You would have to be living under a rock to have not heard about the paleo diet. For the past year or so, this diet has been widely talked about, and its principles picked apart, to the point where most people are confused about whether it actually has any merit or not.
Let’s try to clear up some of the confusion. The basic premise behind the Paleo diet is to eat as close as possible to what our paleolithic ancestors would have consumed.
Put simply, eat like a caveman.
Without going into too much detail, this means eliminating all processed foods, as well as grains, legumes, dairy and refined sugars.
On the ‘eat’ list is grass fed meat, fish, and seafood, vegetables, fruits, eggs, nuts, and seeds.
It’s fairly obvious that following this sort of an eating plan will result in weight loss and improved health – especially if you, like most people; include processed foods in your everyday diet.
The Arguments Against Paleo and Why They are Wrong
The main argument against the paleo diet is that it’s too restrictive. Nutritionists hate telling people to cut out whole food groups! However, in my opinion, eliminating entire food groups just makes things easier.
I’ll show you what I mean. If you can’t have grains at all, there is no need to wonder if this particular type of bread, or this cake, of this cereal, is okay. You just have to steer clear of all of them!
Another complaint is that it’s difficult to adhere to the Paleo diet. I disagree with this also. Any change in eating habits is difficult to follow, to begin with, but as we retrain our palates and brains adherence becomes easier.
Also; and this goes for any diet, there is no need to be militant about it. Here I like to employ the 80/20 rule. If you can follow the diet for 80% of the time, you can also allow for some slip ups here and there.
Being too strict is counter productive, precisely because it can become too difficult.
Another argument that I have seen put forward is that we as humans are no longer biologically identical to our stone age counterparts. While I understand that this is probably true, it doesn’t count as grounds to throw out the Paleo diet.
This way of eating is still undoubtedly better for us than many of today’s foods and then what, most people are currently eating!
Benefits of the Paleo Diet
The benefits of the paleo diet are extensive and varied. Many people begin the diet to lose weight but are pleased to discover that the benefits go far beyond fat loss.
The list is looooong – here are some reported benefits by people following this way of eating:
Increased and more stable energy levels
Clearer skin and healthier looking hair
Improved mood and attitude
Improvements in those suffering depression or anxieties
Less bloating, decreased gas
Sustained weight loss
Muscle growth; increased fitness
Lowered risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer
Higher immune function and a general feeling of well-being
Improved glucose tolerance; decreased insulin secretion and increased insulin sensitivity
Improved lipid profiles
Healthier gut flora
Better absorption of nutrients from food
Paleo diet is anti-inflammatory, most people experience reduction of pain associated with inflammation
Improvements in those with respiratory problems such as asthma
Pretty amazing, right?
Find Out More and Get Started!
One of the best resources I have found for learning more about the Paleo diet is this little book here, written by Nicole Russell and sold on Amazon.
The reason I recommend this book is because it gives you a nice, simple introduction to the Paleo diet without getting bogged down in the science and details.
If you want to learn about all the ins and outs; the science and the intricate details, there is an overwhelming amount of information available to sift through on the internet. Bye bye weekend 🙂
This book is for those who are interested in the Paleo diet and want to know more. It will give you the ‘rules’ and enough info that you can get started right away. It also includes 10+ recipes. As its a quick read, you could go Paleo tonight 🙂 For around $5, you really can’t go wrong.