The Paleo Diet

There are many diets out there on the market today.   Some of these diets sound truly outlandish, and some just simply make sense.

The Paleo diet is one that can be traced back to some of our ancestors thousands of years ago.   It refers to the Paleolithic period where you could find hunters and gatherers.

If this is hard for you to imagine, all you need to do is think about some of the movies you’ve seen in the past.   Think about the kinds of movies you saw where cavemen roamed the earth.

Now you have a better idea of what time frame we are talking about.

The Paleo diet is one that takes a look at the types of foods that they ate back then.  However, it would be nearly impossible to replicate the exact diets that our ancient caveman ancestors followed, which is why the Paleo diet has a modern spin on it, utilizing the foods that we can find in our world today.

A great part of this diet is comprised of higher protein intake.   This means that some men or even women who enjoy eating  things such as meats and seafood, may find that they will gravitate towards this diet over others.

However the one thing that you will find is that in our modern society we are actually eating a lot less protein than our ancestors did back then.  In fact the average amount of protein that was eaten back then on the high side, is nearly twice the average amount that we consume in our modern day society.

Another part of this diet that may be appealing to some, but may not be appealing to many others is the fact that the carbohydrate intake is on the lower side.  Yes, our ancient ancestors did not have the luxury of ovens to bake bread or cookies to take on the go.

The society that we live in offers much in the way of high carbohydrate meals and snacks.   These high carbohydrate meals and snacks, can weigh on us no pun intended, and eventually turn into fat that we carry on our bodies.

This idea of higher protein intake and lower carbohydrate intake is extremely attractive to many people who are trying to lose weight and keep it off, hence the reason that the Paleo diet has been so popular.

Another reason that the Paleo diet has been so popular is the fact that it focuses more on whole foods, the kinds of foods that could be found back then, and less on the processed foods that can be found on grocery store shelves and fast food restaurants.   These types of foods are typically loaded with things that aren’t good for weight loss such as sugar, sodium and fat.

Which takes us into the area of fat when it comes to the diet itself.  The focus of fat in the Paleo diet is not too much on the amount of fat that is consumed, rather the focus is put on the type of fat that is consumed.   Some fat is good for our bodies while other fats are not.

While we have talked about the foods and nutritional areas that the Paleo diet focused on, what we’d like to do next is cover the food groups and areas that you will need to avoid if you are thinking of this diet.

The one thing that you need to understand is that many of modern day societies’ vices that we enjoy were not even invented or made back then.  What does this mean for you.  Well, this means that if it wasn’t around back then, then you aren’t eating it.

You can say goodbye to things like candy bars or Twinkies, and say hello to some other foods.  Here’s a look at some foods that you will need to take off of your grocery list if you plan on taking on the Paleo Diet:

Dairy Products

Dairy products are a large part of our diets.   In fact many of us have a difficult time going a whole day without drinking a cup of milk, eating some type of cheese or even snacking on some ice cream after a long day at the office.

Dairy was just something that was not readily available to our ancient ancestors, which means that if you will be partaking in the Paleo diet then you will need to strike it from your cupboards as well.

This may be a difficult undertaking for some, and will take some getting used to. In fact, what you may have to do is look in your cupboards to see what products actually contain dairy in them.

Alcohol

Yes, alcohol.   You’ll need to take alcohol out of your diet if you plan on doing the Paleo diet.   Our ancient ancestors were not able to pop open a cool and frosty beer when they wanted to, nor were they able to take a few shots of whiskey right before going to bed.

If you plan on doing the Paleo diet plan, and plan on doing it as it should be done, then you will need to remove alcohol from your home. When you think about it this may not be a bad thing.   You will be able to save some money, and also save some extra calories that may have been sitting on your waistline.

Snack Foods

Unless your snack foods consist of dried meat, then you may want to remove the many different snack foods you have around you.   This means that you have to take a very deep inventory of the different places you spend most of your time.

