The paleo diet is arguably one of the healthiest ways to eat, as it is free of chemical-ridden, processed foods, encourages nutrient-dense foods, and eliminates inflammatory grains, dairy, and refined sugar. While paleo is free from most “unhealthy” foods, there are still many ways to “do paleo wrong,” over indulging will slow your progress whether it be health or fitness oriented. Here are five tips on how to indulge on paleo without overdoing it.
Six Ways To Avoid Over Indulging
- Limit the number of paleo treats you eat – The focus of the paleo diet should be on nutrient-dense foods, but let’s be real, we all have dessert cravings. When you feel that you need a treat, allow yourself the occasional indulgence. Being too strict on a diet may lead to future binges, so allow yourself to eat your favorite paleo recreated desserts to stay sane.
- If you bake a whole batch of cookies, consider freezing some so you do not eat them all – Make banana n’ice cream for a healthier treat, or make my favorite mug cake – it’s single serve and ready in less than three minutes!
- Watch your fruit consumption – Fruit is full of healthy vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but it also packs in a lot of sugar. Sugar is sugar, no matter the source, so try to eat more vegetables than fruit. This includes dried fruit which is easy to eat much more than you intended.
- Snack mindfully – A handful of nuts is the perfect serving size. Nuts are delicious but so easy to overeat. Before you know it, you may have eaten 2-3 servings, which your waistline and digestive tract will not love. If your bag of plantain chips contains six servings, portion the chips into six bags so you do not accidentally eat the whole bag (been there, done that).
- Fill up at mealtime – Choose nutrient dense foods and be sure to eat enough protein, carbohydrates, and fat at each meal and you will be less inclined to snack later. Restricting your body of nutrients only leads to more cravings, temptations to snack, and overeating later.
- Appreciate the wide variety of foods you CAN eat – A diet free of grains, refined sugar, legumes, and dairy can seem restrictive at first, especially if you make an immediate switch from the Standard American Diet to paleo, but get creative with your foods. Treat yourself to a delicious steak, try a new vegetable every week, and test out new recipes. Pretty soon, you will no longer crave that gluten-filled sugary brownie full of trans fats in the office, be tempted by fast food on your daily commute, or chips and dip at a party. Be sure to keep some substantial snacks on hand and bring paleo snacks to your parties for everyone to enjoy so you are less tempted to cheat.