Paleo diet (Paleolithic diet) is a type of eating that is based on the diet of our ancestors. History reveals that our hunter-gatherer forefathers who lived in the stone age ate a diet that was low in carb and high in proteins. A review on a paleo diet and weight loss, therefore, picks a leaf or two from our ancestors’ diet.
Also, it is believed that chronic diseases such as cardiovascular attacks, diabetes type 2, and hypertension were not common with our ancestors. And obesity, which affects more than a quarter of the world’s population did not affect people who lived in the stone age.
Furthermore, the longevity of these stone-age ancestors was much longer than our current life expectancy. Most nutritionists and Houston weight loss centers have attributed this to diet – the paleo diet – to the basis of long and healthy living.
Therefore, in an attempt to have a lean and healthy body, the paleo diet has gained popularity in weight loss and fitness. Whether you are looking to lose some pounds to gain some lean muscles, the paleo diet could be your best bet.
However, as we shall learn, this diet has a few downfalls. For example, certain dairy products are abolished. This denies the body specific vital minerals. There is also another method to live healthier and lose weight with intermittent fasting.
A Generalized Timetable on Paleo Diet and Weight Loss
Gaining weight (fats) has been linked to eating bad carbs which eventually leads to chronic diseases such as heart complications. Hence, the Paleo diet removes and limits foods that were not part of our ancestors’ food.
These foods tend to increase the deposition of fats into our bodies. Increased fat deposition causes overweight. On the other hand, when you reduce these foods, you will lose weight. Examples of foods that are discouraged include dairy products, legumes, added sugar, and most grains.
However, certain modifications and variations exist on the paleo diet. Soaking of legumes and before cooking is believed to reduce their fat and carb contents and hence is permitted. The problem with this soaking technique is that it washes away nutrients as well. This means you will be consuming less and less of more vital macronutrients.
Paleo Diet Menu
Below are some permitted paleo diet delicacies;
Paleo Diet Lunch
Paleo diet permits moderate consumption of chicken. However, it suggests that the skin should be removed and not eaten. Poultry skin has high cholesterol. And high cholesterol is linked to arteriosclerosis. This predisposes you to heart attack and stroke.
So, when you eliminate the skin, you reduce these risks but still get the proteins in chicken.
Moreover, chicken soup is great for those recovering from malnutrition diseases such as kwashiorkor. Our forefathers never suffered such diseases because they depended more on proteins.
Example: chicken, and turkey.
Meat has vital proteins and may be eaten. But the quantity should be regulated. Beef is one of the most widely-eaten meat. It is easy to prepare and readily available in most stores. When you go shopping for beef, ensure it is red and fresh.
Beef Has Great Proteins
Also, make it a point to cook meat well. Some bad bacteria love meat and heat destroys them. So, it should be cooked for at least 45 minutes at high temperatures. Both cooked and uncooked meat must be kept in the refrigerator for later use. This keeps them fresh.
Example: beef and goat.
These are rich in proteins and Omega-3 oils which is good for brain development. Our great grandfathers were fishermen. They smoked fish, roasted, and boiled fish for stew.
Salmon Has Both Good Proteins and Fats
Besides, the benefits of fish and its products are so many. From the best oils to muscle and brain development, fish must be part of your diet for the best health.
However, fish is best in its fresh form. Stale fish can cause food poisoning. So, always check for expiry dates and freshness of fish while buying. Keep them refrigerated too.
Example: Salmon, tuna, and catfish.
Eggs too are very rich in proteins. Did you know that eating one raw egg gives you the same amount of protein as eating 8 cooked eggs? Heat destroys and denatures the proteins in eggs. However, this should only be a concern for those in the massive muscle bodybuilding diet.
Eggs Are Great for Muscle Building
Also, research shows that the egg white has more protein than the egg yolk. Eggs may be boiled, fried, cooked with soup, or used to sandwich slices of bread. It is also one of the highest protein-containing foods.
Example: Egg yolks and whites.
Paleo diets emphasize consuming a lot of fruits. Fruits are high in vitamins that boost the immune system. Fruits are also known to have several vitamins.
Furthermore, fruits are sources of great fibers. The fibers are good for the symbiotic association of the gut bacteria. These gut bacteria facilitate your digestion.
Examples: apples, oranges, bananas, watermelons, strawberries, apples, and grapes.
Research shows that veggies are high in fiber content. Vegetables are also known to be good as roughages to prevent constipation.
