South Beach, Atkins, and Jenny Craig. These are just three of the many diet “fads” that have surfaced in recent times. With obesity becoming an increasingly large problem in the United States, having a variety of choices to help make better nutritional decisions is extremely useful.
With a new year comes yet another a new diet, and this year’s popular diet takes us back – way back. In hopes of sending the American people back to our hunter-gatherer roots, nutritional experts have introduced the Paleo Diet.
The Paleo Diet, also known as “the cave man” diet, is meant to mimic what humans of the Paleolithic era would have had the ability to eat. This means cutting out all processed foods such as soda and sweets, and focusing more on higher protein and fiber intake. (Source 1)
As with other diets, there are health benefits to cutting out the junk and replacing it with healthier alternatives. Some of these health benefits include decreased risk of osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and many more. (Source 2)
However, there are two differences that make this diet special and more attainable for individuals who have had a difficult time sticking to diets in the past. The Paleo diet recommends an 85:15 rule, which allows three non-Paleo meals week. This means if you are visiting your family and they want to go out for pizza and wings, you have permission to cheat on your diet. Just remember you only get three non-Paleo meals a week, so make them count.
The second thing that makes this diet stand apart from the others is that it doesn’t require calorie counting or portion control. In fact, the experts behind the Paleo diet discourage calorie counting and portion control.
Now, what is it that the Paleo diet says you can and cannot eat? On the “Eat” list: grass-produced meats, fish and seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, nuts and seeds, and healthful oils (like olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut). On the opposite side, foods you should avoid eating include: cereal grains, legumes, dairy, refined sugar, potatoes, processed foods, salt, and refined vegetable oils. (Source 3)
Of course, the diet is only half the battle. The second and most important part of losing weight is exercising. PaleoFit helps you utilize Paleo meal plans and plan to incorporate small, high-energy workouts several times a week.
The recipes that come directly from Paleo cookbooks are refreshing and healthy, but still allow you to eat what you want. For example, check out this recipe for Lemon Chicken Kebabs with Grilled Zucchinis that you can make in less than 30 minutes.
It’s never too late to start working on your self-image, and if you’ve tried other diets before and they haven’t worked, the Paleo diet may be a good choice. This diet is somewhat restrictive, but it also recognizes that we are human, and sometimes we can’t help but have a doughnut with your morning coffee.
1. Cordain, Loren. “The Paleo Diet Premise.” The Paleo Diet. 2010. Web. 24 June 2013.
2. Cordain, Loren. “Getting Started With The Paleo Diet.” The Paleo Diet. 2010. Web. 24 June 2013.
3. Cordain, Loren. “What To Eat On The Paleo Diet.” The Paleo Diet. 2010. Web. 24 June 2013.