Making lifestyle and dietary changes can be easy when you choose the right changes for you. With all of the fad diets, eating trends and things that we are told to cut out, though, it can be difficult to know what each diet actually is and what are the benefits.
Diets seem to change every year, but there is one diet trend that has yet to go out of style: the Paleo diet.
What is the Paleo diet, though?
Eating generous portions of fresh vegetables is encouraged, but you should stay away from granulated sugars and high fructose corn syrup. You should also moderate the amount of fruits and nuts that you eat.
Eat generous amounts of saturated fats like coconut oil and butter or clarified butter.Olive, avocado and macadamia oil are also good fats to use in salads and to drizzle over food, but not for cooking.
On Paleo, you are encouraged to eat lots of meat as well– even the high fat cuts of meat (although, leaner cuts are always recommended). Animal protein is what is fueling you the most with this diet, so shying away from meat is not encouraged. This is not a diet for a vegetarian.
You will also need to cut out all vegetable, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils when cooking. Remember: primitive humans didn’t have access to partially hydrogenated cooking oil, so neither should you!
Although grilled corn is popular, it is not something you should eat on the Paleo diet. Ditch the legumes while you are at it. This includes, but is not limited to, wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, brown rice, soy, peanuts, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans and black eyed peas.
While you are at it, get rid of dairy if you plan to go Paleo. Cut out cheese, milk, yogurt, coffee creamer and heavy cream.
Part of the Paleo diet involves a total lifestyle change. Rather than eating on a strict schedule and monitoring portion control, the Paleo diet lends itself to simply eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. Calorie counting and worrying about staying under a certain number is not necessary.
Can I Eat That?
A bowl of crispy rice cereal with a bowl of milk
No! Because this has legumes and dairy– even if you use soy milk– it breaks the rules. Instead, have some fresh fruit and a few eggs. That sounds more tasty anyhow!
A Hamburger on a Bun with French Fries
No! But you can have hamburger beef or pulled pork on a lettuce wrap with sweet potato fries.
A Turkey Sandwich
Sort of– a wrap is always better. Just make sure to avoid fatty mayonnaise.
Making the Switch
While the Paleo diet might seem a little bit foreign, it is actually one of the easier diets to follow. If you do decide to do try the Paleo diet on your own, remember that sugar is more addictive to your body than cocaine, so you are likely to have cravings. However, with will-power and substituting the bad sugar with healthier fruits and vegetables, you can get your body on track.