Nothing has changed, everyone is still looking to lose some weight. The question is, what is the best diet to lose all this weight that Americans and the world has gained?
Is there a best diet?
Well, of course there is.
Well, of course, there is.
There can be only one truth about any given thing, there are no multiple truths for each thing in the world, the universe, or your life.
If there were, science itself could not exist.
Now, I’m not saying that we, as humans, would like the truth, want to believe it, or even believe it at all. Many people know the truth about a certain thing and choose not to believe it or to go in a different direction.
Just a couple of examples are: we know sugar, soft drinks, and candy are bad for us, but we justify using them as “treats” or “only on the holidays.”
We let teachers bribe our kids in school by offering them candy if they do good and then disciplining them when they can’t sit down or concentrate after the sugar high hits them.
We know it’s wrong and dangerous to take hard drugs, but millions of people do it every day. If this were not true, we would not have an opioid epidemic in this country.
There can be only one truth about any given thing.
So, is the paleo diet the best diet?
No, not by a long shot. Not even close.
So, below we will go over the good, bad, and ugly of the paleo diet to give you the REAL evidence you need to make your decision to do it or not.
Disclaimer: The following is for educational purposes only. We are not advocating a change in dietary, health or exercise protocols. Please seek the advice or council of your nutritionally educated health care practitioner prior to engaging in any dietary or exercise changes.
What Is The Paleo Diet?
This diet is said to mimic the diets of our ancient ancestors during the paleolithic period of history. It accentuates the types of foods that were available during this time and eliminates the types of foods that have come into our diets since that period.
This makes huge sense on the surface. If you didn’t know any better and just heard that part of the story, you’d likely argue that this makes the most sense of anything you’ve heard in the last 20 years or more.
I mean, who could be against a diet that consumes only natural foods that were here before man began farming, cultivation, and animal husbandry?
Well, there are some major problems with this and that statement.
A). Before keeping livestock, we didn’t eat much if any beef, chicken, or pork.
Today’s modern farmed animals look nothing like the animals that were alive during the paleolithic period.
Factory farmed chickens today weigh in at up to 9 pounds which is over 4 times more than the chickens weighed in just the 1950s when their average weight was just around 2 pounds.
Also, it took the chickens up to 6 months to grow to this 2-pound size, now they grow to 9 pounds in just 2 months.
The modern pig looks nothing like a wild boar carcass that your ancestors would have feasted upon, which will lead us to our next point after we finish here.
They got this way from modern farming with hormones, steroids, and living in cages. This is not the natural meat your ancestors ate, and eating more of it will not only not improve but worsen your health.
B). Your ancestors, believe it or not, didn’t have refrigerators or grocery stores. They were hunter-gatherers, and in truth, they were gatherer opportunists because a successful hunt was rather infrequent.
They spent the vast majority of their eating time gathering rather than hunting. Their main source of meat in several regions was carrion. They would find other animals that had made a kill and see if they could use tactics to divide them and steal a piece of it.
They most definitely didn’t sit down to a super high-fat, steroid-ladened hamburger with mayo and ketchup and an order of sweet potato fries (the paleo diet is against the modern potato, which is one thing we both agree on).
The meat was consumed very infrequently, and it was very lean, wild meat from animals that had to run fast to survive, be too big for predators, or live in herds for protection.
One little factoid to drive this point home is that the modern cow was not even around back then. Genetic studies have confirmed that all of today’s modern cows are the direct descendants of one single herd of oxen that lived around 10,500 years ago.
We have cross-bred them and genetically manipulated their breeding to come up with today’s modern bovine. They are not natural, their milk is not natural, eating them is not natural and if you do, you will pay the price of cancer, heart attacks, and more.
Is The Paleo Diet Safe?
If by “safe” you mean that if you eat it, you most likely won’t die today, then yes.
If by safe you mean a diet that promotes optimal health and wellbeing, one that you can stay on for the rest of your life, no. Unless you don’t mind not living to your genetic potential and most certainly having chronic disease and illness as the cause of your last days.
Yes, we are blunt.
But someone has to tell you the truth.
Listen, we all know the truth. A meat-centric diet will eventually kill you. The only question is how long you will survive it.
The paleo diet is based on every meal being centered around eating animal flesh. This is NOT how our paleolithic ancestors ate. There are dozens of studies that show their diets were primarily plant-based.
One thing you can deduce without any scientific information whatsoever is that humans dominated because of our ability to adapt.
