There is a challenge in the office right now that is modeled after the Biggest Loser television show. Not everyone is participating, but those who are have drastically changed their diets. This positivity has spread through the office, and now everyone is making healthier food choices. There is a particular regimen that will ensure the dropping of pounds, and it is called Paleo. The Paleo “diet” is not aimed at losing weight but at getting better nutrients into your body. Most people eat only 1-2 servings of vegetables per week, with fruit having a slight lead with 2-3 servings per week. Nutritionally speaking, these servings are not even sufficient for one DAY. By following the Paleo regimen, you are giving your body what it really needs, minimizing or eliminating what it doesn’t need, and losing weight as an incidental effect of a healthy gut.
There is no diet that anyone should ever completely follow because you only have one life to live. However, making the right choices 90% of the time is a lot better than 10% of the time or never or 100% of the time. The trick there, though, is moderation. Paleo stipulates that the eater eliminate dairy, soy, legumes, and all grains. Grains refer to bread, rice, pasta, cereal, or anything else made from grains or wheat. This is contradictory because most likely all you have ever heard is that whole wheat toast is good for you and that whole grain cereal is good for you, and it may not be bad for you or have the same side effects on you as it has on other people, but they are inflammatory agents (which cause a number of problems, one of which includes bloating), and the body does not like those.
Well what does Paleo allow? All the good stuff: any kind of meat (although some are better than others), seafood, eggs (with the yolk!), all vegetables, all dairy, all nuts and seeds (not peanuts because they are legumes), honey, almond milk, dark chocolate, etc. It seems like the selection is limited, but the combinations that can be made from these ingredients are limitless and extremely tasty! Plus, it forces you to think and eat outside of your comfort zone, and discovering new foods that you like is always fun!
More than likely, this regimen is a complete 180 from your current food intake. Drastic changes are hard, so start slow. Try going all Paleo for one meal a day, or, if you are feeling ambitious, try going Paleo for an entire day twice a week. Guaranteed, once you feel the difference, you will want to be Paleo every day. Once you are Paleo every day, you will see the difference –within a week. A good Paleo rule of thumb is to have 75% of every meal be plants. Since the body needs more vegetables than it needs fruit, about 50% of that should be vegetables. It is easy to eat a lot of fruit when on a “diet.” However, eating too much fruit can cause someone to start developing diabetes because a lot of people do not realize just how much sugar is in each piece of fruit. There are a few glycemic indexes online, and those are worth looking at if you find yourself consuming a lot of fruit.
Paleo takes a lot of planning, preparation, work, and dedication, but once you see the results starting to take place and realize how much healthier you are and feel, the work will not seem like work, and you might even have fun making your dishes. The planning gets easier, too, as you get into the swing of it. Whether you are trying to lose weight or not, you should be drinking at least 1 or 2 liters of water every day, and that means just water, not water with a drink powder mixed into it.
Written By: Katie McCoy