You’ve probably heard of the Paleo Diet by now, but if you’re like many people, you might be confused regarding what exactly is involved in a Paleo Diet? The answer is simple: eat like a caveman. This sounds pretty awesome if you ask me.
If a caveman could hunt it down and cook it or gather it and eat it, then you are allowed to consume it as well.
Here is where things get tricky: eating fish, meat, berries, and other veggies is okay, but what about dairy items like milk and cheese? Sorry folks, you are out of luck.
Cavemen didn’t domesticated goats and cows, and thus you are forbidden from all dairy products on the Paleo diet.
So, why the heck should you eat as cavemen would? Well, the main reason is that you don’t really have to count calories, because you know cavemen couldn’t do it either.
Don’t get us wrong, keeping an eye on calories is great. But this doesn’t really do the trick. The problem is in where you get the calories from.
For example, 225 calories from a medium doughnut is far worse for you than 225 calories of a 270g baked potato or some other combination of fruits or vegetables.
Luckily, the cavemen didn’t have access to doughnuts and thus were forced to eat the natural stuff they could get their hands on.
This is probably why researchers determine that the cavemen were the healthiest people throughout history.
The benefits of cutting out junk food and only sticking to what cavemen ate is that you don’t have to count anything, as long as your proportions of meat, veggies, and fruits are roughly balanced.
This means you eat until you are full. It’s as simple as that. The best part is that this type of a diet delivers the right nutrients needed for your body, which can be utilized as energy for workouts, muscle building, and fat loss.
All you have to do is add the physical activity to your daily lifestyle while maintaining your Paleo Diet.
About Paleo Diet
There isn’t anything rocket-science-y about this diet. It’s as simple as tic-tac-toe. Before the invention of pumpkin spice lattes, there was meat, nuts, and berries.
Our ancestors were hunter-gatherers, meaning they went out and killed edible animals for meat while those who weren’t dubbed as hunters went out and gathered edible stuff as well.
In order to kill an animal during the Paleolithic era (yes, this is where the name of the diet comes from), one had to be fit, muscular, agile, and super adaptive.
Today, we have grown to be the literal opposite: sleep deprived, overweight, depressed, and fixed to our terrible habits.
How did this happen? Who is responsible? We are.
Over time, human kind decided that hunting was just too hard. So they sat for a while and figured out that we could grow stuff on our own and domesticate animals for food.
Our nomadic lifestyle was no more, we settled down, and decided to grow everything in one spot, preferably by a fresh source of water.
This is probably also roughly the time when the couch was invented, although this has not proven by researchers.
We stopped moving. Our genetically designed bodies were programmed to roam the land in search of animals and food, but the moment we started farming our bodies went into a complex inability to adjust and adapt to our new lifestyle.
Throughout human evolution, we were forced to live under harsh conditions, which demanded physical fitness of extreme levels for 95% of our existence.
And then suddenly, the last 5% forced us to stop doing all of those things entirely. Our human bodies didn’t get a chance to change genetically at all; we are still (mostly) those same cavemen who were engineered to survive under those harsh conditions.
Today’s development in agriculture gave us access to year-round fruits which we couldn’t get before. Wheat is literally found in nearly every food we eat today.
The worst part is that our governments make major money from our wheat consumption and, because they are all greedy beyond belief, we are encouraged to consume servings of wheat on daily basis. When we follow this advice, we start to gain weight in uncontrollable amounts.
We aren’t even moving enough to use up the calories consumed by our Paleolithic ancestors, so how are we supposed get rid of all this extra energy from our new lazy wheat diet?
It is estimated that about 68.8% of adults are considered to be overweight, while 35.7% are estimated to be obese and 6.3% struggle with severe obesity. These aren’t made up numbers, these are the facts. Obviously, our lifestyle and diet are just wrong.
In order to use up all the energy we derive from the food we consume today, you would have to stay in the gym for at least 3 hours every single day. This is ridiculous. Here is where the Paleo Diet kicks in. It is an attempt to eat like our healthier ancestors used to.
It is a way to eat the way that we were biologically designed to eat, which in turn would give us the opportunity to live healthier lives via the use of our genetic potential.
You have come to the right conclusion, the average modern diet is terrible for you and you need to change it. Don’t worry, we are about to explain exactly how you can do that. Ready, set, GO!
First things first, grains are bad. Wondering why? Most grains contain a ton of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are a fuel for our body which gets turned into glucose. But fuel is good, right? Well, yes and no.
You see, the amount of fuel that we get from glucose which is derived from carbohydrates is way more than our body needs to live off of. Unfortunately for us, the glucose which isn’t used up by our body, and trust us when we say there is a ton of it, gets stored as fat.
So those extra pounds you see steadily adding up over time are most likely all due to excess glucose from the carbohydrates you consumed while munching on delicious frosted doughnuts and other processed foods like pasta.
Second, grains are bad for an entirely separate reason: gluten and lectins. You’ve probably heard a little bit about gluten and how terrible it can be for your body.
Some effects of gluten are bit exaggerated, but the reality is that it isn’t good for your body at all. As it turns out, much of our populations is gluten intolerant, mostly because we aren’t genetically designed to consume grains.
This intolerance causes us to develop illnesses and aches over time, and some even turn into severe diseases. Lectins are also harmful.
Over time, grain based plants developed toxins to defend themselves against being eaten by animals and people. Plants are actually pretty smart in a weird and evil “we are toxic now” kind of way. These toxins build up in our gastrointestinal tract.
Over time, this causes it to stop repairing itself effectively, leading to major issue and problems later down the road.
Get ready, this one is going to hurt. NO SUGAR.
It’s okay, don’t cry. You don’t need it as much as you think you do. First, let’s get one thing clear. We are talking about processed sugar. The natural sugar found in delicious tasting fruits is no problem.
Naturally occurring sugar, like that found in fruits (which is technically fructose, but close enough for our bodies to treat it similarly), is consumed with other nutritional elements found alongside it in the fruits we eat.
Those natural elements and fibers help slow down the digestion of said sugar, which doesn’t cause your body to get sugar spikes and go into an increased sugar rush that is terrible for your liver.
The pure processed sugar or high-fructose corn syrup which is found in nearly all processed foods is ridiculously bad for our bodies. Not only does it destroy our liver over time, but because of its pure form, it almost instantly gets turned into fat.
This is mostly because we aren’t doing anything to use that sugar energy efficiently. Furthermore, there have been studies in the past showing that processed sugar and high-fructose corn syrup have addictive properties which can be similar to the addiction properties seen in drug addicts.
If I can’t have carbs or sugar, where am I supposed to get energy?
Here is the deal, your body is amazing. It is programmed to store and use energy when you need it most.
So while you sit there on your couch watching television and munching on snacks, your body will turn it all into fat because you don’t need it at that exact moment. But, when the time comes and you need some extra juice, the stored fat is right there at your disposal.
This fantastic process is called ketogenesis, a process by which organisms create a group of substances jointly known as ketone bodies by the breakdown of fatty acids and ketogenic amino acids.
It’s a fancy way to say “a process that turns fat into energy.” It’s a rather simple equation: reduced carbohydrate intake equals more ketogenesis which equals less fat.
Death to CARBS!
Slow down there cowboy, not all carbohydrates are bad. Carbs which are derived from naturally occurring foods such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts are also accompanied with a ton of different nutrients which are essential to our bodies.
These nutrients help us digest the carbs slowly and steadily while giving us the opportunity to tap into this flow of energy while it is being produced. Whatever we don’t use is put aside for later use.
There is another wonderful this about choosing to get your carbs from veggies. You can literally eat as much veggies as you want and never get an ounce of fat on you.
The reason for this is because veggies are tightly compacted and have very few carbs in them by volume. Most of the time, you will get full far before you go above the “time to turn it into fat” level of carb intake.
There are exceptions, though. Vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and most beans are pretty high on carbohydrates, so you might want to take it easy when eating those.
Excuse me, got milk?
We hate to say it, but milk should be avoided while following this diet. Listen, if you were a hunter-gatherer, would you have a cow or a goat leashed behind you everywhere you went just to keep up your milk consumption?
The answer is no. It’s just not how they lived. Technically, milk consumption shouldn’t be a big deal, but if you approach it from our previous biogenetically engineered point of view, then it would make sense to avoid all dairy products.
We just weren’t built for that type of a food. Besides, it is estimated that many people are already lactose intolerant and need to stay away from dairy to avoid undesired complications and side-effects.
We suggest only drinking milk when you feel like you need an extra boost and there is no adverse effects associated with it.
If you are planning to hit the gym every day and bulk up, then perhaps adding some milk into your diet might be a good idea. Otherwise, stay away from it.
What can I eat?
I know it seems like we are on a crazy destruction path to eliminate everything out of your diet.
