If you stay in touch with diet trends of the past couple of years, you’ve probably heard of the Paleo diet. This diet is based around the idea that we should eat the way that our ancestors ate because our bodies have evolved to process these foods effectively. It also means that we should avoid certain types of foods because our bodies are not designed to digest them, especially ones that are heavily processed or contain certain grains. In the medical community, there are differing opinions as to whether or not this is actually how humans evolved, and there is some research that suggests our evolution is slightly more complex. But the question on a lot of people’s minds is whether or not you can actually lose weight when you are on the Paleo diet.
We all want to get sculpted abs or lose a ton of weight, but is the Paleo plan right for you? The Paleo diet has strengths and weaknesses, but you need to understand it in the larger context of eating healthfully. And, like any diet, you have to watch your portions, and you can’t swap in other unhealthy foods to replace the unhealthy ones that you’re cutting out. The Paleo diet can be helpful for some people who are trying to eat healthier and lose weight, but you need to know about a few caveats and how it works.
What Is and Is Not Allowed on the Paleo Diet
The most general way of explaining what is included is to list some general guidelines. The diet usually consists of eating fish, lean meat, fruits, vegetables, natural sweeteners, nuts, and seeds. The items that you should cut include grains and legumes, processed fats, dairy products, potatoes, added sugars, and most alcohol.
It’s also assumed that when you are on the Paleo plan, you’ll be working out. The diet doesn’t give a detailed workout plan, but you can find many places that can give you exercise routines and motivation.
Will Going With the Paleo Diet for Weight Loss Really Work?
It can help you lose weight by cutting carbs because you are no longer eating as many through grains. This will decrease the number of calories that your body is turning into sugar. If you like to have alcohol sometimes, cutting down on calories from beer or hard liquor can help, too.
Pitfalls of Eating Paleo
If you decide that going Paleo is right for you, there are a couple of common mistakes that people make while on this diet. Knowing what they are will help you avoid them.
Dangers of Cutting Too Many Carbs
While it’s not advisable to have too many carbs in your diet, the downside of cutting too many out is that you can experience adverse side effects like dizziness, vomiting, and headaches.
Finding Ways Around the Rules
One of the biggest pitfalls that some people fall into is trying to find ways around the rules. For instance, although natural sweeteners are allowed, you still have to use them in moderation. There are all kinds of recipes online that show ways that you can incorporate agave nectar or honey into baking, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that because they’re natural they aren’t loaded with sugar. If you eat 25 grams of sugar from honey, you’ll still put on the pounds. Another example is starchy vegetables. While it’s good to have some so that you’re getting enough carbohydrates, too many potatoes will still cause weight gain.
Inconsistent Advice on What Is Allowed
Some people say that some kinds of alcohol are allowed, yet others say that they are not. There are some inconsistencies about what you can eat on the Paleo, so if you have a specific question about the Paleo diet for weight loss, you might find it difficult to find a straight answer.
No Guidelines on Portion Sizes
Even with foods other than honey and starchy vegetables, it’s still entirely possible to eat too much. For instance, if you eat a giant steak, that’s still a lot of calories. Just because you’re cutting some negative things doesn’t mean that you can eat as many eggs as you want, either. If you want to go paleo for a while, you’ll have to monitor your body to figure out what you actually need in terms of portion sizes.
It’s possible to use the paleo diet for weight loss, but understand that just because you can lose weight with it doesn’t mean that you will if you make poor choices. There are also other ways that are just as effective if you want to cut a few pounds. Having plenty of healthy, tasty recipes, such as these delicious smoothies on hand will help too. Ultimately, avoiding too much sugar and carbohydrates is one of the most effective ways of trimming your waistline.