The Top 5 Paleo Mistakes You MUST Avoid
Did you know that “going paleo”—eating the way your ancestors used to eat—is one of the best things you can do for your health? You can spend YEARS trying new fad diets and counting calories like most people, then end up feeling OLDER and SICKER than before OR you can stop chasing trends and start building a real foundation of health… one based on THOUSANDS of years of proven success.
The paleo principles are simple, but I have to warn you: they go against most of the “conventional” nutrition advice that’s been going around (and making people sick) for decades. Having an OPEN mind is the first step to feeling better.
Did you know that most people who struggle with paleo make the SAME common mistakes? That’s great news for YOU though. Once you know what those mistakes are, it’s much easier to avoid them and rejuvenate your life.
So let’s dive in. Here are the top 5 paleo mistakes to avoid…
1. Quitting Too Soon
Going paleo pays off for years and decades to come…
But RADICALLY changing your lifestyle can make for a tough few weeks.
You CRASH. You end up feeling more tired than you did before.
There’s psychological pressure from creating new habits. And it can be hard physically; sugars and grains are addictive, so you might not feel your best the first few weeks after you ditch them.
There are also social challenges. You might get funny looks from friends and coworkers. Your family could push back against the “new you.”
You won’t figure everything out in the first few weeks, and that’s FINE. Take action, make changes along the way, and reap the rewards for the rest of your life.
Whatever you do, don’t give up after just a few weeks!
2. Failing to Plan
Going from a typical Western diet to paleo is an INVESTMENT in your health. It’ll help you get the most out of life…
But it takes some work up front.
There are challenges—especially in the first few weeks. You have to avoid foods you used to eat. Maybe you’re stepping into the kitchen to make your own meals for the first time.
How will you handle dinner if you have to stay late at the office?
What happens if you’re running errands and get hungry for a snack?
These are the types of questions to think about. Coming up with a basic plan of how you’ll start your new lifestyle makes it MUCH easier to succeed. You can always tweak things along the way.
3. Treating Paleo Like a "Detox" Diet
Grains. Sugars. Dairy. Legumes. Paleo’s “things to avoid” list can seem overwhelming.
A lot of paleo rookies focus too much on what to get rid of and not enough on what they should eat instead. They see paleo as a “detox” instead of a healthy new lifestyle.
Worrying ONLY about which foods to cut out is a recipe for disaster. You don’t get enough calories because you aren’t thinking about all the extra protein and fats you need…
So you end up hungry, tired, and annoyed. That’s no place to be when you’re trying to change the way you eat and live.
Paleo isn’t a detox. It’s about making the right food choices, not just AVOIDING a lot of stuff.
4. Obsessing Over Perfection
Another common paleo mistake: people think it’s an “all or nothing” deal.
They beat themselves up for swiping a few French fries from their spouse’s plate. Or they decide paleo “isn’t for them” after giving into a sugar craving or two.
It doesn’t have to be this way!
Progress—not perfection—is the goal.
Every good decision helps. Eating well all day, then eating ice cream after dinner, is MUCH better than eating terribly all day and then having the ice cream.
It’s healthier to view being “perfectly paleo” as an ideal instead of a requirement.
Try to make the best choices you can… but don’t quit if you get off track. Just pick up where you left off and keep moving forward. That’s the path to long-term success.
5. Feeling Scared of Carbs
Carbs AREN’T evil, despite what a lot of people say.
Low-carb diets can work great, but some paleo newbies take the low-carb thing too far. They obsess over avoiding all carbs—even if they come from starchy vegetables or fruits.
This can leave you hungry all the time if you don’t replace those carbs with plenty of protein and healthy fats…
It’s even harder on people who work out a lot. They would have an easier time with paleo if they added healthy carbs to make up for the huge demands they put on their bodies.
How many carbs people need VARIES. So if you feel terrible eating low-carb paleo, try adding some carbs into the mix. They might be just what you need to get your new lifestyle on track.
“So, What Do I Do Next?”
Now that you know the common paleo mistakes, you’re in a good position to avoid them and revitalize your life.
So why not tip the odds in your favor?
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