This isn’t our intension, it’s just that all the stuff you are accustomed to eating without a second thought isn’t any good for you. Luckily, there is plenty of delicious food you can fill your belly with.
The number one food you will be turning to is meat. Although, you have to be careful here because grain fed meat is a bad choice.
You want to choose the grass fed stuff. This can be a slight headache, but most grocery stores these days are accustomed to carrying grass fed meats.
If it has wings and is edible then you are in luck, you are allowed to eat it. Chicken, turkey, duck, goose, and any other poultry are perfectly fine for Paleo consumption. Just be careful not to buy the grain fed variety.
The effects that grains have on humans are also seen in animals. So if you eat meat from animals that eat grains, it’s almost as bad as eating grains.
Vegetables have no limitations, as long as you don’t deep fry them. You can eat as many as you want without any drawbacks.
The only thing we suggest is to be careful with tubers like potatoes and sweet potatoes. Those are pretty high in carbohydrates.
Fish is also acceptable as a food source, but try to stick to the wild stuff instead of farm raised fish.
The fish grown at a fish farm are generally full of toxic particles and mercury. Did you know that farmed salmon is actually painted pink to seem more appealing for consumers?
Nuts contain many beneficial nutrients and vitamins along with their carbohydrates, so it’s not a big deal if you snack on these or use them to enhance your home made dishes, but eating a bag’s worth is out of the question.
Eggs pass the test. This means you don’t have to give up on your favorite scrambled eggs breakfast.
Try to look for eggs which are enriched with Omega-3 fatty acids, as they are a lot more beneficial for your body than regular eggs.
You can use oils for the food you cook, but it’s preferred to stay away from the processed oils which can be bad for you. Think organic and natural, like olive or coconut oils.
One of your highest calorie intakes will be from fruit. This means you have to be careful when eating fruits, especially when trying to lose weight. Most fruits are high in natural sugar and calories.
The greatest part about this combination of food is the variety. You don’t really have to go out of your way to find these foods, and when combined with each other you can end up with some amazing dishes.
There are hundreds of different recipes you can find online. One of our favorites is the Paleo Sweet and Savory Maple Mustard Almond Chicken, it is simply delectable.
There are many snack recipes, as well. Things like Paleo Spiced Hot Chocolate and Paleo Blueberry Thyme Smoothies. The possibilities are truly endless. All you have to do is look for the recipes.
Won’t I get fat?
No, you won’t. The amount of calories you would need to store away as permanent fat will not be accessible to you.
Because your main focus will be large amounts of vegetables and a moderate amount of meat, you will be able to keep yourself fully satisfied for a longer amount of time.
Food full of carbs doesn’t have the same effect. More often than not, after eating food high in carbs, you will find yourself hungry again in an hour or two.
As long as you approach everything with common sense and reasoning, you will be able to maintain a proper intake of food and nutrients to sustain your body without any issues and without storing any extra fat.
I just can’t do it, it’s too much!
We aren’t here to force you to change your diet to a Paleo Diet. We are here to tell you about the benefits of switching and the facts that come along with it. Like we said earlier, this isn’t rocket science.
If you feel complete and happy with the way you look and how you feel, then you don’t have to change anything. However, if you have been feeling down, overweight, and unable to lose weight effectively, then why not give it a shot.
This diet doesn’t require anything out of the ordinary that you have to order from across the continent. It is simple to follow without any tricks or hoops for you to jump through.
The list of foods you can eat is right there in front of you. Focus on vegetables, use moderate amounts of meat, pay attention to how many fruits you eat, and that’s it. How hard can it be?
If you are completely incapable of cutting all the grains out, then start by reducing the amount of grain based food and listen to your body.
We promise that you will notice how much better it feels to be free from the clutches of grains and processed sugars.
It only takes a few weeks to get results and only a few days to start feeling better. Nothing is stopping you but yourself.
What ratios should I observe?
Stop making things more complicated than they have to be. There is no crazy formula for you to follow or fractions to observe.
All you have to do is get some protein onto your plate within reason, fill the rest with vegetables, and that’s it. Use fruits and nuts for moderate snacking.
Cutting out sugar means no soda, no processed juices, no lattes from your favorite coffee place, just naturally occurring food. No matter what you’re eating, do so in moderation.
Drinking a gallon of orange juice in one day is going to do harm to you no matter how freshly squeezed it is. Use your noggin.
Also, don’t fear the fatty foods like avocadoes and nuts. Yes, they have more fat in them than other foods and should be eaten in moderation.
