Struggling with Weight Loss? Try the Paleo Diet

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

Have you tried every diet under the sun only to find that the pounds just won’t shift?

Are the diets so dull and restrictive that you even though you start off great, feeling full of enthusiasm, soon enough you’re desperate for something to eat, anything to eat, that actually tastes good and satisfies your cravings?

There are some pretty weird diets out there aren’t there? And without a doubt most of them will help you to lose some weight at first. The problem is that the initial weight loss will be from your short term fat stores and from water. That’s the easiest weight to lose.

You drop a few pounds in the first week and think to yourself, hey this working! The good news staring back at you from the bathroom scale gives you the determination to carry on, even though you’re fed up of the food’s on your allowed list already. Then in the second week, the rate of weight loss slows down and sometimes you even gain a little weight back. And the slow weight loss continues until you just can’t do it anymore. You’re hungry and fed up and your will power packed its bags and left the building days ago. And you’ve still get those extra 10, 20, 60 lbs to shift.

Wouldn’t it be nice to find a diet that you can stick to for the long term? One that you know will bring results? That is nutritious and filling? That is full of delicious food? That just plain works?

Well, help is at hand with the Paleo Diet. And it’s pretty simple to follow. Once you learn some more about going Paleo, you’ll understand why this diet works, not just for weight loss, but for better health and more energy too. Paleo isn’t some nutty fad like the cabbage soup diet. The paleo diet is the diet we were designed to eat. It’s based on the foods that your very distant ancestors would have eaten. Back in the days when every human on the planet was a hunter gatherer. Back before we made the monumental mistake of settling down to become farmers of grain. Eating like a caveman could be the best health move you ever make.

The Worst Mistake In The History Of The Human Race

The Worst Mistake In The History Of The Human Race

UCLA evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond calls settling down to become agriculturists  “The Worst mistake in the history of the human race”.

He goes on to say,

“In particular, recent discoveries suggest that the adoption of agriculture, supposedly our most decisive step toward a better life, was in many ways a catastrophe from which we have never recovered. With agriculture came the gross social and sexual inequality, the disease and despotism, that curse our existence,”

That’s a pretty scathing assessment isn’t it! Unfortunately he’s right.

Homo sapiens (that’s us) and our ancestors have been on this earth for millions of years. And for millions of years our diets remained pretty much the same. Hunted meat, caught fish, grubbed up insects, honey, fruits and berries, root vegetables, edible herbs and leaves. Then 10,000 years ago we figured out how to farm.

10,000 years is the blink of an evolutionary eye.

10,000 years ago is when we started to get sick with degenerative and infectious diseases.

10,000 years ago is when we started to get fat.

Ancient humans moved away from their incredibly varied diet, rich in protein and nutrients to one based on high carbohydrate crops, wheat, corn, rice and potatoes. They switched to the grain based diet we eat today.

Those staples of our modern diets cause a lot of problems. They drive excess insulin production, which leads to fat storage and for many people  metabolic disease. And they’re responsible for most of the health problems that plague our modern lives. Hippocrates said let food be thy medicine. Somehow we’ve turned it into poison.

The Food Pyramid Is Upside Down And ‘My Plate’ Is Broken

You’ve seen the government’s healthy eating guidelines I’m sure. They tell us it’s okay to eat bread, pasta, rice and cereals. They include potatoes (high carbohydrate food) in the vegetable category. They recommend fat free or low fat milk and tell us to use all fats sparingly. Why do they do that when those guidelines make us fat and sick? There’s just no excuse for that kind of misleading guidance today, when the evidence for the harm that this advice has caused is so overwhelming.

It might come as a surprise to you to learn that the junk food industry – from heavily subsidized grain farming all the way to the rows of processed junk on the supermarket shelves –  has a lot to do with those guidelines.

The USDA is tasked with developing and executing federal policies relating to farming, agriculture, forestry, and food. The USDA is also in charge of setting policy for nutritional guidelines. The USDA is also heavily influenced by lobbyists from Big Agriculture and Big food and often there is a revolving door between high level jobs at Big Ag/Big Food and jobs at the USDA. There’s a similar revolving door at Big Pharma and the FDA. Funny how that works isn’t it?

Can we really expect sound nutritional advice from an agency tasked with furthering the increase in US grain farming output and one influenced by companies that make a whole lot of dough from that grain? In a word. No.

The huge food conglomerates make an ‘unhealthy’ profit, from pushing food made from cheap, nutritionally empty ingredients. And the reason they can get cheap ingredients is that they lobby the government to subsidize their production. The government doesn’t subsidize farmers to grow vegetables, or to produce grass fed beef, or pasture raised eggs and poultry.

