Paleo Diet Meal Plan: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

Paleo Diet

Whether you’ve read about it online or heard about it from a friend, one thing’s for sure. The Paleo diet is an incredibly popular diet at the moment. Based on what people would have eaten during the Paleolithic era, this plan includes natural whole foods and ingredients. If you’re considering giving the diet a whirl, you may want to know how to make a Paleo diet meal plan that will suit your lifestyle. Here’s a quick beginner’s guide that will help you out.

What is a Paleo Diet Meal Plan?

Woman writing out a Paleo diet meal plan on a piece of paper
It may take some getting used to the Paleo diet meal plan, but with so many benefits on offer the effort is worth it.

Before you start your Paleo diet meal plan, you should understand the basics of this diet. The ground rules here are that you should avoid processed foods altogether. On the other hand, you need to include whole foods and natural products in your day-to-day meals. Following this diet means that you will eat recipes consisting of lean meat, fish, shellfish, fruit, vegetables, eggs, nuts, and seeds.

Now that you understand what you should be eating, let’s talk about what you should avoid at all costs. As we have already mentioned, the Paleo diet meal plan should be completely free from processed food. That means ditching microwave meals and frozen dinners entirely. Other ingredients you need to avoid include grains, legumes, cereals, dairy, processed foods, refined sugars, or added salts. While cutting these things out of your diet may seem hard to begin with, you should make a serious effort to do so.

How Should I Prepare For Starting it?

Diving right into any new diet can be difficult. For that reason, you may want to take a few simple steps before you begin the Paleo diet meal plan. Here are some of the ways in which you can start to get to grips with the rules of the diet when you’re a beginner.

  1. Make a Paleo grocery list
    One of the easiest ways you can prepare for this diet is to make a Paleo grocery list ahead of time. Doing so will help you to understand the basics of this diet and guide you when you hit the stores. Try to be as strict as possible when you start out.
  2. Read food labels
    The Paleo diet stops you from eating processed food. That is the golden rule when you’re following this meal plan. With that in mind, you should make sure that you always read the labels of the food that you buy. Make sure that they are free from the ingredients you should avoid and that they are not processed. Natural, wholefood products are key.
  3. Meal prep each week
    When you come in after a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is make a meal from scratch. You may find that you’re tempted to order takeout or even reach for a frozen meal. Avoid this problem by meal prepping ahead of time. Knowing what you’re going to make for dinner each day means you don’t stray from the Paleo weight loss meal plan.
  4. Arm yourself with resources
    You don’t have to go about this journey alone! There are so many online resources as well as helpful Paleo books you can consult if you need some guidance or inspiration.

What Are Some Challenges Beginners Often Face?

Make no mistakes, following the Paleo diet meal plan is anything but easy. Next up, let’s take a moment to talk about some of the challenges that you might face when you first adopt this diet. Here are three of which you should be aware of.

  1. Not knowing what to cook
    If you’re used to cooking the same tried and tested recipes each night, you may struggle when you first take on the diet. Not knowing what meals to cook is one of the biggest issues that people face. Luckily, we have the answer for you. Learning some new Paleo recipes needn’t be a chore. You can have some real fun here and try new things!
  2. Craving sugary foods
    As you can see from the Paleo diet meal plan rules, you can’t eat refined sugars on this diet. For that reason, you may find that you crave sugary foods at the start of your plan. Learning some tasty Paleo dessert recipes will help you deal with this issue. You can also eat sweet paleo-friendly ingredients, such as raw honey and certain types of syrup.
  3. Overeating when you start
    Since you’re taking on a new diet, you may find that the adjustment is quite tricky. Some people find that this causes them to eat larger portions than they usually would. That, in turn, could have an adverse effect and mean that you gain weight. If you are trying the Paleo weight loss meal plan, you should always exercise portion control.

Should I Consult My Doctor Before Starting a Paleo Diet Meal Plan?

Dietician advising on Paleo diet meal plans
It’s wise to talk to a doctor before embarking on any new diet, including the Paleo diet meal plan.

Thinking of getting started with the Paleo diet meal plan? Before you do anything at all, it’s always wise to speak to a professional. A doctor will be able to tell you whether this particular plan is right for you. Should you have existing health conditions, a professional will be able to help you decide what you should and shouldn’t eat. Whenever you are thinking about drastically changing your diet, getting some advice could be the way to go.

If you find that the Paleo diet is too restrictive for you, your doctor may suggest altering it to ensure that you get the nutrients you need. For example, some people may need to include legumes in their diet or have small portions of grains. Adapting the meal plan to suit your health goals is a surefire way to ensure that you protect your wellness.

If I Want to Lose Weight Should I Use a Paleo Weight Loss Meal Plan?

Woman searching for paleo diet meal plans on her computer

Of course, one of the main reasons that people follow the Paleo diet meal plan is to lose weight. So, does it really work? While everyone is different, there is some scientific evidence to suggest that this plan will help you shed some pounds.

One study published in the US National Library of Medicine suggests that the Paleo diet could help you to reduce your waist size.[1] So, if you’re trying to lose some excess belly fat, you may find that this particular diet works well for you. Needless to say, you should stick closely to the guidelines if you’re hoping to achieve these results.

The Paleo weight loss meal plan is also naturally high in protein. Research suggests that high-protein meal plans help people to lose weight.[2] That means that the diet could help you to get into shape when you ensure that your protein intake is increased.

What’s more, you may also find that the Paleo diet helps you to boost your metabolism. One study published in the US National Library of Medicine suggests that the diet helps to support a person’s metabolic rate.[3] This effect could also help you lose weight.

The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to the Paleo Diet Meal Plan

Conclusion

Do you feel prepared to start your paleo diet meal plan? Now that you understand the basics, you should be able to get to grips with how the eating style works. Don’t worry if you’re not perfect right off the bat. Trying any new diet can be tough and may take time. Simply keep trying and follow the rules each day.

References

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