But this doesn’t mean you need to cut them out completely. There are good fats out there, not all fats are created equal.
Most of the fats that come from natural sources are good for you and can be beneficial for you. Just observe proper portions.
How often should I eat?
Through careful calculations and intense sessions of research we have determined that cavemen ate when they were hungry. Contrary to some beliefs, they did not have a 3 hour eating schedule.
Again, there is no reason to complicate things. Eat when you are hungry. This is your body’s natural way of telling you that it needs energy.
One thing to keep in mind is to avoid eating before you go to sleep. The reason for this is because you won’t be utilizing any of the energy you get from eating moments before you pass out, because your body is resting. All that food is going to be turned into fat without you being able to do anything about it.
If you feel like you need to cut back on food a bit, then you can choose to skip a meal or two, as long as you don’t go nuts afterwards and eat half of your fridge’s food content in one sitting.
This would obviously be a bad idea. Otherwise, don’t eat if you aren’t hungry just yet. Just don’t overdo it.
Your body can go into a state of preservation when it doesn’t receive food for a while, and it will attempt to convert as much food into fat as possible.
But my uncle Bob told me the Paleo Diet is a myth!
There will be naysayers no matter where you go. Every diet has their own group of people who are ready to tear it apart with criticisms and research based statements contradicting other research which contradicts more research.
Some will call the Paleo Diet “fear mongering” of grains and others will say “I’m no caveman!” Whatever the case, all of this is normal. Everyone will always have something negative to say about things they don’t necessarily agree with.
The most common objection is “The Paleo Diet is expensive. They want you to eat grass fed meats and organic produce.”
We aren’t going to lie to you. Organic foods and grass fed meat products are more expensive when shopping at your local grocery store.
However, with a little bit of research, you can easily find affordable Paleo friendly food in a variety of different locations.
For example, farmer’s markets are a wonderful source of often organic vegetables, fruits, and even grass fed meats.
What’s stopping you from waking up early in the morning on Saturday and swinging by your nearby farmers market?
“How can you say cavemen were healthier if their lifespan was shorter?” We do not disagree with you there.
Cavemen had a shorter average lifespan, but this wasn’t due to their diet. It was due to the fact that living in the Paleolithic era was extremely dangerous.
They also didn’t have the medicine we have now or any decent weapons by today’s standards.
You try defending yourself against a charging Wooly Mammoth or a Saber-tooth Tiger with a wooden spear that has a rock for a point. Living back then was dangerous and survival rates were rather low.
“This is just a meat diet and all meat diets are bad for you.” If you read this article, this silly statement is disproven in an instant.
No, the Paleo diet is not a meat only diet. The primary focus of the diet is vegetables. Yes, meat is an important part of the diet and is used to get the right minerals and nutrients that the body needs for proper growth and development, but by no means is it a meat only diet.
Paleo Diet Review Summary
If you’ve read this far, we can only hope that you will be at least inclined to try it. The human body is more complex than we can possibly imagine.
The world of medicine has always been a realm of speculation, theory, testing, and adjusting.
Yes, there are certain aspects of the medical world that are concluded to be factual. This is due to what has already been proving after extrenuous testing and observation.
However, there is so much that is part of the medical world which is simply derived from cause and effect methods.
The problem with this is that even if 99% of all people in the world react a certain way to a specific element or serum or mineral, there is still a chance that at least one person out there has a different outcome.
What does all of this have to do with the Paleo Diet? The point here is, do what you feel is best for your body, not what science tells you is right or wrong.
The concept of this diet was developed on years and years of historical evidence pointing towards our genetic make-up and biological composition.
If people have lived for thousands of years while eating a specific type of a diet and you suddenly change it without giving your body time to adapt, then you are bound to have adverse effects.
Yes, there will be one or two people who won’t benefit from it for one reason or another, but you won’t find out until you try.
We want you to be healthy and happy. If you’re not, all we ask is that you try the Paleo diet for one month. If you don’t feel better, then don’t worry about it and move on. If you do end up with more energy and start feeling alive again, then stick to it.
Ultimately, the decision is up to you and no one else. It doesn’t take a lot of thought to determine that our society has messed up at more than one fork in the road. We have become complacent, lazy, and very opinionated.
Some of those things aren’t bad at all, but can be mortifying in extreme quantities. If you currently think that your body is in good health and there is nothing wrong with your current lifestyle, then continue living your life the way you have been until now. If not, then it’s time to get up and change something.