The Paleo Diet: Did our Ancestors Really Eat this Badly?

the paleo diet

As we’ve found out over the past several months, there are good diets and bad diets. There are good ways to exercise and some that are not so good. The Paleo Diet is a method by which weight loss is obtained from going back to a system of nutrition that our prehistoric ancestors used. The fact remains that looking at what the guidelines are, its hard not to think that this can’t be good for modern-day humans nor our forefathers who had no choice but to eat it.

The Paleo Diet consists of eating large quantities of red meat, seafood, vegetables, nuts and some dairy products. The key is to consume lean meats in combination with “good fats” in order to force the body to burn off damaging carbohydrates.The principal is to eat as humans did during the Paleolithic period which was between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago. This period was well before any agriculture or farming crept its way into the human lifestyle so the diet specifically bans any processed, refined, or specially prepared foods which eliminates things such as milk, peanuts, beans and almost all bread products.

The principle of eating nothing that our hunter-gatherer predecessors couldn’t eat has some genuine basis in good dieting habits. Processed foods are harmful where large amounts of sodium and preservatives are added during the processing stage which causes much of our current heart diseases. Lots of lean protein, fish, vegetables (again nothing in cans or packets) and some nuts are viewed as valuable core foods. The elimination of certain food groups reportedly controls the intake of some saturated fats, a known cause of a higher propensity for stroke and heart failure. Supporters of the Paleo Diet claim that there is no shortage of daily fibre or vitamins and that there are sufficient quantities of each food group to formulate a balanced diet.

My own reservations with the Paleo Diet stem from a common sense outlook. Any diet that depends upon the intake of large quantities of red meat are flawed. Red meat is a great source of protein but it carries such a downside in terms of its effects on blood pressure, heart failure and many other problems. The other main concern is that we’re assuming that our bodies are constructed in exactly the same way that they were 10,000 years ago, which is a fallacy. Our digestive systems have evolved over time to be able to process dairy products rather than large quantities of seed vegetables. No longer do we have to ‘chase” our food to kill it so there is no need for such large quantities of food during the course of a 24hr period.

Finally, there are certain informed dietitians in the USA who have ranked the Paleo Diet as the “Worst Diet of 2013” out of a revised list of 30 diets. When you have such an overwhelming rejection of a diet’s core principles by a learned and informed group of medical experts, in my view its time to head for the hills. There are too many much better diets available to waste any time trying to behave like Barney Rubble and Fred Flintstone.

Toss out the Paleo Diet. It’s for your own good!

Lose 5 Pounds in 10 Days

As you know, I’m not a huge fan of the “miracle” fat loss program where you shed a ton of weight in a very short period of time, only to see it return in a month because the “basics fundamentals” aren’t being followed. However, here are some tips that you can use to lose 5 pounds in 10 days if you have to get your “Beach Body’ rolled out for summer.

1. Ban white bread and pasta.
Pretty much a given that we eliminate starch and carbohydrates almost exclusively here and these two items are the biggest culprits.

2. 30 minutes of high-intensity gym work
Getting the heart rate running fast for half an hour a day will allow the body to start burning fat for energy once the carbohydrates are reduced. Gym work is the quick way to do that. Try to make this work involve push-ups and pull-ups – 40 a day for each is ideal.

3. Drink ONLY water (except for #4)
Water is the elixir of life and we’ve advocated that consumption regimen many times, but for this quick-fix schedule, water needs to be the only liquid. Drink as much as you like. It’s tough but this is Boot Camp!

4. Drink a cup of coffee before your gym work-out.
The extra energy from the caffeine will intensify your work-rate where you will feel the extra benefit.

5. Try to get an extra 30 minutes of sleep every night
Somewhat of a strange request here but the additional rest will give you more energy during the day and for your work-out. The plan here is to reduce carb intake and maximise fat burning activities.

6. There are no cheats in this plan!
I know we’ve discussed “Cheat Day” but we’re on a tight schedule of only 10 days here so there are no breaks! In fact, you need to pick a food that you’re going to eliminate during this period.

7. Don’t begin to weigh yourself until the start of the final 5 days
This diet is a crash course and the body will take a few days to get accustomed to the new routine. Most of the weight will actually get burned off in the last few days so weighing yourself from Day 1 will only serve to destroy your confidence.

Whether you are able to lose 5 pounds in 10 days is entirely up to the individual. It might be that many people decide that 10 days is too short a period of time and that a longer period is required. That is OK, but remember – just because you lengthen the duration of the schedule, the intensity MUST not drop. It is the vigor with which this plan is carried out that’s the key and NOT the length of time it takes to complete.

Try to have fun with this and I hope it’s of some help to those of us trying to snuggle into those Speedo swimsuits!

How to Lose 15 Pounds FAST!

I’m not usually a firm believer in the miracles of substantial weight loss over very short periods as the concept usually is only temporary but I have found a system that will show you how to lose 15 pounds in only two weeks. Can’t beat that with a stick? If it works, right?

Here are the main elements:

1 Eat a high-protein breakfast
It’s no secret that breakfast is widely regarded as the most important meal of the day. In dieting, a big breakfast of eggs, bacon and ham is valuable in two ways. It starts the day off for your body with enough fuel to hold off those cravings until later on. Secondly, and this is a little bit under the radar, looking forward to the following morning’s slap-up meal is usually enough to shoot down those late night meals that cause us so much heartache.

2. Cut out all white carbohydrates
Carbs in of themselves are not necessarily bad but white carbohydrates such as white rice, pasta, and white bread are devastating to any dieter. Foods such as beans, eggs, lentils are a great source of energy and protein.

3. Coffee in the morning, water during the day and tea at night.
This is crucial to any diet but in this case it can be the difference between success and abject failure yet again. Sodas, even the diet variety are OUT. No glasses of milk or juice (can’t trust the fruit source any more). Maybe vegetable juice will work but drink carb-free fluid and lots of it. It’s important.

4. Use one day as a Cheat Day
We devoted a whole article to this at an earlier date so I’m just going to link here to that.

5. No more dairy
Cheese, ice-cream, milk and anything else you can think of in that category need to be chucked out. If you want to lose 15 pounds fast it just can’t be done with dairy products sitting in the refrigerator.

6. Minimum 20 minutes twice a week in weight training for muscle growth
This sounds a lot more difficult and complicated than it really is. If you can find some old arm dumbbells that is sufficient. We want to do some lifting under pressure to begin to force the body into making muscle in stead of fat. This is a way to do it.

At the beginning, the cravings will be quite difficult and persistent. What I recommend is to write down the foods that are “driving you nuts” and be sure to have them on your Cheat Day. If you can satisfy the body like that, eventually the cravings will become much easier to handle and you might even find that they disappear altogether.

Give this diet a try for two weeks. I think you’ll be impressed!