Paleo 101 Guide
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4 Reasons You Should Be Excited to Be Paleo

Jeremy Hendon | May 2

Get Excited about Paleo!Paleo!

I wanted to write an article about the Paleo diet that is geared toward just getting started and the basic things that you should know. And the first thing that occurred to me is that when you’re just starting out, you should be very excited.

So…I actually am writing an article about Paleo for Beginners, but before I write that article, I wrote this one. I feel like there’s more than just good health at the base of the Paleo movement, and I think people need to know about it.

Exciting Aspects of the Paleo Diet

Although there is no magic involved, there are some pretty great aspects of the Paleo diet about which you should be excited. Here are just a few things about which I’m still excited, despite being Paleo for a very long time now:

  1. The Community.Paleo CommunityYou’re looking for a diet to help you lose weight and feel better. But what you get is an entire community of people who are generally very supportive, helpful, and smart. And having a team or sidekick supporting you is very important (go read Steve Kamb’s article for more on this).If you’re not already familiar, there are some well-known folks in the Paleo community such as Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, and Chris Kresser, all of whom write pretty constantly and answer a ton of questions.

    In addition, there are also a ton of people who are not well known but whom are always willing to help out. Go check out the forum at Paleo Hacks. All great places to get good help and just to meet and interact with other people who are on the same journey.

  2. Deliciousness.Paleo is DeliciousBeing healthy is great, but personally, I can’t get excited about anything that has to do with food unless it’s delicious. I’ve always loved food, and I don’t really want to give up that love of food.

    Being healthy is great, but personally, I can’t get excited about anything that has to do with food unless it’s delicious. – Click to Tweet

    Fortunately, being Paleo not only allows us to keep this love for food – it’s also pretty commonplace and encouraged. Sites like and have an endless supply of delicious recipes.

    Much of the Paleo template is centered around eating real, whole foods. For most of us, there are some real, whole foods (like kale and broccoli) that we may eat but which are hard for us to love. On the other hand, though, there are a ton of other whole foods (steaks and sweet potatoes, for instance) that are amazing.

    It’s true that being Paleo requires that we generally do without some foods that most Americans find delicious (e.g., donuts and milkshakes), but it’s not at the expense of all delicious foods. I love pretty much every meal I eat now.

  3. The Energy.Paleo EnergyIf you haven’t been Paleo before, then this is something that’s hard to understand. In fact, I think it’s hard for most people to understand until they’ve gone Paleo and then tried to go back to eating their normal junk food.But if you ask pretty much anybody who’s been Paleo for a while, they’ll tell you that this is possibly the best benefit of being Paleo. I have a TON more energy than I ever did when I ate junk food all the time. And if I try to eat crap tomorrow, I’ll feel lethargic and tired.

    Before I went Paleo, I was always tired. Particularly after meals and in the afternoon, I would feel like I needed a nap or like I just couldn’t function very well.

    Now, I pretty much never get that. (Obviously, there are occasions when I get too little sleep, and since the Paleo diet is NOT a magic cure, you’re still going to feel tired when you don’t get enough sleep).

  4. Your body.Staying LeanLet me first say that I’m personally not yet where I want to be. I want to be leaner and stronger.Even so, this is something that I get excited about. I was fat (although not obese) for most of my life. I lost weight at various times, but I always had trouble keeping it off, and it was ALWAYS a big struggle.

    That’s no longer the case. I find it very easy to maintain my weight now. Losing the last few pounds of fat, while potentially easier on a Paleo diet, is never easy. But I LOVE that I don’t have to worry on a constant basis about getting fat again.

    Being Paleo is not the ONLY way to lose weight and look great, but it’s the best and healthiest one. – Click to Tweet

    And it’s the way that I’ve seen the largest percentage of people be very successful with. And let’s face it – we all want to look good naked, whatever that means.

    What I Didn’t List

    If you look hard (or really not all that hard), then you’ll notice that there are a number of possible omissions from this list. For instance, what about health?? Shouldn’t we get excited about all the potential benefits of eating whole, real foods?

    My answer to that is an emphatic YES. Get excited if you can.

    However, most people just can’t get all that excited about their health unless they have an immediate health issue that is getting resolved. When it comes to long-term health, we all hope that we’ll beat the norm, but it’s not one of the things that motivates us on a daily basis.

    And I think that’s fine. Just roll with it. The fact of the matter is that the other 4 things I put on this list ARE things that many people get excited about (especially the 4th one).

    In the end, it doesn’t really matter WHAT you get excited about, so long as you DO get excited and change your life by eating and living better. Things like health will almost always follow.


    There are certainly other things that excite some of you. What else gets you most excited about starting a Paleo diet or else being Paleo? Let me know in the comments below.