No, it hands over billions of dollars of taxpayers money every year, to make sure that peddlers of empty food get the cheapest ingredients, so that they can make big profits. Profits made at your expense in more ways than one. The junk food kings are the biggest welfare queens around.

The government issued its first set of dietary guidelines in 1980. Since then the number of Americans who are obese or suffer from type-2 diabetes has doubled.  In the early 1960s only 10% of people in the U.S. were obese Today, one-third of Americans are obese and another third are overweight

Eating based on the ‘healthy’ food pyramid guidelines or the new simplified ‘My Plate’ will make you fat. It will make you sick. If the government had really wanted to get the nation eating healthy foods, it wouldn’t have tried to dumb the public down with the childish ‘My Plate’. No, it would have told the truth.

Well What Is The truth? What Is A Healthy Diet?

Well What Is The truth? What Is A Healthy Diet?

Want to know what a healthy diet looks like? Turn the food pyramid upside down and you’re there. Yep, that’s how utterly and criminally distorted the healthy eating guidelines have been for the last 30 plus years.

A real nutritious food pyramid would have healthy fats and vegetables as the bulk of your daily diet, followed by high quality protein – meat, poultry, fish, eggs – then a moderate amount of fruit and finally on top a small amount of grains and sugar.

And an upside down food pyramid is shockingly close to the Paleo Diet.

Eat Like A Caveman

Research shows that eating a Paleo diet provides better satiety per calorie than both Mediterranean style diets and low-fat diets. Satiety means feeling full up and feeling satisfied. That means the Paleo diet is more filling for the same number of calories.

This is key for weight loss since it means that you can eat less without fighting hunger or counting every calorie. Hunger isn’t just an uncomfortable rumbling in your tummy. Hunger is a complex mechanism controlled by your brain.

When your brain is sending you hunger signals it’s also busy lowering your metabolic rate to conserve energy and increasing your appetite in an effort to get you to go and find more food fast.

And it’s not necessarily more calories that your body is hungry for. If you aren’t getting nutrients inside your body, then your brain will keep on asking for them. But it doesn’t have a separate way to tell you to eat more vitamin B complex, or more calcium, or more magnesium, all it can do is give you that one hunger signal.

There’s another problem with hunger signalling too. If you suffer from metabolic syndrome – and if you’re overweight or obese, you probably do – your body is very good at hoarding energy, but it’s positively lousy at converting those energy stores back into fuel that you can use.

When you eat, your body fills up its short term energy stores, and then it’s supposed to use that energy to slowly fuel you until your next meal. When you have metabolic syndrome, it doesn’t do that very well. Even though you just ate 800 calories, your body thinks it’s starving and rings the dinner bell again. You go and eat and the cycle just repeats and repeats and your clothes get tighter and tighter.

Eating a Paleo diet has been shown to improve metabolic health and short circuit that viscous hunger cycle.

With a Paleo diet, you eat tasty, nourishing foods – including the ‘bad’ foods you’ve been told to avoid, like fat, red meat and eggs – and watch the pounds melt away. Seeing the number on the scale drop without experiencing hunger will make it easy to stay on track and achieve your weight loss goals. You won’t need to rely on fickle willpower.

The paleo diet is based on a plate full of vegetables, some nice tasty animal sourced protein, and lots of nutritious healthy fats. Foods which provide all of the macro and micronutrients that your body needs. And when your body gets those nutrients

  • It stops demanding more food
  • It stops concocting cravings
  • It stops fighting you.

A paleo fed body lets go of the weight. It shakes off metabolic syndrome. And it gives you your energy back. Following the Paleo diet lets you lose weight without even trying.

Sound good? Great. Let’s get a couple of things out of the way first though. The Paleo diet doesn’t mean you get to eat a dinner plate sized piece of prime rib 3 times a day. Too much protein plays whack-a-do with your insulin levels as much as too much sugar does.

And the Paelo diet is a diet for life. Which is no bad thing since it’s how we’re designed to eat! If you lose weight with Paleo and then go back to the standard American diet (SAD), you’ll gain the weight back and all of the health problems that go with lardy-butt syndrome.

One more note of caution. The Paleo community – yes there is such a thing, and it’s pretty darn big – has a large contingent of absolute health nuts. And I mean health nuts in a nice way, not in a derogatory way. But that means that a lot of the focus is on getting lean, ripped and shredded. And if you go and poke around in those corners of the internet on a quest to gather more information, you’ll find people talking about some serious levels of hard exercise and some serious amounts of Paleo friendly food intake to sustain that. That’s not the Paleo we want if we are trying to lose weight.

