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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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        Jenny Marchal

        Freelance Writer

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        How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

        How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

        Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

        But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

        Sight – Visual Stimulation

        The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

        1. Maximize your exposure to light.

        Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

        Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

        2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

        Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

        Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

        Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

        3. Take note of your environment.

        Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

        By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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        Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

        What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

        4. Engage in conversation.

        Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

        Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

        Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

        Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

        5. Listen to upbeat music.

        Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

        Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

        Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

        If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

        6. Work your nose.

        Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

        If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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        Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

        Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

        If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

        7. Have a good breakfast.

        Start off with the most important meal of the day.

        Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

        Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

        Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

        20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

        8. Drink lots of water.

        Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

        So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

        How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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        Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

        3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

        9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

        Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

        Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

        Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

        25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

        Touch – Tactile Stimulation

        Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

        10. Splash cold water on your face.

        Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

        This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

        5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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        11. Use acupressure.

        Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

        Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

        12. Get moving.

        Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

        And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

        You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

        Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

        Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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