Learn the Basics
We already discussed what the Paleo diet is, so let’s move onto some of the basics, or common questions people have when deciding to follow this lifestyle.
How many calories should I eat on a paleo diet?
This isn’t an easy question to answer. It’s not a ‘one size fits all’ sort of thing. Each person is different so calorie intake will need to be based on what is best for you. Take into consideration how often you are active, if you’re older or younger, heavier – those will all have an impact on how many calories your body needs.
Also, one of the great things about this way of eating is that it’s not meant for you to have to count calories at all, so don’t spend a lot of time fretting over this.
Should I make my entire family eat paleo?
This is entirely up to you. It’s a safe way of eating so even children can eat this way. It’s easier to stick to a lifestyle change like this if everyone in the household is on board. So if you can get everyone to agree, then yes definitely “make” them all follow the Paleo plan.
Will I lose weight?
Most people do. If you find that you’re not, pay attention to how much fruit you’re eating. Fruit is allowed, but it does have sugar in it so if you find you’re not losing then try cutting back on your fruit intake and see if that helps. Don’t just focus on the scale though.
Pay attention to the other benefits, the non-scale victories that are also possible when following this way of eating. Many people eating a Paleo diet state that they have more energy, less brain fog (can think clearer), their joints don’t hurt (inflammation goes away), lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, sleep better, and more!
What about dairy?
There’s some controversy around the fact that when you follow the Paleo lifestyle, the only dairy you really consume is eggs. Some say you don’t need dairy for healthy bones and if we think back to the cavemen, they didn’t have access to a lot of dairy and they were fine without it. Sure they had access to cows but did they drag around a cow all day with them for when they wanted some milk? Probably not.
And of course, on the other side of the spectrum are those that believe you have to have a specific amount of dairy each day for healthy bones. But if you think about all the people in this world that are lactose intolerant and get along without dairy just fine, that might help you feel better about skipping the cheese, milk, and other dairy foods. (Note: after 30 days, some people recommend that you slowly start reintroducing dairy products to your diet.)
What if I slip-up and cheat?
It’s inevitable that at some point during your Paleo eating journey you’re going to have a slip-up and eat “bad.” Most people say the hardest for them is the first two weeks, but especially the first several days. This is true – your body is going through a huge adjustment and withdrawal from giving up sugars, grains, carbs, etc.
Don’t be surprised if you have headaches or even flu-like symptoms. Just remind yourself it won’t last long and once you get past this phase it’ll be so worth it.
Having said that, if you do have a slip-up do NOT beat yourself up and think ‘well I’ve blown it now, there’s no point in getting back on track.’ That’s baloney! You didn’t blow it and there is a point to getting back on track – YOU and your health!
It may help you stay on track and not cheat if you remind yourself that if you do slip-up and eat something ‘forbidden’, you’re adding toxins back into your body and when you get back on track, you’ll go through a detox and even withdrawal phase again.
To help yourself not slip up, it’s time to clean out your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer!