Fad diets come and go, whether it’s The Baby Food diet or Herbalife shakes, and they will always come and go with people looking for the simplest way to drop a few pounds. One diet that’s on the tip of everyone’s tongue is the Paleo diet. So what is the Paleo diet and is it as good as it is made out to be?
The Paleo diet is based on eating grass fed red meats, fish, vegetables, nuts and seeds. It avoids consuming processed foods, salts, sugars and grains. The name was given to the diet due to its hunter gatherer food theme from the Palaeolithic (or caveman) era. We at Cre8 Fitness will always promote a diet consisting of many vegetables and single ingredient foods as this is the most efficient way to eat for optimal health. So is this the King of diets?
People can only benefit from consuming nutritionally dense foods like good quality meats, vegetables and nuts and with the exclusion of diary, wheat and grains this will help inflammation in the body. Some may not even realise they have an intolerance until they remove it from the diet.
The diet is generally high in fat and lower in carbohydrates. Carbs are not the enemy and have their place in people’s diets but with having a carb restricted diet can mean that body fat then drops as generally carbs are over consumed.
This all sounds good doesn’t it? So what’s the problem? The diet says that foods like oats, potatoes and rice should be avoided. Obviously depending on your tolerance and training goals these three foods can be very beneficial in aiding recovery and providing energy through carbohydrates and their nutrients.
Some will also insist that the cavemen ate better and were healthier than the modern man. However, there has been little-to-no studies of the nutritional consumption of the Palaeolithic period making some arguments void because some people have adapted to eating non Paleo foods such as rice or grains.
What’s the conclusion? It isn’t the perfect diet but does beat most. Eating good quality foods, high in nutrients and avoiding processed trash will always be promoted by us at Cre8 but maybe not as strict as some of the Fred Flintstone wannabe’s out there with their Paleo cheesecakes and Paleo multivitamins (didn’t know cavemen had ovens and access to Holland and Barretts!). If you wish to partake in the diet feel free to consult one of the team for some advice.
Here are our take away points on what we suggest:
EAT SINGLE INGREDIENT FOODS. What’s the ingredient list on a broccoli?…Broccoli. Is it good for you? Yes. Stick to this way of thinking and you’ll be on the right track.
LOOK GOOD. FEEL GOOD. Cut grains and dairy from your diet and this shall aid you to get lean. Both of these also highly inflammatory foods. What does this mean? They may make you feel sluggish, be bloated and hold onto fat.
CAN’T OUT TRAIN A BAD DIET. ‘I’ve been to the gym today, let’s get a takeaway!’ Do this and you won’t achieve your goal of trimming and looking awesome on the beach. It shall also slow down the body’s recovery process.
OLD KING KALE. Try to consume as many vegetables as possible daily. Yes, fruit has nutrients too but also contains sugars. Vegetables are the boss when it comes to a healthy diet.
WATER. Drink it. Lots of it. 2-3 litres a day. This will help flush toxins from the body aiding in fat loss.
SHAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL. Unless you are making a healthy shake using your own blender avoid them. 99% of the time shakes in the stores will claim to be healthy and ‘1 of your five a day’ but actually contain a lot of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.
EAT MEAT. Try to consume 1.5 grams of protein per kilo of body weight each day. This shall help build lean muscle.
CHEAT MEALS. If you’re going to have a few drinks or eat unhealthy save it for an occasion like seeing friends not a Tuesday night when sat in the house. Then the next morning get straight back on it!
LITTLE BY LITTLE. Focus on small changes that you can stick to rather than sweeping changes that only last for a few weeks.
THE BEST. Do your best and always remember you’re on a journey to get to the top of the mountain. If you slip up, don’t worry, get your hiking gear back on and start climbing!