Does The Paleo Diet Work?
When you’re looking to try a new diet, it is easy to find about 1000 different ones on the Internet. One of the more popular diets recently has been the Paleo diet. Looking up information on the Paleo diet can be a little tricky considering there are so many different sources on what is and isn’t Paleo. Here is the lowdown on what the Paleo diet is and whether or not it actually works.
What is the Paleo diet?
This is a tricky question. It shouldn’t be, but it is. The Paleo diet, depending on who you talk to, will vary slightly. Some people say that you can have absolutely no grain, no dairy, no legumes, and no alcohol.
Others are a little more lenient and say you can have certain grains, like quinoa. And yet again there are other groups who believe that alcohol is perfectly okay as long as it’s 100% natural agave tequila. I’m not sure why 100% natural agave tequila is the okay alcohol, but I’m sure they have a reason.
After sifting through what seemed like 100 different sites on the Paleo diet, this is what all of them seem to agree on.
– Absolutely No Processed Foods
– No Shortening, Margarine, Vegetable Oils
– Pastured Meats and Butter Are Best
– Wild Caught Fish Is Preferred over Farmed Fish
– Wild Game Is a Must
– Lots of Vegetables, but Not Legumes
– Lots of Nuts
– Limited High Sugar Fruits
– Eat Seasonally and Locally
When looking at this list, it can seem like it is pretty easy to follow. Eat real food that comes locally and seasonally.
The only problem when it comes to the Paleo diet, with the model of eating fresh meat fresh produce locally and seasonally; is the price. Paleo experts will disagree with me and say you can eat Paleo for the same cost of any standard American diet.
However, price per pound of pastured meats versus traditionally farmed meats and wild caught salmon versus farm raised salmon will show that Paleo can be quite expensive.
Just looking at my local grocery store one regular avocado that is not organic is $.98. An organic avocado is a $1.98. If you’re going to go on a Paleo diet be prepared for your grocery expenses to go up.
Another thing that almost all Paleo experts and bloggers agreed on was that there were no portion sizes. This is an eat till you’re full and satisfied diet plan. So, depending on your weight loss goals this could be good or bad. If you are attempting to lose weight, you’re going to need to consume fewer calories than you burn every day.
If you’re eating 4000 cals a day but only burning 2000, you’re not going to lose weight. Without any portion control, a Paleo diet could be ineffective on people who tend to over eat.
Many people who advocate for the Paleo diet say that portion control will come naturally because of your body’s natural responses to high-protein and fat that is present in a typical Paleo meal. But with no recommendations on portions, it really is up to the individual to choose how much they’re going to eat at each meal.
So, does the Paleo Diet work?
When asking does the Paleo diet work, you have to be certain of your goals. If your goals are 100% weight loss, the Paleo diet may not be the best diet for you to choose because there is no portion control and people may eat a higher number of calories than they intended. If your goals are to eat a healthier more well-rounded diet, then the Paleo diet is absolutely a great diet.
Eating pastured meat and organic fruits and vegetables that are seasonal is a wonderful way to eat a well-rounded and healthy diet. Your overall health will improve whether or not it affects your weight because you’re eating lots of variety of foods.
If you choose to combine the Paleo diet with some practical portion control, it most likely will help you lose weight. Understanding that weight loss is relative to the number of calories you consume is essential for weight loss. Disregarding this premise is something that many Paleo advocates expect their followers to do, and unfortunately, it may not always work out for those looking to lose weight.