Veggies Are Great For Vitamins
Moreover, veggies contain high water content that is good for hydration. They also make your skin look young and vibrant.
Examples: Kales, cabbages, onions, garlic, asparagus, broccoli, and spinach.
Nutritionists say that nuts are important for good oils and fiber content. Did you know that 5 grams of groundnuts can keep your brain active for up to 2 hours?
Nuts Have Lots of Good Fats
Also, nuts can be used as snacks to avoid junk food. They are a great strategy for those on the weight loss diet. This is because they keep you satisfied for a long time.
Examples: cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts, and walnuts.
Seeds have the most healthy fats. In fact, after fish oils, the most recommended source of fats and oil are from seeds.
Pumpkin Seeds Are Very Nutritious
Furthermore, they are accepted by vegans too.
Seeds have high fiber contend too which is great for your digestion. They also contain great sources of calories and proteins.
Example: Pumpkin seeds
Good fats are used to insulate the body to keep it warm. Fats are also sources of energy reservoirs.
The best fats and oils are plant-based. However, fish oils are also considered body-friendly and healthy.
Coconut Oil Are Healthy Sources of Fats and Oil
Examples: Coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, and palm oil.
Herbs and Spices
These help in boosting the immune systems and increasing blood flow by lowering blood pressure.
Examples: Red pepper, ginger, and turmeric.
The Paleo diet and Weight Loss
The complete abolishment of highly processed foods and low carb consumption typical of the paleo diet encourages weight loss.
Also, these processed foods are high in calories which get converted to fats in our bodies. The fats are then stored in particular specific regions such as the lower abdomen. This in turn leads to potbelly and a large waistline.
Besides, the paleo diet emphasizes eating high protein foods. This makes the body to reduce the hunger hormone (ghrelin). When this hormone is reduced, your appetite declines and you tend to eat less frequently.
In the current times of too much sedentary lifestyle, the paleo diet has proved fruitful as far as boosting weight loss is concerned.
A study on 100 people on the paleo diet showed that they lose up to 8 Kgs in 4 months using this diet. This loss was largely pot belly fat.
Other Benefits of The Paleo Diet
Most chronic diseases are intertwined and linked closely with obesity.
So, if we look at the benefits of the paleo diet and weight loss, it is imperative to mention other superb advantages too.
Paleo Diet and Cardiovascular Arrest
The World Health Organization (WHO) documents that up to a third of deaths are a result of heart attacks. It continues to confirm that heart attack is the number one killer disease worldwide.
Luckily, the paleo diet has been found to reduce the risk of heart attack significantly. This diet reduces LDL cholesterol levels in the blood and increases HDL cholesterol in circulation. LDL cholesterol is bad and causes arteriosclerosis which leads to a heart attack.
Also, research shows that the Paleo diet reduces other risk factors that cause a heart attack.
Paleo Diet and Diabetes
A study on 45 diabetes patients (type 2) showed that after 4 months, their blood sugar declined by up to 50%. These patients were placed on a strict paleo diet.
Consequently, the paleo diet improves insulin sensitivity hence lowering the blood sugar level immensely. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar.
Shortcomings of the Paleo Diet
This diet discourages the consumption of certain foods that have great nutrient values.
These foods include:
- Dairy products: Cheese, milk, yogurt, and butter.
- Legumes: Beans, chickpeas, and peanuts.
- Root tubers: Potato crisps, white potatoes, and potato chips
- Grains: Wheat barley, bread, pasta, and rice.
- Processed oils: Safflower oil, cottonseed oil, and soybean oil.
- Artificial sweeteners: E.g. sucralose
- Processed foods: Cakes, chips, cookies, chocolates, and fast food.
- Added sugar: Table sugar, candies, desserts, sugar-sweetened beverages.
Wholemeal grains that are not allowed in the paleo diets are rich in minerals that have been linked to lower the rate of a heart attack.
Also, vegetarians may find it hard to follow this diet since most grains and legumes are removed from the paleo diet.
Furthermore, the paleo diet requires self-preparation and cooking. Most people have no time due to busy schedules.
The review of the Paleo diet and weight loss shows that it can lead to a successful boost in attaining a healthy and lean body. Research has shown that when you stick to paleo dieting, you lose excess fats and avoid putting calories in your body. However, the paleo diet restricts foods that have high nutrient values. Therefore, it is important to incorporate this dieting technique with care and caution; so that you get all the required nutrients.