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Beginner’s Guide: Paleo Diet For Weight Loss And Better Health

Beginner’s Guide: Paleo Diet For Weight Loss And Better Health

There are many diets out there that promise short term weight loss and enforce the idea of detoxing the body. However, dieting is not all about losing the pounds; It’s about creating an ongoing healthy eating habit that will benefit and prolong a better and healthier lifestyle.

Paleo diets are a good way to incorporate healthy, natural foods into daily life and promote steady and ongoing weight loss together with a regular exercise regime. Find out why taking up a Paleo diet will help you reap the benefits of weight loss and general overall health.

If you want to know more about weight loss, you can’t miss the following article that provides all useful tips you need:

Weight Loss Plan And Program: Create Your Own One

What is a Paleo diet?

A Paleo diet, also referred to as the Caveman Diet, is based on the types of ingredients that early humans would have consumed. It’s promoting the notion of eating a ‘clean’ diet that is free of toxic foods that harm our body. In this day and age, food consumption rates have hit a major high and most of these foods contain trans fats, sugar and added preservatives that contribute towards diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and depression.

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Paleo diets are based on well-sourced, healthy ingredients that avoid the unnecessary toxic foods that our bodies can’t process effectively or efficiently. Ingredients such as lean proteins that promote muscle strength, strong bones and a good immune system as well as satisfying the body for longer periods between meals are a big part of the Paleo diet.

Fruits and vegetables, that we know contain the nutrients, antioxidants and other health benefits that contribute to a healthy functioning body, make up a big portion of this type of diet. Healthy fats are also essential and are found in nuts, seeds, fish, lean meats, fruit such as avocados and healthy oils like olive and grapeseed oil. All these combine to form a healthy diet that promotes a happy and well-fueled body.

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    What exactly are the health benefits of a Paleo diet?

    I mentioned earlier that trans fats and sugar, in particular, contribute to diseases that are becoming the biggest killers today. There are so many health benefits from partaking in a Paleo diet and here is a brief run-down of just a few.

    • Reverses Diabetes: Studies have found that a long-term Paleo diet can actually reverse the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes. Cutting out all processed foods that contain sugar may eliminate possible development of diabetes.
    • Lowers Chances of Cardiovascular Diseases: One of today’s biggest killers, cardiovascular disease sees big increases in heart attacks, strokes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and the symptoms that can stop people from being able to live their lives. Lowering our intake of processed foods containing trans fats lowers the risk of heart disease.
    • Promotes a Healthy Immune System: The best part of a Paleo diet is that it provides you with the most nutrient dense food options. Foods rich in vitamin A, D, C and zinc all go towards an efficient immune system, resulting in a lessened susceptibility to illness.

    Is the Paleo diet effective for weight loss?

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      In a word: yes. As part of an overall healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, a Paleo diet provides great results for weight loss. It promotes optimum health in terms of the strength of muscles and bones which in turn will provide the energy the body needs to lose weight effectively and in an extremely healthy way.

      A particular scientific study was carried out over the course of two years and compared the effects of a Paleo diet to a standard low-fat diet on obese menopausal women. The results found that the group on the Paleo diet lost 6.5kg after 6 months while the low-fat diet resulted in a 2.6kg weight loss. After a year, the Paleo dieters lost a total of 8.7kg and the low-fat diets lost 4.4kg altogether – almost half the amount. Of course, these results don’t have to be limited to obese menopausal women; they can be applied to many different people across the board.

      Here is why the Paleo diet is beneficial for long-term weight loss:

      More efficient workouts

      A Paleo diet supplies energy-efficient nutrients and is heavily based on lean meats. This means more lean muscle development which is essential for successful workouts and therefore allows you to burn off fat a lot more effectively. Not only are you lowering your intake of bad fats with the diet, you are promoting the capacity of your body to obtain maximum results when you exercise.

      Stabilised blood sugar

      Since you are cutting out large amounts of refined sugars, your blood sugar levels won’t experience the onslaught of spikes and crashes that contribute to fatigue and moodiness. A more stabilised blood sugar level will promote healthier eating through less snacking and allow you to carry out exercise routines with needed energy.

      Balanced energy throughout the day

      The high-protein element of the Paleo diet gets your body feeling full on a more regular basis. This obviously lessens the need to eat snacks which can lead to weight gain.

