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The Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet

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The Paleo Diet
(or the Cave Man Diet) has been around for years, but is this diet good for you? We take a look at whether eating like a caveman can help you lose weight or not.

The Paleo Diet became one of the most searched diets on Google and shortly became the diet of Matthew McConaughey, Ray Mears and Megan Fox.

 

The Paleo Diet Promise:

 The theory behind the Paleo Diet is that you can eat like a caveman and lose pounds. Loren Cordain, Ph.D., the author of the book “The Paleo Diet”, claims that eating like a prehistoric Home Sapien, we can be leaner and less likely to get the modern day illnesses like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

The Paleo Diet is designed to be a lifestyle change which restricts and eliminates certain food groups. Basically, it’s a high-fiber and a high-protein diet that promises you can lose weight without cutting calories.

How does the Paleo Diet Work?

Tens of thousands of years ago, our ancestors were tall and muscular hunter-gathers, and, although it’s been a really long time, our DNA didn’t change much, but our body did.  

Nowadays the average Homo Sapient is overweight, unhappy, sleep deprived, out of shape and dying from diseases caused by our modern lifestyle.

So what happened? When the agricultural revolution took off (about 10,000 years ago), we advanced from hunters to farmers. We settled down, and our race progressed to what we are today.

The main problem is that our bodies never had time to adjust to our modern diet because we spent tens of thousands of years hunting and gathering.

So now, instead of eating meat, seasonal fruits and vegetables, we become a species dependent upon grains. Grains in our diet have drastic results: more than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese, 66% are overweight and these numbers are getting worse every day.

 The Paleo Diet tries to bring back the foods we were theoretically designed to eat.

What Is Wrong With Grains?

The Human Genome Project showed that most of the time our genes are not the cause of the modern diseases. It’s also known that diseases that result from errors in our DNA are less than 1%, so why there are so many diseases?

The study showed that the main cause of diseases is our food and our environment, especially the sugar and grains in our diet.  Check the video below to learn how grains are affecting our health:

What You Can Eat and What You Can’t Eat

 You can eat a lot of fresh fish and lean meats, vegetables, fruits and healthier fats. You can also eat nuts, seeds, eggs and healthy oils such as coconut oil and olive oil.

You are not allowed to eat any processed foods on this diet. And since our ancestors were not farmers, you can’t eat dairy, wheat, and other legumes (beans and peanuts) and grains. Other foods to avoid:

  • Potatoes
  • Salt
  • Refined vegetable oils
  • Dairy

Below I created a Paleo Diet Food list you can download and check it every time you need (Complete list here).

Do I Need to Exercises during Paleo Diet?

Although not all books on the Paleo Diet include an exercises regime, this diet is about changing your lifestyle, not just your daily meals. Even an everyday walk can help you burn extra calories and boost your weight loss.

The Paleo Lifestyle involves natural movements (without too much gym equipment) like walking and running. You can also do strength training occasionally.

Because The Paleo Diet is a low carb diet you should avoid cardio workouts which require more carbohydrates and put more pressure on your body.

Is Paleo For Vegetarians and Vegans? 

According to Cordian, the author of the book “The Paleo Diet”, it’s impossible to follow a Paleo Diet without eating seafood, eggs and meat. Excellent vegetarian sources of protein, such as beans are not allowed.

How Much The Paleo Diet Will Cost Me?

 The Paleolithic diet consists of foods that can be gathered such as fruits, eggs, seeds, mushrooms, herbs, vegetables and spices and foods that can be hunted and fished.

Eating a lot of meat and fish, especially organic (grass-fed not grain-fed), can raise your grocery bill.

Does the Paleo Diet Work?

 Eliminating all processed food, sugar, grains and dairy will more likely lead to weight loss, but is a tough plan to follow long term, due to this diet’s restrictions and limitations.

There were several studies that support the claims in the book. This studies showed that a diet rich in plant-based foods and lean protein can make you feel fuller, help you lose weight and control blood sugar levels.

Check with your doctor before starting the Paleo Diet.

Where Can I Get More Info?

If you want to try the Paleo Diet, here are some resources:

Mark’s Daily Apple–One of the most comprehensive resources on the Internet for the Cave Man Diet – Mark writes an article every weekday about the Paleo lifestyle, but I suggest starting with his Primal Blueprint 101.

Mark has a fantastic book, The Primal Blueprint that will help you get started. The Primal Blueprint is real-world applicable, educational and teaches you how to adapt the Paleo Diet to your lifestyle.

Robb’s new book, The Paleo Solution is less forgiving than Mark’s book. But you can learn a lot from it.

Loren Cordain –Loren is considered the leading expert on the Paleo Diet and probably the foremost authority on this type of eating.

Recipes?

Mark’s Daily Apple– on Mark’s website you can find a list of over 100 paleo recipes. Pick something you like on the list, buy the ingredients, and follow the instructions.

Instant Paleo If you’re looking for some quick and easy Paleo meals, the Instant Paleo Cookbook is for you. Definitely worth the $3.59.

Paleo Grubs Cookbook.In this book you can find over 470 easy-to-prepare Paleo recipes and a 10-week meal plan and in my opinion one of the best Paleo Cookbooks I used.

If you’re able to buy whole, unprocessed food and you’re willing to spend time in the kitchen to prepare them, then this diet plan may be for you.

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