Friday, 13 December 2013

Getting started with the paleo diet weight loss

05:13 Posted by Dhaval Bhandari
Now that you have all the information you need on the paleo diet fundamentals, here are some practical first steps to help get you going on the road of paleo diet weight loss:

EAT REGULAR MEALS

The first thing to do is get into the habit of eating regular meals. Set yourself up for the day by eating a breakfast high in protein and fat as this will help stabilize blood sugar levels. Also ensure that you eat a small meal every three or four hours to help develop consistent energy levels. This could be a simple snack such as a boiled egg, half an avocado, or a homemade burger. After a few weeks, once you notice your appetite stabilize considerably, you can start to experiment with your meal frequency. Some people prefer to have just two meals a day, others like to have more. It really depends on your activity levels, age, and routine. Learn to listen to your body—it will usually tell you what it needs and accordingly you can plan your diet.

HOW MUCH?

So what exactly is the magic ratio of protein, fat, and carbohydrate? The truth of the matter is, the only person who can really establish this is you as each and every person has a unique mind body soul. Your macronutrient requirements vary depending upon your activity levels, age, body composition, stress levels, and health conditions.

Ideally, after a meal you should feel satiated and your energy levels should remain relatively consistent. You should be able to stay active on a daily basis, feel positive, and have enough fuel in the tank to support your exercise regimen. You should be able to last three to five hours between meals without even thinking about food. If you do find yourself hungry or excessively tired or light-headed, you may need to adjust your intake. Ensure that you are hitting your minimal protein requirements across your diet first, and then begin to increase your intake of healthy fats and carbohydrates in your paleo diet weight loss plan.

CARBOHYDRATES

By swapping out grains and legumes for vegetables, the paleo diet is naturally lower in carbohydrates. You may wish to adjust this according to your own health goals. For instance, if you are storing excess body fat, reducing your carbohydrate consumption initially may help you reach your weight-loss goals. Without carbohydrates, the body will start to use fat for energy; this is known as becoming “fat adapted.” Mark Sisson provides a great overview of this in his book The Primal Blueprint. The carb curve opposite is taken from the book and illustrates how to adapt your carbohydrates to your body composition. If you are looking for rapid weight loss through paleo diet, you can try reducing your carbohydrate intake to 50 grams a day. Many people see weight loss occur in the region of 100 grams of carbohydrates a day. If you are decreasing your carbohydrates significantly, you may wish to increase your intake of healthy fats, as ingested dietary fat and stored body fat will now become the main sources of energy that your body will burn. There are many online nutrient calculators that can help you establish what 50 to 100 grams of carbohydrates may look like.

paleo diet weight loss

If you lead a physically active lifestyle that includes participating in a considerable amount of sports, strength training, or endurance exercise—and you maintain acceptable body fat levels—you may wish to consume larger quantities of carbohydrates than indicated on the paleo diet carbohydrate curve. In this case, we recommend carbs like sweet potatoes because they have a high nutritional value and are absent of anti-nutrients. Extra servings of fruits, such as bananas and berries, work well, too. Or, if you follow the perfect paleo diet plan, you may wish to include some white rice. One of the best times to consume carbohydrates is after exercising, which again will aid weight loss. This is when the cells within the body are more likely to respond to insulin as there is a greater need to replenish nutrients.

PROTEIN

Protein recommendations vary significantly from person to person. Base your intake on your body weight. The lowest recommendations are around 0.5 grams per pound of body weight (for the inactive), and at the higher end (for devoted fitness enthusiasts), around 1 gram per pound of body weight. If you are exercising regularly, stressed out, or working hard, your protein requirements can increase, so experiment with your intake. A fillet of meat or fish about the size of your fist yields between 20 to 25 grams.

FAT

If you are reducing your carbohydrates, a high fat intake will help maintain energy and satiety as well as support the reduction of body fat. Whether it’s coconut oil in your coffee, butter on your green vegetables, olive oil drizzled over salads, avocados eaten straight out of their shell, or the fat found in grass-fed meat, monounsaturated and saturated fats can make up around 60 to 80 percent of your daily total caloric intake when you are on paleo diet which is truly primal-aligned and grain and sugar free. Again, use an online nutrient calculator to experiment.

PORTION CONTROL

Portion control is a common obstacle we see with our clients, especially since paleo diet recipes are so tasty! But it’s essential not to overeat. Portion control not only helps you manage your body composition but also encourages better digestion. Your plate should look something like this: A protein, such as fish, chicken, beef, or lamb, about the size of your fist. And two vegetables, each also about fist size. One vegetable should be green and the other can be more starchy, something like a sweet potato or butternut squash. Every meal should include some healthy fat, for example, a tablespoon of olive oil or butter over your vegetables.
Eat your meals slowly and in a relaxed environment, ideally not at your desk working or on the sofa watching TV. Take time to taste, smell, and enjoy your meals. This allows your brain to register that you have eaten and encourages a healthy balance between the hormones that stimulate your appetite and signal a sense of fullness. Also be sure to chew each bite thoroughly, ten to fifteen times, as breaking down food in the mouth is vital to healthy digestion and weight loss.

A QUICK HEADS UP ON WITHDRAWALS AND CRAVINGS

Many processed foods are addictive and this is one of the major reason against weight loss. Food manufacturers have spent years researching the tastes and textures that we love and crave so they can fill their products with them. The first time you eliminate many of these foods, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and fatigue. It’s tough, but have faith that this will only last a short time as your body adjusts to whole, nutrient-dense, genetically optimal foods. Most people who report discomfort transitioning over to paleo diet say the withdrawal symptoms last anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks. To help mitigate the withdrawals, increase your vegetable intake to boost your micronutrient levels, and increase your consumption of healthy fats to keep your energy levels balanced; mind it that healthy fats are essential even while you are on a weight loss plan. Cravings are also a very common experience, and so we put together a few tips to manage these.

EAT AN EGG

Set a rule for yourself that when you have a craving, satisfy it by eating an egg. After savoring one the most nutritious foods on the planet, chances are you won’t want anything else.

HAVE A SERVING OF HEALTHY FATS

We often advise clients to add a spoonful of coconut oil to a cup of green tea or black coffee to curb sugar cravings.

DISTRACT YOURSELF

It’s an age-old tip, but it definitely works. Go for a walk, call a friend, have a bath and, before you know it, the craving will pass.

CHOCOLATE TREAT

Try having some coconut oil mixed with a touch of organic cocoa powder. The fat of the oil and the sweetness of the cocoa should help satisfy the craving.

REMEMBER YOUR GOALS

Remind yourself why you set out to do this whether it weight loss, improving health or how you want to look and feel. If the food you crave is going to hinder your progress, don’t eat it!