What is the Paleo Diet? A Few of My Thoughts

Steph Wagner

July 2, 2013

We are often hearing of different diets, new weight-loss products, and interesting stories of how people lost weight. In fact, I noticed the other day…anytime I’m standing in line looking at magazines while I wait, I am always tempted to pick up the one that has a story about someone losing weight. I can’t help it! It always draws me in.

So today’s featured diet, from my personal and dietitian perspective (because they are similar and yet different) is on the Paleo diet. Have you heard of this?

The longer name is “Paleolithic” : the diet of the people living during the early phase of the Stone Age.

The basic ground rules of this approach to eating:

  • All the lean meats, fish and seafood you can eat
  • All the fruits and non-starchy vegetables you can eat
  • No cereals
  • No legumes (beans)
  • No dairy products
  • No processed foods

The main staples of meals?  Lean meats, non-starchy vegetables and fresh fruits. A “Paleo Meal” would look similar to this oneOkay fine, minus the parmesan cheese I added in. 

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 8.25.59 AM

What are my thoughts on it? It’s a good one. For sure.

There are small differences in the way I approach weight-loss. In fact, many of my meals can also be entitled “Paleo Friendly.”

My favorite part of this lifestyle is the lack of counting. If you read my post about calorie counting, you know how important it has been for me to find freedom from the counting. This diet is not limiting in volume of the right foods. And that is similar to my approach.

It’s not how much we eat. It’s the quality of what we eat.

And it’s difficult to overeat on steak and asparagus. Okay, I’ve done it. But still more difficult than a box of wheat thins. Okay, which I have also done. What I’m trying to say, is one is way more filling than the other.


My approach changes slightly in that I do not eliminate all low-fat dairy. I incorporate light cheese, cottage cheese, and plain Greek yogurt. Though I do avoid traditional yogurt and milk. I also do not eliminate legumes entirely. I limit them due to starch, but not total avoidance.

I do limit fruit intake, due to sugar. Dried fruits completely and whole fruits limited to 1 meal a day; always paired with a protein. I also avoid most products with coconut as they contain trans fat (the “bad” kind).

Alas, even with the small differences between myself and the Paleo diet…I feel great about this approach. If someone comes to me and mentions they have decided to change their eating to this- I always encourage them to keep going.

If you are wondering about this or any other approach to weight-loss, send me an email and I’d be happy to schedule a free 20 minute phone call with you! You can ask questions and I will give you as much guidance on what I feel you need to get to your goals. Send your email to Steph@foodcoach.me

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