I’m a big fan of the Paleo diet. I believe it can make you a lot leaner and healthier. There’s a lot of speculative diets out there and recently Paleo has been a major one in the forefront.
Here’s a beginners guide to the Paleo Diet with all your questions answered.
What is the Paleo Diet?
Paleo is short for Paleolithic which is an era of human prehistory (somewhere between 200,000 and 2 million years ago). The Paleo Diet is an effort to eat like we did back in caveman times.
According to the pioneers of the diet this is how we are meant to eat in order to be at optimal health as our genetics haven’t changed since those times. It is natural real food that requires none or very little processing. These days we are prone to a lot more diseases like heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
Our current diet is relatively recent you see. We’ve only been eating this way for about 10,000 years. That might seem like a long time but that’s a small blip in comparison to the 2 million years we’ve been on this earth for.
Agriculture happened and we started farming which helped us get to where we are today but our bodies never adapted to this new way. 66% of us are overweight, 33% are obese and these stats are getting worse. So instead of loading up on meat, vegetables and fruits were eating grains (rice, pasta etc) and way too much of it.
Benefits of going Paleo
The average persons’ diet is heavy on carbs. They are everywhere and so easily accessible. With the Paleo diet you consume a very small amount of carbs compared and more healthy fats which make it easier for your body to burn fat which in turn means more weight loss! Wahay!
Less Unhealthy Foods
Most of the unhealthy foods you eat are processed foods which were not around in caveman times like pastries, baked goods and sweets. This means that you’ll have to give them up under the Paleo diet.
Reduced health problems
Your health is the most important thing you have and you sometimes you realise it only when you’re ill. I personally don’t skimp on spending money on high-quality foods. I mean what’s better to spend on.
We can prevent a lot of illnesses with our diet and our modern one has a lot of nutritional imbalances. The Paleo Diet has you eating foods that contain the nutrients you need for a healthy body.
Balanced energy and more of it
The Paleo diet will keep you having more sustained energy throughout the day. Those artificial, refined and processed foods you’re eating now are either sapping your energy or the high GI levels give you a temporary boost before crashing.
Millions of people suffer from lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity and allergic reactions to grains, sugars and processed foods. The Paleo Diet removes these foods which combat this.
Personally, when I stopped drinking milk and reduced my intake of grains about two years ago I felt a lot of benefits such as better gut health and less bloating.
No need to count calories
Counting calories is time-consuming and something I do not like doing. With the Paleo diet, you do not have to do this as not every calorie is made equally. 400 calories of doughnuts is not the same as 400 calories of vegetables.
A diet that eliminates processed and unhealthy foods means you can lose weight and build muscle without being so strict with the amount of food you eat.
How the Paleo Diet Works
This is a rundown of what you can and can’t eat on the Paleo Diet.
Okay to Eat
Meat/Poultry – Grass fed versions are the healthiest
Fish – Wild fish such as salmon, tilapia, bass etc.
Seafood- Fresh is preferred over canned products
Eggs – Look for Omega-3 enriched eggs.
Vegetables – Eat as many as you want.
Natural Oils – Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
Fruits – Berries and fruit low in sugar are best
Nuts/Seeds – High in calories, so they’re good for a snack, but in moderation and no peanuts!
Dairy – Dairy is highly allergenic, not nutrient dense and our bodies stop producing lactase after Year Two, which means most people are lactose intolerant.
Grains – They damage your gut lining, hurt your immune system and cause a bunch of other issues.
Processed Foods – They are low on nutrients, fibre and have added fats and sugars that are bad for you.
Refined Sugar – This lowers your immune system instantly, contains no nutrients, is bad for your teeth, is highly addictive and the cause of illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.
Alcohol – Alcohol is a toxin, it negatively affects the brain and is linked to many diseases such as diabetes.
Like any dietary change, it will take time to develop new habits and let go of old ones. Chances are you have been eating a similar way most of your life. There will obviously be discomfort due to this to you and your body. So prepare for some low energy days at the beginning.
Unhealthy food is cheap and high quality food is expensive. What a shame that it is like that but that is how it is. Expect eating this way to cost you more than Mcdonalds or Pizza but the longer you do it you’ll realise there are definitely hacks to get around this to make sure you’re not spending more than you should be.
Tough to do in today’s society
In today’s society, fast food and processed foods are everywhere. You may find it difficult to find restaurant meals that are in line with your new diet so extra discipline will be needed when you’re away from home.
If you’re vegetarian going Paleo is not for you. Meats are a staple in the hunter gatherer diet.
I hope you found some value in this post. If you did please share / leave a comment with your thoughts below!