7 TIPS TO LIVE THE PALEO LIFESTYLE
At Faster Fitness, we are strong supporters of the Paleo Lifestyle. Why? Because it’s the way humans are designed to eat and live. We are designed to be lean and athletic and a Paleo Diet constructed of the right macros will get you there. In addition, it’s proven to provide optimal health and minimize your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s , and much more.
HERE ARE 7 TIPS TO LIVE A PALEO LIFESTYLE:
1) Plan and cook your meals for the week – This is the single most important step in the execution of the maintaining the lifestyle. All of the Paleo principles below can easily be applied if you plan and cook your food for the week properly. In my opinion, the number one reason why America is so overweight is because of the convenience of bad foods. Fast food, microwaved meals, excessive fruit, high sugar yogurts and meal replacements become staples in most people diet. I always say if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. If you adopt 1 habit from this article, I want it to be the habit of planning and cooking your food for the week.
So how do you do it?
Its easy, and I’ll show you how. The majority of your diet should be solid protein, so plan on aiming for 5 oz raw (4 oz cooked) for women and 8 oz raw (6.4 cooked) for men per meal (you lose 20% of the content of your food when you cook it). You should be eating 3-4 meals per day, with a maximum of 1 snack of a handful of nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, etc). If you are eating 3 meals a day, that’s 21 for the week. If you are going to eat meals with eggs or out somewhere, simply subtract them from the 21 figure. Assuming your not going out this week and not eating eggs, for women, the formula looks like this: 5 x 21 = 105 oz, or 6.6 lbs of meat/seafood. So go to Whole Foods and leave with about 6.6 lbs of meat or seafood.
For most, it takes about 3.5 hours to plan, go to the store, cook, weigh your food (yes, buy a weight scale to make sure you have enough for all of your meals), put it in individual containers and clean up. Then you are DONE for the entire week! We find that most people save up to 10 hours a week, and up to $300 by not going out as much. It’s the most efficient way to make Paleo a lifestyle. If you invest the time to plan and cook your food, it will be easy to…
2) Hit your protein goal every meal – This is the most important step of every meal. Protein increases your metabolism substantially, it turns on the hormones that make you feel full like Leptin and stabilize your blood sugars by slowing the release of the carbohydrates eaten at that meal. If your blood sugar spikes or drops it will lead to cravings and poor nutritional decisions. As you probably know, protein is imperative to the recovery of your muscles from training and prevents muscle loss, which slows your metabolism and hormonal signals that keep you lean. That combination should naturally help you…
3) Stay within your carb and fat ranges – Eating Paleo foods without structure is marginally better than the Standard American Diet. After hitting your protein goal, round your meal with healthy carbs like vegetables, and if your body is ready for it, healthy carbs like berries, grapefruit and sweet potatoes. But up to 60% of your caloric intake (depending on your goal) should derive of healthy fat. What is healthy fat? Saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, CLA (all non inflammatory), and Omega 3 (anti-inflammatory). Minimizing Omega 6 (pro inflammatory) is imperative as well. Eating some fat (20-35 g per meal for women, 20-40 g for men) is good enough for 90% of the population, but dialing in the optimal amounts requires expertise to set the proper goals and daily tracking of your intake.
4) Avoid foods that you digest poorly – There are different degrees of digestion. On one end there is a full allergy, where someone like a celiac can’t have wheat or it could cause severe reactions, and could potentially be fatal. Then there is sensitivities or intolerances, which are like mild allergies. Then there are foods that you just don’t digest well. Beans are a common example of this because they give many people gas or stomach aches. However, some of these foods are symptom free, like gluten for some, which is why I don’t think anyone should eat it. With foods like Gluten, whether you feel something or not, your still getting systemic inflammation, which will lead to problems. So start saving for those hospital bills!Finally there are the foods your body is designed to eat, the foods you digest very well. These foods are broken down properly and provide fuel for your day. Any food that doesn’t fall in the last category is not digested properly and will lead to severe problems. See, if you don’t fully digest your food. Worst case scenario, you will leak those undigested food into your blood stream and cause severe problems (aka leaky gut). These issues can be auto-immune disorders, belly fat, low energy, depression, hormonal imbalance and much more. This is much more common that people realize, and it will even if it doesn’t reach this point, it can still lead to being overweight, unhappy and unhealthy.
How can you tell what foods you digest properly?
Take our 30 Day Faster Fat Loss Challenge, which is secretly an elimination diet as well. After 30 days, we will reintroduce certain foods to determine what foods you do or don’t digest well. Leap MRT Tests are excellent as well, but pricey.
5) Improve your cooking skills – When you love the food you eat, it’s very easy to maintain the Paleo lifestyle. Every week, challenge yourself to try 1 new recipe, or cook something new or different. In time, you will build up a database of awesome recipes that you enjoy cooking. That’s another secret: once you get good at something, you will enjoy doing it, so naturally, the better cook you are, the more you’ll look forward to cooking. There are ton’s of Paleo lifestyle recipe books that you can find on Amazon. You can google them too. I recommend starting basic and building up. Also, if your meal prepping, investing in a 4 burner grill, nice set of knifes, bowls and other cooking tools is an absolute must.
6) Train smarter – The Paleo lifestyle incorporates training smarter. This means do strength training to increase your metabolism and fat burning hormones. Do sprints to maximize fat burning and your metabolism. Do mobility work and breathing exercises to maintain full range of motion, stability, and oxygen delivery. A program like our Metabolic Strength Training is just what fit the bill.
7) Recover – If you train smart, you understand that you can only progress as much as you recover. So sleep 7-8+ hours consistently, eat enough protein, healthy fat/carbs based on your goal and slow down your every day life. If you are rushing all day everyday, your body can’t be in the para-sympathetic dominant state it wants to be. So slow down, monotask, and enjoy every moment of every day. When you learn how to do that, you’ve made the full transition to a Paleo Lifestyle.