Paleo – The Cave Men Diet For Weight Loss
What is a Paleo Diet?
Was there ever a fat caveman? Highly unlikely if you ask me. This was not just because of the rigorous physical activity one undertook back then; diet played an important role in designing the body for optimal function, keeping illness and excessive fat accumulation at bay. Founded by Dr. Loren Cordian, the Paleo diet aims at acquiring a lean, muscular body by following the diet very similar to the kind that existed in the Paleolithic era.
The Paleolithic era lasted about 2.5 million years, during which time we developed an affinity towards certain types of foods owing to our lifestyle back then. It ended about 10,000 years ago, when man shunned the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, and turned towards agriculture and domesticating animals. This new lifestyle brought about a phenomenal change in our diet, which we haven’t completely adapted to yet. The argument is that this diet will help us stay lean and strong by burning optimal amount of energy.
Does and Don’ts
What not to eat?
Some of the restrictive foods in the Neolithic diet (the diet followed by Neolithic man, us) include cereal grains (wheat, barley, rice, corn etc), concentrated sugars, vegetable and seed oils (sunflower oil, vegetable oil, etc), legumes (beans, peanuts etc), Diary products (milk, basically). These foods are relatively new to our bodies, and we have not fully adapted them yet. The best way to know what not to eat is to follow these simple points-
- Anything with flour- breads, pasta, cookies, or any processed food for that matter is off limits.
- Any form of drinks, this includes milk, soda, alcohol, even fruit juices. If you want to ingest fruit, eat it don’t drink it.
- No dietary sweeteners and definitely no regular sugars. Honey is a good alternative, but even that has to be consumed in a limited quantity.
What to eat?
Now, here is what Paleo diet encourages you to eat-
Grass fed meat
Animals reared for consumption today are beefed up (pun intended) with hormones and fed copious amounts of grains to achieve faster growth. Cows and goats do not eat corn and soybean in the wild. Grass fed animals are healthier, and in turn provide efficient energy supplicants to us. Eat the occasional fatty cut to satisfy the fat requirement of the body- this saturated fat is not harmful, but is actually beneficial and necessary for the body. Fish and sea food can be included in the diet.
Fruits and vegetables
Juicing fruits and vegetables will lose the fiber content and is not advised. Starchy root vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes, preferably boiled, and without the skin.
Moderate amounts of healthy fats
Fats such as butter, olive oil, coconut oil does not contain trans fats and do not oxidize during cooking.
So, that’s it?
Not really. Exercise is an integral part of the Paleo diet. Remember that the Paleolithic man involved in a wide range of physical activity on a daily basis, but we hardly ever engage in any physical activity, owing to our hectic lifestyle. Engaging in any athletic sport, such as rock climbing, swimming etc is the best exercise alternative we can settle for.
NOTE: It is important to consult your doctor before taking up any diet.