Paleo Diet Results & Expectations
The Paleo Diet is a term that has been buzzing around the health world for quite some time now. A diet rich in protein, low in carbohydrates, and sugar is one that may help you to kick off the weight loss you have been looking for, or simply allow you to get back on track to eating healthy.
The Paleo diet is based on how our hunter-gather ancestors once ate. It involves real, unprocessed, whole foods – just as nature intended them to be.
The basics of a paleo diet includes: meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, healthy fats and oils.
On this diet, you should avoid: processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, grains, most dairy products, legumes, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, margarine and trans fats.
Here are some guidelines and expectations for the Paleo Diet:
- You should not need to count calories (or carbs, or grams of fat, or anything else). But it does help to keep a food journal simply recording what you ate every day, in case you need to troubleshoot.
- Focus on meat and vegetables; limit Paleo “cookies,” “pancakes,” and other treats. Avoid large servings of nuts, dried fruit, fruit juice, and liquid calories.
- Find an enjoyable way to be physically active, and do it regularly. Walking is a perfectly legitimate option if that is what you enjoy.
- Figure out what carb level works for you. For most people, carbs are fine for weight loss.
- Do not starve yourself. Lasting weight loss means working with your body, not against it. It is possible to lose weight without being hungry, foggy, or cranky all the time.
- Eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you like. Eat at least one serving of fresh plant matter at every meal; the more, the better.
- Eat high-quality protein and healthy fats at every meal. Do not skip either protein or fat in order to “save your calories” for dessert.
As for paleo diet weight-loss, generally most people see a very rapid loss of 5-10 pounds initially in the first week. This may be very encouraging, but it is important to understand that it will not last forever, as this is mostly water weight. The reason for this is that every gram of glucose, or carbohydrate in your body holds on to about 3-4 grams of water. Therefore, when you begin to lower your carbohydrate intake, you will lose quite a bit of water weight with the loss of carbs. After the dramatic weight loss dip, it is expected that weight-loss will continue at a steady pace.
Not only is the paleo diet great for weight-loss, but it promotes overall wellbeing. Results from the diet vary from one individual to the other, but the following benefits are common:
- Anti-inflammatory qualities as you are cutting out the junk, sugar, and processed foods. This will result in a higher immune function and general feeling of well-being.
- Stabilized blood sugar and improved glucose tolerance as you are cutting out most carbohydrates and sugars.
- Sustained, balanced energy throughout the day. Again, due to the reduced carbohydrate level, caffeine, and processed foods.
- Increased mental alertness/clarity.
- Reduced allergies. This is partly due to the cutting out of processed foods and dairy products.
- Better sleep, clearer skin, brighter eyes and teeth.
- Fat loss
Setting goals is an important aspect of living a healthy lifestyle, and especially when you are changing your diet or lifestyle. As with anything new, there will always be new goals or expectations, restrictions, pitfalls, wins and losses. What is important to remember is that you are doing this for you and your health. It is an investment.