Quick-Start Guide (2020)
This is a complete guide to the Paleo Diet in 2020.
If you’ve been wondering about the meaning of Paleo Diet and how to execute the diet plan succesfully, you are in the right hands.
In this article you will learn everything you need to know before starting this diet plan. You will also learn about some of the most famous people who follow Paleo.
Let’s dive straight into the article!
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What does Paleo Diet mean?
The Paleo Diet is modeled after the diets our ancestors have probably followed. Although there is no way to follow the exact Paleo Diet, the basic idea is to stay away from processed foods and focus instead on whole healthy foods.
You have many questions in your mind right now. Don’t worry! We are going to give you all the information you need in this Quick-Start Guide.
Let’s start with the definition of this diet
What does Paleo Diet Mean?
A paleo diet is an eating plan based on foods similar to what might have been eaten during the Paleolithic era, which dates from approximately 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago.
The modern paleo diet is designed to match what our human hunter-gatherer ancestors ate thousands of years ago.
In spite of the fact that it’s impossible to know exactly what our human ancestors ate in different parts of the world, researchers think their diets consisted of whole foods.
Dr. Loren Cordain developed The Paleo Diet through decades of research and collaboration with people who share common interests around the world.
The Paleo Diet is a wholesome, anti-inflammatory way of eating – designed by nature, built on decades of research, and trusted by the scientific community.
But it’s about much more than the food you put in your mouth.
The Paleo lifestyle includes things as regular exercise, nutritious foods that our bodies are designed to eat, and a more natural, sustainable way of living.
It is not another fad diet or a quick weight-loss solution.
A Diet That Really Works!
How does the Paleo Diet work?
The main goal of a paleo diet is to return to a way of eating that’s more like what early humans ate.
The human body is genetically contrasting to the modern diet that evolved with the farming practices – a.k.a – discordance hypothesis
Farming changed the way of eating of many and set up dairy, grains, and legumes as additional staples in the human diet. This comparatively late change in diet outmarched the body’s ability to adapt.
This mismatch is believed to be a contributing factor to the pervasiveness of different conditions like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease today.
A paleo diet typically includes foods such as lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds – foods that in the past could be only obtained by hunting and gathering.
A paleo diet limits foods that became common when farming turned up in the past. These foods include dairy products, legumes, and grains.
Other names for a paleo diet include the Paleolithic diet, Stone Age diet, hunter-gatherer diet.
Also called the Caveman Diet, the diet consist of a high-protein, a high-fiber eating plan that promises you can lose weight without cutting calories. How’s that even possible? Read more to find out.
But high-fiber and protein? Isn’t this a Mediterranean diet? Let’s delve deeper into this question to know the difference.
How is the Mediterranean diet different than the Paleo diet?
Both diets advertise healthy lifestyles and weight loss.
The Mediterranean diet and the Paleo diet encourage eating whole foods provided by nature and avoid all processed and refined foods.
They also eliminate all sugar and artificial sweeteners consumption and lean towards natural sweeteners in very small amounts.
Although there’s a certain connection, there are much more differences between these two diets and here are some of them:
- Goal Settings
As you have learned the Paleo diet principles are very similar to the Mediterranean diet principles, namely:
- Eat whole foods
- Avoid all processed and refined foods
The key point of the caveman diet is to get rid of foods causing inflammation in our body and allow our body to recover.
However, The Mediterranean diet does not set any specific health goals. It simply advertises a healthy lifestyle by offering a well-balanced diet.
2. Food List
The Mediterranean diet does not exclude any main food groups except for sugar and processed and refined foods. It limits the consumption of foods such as red meat.
The caveman diet, contrary, avoid food groups that cause inflammation in our body such as:
3. Alcohol consumption
The Mediterranean diet minimizes alcohol consumption to one glass of red wine a day during the meal.
The Paleo diet completely removes alcohol consumption.
Which one is better?
The Mediterranean diet equips us with all the necessary tools to start a healthy lifestyle without too many limitations. It advertises a healthy lifestyle and weight loss.
However, there is one thing to keep in mind.
The Mediterranean diet fundamentals were borrowed from a specific geographical region.
What this means is that people who live in that specific region have free access to seafood, fresh veggies, and fruits, whole grains. GMO or steroids are not even known in these countries.
In North America, a lot of healthy foods people consume contain GMO or hidden sugar. Even a simple bread contain hidden sugar that we might not even be aware of.
Did you know that the sugar content in the average slice of processed bread varies but can be as high as 3g? Some sugar is formed naturally in the baking process but it is often added too.
The Paleo diet was created to provide your belly with the healing environment by eliminating inflammatory foods.
Once the recovery is reached previously eliminated foods could be brought back.
However, we need to analyze how our body reacts to food consumption. If we cannot tolerate some foods, we would want to eliminate them from your diet.
So, it all depends on your goals. Keep in mind, that the best diet is the one you can stick to the longest.
Bottom line: When you’re thinking about your general health as a whole, it’s important to find a diet or meal plan that you can stick with and includes just about everything in moderation.
See you in chapter 2 where you will learn why to choose the Paleo diet instead of other meal plans!
Why To Choose Paleo Diet?
In this Chapter, we will break down all of the reasons why you should follow this diet.
Paleo Diet is one of the most popular methods for losing weight and maintaining health.
However, the Caveman Diet is also one of the oldest secrets of health. Its ancient history lies in heath benefits if it is done right, including weight loss, improved sleep, better absorption.
Why To Choose Paleo Diet?
Paleo focuses on whole, unprocessed foods. This reduces and in most cases totally avoids, consumption of preservatives, additives, artificial colors and flavors, hidden sugars, artificial sweeteners, sodium, and flavor enhancers. You also benefit from avoiding toxins and increasing your nutrient intake.
In other words – eat natural, as your ancestors did.
The Caveman Diet is a diet rich in nutrients, which emphasize on fresh organic vegetables. Instead of relying on processed carbs such as bread and pasta, Paleo dieters get their daily dose of nutritious food through organic lean meat, veggies, fruit and berries, healthy fats, nuts, and seeds, all of which are full of vitamins and minerals.
Most people experience weight loss and muscle development while eating a caveman diet and keeping an active lifestyle. Other benefits they experience are:
- Improved metabolic processes and gut health
- better sleep
- stress management
- sufficient Vitamin D
- a healthy ratio of Omega-3/6 fatty acids all aid in burning off stored body fat.
The Paleo diet provides lots of fiber, which together with decent water intake and a smaller intake of sodium help to decrease the abdominal bloating many people experience on a Western diet. The caveman diet also helps to improve the gut flora which is essential in keeping healthy digestion.
So, here are 2 main benefits of the Paleo Diet.
An older 2008 study found that 14 healthy volunteers successfully achieved an average weight loss of 2.3 kilograms by following the paleo diet for 3 weeks.
In 2009, researchers compared the effects of the caveman diet with a diet for diabetes on 13 people with type 2 diabetes. This study found that eating the paleo way reduced participants’ body weight and waist circumference.
A 2014 study of 70 postmenopausal women with obesity found that following a paleo diet helped people lose weight after 6 months.
However, after 2 years, there was no difference in weight loss between participants following the caveman diet and those adhering to regular Nordic nutrition recommendations. These results tell us that other healthful diets may be just as successful at promoting weight loss.
The authors of a 2017 review noted that the paleo diet helped reduce weight in the short term but concluded that this result is due to caloric restriction, or consuming a smaller amount of calories.
Overall, the research suggests that the caveman diet may help people lose weight at the beginning but that other diets that reduce calorie intake may be just as effective.
Reducing diabetes risk
Will following a paleo eating plan reduce a person’s risk of developing diabetes? The results of some initial studies are encouraging.
Insulin resistance is a risk factor for diabetes. Improving a person’s insulin sensitivity decreases the likelihood that they will develop diabetes and can help those who have diabetes reduce their symptoms.
A small study in 2015 compared the effects of the paleo diet with those of a diet based on recommendations from the American Diabetes Association on people with type 2 diabetes.
While both diets improved the participants’ metabolic health, the paleo diet was better at improving insulin resistance and blood sugar control.
An older 2009 study of nine sedentary volunteers without obesity also found that the paleo diet helped with improving insulin sensitivity.
There is a need for more recent research on the paleo diet and diabetes, but the evidence to date suggests that eating like our ancestors may improve insulin sensitivity.
Let’s take a look into 5 more benefits of the Paleo Diet:
Grains such as wheat and quinoa contain many anti-nutrients such as saponins and lectins. These tiny molecules are very effective at evading your intestinal defense mechanisms, opening the tight junctions in your gut, and making you very sick if you consume them uncooked.
Cooking grains eliminates almost all but there are still some of these anti-nutrients, which causes an even bigger concern. Over time, the small quantities of anti-nutrients cause chronic inflammation and lead to inflammatory diseases like autoimmune illness and cancer.
A Paleo Diet eliminates foods high in these anti-nutrients.
Improve key nutrient ratios.
There are certain ratios that are extremely important to your health, and The Paleo Diet brings those ratios back into the balance our bodies were designed for.
For instance, the sodium-potassium ratio, which is a Western diet typically sits at 10:1, should actually be around 1:2 for optimum health.
Contrary to popular belief, neither added salt nor sea salt is part of a healthy Paleo Diet. In fact, high sodium consumption relative to potassium contributes to a high acid load in the body, which has many negative health conditions.
Americans eat on average about 3,400 mg of sodium per day. However, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day—that’s equal to about 1 teaspoon or 3 grams of salt per day!
The minimum physiological requirement for sodium is less than 500 mg a day — or less than the amount in one-quarter of one teaspoon of table salt.
Pro Tip: Always try to get the minimum daily amount (500g) from healthy foods like sweet potatoes, beets, and walnuts.
For example, research has shown that the high sodium content in many people’s diets contributes to osteoporosis. Another key ratio is the magnesium-calcium ratio and it likewise has an enormous impact on your health. The Caveman Diet, by nature, keeps you in balance with regard to these crucial nutrients.
Eat more natural and plant-based foods.
By the very nature of the diet, you will eat more foods in their uncooked form, and fewer processed foods. That means large amounts of vegetables, fruits, seeds, healthy lean meats, fish, eggs, and a tremendous amount of nuts.
Contrary to popular belief, The Paleo Diet is not based on the consumption of meat. The Caveman diet mainly depends on eating more plant-based foods. For this reason, you get all the benefits of eating more plants but still enjoy your lovely piece of meat.
But what’s the difference between a plant-based diet and The Paleo Diet?
The caveman diet (paleo diet) is meant to replicate the diet of cavemen from the Paleo era (10,000 to 2.5 million years ago).
It is based on saturated fats (e.g. butter, lard, duck fat) and oils (e.g. nuts, seeds, and coconut oil), “lean” animal proteins (such as wild animals, eggs and seafood) and fruits and vegetables.
