Looking to lose a little weight before the summer? A well formulated Paleo diet is one of your best tools. A Paleo lifestyle has been shown to help overcome many modern health challenges, including obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance and heart problems, and unlike other eating plans, emphasizes the importance of following a lifestyle in order to lose weight.
Paleo foods are delicious and satisfying, allowing you to effectively reduce your caloric consumption whilst keeping your hunger, cravings and hormones balanced. There are, however, a few simple strategies you can implement if a little extra weight loss is one of your health goals.
Keep It Simple
Eating simpler food leads to eating less, which in turn helps you shed fat without effort. Stick to the basics of a Paleo plate. Include a protein, plenty of non-starchy vegetables, whole foods carbohydrates from root vegetables or fruit, and some healthy fat. No need to get too fancy with elaborate meals which often tempt us to eat more then you really need or want to. If you are trying to lose weight, you are better off cooking simple dishes without too many extra ingredients and additional flavorings. You can save those meals for special occasions or a nice weekend dinner.
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Assess Your Food Choices
If you are following a Paleo diet and looking to lose a little extra weight, assessing a few of your food choices may be necessary. Some Paleo can be so delicious that they may lead to overeating, whilst others, still as delicious, can leave you feeling full and satisfied for hours.
Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Sugars, even those naturally present in whole foods, can stall weight loss when over-consumed. Make sure you are not overdoing it with fruit (both dried and fresh) or natural sweeteners like the coconut sugar, honey, and maple syrup commonly found in grain-free Paleo treats.
Eat Starches Appropriately
If your Paleo diet includes starchy vegetables at every meal, every day, you may want to cut back on the frequency or amount that you are eating. Similar to sugars, they are digested relatively quickly and have a greater impact on blood sugar and insulin (impacting your energy levels, hunger, satiety and fat burning) than other foods on the Paleo diet.
It is important to match your carbohydrate intake to the amount of exercise you do. An imbalance can stall your weight loss and lead to instances of fatigue and muscle breakdown. If you are highly active, have a physically demanding job, or have tried a low carbohydrate approach in the past without success, you might find a more moderate carbohydrate approach helpful in stimulating fat loss. If, on the other hand, you are relatively sedentary, or are only able to do a small amount of exercise every day, you may find that eating a lower carbohydrate diet and removing many of these foods may help you shed weight faster.
Be Mindful Of Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are delicious and easy to use as a quick on-the-go solution. It is good to remember that they are also highly snackable, making it easy to lose track of portions and eat way more than you need. If you eat a lot of nuts, trail mix, or nut butters, consider portioning foods into individual servings ahead of time.
Load Up On Non-Starchy Vegetables
Non-starchy vegetables (those that tend to grow above the ground) are the foundation of many weight loss plans and the Paleo diet is no exception. They are filled with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, are naturally high in fiber and water and, when added to your meals, leave you feeling full and satisfied.
Eat When Hungry
Overeating is a problem that can prevent weight loss. Even when following a highly satiating Paleo diet, you want to be mindful of eating beyond fulness or exceeding your daily energy requirements on a regular basis. This can be particularly challenging for many people.
Alternatively, under eating can be just as much as, if not more of, a problem, especially for those trying to lose weight. While under eating reduces calorie intake and therefore can result in weight loss in the short-term, it causes health and hormone problems in the long-term. This is especially relevant for women. The female body has many mechanisms specifically designed to store body fat if it thinks it is being starved: this serves as a protective mechanism for a woman and possibly a child she may be carrying. Regularly under-eating may also result in slowed thyroid function, and therefore slowed fat burning.
The key preventing over or under consuming food is to eat when you feel hungry. There is no need to starve yourself. It is unnecessary to make yourself wait on purpose. Having a set number of calories to eat in a day may not serve you either and giving yourself a set amount of food, for the most part, may not allow you to get in touch with your hunger and satiety cues. Energy needs vary day by day. If you feel like you need to eat more, do it.
Many standard weight loss approaches believe eating less is better when it comes to losing those extra pounds. Ultimately, this results in a stressful situation for your body which is being deprived of the calories and nutrients it needs to function optimally. Decreasing your calories for too long also lowers your resting metabolic rate, resulting in weight loss stalls and quick weight gain. Starving is not supportive of long-term weight loss. Calories do count, but when it comes to weight loss, undereating can be as problematic as overeating.
What makes a Paleo diet special is that it is so satiating, resulting in eating without fighting hunger or counting calories. Naturally consuming less food without trying where no calorie counting is necessary or required is one of the best weight loss strategies and one of the main reasons the Paleo diet is so effective for losing your extra weight.
Excessive sitting and being sedentary for long periods of time can reduce the benefits of an exercise program and stall weight loss. A modern lifestyle of working in an office, commuting by car or transit and relaxing in front of the television in the evening means you are spending a huge portion of your day sitting! Unfortunately, and hour or two at the gym or running outside or on a treadmill is not sufficient to reverse the harmful effects of too much sitting. When it comes to weight loss, getting active and moving throughout the entire day is a crucial component of a well-rounded regimen. This will not only benefit your weight loss, but can also improve your overall health and reduce your risk for chronic disease.
Sleep And Stress
Lifestyle factors are an important component of any weight loss plan.
The modern world, for all its great benefits and achievements, creates many challenges when trying to follow a Paleo lifestyle. One of the most challenging aspects is in regards to getting adequate, high quality sleep. Sleep deprivation is a huge stressor for the body as it is unable to adequately repair and restore the necessary tissues and functions worn down through daily use. Lack of sleep increases appetite and consistently stimulating your stress hormones causes you to eat more and crave carbohydrate-laden foods
Work on getting a full 8 hours of restful sleep in a bedroom that has total darkness. Try your best to sleep from the hours of 10pm to 6am to get back into the circadian rhythm. This will not only support your overall health, but your weight loss goals too.
Focus on managing your daily stress using mind-body techniques like meditation or yoga. Plan ahead using shopping lists and meal plans to help you reduce the stress that comes along with any lifestyle change. Connect with friends and family, and get support in your weight loss efforts. Your weight loss efforts will be. More successful and long lasting and you may even enjoy yourself whilst doing it!!
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Successful weight loss not about counting calories or feeling the need to earn indulgences through punishing exercise, restriction and deprivation. Trying to starve your body into submission without addressing your nutritional needs is ineffective and unnecessarily painful. The key to lasting weight loss is to work with your body, not against it, and a Paleo diet supports your health along with your weight loss goals. This is how your weight should come off relatively painlessly, with a minimum of deliberate restriction and a maximum of delicious meals!