Among its many benefits, Paleo diet reportedly helps in eliminating bloating, eradicating seasonal allergies, clearing acne, sheds a few pounds off your weight, and frees up your migraines. Though there is no guarantee that any of this will happen, doing a cleanup of your diet and focusing on the fresh, wholesome foods represents an idea that should be given some thought.
Rules to keep in mind
There are some basic guidelines that every beginner to a paleo diet needs to keep in mind – replace sugar, dairy, packaged snacks, legumes, and both whole and refined grains with oils, fats, seeds, nuts, eggs, meat, seafood, fruits, and vegetables. While these may seem very easy to work around, achieving success in the transformation to a caveman will take some doing. Here is a look at some of the guidelines that you need to follow to get started with your paleo diet.
Do a clear-out of your kitchen:
Are you aware of the list of foods that are banned from a Paleo kitchen? Packaged foods, milk, cheese, yogurt, beans, vegetable oils, cereals, grains – gather the lot and toss them straight into the trash can. You will be at an advantage if you do this all at once simply by avoiding the possibility of a temptation altogether.
However, if you are keen on taking baby steps along your journey, no problem. Start with one item for the first week and gradually throw the others out in the subsequent weeks until you have reached the stage of a Paleo diet. Whichever option you choose, ensure that the kitchen is restocked with whole foods that will give you plenty of options to work with for designing a paleo diet meal plan that suits beginners.
Ask yourself, what’s my motivation:
For many people, Paleo diet is simply a means of addressing their medical issues while others consider it to be just another way of feeling good. There are others who consider Paleo diet to be the holy grail of healthy eating. You need to understand why you are following this diet in order to determine which of the guidelines to follow. Most importantly, be strict with yourself on these personal rules for at least the first 30 days.
Swear by the 85/15 rule:
The 85/15 approach is expert recommended after the first month of the Paleo diet. This means that 85 percent of the time you will be on a Paleo diet while the rest 15 percent time can be dedicated to non-Paleo stuff such as a hamburger, granola bars, or a drink with your buddies. Pay close attention to how your body reacts to things being reintroduced into the diet. For some, the discomfort may not be worth it!
Take up cooking:
Paleo diet is largely based on whole, fresh foods which make it easier to cook a meal at home than opting for a restaurant takeaway where you don’t have any control over the ingredients. This could also be your opportunity to experiment with some new foods and recipes. Invest in a good Paleo diet cookbook to add more flavor and variety to your diet plan.
A setback or two is just normal going:
It is perfectly normal if you find yourself slipping back into your normal diet after switching over to Paleo. However, don’t take this failure to heart. Look upon it as a learning process and find like-minded individuals in support groups and forums who will help you get back on track and stay put.
Build expertise in decoding labels:
By this time, you are aware that crackers, cookies, and doughnuts are off the grid, but do you know other foods may appear Paleo but are not so? Malt vinegar, soy sauce, dried fruits, nut butter, and numerous sauces and marinades fall in this category. Ensure that you not only read but also understand the list of ingredients while buying a packaged product.
Your plate needs a rethink:
In your childhood, mummy would have taught you to hold half a plate for veggies, a quarter for lean protein, and the rest for filling with whole grains. On a Paleo diet, leave out this place for grains. A balanced plate will have protein in a small portion, a dollop of fat, and lots of veggies that can be used to fill up whatever place you have left on the plate. If you are not able to keep up with the meal planning for yourself, visit www.yourpersonalchef.nyc and book yourself a personal chef in New York who can help you decide what goes on your plate for a successful Paleo diet.
Your pantry needs an oil change:
Coconut oil or lard is a much better alternative to soybean, corn, or canola oil for cooking. These saturated fats of superior quality are a healthy cooking medium because they are stable which prevents oxidation upon heating, a source for harmful free radicals. Lards, or animal fats, have a rich content of omega 3s and a form of fat known as conjugated linoleic acid that is known to assist fat loss. Walnut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil can be used for cold applications.
Add meat to your diet:
People often leave out meat from their diet, thinking it is detrimental to their health. There is no harm in having meat, provided it is of high quality. Processed meat such as hot dogs, salami, and bologna needs to go out and be replaced with wild meat such as pasture-fed poultry, elk, and bison. Wild-caught fish should be the preferred choice when it comes to seafood.
Give your sweet tooth the slip:
At first, many people find it a major hassle to give up on their sugar consumption. For those in the habit of enjoying a treat after dinner, replace the cookies with a healthy option such as fresh fruit. Your taste buds will adjust over time, and your favorite sweet dish will prove too sweet for your liking.
Birthday parties, reunions, family gatherings – these will not go away from your life just because you have shifted to a Paleo diet. All you need to do is research on the kind of ingredients you are consuming. Take a good look at the menu beforehand and take a pick of the options you can turn into a Paleo alternative. Feel free to ask the restaurant people how they prepare things and, if you feel necessary, go ahead and request some changes.