Jumpstart Your Paleo Diet this 2018
Are you looking to jumpstart a Paleo diet this year as part of a new healthy lifestyle? If so then you need to understand how the diet works and what kind of foods you need to be looking for, and most importantly, the kind of bad food you need to exclude from your everyday intake.
It can be daunting when embarking on a whole new way of eating but that’s not the case in a Paleo regime, Paleo diet is designed to improve health and wellness and reduce gut and inflammation problems in the body, the benefits are clearly worth your efforts. Take your time to research and read up on it before starting fully.
You can always ease into a Paleo Diet by following a 7-day or 21-day paleo program initially, before committing to following the plan full-time.
Take a look at our tips for jump-starting a paleo diet:
How to Jumpstart Your Paleo Diet
Drinking bone broth
Clearly, if you are vegetarian this won’t apply to you but many people embarking on a paleo diet find drinking bone broth regularly is a great way to kick-start their health improvement plan. Bone broth is great for many aspects of health as it is rich in collagen and contains glucosamine. It’s particularly renowned for healing the gut.
You can find many recipes to make your own from the carcasses you end up with from eating more meat, but if you don’t fancy the hassle and mess of this, then there are plenty of shops which sell ready-made bone broth that is just as good and far less time-consuming.
Fats such as butter, coconut oil, and lard are encouraged in a paleo diet, along with various types of oils but only for salads, and not for cooking. Animal fats are also included in a paleo regime but make sure they come from healthy animals. This diet is fat-friendly so when you are cooking meat you are encouraged not to cut the fat off but to actively seek out and eat it as part of the process.
Lots of protein
Eat protein from animal sources including eggs, red meat, fish, poultry, and pork. It’s fine to eat all cuts, and it doesn’t matter if they include fatty elements. Part of paleo includes using meat bones and offcuts to create stocks and broths as well. Make sure all your meals include plenty of protein as this is one of the most important aspects. Protein can also be supplemented using whey or hemp protein powders for example. Check out this article on hemp vs whey to decide which is best for you, it may be a combination of the two.
Plenty of vegetables
Some paleo diets suggest avoiding certain vegetables so it’s up to you what you follow, but make sure you eat plenty of vegetables, sweet potatoes and yams are particularly good for this regime so include those in your diet too. Traditional carb-loaded potatoes should be avoided however but there is plenty of info out there as to which vegetables you can and can’t eat on a paleo diet.
Avoid most fruit
The fruits you should be adding to your diet must be low in sugar, such as berries, and only allow yourself small portions. If you are trying to lose weight, cut out fruit altogether. The reason these are not included in the diet is the high levels of natural sugar. It’s important to cut out any fruit juices and drinks from your everyday diet as well.
Avoid most nuts
It is not advisable to eat lots of nuts on this diet – aim for low-fat nuts such as macadamia nuts and look for ones which are high in Omega 3 and 6. Again, if you are trying to lose weight on this diet, then avoid nuts completely. Things like peanut butter should also be avoided so no processed or salted nuts allowed.
Locally raised meat
Try to stick to pasture-fed local meat from farms to make sure it is organic and the best possible quality you can go for. You should do the same for your vegetables if possible. You will be eating a lot more meat on this diet than perhaps you are used to so make sure it is the best quality possible.
Avoid eating grains and legumes
The paleo diet involves cutting out cereal grains and legumes from your diet completely, which includes not eating wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, and soy, among others. This can make it a difficult diet to follow for vegans and vegetarians but there are paleo plans specifically for these diets available so make sure you do your research before starting out.
Eliminate most oils
When following a paleo diet you need to stop using any vegetable, hydrogenated and partly hydrogenated oils including, sunflower oil, margarine, corn oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, canola oil and safflower oil. You can use olive oil and avocado oil but not in your cooking. Stick with oils for salad dressings only. The focus in this diet is on fats including animal fats and lards.
Cut out sugar
Don’t drink any soft drinks or juices during the paleo diet as all sugar should be eliminated – this includes fruit juices. Also cut out sweets, biscuits, and cakes – anything with added sugar added must be taken out of your daily food intake. This also applies to fruit and fruit juices including berries, so make sure you cut right back on the amount of fruit you are eating while on this regime.
Other than butter you need to cut out all dairy products from your daily meals. This includes milk, milk products, yogurt, ice cream, cheese and any other dairy products. Again, this might be tricky for vegetarians undertaking this plan so make sure you look into the options to ensure you are getting all of the nutrients your body needs.
Only eat when you feel hungry
Follow your body’s requirements and eat when you feel hungry so that you are in tune with your physical needs. Don’t worry if you find you are not sticking to eating three meals per day. The paleo diet is all about following your natural hunger pangs so eat when you are hungry and you are likely to find your hunger routines change, particularly when you first start.
Focus On Light Exercise
Try not to overdo it with exercise when you are starting out with paleo, while your body adjusts. It’s best to avoid long cardio work-outs and stick to short sessions. Make sure you look after yourself and get adequate rest. You are not taking in many carbs while following this approach so you may well find yourself feeling more tired and lethargic than usual, which is why it’s important to take care and keep the physical exertion to lower levels than you are perhaps used to.
It might be worth taking a couple of specific supplements to kick-start your paleo regime including vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin K2. You shouldn’t need a general multivitamin supplement because your diet should be providing more than enough of the majority of vitamins and minerals, however, taking on these particular vitamins can help support your body as it works through the changes.
Starting out on a new paleo diet is exciting and a great way to kick-start a new healthy regime but it does take thought and preparation to get it right. These tips will help you out so now you can clear out your fridge, freezer and kitchen cupboards of any foods which don’t fit into the requirements.
Once you have had your clear-out, it’s time to go shopping and stock up with all the good foodstuffs which you will be eating going forward. Make sure to look out for locally grown, organic meat and vegetables wherever possible.
If you are reading this and thinking whoa, it’s way too much change and looks far too difficult, then why not try easing yourself into it, by taking part in a seven-day paleo challenge – just follow the diet for seven days to see how you get on with it.
That way, you are not committing to anything and it will be far less daunting. But the seven-day program will give you a really good idea of the kind of effort required, the kind of foods you can eat and importantly, how it makes you feel in terms of energy levels and alertness.
You could then move on to a 21-day program, trying out more variety of paleo recipes and experimenting with different foods, to see how that feels and have fun with the diet. A slightly longer program will give you even more opportunity to get used to the new ways of cooking and eating food on this regime.
21 days will also be long enough for your body to start benefitting from the program and you should start to notice real differences in how you feel. Start slowly to kick start your way into paleo and you will soon find it’s not daunting at all and becomes second nature.
The paleo diet is growing in popularity and no doubt will continue to do so throughout 2018 with variations available now to suit most people – even those who don’t eat much meat. Make sure you do your research before starting, to ensure you know what you can and can’t eat, and to be clear that you will be getting sufficient nutrients in your chosen plan.