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Paleo Diet: Beginner’s Guide & Meal Plan

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Want to lose weight?

Go Paleo! Paleo diet also called the Caveman diet or Stone Age diet is a very popular diet plan that has an almost 100% success rate. The concept of the Paleo diet was first introduced in 1975, but it was after Loren Cordain published The Paleo Diet (2002) that this diet became popular.

Paleo Diet is based on the principle that eating non-packaged and fresh produce, as humans did in the paleolithic age, can help ward off all 21st-century health issues such as obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, heart problems, etc. Moreover, unlike other diets, the Paleo diet emphasizes the importance of following a healthy lifestyle in order to lose weight.

Losing weight with the Paleo diet can be really simple if you understand it properly.

What Is The Paleo Diet All About?

Paleo diet’s concept is simple – eat natural and healthy produce and eliminate processed and unhealthy foods. This diet will take you to days when there were no GM foods, no hormone-fed meat, and no junk food. You will eat grass-fed meat, fresh vegetables, local fruits, and healthy fats. The Paleo diet is designed in such a way that it will become a habit to eat only natural foods and you will automatically let go of all your unhealthy eating habits. Of course, it’s easier said than done because we are so dependent on frozen, processed, and junk food. But, don’t worry, I am here to help you.

Paleo Diet Stages For Weight Loss

The Paleo diet can be divided into three phases. Each phase is a unique one owing to the fact that you have to change your diet gradually. A sudden change in your diet can make your junk food and sugar cravings stronger. When you slowly introduce healthy eating habits, the chances of these habits developing into a full-fledged lifestyle change is more. So, let’s begin with the first phase of the Paleo diet.

Paleo Diet Phase 1

Duration – 2-8 weeks
What Will You Achieve
  • Gradually exclude processed and junk foods.
  • Lose water weight.
  • Start burning fat.
  • Feel active and good about the foods that you eat.
Paleo Diet Chart For Phase 1
Meals   What to Eat
Early Morning (7:00-7:45 a.m) 2 cups of water
Breakfast (8:00 – 8:15 a.m)  Bacon, avocado, and kale breakfast sandwich + 1 cup freshly pressed orange juice
Mid-Morning (10:30 a.m)  4 almonds + 1 cup green tea
Lunch (12:30 p.m) Broccoli and mushroom salad with a light dressing
Evening Snack (4:30 p.m) 1 small bowl carrots
Dinner (6:45 – 7:00 p.m) 1 cup chicken or mushroom soup
Why This Works

Gulping down 2 cups of water in the morning as soon as you get up is highly recommended because it will help you wake up quickly. It will also flush out the toxins from your body. Have a bread-free sandwich for breakfast with a good source of protein and healthy fat. Orange juice is loaded with vitamin C and dietary fiber that will help boost your immunity and improve bowel movement. For the rest of the day too, you will eat foods that are fresh and healthy. Do not consume chickpea hummus with baby carrots as hummus is not Paleo-friendly.

Paleo Lifestyle – Phase 1
  • Stop consuming sugar. You can do this right from week 1 as it will help you consume fewer calories.
    Do not buy or eat processed food.
  • Avoid buying grain-fed or hormone-fed meat. Also, avoid pre-cut veggies or fruits.
  • Workout! Yes, you should stay active. Do what you enjoy the most – it may be playing a sport, or walking, running, dancing, etc.
  • Sleep early so that you can avoid late night snacking.
  • Get up in the morning and do 4-5 reps of Suryanamaskar.
  • Add lavender or citrus essential oil in your bathing water to feel fresh and active.
  • Drink 3-4 liters of water every day.
  • Clean the clutter in your wardrobe or room.
  • Do not consume packaged juices, aerated drinks, energy drinks, etc.
  • Take out 20-60 minutes every day just for yourself and do what you like to do.
How You Will Feel By The End Of Phase 1

By the end of phase 1 or 8th week, you would look slimmer as you will lose a lot of water weight. Moreover, your metabolism will also get a boost, and you will start to burn fat. If you work out regularly, your body fat percentage will come down and you will see the visible proof in the “before-after” pictures. Your success will keep you going, and you will be more excited to step into phase 2 of the Paleo diet.

Paleo Diet Phase 2

Duration – 4 weeks
What Will You Achieve
  • Detox your body.
  • Increase fat mobilization.
  • Lower LDL cholesterol.
  • Lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity.
  • Totally get rid of carb addiction.
Paleo Diet Chart For Phase 2
Meals   What to Eat
Early Morning (7:00-7:45 a.m) 2 cups of water
Breakfast (8:00 – 8:15 a.m)  Options: Paleo pancakes + 1 cup freshly pressed apple juice+2 almonds or Raspberry chia spinach smoothie + 1 boiled egg
Mid-Morning (10:30 a.m) 1 cup green tea
Lunch (12:30 p.m) Options: Turkey lettuce wrap + 1 cup fresh coconut water
or Mexican Paleo bowl
Evening Snack (4:30 p.m)  1 small bowl of cucumber
Dinner (6:45 – 7:00 p.m) Options: Roasted chicken with veggies or Burger patty salad or Sweet potato soup
Why This Works

Drinking 2 cups of water right after you wake up will help flush out toxins. Paleo pancakes are easy and delicious to make. Chia seeds are a great source of protein and healthy fats. Raspberry and spinach are great sources of vitamin C, fruit sugar, minerals, and vitamins. Green tea is a great source of antioxidants and will also help reduce hunger. For lunch and dinner, you will eat Paleo-friendly foods rich in protein, healthy fats, good carbs, vitamins, and minerals.

