10 Helpful Tips to Successfully Start Your Paleo Diet
Protein-rich foods like red meats, poultry, and seafood are an essential part of the Paleo Diet while every fruit and vegetable on the menu is considered perfectly acceptable. You also will need to stay away from all grains, all dairy products, all processed sugars, all corn products, and all legumes like beans, peas, and even peanuts. If the cavemen didn’t eat it, then you can’t either.
- Do the research. Before taking on this highly restrictive diet, make sure that you know what you’re really getting yourself into. Even foods that most people would consider healthy, like brown rice and hummus, are totally out of the question.
- Clean out the cupboards. On the very first day, go through the entire kitchen and toss all of the dairy products, sugary sweets, breads, corn products, and other tempting treats. This will help you to avoid temptation later, especially in those first few days.
- Read your labels. Even if you are buying purely organic foods, it is important to always read the labels. For example, some gluten-free bakery items are actually made with brown rice flour. Brown rice is a no-no. Go for a type of nut flour made form almonds or hazelnuts instead.
- Prepare your meals in advance. Make a grocery list of all the essential ingredients for your weekly meals. Have everything readily available when it comes time to prepare a meal. This reduces the chances of cheating by ordering takeout or heading to nearest vending machine.
- Cook more food than you need. It’s always a good idea to have a variety of leftovers on hand at all times. Then you will always have a variety of quick snacking options. You can also use the leftovers for a quick lunch on an unexpectedly busy day.
- Stash snacks in all the right places. This includes the bottom drawer of your desk at the office, inside the glove box of your car, and especially inside the kitchen pantry. Having Paleo-friendly snacks readily available reduces your chances of swerving into the local Dunkin Donuts or grabbing a cookie from the counter of the local mini-mart.
- Eat-in with other Paleo dieters. Substitute the “girl’s night out” for an in-home get-together where you cook your meals with others who are also on the Paleo Diet. This is a great way to share recopies and keep each other on track.
- Don’t isolate. It may be more difficult to follow your diet when eating out, but don’t isolate yourself either. Know your options. If your favorite menu item usually comes topped with cheese, ask the waiter to substitute chicken or seafood instead. Choose sweet potatoes instead of mashed.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you slip. There will be times when you accidentally reach for a cupcake at an office birthday party. It’s not the end of the world. Just get back on track quickly. Shoot for maintaining your diet for at least 70 percent of the time at first.
- Remember that cravings always go away eventually. It always takes a bit of time to begin a new habit, especially a healthy one. The first few days will usually be the most difficult, but have faith that the cravings for breads and sugars will eventually subside. Give your body a chance to adjust. In the long term, you’ll see a very positive change and feel infinitely better.