Before knowing how does the Paleo diet work, we should know what the Paleo diet means.
Paleo diet is also known as a stone-age diet or hunter-gatherer diet or caveman diet.
Hunter-gatherers had no diseases like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes that most people are facing today.
So, advisers of the paleo diet hope that it has more possibilities of reducing such diseases.
Also, many studies have proved that the paleo diet improves our health and lead to weight loss.
Paleo diet mainly contains the whole and unprocessed foods. It symbolizes how hunter-gatherers ate long years ago.
Paleo diet mostly portrays the food plan that people ate in the Paleolithic time period. That is why the Paleo diet is also one of the most popular diets in the world.
First, let’s see what is a paleo diet?
Paleo diet – An introduction
Paleo diet is an eating pattern designed to mimic the early human ancestors’ diet. This concept emerged in 1979.
Paleo diet primarily includes foods like whole and unprocessed plant and animal foods.
Example: Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, fruits, vegetables, seeds, healthy fats, and nuts.
It totally eliminates dairy, grains, processed foods, and sugar. But sometimes, the paleo diet also includes rice and dairy.
Eliminated food groups contain a dominant amount of calories. They are the main reasons for weight gain in the modern diet.
The paleo diet totally avoids such calorie-rich foods. So, you need not involve counting calories unlike other diets.
The way behind how Paleo Diet works
According to many research, whole foods fill you more and have fewer calories.
It reduces your desire for processed foods which is the main reason for many health problems.
So, promoting whole foods in your diet provides overall health and also better for weight loss.
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Let’s see some of the studies that how does the Paleo Diet work for weight loss
Several studies prove that the paleo diet helps for weight loss
There are many traces of evidence proving this fact.
It was conducted with 14 healthy medical students.
They were allowed to follow a paleo diet for 3 weeks.
Interestingly the result shows that the students lost an average of 5.1 pounds (2.3 kgs).
They also have reduced waist circumference by 0.6 inches (1.5 cm).
It was conducted with 70 obese women aged 60 and above.
They were allowed to follow a paleo diet or a low-fat diet or a high-fiber diet for 24 months (2 years).
With Paleo diet people lost 2.5 times more weight than normal in 6 months. They lost 2 times more weight in 1 year and 1.6 times more weight in 2 years.
A Low- fat diet and High-fiber diet women initially lost some pounds but after 2 years they had regained some weight.
Even after 2 years, The Paleo diet women lost some weight.
It was conducted with type 2 diabetes individuals.
13 members were allowed to follow either a paleo diet or a diabetes diet (low fat and moderate carb) for 3 months continuously.
The results show that those people on the paleo diet lost weight by 6.6 pounds (3 kgs) and waist circumference by 1.6 inches (4 cm).
As this paleo diet is new to all, there are only a few types of research on this topic on its long term effects.
All the studies prove that the paleo diet is the best one.
Few studies compare the paleo diet’s weight loss to other diets’ weight loss effects. It is worthy to see that the paleo diet is superior. It’s shown that the paleo diet helps you with weight loss.
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Then, let’s see the ways how it helps you to lose weight…
How does the Paleo Diet work for weight loss – Here’s is the 5 Ways
Decreases calorie intake
You need to reduce your calorie intake mostly to lose weight.
If you are a category of people feeling hungry frequently, then the valid choice is to eat foods that are more filling.
They can beat back the hunger and helps you eat fewer foods. This automatically results in reduced calorie intake.
Many studies have proved that the paleo diet is more filling than other diets (including Mediterranean and Diabetes diets).
Also, a paleo diet produces hormones such as GLP 1, PYY, and GIP which keeps you full after each meal.
So, the great choice for weight loss is the paleo diet.
Eliminates added sugar
Adding too much sugar in your foods is not good for health and also it can be harmful to your weight loss efforts.
Why it is not good for health? – It is less in nutrients and may increase the risks of diabetes and heart disease.
Why it is harmful to weight Los? – It increases your calorie levels.
Paleo diet totally eliminates the added sugar. It stimulates sugar from natural sources like fresh fruits and vegetables you eat.
