How to Start the Paleo Diet – A Quick Checklist

start the paleo diet

The Paleo diet is hugely beneficial, but it takes some careful planning and motivation to get started.

By identifying your health goals, gaining a good knowledge of the diet, and being prepared to rearrange your kitchen, you will get off to the best start.

Here is a guide to help you maximize your chances of fully benefiting from the Paleo diet.


1.Know Your Motivation

Before making any lifestyle changes, it’s important to identify what motivates you to want to change in the first place. Is it to improve your overall health? Lose weight? Gain more energy? You might have terrible allergies or digestion problems which you’re eager to resolve.

Write down your goal for wanting to adopt the Paleo diet. In times when you feel tempted to stray from the diet, you can remind yourself of your original motivation.

While it may feel demotivating to give up your favorite foods, remember that just because they’re your favorite, it doesn’t mean they’re good for your physical or mental health.

After 30 days on the Paleo diet, most people report positive results which will, in themselves, motivate you to keep going.


2.Know Which Foods You Can Eat

There’s plenty of delicious food to choose from on the Paleo menu.

Successfully sticking to the diet requires knowing which foods you can eat when going paleo and planning meals accordingly. Look up recipes to get some new ideas, as you may have go-to recipes that you can no longer make.

For example, breakfast can include eggs or a ripe avocado, and lunch can be a juicy salad of lettuce, peppers, tuna, celery, spring onions and a good drizzle of lemon.

Grass fed meat, such as lamb, chicken, beef and turkey are all permitted for dinner, as are a range of fish such as salmon, trout, and haddock. Vegetables (steamed, grilled or stir fried) make a wonderful accompaniment to meat or fish.

You can also make sauces using a blender.


3.Makeover Your Pantry

The best way to stick to the Paleo diet is to remove any temptation that may cause you to stray.

Even that jar of peanut butter hidden at the back of the pantry needs to be cleared out.

It will be a liberating experience throwing away this unhealthy, damaging food, signifying your new dedication to maintaining optimal health.

Once the kitchen is completely clear of grains, artificial foods, fizzy drinks and frozen ready meals, there will be enough space to completely re-stock with Paleo-friendly food.


4.Go Paleo Shopping

It’s time to refill your pantry. Before you go to the shops, be fully aware of the permitted food on the Paleo diet.

You may want to bring along a list at first. Aim to shop at whole food stores, farmers markets, and butchers for the majority of your food.

Make sure you ask your butcher where the meat has been sourced and how it was raised. Having a meal plan for the week might be helpful to ensure the good fresh foods don’t rot or go to waste.


5.Learn to Read Labels Carefully

If you must go to a supermarket, read the labels on food items carefully.

The more ingredients a product contains, the less Paleo it is. Aim to buy food that comes without a label, or at the very most only contains one or two ingredients.


6.Cook at Home

It’s advisable to cook the majority of meals yourself at home rather than relying on restaurants, which cannot guarantee a Paleo menu.

Cooking is a liberating and fun activity, and there are plenty of Paleo cookbooks to help you learn some new cooking skills.

Vegetables are interesting and tasty, and the options for their preparation are vast. Also, ask your butcher for top tips on cooking different meats.


7.Eat 85/15

It’s recommended you stick strictly to the Paleo diet for the first thirty days to ensure you fully benefit from its positive impact.

After thirty days, you can swap to an 85/15 schedule, meaning 85% of the time you eat Paleo and 15% of the time you can go back to your old favorites like mashed potatoes, a handful of chips, or a glass of fruit juice.

You will still receive the health advantages of the Paleo diet, but will find things like eating out at restaurants a bit easier if you can have a glass of wine or a creamy sauce on your steak.

Be careful and monitor your non-Paleo intake, ensuring it does not exceed 15%.


8.What to Expect

When starting of the Paleo diet, your body will begin the slow process of detoxing.

It will cleanse itself, release toxins, and may cause sugar cravings and fatigue.

This is your body chemistry adapting to the new fuel it’s being given, and it can be uncomfortable at the beginning.

Family and friends may not understand your lifestyle change, or try to deter you from continuing.

Try not to be demotivated. These physical symptoms typically ease up after thirty days or less and you will experience the benefits of the Paleo diet.


9.Secrets to Sticking to the Paleo Diet

Learning to cook is a big part of sticking to the Paleo diet, but to make this easier, consider buying a slow cooker.

This device allows you to put together a meal in the day, switch it on, and serve it up in time for dinner.

Slow cookers are also wonderful for cooking leftovers so that food doesn’t go to waste.

Soups and stews can be put together with yesterday’s leftover food, which may end up saving you money in the long run.

Also, do not fret about eating out at restaurants. Most venues will have grilled fish and vegetables on the menu, and it’s ok to ask for minor adjustments to your meal for dietary purposes.


In Summary

The Paleo diet does not have to be restrictive. While it can be difficult to get started, there are hundreds of resources and support websites that can ease you into the diet and help you stick to the plan.

Just focus on making it through the first 30 days and then take it from there.

You are then likely to experience higher energy levels, a better mood, and healthier digestion.

You will likely also learn some fantastic cooking skills, so the Paleo diet can be fun and delicious for the whole family.