In my experience the most effective long-term weight loss solution is to eat clean and eat natural… essentially – eat Paleo.
Now, for the uninitiated, eating Paleo simply means eating foods that have been untouched by the hand of man. So if it doesn’t swim, fly, walk, or grow, you don’t touch it.
As the fitness LEGEND Jack Lalanne said: ” If man made it, don’t eat it.”
Jack Lalanne was one of the great fitness and health minds on the planet throughout his 90+ years, and a large part of his success came from his insistence to eat clean as much as possible.
Our diets have become overloaded with artificial man made foods, and this has caused many of the health and weight problems that we currently suffer from. Now, many artificial foods have a very important role to play in the world – providing cheap solutions to help feed starving populations all over the planet.
For those looking to lose weight and run a healthy life, however, artificial and processed foods should only take up a limited space on your shopping list.
Now, I am a firm believer in the 80-20 principle. Frankly, if you are eating well about 80% of the time, you’ll be fine. For the other 20%, enjoy yourself and don’t worry too much about ‘dieting’ or limiting your intake of certain foods.
In the main, however, you’ll want to focus on select groups of nutritious and delicious foods that promote weight loss, health, and vitality and leads to a wealth of health benefits beyond the simple aesthetic pleasures of seeing the pounds melt from your body.
So, to create your own Paleo eating plan, do the following…
- Understand what’s on your ‘allowed’ list and what isn’t
Put simply, paleo dieters indulge in the following foods:
- Lean proteins
- ‘Good’ fats – mainly oils
It’s a simple list, but one that is full of awesome foods. Frankly, I could get by for the rest of my life just by digging into various meats, fish, veggies, and fruits without a problem whatsoever. I LOVE these foods and rarely stray away from them unless its part of my own strategy.
- Go shopping
Once you know what you can eat and what you can’t, go out and fill your pantry with all of the lovely nutritious paleo foods you can find. If you’re a foodie, the variety here is the key. Stock up and all sorts of veggies, fruits, meats, fish, and so on and you’ll be overwhelmed by the number of potential food combinations and recipes coming atcha!
- Find recipes
OK, so you have your food. Now, ask yourself – are you a keen cook or not? Do you like to try out different recipes or just keep things simple?
Personally, I love to try different foods, but I’m not much of a cook. That’s why I tend to keep things simple. For example, chicken or fish salads with plenty of vegs and drizzled in olive oil (extra virgin of course!) is a favorite of mine.
If you prefer to mix things up, which most do, then that’s even better. Getting a variety of different colors and combos into your meals is beneficial, so get online, get some recipe books, and seek out different ways to make a paleo eating plan that works for you.
- Prep work pays
If you’re going to be committing to paleo eating them prep work becomes a fairly big factor. When you get to work, and you haven’t prepared, you might find it a bit tricky sticking with a paleo meal when confronted by the multitude of unhealthy lunches all around you.
Always prepare your foods beforehand. Make sure that you write up your list of meals for the entire week. Do this on a Sunday, and you’ll have direction and a strategy. Then prepare your food for the following day in the evening. This might only be lunch if you’re going to be getting home for dinner, but always bring along some handy snacks in case you feel peckish in the day. Nuts, snacky veggies like carrots, and perhaps a chicken breast (good snack in my book) are good ideas.
- Strategies your 20%
Like I said, sticking with a plan Infinitum is nigh on impossible for most people and, you know what, that’s pretty boring as well. Don’t worry about the odd splurge as long as you jump right back on the wagon.
The best way to do this is by using a strategy. Plan in an unhealthy meal, or even a period of indulgence, during the weekend when you want to relax and take a break from your diet. (Beware though if you’re a recovering binge eater). Not only does this give you some psychological relief, but it also provided a hormonal boost of leptin which will help you burn fat faster in the following days.
Kind of a win, win really
- Stick with it
Habits take a while to form so don’t expect to find things easy at the beginning, especially if all of this is a huge departure from your normal eating habits. Most people take the time to integrate a paleo eating plan into their own lives fully so don’t worry if you relapse from time to when outside of your strategic ‘cheating.’
When all is said and completed, you’ll be glad that you kept on going. Not only will you lose weight but your energy levels will increase, you’ll sleep better, any medical ailments you have will probably improve, and you’ll probably start walking around with a bigger smile on your face knowing that all the previous benefits are taking effect!