Here’s the thing about diets: diets don’t work. Weight loss is a mere matter of calories in verses calories out, and if you’re looking to lose weight as quickly as possible with as little fitness as possible, immediately close out of this article and register with MyFitnessPal.com to help you track your daily caloric intake.
Yes, that is the #1 best solution for weight loss.
But for those of you who are looking for something beyond weight loss, such as improved health, higher energy, increased athletic performance, clearer skin, and/or easier digestion, the Paleo diet is the answer to all of your health and fitness needs.
To put it short: the Paleo diet includes eating like our ancestors – the caveman, our primal selves. The diet excludes gluten, dairy, legumes (beans and peanuts), processed foods, and most sugars in favor of organic meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, eggs, natural sugars (honey and agave), and healthy oils. Since there is already an endless wealth of free Paleo resources on the web, relating to what the diet is, how and why the plan works, as well as recipes and shopping lists, I’m here to address another common concern with the Paleo diet: sticking with it.
Here’s my personal insight on following the Paleo diet: don’t make it a burden. Following it as much as you can rather than 100% of the time will make the transition easier and the habit more likely to stick. If you have dinner plans with friends, order what you want from the menu. If you forgot to pack a chicken and veggies lunch, grab a sandwich at work. If you want a cupcake after dinner, go ahead and indulge. By thinking of Paleo as something to incorporate into your diet rather than a make-it-or-break-it plan, you’ll reap the healthy benefits without ever feeling like your “cheating,” “craving,” or “bingeing.”
Wouldn’t it be great if you could learn to love traffic? Learn to love taxes? Learn to love your boss? The great thing about Paleo is you learn to love it – a miracle in the diet world. After following Paleo for only one week, a single non-Paleo meal will feel – for lack of better terminology – just plain gross. Begin Paleo by incorporating it as only 50% of your diet, you’ll be amazed at how quickly 50% becomes 60% becomes 70% and so on. Many Paleo-followers can only go a day or two off the plan without desperately wanting to get back on track (and feeling great). That’s right ladies and gentlemen, a diet you’ll actually miss when you’re off it.
Nothing bums me out more than low-carbers knocking fruit. Sure the sugar in fruit may prevent your body from going into weight-dropping ketosis, but if we learned anything from the Atkins diet, ketosis is not sustainable, and frankly, makes your breath stink. No one has ever gotten fat eating fruit. Fruit will cut your sugar cravings while you’re on the Paleo diet, making you less inclined towards unhealthy sweets (pastries, ice cream, oreos, etc). Eat a big bowl of watermelon after dinner, and tell me if you’re still craving chocolate.
Paleo is not for weight loss. I repeat: Paleo is NOT for weight loss. Weight loss is often a pleasant side effect, but it is slow coming, and there are much better plans for shedding a few for bikini season. Paleo is a service to your body, your health, your mind, and your skin; it’s an embrace of the beautiful foods produced solely from our earth. Welcome it into your life, and enjoy the many benefits.
[box]Lynn Maleh is a professional health/nutrition writer, Paleo follower, and CrossFit enthusiast. She is writing on behalf of Gynecologists.com, a directory in which women can find the best gynecologist in their location. [/box]