The Peleolithic diet or Paleo diet has been gaining popularity in recent years, however this diet is far from a new fad. As its name suggests, this diet is based on eating the foods that our caveman ancestors ate during the Paleolithic period which ended over 20,000 years ago. For this reason, it is sometimes known as the caveman diet.
What Foods Can I Eat On the Paleo Diet?
The modern Paleo diet consists of meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts (nut butters), and roots. And the answer to the question of what CAN’T you eat on the Paleo diet: everything else. Absolutely no grains, legumes, processed oils, refined sugars, or any dairy products. So to translate, basically you can say goodbye to any bread, beans, chips, fried foods, candy, cheese, yogurt, pasta, milk.
The Reasoning Behind the Paleo Diet
The reasoning behind eating like our ancestors is that while we have evolved quite a bit technologically over the last thousand years, our bodies are almost genetically identical to the cavemen from over 20,000 years ago. These cavemen were strong people given that they had been through hundreds of thousands of years of natural selection. This allowed the population to thrive based on what they had in their environments.
The cavemen of the paleolithic period were for the most part hunter-gatherers. They would hunt wild animals and gather nuts and plants for the majority of their diets. That’s all they had and evidence shows they were much stronger, leaner, and healthier than we are today. However, the advent of agriculture did not occur until only about 10,000 years ago.
So compare the hundreds of thousands of years of evolution leading up to the Paleolithic period versus the 10,000 years it’s been since farming was invented. We have not evolved that fast genetically in the last 10,000 years to change our diets so drastically. Humans in the Paleolithic times did not have the means to plant grains or farm dairy so they never ate these kinds of foods. The logic behind the Paleo diet argues that this is why we should not eat grains or other ‘modern’ foods now.
You certainly can lose weight on the Paleo diet. However, the Paleo diet is more of a set of guidelines on what you should be eating rather than a strict diet plan. You can tailor the Paleo diet to your weight loss needs by eating fewer calories but still sticking the the overall rules of the Paleo diet.
The main reason why the Paleo diet is so effective in weight-loss is that it is a very low-carb diet plan. The only carbs you’ll be eating on the Paleo diet come from fruit. Therefore, if you are looking to lose weight on the Paleo diet, you should limit your fruit intake and just increase your consumption of another caveman friendly food.
The Best Part About the Paleo Diet
The best part of the Paleo diet is that you can eat as much as you want. That’s right, there is no limit to the amount of food you can eat on the Paleo diet as long as you are eating within the Paleo guidelines. So enjoy as much of that steak as you want, if you’re on the Paleo Diet.