It excludes refined foods, grains, dairy, trans fats, and excess sugar.
In contrast, the plant-based diet is based on eating whole, mainly unrefined plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes. It excludes animal foods such as meat, dairy, and eggs.
It also avoids highly processed foods such as oil, white sugar, and white flour.
Eating the foods your body needs will greatly reduce your hunger signals. It does this by balancing fluctuations in insulin and, therefore, improving your glycemic control, a large benefit for those with diabetes.
Even though simple sugars are high in calories, they actually elevate hunger signals, creating a vicious cycle.
On the caveman diet, you will consume a lower overall calorie count, while getting the nutrients your body needs.
You will also eliminate ups and downs in your energy levels. The benefits are many:
- you will remain more consistently energetic
- you’ll eliminate daily cravings
- finally, by eating foods that are lower in calories and higher in nutrients, you will more readily control weight
Forget macronutrients; focus on healthy foods.
While, I always suggest tracking calories because it creates valuable habits, on The Caveman Diet you don’t focus on macronutrient ratios (i.e., how much protein versus carbohydrate you consume).
This falls in line with our ancestral habits. Consider the different foods our ancestors ate: hunter-gatherer societies living near the equator ate higher levels of carbohydrates, while those farther north consumed higher volumes of protein and fat.
In addition, our ancestral diet changed seasonally, so macronutrient ratios fluctuated throughout the year. The truth of the matter is that focusing on macronutrients runs counter to one of the main assumptions of The Paleo Diet (Caveman diet): a focus on eating healthy foods, and not how many carbohydrates you eat relative to protein or fat.
That said, eating healthy natural foods leads to a diet that is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than the typical western diet.
Bottom line: While other fad diets have come and gone, and new ones appear on the marketplace every few months, The Paleo Diet remains.
That’s because it is based on decades of scientific research, and its fundamental principles are recognized by medical and health professionals who firmly believe in the supporting data.
So, you know what paleo means and why to choose it. However, you don’t know how to start. Don’t worry! We got you covered in chapter 3 where you will learn how to successfully make the change.
Shifting To The New Lifestyle
You have decided that you want to follow this plan. You don’t know how to make the switch.
In this Chapter, we are going to give you the basics of starting the change and adapting to it.
Be aware that every beginning is tough. However, with the essential knowledge in this chapter, you will be more ready than ever for making the change.
Shifting To The New Lifestyle
You want to make a change in your life by starting this diet. That’s great! You have made the first step and decided to change. Before starting this meal plan take a look into the recommended and not recommended foods of a typical Paleo Diet.
Foods To Avoid
Grains, such as wheat, oats, and barley
Legumes, such as beans, lentils, peanuts and peas
Refined vegetable oils
Highly processed foods in general
Foods To Eat
Nuts and seeds
Lean meats, especially grass-fed animals or wild game
In addition, it’s important to note that if you are limited to less-than-ideal meats as staple food sources, one way to minimize any potential health consequences is to buy only the leanest cuts and supplement with other Paleo fats like grass-fed butter or coconut oil.
By also making sure to get plenty of micronutrients from vegetables or other sources, you can go a long way towards improving the quality of your eating plan.
Fish, especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel and albacore tuna
Oils from fruits and nuts, such as olive oil or walnut oil
Dark chocolate (not a typical paleo food, I know)
Pro Tip: You should only choose dark chocolate that has 70% or higher cocoa content. This chocolate will actually be extremely nutritious and healthy for you. Dark Chocolate has plenty of antioxidants that come with many health benefits including improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
Simple Paleo Snacks
There really is no need to eat more than three meals per day, but if you find yourself in the place where you are starving between meals, here are some paleo snacks that are simple and easily portable:
A bowl of berries with some coconut cream
Homemade beef jerky
Leftovers from the night before
A piece of fruit
- A handful of nuts
- Apple slices with some almond butter
This is a daily menu of what you might eat during a typical day following a paleo diet:
Breakfast. An omelet with parsley.
Lunch. Broiled lean pork loin and salad (romaine, carrot, cucumber, tomatoes, walnuts, and lemon juice dressing).
Dinner. Lean beef sirloin tip roast, steamed cauliflower, salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, avocado, onions, almonds, and lemon juice dressing), and strawberries for dessert.
Snacks. An orange, carrot sticks or celery sticks.
You didn’t see red meat in either one of the categories above. That’s because surveys on red meat had been contradictory so far.
So, is red meat good or bad for your health?
Experts usually classify red meat as muscle meat from beef, pork, lamb, goat, or other land mammals.
Nutritionists and health specialists have spent years debating the benefits and risks of eating red meat in an attempt to determine whether it is good or bad for health. So far, results have been contradictory.
It is difficult to link one food or food group to health problems. This is because a range of other factors – including genetics, environment, health history, stress levels, sleep quality, lifestyle, and other dietary factors – may have a part in whether or not a person develops a specific condition or disease.
Despite the fact that eating red meat can provide your body with tons of iron, which increases your endurance and athletic ability, still, the body of evidence claiming that eating high amounts of red meat, especially processed meat, could lead to health problems is growing.
So how often can we eat it, especially on paleo? Isn’t it more than once per week too much?
Eating it in balance, with a variety of other wild proteins, is the key.
We wouldn’t want to eat only roasted chicken breast and wild salmon along with only broccoli and spinach. Instead, we have to focus on incorporating some grass-fed meat, some wild fish, and some pastured chicken.
Also, some eggs from pastured hens and some game meats, if accessible, we’ll reach a nicely balanced range of proteins, to accompany an equally varied array of fresh, local, in-season veggies.
Now, you have a basic understanding of all the foods you can eat when following the caveman diet. We suggest you implement the diet step-by-step.
There are 2 reasons we want you to take a look at:
Cutting ALL of your favorite foods from the next Monday will lead to nothing but demotivating yourself, and quitting after 2 or 3 weeks. Make the changes in your lifestyle steady and be consistent with them. Moving slowly allows you to make constant progress.
Everything in life takes time. You don’t have to rush things to get results. The results will come only if you are able to stick with something for a long time enough.
Bottom Line: So, you know what to eat and what to avoid in the Paleo Diet. You also know that you have to be patient and move slowly ahead your goals.
However, before taking any actions and starting the paleo diet, you have to learn all positives and negatives of this meal plan. See you in chapter 4!
Pros and Cons of Paleo Diet
You are ready to make the switch but you are not sure whether this plan is the right for you.
In Chapter 4 you will learn all pros and cons of the diet and decide for yourself whether to start it or not.
Keep in mind that we want to make things crystal clear for you, so you won’t be having troubles making the choice.
Grab an apple and keep reading!
Pros and Cons of Paleo Diet
The paleo diet is a very popular and also highly controversial diet. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of following this eating plan are described below.
8 Pros Of The Paleo Diet
Elimination of processed foods
The caveman diet is created of whole foods, which means less salt and sugar are eaten. This improves blood sugar levels and blood pressure and can scale down the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
High protein content
Proteins are essential for the growth and development of the skin, muscles, bone, and cartilage. Optimum amounts of lean protein in the diet contribute to healthy body composition and a lowered insulin response.
Pro Tip: An optimum amount would be from 1.6 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram.
The fats are healthy
Consuming adequate amounts of unsaturated fats such as those found in nuts, avocado, and olive oil gives rise to a healthy lipid profile.
The diet is rich in potassium
Eating many fruits and vegetables increases potassium levels, which is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure and healthy kidney and muscle function.
You may see improved satiety
A feeling of fullness between meals, due to the higher intake of protein and fats.
In 2017, when researchers compared people whose diets most closely matched the attributes of a Paleo diet to those whose diets least matched, they found a lower risk of all-cause mortality, cancer mortality, and cardiovascular disease mortality.
A thing to remember is that this could easily be explained by a higher overall diet quality between the groups.
Certainly, a group that eats more vegetables and less processed foods will likely experience better health outcomes – regardless of if they follow the caveman diet or not – compared to a group with minimal produce and high processed food intake.
A 2019 meta-analysis in Advances in Nutrition linked the paleo diet to lower blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
However, the authors warned that this is based on a small number of studies and that a few studies may have skewed results – so this should be interpreted carefully.
The paleo diet (the caveman diet) can certainly help with weight loss if there is an overall calorie deficit, similar to any other type of diet.
Indeed, research published in 2019 has shown that implementing a paleo diet leads to reduced body weight, waist circumference, and BMI.
Body mass index (BMI) is a value derived from the mass (weight) and height of a person. The BMI is defined as the body mass divided by the square of the body height and is universally expressed in units of kg/m2, resulting from mass in kilograms and height in meters.
You can use our BMI calculator to check what your BMI is.
Interestingly, an observational study published in 2019 found those following a paleo diet actually tended to have a higher BMI and rates of obesity compared to other dieters. These differences are likely due to the type of study.
However, in observational studies, people are simply implementing their perception of the diet on their own without guidance.
These people may practice a less-than-ideal paleo meal plan, which might explain the differences in weight.
If you want to check our recipes for Paleo Diet go to chapter 9 right now.
Though they are made with nut-based flours and honey instead of all-purpose flour and sugar, merely adapting Western-style indulgences to paleo-friendly treats is not likely to result in weight loss if these are consumed in excess.
Possible Benefits for Patients with Multiple Sclerosis?
According to a Akhtar Purvez, Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). Some people with severe MS may lose the ability to walk independently or at all, while others may experience long periods of remission without any new symptoms.
A modified Paleo diet has been widely advertised for patients with multiple sclerosis. The modified version follows many proponents of paleo, such as the elimination of most grains and dairy.
However, this version adds an emphasis on eating nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily and calls for a somewhat lower intake of meat and fish.
A 2014 study examining this modified diet in conjunction with supplementation, muscle stimulation, exercise, and self-massage found a reduction in tiredness and an increase in quality of life among those with progressive MS.
However, there are many limitations to this research – the study did not include a control group, it was only completed by 6 people, and multiple interventions (diet, exercise, etc) were conducted at once making it impractical to tease out the role of the diet.
A study in 2017 looked solely at the effects of a modified Paleo diet on individuals with relapsing-remitting MS.
Though the study was small, they did find an upgrade in tiredness and quality of life in the Paleo group compared to the control group.
This data is certainly limited and should be interpreted with caution – we can’t draw conclusions based on two small studies, and of course, a restrictive diet always also carries some risk.
Hopefully, though, future studies will further investigate if there are true benefits to a modified Paleo diet among people with MS.
Now, let’s see what the disadvantages of the diet are.
5 Cons Of The Paleo Diet
Difficult To Follow Long Term
Do you really want to skip out on cake on your birthday, or miss your Grandma’s famous mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving?
Instead, you can always choose to follow a modified version of this diet, where you embrace the healthy tenants – like eating more produce and limiting added sugar.
