Paleo Diet: What It Is, How It’s Done, Does It Work?

The Paleo Diet is one of a scores of diet fads that populate the American landscape. Of course, as you well know, dieting is one of America’s great pastimes. Do a survey, and I’m sure dieting would be more popular than baseball, football, or McDonalds.

Have you ever heard of the Paleo Diet? Do you know what it is? Let’s take a look.


paleo diet



Paleo Diet: What It Is

Eat like a caveman and shed pounds. That’s the theory behind the Paleo Diet. Also called the Caveman Diet or the Stone Age diet, it’s basically a high-protein, high-fiber eating plan that promises you can lose weight without cutting calories.

Eat Paleo, and you’ll eat a lot of fresh lean meats and fish, fruits, and vegetables, and healthier fats.

You can also eat:

  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthier oils, including olive oil and coconut oil

Do not eat any processed foods on this diet. And since our ancestors were hunter-gatherers, not farmers, say goodbye to wheat and dairy, along with other grains and legumes (such as peanuts and beans). Other foods to avoid:

  • Dairy
  • Refined sugar
  • Potatoes
  • Salt
  • Refined vegetable oils, such as canola


Paleo Diet: How Much Effort Necessary?

There’s no calorie counting, and the fiber-rich fruits and vegetables will fill you up, as will the lean meat.

Limitations: The Paleo Diet allows for some cheating, especially at first. When you’re just starting, you can eat what you want for 3 meals a week. Or you can challenge yourself to just one “open meal” per week.

Shopping and cooking: You’ll need to stock up on the allowed foods and cook from scratch, so plan for kitchen time.

Packaged foods or meals? None. Processed foods are a no-no.

In-person meetings? None.

Exercise: Not required when you’re losing weight. But do exercise to maintain weight loss and for overall health.



Paleo Diet: Any Restrictions, Preferences?

This diet emphasizes meat and fish, and it’s impossible to follow a Paleo Diet without eating meat, seafood, or eggs. Excellent vegetarian sources of protein, such as beans and other legumes, are not allowed.
The diet doesn’t allow salt, so it may help you cut down on sodium. If you do eat any foods that come from a can or a box, you would still need to check the sodium on food labels.
Keep in mind that eating a lot of meat and fish can raise your grocery bill. Also, you can do this diet on your own, no support groups are necessary. If you want to connect to your fellow Paleos, you can find the forums online.



Paleo Diet: Does It Work?

Eliminating all grains, dairy, processed foods, sugar, and more will most likely lead to weight loss, but it may be a tough plan to follow long term due to the dietary limitations and restrictions.

There are several studies on certain aspects of the Paleo Diet. While they may not support all the positive claims,  a diet rich in lean protein and plant-based foods can make you feel fuller, control blood sugar levels, and help you lose weight.

Clinical trials that show a paleo diet can lower the risk of heart disease, blood pressure, and inflammation. In addition, it is effective to lose weight, reduce acne, and promotes health and athletic performance.

And, of course, eliminating salt and processed foods makes this low-sodium diet good for people with high blood pressure.

Be smart and check with your doctor before starting on this plan.

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