Prepare for failure
After you’ve got your list of likely slip-ups, plan in advance how to combat them. Leave healthy snacks in strategic places such as a bin by the door, a place in your car, or a hiding spot at work.
Any major change can cause stress. Stress can lead to eating, or what I term ghost-hunger (feeling hungry when you’re not actually in need of sustenance). Instead of letting snack attacks derail your diet, rely on healthy food ideas for a paleo diet such as: an additive, preservative and sugar free jerky, raw vegetables, or roasted seeds and nuts.
Vegetables are filling, delicious, fibrous and full of vitamins, nutrients and minerals. Find one you like and then portion it out into small containers or baggies. Chances are that after a long day you’re not going to want to wash the celery and slice it up, but if it’s already packaged you’ll be more likely to munch on it than the other convenient options in your cupboard.
Nut and seed portioning
Like with veggies, packaging healthy servings in advance is important. Not only because it makes them easily available, but also because fats tend to add up quickly. The beauty of paleo is that you don’t have to count calories, but it is helpful to know that 2 handfuls of nuts is about 30 grams of fat, or in other words three times as much fat as there is in a snickers, or the fat equivalent of 15 glasses of milk.
Have a solid “Why.”
It was said before, but it’s worth saying again: DIETING IS HARD. So, you need something to pull you through the tough times. Just losing weight or getting healthy isn’t specific enough. Have a detailed, motivating “why.” For example, instead of the idea of losing weight, focus on what that will mean for your life such as, “I want to lose weight so I can run faster than my mouthy kid.”
Remind yourself of your “Why.”
Do this constantly! It isn’t enough to just think of it once and then be done with it. You need to have a constant reminder. Put it in your daily reflection journal, start a vision board, make it the background on your homescreen, write it on your bathroom mirror. Whatever you do, make sure your specific “why” is in your face all of the time.
Hydrate and then hydrate some more
Water is essential for human life. It’s also a great filler when you’re hungry. Often times what you think is hunger is actually just thirst. Drink water as often as you wear your under (or as often as you don’t if you’re into that), a.k.a. all day long.
Chew your food more
Eating fast is only beneficial if you’re in a contest, and then it’s even debatable! It prevents the first part of your digestive system, the teeth, from finishing their job of mincing up the food. It also delays the signal to your brain that you’re full and can lead to overeating. You need to slow down to slim up.
Regular meals keep your body on a schedule and prevent hunger panic from striking. Hunger panic is when you let yourself get so hungry that you’re desperate body tells you chips, snacks and carbohydrate filled goodies are great because they give you fast energy. Prevent this by eating 4 meals a day, and if needed one or two light snacks in between.
Don’t skip breakfast
Eating early in the day breaks the fast and fuels your body for the day ahead. This is another way to prevent the hunger panic. Paleo breakfasts can be as simple as a cup of coffee with added cocunut oil or grassfed butter, or as similar to a dinner dish, as you’d like them to be.
Substitute Your Favorites!
When you’re starting off, fight your cravings by indulging in them and creating healthy versions of the things you love. We’ve included some fan-favorites in the rest of our list of tips to save you time.
- Make Meatza. Make pizza with a chicken or sausage base and use cashew “cheese” instead of dairy. Or, create a cauliflower crust and load it with your favorite proteins.
- Learn to love spaghetti squash. Eat your favorite family sauce over this healthy vegetable instead of the high glycemic, grain filled, original spaghetti.
- Use almond milk. Saying goodbye to dairy is hard, but you can replace it with almond milk or coconut milk. This goes for foods and drinks as well as using it as a cooking substitute.
- Eat lettuce tacos. Get all of the fixings without the grains and wrap your tacos in lettuce leaves.
- Use veggies for bread. Have your favorite finger food using lettuce, portobello mushrooms or thick tomato slices in place of bread.
- Have sweet potato brownies. I know it sounds weird, but they are moist and delicious. You might not even miss your flour filled sugar bricks with these in your belly.
- Make your own coffee creamer. Avoid the chemically laden counterfeit creams and make your own with almond or coconut milk and vanilla extract, cinnamon, or whatever natural flavors you prefer.
- Enjoy chia seed pudding. Put chia seeds in almond milk for a few hours or overnight and then add flavors or cut up fruit. It’s a great substitute for oatmeal, especially this peanut butter and jelly version.
- Drink lemon water. Get rid of the heavily sugared, chemically engineered drinks and whet your tongue with some lemon in your water. It will keep you hydrated and satisfied.
- Eat sweet potato, bacon hash. Saying goodbye to hash browns is painful, but not when you have bacon! Sweet potato hash is always a good idea.
- Swap rice for cauliflower rice. Rice is nice, but cauliflower has a better glycemic index. Buy it already chopped or use your food processor to make your own.
- Use flax meal “bread crumbs.” Add these to your traditional meatballs, meatloaf or other recipes that need a binding agent. With some seasoning you won’t even miss the breadcrumbs.
- Be naturally sweet. Just because you aren’t eating sugar doesn’t mean you have to give up sweetness. Use maple syrup or honey instead.
Still overwhelmed? We get it. Dieting is hard. Learn more by reading our beginner’s guide to find healthy food ideas for a paleo diet. Or let us help you through the process. At Project Lean Nation we create fresh, paleo meals and deliver them right to you. That way you can focus on building healthy habits. We provide Paleo Diet plan tips and provide a template for you to follow based on your own personal goals. Figure out what your goals are by taking a Nutritional Assessment today! In health,