    Photos courtesy of Lin Pernille Photography via photopin cc, MrTopf via photopin cc, wtl photography via photopin cc, rAmmoRRison via photopin cc, and xxrobot via photopin cc.

Jeannie Hom - October 6

I love the fact that you don’t have to count calories

    Jeremy Hendon - October 6

    Yes! Counting calories is miserable. (And it fails for the great majority of people.)

    Kelly Ger - October 7

    Yeah….after YEARS of weighing, measuring, journaling, counting calories and weighing myself daily…I am finally learning to give my body quality fuel, enjoy it and not be obsessed with calories or the scale….and am learning to listen to my body…again

Jane - October 10

I agree that not counting calories is the way to go but for me personally, I’ve been so broken for many years not knowing what the right quantities are that I basically had to. I started by eating clean where I lost about 10kgs then I couldn’t lose any more. I stayed the same for a month or so. Then I reassessed my caloric intake and worked out I’d been having over 2000 calories per day. So with clean eating I dropped it down to 1400 a day. I don’t do much exercise so for me that worked. If I was working out regularly, I’d increase it again but for now, keeping my calories around 1400-1500 per day whilst eating clean has enabled me to lose 17kgs so far (37.4 pounds). I never feel hungry either and try to get enough sleep each night. I love the paleo lifestyle. It’s the best way of eating I’ve ever tried and one I will keep for life.

    Jeremy Hendon - October 10

    Jane, I definitely think counting calories can work for some people, but very few people do it in a smart way like you (actually paying attention to the quality of their foods and still making sure that they’re getting enough nutrients).

    Congratulations on the weight loss and it’s awesome to hear that you’re doing so well!

Kim - January 14

I’m new at this and am just settling down with information about this form of eating.. Just recovering from Lyme which kicked the crap out of me… Along with weight gain it’s been a challenge to find energy to start anything..but I’m here I never comment on pages.. Mostly hover and read.. So not to bore you … I’m excited and looking forward to a healthy naked body! What ever that means!!

Julie Alexander Marshall - March 2

I started this diet when I was diagnosed with fatty liver. It has helped me find delicious foods that I can eat. I have lost 25 lbs and have much more energy.

    Jeremy Hendon - March 5


    That’s fantastic. Glad to hear it’s going so well. Let me know if you have any other thoughts or questions!

Andrew Daniel - March 16

Going Paleo is the best thing I’ve ever done! Everything in this article is true, Feel great, full of energy, eating beautiful foods and losing weight plus any injuries I had are gone!!!! who needs pills, surgery, calorie counters etc when you can just eat healthy…

Since late 2013 I’ve lost 32kg and have now started my own Fitness & Nutrition company:)

PS. any i chance of get a web link to the article “Flu prevention: The flu shot” from your Mag – Issue #23? I’ve been telling people to avoid for years and everyone who does take is always sick!!!

Keep up the great work and I love your mag!!


Dana Recalde - June 11

Hi. I’m very new to Paleo. I have done Atkins several times in the past and did lose weight but was not able to maintain that diet after I lost the weight so sadly it all came back plus more! I really like this lifestyle because the food is yummy and I feel good (unlike with Atkins). I was wondering how much fruit is too much if you’re trying to lose weight? I love fruit but I want to make sure I’m not eating too much of it. Also my calorie count everyday has been averaging 800-1000 and I know that’s low but I eat 3 meals and 1-2 snacks and I’m not hungry so it’s harder to eat more. Will this be ok for my metabolism? Thank you for all your great info. You definitely make transitioning to Paleo a lot easier 🙂

    Jeremy - June 11


    I don’t think there’s a right answer to how much fruit to eat. Fruit is generally nutritious and non-toxic, so the primary potential reason to avoid it is blood sugar issues. You probably know whether you have blood sugar issues (from general bloodwork or otherwise), so I’d make the decision on that basis – how the fruit makes you feel (tired and hungrier or full and energetic).

    As far as calories, that’s fairly low for almost anybody, but it depends on a lot of things (activity level, body weight, etc.). I can’t give you a personalized answer, but you might think about focusing on micronutrients. Often, it’s hard to get enough vitamins and minerals when eating that little, so you might think about tracking micronutrients and basing food amounts on that. Just one option or way of thinking about it.

Rene - July 6

I’m starting Jeremy’s 7 day challenge tomorrow. I’m a little nervous because I am addicted to diet Pepsi and iced tea with spenda! Does anyone have any suggestions on what would be a satisfying substitute. I honestly don’t think I’m going to be able to go without either.

    mikayla Saunders - September 12

    I’ve been eating clean for a few months, lost a little bit of weight, but I struggle because I’m on a lot of meds for chronic pain. However, tomorrow I will start the 7 day challenge, I currently have a pork shoulder in the slow cooker for a pulled pork dinner. I’ve got my fingers crossed that by next Friday I’ll have a lot more energy and a lot less belly 😀

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