Change is hard, but it might be worth it.
Design by Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed. Photograph by Jackson Vereen
Maybe you want to lose weight, maybe you're just looking to get healthier and feel better. Either way, you're not alone. Paleo was the most googled diet in 2014, and chances are you have at least one friend who swears by it. BuzzFeed Life asked three experts some basic questions about what the paleo diet is, why it works, and how you can make it a part of your healthy lifestyle.
Know which foods are allowed on the paleo diet and which are not.
To many, a strict paleo diet may seem restrictive, as it eliminates foods that have long been thought of as healthy staples, like whole grains and legumes. Robb Wolf, author of The Paleo Solution (and pretty much the unofficial king of all things paleo), tells BuzzFeed Life why the paleo diet emphasizes certain whole foods and completely eliminates others. “Paleo foods are the most nutrient-dense foods you can get,” he says. “When you start including grains, legumes and dairy, the nutrition goes down while the caloric load goes up.”
Infographic source: What To Eat On The Paleo Diet
Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed
If you’re up for it, go strict paleo for 30 days. You’ll see changes faster this way.
The Whole30 program is a 30-day challenge that can be a good way to dive into the paleo diet. The website is a great resource for advice and recipes. And best of all, the Whole30 Approved list tells you exactly what store-bought products are 100% paleo, so you don't have to read every single label.
Wolf is a strong advocate for going all in right away, to start seeing benefits as soon as possible. “When you look at cognitive behavior change studies, people tend to affect the greatest changes by doing something significantly different,” says Wolf. He explains that when people change things slowly, “you're eliminating enough of the stuff that you really like that it's annoying, but you're still eating enough stuff that's deleterious to your health that you don't get the results you want.” When people dive in for 30 or 60 days, he says, they see significant results, and then they can decide whether the changes they've made are worth it or not.