I lost about 10 pounds when I started the paleo diet. When I strictly implemented my 6 rules below, I lost another 10. Do these 6 things below and those last 10 lbs (the "vanity" pounds) will be gone.
If you are trying the paleo diet to improve your overall health, just do your best to follow the rules:
1. Eat only real, nutrient-dense food. Eliminate all processed, packaged foods and choose organic, sustainable animal proteins that are fed their species' appropriate diet. Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables and healthy sources of fats like coconut oil and avocado.
2. Eliminate all gluten, grains, refined sugar, hydrogenated oils, dairy and legumes.
If you are looking to lose weight, there are few recommendations I have to tweak your rules.
1. Track your food. Download an app like My Fitness Pal on your smart phone and record what you eat. Doing this will help you familiarize yourself with your daily caloric, micro- and macronutrient intake.
2. Cut your carbs. When you eat foods high in carbohydrates, your insulin spikes. Hopefully you already know that. When your insulin is elevated, the calories you are eating are converted into fat storage. When you eat protein and fat without an elevated insulin level, your body is able to use your food for fuel. When it uses up that fuel, it will then access energy from your fat storage and burn that off. As you track your food, pay attention to your daily carbohydrate intake. Play with it. Try keeping your carbs below 50 grams/day and see how you feel. This means cutting fruit and sweet potatoes. I try to keep my carbs below 35g/day. That works best for me, but may not be enough for you.
3. CUT THE CRAP with the artificial sugar. I know, Diet Coke is so good and calorie free and carb free. But I promise you, if you can get that out of your diet, you will lose weight. Drink water or unsweetened green tea instead. My last 10 lbs came off when I finally cut out Diet Coke and Crystal light.
4. Go to bed satisfied, not full. Having a gigantic meal before bed is not the best idea when trying to lose weight. Don't nibble after dinner. And stay away from that dark chocolate! You don't need it. Try drinking decaf tea or a BIG glass of water while winding down before bedtime.
5. Cut the booze. I know; this is super hard. They say to stick to red wine on the paleo diet, but that can really be detrimental to weight loss, especially if you drink it the way I do. If you must drink, stick to clear spirits and club soda. I drink vodka/soda with lime almost religiously. One more note on drinking: the more you drink, the more likely you are do stray away from your dietary goals.
6. Exercise. On the paleo diet, you are most likely eating a lot of protein. Use this opportunity to build some muscle! The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be. I recommend HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for the most effective means of burning fat and building muscle. I use a site called Bodyrock.TV. I extend their workouts to 20-24 minutes and do them 3-4 days/week. Also, keep active. Walk to the store, work, school, the park, gym or wherever you are headed if you have the chance. Park your car far away at the grocery store. Always take the stairs. Carry the handbasket at the grocery store. Always look for opportunities to get your butt moving.