This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
The paleo diet has been around for a while but what are some of the benefits? Should you try out the paleo diet for weight loss?
Choosing a weight loss diet can be a difficult task. There is no shortage of different options, some crazier than others.
One of the diets you regularly hear about is the paleo diet, so let’s take a closer look at it.
The paleo diet is an eating food plan based on what we think our hunter-gatherer ancestors were eating 1000 of years ago. As a result the general diet rules are pretty simple. There are no macronutrient ratio rules or anything like that.
So, whole foods are the name of the game. This includes meat, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, spices, seeds, healthy fats and oils.
Some foods you have to avoid according to the paleo diet rules are: processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, grains, most dairy products, legumes, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, margarine and trans fats.
If it looks like it is made in a factory you probably don’t want to eat it.
What are the benefits of the paleo diet?
Our hunter gatherer ancestors presumably had less lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. By eating the same we should be able to see a decrease of diseases that are becoming more and more common.
If we look at the complete time-span of the human kind, processed foods have only recently appeared in our life. It’s not hard to imagine that our bodies have not yet evolved to deal with these “new” foods.
The amount of processed foods people eat these days may be one of the reasons things like obesity and diabetes are at an all time high.
Our bodies have built in mechanisms to stop us from eating too much. If you were fat in prehistoric times it wouldn’t be long before a tiger ate you.
The problem is that these mechanisms have evolved alongside whole foods. Processed foods don’t seem to trigger these stop mechanisms the same way so it’s a lot easier to overeat them.
By turning to whole foods again it becomes a lot less likely you will overeat.
Another thing about processed foods is that they tend to cause more damage, inflammation in your body. Inflammation may be the cause for diseases like arthritis. Going on the paleo diet should be beneficial to people dealing with this disease.
The paleo diet for weight loss
In general whole foods fill you up pretty good compared to processed foods. This means you will feel less hungry on the paleo diet than on other diets with more processed foods. Hunger is a big reason diet plans fail so avoiding this can be a big help.
Also, whole foods increase insulin way less than a lot of processed foods. Insulin is a fat-storing hormone and it gets raised by eating carbohydrates. So, by avoiding processed foods it becomes easier for your body to turn your body fat into fuel, something every person trying to lose weight ultimately wants to do.
Disadvantages of the paleo diet
It’s pretty hard to come up with arguments against the paleo diet.
It’s ultimately just getting you of processed foods which are usually not high in nutrients or other substances beneficial for your weight and health.
It’s one of the diets with the biggest probability of getting your essential nutrients, the food is great against hunger and so on.
The only disadvantage might be that the paleo diet sounds expensive. However, in most developed countries there are mutliple whole foods that are relatively low in price.
The paleo diet doesn’t only look great for weight loss. It also looks great for long term health. Our bodies have evolved alongside whole foods and this makes them pretty healthy for us.
It’s possible that there are some good man-made additions to the paleo diet but this diet plan is a good place to start.