You can also allow yourself some grace to sometimes stray from stringent eliminations. This may be more feasible (and enjoyable) to follow for life.
Costly and Time-Intensive
Because the caveman diet eliminates processed foods, you’re going to need to make most meals from scratch. While that’s a healthy habit, it does take extra time. Meal planning and prepping can help with this.
In addition, cutting out inexpensive staples like whole grains and beans means your grocery bill might rise.
Similarly, following the stricter guidelines for meat and fish (i.e. grass-fed beef; wild-caught fish) can be more expensive than conventional counterparts.
Indeed, studies comparing Paleo diets to standard nutrition recommendations have found a greater cost to sustain this diet.
Small Risk of Iodine Deficiency
Though somewhat rare in the US, and iodine deficiency can lead to alterations in thyroid hormones and can cause the formation of a goiter.
Although goiters are usually painless, a large goiter can cause a cough and make it harder for you to swallow or breathe.
Table salt has been iodized to prevent these issues since the 1920’s – however, some paleo proponents advertise that people use alternatives like pink Himalayan salt, which contains less iodine.
Extremely stringent paleo followers may risk poor iodine intake, though this can be mitigated by eating lots of fish, shellfish, and sea vegetables.
The paleo diet also totally avoids one of the largest sources of iodine in the diet – dairy products.
The recommended daily intake (RDI) of iodine is 150 mcg per day for most adults
Unclear Impact on Gut Microbiome
The species and amounts of good bacteria in your digestive system – otherwise known as your gut microbiome – can be changed by changing your eating habits.
Traditional hunter-gathers like the Hadza tribe were shown in research to have a greater microbial variety compared to standard diet controls. Theoretically, this seems like a win for paleo proponents.
However, this group is thought to consume upwards of 10 grams of fiber a day – far less than those on the paleo diet consume in our society today.
By eliminating whole grains from a caveman diet, it can actually be more challenging for people to meet the current minimum fiber intake of 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men.
Indeed, research in 2019 showed that changing to a gluten-free diet – one pillar of the paleo diet – actually reduced healthy gut bacteria and increased unhealthy strains.
Eliminating fiber and polysaccharides in grains may hurt, rather than help, our gut microbiome.
Eliminates Food Groups
The caveman diet eliminates main food groups like grains and dairy and cuts out other nutritious foods like beans, lentils, and peanuts.
Though it’s still possible for you to meet your nutrition requirements without these foods, it’s more challenging to do so. For example, you’ll need to prioritize other sources of calcium when you cut dairy from your diet.
Other sources of calcium are Veggies, seeds, and Fruits:
Veggies and seeds:
green, leafy vegetables – such as broccoli, cabbage, and okra, but not spinach.
sesame seeds and tahini.
Furthermore, unless you have a medical reason to remove these foods (like a food intolerance) – there’s no scientific evidence that suggests eliminating them benefits your health.
Other Disadvantages of the Paleo Diet are:
We are not genetically identical to our ancestors from the Paleolithic period, as the paleo diet assumes. We have evolved in order to adapt to our changing environment.
The caveman diet does not account for the wide range of foods that were available during the Palaeolithic period and there is not enough evidence available for it to be established exactly what amount and proportions of foods were eaten during that period.
It is impossible to fully adopt the same diet as people did in the Palaeolithic periods, simply because animals and plants have evolved since then and are different compared to what they would have been 10,000 years ago.
Bottom line: Now, you have a clear picture in your mind of every positive and negative of the Paleo Diet.
In the next chapter we are delving deeper into weight loss during Paleo.
Weight Loss During Paleo Diet
There is no statement as “the perfect diet” for weight loss. However, losing weight can be an easy task if you follow the tips in this chapter.
Paleo Diet can make your weight loss journey easier than you imagine.
It depends on your willingness to succeed.
Consistency is key when it comes down to losing weight, so don’t give up and things will work for you.
Weight Loss During Paleo Diet
Everybody wants to look better and feel confident in his/her own skin. For this reason, people put themselves on many diets to achieve success.
Keep in mind that a diet itself can help you lose weight but if you don’t work out you will lose not only fat but muscles. Also, an unbalanced diet that is low in protein will cause muscle loss.
If you want to get all the information about combining workouts with the Paleo diet go to chapter 7 by clicking here.
However, I suggest you read this chapter also to have a wider perspective on the subject.
There is one condition to lose weight, which is being in a calorie deficit. If you read other guides like this one that we have written on the site, you would know that this is the only condition to decrease your body fat.
However, just telling people to eat less and increase their daily activity is not what sells books, different fancy diets have come along. Remember that every diet’s purpose is to put you in a calorie deficit to lose weight.
There’s no magic pills, herbal drinks, or whatever you see on the web, which promises fast results!
Knowing this, we can move on to a couple of ways to help you lose weight with Paleo.
8 Tips for losing weight on a Paleo Diet:
Don’t Do It Alone.
One of the hardest parts about losing weight is trying to do it all on your own.
Making major lifestyle changes without any social support is not only difficult but often unsustainable in the long-term.
Having friends or family around you to encourage you, or even make changes along with you, can greatly increase your success in any major lifestyle change, particularly the change to a Paleo diet.
You can share recipes, plan partner workouts, and encourage each other on your journey to better health.
Don’t know anyone locally who is able to support you? There is a large community of people following a Paleo diet and lifestyle on different FB groups. Make quick research and I promise, you will find people that share your interest in the Paleo lifestyle.
Move throughout the day.
Sitting too much can decrease the benefits of an exercise program and stall weight loss. Unfortunately, if you work in an office, commute by car, and watch a few hours of TV each night, it’s not hard to see how you could spend the vast majority of your waking life (up to 15 hours!) sitting on your butt.
And unfortunately, exercise alone isn’t enough to reverse the harmful effects of too much sitting. When it comes to weight loss, getting active throughout the entire day, and not just the hour you spend at the gym is a crucial component of a well-rounded routine.
Making the moving throughout the day a habit can not only benefit your weight and promote fat loss, but it can also improve your overall health and reduce your risk for chronic disease.
Eliminates Added Sugar
Like highly processed foods, eating too much added sugar can be destructive to your weight loss efforts and health in general.
It adds calories to foods and is low in nutrients. Not to mention, high intakes of added sugar may increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
The paleo diet eliminates added sugar and instead advertises natural sources of sugar from fresh fruits and vegetables.
Although fruits and vegetables have natural sugars, they also provide many essential nutrients like vitamins, fiber, and water, all of which are beneficial for health.
Reduces Calorie Intake
To lose weight, you generally need to reduce your calorie intake to get in a deficit.
That’s why it’s important to choose foods that are filling, as they can decrease hunger and help you eat less.
If you struggle with hunger, then a paleo diet could be great for you, as it is incredibly filling.
In addition, studies have shown that a paleo diet could help you produce more hormones that keep you full after a meal, such as GLP-1, PYY, and GIP, when compared to diets based on traditional guidelines.
High in Protein
Protein is the most important nutrient for weight loss.
It can increase your metabolism, reduce your appetite, and control several hormones that regulate your weight.
Paleo diets encourage eating protein-rich foods like lean meats, fish, and eggs.
In fact, the average paleo diet provides between 25–35% calories from protein.
Low in Carbs
Reducing your carb intake is one of the best ways to lose weight. If you want to learn more information about the low-carb diet – check our guide here.
Paleo diets reduce your carb intake by eliminating the main sources of carbs like bread, rice, and potatoes.
It’s important to note that carbs aren’t necessarily bad for you, but restricting your carb intake can lower your daily calorie intake and help you lose weight.
Eliminates Highly Processed Foods
The modern diet is a major reason why obesity is on the rise.
It encourages eating highly processed foods, which are packed with calories, low in nutrients, and may increase your risk of many diseases.
In fact, many studies have found that the increase in consumption of highly processed foods mirrors the rise in obesity.
The paleo diet restricts highly processed foods, as they were not available during the Stone age period.
Instead, it encourages eating lean sources of protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats, which are lower in calories and rich in nutrients.
Be Sure to Eat Enough.
Many Paleo beginners believe that less food is always better when it comes to losing weight. This belief makes you deprive your body of the calories and nutrients it needs to function optimally and causes additional stress.
It also decreases your caloric intake too much that it lowers your resting metabolic rate (how many calories you burn just staying alive), which can cause weight loss to stall or even reverse.
No matter what program you choose, dieting should never be about starving yourself. Calories do count, but when it comes to weight loss, undereating is just as problematic as overeating.
What makes a Paleo diet special is that it is more satiating per calorie than other diets, which helps you eat less without fighting hunger or counting calories.
Voluntarily restricting calories isn’t an effective weight loss strategy, but naturally consuming less food without trying is truly the fundament of weight loss.
This means you can eat meals that are satisfying without counting calories, and naturally eat less than you would on a typical Western diet.
This is one of the key reasons why a Paleo diet is a better choice for a weight loss diet than any of the popular methods out there like the vegan diet.
What are the main differences between the Vegan diet and the Paleo?
The main difference would be eating ANIMALS, but the second big difference is PROCESSED FOODS.
Their stand on eating animal-based products
Vegans will not eat anything that originates from animals. Obviously that would include meat, but vegans also exclude eggs, honey, milk from their diet.
But also gelatin, as that is produced from animal bones. Vegans don’t just leave it at their diets, they will also restrain from things like wearing leather.
Paleo, on the other hand, eats anything that our stone-age ancestors ate, so fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, and nuts. Their focus lies more on the second main difference.
Their stand on eating processed foods
The Paleo diet focuses on getting your nutrition from real, whole foods and avoiding processed and refined food.
Vegans, on the other hand, focus less on how processed their foods are. They would eat an Oreo, as it’s technically vegan. However, people on a Paleo diet would never eat any cookies for that matter.
Paleo and Veganism come from completely different perspectives. Paleo comes from a nutritional perspective, while vegans come from a more ethical perspective.
I suggest you look into our Plant-Based diet, as both a Plant-Based diet also looks at what to eat from a nutritional standpoint.
Bottom line: To lose weight you have to be in a calorie deficit. Following the tips in this chapter can help you through your journey to your dream weight.
See you in the next chapter, where we will give you a fundamental shopping list for your needs!
Crucial Shopping List
The next time you go to the grocery store you will be more ready than ever with this detailed list of foods for your needs.
Leaving your old habits behind is part of the change.
With this essential shopping list buying only the necessary products will be an easy task for you.
Grab a cup of tea and dive in!
Crucial Shopping List
Have you ever been to the grocery shop and wanted to buy “a few” products but ended up filling a whole shopping cart? If so, then congratulations! You are a human being and you have emotions.
Often we buy products based not on rational but emotional thinking. When we see our favorite food on the shelf, we instantly decide that we need that specific food, and forget about our grocery list.
