Eating lots of lean meats, fish, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and nuts, while cutting out dairy, grains, legumes and all processed foods – welcome to the Paleo diet. So named because this was the supposed diet of our paleolithic ancestors before they had access to agriculture and farming, the idea is that we should go right back to our evolutionary roots in re-configuring our diets, since our modern day foods are so laden with chemicals, sugar and salt, and other additives.
In theory, the Paleo diet sounds like the panacea to much that is wrong with modern eating. Eating like our ancestors did by restricting our diets to natural foods direct from the Earth’s great bounty sounds like a great way to eat clean and shed those pounds, right?
Why, yes. Many people have anecdotal testimonials of how going Paleo has helped them not only shed those pounds, but also feel healthier. After all, the Paleo diet is one that is high-protein, high-fiber and low-carb – often understood as a generally healthy eating habit.
That is, unless you belong in one of these categories of people below. Remember that ultimately, diets are around to help you be healthier and live well, and not to make you feel like your life is not worth living!
1) If you have certain health concerns like diabetes or gout, or allergies to foods like nuts or shellfish
So you may have read on the Internet that having ongoing health conditions like diabetes or gout should not hinder you from going Paleo. It’s safe – they say.
We strongly recommend you not to restrict your diet when you have such health concerns and follow the advice of your trusted doctor. Sure, as a general rule of thumb, eating more fresh fruits and veggies can’t be a bad thing in itself – but for some people with diabetes, they cannot load up on the fruit because of the overload of fructose they could end up with. Eating plenty of meat as advocated by the Paleo way of life when you have gout is really not wise, since the build-up of urea (a by-product of your body’s digestion of meat) would exacerbate gout.
Similarly, since the Paleo diet relies heavily on fruit, veggies, nuts, and unprocessed fresh protein like seafood – people who have allergies to nuts or shellfish or certain types of fruit and veggies like strawberries or nightshade should really think twice before embarking on the Paleo diet (and any other meal plan, as a matter of fact).
In short, consult a trusted doctor if you have any health conditions and take his or her advice about embarking on a Paleo way of life. Perhaps you would be advised to stay off Paleo completely, or perhaps you would be advised to tweak the Paleo restrictions to accommodate your health concerns. Whatever it is, remember that the Internet is no replacement for a doctor’s advice even if you may think you know better.
2) You are looking for a quick weight loss diet
Juice cleanses and diets that restrict your daily caloric intake will appear to be super effective at dropping those pounds on the scale. If you are looking at the Paleo diet to produce the same kind of dramatic result, you should really realign your expectations. Going Paleo is not a quick fix for your weight, neither is it a sure-fire way to shed those kilos stat. The Paleo diet involves trading out processed foods for fresh ones, and eliminating grains and legumes as well, so weight loss should happen pretty naturally as a result of this.
However, unlike other diets like juice cleanses which really forces your body to shed water weight, and diet plans that restrict the amount of calories you can consume each day which relies on a calorie deficit to shed those kilos on the scale — the Paleo way of life is a holistic one that advocates healthy eating within foods that are Paleo.
So long story short: don’t expect miraculous and dramatic weight loss transformations overnight with the Paleo diet because it is not a quick fix diet. It is a total change in way of life, which brings us to the next point…
3) If you are not ready to change your lifestyle
Going Paleo means giving up a lot of “comfort” food and treats. Sweet desserts like cakes and ice-cream, and savoury snacks like potato crisps and biscuits are off limits with the Paleo plan. Even comforting staples we have come to know as go-to foods like bread, pasta and rice are no-gos when you go Paleo.
Giving all these up will almost certainly be difficult and even depressing, so we really recommend not forcing yourself to go Paleo if you are not ready to undergo a total overhaul of your lifestyle. As we said earlier, diets are there to help us be the best and healthiest versions of ourselves that we can be, NOT to make us feel rotten about having to do it. So, if the thought of giving up all the dairy, processed snacks, familiar carb staples and sweet treats is just too much to bear for you, maybe going Paleo isn’t right for you.
What you can moat definitely do though is to incorporate elements of the Paleo diet into your lifestyle, slowly increasing the Paleo elements and reducing the processed stuff. Eating more fresh fruits and veggies as well as lean meats and fish should be the goal of every health-conscious person, anyway.
The Paleo diet is not a magic diet that promises weight loss or improved health. However, a lot of its principles do promote a healthy lifestyle and weight loss as a happy consequence. Remember though that diets are meant to HELP you be the best and healthiest you that you can be, so do what feels right for you.
The best way to manage your weight is to eat in moderation and cleanly, and get in loads of exercise. Cheryl W’s treatments are a great way to boost your body’s capacity for losing excess weight by detoxing, so make it a part of your lifestyle today.