So, you’ve heard everything about the paleo diet – how it completely cuts carbs and calories out of your diet, how it’s based on times before agriculture made us sedentary and lazy, and how it’s a simple, effective way of purging your body of unhealthy food elements, losing weight and building muscle – and you want to try it. The only thing is, you’re not sure how to undertake this radical new approach to food and eating. Not to worry: here are six tips for implementing a paleo diet.
1. Start Slowly
If you’re just starting off on a paleo diet, the trick is to ease your body into it. You’re likely used to ingesting the carbohydrates in bread, rice, pasta, cereal, sugar and dairy products. If you try and go cold turkey on these, your body will not react well and you’ll likely be clawing at your empty fridge before too long. The trick is to gradually phase these food components out, and replace them with staples in the paleo diet.
2. Be Prepared for the Effects
Even if you’re careful with eliminating carbohydrates from your diet, it can still take a toll on your body. You might feel tired, constipated or even dizzy as your system struggles to adapt to the new diet, and the loss of the old foodstuffs it had come to depend on. If you’re implementing a paleo diet, don’t be oblivious to the teething problems of switching to low carb food (or no carb food).
3. Consult a Doctor or Dietician
It never hurts to talk to an expert before trying something as radical (and potentially risky) as a paleo diet. Based on your medical history and lifestyle, a doctor and/or a dietician might recommend against going on the paleo diet; alternately, they might be able to suggest ways to start on the diet without subjecting yourself to the withdrawal symptoms of suddenly depriving your body of carbohydrates.
4. Write About/Share Your Experiences
Getting into the paleo diet is a big commitment – it’s leaving behind a previous way of eating, of living. It might help to write about the experience on a blog, or share your new way of doing things with a friend. Doing so will not only help you deal with the tougher parts of the transition, but also offer advice and insight to someone else who may be looking to learn about the paleo diet, a situation which you were in not too long ago.
5. Download a Diet Plan
Switching to the paleo diet is not going to be easy, but you’ve got technology on your side. There are any number of websites, or apps for your smartphone, that will help you stay on track. They will calculate your target weight, and tell you how the food you’ve eaten in a particular day will impact your progress towards that goal.
6. Give Yourself Time
It’s tempting to think that with how hardcore and difficult the paleo diet is, you’ll see instant results. However, nothing could be further from the truth. It takes weeks for your body to adjust to the new way of doing things, and even if you adhere to the paleo diet religiously, you likely won’t see tangible results until the first month is under your belt. If you’re hoping for overnight results, the paleo diet is not for you.