Our favorite foods vary from person to person but the most frequent ones are chocolate, burgers, pizza, sushi, or anything else that gives us that boost of dopamine.
It’s all good until we get to the pay desk. After we pay the expensive bill we wonder, was it worth it?
If you have ever found yourself in this situation, then we have a solution for you. With this crucial shopping list, you will always buy everything that you ACTUALLY need.
7 Food Groups To Fill Your Cart With When Following The Paleo Diet
Fruits and Vegetables
We cannot start the list with something else, other than the foods every kid should eat to grow strong and healthy!
Apples – good for your heart
As they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but on Paleo, they provide the all-important fiber as well as a variety of nutrients. Just one medium-sized apple gives you 17% of the fiber you’re trying to get each day.
Avocados – Rich in healthy fats
Avocados are a stone fruit, which offers more than 20 vitamins and minerals with a creamy texture that grows in warm climates. Avocado health benefits include improving digestion, decreasing the risk of depression, and protecting against cancer.
Melons – reduces blood pressure
No matter which melon you choose you’re going to be getting vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber, on top of that, they are naturally sweet which will help curb any sugar cravings. One cup of balled cantaloupe gives you all the Vitamin C and Vitamin A you need in one day.
Bananas – a great pre-workout and also rich in potassium
Monkeys still eat them, so you know we’ve been eating them since back in the day. They also provide you with fiber and potassium. Eat a banana and you’ve taken care of 12% of both your fiber and your potassium for the day.
Oranges – a healthy immune system
Vitamin C is what we’re after with oranges, and it’s well known that they help your immune system improve if it’s been overtaxed. Eat one orange and you won’t have to worry about Vitamin C for the day.
Berries (often frozen) – may help lower cholesterol
Berries are something that the gathering crowd would have gathered while the hunters were off searching for animals. No matter which berry you go with you’ll be getting antioxidants and fiber. 100 grams of raspberries takes care of a quarter of the fiber you need.
Broccoli – brain health
Every child’s worst nightmare, broccoli will load you up with vitamins, and the fiber it contains is important to take in when consuming all of the meat Paleo entails. More than a full day’s supply of Vitamin C in a one-cup serving.
Brussel sprouts – rich in antioxidants
A cruciferous vegetable, Brussels sprouts will actually supply you with more Vitamin C than oranges, ounce for ounce. One cup gives you all the Vitamin C you need for the entire day.
White or red cabbage – I make coleslaw at least once a week and use the rest in a stir-fry
Carrots – rich in fiber
Not just good for your eyes, the beta-Carotene in carrots will help strengthen your immune system. Just one carrot supplies you with all of the Vitamin A your body needs for the day.
Cauliflower – packed with nutrients
Asparagus – high in fiber and vitamins (K, C, A)
Asparagus helps to cleanse the body and has plenty of different vitamins and antioxidants to keep you feeling good throughout the day. Pair it with the salmon you bought and you have a full caveman meal. A 100-gram serving provides 8% of your fiber needs.
Celery – support digestion
Often thought of as diet food, celery is a fantastic veggie to eat on Paleo and one that provides antioxidants and helps curb inflammation. Celery gives you over 5% of your fiber from a 100-gram serving.
Cucumber – lowers blood sugar
You’ll benefit from the hydrating nature of cucumbers. They’re mostly water (80%), and that water gets absorbed by the body the same as if you drank a glass of water. There’s basically no fat in cucumbers.
Garlic – your best friend versus colds
Ginger – another best friend for a running nose
Kiwifruit – for a beautiful skin
Kale or Swiss chard – one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet
You can get in on the kale craze on Paleo and choose between curly kale, baby kale, and even dinosaur kale. It’s all good for you and will help your digestive system. All the Vitamin A you need in a one-cup serving.
Lemons and limes – rich in vitamin C
Mixed lettuce leaves and various leafy greens (I like to make A LOT of healthy, yummy salads)
Mushrooms – rich in vitamin B and fiber
Onion – one more friend versus colds
Pumpkin – rich in vitamin A
Radishes – high in nutrients
Red or yellow peppers – high in iron
Spinach – also high in iron
The phytonutrients in spinach will protect you from free radicals and help the body in several ways. There’s also fiber, protein, magnesium, and potassium, all while being virtually fat-free.
Sweet potato – high in potassium
Tomatoes – high in vitamin D
The lycopene in tomatoes is an important antioxidant, so you’ll want to be sure to cook them to help the body absorb more of it. A medium tomato supplies you with one-fifth of two key vitamins, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
Other favorites include beets, celeriac, peas, green beans, peaches, pears, apricots, frozen peas and spinach
These are my favorite sources of protein that I use in many meals. I eat A LOT of eggs (4-5 a day) and just a little bit of bacon, sausages and cold meats.
If you wonder how I control my cholesterol levels, make sure to cast an eye on our low-cholesterol diet.
Free-range eggs – lots and lots of eggs as I eat and cook with a lot of them.
Ground grass-fed beef mince – Buy in bulk and keep some in the freezer. Beef mince is highly versatile and can be used in many cuisines. Check our top 5 recipes for Paleo Diet here.
Lamb meat (loin, chops, shanks, or cutlets) – I eat lamb 2 times per month.
Gluten-free sausages – Choose sausages made from grass-fed or free-range meat and check for additives and preservatives. They’re awesome for a super quick meal.
Whole free-range chicken – Otherwise a bunch of chicken thighs and wings. I like to cook with the whole chicken, skin and all, but breast or thighs are just fine.
Fish (preferably oily) – Make it a habit to have grilled, pan-fried or baked fish once a week. We go for salmon or trout but white fish is fine as well. Alternatively, get a packet of smoked salmon.
Cooked or raw prawns – I often keep some for the freezer.
Pork – I buy a whole pork shoulder or leg and then roast it slowly in the oven until the meat is very tender. In contrast, I cook it diced up with spices in a slow cooker until very soft.
Then flake it apart with a fork and you have a batch of pulled pork which can be used in different ways. I often use pork in recipes. I don’t eat bacon every day but I certainly enjoy it a few times per month. Look for free-range bacon with as little additives as possible.
Greek, full-fat yogurt or coconut yogurt – I eat yogurt 1-2 times a week on days I don’t feel like eggs in the morning or as a snack. If you’re sensitive to dairy, please stick with coconut yogurt.
Primal/Keto: halloumi cheese – Personally I don’t like cheese. However, if you are a cheese lover, simply grill it to serve with eggs, in an omelet, or a salad.
Primal/Keto: Parmesan or Pecorino – Aged cheeses contain very little lactose and are great sources of vitamin K2 and probiotics. I add a little to salads, sauces, and dips or to have as a snack.
Good quality, dried salami, ham, or gluten-free sausages– Occasionally I buy good quality cured meats to have as a snack and for entertaining or to add to omelets in the morning.
Not as regular but I enjoy making a big pot of mussels marinara and I like to grill or roast some duck or turkey as an alternative to chicken. So these are my other go-to protein choices.
Fats and Oils
Coconut oil – Cook with it (heat stable), eat it, drink it, rub it on your skin. Long shelf life.
Macadamia oil – Great, neutral-tasting oil for cooking (has a much higher smoking point in comparison to olive oil or butter) and is great for homemade mayonnaise.
Virgin olive oil, extra-virgin olive oil – Use for low to medium heat cooking (below 180 °C/355 °F) and extra-virgin olive oil for cold uses like in salads, dips and to sprinkle over things.
Ghee – Use for all cooking needs, including baking. Heat stable, long shelf life. It’s mostly fat with hardly any lactose or casein left so usually safe for those with dairy sensitivities.
Butter – Use for low to medium temperature cooking, baking and to melt over vegetables and meats. Butter is very high in fat and is well tolerated by dairy-sensitive people.
Sesame oil – Add a teaspoon to complete a stir-fry and curries, and to make Asian salad dressings. It can also be used in dips and smoothies, it has a lovely, smoky, nutty flavor.
If you want to learn more about different types of fats check our low-fat guide.
Paleo Pantry Goodies
Almond meal – For your paleo baking needs, although this should be kept in the fridge.
Beef jerky – Great as a snack, especially with some nuts. Look for grass-fed beef jerky or biltong if possible.
Nuts – If you can afford macadamia nuts, they have the healthiest Omega-6/3 profile. I also like almonds, hazelnuts, and brazil nuts (high in selenium).
With nuts, I suggest to pre-soak them for 4-6 hours to remove phytic acid and to activate the enzymes, which makes these nuts easier to digest.
After soaking, dehydrate in the oven at very low temperature for 2-3 hours, until crunchy again. Store in the fridge for longer shelf life. Cashews are great for making paleo cheese and creamy raw desserts.
Coconut flour – Use in baking and to make pancakes. Coconut flour is very moisture hungry so use a lot less than regular flour to avoid dry, porous baked goods.
Dark chocolate – Buy good quality dark chocolate with over 85% cacao content and dairy-free or raw variety, if you can find and afford them.
Gluten-free baking powder – Add a little too baked goods to help them rise and fluff up.
Raw cacao powder – Whip up a quick hot chocolate or use in baking and shakes. Regular cacao powder is also fine.
Seeds – I love sesame seeds (high in calcium) and pumpkin seeds (vitamin E).
Vegetable, chicken, or beef stock – Only natural ingredients, usually they are found in the cool section of the store. Make your own from leftover vegetables and bones.
Vanilla extract – Use in desserts and baking, including pancakes. Savory dishes too.
Tapioca flour – It’s pure starch and is high in carbs but a few tablespoons can go a long way in paleo baking. Use in combination with almond meal or coconut flour.
Also, use thicken sauces. Tapioca flour is very versatile. Arrowroot powder/flour is very similar and can also be used. More paleo flour alternatives here.
Tea and coffee – Green tea and coffee for mornings, chamomile, and mint for afternoons. I buy freshly roasted coffee beans and grind them myself because I am a total coffee nerd!
Other favorites: almond butter, kelp noodles (zero carb noodles), chia seeds, buckwheat and buckwheat noodles (80/20 paleo)
Paleo Pantry – Tins & Jars
Sun-dried tomatoes – Great in omelets, salads, and as a snack. Look for dried or canned sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil. Avoid soybean or sunflower/canola oil. Capers are also great and paleo-friendly.
Tinned tomatoes/passata – I use these in stews, soups, and sauces. Try to buy organic if possible as tomatoes are at the top of the dirty dozen when it comes to pesticides. Avoid added sugar.
Tinned sardines and salmon – High in beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids and protein, these are handy to add to your lunch box salads, breaky, or to have as a snack. Choose fish canned in brine, water or olive oil.
Gherkins – Add crunch and flavor to salads and deli meat rolls. Read the labels and choose those lowest in sugar. Also olives and capers.
Apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or white wine vinegar – Use in salad dressings or to add to dishes for extra acidities. Apple cider vinegar can be mixed in with water to drink.
Coconut milk or cream – Use it in soups, curries, smoothies, baking, and mousses. I recommend coconut milk with at least 60% coconut.
Coconut aminos – Savoury condiment that is used instead of soy sauce. It’s slightly sweeter than soy sauce. Use in stir-fries, stews, dressings, and to marinate chicken and meat. You can find coconut aminos in health food stores and online.
Coconut water – Use instead of sports drinks or if dehydrated. It’s also great as a mid-morning snack.
Fish sauce – Look for a naturally fermented variety and use it to add saltiness and umami flavor to stews and soups, in stir-fries, Asian salad dressings, and marinades.
Hot chili sauce – Spice up your dishes with a bit of chili.
Mustard – Hot English, Dijon, or Wholegrain can be used. Read the labels. Use for marinades, rubs, dressings, sauces, and as a side condiment with meat or fish.
Natural sweeteners – Raw honey is my preferred sweetener because it’s full of enzymes and antioxidants and has anti-viral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.
Maple syrups, coconut syrup, and coconut sugar are good alternatives as well. Use in small amounts as it’s still technically sugar.
Natural green leaf stevia powder is a good alternative to sugar, but like with any sweetener, use in moderation as our brains still register the sweetness, which can result in insulin response.
Tahini – Sesame seed paste with a lovely, smoky flavor and only needs to be used in small amounts to add the desired flavor to salad dressings, dips, and sauces.
Tamari – A healthier version of soy sauce without gluten or wheat. Choose naturally fermented tamari and use it in small amounts. Avoid if you can’t tolerate any soy.
Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices have many health benefits and I like to have an extensive collection. It’s not necessary to have every single spice and herb in the world to be a great cook.
Here is my selection of the most useful herbs and spices. Fresh herbs – coriander/cilantro, parsley, basil, and dill, fresh thyme is amazing.
Fresh basil is nice, but dried basil in the spice sections will last longer and is so easy to put into soups, stir fry, or on your already completed meal. Basil acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body.
Cinnamon is a very healthy spice and can be used on both sweet and savory foods as a flavor enhancer. You’re getting 16% of the fiber you need from one tablespoon of cinnamon, so don’t use it sparingly.
Ground coriander seed
Curry powder (mild)
Garlic powder or granules
You can use garlic cloves, but garlic powder is so much easier and can be sprinkled on everything from meats to veggies for better taste. Garlic can also help to reduce your blood pressure, which is key to a healthy heart and a long life.
Mixed Italian herbs
Cumin is a savory spice that can help improve the flavor of a dish and goes great on chicken and beef. Not only that but it has far-reaching health benefits and deserves a spot on your spice rack.
Paprika powders (sweet and smoked)
Sea salt, Celtic salt or Himalayan salt
This is not only a tasty spice, but it is also very healthy for you, providing anti-inflammatory benefits and can even help you prevent cancer.
Other favorites that I use all the time include onion powder, fennel seeds, garam masala, yellow mustard seeds, dried chipotle peppers.
If you ever feel hungry, feel free to try these paleo diet snacks between your primary meals!
Homemade beef jerky
A bowl of berries with some coconut cream
A piece of fruit
A handful of nuts
- Leftovers from the night before
- Apple slices with some almond butter
Bottom line: There is your crucial shopping list for the Paleo Diet.
In the next chapter we are delving deeper into workouts and bodybuilding on Paleo.
Paleo Diet And Workouts
If you are the typical workout junkie like me, you probably wonder whether you will meet your nutrient requirements from the Paleo diet and continue building muscles.
If so, then you are in the right place. In this chapter, we are covering every detail, in terms of strength training and general health.
Let’s get started!
Paleo Diet And Workouts
Anyone looking to maximize their gym performance would be foolish not to make lean proteins, fibrous carbohydrates, healthy fats, and ample fruits and vegetables the basis of their diet.
Get rid of refined, processed foods in favor of these wholesome choices, and you have a combination that’s right for any performance goal.
It just so happens that the paleo diet is founded on these very principles, which is why many high-level athletes follow this approach.
Carb subtleties aside, the basic paleo-diet framework is sound and tough to argue against. But a tough 90-minute lift, compilation of two-a-day training, or a prolonged endurance session will require more than an abundance of fruits, vegetables, and tubers to get the job done.
Paleo can be the best athletic fuel you’ve ever put in your mouth. The stories of dramatic success, effortless PRs, and hours of clean-burning energy are everywhere. But it doesn’t always work that way automatically or without any effort.
In fact, in the very first weeks of eating Paleo, it’s perfectly normal to see a performance drop no matter what you do. Even if you’re doing everything perfectly, it’s still a huge switch.
Lower energy in the gym is your body’s way of saying “this is hard; I need a break right now.” Your mojo will come back with a vengeance once the transition is over, so don’t give up!
Keep in mind that after about 2 or 3 weeks, a consistent state of gym lethargy probably points to something more than just adjustment.
So if you’re struggling to keep up with your workouts even after you’re made it through the initial adaptation, here are some ideas for what you might be doing wrong, and how to fix it:
- You don’t eat the right/enough carbs
Carbs are what makes you breathe as I love to say. They fuel your workouts: no matter how “fat-adapted” you are, your body will need to burn carbs if you’re doing sprints, Crossfit WODs, or anything else intense.
The type of carbs you pick also matters. When it comes to workout recovery, there are two different kinds of simple sugars to worry about:
- Glucose (“starch”): this is the type of carbohydrate that your body can use for energy. It’s sent directly to your muscles after you eat it, where it’s stored for future use. Foods that taste “starchy” (e.g. potatoes and rice) contain mainly glucose.
- Fructose (“sugar”): fructose is sent straight to your liver, not to your muscles. Foods that taste “sweet” (e.g. fruit) typically contain more fructose (although they also have some glucose as well).
For optimal fuel and recovery, you want to get primarily glucose, rather than fructose. To make this happen, go for starchy carbs: potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas or plantains, and optionally rice.
Fruit (except for bananas and plantains) is not the perfect source of workout fuel, because it has more fructose.
2. You don’t eat enough at all
What happens if you try to drive your car on an empty gas tank? Nothing! Your body is the same way. If you don’t give it enough fuel, it work properly.
You might be not eating enough if:
- You’re trying to “diet” with Paleo by worrying about calories, restricting fat, or ignoring your hunger.
- You get energy crashes that get better after eating, even if you didn’t feel hungry.
- You just removed grains and sugar from your old diet without increasing fat and protein to make up for it.
The solution: eat more! More protein, more fat, more carbs…more food! How much more?
That depends on you, your workouts, and your goals. As a general rule, though, you’ll know you’re eating enough when your workouts start to feel good again.
And if you want to put on any muscle mass, you’ll need to keep eating past that point, even though you don’t feel hungry.
I have been a skinny guy all my life and when I decided that I want to put on some muscles, eating enough is what I find the hardest. So, if you want to gain weight, you have to be in a calorie surplus.
If you think you are eating enough but you are not gaining weight. Guess what! You are NOT eating enough. If you eat more than you burn, the scale will go up.
Pro Tip: If you decide that you want to do a bulking phase, do it slowly. Eat-in a surplus of 200-250 calories. Only this way you can build lean muscle and minimize gaining fat.
This doesn’t just apply to workout days, either. Sometimes, recovery is a little delayed, so you get ravenously hungry the day after a hard workout. That’s fine, too; your body needs that fuel to repair your muscles.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to eat more, you could also work out less. Quality beats quantity when it comes to exercise: exhausting yourself with hours of trudging on the treadmill isn’t nearly as healthful as cutting back on the volume and putting in your best effort for every workout.
Pro Tip: Cardio is just a way to burn more calories. You can do cardio and still gain weight if you don’t manage your food intake. Keep in mind that you should prioritize strength training when you want to build muscle, and also lose when you want to lose weight.
You write about lifting weight but what about endurance athletes like runners, swimmers, bikers? Can they manage to eat on Paleo?
Does the paleo diet work for runners and endurance athletes?
It absolutely can.
The key is allowing yourself a little flexibility where needed and appropriate.
99% of the time you can find a fitting, paleo-approved, substitute for just about anything that you’d think to cook for yourself, knowing that 1% of the time, you may choose to do otherwise.
Whether you’re looking to change your diet to paleo, keto, vegetarian, vegan or anything of the sort, remember:
- Severely limit processed sugar
- Focus on whole, organic and unprocessed foods
- Eat with the plate method to control macro portions
Even with those 3 simple tips, you’ll find yourself with more energy, better recovery, and you might even unlock higher performance too.
However, the biggest complaint that runners and triathletes have about the paleo diet is its lack of complex carbs (i.e. bread, rice, pasta, etc.).
So, how do you get your proper carb intake? Here is a list of paleo-approved alternative carbohydrate sources that will fuel any athlete:
- Yams/sweet potatoes
- Butternut squash
- Spaghetti squash
The most common of the list above, are the sweet potato (or yam) and squash (spaghetti or butternut). With dozens of ways to cook them (baked, pureed, roasted, boiled, sautéd…), they don’t have to be a boring option!
You can also substitute quinoa and cauliflower rice for grain rice, both of which come prepackaged/cut at most grocery stores for convenience.
There are also carbs hidden away in vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, kale, tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, radishes, and dozens more.
While piling on the pasta and rice dishes might be a dense way to consume a high amount of carbs, your body also has a tough time processing them.
Ever consider why your body goes into a ‘food coma’ after eating large amounts of these?
Mainly because it has to divert so much energy to your digestive tract to move things along, that it makes you (the one who’s supposed to have tons of energy for all this running, swimming, and biking!) tired.
I have been on Keto for a long time and had great results so far, should I try Paleo now?
Although the two diet plans have a lot in common like emphasizing whole foods, eliminating grains and legumes, eliminating added sugar, and emphasizing healthy fats, they also have a big difference.
Most tissues in the human body prefer using glucose from carbohydrates for energy.
Ketosis is the metabolic state in which your body uses calories from fat, instead of carbs, to create the energy needed to carry out its normal functions
The keto or ketogenic, diet goal is to induce ketosis through the calculated adjustment of dietary macronutrients, namely carbs, protein, and fat.
The keto diet macronutrient breakdown looks something like this:
- Fat: 60–80%
- Protein: 20–30%
- Carbohydrates: 5–10%
To answer this question in detail we should first explain the differences between the ketogenic and the Paleo diet.
One of the key differences between the paleo and keto diets is the ideological message or lack thereof.
When paired with the diet, these lifestyle practices are intended to support the total wellness of your body and mind, leading to better overall health.
While the paleo diet regimen is very specific, it doesn’t place any emphasis on macronutrients at all. You are permitted to eat as much protein, fat, and carbohydrates as you want, provided you’ve chosen them from the category of “allowable” foods.
