There is a weight loss program going around called Paleo Burn. Some call it a diet, but really it is a lifestyle change that you either sign up to, or not. It is made very clear from the start that this is not something that you can just do for a week or two when you want to lose a few pounds. Essentially, the theory is that our cavemen ancestors were much healthier in their biology than what we are now because they ate no processed food at all. I always thought that it had to do with the fact that food was hard to come by, but it seems that there were indeed far fewer instances of cancer and other diseases. So, I decided to take the plunge and “go Paleo” as they call it. I hope my experience helps you to decide whether or not it is for you too.
As stated, the Paleo diet works on the principle that we should eat in the same way as our hunter gatherer ancestors. This doesn’t mean you have to kill with arrows made of flint and rip the meat off the bone using your hands and teeth, of course. It simple means that you have to eat the same foods, foods that are natural and haven’t been processed in any way. Furthermore, they have to be foods that existed during the Paleolithic era. These foods include:
- 100% organic meat and fish
- Most vegetables
- Most fruits
You cannot eat any grains, any dairy products, any salt, any refined sugar or any oil.
There is quite a longstanding theory behind the diet. Essentially, the understanding is that people ate more organic than what they do now. A caveman never ate cakes or chips, they didn’t go to McDonald’s for a quick burger, and they couldn’t get any TV dinners from anywhere. Instead, they had to hunt wild animals for their food, as well as gathering nuts, fruits, roots and vegetables that were in season at the time.
The Paleo diet is very different, because it doesn’t in any way deprive you from the foods you love – so long as they are acceptable. It isn’t about counting calories, working out like mad, supplementing yourself to the hilts or anything else. You will not go hungry, which is one of the main reasons why so many diets fail. When you deprive yourself of something you like, you will eventually rebel and overeat.
The diet teaches you how to replace your grain and dairy products with fresh vegetables and fruits. These are all foods that are believed to be far more nutritious as well. The substances are also very low in all the elements that are linked to weight gain, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Is the Paleo Diet for Me?
This is a very important question to ask yourself, mainly because it is never easy to implement a full lifestyle change that you will have to keep up with. The first few weeks of the Paleo diet are incredibly hard, and you will find yourself exhausted and tired. This is because your body has forgotten where it should get its energy source from. After those weeks, you will start to feel better and better with every day with passes, and you will notice the amazing benefits that this diet offers. However, if you were to then return to a “normal” diet, the weight will quite literally pile on, often faster than what you would see in a regular yoyo dieter.
There are a lot of materials to read about the diet, which teach you exactly what you can and can’t eat. However, it boils down to eating only organically grown or reared foods, such as 100% grass fed cows, organic fruits and nuts. A guideline is that you should only eat the foods that you could eat raw. This doesn’t mean you should eat it raw, but merely that you would not get sick if you did. You also have to consider what you drink. Water is fine, of course, as are freshly pressed fruit juices and some tea. However, you cannot drink any alcoholic drinks or fermented beverages.
What I Liked
A strong emphasis on fruits and vegetables, which means you will eat healthy food and avoid various illnesses.
- You will only consume essential fatty acids, rather than the bad fats we consume today.
- If you have carbohydrate cravings or need to watch your levels of blood sugar, this diet may be great for you.
- You don’t have to count calories or measure your portions.
- You don’t need to purchase specialized diet foods such as shakes and powders.
What I Didn’t Like
It is incredibly restrictive, which makes it hard to eat out in restaurants or at friends.
- The first few weeks of the diet are very hard, because you will feel weak and exhausted.
- We don’t really know what our ancestors ate, so there is a strong degree of speculation.
- You have to make sure you still receive sufficient calcium in your diet.
- Cannot be followed by vegetarians or vegans.
- Does not include an exercise plan, which I personally believe that our cavemen ancestors were likely to be highly physically active.
Overall, I have to admit that this diet isn’t for everybody. However, if you feel you are strong enough to do it and stick with it, it is a very good lifestyle change. It focuses solely on healthy living and healthy eating, which is hugely important and something that the product should be applauded for. Considering how popular the Paleo diet is becoming, I suspect that there will soon even be restaurants where the diet is followed, meaning that the biggest disadvantage – the fact that you can’t eat out – will also be resolved. Overall, I fully recommend this diet to anyone who is willing to give it a go. Just be aware that this is not a diet as such, but a full lifestyle change.