One of the major reasons for the lack of weight loss we all experience is our own inner struggles to overcome our biological instincts. For example, many people struggle to overcome their biological drive to eat more fat and carbohydrates, particularly whenever they’ve been doing it for long periods of time. The new Paleo weight loss method is trying to change our own bacteria in our body that digests our food, and help us to get into “craving” foods that are actually good for us instead. This diet takes humans back to their roots, and in doing so it forces their bodies to adapt and go back in time, to a period where we ate healthier and with more natural ingredients.
The main principles of the Paleo Diet involve eating foods that humans have historically always eaten. This does not include many of the foods we often eat that are products of modern farming practices, genetic modification of plants, etc. Things like cereals (wheat, barley, etc) and corn have only been with humans for a few thousand years. Our bodies are not well suited to deal with these compounds and the bacteria they contain are unnatural for our digestion. This causes a large growth of bacteria in our stomachs that cause our brains to demand more such foods (perpetuating the problems of dieting nearly indefinitely). The Paleo diet, however, has the goal of “caveman eating”.
What is Caveman Dieting?
Yeah sure this sounds like a great idea right? We’re eating like cavemen, but what exactly does that entail? Our ancestors were hunters and gatherers, they used whatever foods where available. This included fruit bearing plants, animals which roamed in herds, or other lean meats. However, carbohydrates were rare, and only found in the occasional plant they found that had berries or fruits (natural sugars). Many of these foods, however, contained digestive aiding bacteria which was highly effective at providing energy to the person as well as maintaining their weight in a healthy manner.
There’s a significant difference between the Paleo diet and another lower carb option such as the Atkins diet or similar. This “caveman” diet actually is a lifestyle change and not something that’s temporary to produce rapid weight loss. In addition, you’re not regulated on what quantities of foods you can eat (no counting carbs) but instead are encouraged to eat foods which humans have always historically eaten. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, or anything that’s not typically farm raised historically.
Your body will quickly become trained and your bacteria in your stomach will begin demanding these foods after some time on the diet. Carbohydrates are turned into sugars and fats in our bodies, which traditionally were rarely available. They’re not inherently bad, but the more natural and less complex they are the better for our digestion and processing of these ingredients. If you are eating more than half of your daily calories as carbs, your cravings and your weight will suffer tremendously. Unfortunately this is what the vast majority of Americans actually do. Going to more natural ingredients that are healthy and productive are what can actually generate user results quickly.
How to Get Started
It’s difficult given all the information about the paleo diet to know how to start it. It’s not too difficult, but there are a few ways you can make it even easier for you:
- Cut the Processed Foods – Processed foods are almost always against the diet as designed. You want to eat foods in their natural state (or cooked) and not processed into some kind of cracker or final product. This can be difficult to find in prepackaged foods, so for the most part the Paleo Diet requires people to eat foods that are natural and fresh. Many canned or packaged foods are high in sodium, inferior ingredients are being used or are full of carbohydrates (usually unnatural carbs as well). You want to make friends with your local grocery’s vegetable section and their butcher/fish market.
- No Fast Foods or Restaurants – This isn’t a strict requirement, but without a doubt an important thing is to cut out all of the “quick service” foods you may be used to. Rarely restaurants will sometimes offer freshly cooked foods with fresh ingredients, but this is extremely rare. Cutting out things like corn or wheat, which are not part of the paleo diet, is difficult or impossible if you eat out. As a result, making your own lunches for work is imperative for success on this method.