So you wanna learn about the Paleo Diet, eh?
Here’s the ENTIRE diet in a nutshell:
If a caveperson didn’t eat it, neither should you.
Now, obviously there’s more to it than that, and that’s what I’m going to cover in great detail with this article today.
When you are following the Paleo Diet, you can eat anything we could hunt or gather way back in the day – things like meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds.
Sorry, the pasta, cereal, and candy will have to go! Anything that didn’t exist in caveman times will not be existing on your plate or in your stomach.
And instead of counting calories and perfectly partitioned portions (say THAT three times fast), you’ll be focusing on eating the right foods instead.
And that makes me happy, because I hate counting calories. Maybe you do too.
I don’t like keeping track of how much I’ve eaten or obsessing over how many grams of a particular nutrient I’ve had. Not only do I hate counting calories, but I know that calories are really only half of the battle, as they’re not all created equal – 400 calories of Doritos do NOT have the same effect on your body as 400 calories of high-quality vegetables and protein.
Fortunately, if you can expand your horizons and remove certain types of food from your diet, you can stop worrying about counting calories FOREVER and instead focus on fixing your relationship with food.
Grab your Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet free when you sign up in the box below:
If you are interested in learning more about the diet, and want to learn how to successfully implement it, we got you covered!This diet does have a ton of pitfalls and challenges that you’ll encounter as you start to change your life, and most people give up on the Paleo Diet within a few days!
So let’s dig in.
The Paleo Diet doesn’t require counting a single calorie AND it allows you to eat until you’re full and happy.
Oh, and it can help you lose weight, build muscle, and get in the best shape of your life.
I know, that sounds like an ad for some really shady supplement or diet book that you’d see on TV at 4 AM.
But if you can actually apply the rules of the Paleo lifestyle, you can get some pretty solid results.
But you need to do it right. You need to have the right mindset, you need to focus on the right foods, and structure your environment so that you’re not tempted to backslide and abandon the Diet after a few days.
Ready? LET’S GOOOOOOO!
So how does the Paleo Diet work?
Oh lord, another “diet.”
I know, it sounds like a fad/marketing ploy, but The Paleo Diet isn’t really a “diet,” and it’s actually quite legit.
It’s also the most time-tested diet ever. So, the opposite of a “fad.”
You see, tens of thousands of years ago, before Nike, Cap’n Crunch, and Healthy Choice meals, our ancient ancestors thrived as hunter-gatherers.
Although it’s been a really long time, our genetics haven’t changed that much since then. And yet…
The average Homo Sapien back then: muscular, agile, athletic, and incredibly versatile.
The average Homo Sapien now: overweight, out of shape, stressed out, unhappy, sleep deprived and dying from far too many preventable diseases due due to lifestyle choices.
So what the hell happened? Agriculture!
A few thousand years ago, humans discovered farming, the agricultural revolution took off, and we advanced from hunter-gatherers to farmers. We settled down, formed societies, and the human race progressed to what we are today. Which is obviously great for a number of reasons (air conditioning! Nintendo! cars! Not getting eaten by wild animals!)
The problem is, our bodies never adjusted properly to eating all the grains and sugar that we we’re now consuming.
As paleo guru Robb Wolf puts it, think of a 100-yard football field. The first 99.5 yards are how long Homo-Sapiens spent as hunter-gatherers. As they became REALLY good at hunting and gathering our bodies adapted to that lifestyle over thousands of years. That last half-yard represents our species after the agricultural revolution, where our diet has shifted (but our genetics haven’t).
So, instead of loading up on meat, vegetables and seasonal fruits, we’ve become a species “dependent” upon grains – bread, pasta, rice, corn, and so on. The government continues to recommend 6-11 servings of grains a day, and people continue to get fatter and fatter by the day.
66% of us are overweight, 33% are considered obese, and those numbers are only getting worse  .
Clearly something’s not right, and we need to fix it.
The Paleo Diet is an effort to go back to eating how we’re biologically designed to eat, allowing us to tap into our genetic potential and start living healthier immediately.
WTF is the Paleo Diet?
Back in the day, grains weren’t part of our diet.
When we (over)consume grains regularly, our bodies take those grains, which are composed of carbohydrates, and those carbs get turned into sugar in our system.
That sugar is then either burned as energy or stored as fat. That’s right: the grains you’re consuming are stored as fat in your body and they’re what most Paleo experts believe are the main culprit in why you’re overweight.
So, rather than me explain that part with thousands of words, just watch this three-minute video – “Why You Got Fat“
Next, most grains contain gluten and lectins. What are they and what’s wrong with them? I’m so glad you asked:
- Gluten is a protein found in things like rye, wheat, and barley. It’s now being said that much of our population may be gluten-intolerant (hence all the new “gluten-free!” items popping up everywhere). Over time, those who are gluten intolerant can develop a dismal array of medical conditions from consuming gluten: dermatitis, joint pain, reproductive problems, acid reflux, and more.
- Lectins are natural toxins that exist in grains to defend against consumption! Yup. Grains have evolved to keep themselves from being eaten by us. These lectins are not a fan of our gastrointestinal tract, and they prevent the tract from repairing itself from normal wear and tear. This can cause all kinds of damage.
Long story short: our bodies don’t process grains well, and they are causing a boatload of problems.
The Paleo Diet also almost completely eradicates sugar. Unless you’re getting your sugar from a fruit, forget it. Sugar causes an energy spike and crash in your system, turns to fat unless it’s used immediately, and wreaks all kind of havoc on our bodies.
So, no grains, no sugar, no processed foods. Whether you’re talking about the paleo diet or not, many studies have shown that an incredible number of diseases and lifestyle issues can be reversed with these three simple changes.
So I can already see the gears turning in your head.
Yes. The reason the Paleo Diet works is primarily due to the fact that you’re eliminating all of the high calorie, low energy, junk foods from your diet. Which means you’re going to, on average, eat fewer calories than you’ve been eating in the past.
Which will lead to weight loss over time!
The reason Paleo works for some people: as I lay out in my “Which diet is best for you?” article, it comes with built in, black-and-white, eat this not that Rules to follow. It removes calorie counting and practically ensures you ONLY eat food that fill you up but aren’t loaded up with calories.
But where’s my energy?
So, if we’re not eating 300+ grams of carbs every day, where are we supposed to get our energy from?
Our bodies can operate on a lower number of carbohydrates than what we’re used to eating, so fewer carbs isn’t an issue once you re-train your body to process the food you’re eating.
When there is an absence of carbs (which is how we’re USED to operating), our body will take stored fat and burn THAT for energy in a process called ketogenesis. This is the premise behind the much hyped, effective but oh-so-tough-to-stick-with “Keto Diet.”
In addition, because you are NOW consuming fewer calories than you were on average, your body is in a caloric deficit. Which means it needs to get its energy from somewhere – how about the fat stores you already have? This is the goal with weight loss.
What I’m trying to tell you is that our bodies are pretty effin’ efficient.
So, fewer carbs = less glucose in your system, which means your body will have to start burning fat as your fuel source. Which means… decreased fat storage and decreased body fat percentage and increased good-lookingness.