: