29 Apr Paleo Diet: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
A diet isn’t just a way to eat. It’s hope, a belief, and a product.
You compare prices, read reviews, and make informed (sometimes emotional) purchases because…
Problems and desires pop up so, you need solutions.
We’re biologically programmed to want these things:
- Survival, life extension
- Protection of loved ones
- Freedom of fear, pain, or danger
- Enjoyment of food and beverages
- Comfortable living conditions
- Social approval
- The feeling of superiority
You don’t want these simultaneously. Some take precedence over others, but you can’t argue that these things matter.
The evolution of our society and economy are deeply rooted in the desire to solve problems so that we improve our conditions.
The easiest way to fix something is to seek the path of least resistance.
Most of us want to streamline a process so we jump from point A to point B with the least amount of difficulty.
Fat loss isn’t different.
In the blink of an eye, you want to lose fat, have a flatter stomach, and feel like a million bucks.
The problem is you know it’s difficult and you don’t know how to get there.
So what’s the solution? A diet, right?
You search the internet for “the best fat loss diet” or “how to lose weight fast”. A bunch of confusing terms and complicated methods pop up.
After an exhaustive Google search, solicited opinions from friends, and days of scrolling through social media posts, you pick one.
Finally, you’ve bought into the hype. This will be the diet that solves all your problems.
For years, the Paleo diet has stood tall near the top of the list.
Is the Paleo diet your perfect solution to lose the stubborn weight you’ve hung on to for some time?
What are the benefits? What are the drawbacks?
Let’s dig deep and see if the infamous Paleo diet will improve your health and inch you closer to a flat stomach.
What’s the Paleo Diet
The paleo diet restricts you to only eating the foods that humans ate when we first roamed the planet millions of years ago. It’s also known as the caveman diet, stone-age diet, or hunter-gatherer diet.
I’d love to call it the Flintstone diet, but I can’t. Fred and Barney used bread on their Brontosaurus burgers. The bread wasn’t around back then.
Before modern agriculture developed and more food became processed, our ancestors ate foods they could hunt or gather.
They ate fruits, vegetables, fish, lean meats, nuts, and seeds.
Other acceptable foods for the Paleo diet include:
- oils that come from nuts and fruits such as olive, coconut, and almond.
Now, here are foods you’re not allowed to eat:
- grains such as barley, oats, and wheat
- legumes including peanuts, beans, lentils, peas
- refined sugars
- artificial sweeteners
- trans fats and hydrogenated oils (i.e. canola oil) such as margarine, vegetable oil, and vegetable shortening
- low-fat or diet products
Sounds simple. What are the benefits?
How Paleo Can Help You
Paleo pushers believe that our bodies weren’t made to breakdown grains, dairy, legumes, and ultra-processed foods.
They believe that eating these foods increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
They’re correct…to an extent.
Can everyone’s body process dairy? No.
65% of our population is lactose intolerant. The rest of us are fine.
Can everyone’s body process grains like oats and wheat? No.
Some people experience insufferable bloating, gas, and symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) when they eat those foods.
However, other people like my client Bianca feel great and lose weight with zero issues.
Bianca is a busy mom of 3 who lost over 30 lbs in 4 months while eating carbs and not restricting foods.
Now, that leaves us with ultra-processed foods like cookies, soda, and potato chips.
When you consume ultra-processed foods more than foods from the land, it can lead to a host of poor health problems.
The Paleo Diet and Processed Foods
The study followed 105,159 participants from 2009 to 2018. The average age was 43 years old and 79% of the participants were women. Some mostly ate minimally processed or unprocessed foods. Others mostly ate sugary drinks, baked goods, and snacks.
What did they find?
For every 10% increase in the amount of ultra-processed foods consumed, the following risks increased:
- cardiovascular disease by 12%
- coronary heart disease by 13%
- cerebrovascular disease (i.e. brain hemorrhage) by 11%
Why is this a big deal?
In the U.S., 33% of deaths are due to cardiovascular disease.
Nearly 33% of the country is obese.
That’s not a coincidence.
more processed foods → higher calories → weight gain
weight gain → obesity → cardiovascular disease
The unnecessary weight forces your heart to work more. Then, problems occur. Other risk factors such as high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels spike.
The most important thing for you is to be healthy so you can be around long enough to enjoy special moments with your family and friends.
If you’re ready to shed the pounds and improve your health for your family, click here.
What Are The Drawbacks to Paleo
I have one concern with the Paleo diet…
If you adhere 100% to any diet that eliminates groups of foods and beverages, I guarantee you’ll lose weight.
When you stick to foods from the land, you eat foods that have fewer calories. For you, this means a leaner body, flatter stomach, and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
But can you be Paleo all the time?
This means you can’t eat or drink the following:
- Protein powder
- Potatoes (Some Paleo lovers believe you can eat them in moderation. Why half-ass it? If it’s what you want to do, go all in!)
- Seltzer water like LaCroix or Bubly
Oh. I almost forgot. Don’t even think about dining or takeout.
Unless you’re willing to be that pain in the ass customer who asks the waiter to list every ingredient for each item on the menu, the Paleo diet is off the table (see what I did there.)
99% of restaurants load foods with trans fats, sugar, and salt to make it taste better.
Are you or your partner willing to eliminate date nights?
Will you have fun at social events while everyone else has a cocktail and tasty treats?
I don’t think so.
The Paleo diet can be a great tool to help you lose weight and lower your risk of obesity-related diseases. If you’re struggling to lose weight, the Paleo diet could be the way to go.
It eliminates processed foods from your life.
However, it’s not the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Restrictive diets can work for a while. You’ll be dialed in. You’ll lose a few pounds at first. Then, life will get in the way.
Soon, you’re frustrated because you can’t stick to it. You stress out, eat everything in sight, and add more weight than you originally lost!
The perfect solution is a flexible dieting strategy.
Flexible dieting allows you to lose fat and flatten your stomach while still enjoying your favorite foods.
Are you ready to get lean without spending hours in the gym and giving up foods like potatoes and tacos?
If so, apply here to get started with The Lean Body Blueprint.