Anyone who’s tried to lose weight before knows how difficult the task can be to accomplish. It can be a struggle to keep your calorie intake low enough to maintain consistent weight loss, especially when you’re just counting calories while maintaining a diet similar to what you’re used to. If you’re looking for an effective way to cut your calories, consider using the paleo diet for weight loss instead of a more traditional calorie-restriction diet.
Of course, you’ll still need to watch how many calories you take in, but you’ll be surprised by how much easier it is to lose weight when you go paleo.
It’s important to realize that paleo isn’t some sort of secret weapon and that following the diet doesn’t guarantee that you’ll lose weight.
Keep reading to find out more about the diet, how it can help you lose weight and the pros and cons of following a paleo diet.
What Exactly is the Paleo Diet?
The basic idea behind the paleo diet is that humanity is suffering from a wide range of sicknesses caused by industrialization and agricultural practices.
Consume vegetables, meats, nuts, eggs, fruits and skip most of the grains, dairy items, and processed foods.
There are more rules and restrictions than that simple list above, but if you decide to go paleo you’ll learn the restrictions as you go.
If you look at the paleo diet in these simplistic terms it’s pretty easy to understand, and it’s also simple to see how it would work well for weight loss too.
That’s why many people decide to adopt the paleo diet for weight loss over another alternative such as Weight Watchers for instance that seems more complicated and unsustainable.
Why Paleo Works Well for Weight Loss
Paleo works really well for weight loss because it mostly limits you to foods that aren’t as high in calories or foods that make you feel very full.
Sure nuts and some fatty meats are loaded with calories, but they’re also packed with protein that will make you feel full fast, which means you’ll struggle to load up on as many calories as you would have from processed carbohydrates.
While following a paleo diet you will be more likely to cut your intake of calories throughout the day, which will result in gradual weight loss over time without feeling hungry all the time.
Key Paleo Diet Benefits
- Cleaner eating
- Higher iron levels
- Feel full longer
- Weight loss is more likely
There are several key benefits to using the paleo diet on a regular basis. It’s the benefits or the hope of losing weight that convinces most new people to adopt the diet.
By following the paleo diet you’re likely to enjoy a cleaner diet with less processed sugars, preservatives and chemicals.
A paleo diet is also likely to increase how much red meat you consume, increasing the iron in your diet. The diet will also make you feel fuller than most other diets you can follow, which is what leads most people to achieve their weight-loss goals.
Between these different benefits, there is a lot to gain by swapping over to the paleo diet. It’s not all good though, there are plenty of drawbacks to following a paleo diet as well.
You have to keep the negatives in mind as well when deciding whether you want to follow the diet or not.
- More expensive
- Can reduce your energy levels
- Might hinder athletic performance
- Could potentially increase cholesterol levels for some
There are lots of benefits to following the paleo diet, but there are some drawbacks to going paleo as well.
Following the paleo diet is more expensive than eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates, because pasta, rice, and other carbs are very affordable calorie sources.
It’s also likely that you’ll experience a reduction in energy, especially at first. The body is most efficient at generating energy from carbohydrates and will have to work harder to meet your energy requirements using fats and proteins.
Athletes, in particular, will struggle with a paleo diet because they need more carbohydrates than the average person does. If you’re an athlete you might have to increase more carbohydrates than a traditional paleo diet in order to meet your performance goals.
Using the Paleo Diet for Weight Loss Successfully
For many people using the paleo diet for weight loss is as simple as strictly following all the rules of the paleo diet.
That means cutting out grains, oats, rice, legumes, sugars, and processed foods as well as dairy products. If you cut out all that stuff and follow a paleo diet guide you will likely lose weight just by switching.
If you’re struggling to lose weight still, you should count your calories and modify your diet to ensure that you aren’t consuming too many calories each day.
Often just taking an added step to reduce your nut and fatty meat intake slightly is all it takes to lower your calorie intake enough for you to start losing weight if you’re still struggling.
An Example Diet
While we won’t give exact food amounts to eat, because everyone has different calorie requirements, we’ve put together an example diet plan for a single day of paleo eating to give you an idea of what sort of meals you’ll be eating when following this diet.
Start your day with an omelette made with veggies, onions, garlic and a meat such as ham, bacon or steak.
Fry it using coconut oil or the oil from the meat if it’s a fatty item such as bacon.
Consider adding part of an avocado for some extra healthy fat and a more filling meal if you have additional calories to work with.
Create a meal of lettuce wraps including chicken, vegetables, mushrooms, water chestnuts, onions, and garlic.
Top with spices or a paleo-friendly sauce such as coconut aminos. Consider some nuts or a piece of fruit as a side to this.
Finish off your day by consuming a dinner made up of Salmon fillets and roasted green beans topped with spices or a paleo-friendly sauce.
You can add some sweet potato to your meal if you’re lacking calories still.
Snacks for Consideration
Consider adding a few snacks like hardboiled eggs, nuts and a piece of fruit throughout the day if you’re hungry between meals and have calories remaining
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Summary: Paleo Will Work with the Right Approach
Using the paleo diet for weight loss is an effective tool for losing weight over time as long as you approach it properly.
That means eating reasonable amounts of food and eating a blend of vegetables, fruits, and meats to ensure you’re getting enough fibre to help; you feel full sooner.
If you’re willing to track your weight and watch your calories you can absolutely lose weight with a strict paleo diet, but it’s not guaranteed to work.
You must practice control, monitor your progress and be willing to make changes to your eating plan over time if you aren’t getting the results that you want.
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Hi, I’m David and I believe absolutely anyone can achieve the body of their dreams. I’m a qualified health and fitness coach and have been helping clients achieve their dream bodies for 15 years. Whether you are looking to get beach body ready, compete in a bodybuilding show or simply to improve your confidence and wellbeing, I can help.