Can You Lose Weight on the Paleo Diet?

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Since the Paleo diet doesn’t rely on counting calories, carbs or points a commonly asked question is “can you lose weight on the Paleo diet?” The answer is a pretty loud resounding yes. First a little explanation on the hows and the whys of the Paleo diet will make it easy to understand how you will understand just how easily you can lose weight.

Rule #1 Kiss the Junk Goodbye

One thing that is pretty indisputable is cavemen didn’t have access to junk food. There were no chips, chocolate or fast food restaurants nor was there an entire aisle of chemical laden frozen food at the grocery store. Refined sugars, processed foods and grains are all out, most of which offer little or no nutrients and are strictly empty calories. No, we don’t hunt or actually gather our own food much anymore we can still eat the foods that were available to us from back then. While we have advanced as a civilization in the way of convenience it has been a large step backwards nutritionally.

Why are Grains Bad?

After eliminating sugar and processed foods, grains are the other reason we have become sicker and fatter. First modern day wheat is almost unrecognizable from the wheat that was grown a mere 100 years ago and that hasn’t helped. To break it down simply when you eat carbohydrates and they enter the bloodstream they are broken down into glucose molecules and after glycogen is replaced the rest is stored as fat. All these carbs cause spikes in insulin production, based on the volume of grains and sugars we eat on a standard diet the body just can’t keep up with the insulin requirements.

Another issue with grains is they contain a compound called phytic acid; phytic acid interferes with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients like calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, stripping us of vital nutrients. Unless you run marathons on a daily basis the 6-11 servings you’re supposed to be eating will go right to your midsection and make your weight loss efforts really difficult if not futile.

Fat is Not Your Enemy

Nothing has been demonized as badly as fat has in recent years, especially without the science to back up the claims. A common myth is that fat makes you fat; in fact it is excess glucose that makes you fat.

On the Paleo diet it is recommended that you fish and grass fed meats, grass fed meat is considerably leaner than grain fed but animal fat along with good fats like olive oils, avocado oils, and coconut oils are all perfectly good for you. Fish is rich in omega 3 oils which is both heart healthy and necessary for brain development. What won’t help with weight loss are manufactured fats and those are things like margarine, canola oil, vegetable and corn oils and other trans fats.

The Verdict

Yes, you can and will lose weight on a Paleo diet, but remember Paleo isn’t just about losing a few pounds to get into some clothes it is a path to a healthier, leaner you.