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Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet


You’ve probably heard about the paleo diet. In fact, you’ve probably heard it both derided as the worst idea possible and acclaimed as the be-all-end-all answer to the world’s nutritional problems. All that candour can make getting started seem all the tougher, but you can make your journey easier by following these tips.

Detox the Kitchen

Take all the foods banned by paleo, such as grains, legumes, pre-packaged snacks, sugar, and dairy, then stock up on your veggies, fruit, seafood, meat, nuts, seeds, eggs, and oils. Going the distance is so much easier when you remove all those pesky temptations.

Decide What Motivates You

Paleo can help with losing weight, alleviating allergic reactions, and many other things besides, but it works best when you decide on one specific goal.

Adopt the 85/15 Rule

The 85/15 approach means eating paleo 85% of time and non-paleo the remaining 15%. You might feel like this is a lazy approach, but it can help you stick with the program during the first tricky weeks.

Ensure You Cook

Paleo works best with whole, fresh foods, so you should really be cooking yourself instead of simply picking up meals from restaurants or having frozen meals.

Expect Failure

Going paleo is tough, and it’s easy to slip back to your normal eating habits. Expect it to happen; if it does, accept the setback instead of beating yourself up, then start over fresh.

Decode Labels

Some foods you’d expect to be paleo actually aren’t. Nut butters may contain sugar; sauces may contain soy or gluten; peanut butter is actually a legume. Make sure you can read a label effectively to avoid rogue ingredients.

Rethink Your Plate

Most people think veggies should take up half their plate, lean protein one quarter, and whole grains the last quarter. You’ll need to rethink that idea for paleo – go for a palm-sized piece of protein, dollop of fat, and as many veggies as possible.

Make an Oil Change

Get rid of corn, soybean, or canola oil. Instead, start using coconut oil or lard – these are some high-quality saturated fats.

Eat Meat

People often mistakenly believe that meat is harmful to their health and their waistline. Well, it isn’t, though you need to make sure you pick up quality cuts. Meat is crucial to the paleo philosophy, so don’t restrict your intake.