Additionally, fresh fruits and vegetables give you many health benefits by providing essential nutrients such as vitamins and fiber.
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Excludes highly processed foods
In modern days, we eat unlimited processed foods. This is the major cause of obesity today.
Because, processed foods contain more calories, few nutrients, and leads to many diseases. So, consuming high processed foods increases obesity risks.
The paleo diet completely avoids processed foods. It encourages you to eat low-calorie and nutrient-rich foods like lean sources of protein, fresh fruits, and vegetables that are available in the Paleolithic times.
Low in carbohydrates
Always you want to have a low-carb and protein-rich diet. To lose weight, you must reduce your carbohydrate intake.
According to 23 studies, a low-carb diet is more effective compared to traditional low-fat diets.
Paleo diets normally eliminate common carb sources like rice, bread, and potatoes. It reduces your carb intake naturally.
Increased protein quantity
For Weight loss, protein is a vital nutrient. It always reduces your hunger and control hormones that are linked to weight. Protein boosts your metabolic activity.
The average paleo diet contains 25-35% calories from protein sources. So, we recommend you eating more protein-containing foods like lean meat, eggs, and fish.
Here are a few tips to maximize weight loss on a paleo diet…
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How does the Paleo Diet work?
Some Tips for superior weight loss
People who are on a paleo diet use the following tips to maximize weight loss;
• Stay active – Always be active in whatever work you do. Exercise regularly to burn extra calories. That will be useful for weight loss.
• Eat different types of fruits and more veggies – They are nutritious and helps you stay full for longer.
• Drink lots of water – Paleo diet people should always drink more water.
• Prepare in advance – Prepare meals in advance in your busy days.
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How does the Paleo Diet work? Foods to eat for Paleo diet
Foods to eat for Paleo diet
Here is the list of foods to eat and to avoid in this paleo diet…
- Meat – Beef, lamb, goat, venison, etc.
- Poultry – Chicken, turkey, goose, duck, etc.
- Seafood – Salmon, catfish, tuna, mackerel, haddock, cod, etc.
- Eggs – Both yolk and white
- Fruits – Apples, oranges, bananas, plums, peaches, melons, berries, grapes, etc.
- Vegetables – Bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, onion, garlic, squash, zucchini, etc.
- Nuts – Cashews, almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, etc.
- Seeds – Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, etc.
- Fats – Coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, etc.
- Spices and herbs – Cumin, turmeric, ginger, pepper, basil, rosemary, oregano, etc.
Foods to avoid for Paleo diet
- Dairy – Milk, yogurt, butter, cheese, kefir, etc.
- Grains – Rice, pasta, bread, barley, rye, buckwheat, quinoa, etc.
- Legumes – Chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, beans, etc.
- Potatoes – White potatoes and potato related snacks like French fries, chips, etc.
- Processed foods – Chips, cookies, fast food, etc.
- Added sugar – Baked products, sugar-sweetened beverages, candies, desserts, table sugar, etc.
- Artificial sweeteners – Saccharin, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, aspartame, etc.
- Refined vegetable oils – Sunflower oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, grape seed oil, etc.
Meal plan for Paleo diet
Are you confused about how to eat these paleo dietary foods?
Here is a 1-week paleo diet meal plan…
This is just a guide for people who want to try the paleo diet. You can alter it according to your preferences.
- Day 1: [BREAKFAST] Almond milk, Apple smoothie, Banana, Kale, and Avocado. [LUNCH] Almond milk, Apple smoothie, Banana, Kale, and Avocado. [DINNER] Roast chicken with onion stuffing, Rosemary, and Carrots.
- Day 2: [BREAKFAST] Eggs with wilted spinach, Grilled tomatoes. [LUNCH] Mixed salad leaves with leftover chicken roasted and an Olive oil dressing. [DINNER] Fish (any) in oven-baked and Broccoli fried in coconut oil.
- Day 3: [BREAKFAST] Bananas, Berries, and Almonds. [LUNCH] Mixed salad leaves with leftover salmon and an Olive oil dressing. [DINNER] Beef fry with peppers and Coconut oil.