Paleo Lifestyle – Phase 2
  • Wake up in the morning and have 2 cups of water.
  • Warm up and do 4 sets of Surya Namaskar.
  • Prepare Paleo-friendly breakfast and eat it before heading out.
  • Have a mid-morning snack if you feel hungry.
  • If you have a desk job, make it a point to walk about after every 1 hour.
  • Take the stairs and walk to and from your office or school.
  • Workout for an hour in the evening or morning.
  • Eat Paleo-friendly lunch and dinner.
  • If you are celebrating, you can have a glass of red wine as even the ancestors in the Paleolithic age would drink fermented beverages.
  • Stick to Paleo-friendly foods in a party.
  • Sleep after 3 hours of having your dinner and get at least 7 hours of sleep.
  • Meditate to ward off negative thoughts and to increase concentration.
  • Build your social support by being friends with Paleo dieters.
  • Check your weight, body fat percentage, and click pictures to keep a track of your progress.
How You Will Feel By The End Of Phase 2

By the end of this phase, you will stop craving for unnatural and processed foods. You will also start feeling less bloated, your digestion problems will diminish, your skin will start to glow, and your body fat percentage will go further down. If you workout regularly and do strength training, you will build lean muscle. Therefore, even if you shed fat, your weight will increase. So, check your body fat percent to find out whether you are shedding the fat and building lean muscle. Your energy levels and productivity will increase if you adhere to the plan. But there’s always room for improvement.

Paleo Diet Phase 3

Duration – As long as you want
What Will You Achieve
  • You will know what you should put in your body and what you should totally avoid.
  • You will have a good relationship with food.
  • Your body will start to look chiseled.
  • Most of your health problems will diminish.
  • You will achieve your target weight.
  • You will start to inspire your friends and family.
Paleo Diet Chart For Phase 3
Meals   What to Eat
Early Morning (7:00-7:45 a.m) 2 cups of water
Breakfast (8:00 – 8:15 a.m) Options: Egg frittata + 1 cup fruit juice or Avocado, fruits, and soft boiled egg bowl
Mid-Morning (10:30 a.m) 1 medium cup watermelon
Lunch (12:30 p.m) Options: Seared scallops with grilled veggies or Pan-fried salmon with asparagus, carrot, and sweet potato
Evening Snack (4:30 p.m)  1 cup green tea + 15 in-shell pistachios
Dinner (6:45 – 7:00 p.m) Options: Broccoli soup with mushroom or Pork stuffed a bell pepper
Why This Works

Even in the 3rd phase, you should drink 2 cups of water to jumpstart your body in the morning. Prepare the egg frittata with veggies so that you feel satiated. Include protein sources such as salmon, pork, mushrooms, scallops, etc., healthy fat sources such as pistachios and avocado, and good carbs that you will get from veggies and fruits. All these foods will help you achieve optimum health and will make you feel good about making the right food choices.

Paleo Lifestyle – Phase 3
  • Don’t be too strict with your diet in this phase. Yes, you will eat Paleo-friendly foods and follow a good lifestyle, but you also need to give your body a break from eating the same things over and over again. Because when your body gets no surprises, it becomes immune to any treatment you provide. Have a cheat day once every week. Eat your favorite food to your heart’s content – maybe ice cream, chocolate, carrot cake, pumpkin doughnut or other Paleo-friendly desserts. But make sure not to overeat them. If you do, do not feel that you have disrupted the whole diet. The only way you can move forward is to workout and expend the calories.
  • Keep a check on your alcohol consumption.
  • If you do eat food that is not Paleo-friendly on a rare occasion, nothing to worry about. Just don’t get lured away and slip back into your old habits.
  • Talk about the Paleo diet with friends and family as your social support will take you a long way. Moreover, there’s nothing like helping a friend or a family member to lose weight or lead a healthy life.
How You Will Feel As A Paleo Dieter

Providing your body with the best of nature will not only make you slim but will also improve your brain functions. You will be less stressed out and will be more productive. You will love the new life that will give you peace, health, and harmony.

Paleo Diet Food To Eat List

  • Vegetables – Broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, tomato, turnip, parsnips, scallions, onion, carrot, cabbage, sweet potato, okra, eggplant, zucchini, pumpkin, bottle gourd, ridge gourd, snake gourd, squash, etc.
  • Fruits – Berries, watermelon, muskmelon, honeydew melon, grapes, peach, avocado, plum, orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit, apricot, etc.
  • Protein – Chicken, fish, grass-fed meat, eggs, mushroom, tofu, mussels, and shrimps.
  • Fats & Oils – Olive oil, sunflower butter, flaxseed butter, and coconut oil.
  • Nuts & Seeds – Flax seeds, chia seeds, almonds, macadamia, pistachios, walnuts, pine nuts, etc.
  • Herbs & Spices – Cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, chili powder, paprika powder, oregano, dill, thyme, rosemary, basil, star anise, allspice, mace, nutmeg, saffron, clove, cilantro, etc.
  • Beverages – Coconut water, freshly pressed fruit, and vegetable juice, and vegetables and fruit smoothies.

Paleo Diet Foods To Avoid List

  • Vegetable – Potato
  • Grains – Eliminate all kinds of grains, as in the Paleolithic age there was no provision for cooking grains.
  • Protein – Avoid all legumes and grain-fed meat.
  • Dairy – Avoid all dairy and milk products.
  • Fats & Oils – Butter, margarine, ghee, and animal fat.
  • Beverages – Packaged fruit and vegetable juices, soda, diet soda, alcohol in unlimited amounts, buttermilk, and energy drinks.

Bottomline

So basically, you can eat anything in the Paleo diet except grass-fed or hormone-fed meat, legumes, potatoes, dairy products, and junk food. Now the next big issue is preparing Paleo-friendly food. Well, fortunately preparing Paleo food is really easy.

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