Paleo Diet Review - Does This Eating Plan Work?
Don’t laugh, but more than 50% of diet plans simply don’t work. Let’s see if the Paleo Diet is one of the good ones. We checked into all the rules, allowed/disallowed foods, side effects and research. We also read every comment we could find to see if dieters are happy with the changes. Then, we narrowed it all down to give you the bottom line.
What is the Paleo Diet?
Firstly, Paleo Diet is an eating plan that focuses on how the first men and women would have eaten. There is a heavy focus on natural and organic choices and processed foods are cut out altogether. You can find hundreds of books explaining the relevancy and details of how to make the change. There’s no one creator, but Loren Cordain, PhD claims to be the founder of the movement.
From a weight-loss perspective, there are mixed feelings about the Paleo Diet. Ancient art pieces depict women with large bellies, which negates the idea that eating this way promotes a “healthy” body. There are also some skeptics who believe severe restriction is difficult to maintain long-term, so support varies, but read on…
Food Restrictions – “Should the Dieter Stick With It?”
The first thing a dieter may notice about Paleo Diet is the list of restricted, or discouraged, foods. “Anything that is processed, in any way, should be cut from the diet,” explains our Research Editor. “Unfortunately, this is where things can get confusing because one author allows something like diet soda and another doesn’t. This is because there’s no definitive structure.”
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, food restriction can have some negative effects on the body. In particular, results, “show significantly lower BMC (bone mineral content) values in women with high CER (cognitive eating restraint) scores.”
Health.gov explains how people should eat. “Healthful diets contain the amounts of essential nutrients and energy needed to prevent nutritional deficiencies and excesses. Healthful diets also provide the right balance of carbohydrate, fat, and protein to reduce risks for chronic diseases, and they are obtained from a variety of foods that are available, affordable, and enjoyable.”
Prices – “Is Paleo Diet Affordable?”
With words like “organic” and “free-range” there is the question of affordability with the Paleo Diet. You’re supposed to eat foods as they would be found in nature and those choices are much more expensive than options traditionally chosen as part of a Western diet.
“We’ve read advice from numerous people who follow the Paleo Diet,” offers our Research Editor. “Some suggest starting out with a 50% change to keep costs down. Others claim all you have to do is give up cable or other luxuries to switch 100%.”
After years of research, it’s the smallest of things, like increased food prices, that wreck your chances of long-term success. If the Paleo Diet is just too expensive, the dieter may not be able to stick with it for long.
The Science – “Does Research Say Paleo is Better?”
The Journal of Physiological Anthropology explains that Paleo is about more than just cutting out processed foods. The idea is that living in nature, surrounded by plants and animals supports overall health. “…if green space is associated with mental well-being…it would certainly suggest that it might also be associated with reduced mortality rates.” Though eating natural can improve nutritional intake, there are people who eat common foods and maintain a healthy weight.
The Bottom Line – Does the Paleo Diet Work?
Do we think you should go all-organic and natural? We are all for eating healthy foods rich in all the vitamins and nutrients the body needs. We’re not convinced, however, that the Paleo Diet is more effective than simple changes that cut out anything that’s been heavily processed. We feel it may be an easier, more sustainable, choice to just make healthier decisions.
It’s always a great idea to base your diet on healthy, nutritional foods. We also think you can add a natural supplement with ingredients shown to help spark metabolism so you burn more calories.
Among the best supplements we’ve seen this year is one called Leptigen. It contains four ingredients and all have been researched with results showing they can help improve fat loss and metabolism. The company supports eating right and exercising to lose weight, but organic is not a necessity.
Plus, you can take advantage of a Special Trial Offer from the makers of Leptigen because they are so confident in the supplement.
Previous Paleo Diet Review (Updated September 20, 2013):
What You Should KnowThe Paleo Diet is a book that was written by Dr. Loren Cordain. Dr. Cordain works in the Colorado State University's Department of Health and Exercise Science. In this book, Cordain sites works and studies that were conducted by himself and his colleagues as proof why the human diet needs to revert to our prehistoric ancestors, and presents what went wrong with the human diet and how to correct it.
List of IngredientsThere are no ingredients.
Product FeaturesThe concept and premise behind the Paleo Diet is very simple. Cordain maintains that the diets enjoyed by our hunter-gatherer ancestors and those current hunter-gather cultures are much more conducive to the genetic makeup of our bodies. Cordain says that by reducing the number of complex carbs and high glycemic index foods with lean meats, sea food, and whole fruits and vegetables, we can do a great deal in solving the health problems such as heart disease that we are plagued with today. For the first two weeks of this diet, exercise is not recommended. Overall, it seems that exercise does not play a major role in this diet, though it is not discouraged or overly encouraged. There are recommendations for those who participate in a regular exercise regimen. The biggest critics of this diet point to the fact that the lifespan of the hunter-gatherer is not typically all that long, and that they led overly active lifestyles. Cordain responds saying that while the activity level may be true, as much as 10 to 20% of the hunter-gatherers lived to be 60 or older, did not have traditional medicine, and were still free from many of the chronic conditions the western world is faced with today.
- Encourages healthy eating.
- Very professional website that includes information on the book, the research that went into the book, and user testimonials.
- Does not address the genetic or hormonal issues related to weight gain.
- May not fully take into account the lifestyle of our prehistoric ancestors.
- May cause constipation. (See reader comments.)