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Too much information for a beginner - please help

Answered on December 07, 2013
Created December 06, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Hi.

I would like to give paleo diet a try at least for a month and I've spent 2 last days reading all the different information and how-tos and so on. Unfortunately, now I feel totally overwhelmed and still don't know where to start. I've read all the detailed information about how much proteins should I eat, how much fats etc... but it seems impossible to count every day nutrients of all my meals, even with online calculators.

Could you, more experienced paleo-eaters, please recommend me any simple meal plans for beginners? Since I have no experience I can't tell which meal plans are good and which are not.

Also, could you please tell me how much meat, fruits and vegetables do you eat on average? Not from protein//carbs/fats point of view, but something more simple. I imagine it like "I eat 0,5 kg of meat, mostly 4x 125 grams with 200 grams of vegetables (total 800) and occasional fruit".

Please help, I think I've started the wrong way and would really like to try it.

Sam

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2 Answers

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on December 07, 2013
at 09:00 AM

I know what you mean about there being a lot of information. I've read for hundreds of hours on diet and health, yet there's still always more to learn. However, fully understanding every detail and just doing it are two very different things. Here's the boiled down easy way to start eating a good paleo diet.

It starts with putting the right things in the basket. Shop the outside edge of the grocery store. Buy whatever fresh meat, vegetables, and fruit that you want. Don't follow any made up plan. Really, it doesn't matter as long as it's fresh. Paleo food isn't processed and doesn't come in a box. Don't touch grains, dairy, or seed oils. Pretty much shop the outside edge only and hit a u-turn for a second pass on the way out.

Eat when you feel like it. Eat meat with most meals and combine it with some vegetables and fruit, but pick whatever combination and amounts you want. Just eat like a caveman. Pretend like you just warped into the grocery store from 40,000 years ago. What looks like something you would kill or pick from plants back home? Rarrgh! eat whatever that is, and don't be concerned with any other detail. Yea really, no meal plan.

Do not count macronutrients! Cavemen didn't count, so you don't have to. There was a wide range of food combinations in the paleolithic era, and many variations of paleo are healthy and effective today. Just eat proper paleo foods, and it will work itself out. You can count or get precise later on if you have specific objectives but only after you are already eating paleo and then have an established need or goal.

The above is all you need to get started. Here are a few more points though if you want some helpful specifics.

  • Eat the fat.
  • Use olive oil, coconut oil, or lard.
  • Take omega-3 supplements especially if you are no eating grass-fed meat or not eating a lot of fish.
  • If you do get anything that is any sort of processed, get the food with the least amount of added sugar, salt, and anything that is not a packaged version of what you'd find in the outside edge of the grocery store.
  • Use spices, lemon, lime, and stuff like that. Added sugar is bad. Too much salt is no good.

Need an example meal?

  1. Quick pick a meat. Let's see, steak.
  2. Pick a vegetable. Why not spinach?
  3. Throw in a fruit if you like. Hmm, that apple looks good.

So to get started and keep it super easy, don't follow a meal plan, and don't count anything. Just kill it, pick it, eat it.

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Medium avatar

(238)

on December 06, 2013
at 09:07 PM

Simple method is to start slowly eliminating things from your diet that don't belong Paleo/Primal. Such as grains (bread, cereal, etc.), then lose the added sugars and sweeteners. At some point you are going to be feeling better and then you can start refining the diet closer to whatever you want to make of it. Don't put the pressure on to be Paleo instantly. I eliminated bread, pizza, beer from my diet 2 years ago but was still eating oatmeal every morning for the first 6 months. I lost a lot of weight and felt great, only then did I even begin to learn about Paleo which became very easy to switch into at that point. I've since lost a lot more weight and feel so much better - no pressure at all.

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