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Three Levels of Paleo Diet: The 85-15 Rule

Updated on April 9, 2013

The majority of adults in the western countries have never missed a day without consuming processed foods, grains, refined sugars and dairy products. These are the foods that are not allowed in the Paleo Diet. It will therefore, seem unfair for me to ask you to stop eating some foods which are already forming a large part of your life. It is not my wish but the good intentions that I have for a healthy you. You can make your transition with easiness by letting go a few foods at a time. I propose this because some people are not capable of immediately adapting a new diet. The entry into Paleo diet for athletes becomes quite progressive in nature. There are only three levels which you will undergo in adapting the Paleo diet. These levels were designed in a special manner so that you are allowed to sidetrack at first as you move a long.

“What is the meaning of that?” You may be asking yourself.

“Does it imply that you are allowed to cheat at the beginning?”

Yes. There is plenty of flexibility in Paleo diet. This is what gives you a leeway to cheat at times. Remember, this is done because it does not have any negative impact on your health as you adapt the Paleo diet for athletes.

In every rule there are exceptions. People who suffer from severe illnesses have no choice other than to adhere to Paleo diet 100 per cent of the time. It is important to note that the majority of those people have discovered that, when they stop consuming some type food, any later reintroduction makes such people feel very low to an extent that they lack desire for that food.

As we mentioned above, there are three compliance levels in the Paleo diet for athletes program. Some experts call that the 85-15 rule. Basically, observations have clearly indicated that many people consume up to twenty meals on a weekly basis. This number comprises of snacks and other main meals.

At the first level, you are allowed to cheat up to 15 percent of the time. That can be done by an inclusion of 3 open meals on every single week. At the second level, you are at liberty to cheat for ten per cent of the total time. That means that you can include only two open meals at this stage. At the final level (Stage 3), you can only be allowed to have a single open meal. One open meal translates to 5 percent of all the meals you eat in one week.

The goodness with the 85-15 rule is that you will not be forced to stop eating your favorite foods. Never will it happen. The open meals will come in handy to prevent you from thinking that some foreign foods are being forced on you.

You should move progressively along the three levels to make the transition to Paleo Diet quite enjoyable all along. All beginners are advised to start at level one.

Foods Allowed for Paleo Diet

The Paleto Diet for athletes is meant to promote those foods that were eaten by our ancestors. This was the time before the introduction of modern foods which are processed by our industries. In these diets, a lean physique is promoted. The diet has the capacity to improve the stamina as well as the energy of the consumer. Equally, the Paleo diet adherents can never suffer from disease related to autoimmune and metabolic conditions.

In actual sense, only natural foods are allowed on this dietary program. These are foods such as vegetables, meat, as well as nuts. It is important for you to consult a competent healthcare provider before you embark on drastic changes in your diet.

You can consume seeds and nuts that are edible but make sure that they are not processed. There is a wide selection of nuts ranging from almonds to walnuts. The other common nuts which are good for consumption in the Paleo diet are listed below:

· Chestnuts

· Pecans

· Brazil nuts

· Filberts

It is advisable to avoid the consumption of raw cashew nuts as well as peanuts.

For those of you who are new to Paleo diet for athletes, there are a large number of questions which arise. That depends on the specific amount of food that they are supposed to consume on a regular basis. Note that a large part of our ancestor’s diet was composed of animal foods. After an analysis of 229 societies of hunters and gatherers, some researcher found out that a larger portion of their diets were composed of animal foods. That portion was approximated to be around 60 per cent of their daily intakes.

By borrowing a leaf, modern people must strive as much as they can to get more than half of their calories from organ meats, lean meats, fish, poultry and seafood. That clearly means that the remaining proportion should be filled by plant foods. A rule of the thumb will be in order at this point. When filling your plate start with a fist-sized piece of lean meat. Then, fill the remaining part of that plate with plant food. This can be vegetables, nuts and fruits among others.

Despite what we have mentioned before, it will be in order for me to remind you that some groups of foods have to be completely eliminated from your diet. These are legumes, dairy products as well as grains. These three are highly prohibited. In that list you can add the processed foods. The aim of Paleo diet for athletes is not to take you away from you favorite foods. In fact there are a large number of foods which are allowed for consumption. Some of them are listed below. Take a look and you will be astonished how delicious they are.

The Sources of Protein in Paleo Diet –Animal foods

It is important to note that, it is only the primary sources of proteins that are allowed in Paleo diet for athletes. Examples of foods fit to provide the proteins include eggs, fish, shellfish as well as meat. You can also consume unprocessed foods such as rabbit, quail, venison, lamb, pork, beef, goat, turkey, fish, ostrich, chickens, ducks, and geese among others.

Meat from game animals are also preferred if it is available. You are advised to consume lean meats instead of fattier parts. When you consume poultry go for white meat instead of dark meat. Start by removing the skin of chicken. Take eggs from the free-range chickens are the best for your diet. Always choose meat with a higher percentage of omega 3 fatty acids if it can be available. Make sure that you avoid all kinds of processed foods. That means that bacon, sausage as well as salami are not to be consumed at any cost. These foods contain fillers and sugars as well.

It is import to include animal food on every meal in Paleo diet. Make sure that the meat you eat is of the highest quality and has the best level of freshness. That means that, you must strive to consume you meat as fresh as possible. With fresh food you cannot go wrong. The fresh foods are followed in quality with the frozen food. You must be careful to avoid foods which are smoked, processed, canned, or salted more especially the animal foods.

If you compare pork, beef, chicken, grass-fed and free-ranging as well as pasture produced meats. The best is pasture produced ones. The only problem is that this type of meat is a bit costly.

What about the grain produced meat? A lot of meat from chicken, pork and beef are produced by feeding the animals with grains and feedlots. The farmers who feed their animals with feedlot do not care about the consumers. They only want to gain an upper hand economically. Their major aim is to raise the animals for sale at the lowest cost possible. They therefore operate large corporations in the area of agribusiness. Their aim is to have the heaviest and largest animals which can fetch for them the highest prices. They equally want to minimize on the amount of feeds that they give to such animals.

The animals are also raised in small spaces. Here, they get little amount of exercises.

“Do you expect such animals to produce the highest quality of meat?”

No. In fact the feedlot-raised animals consist of a white layer of fats covering much of their bodies. That layer is 4-6 inches wide! On the other hand avoid the artificial products which come from modern agriculture. These products are sources of diseases to the human bodies.

There are other hubs which are related to this one. You can learn more on The Paleo Diet: The Role of Fruits and Vegetables to know what is allowed.


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    • Jephiter S Ondari profile image

      Ondari S Jephiter 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      This hub is great...we need to embrace unprocessed foods for better health....Voted Up