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14 Easy Guidelines for Trying a Paleo Diet

By Debra Rodzinak

If you have ever been interested in trying something different in regards to your diet, here are some guidelines for kick-starting a Paleo diet.

  • Portion control and calorie counting is not needed.  Low in carbohydrates, moderate in animal protein, and high in fat, a Paleo diet is not your “normal” diet.
  • Saturated fats such as butter and coconut oil are encouraged along with duck fat, lard, and beef tallow that are obtained from healthy animals.  Other “good” fats to include are oils from avocado, macadamia nuts, and olives.
  • Animal protein is encouraged.  Red meat, pork, chicken, eggs, shellfish, and wild caught fish along with the organs of animals should be eaten in decent amounts.  The fats contained in these proteins should also be eaten.
  • Vegetables, whether fresh or frozen, cooked or raw, should be eaten in generous amounts.  Yams and sweet potatoes are a wonderful source of carbohydrates, which are allowed.
  • Fruits that are low in sugar and high in antioxidants, such as berries should be eaten in low amounts.  Nuts that are high in omega-3 and low in polyunsaturated fat are allowed, but if you want to lose weight faster, cut out nuts altogether.
  • Fat in meat is encouraged, but the meat needs to come from pasture-raised, grass-fed, environmentally conscious farms.  Lean cuts of meat can also be supplemented with butter or coconut oil.
  • Items to exclude from your Paleo diet are cereal grains and legumes.  Wheat, corn, barley, oats, soy, and peanuts are a few items to cut out of your diet.
  • Oils to eliminate such as vegetable, hydrogenated, and partly-hydrogenated oils include margarine, soybean oil, peanut oil, corn oil, and sunflower oil.  Oils like olive oil and avocado oil are good to drizzle on salads, but don’t use them when cooking.
  • Don’t purchase foods with added sugar like fruit juices and soft drinks. 
  • Other than butter or heavy cream, cut out all dairy products.
  • Only eat when you are hungry.  There is no hard and fast rule as to how often or how many meals per day should be eaten.  Do what feels natural.
  • If possible, try to go to bed when it gets dark and wake up without an alarm.  Sleep is just as important as what you eat.
  • Don’t over-do exercise.  Train in short, intense sessions a few times per week and take time off when you feel tired.  Long cardio sessions should be replaced by short and intense sprinting sessions.
  • Supplement your diet with probiotics and Vitamin D.

A Paleo diet should be an interesting and fun way to change the way you eat.  Have fun, get outside, and listen to your body when starting any new diet or exercise program.


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