Keto, on the other hand, doesn’t have an associated ideology or lifestyle component. While it does encourage choosing healthy food sources, the main focus is macronutrient distribution.
Any other implemented lifestyle changes alongside the keto diet are up to the individual and are not part of the diet regimen itself.
The ketogenic diet is characterized by its high fat and very low carbohydrate content. It may be effective for weight loss and blood sugar control.
The paleo diet emphasizes eating whole foods that were thought to be available to humans in the Paleolithic era. It also encourages exercise and other wellness practices.
Both diets have the potential to positively impact your health when appropriately planned.
To sum up, there is nothing like the best diet. It all comes down to your preferences but the diet that you can stick to in the long-term should always be your priority when it comes down to losing weight or gaining muscle.
Bottom line: Paleo diet is a good choice for all types of training activities. Experiment and see if the diet works for yourself. In the long run, Paleo should make your workouts easier and help you get stronger and healthier.
But what do celebrities say about Paleo? Let’s find out in the next chapter.
Celebrities Who Found Success With Paleo Diet
What do celebrities say about Paleo Diet? How they managed to lose weight and how did that affected their carriers.
In this chapter we are covering what some of the most famous people on earth have to say about Paleo.
Keep reading to find out more!
Celebrities Who Found Success With Paleo Diet
Having been declared the Sexiest Man Alive by People in 2012, the Magic Mike star told the publication he went paleo in preparation for his role as an Olympic wrestler in the movie Foxcatcher, calling it “a vegetables-and-meat type thing.”
But that didn’t stop him from enjoying food. “I’ll cheat on weekends and have some wine or vodka. And I’ll have one big meal like breaded rock shrimp. I love comfort food,” he said.
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Last fall, people took notice of the hip-hop star’s apparent weight gain – his wife, the reality-TV personality Kim Kardashian West, reportedly instructed him to go on a “daddy diet” to get his six-pack back.
“He can’t cut out carbs like Kim did when she lost the weight after having Saint, because he’ll be working out so hard, so it will be a paleo-inspired diet created by Kim’s nutritionist,”
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A reminder that we’re doing it for ourselves, our families, for the elderly, the babies, the immunocompromised, our sick neighbors, our grandparents, our parents, our brothers, sisters, idols, rivals and friends. We’re doing it for everyone who can not, who are risking their lives to fight for ours. #FlattenTheCurve #StayHome #StaySafe ❤️
The singer has credited a past 49 lb weight loss to a paleo-like diet, during which she reportedly filled up on protein and healthy fats, like avocado and turkey bacon, celery and peanut butter, shrimp cocktail, and fish curry.
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Never to late to recollect an amazing night! Thank you @vanityfair for such a beautiful celebration and @brunellocucinelli & @carolinacucinelli for accompanying me on the greatest moments. Thank you @barbaraguillaume for your magic • Thank you @lordgmv for your care and thank you @danixmichelle for making it all happen! • Thank you @webofedgar for all your support
To get in shape for the boxing flick Hands of Stone, actor Edgar Ramirez let his co-star Usher in on his secret. “I was doing paleo, which is eating like a caveman pretty much,” Ramirez told People. That’s how he lost weight — and kept it off — during filming. Hey, it helped them go the distance!
While Biel doesn’t call herself fully paleo, there’s no wheat, gluten, or dairy for The Sinner actress, told the Los Angeles Times.
Biel has dished about one of her family’s favorite breakfasts, paleo pancakes topped with cashew or almond butter and local honey, served alongside chicken apple sausage, fresh juice, and green tea. Salad, salmon, rice, and veggies round out the day.
Bottom line: As you can see you are not alone in your paleo journey. There are millions of people around the world following the paleo diet, including your favorite celebrity.
See you in chapter 9 where you will learn 5 awesome paleo recipes.
Paleo Diet Recipes
After taking a look into these luscious paleo diet recipes, you will quickly run to the nearest grocery for products.
Sit back comfortably and enjoy this delicious part of the article.
5 Quick & Easy Recipes
Prepare yourself because these mouth-watering recipes are the most delicious and best-looking dishes you can prepare today!
We cannot start out with anything else, but everyone’s favorite desserts.
Paleo Blueberry Muffin – recipe by – Adriana Harlan
Ingredients for 6 servings:
1 cup (114g) blanched almond flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
pinch fine sea salt
2 tablespoons (50g) raw honey
1/2 cup (117g) full-fat coconut milk
2 tablespoons (22g) coconut oil, melted
1 egg, room temperature
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped nuts
Preparation: (10 min prep + 25 min cooking time)
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with baking cups, or use a non-stick silicone muffin pan.
Mix together the almond flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, coconut milk, coconut oil, and egg.
Using a rubber spatula, mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Do not over mix.
Gently fold in the blueberries into the batter.
Spoon batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each to the top.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.
Set the pan over a wire rack to cool and wait until muffins are completely cool before serving.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge. You can freeze them too if you like. Double the recipe to make 12 muffins.
*Frozen/thawed blueberries may not work well in this recipe because they add moisture.
Calories: 216kcal; Carbohydrates: 12g; Protein: 5g; Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 7g; Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 8g
Healthy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe – by Adriana Harlan
This is a perfect option to surprise your loved one or make it for the kids. You can enjoy it either for lunch, or dinner.
Ingredients for 8 servings:
1.25 lbs (610g) ground beef
1/2 medium onion, chopped
5 large garlic cloves, minced
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 medium zucchini, shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil, or your preferred cooking oil
1 1/2 teaspoons fine Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
Mashed Cauliflower Recipe
2 small cauliflower heads, 1026g
7 large roasted garlic cloves*
1 teaspoon fine Himalayan salt
Preparation: (Prep – 30 min + 30 min cooking time)
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and sauté the onion and garlic until tender. Add the carrot and zucchini, and cook until they start to soften. Add the ground beef, salt, and chili powder, and cook until the beef browns and all of the moisture begins to dry out.
Meanwhile, prepare the mashed cauliflower. Chop the cauliflower heads into small chunks, and steam until they soften (a fork can easily pierce). Add the steamed cauliflower, roasted garlic, and salt to a blender and blend until you have a smooth puree. Use the tamper to help blend the cauliflower if you have one.
To assemble the pie, distribute the ground beef evenly in the bottom of an 8-inch baking dish. Spread the mashed cauliflower over the top of the ground beef, and bake in a preheated oven to 350°F for 25 minutes. If you’re adding cheese (I use mozzarella) to the top of your Shepherd’s Pie like I show in the video, sprinkle the cheese on top after you bake it, and then broil it until the cheese browns (about 3 more minutes in the oven).
*Roasted Garlic – Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4 inch from the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.
Drizzle with olive oil, and bake in a preheated oven to 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed. Watch the video above to see how I do it.
Pro Tip: Both cheese and egg ingredients are optional. If you are not adding cheese to your pie, and you want it to brown during baking, brush an egg over the top of the mashed cauliflower before you bake it. The nutritional values you see above were calculated without adding cheese or egg.
Use all organic ingredients if you can. For the ground beef, be sure it is grass-fed, and for the salt, I prefer using finely ground pink Himalayan salt.
Calories: 248kcal; Carbohydrates: 10g; Protein: 15g; Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 4g
Roasted Cinnamon Lemon Chicken – recipe by Adriana Harlan
My personal favorite dinner option. When this dish is being cooked coziness and warmth are in the air.
Ingredients for 6 serves: (4-6 people)
5.5 lbs whole organic chicken
1 large red onion
1 small lemon
2 teaspoons fine Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons green onions, chopped
Preparation: (5 min prep + 25min cooking time)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Place chicken in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and cinnamon over the chicken, then drizzle with olive oil.
Thinly slice the onion and place it in the pan around the chicken. Add salt and olive oil to onions.
Cut the lemon into thin slices and place them over the chicken.
Sprinkle chopped green onions over the chicken and bake uncovered for 1 hour. Rotate the pan once after 30 minutes to ensure both sides cook evenly.
If you can, buy a chicken that is not just organic but also pastured. This means the chickens were raised outdoors eating nutritious bugs in the ground, which in turn gives you a lot more nutrition.
A note about salt – I only use Himalayan salt to cook and bake with. It’s more nutritions and tastes great. Not all salts are the same and some give your food a saltier taste.
Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 523kcal; Carbohydrates: 4g; Protein: 37g; Fat: 39g; Saturated Fat: 9g; Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 1g
Healthy Strawberry Milkshake – recipe by Adriana Harlan
This is a very simple and fast breakfast for your busy schedule!
Ingredients for 2 servings:
2 cups 288g frozen strawberries
1 cup 252g frozen bananas
1/2 cup coconut water, filtered water or milk of choice
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 scoop of protein powder (a great way to add protein to your breakfast)
Preparation: (3 min)
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend until all ingredients are combined.
When your bananas are getting ripe, peel the skin, and slice them. Place the slices in an airtight container and place it in the freezer until frozen. They last a really long time frozen, so you can store a large amount in your freezer for when you want to make this and other recipes. The riper your bananas, the sweeter your milkshake will be.
In place of the coconut water, you can also use filtered water or a milk of your choices such as coconut or almond milk.
If you don’t have a very powerful blender you may need to add more liquid to make it easier to blend the mixture. I often use my Vitamix for this recipe. Use organic ingredients if possible.
Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 267kcal; Carbohydrates: 40g; Protein: 23g; Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 4g
Skillet Chicken With Spicy Paprika – by Adriana Harlan
Ingredients for 5 servings:
3.5 pounds chicken breast or thighs
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 1/4 cups yellow onion, chopped
1 cup chicken broth, homemade*
1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon fine Himalayan salt
2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
Preparation (2 min + 30 min cooking time)
In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook each side for 1 to 2 minutes, turning once. You want the chicken nice and browned on the outside. Set the chicken aside on a plate.
Lower heat to medium and cook the onions on the same pan until soft and beginning to brown.
Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, fresh lime juice, pepper flakes, paprika, and stir to combine.
Place the chicken back into the pan and sprinkle top with sea salt. Turn chicken over, and then over again to incorporate some of the salt into the sauce.
Let it cook uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, turning the chicken a couple of times. Cooking time will vary depending on how thick your chicken is. Mine was very thick and took 15 minutes to cook all the way through.
Serve with your favorite vegetable or salads.
*For the homemade chicken broth, cook the bones of a whole chicken in a large pot for 10-13 hours at low heat. Cover the chicken completely with water, add a dash of vinegar, and cover the pan during cooking.
Use a strainer to strain the broth and discard the bones. You can cook the bones again and freeze the broth for later use.
You can make this recipe less spicy by adding less red pepper flakes to your sauce. If you are unsure how spicy you want your sauce, I suggest you add a 1/4 teaspoon at first and try the sauce. Then add more to taste.
