While the entire Paleo diet is great for health and weight loss, certain foods will help to speed along the process of losing weight faster than others. When you’re eating Paleo, make sure you’re including these foods and food groups:
While it’s fairly easy to get great levels of protein intake on a Paleo diet, some don’t understand the necessity for having protein with every meal and snack. Protein helps to regular blood sugar, and a stable blood sugar helps the metabolism to work most effectively. The actual amount of protein that is ideal for weight loss is different from one person to the next. Some do well with small amounts, 5-10 grams per meal or snack, while others need 20-30 grams. In general, men tend to need more protein than women, and those who are more physically active require more than those who are not. Great Paleo proteins sources include all grassfed meats, eggs, seafood, nuts and nut butters, seeds and seed butters, and there are even some Paleo protein powders.
Eating fat does not prevent you from losing fat. Healthy, Paleo fats are protective and help your body to fight inflammation and to do its own internal repair work. While Paleo isn’t always a low-carb diet, it is generally much higher in fat than the average American diet or many other diet programs. Fat heals! Use it to cook your meat and veggies, make salad dressings, and even add it to your coffee and smoothies. Using a variety of fat sources also offers the best nutritional benefits. Try coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, ghee, lard, tallow, duck fat, and fatty fish sources like salmon and sardines.
All vegetables are great, and I strongly encourage you to “eat the rainbow” of veggies and fruits daily, but green veggies especially are fabulous sources nutrients that are beneficial for weight loss. Kale, spinach, and lettuce aren’t the only options, either! Have you tried chard or watercress? These two nutrient powerhouses are packed with folate, other B vitamins, vitamin K, and more.
If anything, these tend to be the category of vegetables that are hardest for people to eat. Some people really don’t like them at all, but that’s often because of cooking style! Roasting these vegetables in the oven with a Paleo fat, sea salt, and other favorite spices and herbs can turn them from yuck to yum. Roast them individually or try a medley of several!
Most people who need to lose weight are fighting two battles — to get the pounds off and to get the inflammation down. Inflammation and weight play off of each other. The more you weigh, the more your body produces inflammation, and the more you’re inflamed, the harder it is to lose weight. But fear not! Eating a diet rich in antioxidants and all of the above nutrients will help to kill two birds with one Paleo caveman’s stone. Fruits and vegetables are your best sources of antioxidants, so eat plenty each day!
Stick around for Part 3, with our thoughts on how exercise can affect your weight loss.