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      Reduced bloat

      Being on a Paleo diet means the avoidance of wheat and gluten. There is some evidence that says gluten is problematic for the digestive system and for weight gain with gluten sometimes being the cause of larger midsections and bellies. These can also result in the feeling of bloating and give the unnecessary appearance of being bigger than we are.

      Less saturated and trans fat

      As you are consuming less foods that contain trans and saturated fats that lead to weight gain, you will inevitably end up losing excess weight when you switch to a Paleo diet.

      Are there any cautions to consider when adopting a Paleo diet?

      There has been a lot of negative talk and misinformation about the transitioning process to a Paleo diet but you can suffer initial symptoms when changing the foods you eat. Your body can go through a detox phase where the toxins stored in your body will get released and to be replaced by nutrients.

      Temporary digestive problems – you may experience stomach upsets such as diarrhea and constipation or bloating and gas to begin with. This is simply because your body is adapting to the introduction of a high amount of vegetables. This is totally normal and will likely only last a few days. Try to cook vegetables to begin with as it helps break down the fibers and is easier on your digestive system.

      Feeling weak and dizzy – the sudden reduction in carbohydrates may cause you to feel weak and a bit dizzy. Try to counteract this by eating a bit more food throughout the day as this will help keep your energy levels up while your body is adapting to the change.

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      Rashes – although quite uncommon some people do complain of developing rashes because they are suddenly adding a lot of one product to their diet. Be aware and monitor any prolonged rashes that turn up as it could indicate an intolerance or allergy to something you haven’t really had high amounts of in the past.

      Overall, while the symptoms mentioned can be normal, always discuss such matters with your doctor to be certain and consider discussing your intentions with them if you are planning to start a Paleo diet.

      You have to take into account that no diet is a ‘size fits all’. In other words this won’t always work or agree with everyone so trial it first to see if it’ll be a good fit for you. This article also outlines in further detail some of the potential pros and cons of the Paleo diet.

      Good Paleo Recipes For Beginners

      food-salad-healthy-vegetables

        If you’ve decided to give the Paleo diet a go and are not quite sure where to start, then here are 10 simple and delicious recipes that will ease you into it.

        1. Sweet Potato, Broccoli and Chicken Bake

        2. Honey and Garlic Salmon

        3. Easy Lemon Chicken with Butternut Squash

        4. Creamy Spinach and Sweet Potato Noodles with Cashew Sauce

        5. Frittata with Spinach and Tomatoes

        6. Paleo Burrito Bowls

        7. Sweet Potato Sausage Breakfast Hash with Kale

        8. Paleo Banana Bread

        9. Chocolate Pistachio Mousse

        10. Almond Pancakes

        If you think the Paleo diet is something you will benefit from then it may be worth looking into. Of course, not all diets work for everyone but why not give it a try and see how it works for you?

        Featured photo credit: stock.tookapic.com via pexels.com

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        A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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        Last Updated on August 20, 2019

        How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

        How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

        Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

        Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

        I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

        You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

        Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

        When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

        I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

        Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

        Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

        Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

        1. The Inner Critic

        This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

        • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
        • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
        • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
        • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

        The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

        Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

        2. The Worrier

        This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

        The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

        3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

        This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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        This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

        The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

        4. The Sleep Depriver

        This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

        The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

        • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
        • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
        • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
        • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

        How can you control these squatters?

        How to Master Your Mind

        You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

        Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

        There are two ways to control your thoughts:

        • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
        • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

        This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

        The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

        Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

        For the Inner Critic

        When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

        You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

        For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

        You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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        “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

        If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

        • They rile up the Worrier.
        • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
        • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
        • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
        • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

        Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

        Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

        For the Worrier

        Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

        Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

        You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

        • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
        • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
        • Muscles tense

        Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

        If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

        Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

        “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

        Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

        If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

        Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

        Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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        For example:

        If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

        “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

        Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

        “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

        Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

        For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

        Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

        The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

        • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
        • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
        • Muscles tension

        I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

        Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

        Breathe in through your nose:

        • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
        • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
        • Focus on your belly rising.

        Breathe out through your nose:

        • Feel your lungs emptying.
        • Focus on your belly falling.
        • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

        Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

        Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

        One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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        Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

        For the Sleep Depriver

        (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

        I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

        Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

        1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
        2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

        When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

        From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

        For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

        If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

        You can also use this technique any time you want to:

        • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
        • Shut down your thinking.
        • Calm your feelings.
        • Simply focus on the present moment. 

        The Bottom Line

        Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

        You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

        Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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        Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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