One of the most amazing things I’ve learned following the Paleo diet is how easy it is to lose weight and maintain it. Honestly, when I first started reading and learning about the Paleo diet, I was suspicious of the ability of this change in my lifestyle to promote weight loss and keep me at a healthy weight. It seemed impossible to me that eating foods like meats, eggs, fish and nuts would help me lose weight. Fruit and veggies, yes, I get that. I’ve been told for years that fruits and veggies are important for health, but meats, eggs and nuts? Really?
Well, it seemed crazy to me because I’d been inundated over the last 20+ years with the “eat foods low in fat” message. This “nutritional guidance” has resulted in a food culture where people eat a lot more grains and sugar than the human body was designed to handle. And now, instead of putting fat into foods, manufacturers replace the fat with sugar. So it is “low-fat.” Until you eat it. Then the body processes the excess simple carbs into, you guessed it, fat!! If you’re interested in learning all the really bad things that eating the “low-fat, high-carb” diet can do to your body, including promoting the onset of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, I strongly recommend the book Sugar Nation: the Hidden Truth Behind America’s Deadliest Habit and the Simple Way to Beat It by Jeff O’Connell.
I was also inundated with the “eggs are bad because they have cholesterol” and the “avocados are bad because they are fatty” messages. These messages were based on a very simplistic and incorrect understanding of what egg cholesterol and mono-unsaturated fats do in the body. The type of cholesterol in eggs, for example, is now believed to be important in carrying bad cholesterol out of the bloodstream. Eggs and avocados are two of the best foods around! I love eating them.
Here are a few simple facts that help demonstrate why this shift in lifestyle promotes ongoing health:
- Eating fat does not make you fat.
- Eating lots of carbohydrates including sugars and grains can make you fat and leave feeling tired and hungry.
- Eating fat and protein promote satiety (feeling full) and makes it easier to eat fewer total calories
- Eating whole meats, fish, fruits, veggies, and nuts will leave you feeling full longer and limit blood sugar fluctuations
- Eating fat and protein encourages your body to use fat as fuel instead of sugar. Fat is a much more substantial fuel for the body.
I’ve been amazed at how quickly the Paleo Lifestyle improves overall health and fitness. When I shifted to the Paleo Lifestyle, I lost 9 lbs in the first three weeks. (I prefer Lifestyle because the term “diet” has become so punitive and fraught with negative connotations in our culture. It also implies a temporary measure to lose weight not a permanent lifestyle change.) I am now 17 lbs lighter than I was and holding steady at my ideal weight. I’m also training for my first full length marathon. An additional bonus, I no longer run out of energy at 3:30 in the afternoon. The energy slumps caused by my old low-fat, high carb lifestyle are a thing of the past.
One person I know who started the Paleo lifestyle in January was unable to log into his computer this week using the facial recognition software. Why? Because he has lost so much weight, especially in his face, that the computer no longer recognized him based on his stored picture! Another person I know made the shift to the Paleo lifestyle a couple of weeks ago. Even within two weeks, the difference in her physical health was noticeable and she was dropping excess weight (not that she had much excess, but the shift in diet made an immediate difference).
If you’re still not sure, give the Paleo lifestyle a 30 day trial. Check out my “Getting Started” page for a clear definition of what you can eat when you shift to a Paleo lifestyle, basic meal plans, and tips for implementing your new lifestyle.