The Paleo Diet, also known as the Caveman or Stone Age Diet, is based around the idea of eating like ancient humans did 10,000 years ago. Benefits to eating a paleo-style diet include eating more fruits and vegetables, as well as lowering your sugar and sodium intakes, although cutting out grains, beans and dairy can be risky, warns registered dietitian Jim White on the Eat Right website. The other issue is that this diet might be difficult to sustain. For this reason, it’s important to have a solid meal plan in place when starting on a paleo plan.
If you’re currently a fan of eggs first thing in the morning, you may not need to change your breakfast too much. Have eggs and bacon for breakfast, suggests the Paleo Plan Program Ideally, the eggs should be free-range and you should look for good quality bacon with no additives and a low-sodium content. You can also have fresh fruit, or a fruit and veggie smoothie for breakfast. Include some mixed nuts or nut butter in your smoothie for additional protein. Alternatively, there are paleo-friendly pancake recipes that use almond milk, coconut flour and mashed banana to make the batter.
Devising Paleo Dinners
Fresh fish. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
No grains, no dairy, no beans and no processed foods are the main guidelines when preparing your evening meal. You might be able to keep some of your current dinners, but with a few alterations. Instead of pasta with your Bolognese sauce, use spaghetti squash. Use mashed cauliflower as a substitute for rice. If in doubt, stick with something simple like a grilled steak or piece of fish and plenty of vegetables.
Staying on Track with Snacks
If you’re hungry between meals, you can have a snack. Acceptable snack choices include nuts, celery sticks, nut butters, boiled eggs, berries, raw vegetables and guacamole, according to a plan devised by coach Tyler Touchette of Caveman Strong. Remember that portion control still applies with the Paleo Diet, so monitor your serving sizes and food intake to ensure you’re eating the right amounts for your body weight and goals. Always consult your doctor before changing your diet.
If you want to get lean, slim and slender, eat like a caveman — that is the premise of the Paleo diet. Followers of the Paleo diet eat how humans supposedly ate tens of thousands of years ago, with a focus on animal products like meat and fish, along with plenty of vegetables, fruits and nuts. While the Paleo diet may be healthier than the average American’s diet, losing weight isn’t a given when transitioning to a Paleo plan.
The Fullness Factor
Feeling full is a step in losing weight. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images
Feeling full is one of the biggest stepping stones in losing weight. It doesn’t matter how strong your willpower is — at some point, if you’re feeling hungry, you will cave in. In a study conducted at the Center for Primary Health Care Research in Sweden, researchers found that subjects on a paleolithic diet reported greater feelings of satiety than those on a traditional diet based on guidelines recommended for diabetics.
Many people are sucked into the Paleo plan program way of eating in a belief that they can eat as much as they like. While Paleo-friendly foods such as vegetables, poultry, lean red meat, fish and berries may be low in calories, this doesn’t mean you can eat an unlimited amount. Instead of counting calories, control your calorie intake by reducing your portion sizes and only eating until you feel satisfied. If you’re not losing weight, decrease your serving sizes.
Packing in the Protein
The Paleo diet is high in protein along with being higher in fat and lower in carbohydrates. A study published in a 2008 edition of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” found that a higher protein intake increases satiety, increases calorie burn and promotes muscle maintenance and fat loss. By including a Paleo protein at every meal, you increase your overall protein intake, which could potentially speed up weight loss.
Caveman Weight Loss Solutions
If you’ve switched to a full-on Paleo diet and still aren’t losing weight, don’t worry — you can still make changes to kick-start your weight loss. You could still be eating too much, notes nutritionist Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple website. Nuts, nut butters and oils may have health benefits and be Paleo-approved, but they’re still high in calories. While Paleo bans grains and refined carbohydrates, you could be overdoing it on the fruit front, adds Sisson. Try swapping fruits for dark green vegetables, or getting rid of higher sugar fruits like pineapple, mango and apples and opting for berries instead. Switching to leaner meat and fish over fatty beef, pork, salmon and mackerel can help cut your calories too.
A form of a low-carb diet, the Paleo way of eating recommends consuming only the foods available more than 10,000 years ago, during the Paleolithic era. This means cutting out foods such as grains, dairy, refined sugar and legumes, and focusing on meat, fruits and vegetables. Although there are critics of the Paleo diet, it has the potential for offering a number of benefits to your health.
Effects of Caveman Cuisine
Dr. Loren Cordain published “The Paleo Diet” in 2010. Research has also been done on this type of eating under other names, such as the hunter-gatherer diet, the Stone Age diet and the caveman diet. A study published in 2009 in the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition” concluded that a Paleolithic-type diet improves blood pressure, glucose tolerance and lipid profiles — even without weight loss — and increases insulin sensitivity while decreasing insulin secretion. In 2010, “Nutrition & Metabolism” published a study stating that, per calorie, the Paleolithic diet is more satiating than the Mediterranean diet. It also has an affect on Type 2 diabetes. A study published in 2009 in “Cardiovascular Diabetology” concluded that the Paleo diet improved glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in those with Type 2 diabetes.
The Paleo diet is commonly called the caveman diet, Stone Age diet or hunter-gatherer diet. Based on the dietary principles of human ancestors who lived during the Paleolithic era, the Paleo diet follows a nutritional plan of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and berries and animal protein sources. While a strict Paleo diet follows an “unweighed and unmeasured” approach to choosing your foods and serving sizes, there are several tips for tracking your daily caloric intake while eating a Paleolithic diet.
The Paleo diet isn’t designed to be a fad or weight loss diet, but many people experience weight loss through eating fresh and healthy foods along with controlling overall caloric intake. To lose 1 lb. of body weight, you must burn 3,500 calories more than you consume. Achieve this caloric deficit while following a Paleo diet by reducing your serving sizes and switching high-calorie foods for low-calorie substitutes. Increasing your activity level with a fitness program is another step towards reaching your weight loss and caloric goals.
Measuring your macronutrients — carbohydrates, protein and fat — is a simple approach to counting calories on the Paleo diet. One g of carbohydrates and protein supplies four calories while 1 g of fat supplies nine calories. You can find the total amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat listed on the nutrition label. Take the information from the nutrition to calculate macronutrient content. For example, one serving of food containing 50 g of carbohydrates, 20 g of protein and 10 g of fat supplies 200 calories from carbohydrates, 80 calories from protein and 90 calories from fat.
The Zone Diet, developed by Dr. Barry Sears, is an alternate diet that uses blocks to measure foods. Sears recommends using the block system for measuring the foods and meals for your Paleo diet. To use the block measuring system, you must weigh and measure each serving of fruits, vegetables, meat and nuts. By weighing and measuring each food, you control the overall calorie consumption by maximizing the nutritional content of each small meal while eliminating excessive calories.
With the advancement of the Internet, there are many online tracking tools for your nutritional and dietary needs. These tracking tools have Paleo foods built-in to the online database making it easy to select the foods and serving sizes to automatically track your caloric intake. You can also store and evaluate your caloric intake over time to help reach dietary, fitness and weight loss goals. An additional calorie counting tool is the automatic breakdown of macronutrients, which shows the percentage of calories for carbohydrates, protein and fat