The Paleo Diet

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Lift and eat like a caveman, look and feel like a caveman – seems logical enough, right? Brought about over 10,000 years ago was the Paleolithic (Paleo) diet, in which man did not consume refined sugars, dairy, grains.. and you guessed it – processed foods!  Legend has it, that the cavemen who lived throughout the Paleo era had very few current illnesses which plague our world today, namely obesity and type 2 diabetes. Throughout today’s post we’ll be looking in depth into the Paleo diet, it’s origin, benefits and whether its effects are still applicable to the world we live in today!

Caveman-Catching-RabbitSo, How’s It Work?
I know, the bare mention of the word ‘diet’ sends an instant shock wave through many of us, the words scam, gimmick.. right? Wrong! It’s actually pretty legitimate, and here’s why:

  • Exhibit A: The Caveman - Tall, athletic, agile
  • Exhibit B: The Modern-Day Couch Potato - Overweight, sleep deprived, depressed

Without getting into the nitty-gritty technical side of things, the premise is simple. Whilst what we do with our Earth (farming, production, etc) has drastically changed, what we are biologically programmed to consume hasn’t – and so by applying the Paleo diet, we are revisiting what we were initially required to eat.

The Paleo diet, as mentioned above eliminates consumption of refined sugars and processed foods, but also – grains. Through eating grains (a carbohydrate), what our body absorbs is then converted to glucose (a sugar), whilst this provides much needed energy to the body; whatever is not consumed, is then converted to fat.

The Paleo diet eradicates sugar from your diet (besides that absorbed from fruits, of course) and in doing so prevents the uneven energy spikes brought about by it, as well as the conversion process from glucose to fat. And whilst the initial sacrifice of grains, sugar and processed foods from our diets is rather.. complicated (to say the least) – the benefits from their removal are definitely well worth the effort (even cancer patients saw positive results).

And did I mention the fat-burning benefits? In the process of adopting the Paleo diet, our carbohydrate intake drastically decreases . But wait, that means no energy, right? You couldn’t be more wrong! Here’s the good news -  not only do our bodies need a fraction of the carbohydrates we are consuming each day, BUT, decreasing your carb intake means the body needs to find other means of energy – ie FAT (known as ketogenesis). And so, stored fat is then used as means of energy production, as opposed to glucose.

Whilst carbohydrates remain essential in the modern day diet, the consumption of them through the likes of vegetables such as sweet potato and fruits is far more beneficial than processed sources such as grains.

Need more proof on why you should take on a Paleo diet change? From the comments of the above video:

Robb’s podcast is the best thing that has happened to me since I met my man!! After ending up in hospital for anemia, I quit being a vegetarian after 12 years and went Paleo and within 6 months I leaned out, had no more stomach pain, cured my ulcers and anemia.

What Do You Get to Eat?
Whilst I’ve spent a lot of time explaining what you can’t eat, I’d imagine one simple thought is running through your mind – what can I eat?

  • Grass fed meat (including chicken, turkey, etc)
  • Fish (the wild type, not canned or farmed)
  • Eggs
  • Oil
  • Vegetables, nuts, fruits

You’re not cutting that much out of your daily diet, are you? There’s plenty of tasty options and recipes available – you’ll forget you even had a diet consisting of grains and dairy! And the best part is, it’s extremely difficult to actually gain weight on the Paleo diet. Whilst carb-high foods require frequent consumption to keep you full, whole food options such as steak and vegetables keep you full for hours on end.

But, What About.. Pasta!?
Whilst we aren’t going to harp on about completely eliminating grains, and therefore many of our favorite dishes including pasta and bread, if you’re trying to lose weight and progress is virtually non-existent, it’s worth trying the Paleo diet, or at least minimizing the grain products you eat.

Health Benefits

  • An increase in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants
  • Weight loss (through the process we explained above)
  • Reduction in the signs and symptoms of insulin resistant type 2 diabetics
  • Lowers the risk of stroke and heart attack
  • High in both mono-saturated and omega 3 fats (reduce changes of obesity, cancer and heart disease)

For far more information regarding the Paleo diet, watch the video below – but most importantly, apply what you’ve and start losing weight today – after all, experience is the best learning aid.

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