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Paleo Diet: Everything Beginners Need to Know in 10 Photos

No Calorie Counting

No calorie counting and no portion control. Those following the paleo diet eat when they’re hungry, and don’t stress if they skip a meal accidentally. They do what feels "natural" to mirror the typical daily diet for cavemen back in the day.

Eat Lot of Fats and Animal Proteins

The paleo diet recommends that followers consume generous amounts of animal proteins, which can include red meat, poultry, pork, eggs, organs, wild-caught fish, and shellfish. The paleo diet is recommended to be high in fats, so fatty cuts of meat are on the menu. Additional examples of fats include coconut oil, butter, beef or lamb tallow, lard, and lamb or duck fat. 

Eat Plenty of Fresh Vegetables

Vegetables are recommended for the paleo diet, and they can either be raw or cooked. Vegetables are especially good as they're high in nutrients and low in calories. 

Eat Some Fruits and Nuts

Fruits and nuts are also an important part of the paleo diet, but they rank lower than the proteins, fats, and vegetables. Berries are good since they are low in sugar but high in antioxidants. Macadamia nuts are also a good option, since they are high in omegas 3 and 6 and low in polyunsaturated fats. 

No Grains or Legumes

The paleo diet requires that people cut out all cereal grains and legumes from their diets. Most importantly, followers of the diet should avoid wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, brown rice, soy, peanuts, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans, and black-eyed peas. The reason for this is because these kinds of foods are only edible because of agriculture, so they would not have been available to humans during paleolithic times. Therefore, paleo diet advocates argue that our bodies have not evolved enough to sufficiently digest grains and legumes.

No Processed Foods

The paleo diet requires people to rid of all things in their pantries that have added sugar, like soft drinks, packaged sweets, and juices.

Cut Down on Dairy

The paleo diet involves the elimination of many dairy products. The exceptions to this guideline are butter and heavy cream. 

Get Enough Sleep

People following the paleo diet are encouraged to get at least eight hours of sleep and try to get their bodies in the habit of waking up on their own without disruptive alarm clocks. This is made easier by eliminating unnecessary sources of stress.

Exercise in Moderation

The paleo diet is supplemented by exercise, but not too much. People following this diet are encouraged to keep training sessions short and limited to only a few times a week. 

Talk With Your Doctor Before Starting

As with any dietary change, you should consult your doctor before starting the paleo diet regimen. He or she can weigh in on whether this is the best choice for you, as well as suggest personal modifications that may be necessary. 

Some nutrition experts warn that diets high in meats and low in grains come with increased risks for bowel cancer and heart disease, both of which are serious conditions with far-reaching health impacts that can land you in the hospital. For these reasons, it's important to discuss the paleo diet with your doctor.