Of course not. Someone out there may look similar to me, but we are not identical in looks. Yes we have the same basic body parts, but deeper than surface level our genes and social upbringings are extremely different and influential in our lives. Today’s post is about the Paleo Diet aka Caveman Diet. But first let’s talk a little about how different we really are.
So if we know we’re not identical why than do we think the same weight loss plan will work wonders for us in the same way it has for others?
This has been a part of my frustration and I’m sure yours too when trying to lose weight. You read about how wonderful a plan worked for someone and think it may work the same for you. Or at least hope it will. So you try it, it’s a bust, and there you go again back into that circle of feeling like a hopeless failure. This always made me eat more!
You. Did. Nothing. Wrong.
We tend to forget how much genes play a role in body weight, and more often than not, we may not even consider social interactions such as family life and style and how that affects our eating patterns. Stop beating yourself up. I know it’s hard I’ve been there!
Is there one weight loss program better than the other? That is a subjective question and the root of all diet failure evil! Unfortunately, there is no way to know what works to help us lose weight until we know what doesn’t work. Here’s the secret to staying motivated when diets fail – acknowledge and accept that it is not your fault the plan did not work.
If you tried a diet, I mean really stuck to it, were committed and you lost nothing or minimal weight it is not your fault. For example, did you know there is gene named FTO and in studies has been identified in more overweight individuals than in healthy weight individuals? If you want to read more about the FTO gene you can look at the studies here.
So we are not all created equal.
My goal with this post and the next several upcoming posts is to provide you with a source of knowledge about different weight loss plans. You can use this knowledge to help determine if one of these plans might be a better fit for you based on how well you know yourself.
You are not in this alone. I have been there done that. In fact, I’m still in the process of losing the weight I want and need to for health reasons.
Now let’s look at the caveman diet plan.
What’s the Caveman Diet Plan?
The paleo diet or as I like to call it (because it’s fun), the caveman diet plan, is so named for obvious reasons. The paleolithic humans were hunters and gatherers eating meat and fruits such as berries when they were in season. Which also meant they moved a lot and were very active. They needed to be strong and fit in order to survive. Their bodies were conditioned to efficiently use fat as fuel and energy, not carbohydrates. Eventually agriculture came into being and the human diet changed.
Loren Cordain, a PhD researcher from Colorado State University, created the caveman diet. He is an expert in nutrition and exercise. He started his research in the ’70s and believes the paleolithic diet plan is how humans were genetically made to eat.
The caveman diet’s premise is based on what those paleo humans ate eliminating processed foods, sugar, chemicals, vegetable oils and other additions to the modern diet detrimental to our lifestyle. Sounds fantastic so far. Additionally, specific foods not to eat includes: beans, breads, pastas, wheat, milk, cheese, butter and artificial sweeteners. Let’s look at what is acceptable to eat.
Caveman Diet Food List
Acceptable foods to eat under this category of a diet plan includes whole, all natural, unprocessed foods. These include meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. Here would be a sample of one day’s meals following the paleo plan:
Lunch – chicken salad with veges such as tomato, peppers, cucumber, and nuts
Dinner – beef tips, salad loaded with veges, fruit
Drink – coffee, tea or water
One thing the paleo doesn’t do is count calories although losing weight is still achieved perhaps due to a combination of cutting processed carbs such as bread and refined sugar products. Meal planning takes time but there are a variety of apps out there to assist.
Best Paleo Apps
Apps are awesome! Since we carry our cell phones everywhere these days why not put them to better use instead of being on social media to see if anyone like your most recent selfie!
Here are some apps to assist you with your paleo eating style and meals because if you’re like me you have very little time to plan and track without some assistance.
- Paleo Diet Plan – This app is useful for getting started with paleo. It features a meal plan, recipes and information about the diet.
- Paleo Meals – This is a meals plan app. It provides food suggestions for breakfast, lunch and dinner and includes recipes.
- Paleo Leap – Over 900 recipes for paleo including slow cooker and auto immune friendly.
- Stupid Simple Paleo Diet Tracking & Guide – Paleo ingredients to inspire recipes, food icons for logging daily intake and a bar code scanner to make tracking easier.
There are many Apps out there. If you try one with paleo and like it leave me a comment below.
There are several benefits of the caveman diet. The most obvious eating in a “clean” way. Cutting out additives and preservatives is sure to give your body a boost. I believe we should do this whether we’re eating paleo or not.
Nutrition from plants may provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Harvard Health states that many diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and others has been linked to inflammation. Plant based foods contain cartenoids and flavonoids which are linked to anti-inflammatory effects. Cartenoids are just pigments produced by plants. It is a cartenoid which makes the carrot orange. Flavonoids are too a pigment producing yellow or red/blue colors. Both cartenoids and flavonoids do many other things in plants like help with photosynthesis, but in humans could help with reducing inflammation.
Another benefit from the caveman diet would be a potential for an increase in iron intake from red meat. Many struggle to keep iron levels within the normal range especially women are known to have problems with iron deficiencies. Eating paleo with more red meat could help even out those iron levels.
Eating good fats and protein may help you feel fuller thus likely to help you not eat in between your meals. Fats and proteins have you feel fuller and more satisfied.
Cons of the caveman diet might be not eating beans. Beans provide some basic nutrients such as potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. They can also be a source of protein and fiber.
Not eating grains will also take away a source of nutrients. Grains contain several nutrients such as the B vitamins and they too can provide fiber.
Dairy provides calcium, vitamin D, potassium and protein. We know calcium and vitamin D helps with bones and potassium is known to help maintain blood pressure.
So Is Caveman Diet for Me?
Well that’s a good question and very subjective. Do people lose weight eating paleo? Yes they do. Do they show signs of problems from not eating beans and dairy? No there has been no information connecting lack of beans and dairy to be a major concern.
If you don’t mind eating meat this just might be a beneficial weight loss plan for you.
Leave me a comment below about your successes or failures with the paleo style eating plan.