Chicken is served with green beans and the beans are cooked in a pressure cooker for 1 minute and topped over with the spicy paprika sauce.
Calories: 433kcal; Carbohydrates: 5g; Protein: 68g; Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 2g
Bottom line: That’s our top 5 quick & easy Paleo diet recipes for your needs.
Don’t go anywhere because in the next chapter we are discussing pregnancy during the Paleo Diet!
Paleo Diet During Pregnancy
Whether you are a woman who is waiting for her first child, or you are currently breastfeeding your newborn, you are wondering if paleo is the right diet for you.
In this chapter, we are answering all of your questions.
Grab a cup of herbal tea, and let’s dive in!
Paleo Diet During Pregnancy
A nutrient-dense diet before and during these 9 important months will support a woman through the physical challenges of pregnancy and birth and set her baby up for a lifetime of good health.
The most important element of good nutrition for pregnant women – just like for everyone else – is a diet of micronutrient-dense whole foods. No magic pill, supplement, or superfood can make up for a shaky foundation.
Scientists are arguing what the healthiest pregnancy diet actually is, so even official recommendations are always subject to change.
Particularly important nutrients for pregnancy include fat-soluble vitamins like D, A, and K2, iron, and B vitamins. However, Vitamin A has a bad reputation among pregnant women – many doctors even recommend avoiding or restricting it because of the risk of birth defects.
However, when being eaten from whole foods rather than artificial supplements, this danger is almost negligible: if you aren’t eating liver for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there’s nothing to worry about.
As well as getting all the micronutrients you need, be aware that pregnancy probably isn’t the time to experiment with a very low carb diet.
Moderate carb intake is actually very beneficial for fertility – and bland carbohydrates like potatoes and white rice can also be dietary lifesavers for women suffering from morning sickness or food aversions.
They might not be the most nutritious foods out there, but sometimes bland carbs are all you can keep down, and Paleo-friendly starches are much better alternatives than the typically recommended saltine crackers or pretzels.
What are the risks for pregnant women?
There’s little research available about the specific risks and benefits of the paleo diet and pregnancy. But there have been studies about pregnant women eating high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets. Take a look into some of the main principles someone on the paleo diet would follow.
A study published in the journal Hypertension found that women who increased their consumption of meat and fish during late pregnancy gave birth to offspring who displayed higher systolic blood pressure later in life.
Other studies have found that eating high amounts of red meat and low amounts of carbohydrates during pregnancy is connected with reduced fetal growth and low birth weight upon delivery.
It also may increase cortisol secretion in response to psychological stress when the baby reaches adulthood.
One big advantage of the paleo diet is that it doesn’t encourage you to completely eliminate carbohydrates. You can still eat fruits and vegetables, including starchy ones like sweet potatoes, as part of the plan.
It also encourages eating healthy fats and grass-fed animal meat. If you’re following the paleo diet during pregnancy, you can reduce the risks associated with high-protein diets by choosing fattier cuts of meat.
Pro Tip: You’re also encouraged to drink plenty of water. It’s important to stay hydrated during pregnancy.
More studies are needed to assess the short – and long-term health effects of the paleo diet on pregnant women and their babies-to-be.
Just like most other life situations, pregnancy shouldn’t require an overhaul of an already solid Paleo diet.
It might be a challenge to keep eating enough nutrients and calories if you’re struggling with morning sickness, weird food aversions, or cravings for junk food, yet, the basic nutritional guidelines for a Paleo pregnancy are very similar to the recommendations for any other time of life.
So, always have a plan ahead and talk with your partner because that may help with having a more peaceful pregnancy and a healthier baby.
Bottom line: ALWAYS consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet, especially when you are pregnant.
In our final chapter, we will make a quick summary and answer your most frequently asked questions in our special section
Summary & Takeaways + FAQs
In this final chapter, we are covering everything you have learned so far and answering all of your questions about the paleo diet.
Relax, and keep reading!
Summary & Takeaways + FAQs
The Caveman Diet is the way our ancestors ate during the Paleolithic era. Their menus consisted of nutrient-dense foods like meat, fruits, and vegetables.
The Caveman Diet can help you lose weight, manage diabetes risk, and stop your cravings. The diet is naturally more filling than other diets.
In order to make the change to the paleo lifestyle, you have to start small, be consistent, and have patience.
Pros and cons of the paleo diet are:
High protein versus the small risk of iodine deficiency
Rich in potassium versus Unclear impact on the gut microbiome
Cardiovascular health versus Eliminating whole food groups
In order to lose weight, you have to be in a calorie deficit. This happens when you decrease your food intake and increase your activity level.
In our crucial shopping list, we’ve gathered almost every food you can eat on the Caveman diet. Check the list here.
In order to have results in your workouts and following the Paleo lifestyle, you have to be flexible. Strength training also goes perfectly fine with the Paleo diet.
Some of the most famous people on earth have followed the Paleo diet and achieved great results. You can also start today!
The paleo diet recipes are delicious and easy to make, as you saw in chapter 9.
The Paleo Diet can work for you if you are pregnant but it has some risks. We have to stretch that you should ALWAYS check with your doctor before making any changes to your diet.
BONUS: 22 Paleo Diet Most Popular Questions | FAQs Section
Can I Use The Paleo Diet as a Vegetarian?
The Paleo Diet is based on foods similar to what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate during the Paleolithic era – 2.5 million years to 10,000 years ago.
That comprises 99.6 % of our evolutionary history; hence, our genome is perfectly adapted to eat foods similar to what we found during that period of time. This means eating meat, seafood, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
Farming (10,000 years ago) led to a dramatic change in human nutrition. Cereal grains, legumes, dairy, vegetable oils, salt, alcohol, and refined sugars now comprise 72 % of the nutrition in western society.
These recent additions to the human diet maintain nutritional characteristics that promote virtually all known “diseases of civilization.”
Most vegans and vegetarians rely upon legumes (beans, soy, lentils, peas, etc.) and whole grains to meet their daily caloric intake. Legumes and whole grains have some of the highest concentrations of antinutrients in any foods.
These compounds frequently increase intestinal permeability and cause a condition known as “leaky gut,” a necessary first step in almost all autoimmune diseases.
In addition, a leaky gut likely underlies chronic, low-grade inflammation, which underlies not only autoimmune diseases but also heart disease and cancer.
Plus vegan and vegetarian diets almost invariably result in numerous vitamin, mineral, and nutrient deficiencies such as B12, B6, D, zinc, iron, iodine, taurine, and omega-3 fatty acids.
So, to answer your question, it is simply not possible to follow a caveman Diet without animal food (meat, seafood, and eggs).
How can I get fiber and good sources of vitamins if I cut down grains from my diet?
On a calorie-by-calorie basis, whole grains are very poor sources of fiber, minerals, and B vitamins when compared to the grass produced or free-ranging meats, seafood, and fresh fruit and veggies that are in charge of The Paleo Diet.
For example, a 1,000-calorie serving of fresh fruits and vegetables has between two and seven times as much fiber as does a comparable serving of whole grains. In fruits and veggies, most of the fiber is good for the heart and they also lower cholesterol levels.
The same cannot be said for the insoluble fiber that is predominant in most whole grains. A 1,000-calorie serving of whole-grain cereal contains 15 times less calcium, three times less magnesium, 12 times less potassium, six times less iron, and two times less copper than the same serving of fresh vegetables.
Furthermore, whole grains contain a substance called a phytate that almost entirely prevents the absorption of any calcium, iron, or zinc that is found in whole grains, whereas the type of iron, zinc, and copper found in grass produced or free-ranging meats and seafood is in a form that is highly absorbed.
Compared to fruits and veggies, cereal grains are B-vitamin lightweights. An average 1,000 calorie serving of mixed vegetables contains 19 times more folate, five times more vitamin B6, six times more vitamin B2, and two times more vitamin B1 than a comparable serving of eight mixed whole grains.
On a calorie-by-calorie basis, the niacin content of lean meat and seafood is four times greater than the niacin found in whole grains.
Doesn’t the meat-based diet of our stone-age ancestors advertise high-cholesterol and heart disease?
There is no doubt that the fat quality and quantity in the wild animals our Paleolithic ancestors ate was vastly different from the types and quantity of fat found in feedlot-produced meats.
A 100-gram serving of roast buffalo contains only 2.4 grams of fat, and 0.9 g of saturated fat, whereas a 100-gram, T-bone beefsteak contains a large 23 grams of fat and 9 grams of saturated fat.
Furthermore, the bison roast contains 215 mg of heart-healthy, omega-3 fatty acids, whereas the T-bone steak contains a paltry 46 mg. In spite of the fact, its blood cholesterol-raising effects, recent meta-analyses (combined, large population studies) show that saturated fats have a little adverse effect upon the risk of heart disease.
We recommend that you should choose free-ranging or grass-produced meats over feedlot meats whenever possible. These meats are more healthful because they have nutritional characteristics similar to wild animals.
Many clinical studies have shown that high-protein diets are more effective in improving blood cholesterol and other blood lipid levels than are low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets. High-protein diets have also been shown to decrease blood homocysteine levels, another risk factor for heart disease.
On the paleo diet, how will I get enough calcium for strong bones without consuming dairy?
In the U.S., calcium intake is one of the highest in the world. However, paradoxically, they also have one of the highest rates of bone demineralization (osteoporosis).
Bone mineral content relies not just upon calcium intake but upon net calcium balance (calcium intake minus calcium excretion). Most nutritionists focus upon the calcium intake side of the calcium balance equation, yet, few realize that the calcium excretion side of the equation is just as important.
The Paleo Diet suggests an appropriate balance of acidic and basic (alkaline) foods (i.e., grass produced or free-ranging meats, fish and seafood, fruits, and vegetables) and will not cause osteoporosis in otherwise healthy individuals.
Indeed, The Caveman Diet promotes bone health.
What are other health benefits that may occur with the paleo diet?
The carbohydrates (unlimited fruits and veggies) in The Caveman Diet are of a low-glycemic index, which means that they cause slow and limited rises in your blood sugar and insulin levels.
Excessive insulin and blood sugar levels are known to advertise a cluster of diseases called the Metabolic Syndrome (obesity, hypertension, undesirable blood cholesterol, and other blood lipid levels, Type 2 diabetes, and gout).
The high fiber, protein, and omega-3 fat content of The Paleo Diet will also help to prevent the Metabolic Syndrome.
Because of the unlimited amounts of fruits and veggies permitted on The Paleo Diet, your body will be slightly alkaline.
This means that diseases and disease symptoms of acid/base imbalance (osteoporosis, kidney stones, hypertension, stroke, asthma, insomnia, motion sickness, inner ear ringing, and exercise-induced asthma) will get better.
