Gaining more and more popularity these days is the Paleo Diet (also referred to as the caveman diet, the primal diet, or paleo 2.0); and for good reason.
Although everyone’s different, and what works for one person may not work for another (I’m sure you can think of an example of someone who’s had success with a diet that just didn’t work for you), this diet pre-dates all of the modern “diets” that tell you to cut back on fat, increase your carbs, decrease your carbs, increase protein, increase fat etc etc.
The Paleo diet looks back at how we’ve evolved. What were we eating for the hundreds of thousands of years that we were evolving into who we are today?
Through common sense, studies of other primate diets, study of fossils, anthropological accounts of modern-day hunter-gatherers, and examination of our own biochemistry, this diet whittles it down to the only options we would have had available to eat during our evolution.
The Paleo diet cuts out any foods that wouldn’t have been available to us – anything processed, grains, dairy, refined sugars, and foods only made available to us through agriculture.
Instead, it focuses on the ONLY foods that would have been available – fresh meat, seafood, seasonal fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Now although we are all different, common sense tells us that eating the way we’ve evolved to eat will be optimal for our health, all of us. Put simply, you’d have a hard time getting fat if you stuck to just those foods that were available to us 10,000 years ago.
So the Paleo diet focuses on real foods, and avoids any and all “modern” foods that have only been around since the introduction of agriculture and modern processing techniques.
The emphasis is on lean meats, and fresh vegetables; along with some fruit, nuts and seeds (which would have been available during certain seasons).
By eating the way we were designed to eat, your body will function optimally. Feed it the right fuel and you’ll have more energy, think more clearly, lose weight if you’re overweight, gain weight if you’re underweight. Everything works as it’s supposed to.
Not only will eating this way strengthen your immune system, but cutting out the toxins and stresses of modern foods will also make you less susceptible to illness; meaning you won’t get sick as often, and if you do, it won’t be nearly as bad because your body can deal with it efficiently.
There’s a reason this diet is gaining momentum, and it’s because it makes sense. Anyone following the dietary recommendations laid out in this plan will see great results, not just in terms of weight, but body composition and shape, health, energy levels, resistance to disease, and general well-being.
I strongly advise anyone with an interest in improving their health to take a serious look at the Paleo diet and give it a try. You won’t regret it.
Bear in mind that since we are all different, once you’ve got the basic principles down, it might be worth tweaking the meal proportions and timings to suit your individual needs (this is where the protein/carb/fat ratios come into play). But to begin with, focus on eliminating all non-paleo foods, and eating only the foods that were available to us since the beginning.
Basically there is no one, perfect diet that will suit everybody, but it’s my belief that there are still underlying principles that are true for everyone, and the paleo diet covers these principles perfectly. Cut out the crap, and eat real food.