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The paleo weight loss diet has been a hot topic of discussion for some time now. Everyone is talking about it and how it can help with weight loss. We live in a world where overall health and well being are taken very seriously. People are no longer just interested in losing weight but also consuming a diet comprised of healthy, natural foods. Well, this is how the paleo weight loss plan comes into play.
The paleo diet, just as the name might suggest, is a diet designed to mimic what our Paleolithic ancestors used to eat. Basically, the Paleolithic era dates back to about ten thousand years ago. It is believed in that era, diseases such as obesity and diabetes were unheard of. This might have largely had something to do with the diet our hunter-gatherer ancestors consumed. Therefore, the paleo diet or otherwise referred to as the caveman’s diet takes on the foods similar to what our Paleolithic ancestors used to eat.
What exactly is the paleo diet?
The concept behind the making of the paleo diet is that our current western diet is what’s contributing to the prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and obesity. Therefore, the paleo plan is meant to closely resemble what the human ancestors consumed as they roamed the earth millions of years ago. It also advocates for cutting modern foods out of our diets.
The truth is it’s not really possible to determine what exactly they ate especially in the different parts of the world. However, according to the researchers, their diet must have consisted mainly of whole foods. This means that eating whole foods and leading a physically active lifestyle can promote good health, weight loss and prevent the occurrence of the many chronic diseases. Remember, the hunter-gatherer ancestors not only consumed whole food but were physically active throughout their lives. Hence the paleo diet should be accompanied by regular exercising.
On that note, the paleo diet mainly consists of whole foods, healthy proteins, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats while cutting down the consumption of sugars, salt and processed foods. It also cuts out some foods, including grains, legumes and dairy. Well, this has often been a subject of controversy since some scientists believe these are healthy and great sources of vitamins, fibre and minerals.
What are the benefits of the paleo diet?
The most common and often talked about the benefit of the paleo diet is weight loss. There are thousands of people from every corner of the world who seek effective and lasting solutions for weight loss. While regular exercises can help with losing weight, you also need to stick to a suitable and healthy diet. Scientists have found that when you eliminate grains, sugar, dairy and processed foods from your diet, you’re more likely to lose weight.
Furthermore, when you load up on various fruits and vegetables that are full of minerals, fibre and vitamins, you tend to fill up much faster. At the end of the day, you eat less and ultimately curb weight gain. The main focus of the paleo diet is lean proteins, fruits and vegetables which, when combined with regular exercising, will definitely contribute to weight loss.
Aside from all this, there is a likelihood of the paleo diet lowering the risk of heart diseases, inflammation and high blood pressure. In short, this kind of diet can actually promote your overall health and wellbeing. With that said, scientists are not affirmative on this, and there is still more research to be done. Also, some argue that this may not be the best long term diet because of its many restrictions. Some people might find it challenging to keep up with such restrictions.
Paleo for weight loss; foods to eat
Always go for whole, unprocessed foods.
- Grass-fed meat – lamb, chicken, pork, turkey and beef
- Vegetables – kale, peppers, carrots, tomatoes, onions and many more
- Fruits – avocados, bananas, strawberries, apples etc
- Eggs – choose pastured or free-range
- Tubers – sweet potatoes, yams and more
- Healthy fats and oils – avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and more
- Nuts and seeds – walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds etc
- Fish and seafood – shrimp, shellfish, salmon
- Salt and spices – sea salt, turmeric, rosemary, garlic and many more
I will like to point out that nut and seeds may be acceptable in the paleo diet, but they are not necessarily good for weight loss. As you might already know, nuts and seeds can be relatively high in calories. Therefore, if you aim to lose weight without counting calories, then it will be better for you to limit the consumption of nuts and seeds.
Paleo for weight loss; what to not eat
Basically, any foods not readily available to the Paleolithic humans are not included in this diet. However, there are less strict versions of the paleo diet that allow legumes and dairy in moderation. Here are the foods to avoid;
- All dairy products such as milk, yoghurt, butter
- Legumes including beans, peas, peanuts
- Starchy vegetables like potatoes
- Cereal grains such as rice, wheat, rye, barley
- Sweets, honey, sugar
- Processed foods
- Artificial sweeteners
This is just a general guideline and people are usually encouraged to adopt the paleo weight loss diet according to their tests and preferences.
The modified or less strict paleo diet
The paleo community has grown and evolved over the past few years. There is nothing like a strict paleo diet. There are actually different versions of it meant to accommodate the preferences of the different groups of people. At the moment, most versions of the paleo diet also allow modern foods as long as science proves them to be healthy.
Even sensible indulgences are allowed. For instance, you can drink quality red wine, especially because it’s rich in antioxidants. However, this should only be in small amounts.
Shopping and cooking
For a well-rounded paleo diet, take the time to stock up on many of the allowed foods. This way, you always have whatever you need within reach. It also makes meal planning easier. With that said, it’s important to note that the paleo diet involves cooking from scratch. Hence create enough time for that.
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