I recently read a “30 Tips” post on Rubies and Radishes that had some great suggestions to make eating Paleo easier.*
But… compulsive editor that I am, I edited it down to what I thought were the best tips for eating Paleo, and add a few helpful items and notes of my own. Here you go!
• When you’re just starting, plan out meals and snacks several days in advance. This keeps you from caving in on busy days. Once you get the hang of cooking and eating Paleo, it will be easier to throw together meals from your well-stocked kitchen.
• If planning all your meals seems overwhelming, try it in phases. Most people don’t need a lot of variety in breakfast, so find one or two Paleo-friendly breakfasts that work for you and get those nailed down. Then find a few lunches that work for you. Then move on to planning dinners.
• Cook meat in bulk; save in easy-to-thaw portions in the freezer. Hamburger, pulled pork, chicken, and your favorite kinds of sausage are all handy to have ready to deploy. You can also cook bacon in big batches and keep it in the fridge. Have you tried cooking it in the oven?
• Dedicate time to prep ingredients every week. Or, if it works better for you, every evening after dinner, prep what you’ll need for tomorrow’s meal(s). Thaw anything that’s frozen. Chop up ingredients. Pre-mix seasonings or sauces.
• Paleo eating and meal planning takes time to adjust to. Give yourself time and grace. Keep at it — it will get easier! It’s only hard until it’s routine.
• Read labels. Learn to recognize sugar in all its disguises. Yeah, it’s overwhelming and kind of depressing at first, but it’s a necessary education.
• Don’t spend too much time trying to figure out how to substitute or recreate the non-Paleo food you once ate. Instead of mourning the loss of food that makes you feel yucky, celebrate new food discoveries that make you feel great! As you stick with this, your taste buds will change and junk food will become less and less appealing.
• Explore Paleo blogs and books. The more Paleo knowledge you have, the easier it is to stick with your new lifestyle!
• When you make dinner, make extra. Enjoy it for breakfast (yes, you can!) or lunch the next day, or pack it in the freezer for an easy future meal.
• One of the hardest things about eating Paleo is the social pressure to eat junk. Always have a plan before going to social gatherings. And focus on how that food is going to make you feel tomorrow! Tell yourself, “When I eat crap, I feel like crap.”
• Eat a satisfying meal before you go to parties so you won’t be tempted by unhealthy choices. Drink plenty of water while you’re there. Focus on enjoying the people, not the food.
• If it’s a pot luck, bring your own Paleo dish (or two), because that might be your only healthy choice!
• Likewise, have a plan for how you’ll eat when meeting friends at restaurants.
• Remember to get the sleep you need every night, and drink plenty of water. And several times a week, if not every day, try to get a little sunshine and gentle exercise.
1. Watch your diet
Experts have weighed in on this topic, and what they have concluded after many studies is that your metabolism slows down when you cut calories. This might seem counter-productive if you are trying to lose weight, but if you remember to get regular exercise, it can negate that slowdown effect.
Gradual weight loss will keep your metabolism chugging along. If you are trying to lose weight, cut no more than 500 calories from your daily diet and be sure to work off the same amount of calories when you workout.
2. Stop stressing
If you have been stressed out about your job, your family, or any other factor in your life, you need to find a way to cope with the stress positively. Research has shown that when you are completely stressed out, your metabolism can’t deal.
At a study conducted by Ohio State University, women that were stressed to the max burned less calories after eating a high-fat meal when pressed with stress the day prior to eating that meal. Too much stress could cause you to add 11 pounds a year. Eek.
3. Go fast
While experts shun most cleanses and other trendy diets of starvation, new research seems to show that fasting in a certain way might actually help. Alternate-day fasting allows one to eat without any restrictions on one day and then on the next day, only allows one to eat 500 calories. This method triggers weight loss without slowing up your metabolism.
4. Pump some iron
Lifting weights is one of the best ways to rev up your metabolism. Most people are aware of the benefits of strength training, however a newer research has shown that when lifting weights, one of the best things you can do is go slowly instead of fast. By resting for several minutes between sets, you’re helping to promote the growth of muscles.
5. Eat protein properly
Protein is fuel for muscle growth. However, you need to split up the amount of it you consume evenly throughout your day. Your body can only handle roughly 4 to 6 ounces of protein at once. Eating more than that during a meal will cause it to be stored as fat.
6. Employ calorie blasters throughout the day
There are many other little things you can do during your day that will make a difference, like exercising in the morning on an empty stomach, drinking more water, adding small bursts of activity to your day such as a walk on your lunch break, and sleeping in colder temperatures can all contribute to a speedier metabolism.
7. Health problems can cause metabolism issues
Certain health issues like thyroid disorders, prediabetes, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and polycystic ovary syndrome are just some of the ones that can turn your metabolism upside down. If you have any of these health problems, discuss your options with your doctor.
By working these tips into your day, you will soon start to feel your metabolism working more efficiently and quickly for you. And when that happens, you will be able to achieve the goals you have been dreaming about.