How Do I Lose Weight With a Paleo Diet?
“How do I lose weight with a Paleo Diet?” is a question many people ask as they look for an appropriate eating pattern to help meet their goals. Do some of these “fad” diets work and can they help you lose weight and keep it off?
The Paleo Diet is centered around the concept of eating like our ancestors, the hunter-gatherers. It focuses on consuming whole, unprocessed foods. It promotes eating meat, fish, chicken, eggs, vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts. It avoids processed foods, sugar, dairy and grains in addition to beans, legumes and vegetable oils.
Research suggests that a diet emphasizing whole foods is better for weight loss and health. Here are five ways the Paleo Diet can help you lose weight:
- Reduces Calorie Intake – To lose weight, you generally need to reduce your calorie intake. One thing the Paleo Diet really has going for it is that it is incredibly filling. Loaded with fiber and protein, two things that slow down digestion, you are likely to get full faster and stay full longer after meals and snacks. This can help you fight hunger and ideally eat less.
- High in Protein – Protein is one of the most important nutrients for weight loss. Compared to carbohydrates and fat, protein takes longer to break down in the digestion process. This can help stabilize blood sugar after a meal. It also helps regulate several hormones that control your appetite and weight. On average, the Paleo Diet is 25-35 percent protein, which can help you fend off hunger throughout the day.
- Low in Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates are not bad for you, but they are a commonly overeaten food. There is a lot of research that supports the use of low-carb diets for weight loss. The Paleo Diet cuts out all grains like rice, oats and wheat, but does allow for some carbohydrates from tubers like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams, as well as fruit. Ideally, this keeps calorie intake low and limits the temptation to over-indulge on high-carbohydrate foods.
- Eliminates Added Sugars – Added sugars can be detrimental to your weight loss efforts and health, as they typically provide calories with little to no nutrients. The Paleo Diet totally eliminates added sugars, which in turn, typically reduces calorie intake and can help with weight loss. The plan does allow for fruit, which is a natural sugar, loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber.
- Remove Processed Foods – Processed foods are high on the list to blame for obesity. They are typically loaded with fat and sugar, offering little protein or nutrients. However, they tend to be consumed in large quantities because they are quick, convenient and tasty. Similar to added sugars, the Paleo Diet says, “no thank you” and restricts these from the eating plan. They deem these foods were not available in the Paleolithic era and thus should not be consumed in today’s diet.
Unlike most popular diets, the Paleo Diet does not focus on counting calories, but instead restricts certain food groups that typically provide lots of calories in the diet. It is, however, important to note that when weight loss is your goal, calories do count. Just because something is good for you does not mean you can eat however much you want. It is possible to overeat healthy food and not lose weight. Thus, it is necessary to be mindful of your portions when on this diet. Also noteworthy, is that when you cut out whole food groups, you often remove certain nutrients. This should be considered when evaluating the Paleo Diet as an eating pattern.
Overall health is always an important component in a weight loss plan as you want to make sure you are taking in all the essential nutrients you need. So, as you look at the Paleo Diet, see what tweaks might need to be made to personalize it to your health and nutrient needs.
If you are interested to hear more and receive personalized nutrition, check out STYR’s app, fitness tracker and suite of connected smart devices. Through the platform, you can track and log activity, food, hydration, sleep, nutrition, mood and more to personalize your nutrition needs based on data, science and access to registered dietitians, nutritionists and personal trainers.
Please note that this information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We insist that you always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical/health condition or treatment and before initiating a new health care regime. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the STYR app or on www.MyNutritioniQ.com.