30-Day Paleo Challenge

Clean, healthy eating habits are the cornerstone of a successful weight loss or strength-building program. But for many people, the challenge is how to get started.

A person needs at least 21 days to make a permanent change in their habits, says
Wendy Wood, a University of Southern California psychologist.

To help you create smart, healthy eating habits we've created the 30-day paleo challenge. This challenge is designed to give you the tools and information you need about the paleo diet. There are variations of paleo-eating habits, but the core is to eliminate processed food.

More: 7 Tips to Avoid Processed Foods

What is the Paleo Diet?

The paleo diet is also known as the caveman diet, hunter-gatherer or primal diet. The idea is that you're eating what our ancestors did.

The diet recommends unlimited consumption of lean meats, eggs, seafood, fruits, vegetables, healthy oils and nuts. If you can't kill it, yank it out of the ground, or pick it off of a bush or tree and eat it, it's not a part of the plan.

This means anything that requires processing is off limits, including grains, dairy, alcohol, legumes, beans, added sugar or salt, and anything that comes in a box, jar, package or bottle.

It's estimated that about 35 percent of the calories are from carbohydrate, 35 percent fat and 30 percent protein and just over half of your total calories will come from animal products.

More: How to Run on a Paleo Diet

Paleo-Friendly Food List

Unlimited Consumption of These Lean Meats: veal steak, sirloin steak, lean flank steak, skinless turkey breast, skinless chicken breast, lean pork tenderloin, lean pork chops, seafood, buffalo venison, chicken livers, beef livers

Unlimited Consumption of These Fruits & Vegetables: asparagus, avocado, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, broccoli, kale, zucchini, cabbage, peppers, cauliflower, spinach, celery, cucumber, parsley, eggplant, green onions, apples, avocados, berries, papaya, grapes, lemon, strawberries, melon, pineapple, peaches, plums, figs, oranges, tangerine, lime, lychee, mango, guava

Limit or Avoid These High Fat Meats: t-Bone Steak, 15-percent ground beef, beef ribs, chicken wings, chicken thighs/legs, pork ribs, pork shoulder, lamb shoulder, lamb chops, ham lunch meat, dry salami, pork sausage, bacon, liverwurst, bologna, hot dogs

Limit or Avoid These High Glycemic Fruits & Vegetables: butternut squash, acorn squash, yams, corn, sweet potato, beets, dried fruits, bananas

Don't Eat or Drink these Items Ever: dairy, grains, soft/energy drinks, refined vegetable oil, legumes, fruit juice, potatoes, foods with yeast, artificial sweetener, alcohol, sweets, refined sugar

To help you determine what's paleo-friendly, download Paleo (io) — The Ultimate Paleo Diet Food List & Guide for the Paleolithic Caveman.

More: 5 Things You Should Know About Eating Paleo

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About the Author

Teresa M. Howes

Teresa M. Howes is a nutrition expert, fitness advocate, avid runner, published author and active blogger. Backed with a formal education and over a decade of professional experience consulting in the weight loss industry, she has an arsenal of tools, tips and tricks that she loves to share. Fired up with enthusiasm, she founded the 30-Day Challenge Series in May of 2013 and is thrilled to be cultivating a community of inspired, dedicated and successful fitness enthusiasts. You can find her latest and greatest at www.eatdrinkandbeskinny.com.

Teresa M. Howes is a nutrition expert, fitness advocate, avid runner, published author and active blogger. Backed with a formal education and over a decade of professional experience consulting in the weight loss industry, she has an arsenal of tools, tips and tricks that she loves to share. Fired up with enthusiasm, she founded the 30-Day Challenge Series in May of 2013 and is thrilled to be cultivating a community of inspired, dedicated and successful fitness enthusiasts. You can find her latest and greatest at www.eatdrinkandbeskinny.com.

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