THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE PALEO DIET
Welcome to Dieting Revisited. The website which looks at the paleo diet and beyond. Here we revisit the oldest diet of them all, the caveman diet! Otherwise known as the paleolithic (or paleo) diet, stone age diet or hunter gatherer diet this is the original human diet used by our prehistoric ancestors more than 5000 years ago prior to the advent of farming, and refining of food. For more information about what the caveman diet is and how it can benefit you please click here.
Before you read all about the paleo diet, I would first like to challenge your thinking about what is considered the optimum diet for weight loss and healthy living today. That is of course the process of counting your daily calorie intake and following a low fat calorie controlled diet. A quick look at the obesity statistics in most western countries is simple proof that this just isn’t working.
There are many reasons why simply reducing calorie intake, although providing a means to short term weight loss, can never help you to lose weight and keep it off. Before I list these reasons, I do need to say that in no way does the paleolithic diet advocate eating more than your body needs. I’m not going to tell you that you can gorge yourself every day as long as you eat the correct foods. What you should achieve is that you will feel satisfied and healthy by eating the right foods.
Why calorie restriction diets don’t work:
1. All Calories are not created equal: The current consensus is that all calories are created equal. As long as your calorie intake is below the rate that your body burns calories you will lose weight. This makes the incorrect assumption that your body deals with all calories in the same manner. With this in mind, try starving yourself all day then eating your daily calorie intake in chocolate bars just before you go to bed each night and see what happens! You’ll be extremely unhealthy and will certainly gain weight. Compare this to the same calorie intake in fruits, vegetables and lean meats spread throughout the day in healthy portions and see the difference. Of course your body will deal with different energy sources in different ways. Different foods have a variety of effects on body metabolism and formation and destruction of fatty tissues and muscle. Its ridiculous to even consider that all foods will be dealt with in the same manner. Your body is a very complicated machine and thinking that reducing the amount of fuel you give it will lead to long term changes is a narrow sighted view indeed!
2. Feeling hungry all the time cannot be sustained long term: Quite simply, if you eat significantly below the recommended daily calorie intake for your size, you will feel hungry, all the time. Although this may be sustainable in the short term, do you really want to feel hungry for the rest of your life! Of course not! This is why following a calorie restriction period, its common for people to gain weight, as your body is making up for a forced period of starvation. Long term calorie restriction is unsustainable and unpleasant and not a solution to obesity.
3. Starvation mode: After a brief period of weight loss, your body will switch into ‘starvation mode’. If you focus your energies on eating the lowest number of calories possible you are not accounting for the fact that your body will fight you on this matter. Once you reduce your fuel intake below a certain level, your body’s metabolism will switch to starvation mode, which effectively means you will feel tired all the time and your body will preferentially turn any calories into stored fat and aim to burn any previously stored fat at a reduced rate.
4. Certain foods are addictive: Even if we hold to the misguided view that all calories are created equal, the truth is that some foods satisfy whilst others make you hungry. The reason for this is that foods which are high in simple sugars produce a rapid insulin release which as well as promoting storage of fat, leads to low blood glucose levels. These low blood glucose levels send a signal to your brain to eat more which as you can see leads to a vicious cycle. By eating foods which avoid this insulin surge you will be satisfied for longer and feel and function better too.
This is a quick review of why focusing on the quality rather than the quantity of food you eat will produce long term weight loss and improved health. More information is provided as to why the paleo diet advocates the very best foods for you further into the website. If are new to the paleo diet then I suggest you begin here : What is the caveman diet?
TOP PALEO PLANS:
If you are genuinely considering the paleo diet then I would highly recommend following a structured program. Though you can find considerable free information on the web (including here at dieting revisited!) about the paleolithic diet, generally its not available to the extent or step by step structure that’s required for an easy transition into a diet which at least in the short term will require some fairly significant lifestye changes. I’ve listed my top 3 paleo plans below (in no specific order!).
Robb Wolf: Robb Wolf is one of the more well known advocates of the paleo diet and his approach is concise and easy to follow. I highly recommend Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Total Transformation. This is a 60 page interactive e-book which covers all aspects of how to get started. Though only 60 pages long it’s full of links to podcasts, tables, audio guides, and lots of other extended information which will provide more than enough info to get you started. To read a full review please CLICK HERE.
Paleo burn: Paleo Burn or the Primal Burn System as its otherwise known currently has over 11,000 members and continues to grow as one of the best paleo education systems. Developed by Ken Burge it offers all of the information that you’ll need to get started and to continue indefinitely on the stone age diet. With diet and exercise plans, recipe books and shopping lists and a members area which includes lots of helpful videos and a support forum you’ll have everything you need to start and continue with the caveman diet. Ken has a specific interest in the paleo exercise plan and offers an innovative approach which can be incorporated into a busy schedule with ease. To read a full review please CLICK HERE.
For reviews of these paleo plans with all their pros and cons please CLICK HERE.