- Day 4: [BREAKFAST] Poached egg, Fried broccoli, and Toasted almonds. [LUNCH] Mixed salad with boiled eggs, Olive oil, and Tuna. [DINNER] Chicken wings baked and Steamed Broccoli.
- Day 5: [BREAKFAST] Coconut milk, Berries, and Spinach smoothie. [LUNCH] Mixed salad with tomato omelet, Broccoli, and Butternut squash. [DINNER] Baby corn, Salmon fry, and Red pepper.
- Day 6: [BREAKFAST] Savory breakfast – Eggs, Tomato fried in olive oil, and Bacon. [LUNCH] Mixed vegetables and Chicken soup. Add Turmeric. [DINNER] Grilled lamb with wilted spinach and Spiced red cabbage.
- Day 7: [BREAKFAST] Spring onion, Mushroom, and tomato omelet. [LUNCH] Mixed salad with chicken. Use avocado and olive oil. [DINNER] Beef with mixed vegetables.
Altogether, we understand about the paleo diet, foods, and its effect on weight loss. Furthermore, the paleo diet has many health benefits.
Let’s see them one by one…
How does the Paleo Diet work for health benefits?
Paleo Diet benefits
It reduces risk factors for heart disease
Heart-related diseases account for nearly 1/3rd of deaths worldwide. Paleo diet has healthy fats, lean protein sources, and is low in salt. That’s why, a paleo diet may reduce heart-related risk factors. This includes;
- LDL cholesterol – Paleo diet reduces bad cholesterol level up to 36%
- Triglycerides – The diet reduces total blood glycerides level by 44%
- Blood pressure – In a study with 159 individuals, it has been found that this diet, on average, decreases diastolic and systolic blood pressure levels by 2.48 and 3.64 mmHg respectively.
A study conducted with 20 people having high cholesterol levels. They followed the paleo diet for 4 months. After, they experienced lower bad (LDL) cholesterol, high good (HDL) cholesterol, and reduced triglyceride levels.
It reduces blood sugar and increases insulin sensitivity
Let’s see first what is insulin sensitivity? – It refers to how easily our cells respond to insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that is responsible to control blood sugar levels.
Increased insulin sensitivity makes your body productive to remove sugar from your blood. It’s a fair thing.
2 weeks of study was conducted with type 2 diabetes people. 24 obese people are allowed to follow either a paleo diet or a low-fat diet (with moderate salt, whole grains, and legumes).
Results showed the increase of insulin sensitivity in both the categories. But, only in the paleo diet group, insulin-resistant people also experience increased insulin sensitivity.
It reduces belly fat
The most unhealthy fat in our body is belly fat. It may cause diabetes, heart disease, and other health conditions.
In a study, 10 healthy women were allowed to follow a paleo diet for 5 weeks. Results show that they have reduced waist circumference (an indicator of belly fat) by 3 inches (8 cm) and lost about 10 pounds (4.6 kg) overall.
This proves that the paleo diet is beneficial in reducing belly fat.
It reduces inflammation
Inflammation is the process which helps our body heal and fight infections naturally. But, chronic inflammation may increase diabetes and heart-related risks.
Don’t worry!!! Paleo diet helps in reducing chronic inflammation.
In the paleo diet, we mostly eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants present in such foods bind and neutralize free radicals in our body that damage cells during chronic inflammation.
We also eat fish in this diet as a protein source. Omega 3 fatty acids present in fish reduce chronic inflammation. It suppresses the chronic inflammation-promoting hormones including TNF α, IL 1 and IL 6.
Paleo diet is protein-rich, low-carb, and lesser in calories. It excludes added sugar and highly processed foods. This way of eating promotes heart health, supports good blood sugar control, and helps to increase weight loss.
Those who want to eat foods without counting calories, then the paleo diet is the best option.
Note: A paleo diet is not suitable for everyone as it restricts some food groups. Some may find it difficult to adapt to this diet. So, before trying dietary changes, it’s best to speak to a doctor or dietitian.
And Not only the Paleo diet, there are several other Weight loss diets which help you to lose weight naturally fast. Here is our Complete Weight loss Diet Posts – Click here
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