Saturday, August 6, 2016

Paleo Diet - Tips and Tricks

I have been attempting to follow a healthier lifestyle since quite sometime. I have done a variation of Paleo diet and though it sounds easy, it is not quite so once you start with the diet. 

I did some research on what needs to be done to be successful with Paleo diet and here are the tips that I am planning to follow:

Paleo diet can be called as a diet that takes us back to our roots. When I say roots, think Caveman as this diet advises to use food groups which have been easily available right from the beginning of time for our disposal. This diet suggests using fruits, vegetable, nuts, seeds and meat as the food categories to purchase food from. Paleo also advises to avoid grains, dairy products and processed food from your diet. In short, the emphasis is on using food items which are in their original form and have not been processed. 

Though the diet might seem fairly easy, it can become difficult to follow as the major constituent of a regular diet, carbohydrates in the form of grains, is missing in this diet. However, there are several hacks that can help you to adopt this diet as a lifestyle option and help with your overall health in the process. 

Tips for beginners:

  1.       Preparation is key: If you are planning to start following Paleo diet, ensure that you do your homework and have done the requisite research. Do not attempt to jump start with the diet. Lay down a detailed plan with the groceries to purchase and stock, meal plans to plan your daily meals and snacks that can help you with your cravings.
    2.     One step at a time: Dependency on processed food is one of the hidden addictions and it has to be treated such. This means that an immediate cut off from processed foods can also cause withdrawal symptoms. Your success in breaking out of this addiction is dependent on identifying this and adopting a phase by phase approach to eliminating processed food. A good attempt would be to eliminate one avoidable food category at a time. Pick the food group you are going to miss the least and start from there until you have eliminated all the non-Paleo food items from your diet. 
    3.     Restock your pantry: If you are considering adopting Paleo lifestyle, a good idea would be to clear out your kitchen and pantry of any non-Paleo food items and restocking with Paleo snacks, vegetables, fruits and nuts. 
    4.     Identify suitable substitutes: Paleo diet may sound easy when explained about. However, look through all that positivity and shiny clouds and imagine this. No rice and pasta, no chocolate cake and definitely, no more potato chips. Not feeling too positive? This is how you will feel three or four days after you have started with the diet. How to beat it? Look for smart alternates to be used in place of non-paleo items. Coconut flour in place of flour, almond milk in place of regular milk and sweet potato chips in place of potato chips will help you soar through this diet.
    5.     Shift your focus: If you are serious about shifting to Paleo diet in order to improve your overall health and wellbeing, you should keep that as your focal point. Do not refer to Paleo as a diet in your mind or in your conversations. You should recondition yourself to look at it as a lifestyle. Think about all the benefits you will be reaping and visualize the new, improved you every time you have the urge to cheat. 
    6.     How to beat your cravings: You need to accept that you will get cravings for unhealthy food and that you will be tempted to cheat. An important step to help beat your craving is to identify the reason for craving. If you identify it as hunger, pick up your favorite fruit or a handful or nuts to snack on and you will feel better. If it is boredom, get engaged in an activity or exercise or simply a small jog or walk to step out of the craving. Research says that the smell of vanilla helps to curb cravings. So, get yourself a bottle of vanilla essence or a few vanilla beans and take a whiff every time you get a craving.
    7.      Paleo on the road: You might argue that maintaining a Paleo lifestyle might be easy only while staying indoors. This is not necessarily a truth and there are smart alternatives to help you. Next time you are going for shopping or meeting friends, have a heavy meal just before you leave. This will help to stop reaching out for that salty chips or soft drink. Carry a Paleo friendly snack if you don’t want to eat before going out.

Paleo is a lifestyle choice which has its own pros and cons, just as any other lifestyle. The key is to identify how to successfully work around the roadblocks and be successful.  

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