Unless you have literally been living in a cave for the last few years, you've probably heardsomething about the paleo diet, even if you're not quite sure what it is. The paleo plan is pretty simple: Eat only foods that our paleolithic ancestors could have hunted, gathered, or fished. Most people who "eat paleo" consume meat, seafood, vegetables, fruits, eggs, and nuts while avoiding processed foods like sugar, dairy, grain, and legumes.
Though it has been hyped up as the weight loss solution, it's not exactly a diet. At first glance it seems like a straightforward weight-loss solution: Eliminate all the bad foods from your diet. But it doesn't exactly work like that, because paleois more of a lifestyle than a diet. You have to plan your calories and macronutrients yourself. There's no paleo overlord to tell you exactly how many calories you should consume. So, even if you're eating nothing but "paleo-approved" foods, too much can be a bad thing.
To aid you in your quest to get lean via paleo, here's an entire day's worth of paleo-inspired recipes. They're not strict paleo; rather, they're based on the lifestyle's high-protein, low-carb tenets. We've provided the macronutrients for each recipe, so if you need to adjust the portions, ingredients, or flavors, feel free to do so.
Paleo Weight-Loss Recipes
1. Loaded Sweet Potato
Tired of your egg whites and oatmeal? Go all-American with a couple strips of bacon and a fried egg. The sweet potato adds a unique flavor and provides vitamin A, C, manganese, fiber, potassium, B vitamins, and iron.
2. Jerky Power
Plain sliced apples are kids' stuff. Add some crushed red pepper for a metabolic boost and that delicious sweet 'n' spicy combo. Trade in that Happy Meal for a few strips of jerky. You'll get all the benefits of red meat with less fat.
Make sure you stick with homemade or all-natural jerky to make your cave brothers and sisters proud.
3. "Double Cluck" Portabella Burger
Sandwich your meats between some veggies and, voila! You've got the lunch of champions. The chicken breast and Portabella mushroom combination is a tasty, protein-packed bite. You'll also get a fantastic helping of potassium and selenium.
4. Blueberry and Cucumber Quinoa Salad
Keep it colorful with a fruit and veggie salad. Enjoy as an afternoon snack or add a little meat for a great meal. Although quinoa breaks from strict paleo, this staple food of the Inca contains more protein than rice or wheat, so it's probably worth the rule-breaking.
You'll also benefit from the rainbow of color on your plate. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and fiber, and the cucumber will help keep you hydrated. You'll also get essential vitamins and minerals from that delicious fresh spinach.
5. Esto es La Pera
Dinner fit for a matador. The recipe is great for days when that 12-ounce T-bone steak just seems like a bit much. Pears are the quiet stepsister to the spotlight-hogging apple, so give her a dance and don't retreat to the comfortable arms of the applesauce-glazed chops just yet. Round out a successful paleo-inspired day with vitamins C and A, folic acid, and potassium on top of your meat.