The paleo diet has been around since the 1950s, but recently it has become popular again – especially among the health-conscious community.
The idea behind the paleo diet is to emulate the diet of our ancestors: eating only what nature provided and avoiding manufactured foods and refined sugars. In theory, this diet can dramatically improve both your physical appearance and mental outlook. Studies have shown that it can even help people lose weight.
While there’s no denying that the paleo diet has its perks, it is important to remember that the diet also comes with some significant drawbacks. To avoid these, it’s important to understand how the diet works and what are its actual benefits and limitations.
How Does the Paleo Diet Work?
The paleo diet is extremely high in protein and extremely low in carbohydrates. This makes it an efficient way to shed off weight, especially if you follow it religiously. Your body will undergo a process called ketosis. While in ketosis your body will break down your own fat stores for energy, the ketones your liver produces will give you a slightly altered mental state – sometimes described as ‘energized’ or ‘inspired’ (1).
Because of its high protein content, the paleo diet can also be an excellent choice for those who want to put on muscle mass. Followers of the diet have noted an increase in their energy levels and in the size of their muscles (2).
Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Paleo Diet.
Even though the paleo diet is a very effective weight loss diet, it is important to remember that not all dietary restrictions lead to weight loss. In fact, some individuals on the diet have reported gaining weight (3). So while you’re guaranteed to lose weight if you follow the paleo diet, you’re not necessarily guaranteed to stay at your goal weight.
One of the primary advantages of the paleo diet is its simplicity. Since it doesn’t involve a lot of complicated foods, it’s a diet that almost everyone can follow. This makes it ideal for people who want to lose weight or want to try a new way of eating.
One of the primary disadvantages of the paleo diet is its inability to control your hunger. Studies have shown that after following the diet for only 3 days, participants reported increased feelings of hunger (4). This can make it very hard for those on the diet to maintain their weight loss. To compound this issue, it’s quite difficult to find food that fits the paleo diet’s criteria – especially when you are trying to lose weight. This can be very frustrating for those following the diet and may lead them to cheat, unintentionally, on the diet. The good thing is that these negative effects are only temporary since once your body gets used to the diet it will start responding positively to food that meets its nutritional requirements.
What research has been done on the Paleo diet?
As mentioned above, research on the Paleo diet is extremely limited. However, what research does exist has consistently shown favorable results. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2010 looked at the effects of following a Paleo diet for 12 weeks. At the end of the trial, the researchers reported an average weight loss of 8.8 kg among those on the Paleo diet compared to an average weight gain of 0.3 kg among those on a standard American diet (5). Other research has shown similar results (6, 7). Interestingly, some research has also shown that when people are on a Paleo diet they may have an increase in their brain’s functional capacity (8). This may be due to the slightly altered brain chemistry that comes with being in a state of ketosis.
While there’s no denying that the Paleo diet can help people shed off excess weight, it’s also an excellent choice for those who want to put on some muscle mass. To do this, you will need to make some significant dietary changes and be consistent with your workouts. This will help you reach your goals faster than you would on a standard diet.
The Paleo diet is one of the most effective and popular diets around today. It is a simple dietary restriction, involving limited food choices, that has been around for decades. However, it has recently become popular among people who want to shed off weight and also those who want to put on muscle mass. While there’s no denying that the Paleo diet can help people lose weight, it’s also an excellent choice for those who want to put on muscle mass. To do this, you will need to make some significant dietary changes and be consistent with your workouts. This will help you reach your goals faster than you would on a standard diet.