The paleo diet Inspired by the eating habits of our ancestors of hunters and gatherers, it has become a popular diet in recent years for weight loss and a more natural way of eating. Using a paleo diet for weight loss is often effective because of the unprocessed nature of the foods it encourages you to eat, which are often naturally low in sugar, salt, and saturated fat.
The diet excludes most grains, legumes, potatoes and dairy products, and relies heavily on fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean meat and fish. As a result, the paleo diet is fairly low in carbohydrates and has a slightly higher risk of developing calcium deficiency, due to the lack of dairy products.
While it might seem like a good idea to “go back to our roots” and eat the way early humans did, how practical is the Paleo diet for weight loss in the modern sense? With a wider range of foods available to us than our ancestors had, what benefits can we gain by restricting ourselves to a diet based on ancient practices? We asked the experts.
What is the paleo diet?
The Paleo diet shifts the focus from starchy foods like grains, legumes, and potatoes, and foods made with these ingredients (pasta, bread, and chips) and encourages you to base your meals on a lean protein source instead.
Norissa Kumaran, medical director and founder of Elemental Health Clinic (Opens in a new tab), tells us that the Paleo diet places a heavy emphasis on eating “natural” foods. “The Paleo diet, also known as the ‘cavemen diet’, focuses on eating lean, grass-fed meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables,” she says. “This means that you should eliminate processed foods and most dairy products, and instead eat a diet rich in nuts, seeds, fruits, lean meats – such as lamb and chicken – and omega-3 containing fish, such as salmon and mackerel.”
The paleo diet can be beneficial for people who are obese or overweight diabeticThis is due to a significant reduction in processed foods and a reliance on lean meats and vegetables. study from International Association for the Study of Obesity (Opens in a new tab) It indicates that a lifestyle and diet based on hunting and picking contribute to better cardiovascular and metabolic health.
Does the paleo diet help in losing weight?
Because of the protein-rich nature of the paleo diet, those who eat paleo for weight loss may find they have a higher success rate due to the feeling of fullness associated with eating. protein, According to a study conducted by British Journal of Nutrition (Opens in a new tab).
In addition to protein, the paleo diet is packed with high-fiber foods, such as nuts, seeds, and vegetables, which are also great for increasing satiety according to a study conducted in Nutrition Reviews (Opens in a new tab). the basic It is a bulking agent that slows stomach emptying, helping you feel full for longer, as well as taking longer to break down in the digestive system compared to foods low in fiber. Feeling full is important when motivating people to stick to eating habits, so the paleo diet may be beneficial for weight loss due to its ability to make you feel full and satisfied.
However, one review in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Opens in a new tab) It points out that while there was a downward trend in weight and other positive metabolic markers, without the extensive nutritional support of the clinical trial, many participants discontinued and discontinued follow-up. This may indicate that the restricted carbohydrate nature of the Paleo diet is not sustainable without appropriate nutritional support.
Dr. Kumaran agrees with the benefits of using the paleo diet for weight loss. “There has been research to date to show that the paleo diet can produce greater benefits compared to other diets for weight loss and other metabolic-related health conditions,” she says. In addition, study in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Opens in a new tab) He indicated that the paleo diet can be beneficial in supporting sufferers Type 2 diabetesThis increases their insulin sensitivity over time. Because diabetes is often a secondary condition of obesity, research in this area is promising.
The paleo diet for weight loss: what to eat and tips for success
The paleo diet requires you to eat a lot of fresh foods and lean meats, so there is often more prep in eating paleo than a traditional western diet that relies on prepared meals and processed foods. Many of us are accustomed to building our diets around starchy foods, as advised by the USDA government Dietary Guidelines (Opens in a new tab)There may be a learning curve in making your meals paleo-friendly.
Suitable Paleo foods include:
- Fatty fish: salmon, mackerel, and sardines – rich in brain-supporting fatty acids and lean protein.
- Lean meat: lamb, chicken, turkey – low-fat, High in protein And a good base for many paleo meals.
- Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, radish – rich in fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Nuts and seeds: Chia seeds, cashews, and pine nuts – rich in calcium to offset the paleo-low dairy nature and good for a snack.
Kumaran also advises caution when following restrictive diets, such as the Paleo diet or keto, although there is evidence for positive weight loss trends. “As with all potentially restrictive diets such as the paleo diet, it is important to work with a qualified health professional to ensure that you do not risk nutritional deficiencies,” she says.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide medical advice.