How To Follow The Crossfit Paleo Diet Plan
Here is what you need to do...
The first step to following the paleo diet is to get one of several books highlighted above that describe certain meal plans and the basis for why people follow the diet and how to change your eating habits without losing too much of what you enjoy.
Realize that in order to begin a diet, you must be willing to commit and be open to change. You will no long eat sandwiches on the paleo diet, so if you can't manage going without precious bread, then you should consider something else. Setting yourself up for failure is really easy in this pursuit.
Remember the paleo diet really isn't a diet, but a lifestyle. It is a full commitment to an agreement that you will live in the produce section. This "diet" also doesn't have any limits on the amount you eat. That's correct, you eat until your full and whenever you get hungry.
When you first begin the paleo diet, you will quickly realize it isn't very filling like the high processed carb. intake of usual every day American foods. You will need to eat a lot of food! Since the majority of the plan is just veggies, nuts (not peanuts or legumes), meat, and fruit (also no dairy of any kind!), you will need to have large amounts of food to feel satisfied. People will initially lose a lot of weight based on low caloric intake and sugar levels. It is crucial, especially if you are exercising regularly, to eat enough food and get plenty of fluids. Although the nutritional value is greater than the breads and pastas of your original diet, you will not feel as full and get that immediate carb energy to expend. Some people report feeling very sluggish and tired, but that is mainly due to your body working to get used to processing natural, tough skinned veggies for awhile at a greater intake.
A typical paleo plan or challenge will last a month, and usually takes just as long to start noticing its differences caused through eliminating processed foods and dairy.
So why are grains an dairy not a good choice? Briefly, the modern world of grains have been modified and processed to such an extent since the 1950's that there really is no nutritional value to most breads and grain meals. According to paleo enthusiasts, grains are not meant to be digested by the human body and cause a great deal of inflammation and actually strip away vitamins from other foods through phytates existing in the grain material. Even the whole grain meals are said to cause more harm than good over time. Not only are they providing no nutritional value, but also spike your glucose levels creating a high imbalance. If repeated, it can possibly lead to diabetes.
Dairy has also been said to be an unnatural and unnecessary food for humans to ingest. Though it appears harmless to those who can tolerate the lactose digestion, paleo advocates agree that it also brings about allergic inflammation and most of the artificial hormones provided to the dairy cows follow into the milk and cheese products.
Although there are several good, educated points made for straying away from modern breads and grains, the paleo diet and process has been a bit blown out of proportion from bloggers and media alike. Much of the things in question have no real evidence in published research to back the claims made, and most of the knowledge is based off of speculation and comparing our modern age to past times. One large piece of history paleo supporters use is the introduction of a heavy bread and grain diet only happened as late as the 20's and 30's when the depression called for cheap, high quantities of food to be made available for the people affected by economic ruin. Although a bit of a stretch, it is interesting and makes absolute since with the influence of grains into American culture.
I encourage everyone to try the paleo diet, but stick with what works for you. If you just cannot avoid the grains or dairy products, try to only buy them from stores that provide high quality products from local farms and companies that are passionate in providing healthy, quality food. Almond milk is also an amazing alternative to regular dairy. It does have a very slight nutty flavor, but tastes just like a smooth, cream dessert in some instances or brands.
Remember to always try things. If you have been a dairy advocate your entire life, just try and go dairy free a month to see if you notice anything from allergy reduction to less stomach problems. If nothing is noticeable, then I suppose sticking with dairy is fine for you. Do the same with other things as well.
The paleo diet seems very difficult, especially if followed in a strict manner, but it is doable and there are more recipes than ever on blogs and websites that actually offer desserts you'd think would never be considered healthy because they taste amazing.
Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.
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When did you first do this & how did you get started?
I first heard about the paleo diet through Crossfit and its unique cult-like community, and its thoughts on nutrition and overall fitness. Even the CEO and founder of Crossfit states in his description that fitness incorporates a healthy diet consisting of of fruits, nuts, meat and veggies with the correct ratio in beneficial fats. The paleo diet is thought by many to be the healthiest, "real food" diet and if followed properly can offer extreme health benefits. It is modeled after the hunter gatherer diet from thousands of years ago. When humans had to live off the land, they hunted meats and gathered fruits and other plants. They were essentially a very lean culture. Due to the overhaul in processed foods and large carbohydrate production in our current society, more people are agreeing with such a diet that virtually cuts out all processed foods and grains and begins people back to the basics with nutrition through real food.