Alrighty let’s get down to business. I’m going to give you some food lists and a typical meal plan. It really is simple because natural foods are simple. Fill your shopping basket with fresh foods, not ones that you could stockpile in a bunker for the end of the world (most of the products on supermarket shelves).

If you can store it for an age without freezing it, then you shouldn’t be eating it.

You won’t find complicated recipes with the Paleo diet. There are no complicated instructions and rules. It’s so simple a caveman could… Oh wait 🙂

Animal Protein

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Beef
  • Bacon
  • Bison
  • Goat
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Venison
  • Rabbit
  • Goose
  • Elk
  • Emu
  • Kangaroo
  • Eggs (duck, chicken, or goose)
  • Reindeer
  • Quail
  • Turtle
  • Ostrich
  • Pheasant
  • Tuna
  • Bass
  • Salmon
  • Halibut
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Tilapia
  • Red snapper
  • Shark
  • Sunfish
  • Swordfish
  • Trout
  • Crab
  • Crawfish
  • Shrimp
  • Clams
  • Lobster
  • Scallops
  • Oysters


Fruit and Vegetables

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Cabbage
  • Peppers (all kinds)
  • Cauliflower
  • Parsley
  • Eggplant
  • Green onions
  • Kale
  • Mushrooms (not a vegetable but…)
  • Collard greens
  • Salad leaves
  • Herbs
  • Spices
  • Butternut squash*
  • Acorn squash*
  • Sweet potato*
  • Beets*

* in small amounts only



  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Macadamia oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Grass-fed butter
  • Coconut milk
  • Almond milk



  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Walnuts



  • Apple
  • Avocado
  • Blackberries
  • coconut
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Mango
  • Lychee
  • Blueberries
  • Grapes
  • Lemon
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Pineapple Lime
  • Raspberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Tangerine
  • Oranges

Meal Ideas


Planning your meals on the Paleo diet isn’t rocket science and you don’t need to count calories. These are the guidelines. A huge serving of non starchy vegetables – really eat as many as you like and liven them up with fat and herbs and spices, 1-2 palm sized pieces of fish or meat, or 3-4 eggs, a little fruit, a few nuts, a small amount of a starchy vegetable. You can eat three meals a day or skip a meal and eat more for the other two.

To get the recipes for the following meals head to Paleo Leap



  • Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon
  • Egg and vegetable muffins
  • Bacon or sausage fried with mushrooms, green onions and spinach
  • Peppers stuffed with eggs, bacon or sausage, tomato, mushrooms, spinach
  • Fried bacon, cabbage and onions



  • Roast chicken inside lettuce wraps with mustard and mayonnaise
  • Large salad with tuna or salmon, slivered almonds and balsamic vinaigrette
  • Chicken or tuna with avocado, salad leaves, oil and vinegar dressing
  • Beef and vegetable soup
  • Hard boiled eggs with roasted vegetables



  • Chuck roast with roasted zucchini
  • Greek style meatballs with roasted cauliflower
  • Sausage casserole
  • Spicy pork chilli
  • Indian chicken stir fry with cauliflower rice



  • Carrot sticks with mustard mayonnaise
  • Berries
  • Handful of nuts or trail mix
  • Handful of olives
  • Piece of fruit

That’s pretty much it for the basics of the Paleo diet but some people will still struggle to lose weight, or may hit a plateau that they can’t break through. This could be because you’ve got undiagnosed thyroid problems or advanced metabolic syndrome with haywire hormones thwarting your efforts.

If this happens to you, don’t despair, you just need to try a different approach. And Dr Jack Kruse has one! He’s a neurosurgeon and optimal health educator who has extensively researched the brain chemistry involved in metabolic syndrome. He has helped people who found it impossible to lose weight, shed pounds and regain their health with his Paleo diet.

The information he’s put together is mind blowing, and it shines a very bright light on what is behind so many of our weight loss (and health) problems. His website is probably the best resource on the whole internet to learn about Leptin and the role it plays in our weight problems. He really gets down deep into the science which is a little heavy going for most of us, but he does have a getting started section on his website which is easier to get to grips with.

You can also ask questions, learn a lot and get friendly help in the forum. You may be advised to involve your health practitioner and get blood work done to determine just what your levels of certain hormones are. That way you won’t be casting around in the dark and you’ll get better advice.

There’s a book too, which details his version of the paleo diet, Epi Paleo Rx – The Prescription for Disease Reversal and Optimal Health.

So if the basic Paleo diet doesn’t work for you, although it works for most people, then head over and get some extra help. Dr Jack’s site is a fantastic resource. And be sure to check out the Monster thread in the forum!

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.