Places such as your work, your home and even your vehicle will need to be cleaned out of snack foods you have been leaving lying around.  As many of our ancient ancestors did not have the privilege of refined sugars and processed foods,  the same can be said for being on this type of diet.

You will need to take a look at the different things that you eat and drink in between meals to see what you can keep and what you can throw out.  More than likely the majority of things that you purchased from the grocery store will need to be removed.   What you can do is donate this stuff or give it to someone that you know to get rid of them.

Coffee

Wait first you say I cant have any alcohol and now you are saying I can’t have any coffee?  Where is this going?  Well, our ancient ancestors were not able to run down to their local Starbucks to get their favorite coffee drinks.

Many of them did not start off their day with a piping hot cup of coffee, which means you will need to avoid this as well if you will be going on this diet.  The one thing that we will mention though is that if you are a regular coffee drinker, or regularly consume caffeine on a regular basis then you will want to taper this  off and not stop it altogether.

Some of us have become somewhat addicted to caffeine and coffee, and stopping it abruptly can cause a host of other problems along the way, such as caffeine withdrawals.

In order to combat this, before you start the diet you should try and taper yourself off of coffee and caffeine, and wean yourself off of it leading up to the date that you plan on starting the diet.

Legumes

What we’re talking about here are things such as peanuts and beans.   If you are a regular bean eater then this may cause some problems for you as well.   We find beans in many of the foods that we eat, and in some cultures it is actually a staple with most meals.  So if you plan on going on this diet, you will need to remove them from your diet.

If you like to snack on things like peanuts then you will need to remove those as well from your snack foods and kitchen shelves.  This diet in particular seems to take away a lot of the things that we can find in modern society.  While they may not be fun to do so, if you have been looking for a diet to try and like eating lots of protein then this may be one for you.

However, as we have been stating there are many things that you will need to remove from your diet in order to make this work.  One thing to keep in mind when you are planning out what you need to remove from your shelves, is this one thought, albeit a bit funny – if a caveman or cavewoman didn’t eat it, then chances are that you won’t be either.

The List Goes On…

There are many other things that you will need to remove from your current diet, way too many things than we can list in this article.

The Paleo diet is one that goes back to a time long gone thousands of years ago.   As mentioned earlier you’ll be eating a lot of foods that are high in protein, low in carbohydrate count, eliminating many of the things that you have become used to and even adding in things that you may not have been eating on a regular basis.

Whether or not the Paleo diet is for you is really up to you to decide.   There are many things that you will have to take into consideration, if you do decide this is the route you want to take for your next diet.

If you have been looking for a new diet to help you lose some weight in this new year, and like what you have heard so far about the Paleo diet,  then you can take on this challenge by testing it out on a smaller scale.

What does this look like?

Well, if you take a look at what we discussed for this article you will see that this means eating foods higher in protein, eating foods that are lower in carbohydrate value and avoiding many of the vices that we find in our grocery stores and in our vending machines.

In fact when you really think about it, with the Paleo diet all you are actually doing is just removing a lot of the bad foods and things that we consume on a regular basis anyway.   By removing things from your diet such as potato chips, soda and other processed and refined foods, you are helping your body to stay in a much healthier state.

As we remove these things, and remove things such as alcohol and caffeine, which  can really cause some harm on our bodies, we can’t help but to lose weight and get into better shape.

As with anything though, if you’re thinking about making this work for you, what we suggest is that you do your due diligence to learn more about it, and do some research on your own.  You can check out what others have said about the diet and see how it worked for them to see if it may be conducive to your body type and your situation.

Other Considerations

As with any new diet that you may be introducing to your body, one of the things that you will need to do is talk to your doctor or your personal care physician to see if the diet may affect your health at all.

While your doctor may be enthusiastic about you removing such things as refined sugars, high carbohydrate foods and alcohol from your diet, you just may find that your personal health could be complicated by such a diet, however the only way for you to know is to check in with your doctor and see.

If you have any further questions about the Paleo diet or have any questions for us, please don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we can support you and your weight loss goals and needs.