Fat Loss and the Paleolithic Diet

23 Mar

“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.”

 “World Class Fitness in 100 Words”

I am not a doctor, or a dietician, or an exercise expert by any means.  My knowledge comes from what I have read and listened to, the seminars I have attended, and our personal results.  Not exactly an official expert.  Still,  countless friends have come to me, asking about weight loss through CrossFit/Paleolithic Diet.

Eating this way helped me to lean out–and remain lean–through the last three years, including a pregnancy and a year of nursing without ever feeling hungry or deprived.

But fat loss alludes some people who are trying this diet.

If you haven’t seen body composition results come quickly, here are a few reminders.

1. LEAN meats and vegetables, and healthy fat should constitute every meal.  Period.  Embrace your food as nourishment and enjoy the way it makes you feel to eat clean.

2.  Limit your snacks of nuts and fruit to 1-2 servings a day.  A serving of nuts is generally 1/4 cup.  So yeah, that means measure.  If you are not super hungry, skip them that day.  Listen to your body.

3.  Paleo baked goods (pancakes, muffins, granola, cookieslarabars, and all other “paleo” confections) are treats.  Treat=Cheat.  I understand they help you transition from the typical, American, 7-11 diet.  Shelve them if you are looking for quick fat loss.  They will inhibit your results, as well as keeping you on the glycemic rollercoaster.

I didn’t have my first paleo cookie until this year.  Now that “paleo” has become mainstream and more of a fad, there are tons of recipes that are delicious and tempting…be suspect.

4.  Avoid alcohol and other calorically-dense beverages.

5.  Keep moving.  In addition to your high intensity strength training, walk and bike everywhere as much as possible.  Avoid a sedentary existence at all costs.  This doesn’t mean becoming treadmill slave…unless you honestly just love gym time.  But embrace a “roaming” lifestyle.  Make long walks and easy jogs a routine.  Don’t tell me you don’t have childcare, bring them alongside.  They need it too!

6.  If you are not hungry, don’t eat.  A natural hunger signal is a growling stomach, regardless of our customary meal times.  Wait for the growl, it might actually take longer than you think.  Don’t worry, it will come.  Then, eat modestly and move on.  Don’t worry!  Because another growl will come in a few hours, and you will have another chance to eat!  Trust your natural signals, and allow your body to regulate itself.

7.  Ask yourself if you actually have “weight” to lose.  Are you trying to gain lean muscle mass and lose excess body fat, or are you dreaming of being an underwear model?   There is a difference between being fit and being SKINNY.  Skinny is a bad word.  It means weak.  It means malnourished.  It means deprivation and hunger.  I can tell you how to get skinny.  Private message me.

If you don’t have fat to lose, or you are in a place of maintenance, you can be a little more liberal about your fattier cuts of meat, fruits and nuts, “cheat days” and paleo baked goods.

Take heart, friend.  Even if you are not losing fat as fast as you would like, know that you are doing your body many more favors with healthful foods that give you tons of energy, boost your performance, and put you in the prime of your life.

Enjoy YOUR journey!
Leigh

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One Response to “Fat Loss and the Paleolithic Diet”

  1. Heather March 23, 2012 at 8:16 am #

    Great reminders, Leigh! Wish I wasn’t the guilty one who introduced you to your first “primal” cookie :)
    Like you, I was extremely strict in the beginning until I saw the results I wanted/needed. I ate a TON of veggies, meat and eggs, limited my fruit consumption, zeroed out all forms of added sugar (honey included), and made primal pancakes/waffles for the kids on the weekends. My inherent love for baking made it’s way through but I’ve found it’s best to think of “primal” baking for entertaining/company purposes, not regular consumption.
    The bottom line is that while food may have many different emotional/social components to different people, it’s purpose is to fuel your body….period. Choose to fuel it with the foods most compatible for your body that will keep your engine running best!
    Best,
    Heather

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