The Paleo Diet for Health and Weight Loss
The Paleo D
iet for Health
I never struggled with my weight until my thirties. I could eat anything I wanted and stay slim. Consequently, I went Paleo for health reasons, not for weight loss. After feeling sick and tired for many years, I knew something needed to change. As I was reading about healing through food, I came upon the GAPS diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome). I decided that if it could help heal the gut, it could help me! And it sure did! However, as a newbie, the many restrictions were hard and I didn’t stick to it long term. I played around with various diets to feel great, but I had learned from the experience that grain-free was the way to go for me.
The Paleo Diet for Weight Loss
Another thing I noticed as I was trying various diets to improve my health is that every time I went grain-free, I lost about 6 pounds the first week! It was effortless, and probably mostly water weight (a sign of my body releasing the inflammation), but it was just enough to boost my confidence as I fit better in my clothes. I did not deprive myself or eat less. Ditching the grains was all it took. Even though I wasn’t trying to lose weight then, I enjoyed what the Paleo Diet did for my waistline. You might find the same thing to be true for you.
How to Lose Weight on the Paleo Diet
In my forties, I noticed that although eating grains didn’t seem to make me feel any worse, they did impact my ability to stay trim. Whenever I went gluten-free instead of grain-free, I would gain weight. I got to a point where even being Paleo wasn’t enough. I had to really learn to listen to my body to avoid gaining weight. If like me, you have found you need some extra tips to lose weight on the Paleo Diet, read on.
Eat When You Are Hungry
Eating when you are hungry may seem obvious, but I think most of us have no idea what feeling hungry is. We feel cravings, and we confuse them for hunger. That was me! Now, when I think I feel hungry, instead of reaching for my favorite snack, I ask myself if I am hungry enough to eat more of whatever I had for the previous meal (usually veggies and meat). More often than not, I am not interested in soup or stew; I only want snacks.
On the other hand, some people are accustomed to being hungry all the time because they are always on low-calorie diets. Consequently, their metabolism has slowed down. If this is you, make sure you start eating nutrient-dense foods when you feel hungry.
Protect your hormones and your metabolism; extreme calorie restriction will not help you reach your goals in the long run. Notice the use of the word “extreme” here.
Calorie Restriction vs. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting (short-term calorie restriction) is all the rage right now, and for good reasons, it has many health benefits, including slowing down the aging process. However, we don’t hear as much about the benefits of decreasing your calorie consumption by 15 percent long term. One study demonstrated that restricted calorie intake for two years was found to protect against age-related diseases. A good tip to put into practice is to eat until 80 percent full.
If you have been curious about intermittent fasting, read my post Intermittent Fasting for Women. You will learn everything you need to know to reap all the benefits safely.
Favor Strength Training over Cardio
If like most people you don’t have a whole lot of time to workout, chose strength training coupled with some high-intensity interval training. This strategy is the most effective way to rev up your metabolism.
Muscles require more energy than fat to maintain, but that’s not all! Building muscle mass will improve your blood sugar levels, your sleep and reduce chronic pain.
As far as high-intensity interval training, it has been shown to increase your metabolism more than steady cardio training.
That being said, if you enjoy running or going for long walks, go ahead! However, if you need some help in losing weight, I recommend you try this approach.
Adjust your macro-nutrients
To lose weight on the Paleo Diet, you might not have to worry about macro-nutrients. Weight loss often occurs naturally by avoiding inflammatory foods and consuming nutrient-dense foods. However, if you are not getting the results you are looking for, this strategy can help.
Low Fat or Low Carb?
Since you are looking into the Paleo world, you might think this is a silly question. Of course low carb! You might have read about the Keto diet and you know about the benefits of healthy fats. I want to remind you that everyone is different. Some people, particularly those with thyroid issues might do better on lower fat higher carb diets. The idea here is that you have to pick one. If you are having a hard time losing weight, you might be eating too many carbs AND too many fats. Just something to look into.
Lower carb is NOT Keto. If you chose to lower your carb intake, you could still consume 100 g a day. If you go on a lower-fat diet, you still need about 30 g a day. My favorite fats to eat are olive oil, coconut oil, avocados as well as nuts and seeds. We are not eliminating fats or carbs,
Take the right supplements
Sometimes your body just needs a little help to improve your gut health, support your detoxification and reduce nutrient deficiencies. If your body is inflamed, it makes it a lot harder to lose weight, even on a Paleo diet. Get in touch with me to learn about the supplements that have helped me decrease my cravings, stabilize my blood sugar and feel energized all day.
Learn Everything You Need to Know About the Paleo Diet
If you haven’t signed up for my free course Paleo for Beginners, don’t forget to do so!
- Learn to listen to your body rather than following nutritional fads.
- Discover how to focus on whole foods rather than process foods without spending the day in the kitchen or breaking the bank.
- Reduce inflammation, increase your energy level, and lose the extra weight.
- Stop feeling controlled by your cravings.