The incredibly popular and successful Paleo Diet is a natural-food diet that’s also been proven to help weight-loss without any counting or weighing! Whole-food paleo eating is based on the books written by Dr. Loren Cordain, a U.S. scientist specializing in nutrition and exercise physiology. He introduced the idea of eating the same range of foods as Paleolithic humans in his famous book: ‘The Paleo Diet’ in 2001. Dr. Cordain focused on how far we have strayed from eating healthy, whole foods. And he highlighted how we’ve been fooled into eating unhealthy, highly processed foods created by profit-obsessed manufacturers.
Lose weight & gain health with balanced paleo recipes
Dr. Cordain based his new ideas on a very old idea of healthy eating; the diet eaten by ancient ‘hunter-gatherer’ communities. These ancestors had the same genetic features as today’s human beings, and were notably healthier. For instance, Paleolithic humans didn’t suffer from major diseases like: obesity, heart disease and diabetes, which are the main causes of early death today. This confirms what we already know; social changes and clever marketing campaigns have persuaded us to rely on processed ‘convenience foods’ and they are killing us! Apart from being far healthier, a number of studies have proved that switching to the paleo diet brings substantial weight loss! And you can lose weight on this whole-food diet, without the need to count calories.
Nutrition is essential for health
Dr. Cordain based his new ideas on a very old idea of healthy eating, the diet eaten by ancient, ‘hunter-gatherer’, communities. These people had the same genetic make-up as modern humans, but were notably healthier! For instance, Paleolithic humans didn’t suffer from major diseases like: obesity, heart disease and diabetes, which are the main causes of early death today. This confirms what we already know; social changes and clever marketing have persuaded us to rely on processed ‘convenience foods’, and they are killing us!
The basic principle of the Paleo Diet is only eating food that has nutritional value to the body. This means unprocessed meat, fish, eggs, fruit, nuts, vegetables, seeds, herbs and spices, cooked with healthy fat and oils. The list of foods to avoid includes all processed foods, artificial sweeteners, sugar, soft drinks, grains, legumes, most dairy foods, vegetable oils – except coconut and olive-oil – margarine and unhealthy trans-fats.
Detailed paleo diet food list
- Eggs – Free-range, pastured or omega-3 enriched
- Fish & Seafood – Cod, haddock, tuna, salmon, trout, prawns and shell-fish
- Fruit – All fruits are acceptable
- Healthy Fat & Oil – Lard, tallow, coconut-oil, olive-oil, avocado-oil
- Meats – Beef, chicken, goat, pork, lamb, turkey and game birds e.g. pheasant, grouse
- Natural sweeteners – Stevia, xylitol and yacon syrup
- Nuts and Seeds – Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
- Salad foods – Lettuce, tomato, radish, cress, salad leaves etc.
- Salt & Spices – Sea-salt, Himalayan salt, garlic and herbs e.g. sage, mint, rosemary, turmeric, cumin
- Saturated fat & oil – Butter, coconut-oil, lard, tallow and olive
- Root vegetables – Potato, sweet-potato, turnip, parsnip, yam etc.
- Vegetables – Broccoli, Brussel-sprouts, cabbage, carrot, courgette, egg-plant, kale, bell-peppers, hot-peppers, onions, spinach, kale etc.
7-day menu of paleo diet meals
Chicken pot-pie soup
We are all different individuals and you should feel free to plan paleo diet meals to suit your personal requirements For example, some people prefer a low-carbohydrate diet and eat more meat, fish, eggs and butter Others choose a high-carbohydrate diet with lots of salad leaves, vegetables and fruit Paleo diet is essential a diet for life that keeps your body running at peak performance, so you wouldn’t normally count calories However, if you need to lose weight don’t include nuts or potatoes in your meals To get you started here’s a well-balanced, one-week paleo meal plan:
- Breakfast – Eggs and vegetables fried in oil plus a portion of fruit
- Lunch – Chicken salad with a drizzle of olive oil plus a handful of nuts
- Dinner – Butter-fried burgers with vegetables and tomato sauce
- Breakfast – Bacon and eggs, with a piece of fruit
- Lunch – Leftover burgers from the night before
- Dinner – Salmon, fried in butter, with vegetables
- Breakfast – Meat or fish with vegetables leftovers from night before
- Lunch – Lettuce leaf ‘sandwich’ wrap of meat and fresh veg
- Dinner – Ground-beef and veg stir-fry plus berries
- Breakfast – Eggs and a portion of fruit
- Lunch – Leftover stir-fry from the night before and a handful of nuts
- Dinner – Fried or grilled pork chops with vegetables
- Breakfast – Egg and vegetable omelet fried in coconut oil
- Lunch – Chicken salad with olive oil and a serving of nuts
- Dinner – Steak with sweet-potato and vegetables
- Breakfast – Turkey bacon and eggs plus a fruit portion
- Lunch – Leftover steak and vegetables
- Dinner – Baked salmon & avocado with vegetables
- Breakfast – Leftover meat/fish and veg
- Lunch – Meat and fresh veg wrapped in a lettuce leaf ‘sandwich’
- Dinner – Grilled chicken wings and salsa with veg
If you’re trying to lose weight, check if you really need snacks or just eat them from habit. You should be eating just three meals a day, but these snack suggestions are paleo approved:
- A small handful of nuts
- Apple slices with almond butter
- Berries with coconut cream
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Homemade beef jerky
- Leftovers from last night’s paleo meal
- Raw carrot
How to read food labels & what to avoid
Read all labels and reject these items, which are not acceptable for a paleo diet:
- Artificial Chemical Sweeteners: Acesulfame potassium, aspartame, cyclamate, saccharin, sucralose
- Dairy: Most dairy products, especially those labelled ‘low-fat’
- Grains: Rye, barley, wheat, spelt, bread and pasta
- Processed Foods: Highly processed ‘Diet’ foods and ready meals – plus all food/drink labelled ‘low-fat’
- Legumes: Also called ‘pulses’ these include dried beans, lentils, chickpeas etc.
- Sugar & High Fructose Corn Syrup: White and brown sugar, candy, pastries and cakes from bakeries, ice-cream, sodas and fruit juice
- Trans-Fats: Look-out for ‘hydrogenated’ and ‘partially hydrogenated’ oils, in margarines and processed foods
- Vegetable Oils: Canola, corn, cotton-seed, grape-seed, peanut, rape-seed, safflower, soybean, sunflower, rice-bran
Healthy drinks & treats for paleo dieters
Enjoy 100% cocoa made with water in your weight-loss diet
Water is the best choice; drink tap-water if it is safe for home consumption in your area. Coffee, pure 100% cocoa and teas are healthy hot drinks you can add to an otherwise paleolithic diet plan. Be careful not to take more than one cup of green tea per day, as it is full of caffeine and in excess causes dehydration. Red wine and 70% cocoa dark chocolate are both full of nutrients and anti-oxidants, so enjoy them in moderation.
The paleo diet has evolved since 2001 and Dr. Cordain has written several more paleo-diet books to suit different activity-groups and ages. However, older people will recognize the paleo diet as very similar to the healthy, tasty and balanced diet they enjoyed as children, before food-processing giants hijacked our health! And you can find more tips on health on herstylecode.com!