The high soluble fiber content of the Paleo Diet will improve most diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, and the high omega-3 fat content will benefit most of the “itis” or inflammatory diseases.
How can the meat and seafood-dominated paleo diet help me lose weight compared to a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet?
Conventional wisdom recommends us that to lose weight we must burn more calories than we take in and that the best way to accomplish this is to eat a plant-dominated, low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet.
The first part of this statement is still true – a net caloric deficit must occur in order for weight to be lost. However, the experience for most people on low-calorie, high-carbohydrate diets is unpleasant.
They are hungry all the time, and for most of them, any weight loss is regained rapidly or within a few months of the initial loss, which is also called the yo-yo effect.
There is an alternative – a diet that emulates what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate – a high-protein, high-fruit and veggie diet with moderate to higher amounts of fat, but with increased quantities of healthful omega-3 and monounsaturated fats.
Protein has two to three times the thermic effect of either fat or carbohydrate, meaning that it revs up your metabolism, speeding weight loss.
Furthermore, protein has a much greater satiety value than either fat or carbohydrate, so it puts the brakes on your appetite.
In conclusion, many recent clinical trials have shown high-protein, low-glycemic-load diets to be more effective than low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets in promoting weight loss and keeping it off.
How is the paleo diet different?
The Paleo Diet is the unique diet to which our species are genetically adapted. This eating plan was not designed by diet doctors, faddists, or nutritionists, but rather by Mother Nature’s wisdom acting through evolution and natural selection.
The Caveman Diet is based upon a large number of scientific research examining the types and quantities of foods our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. The fundamental foods of The Paleo Diet are meat, seafood, and unlimited consumption of fresh fruits and veggies.
How many eggs are recommended to eat a week?
The eggs have been one of the foods, which are unfairly treated by your relationship with the levels of cholesterol in the blood and cardiovascular diseases.
However, you already know that is not the case. It is more, it is now considered a superfood because of its content in vitamins, proteins, and intake of Omega-3.
Eating between 1 and 3 eggs per day is within the range of reasonable and good for the health, although there are real cases of intakes of amounts much higher than with analytical normal. (I eat 4-5 whole eggs every day)
Can I eat cereal?
You can miss this food, however, if you feel the need to eat it, then go ahead but don’t overeat. Grains appeared in our life just 10,000 years ago, when we began to cultivate the earth, after 2.5 million years of being hunters and gatherers.
Less than 1% of our period of evolution we have lived with the cereal. We have evolved into what we are today without the need for cereals.
Do I have to eat like a Homo the paleolithic?
Well, It’s simply a matter of applying the style of life of our ancestors taking advantage of the possibilities offered by our current environment.
Eat foods as closest to their source best, to give preference to environmentally friendly products, and to avoid at all costs any product feed or industrial processing. Sounds, achievable, right?
Is the Paleo diet safe for diabetics?
Absolutely! Diabetes is the decreased ability of your body to use glucose, especially in the form of simple, refined sugars. So since the caveman diet eliminates refined sugars and grains (the foods that most adversely affect blood sugar), it’s actually recommended for diabetics.
If you are diabetic and you do decide to make this change in your diet, you’ll want to make sure you watch your blood glucose levels very closely, especially if you take insulin or medications for it, and always check with your doctor.
Many people are surprised by how quickly their blood glucose levels decrease after starting the caveman diet.
You listed a recipe with “Food X” in the shopping list and that isn’t Paleo. What’s up?
There are several differences in what people consider “Paleo.” I’ve personally met lots of people who’ve decided to knowingly bend the rules for whatever reason.
Sometimes, those recipes may sneak their way on here, or other times, it may just be a disagreement as to the Paleo-quality of a food item. A general takeout will be – don’t eat anything you don’t feel comfortable with.
What is the link between the Paleo Diet and toxic metals?
The common thinking of the paleo diet is a simple, back-to-basics eating style full of real food like grass-fed meats, sustainable seafood, and some fruits, veggies, seeds, and nuts.
What they don’t imagine is a bunch of toxic metals, including lead and mercury – but that’s exactly what researchers reported in a new study on the seafood diet of early humans in Norway, published January 28 in Quaternary International.
They found evidence that both species contained toxic heavy metals cadmium and lead, in dangerous quantities.
The amount of cadmium was between 15-22 times higher than what today considered safe for human consumption; the amount of lead was between three and four times greater than considered safe.
Scientists also found elevated levels of mercury, another toxic heavy metal, although not beyond what is currently regarded as safe.
Yet, it’s not clear from the data in this study what the health effects of eating contaminated seafood may have been, or even if our Paleolithic ancestors lived long enough to suffer the side effects of the toxins.
What is the difference between the Paleo diet and Paleo Whole 30?
The caveman diet template centers around eating whole foods, cutting out anything processed. The premise for this is that our bodies are best served by eating the way our Stone age ancestors would have.
The Paleo diet focuses on eating plant-based meals with high-quality proteins and fats.
The Whole30 is often referred to as “a stricter form of Paleo”. While that is true, they both have different purposes. The Whole30 includes more on its off-limits list than Paleo does but is designed as a short reset for your body.
The Whole30 is a 30-day “reboot” of sorts, followed by a reintroduction phase. During those 30 days, you eliminate certain food groups and then sharply add them back in afterward.
Which one is better?
There’s no right answer for that. Both diets will have a positive impact on your health and fitness goals. They’re similar because they will give you tools to help you feel better than you previously did.
With both Paleo and Whole30, you’ll be moving away from eating out of habit and closer to eating purposefully for nutrition and flavor.
Some people choose to do Whole30 to figure out which foods trigger different autoimmune reactions they experience or to try to eliminate skin issues or sleep problems. There are many benefits for both Paleo and Whole30 and they are, at the permitted food level, the same.
Can I combine the Paleo diet with Intermittent Fasting?
While most healthy adults following a Paleo diet should have no trouble with intermittent fasting, it’s not for everyone. Before adding IF to your routine, make sure your body has fully adjusted to eating Paleo.
Fasting is a stressor to your body, (for some people) so it can do more harm than good if you’re already under any kind of chronic stress. If you’re sleep-deprived, suffering the effects of overtraining or chronic lifestyle stress, leptin resistant, or if you have blood sugar problems IF is not for you.
You should not feel sick, dizzy, or inexplicably exhausted during a fast: if you do, then something’s wrong.
So, If your body is able to handle the additional stress, intermittent fasting can lead to faster weight loss, improved athletic performance, and a long list of other health improvements.
Easy to practice and safe for most people, IF can be a great option to a Paleo diet.
Can the Paleo Diet increase cholesterol?
Any number of lifestyle factors, like stress, micronutrient intake, or even leaky gut, can also have an effect on all of these potential causes of high cholesterol, and explaining the links among them would probably fill several books.
But what you should keep in mind is that a diet higher in cholesterol isn’t the only factor contributing to higher levels of blood lipids and that increased cholesterol isn’t an automatic reason to start panicking.
Whether high cholesterol is nothing but a symptom or whether it’s a victim of oxidation in the bloodstream, the main problem is not one of any particular macro-or micronutrient, but rather of overall, big-picture health status.
What this means is that the logical response to high cholesterol is to find out what’s really behind it and take action (or not) accordingly, not to reflexively focus on the cholesterol itself.
Can Paleo Diet Lower Cholesterol?
According to a 2014 study, the caveman diet resulted in lower systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and higher HDL – cholesterol (good cholesterol). However, this study was only 14 days long and we should make conclusions with caution.
How does the Paleo Diet burn fat?
Paleo helps many people lose weight because it re-creates the food environment that we evolved for. Some people accomplish this without any effort.
They cut out the “heart-healthy whole grains” and the weight seems to go straight down faster than they can buy new shoes.
But others struggle with their weight even after the switch – and some people initially see great success but then hit a plateau. Putting so much effort into a healthy diet and regular exercise only to see no results can be incredibly discouraging.
However, if you’re just starting and frustrated at your lack of progress or stuck in a plateau after a few months of success, there are many ways to optimize a Paleo diet for healthy, sustainable weight loss. You can do that by either increasing your daily activity, decreasing your food consumption, or do both.
Can Paleo Diet Cause Irregular Periods?
If you don’t eat enough carbs (like on the paleo diet), you may experience irregular menstrual cycles or amenorrhea.
Amenorrhea is defined as a woman’s menstrual cycle is nowhere to be found for 3 months or more.
The most common cause of amenorrhea is hypothalamic amenorrhea, caused by eating not enough calories, too few carbs, weight loss, stress, or too much exercise.
Amenorrhea occurs due to the drop in levels of many different hormones, such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which starts the menstrual cycle.
This results in a domino effect, causing a drop in the levels of other hormones such as luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
In the vast majority of women who eat a Standard American Diet, specifically, those who are overweight, a paleo diet does a miracle for balancing hormone levels.
It is usually only when a paleo/whole-foods diet is coupled with restrictive norms that women start running into problems. Not enough food, too much exercise, and too much stress are really what it matters the most.
The whole foods are not to blame – not in the slightest way. What is to blame, instead, is the obsessiveness of people who interact with these foods.
So, if you keep everything under control, then paleo won’t be a problem for your menstruation.
Can I Eat Sweet Potatoes On Paleo?
For the official or strict version of the paleo diet, white potatoes are usually excluded, says Randy Evans, MS, R.D., and consultant of a ready-to-eat meal delivery service that specializes in paleo meals.
“Sweet potatoes are the only potato that is considered paleo,” explains Evans.
“Sweet potatoes have a much lower glycemic index so while they have a similar amount of carbohydrates, their impact on blood sugar and insulin is much lower, which is a goal of eating paleo.”
It’s interesting to note that white potatoes belong to the nightshade family, while sweet potatoes are considered part of the morning glory family.
In regards to their vitamin and mineral content, Evans stresses that white and sweet potatoes have similar nutrition facts.
On the one hand, sweet potatoes boast a much higher level of Vitamin A, along with a greater amount of Vitamin C, B6, and calcium.
“White potatoes can have higher levels of potassium and both have similar levels for magnesium,” he adds.
Can I Eat Cheese On A Paleo Diet?
Any cheese you consume should be made from raw milk. It’s not easy to find, but not impossible, and you’ll get all the bacteria and enzymes that are supposed to come with cheese.
So, is cheese Paleo-friendly? Purists will tell you that all dairy – cheese included – is off-limits on a Paleo diet, and I agree that it should be removed when you start.
But if you reintroduce raw cheese after giving it up for a while and don’t feel any different, then, just go for it.
Can Paleo Diet Heal Leaky Gut?
Foods that irritate the intestinal barrier and can lead to inflammation include grains, legumes, dairy products, processed foods, refined sugars, and alcohol. The caveman diet is a great framework for a whole food, nutritious diet, as it removes these irritating and inflaming foods.
PDF version contains all of the content and resources found in the web-based guide.