So, people in the north of Canada, the arctic, and similar regions ate mostly seal or whale fat as a source of calories.
Those ancestors who lived in warmer climes consumed mostly fruits, plants, nuts, and seeds. Even the Bible says, “And the Lord said, “Here, I have given you every plant whose seed can be sown which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit whose seed can be sown, for you it shall be to eat.”
He didn’t say, “For here I have given you a sharp axe for you to chop off the heads of all you see and eat them.”
If our knowledge of human history is even partially correct, we originated in warm climates and migrated to cold ones.
How Does The Paleo Diet Compare To The Keto Diet?
The paleo diet does not focus on keeping you in ketosis. Instead, it sticks to moderate amounts of carbohydrate along with a meat first focus.
You can have limited amounts of fruit on this diet whereas with keto you cannot.
How Much Weight Can You Lose On The Paleo Diet In 2 Weeks?
About the same as any other diet. If you’re consuming fewer calories than you burn off, you’ll lose weight pretty much no matter what diet you’re on. Now, is it that easy? No, there’s more to it than that. But to answer your question, you should shoot for between 1 and 2 pounds of fat loss per week.
Each pound of fat has 3,500 calories in it. If you reduced your calories or burned off through exercise 500 calories per day below your basal metabolism, you would lose 1 pound per week.
For most people, you should not go much lower than a deficit of 500 calories per day in your diet. So, if you did another 500 calories worth of exercise per day, then you could burn off 2 pounds of fat per week.
For most people, that would be about the maximum they could do consistently. So, having a goal of 1 to 2 pounds of fat loss per week is pretty realistic.
Can The Paleo Diet Be Done With Intermittent Fasting?
Yes, it can. If you’re following a 16 – 8 plan, where you can have 3 meals spread over 8 hours, that can be done pretty easily. If you were to want to go OMAD (One Meal Per Day), that would not be advisable on paleo because it would become nearly impossible to get all the nutrients your body needs.
There are various other plans for intermittent fasting, but as a rule, the 16–8 should work out for you with a paleo diet. Others that are more restrictive should quite likely be avoided.
Does The Paleo Diet Reduce Inflammation?
If you were on a super inflammatory diet before going on paleo, then yes it does. If you were vegan, let’s say, and then you went on the diet, you would most likely have increased inflammation. So, much of whether you will have an increase or decrease is based upon your starting point.
If you started with the SAD (Standard American Diet), then yes, you would likely see a decrease in systemic inflammation as the SAD is quite inflammatory. If you were coming off a 30-day juice fast done correctly, you would balloon up with inflammation. So, judge that from where you’re starting.
Does The Paleo Diet Raise Cholesterol?
No, not really. This, of course, depends on what you were eating on a regular basis before you started. If you started with the SAD (Standard American Diet), then you would likely have a reduction in bad cholesterol. If you were a whole food vegan and went paleo, your cholesterol would undoubtedly go up.
Does The Paleo Diet Work For Bodybuilding?
Yes, it does, and it could work quite well. The reason why is that bodybuilders tend to eat quite a bit more protein than the average person. According to the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake), the average man requires only 56 grams of protein per day. Most bodybuilders will take in 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day or even more, especially when dieting.
Paleo is a slice of very meat and animal flesh-centric diet that stresses lots of vegetables and some fruit, which is right up the bodybuilder’s alley except when it comes to dieting for a show.
That might work for the first half of the diet. But once they are about 6 to 8 weeks out, things start to get real. The meat, chicken, fish, and vegetables can stay, but at this point, most will opt to ditch the fruit, believing that the fructose in fruit will inhibit them from getting lean.
This is not the case. However, it is what is taken as gospel in that industry and sport.
Is The Paleo Diet Good For Gut Health?
No, it is not. Diets that focus on meat generally have a lot of animal fat in them, and the gut microbiome has been shown to not react favorably to both the protein in animals and especially animal fats.
The gut microbiome also reacts negatively to many of today’s grains, especially if they are processed like bread and pasta.
The biggest culprits are refined sugars, such as table sugar. In these cases, the bad intestinal flora overgrows the good flora, and this is where people tend to run into problems.
Can You Eat Peanut Butter On A Paleo Diet?
No, according to the rules of paleo, if they are followed strictly, no you cannot. The reason is that peanuts are legumes, not nuts. Their philosophy is that these things didn’t exist in nature in any sort of quantity that would have impacted your diet before man began farming, and so, they are not part of what a person from the paleolithic period would have consumed.