Want to know more about Paleo weight loss? Are you considering trying Paleo to lose weight? Or looking for Paleo weight loss tips? Whist the Paleo diet isn’t specifically a weight loss plan, many people find they lose weight by eating this way. If you’re in any of the Paleo Facebook groups you will have probably seen the before and after pictures. But losing weight is just one of the many up sides of eating a Paleo diet, and to be honest, probably just a sign of being healthier in general. Nevertheless, it is an obvious bonus and motivating factor. One I’m familiar with. Just take a look at my before and after pictures below. (I follow Auto Immune Paleo but many people have lost significant amounts of weight following the standard Paleo diet too).
Weight loss with Paleo
One thing to note, however, is that Paleo is not the Atkins Diet revisited. If you want to eat nothing but eggs, bacon and steak, look away now! Here at Paleo & Co, we see it as a plant-based diet. 75%+ of your food should be made up of vegetables (with a bit of fruit), and the rest should be high quality protein (grass fed, outdoor raised, free range, organic and wild caught as much as you can), and good quality fats.
So why do most people lose weight on Paleo?
There could be many factors. Here are just a few:
- You cut out all the processed food
- You eat more vegetables
- You eat better quality protein
- You are less likely to snack
- You cut out inflammatory foods
- And you eat more FAT (yes I did say FAT).
People not familiar with the Paleo diet, can’t get their heads around eating fat to get thin.
We hear a lot of “but is it fattening?” when we talk about the simply amazing Hunter & Gather Paleo Mayonnaise, gasps and comments like “but they can’t be good for you, surely?” when we show people the delectable Wilding’s duck crackling, and simply disbelief at me eating coconut oil by the spoonful. Oh yes I do!
How Paleo can help with weight loss
The old advice of ‘eat less and move more’ sounds simple doesn’t it? The problem is that it doesn’t work for many people. According to Dr Kriss Kresser that’s because: “the brain has powerful mechanisms for overriding our efforts to lose weight.” He says that by consciously reducing the number of calories you eat, “your body responds by lowering your metabolism to match your reduced intake.” Basically as you purposefully eat less calories, your body finds ways to use less calories. How annoying! On top of this, your body is also “ramping up hormones that raise your appetite and drive you to eat more at every meal to regain the fat you’ve lost.”
So what CAN you do? Basically the best way to lose weight is to enjoy food which naturally leads to a lower calorie intake without leaving you feeling deprived (and therefore ramping up those hormones to make you want to eat more). In our opinion the best way to do this is choose the Paleo lifestyle.
Chris Kresser says: “Research shows that a Paleo diet is more satiating per calorie than both a Mediterranean diet and a low fat diet.” What that means is simply that it’s more filling for the same number of calories compared to other popular diet methods. This is the crucial for weight loss. You eat less without being hungry or counting calories. It sounds like a dream come true, but it’s not. It’s backed by science. And again, if you’re constantly hungry those hormones will respond by reducing your metabolic rate and increasing your appetite! It’s a vicious circle.
Why does Paleo for weight loss work?
You don’t have to count calories, restrict fat or carbs – although you will naturally eat lower carb because you will cut out high starchy food groups such as pasta, bread, grains and processed foods. With Paleo you just eat delicious, nutrient dense and FILLING foods.
Some tried and tested Paleo weight loss tips
Paleo weight loss tip 1: Focus on what you can eat
When trying to lose weight it’s common to focus on what you can’t eat, which can lead to you feeling deprived. So instead of thinking about what you can’t eat, focus on what you can eat. Meats, good fats, eggs, veggies, nuts and seeds, berries… delicious, filling, nutrient dense foods.
Paleo weight loss top 2: Eat mindfully.
The way we eat nowadays isn’t helpful to weight loss. Food is seen as entertainment rather than nutrition. Eating in front of the TV, snacking out of boredom and habit are all ways to put on weight without even realising it. Eating Paleo is a much more mindful way to eat anyway – mainly because you have to prepare pretty much everything from scratch! But making sure you eat mindfully (or just paying attention to what we eat, whilst we’re preparing and eating it) can improve digestion, regulate our appetite and helps us enjoy our food much more (source).
Paleo weight loss tip 3: Keep your food simple.
It can be tempting to comb through Pinterest and recipe books to find replacements of meals you love, but if you are using Paleo for weight loss you need to start by keeping meals simple. Some good protein like meat or fish, plenty of non-starchy green vegetables, carbohydrates from root vegetables or fruit and some good fat. One of the best and easiest ways we find to do this is a stir fry with plenty of greens. Of course there is a place for more elaborate meals but keep them for treats and weekends. It’s easier to stick to because you’re keeping your meal prep down too.
Paleo weight loss tip 4: Paleo treats are just that – treats.
Take a look through Pinterest or google Paleo treats and you’ll find hundreds of recipes – from Paleo brownies and cupcakes to cheesecakes and crumbles. And whilst we’re not saying don’t ever have a treat (because we think for Paleo to work and become a lifestyle it has to be sustainable), it’s important to think about treat in the literal sense – i.e. not something you have after every meal!
Paleo weight loss tip 5: Make sure you eat enough
Often people looking to lose weight eat less, but that’s not the idea with Paleo. It’s not about deprivation, but about nutrient density. Paleo is more satiating that other diets meaning you can eat filling meals without counting calories and therefore eat less without realising it and being hungry. Eating too little is just as bad as eating too much when it comes to weight loss because it lowers your metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories).
More tips from the Paleo sphere:
Got any Paleo weight loss tips to add or a success story to share, we’d love to hear. Comment below.