Followers to Paleo diet find weight loss success by eating like our ancestors
Low-carb diets like Atkins and South Beach have come in and out of fashion for years, but the latest reaches far back into human history for its inspiration.
“Paleo people joke that it’s the fad diet with the longest life,” said Melissa Joulwan, an Austin writer who converted to a Paleolithic diet a few years ago after a lifetime of struggling with their weight despite consistent exercise and following traditional low-fat, High-carb diets.
The Paleo concept is simple: Eat like our ancestors in the millennia before agriculture, which means no grains, dairy products, processed foods, sugar or legumes.
Before agriculture, hunters and gatherers ate meat and plants that do not require processing to eat, but thousands of years later, grains and processed foods have become the foundation of the American diet. Processed foods, especially those based on flour such as pasta and bread, are inexpensive, but everything from grains, including corn, lead to a spike in blood sugar levels and damage the insides of the intestines, say proponents of the gluten-free diet, which are certainly not People who fall into the Paleo limited stock.
“The evidence is to eat grains supports exhilarating,” said Michael Roussell PhD, a Livestrong.com adviser, citing a recent study, Harvard, that contrary to what we believe to have been designed more simple sugars and refined grains are found harmful to our health than animal fats. “Just about everyone can benefit from eating less carbs because we often do not eat the best kinds.”
Vegetables and fruits contain plenty of carbohydrates and fiber, and the carbohydrates are easier to digest and do not raise your blood sugar levels as the starchy ones in white potatoes, rice, corn and other grains.
But if you make a switch from a predominantly grain diet to one of mostly animal fats, proteins and vegetable carbs, how your body uses the fats changes, too. “The less carbs you eat, the more saturated or animal fat you can eat,” says Roussell. “It changes how your body metabolizes lipids.”
If Joulwan first started looking into Paleo diet after hearing about them through their CrossFit training group, they had a hard time getting past the conventional way of thinking that fat is bad.
“When I first heard that half my (calories) would be from fat, I almost had a heart attack,” she says. Just like our bodies need fat and salt function, our body needs cholesterol, too, and the lean protein and nuts in a typical Paleo meal consumed contain healthier unsaturated fats and low saturated fats.
But as Joulwan slowly started changing her diet – before they fully Paleo she eliminated grains for a year and then got milk for another year, even though they do not have allergies or intolerances – she began to lose weight, they would keep for years was and realized that almost everything they thought they knew about food and nutrition was wrong.
“Your body is not the difference between a potato, a slice of white bread or a Snickers, because the sugar is perceived by your body in the same way,” she says. “Every grain in its evil little heart is a sugar.”
As with any diet, cutting out sugar seems to be one of the most difficult steps, and if you are particularly addicted to sweets, make sure you do not swap candy for candy-sweet fruits. “Fructose is OK as long as you have broken your sugar demon,” says Joulwan.
It’s the same thing with stevia, honey or other natural sweeteners: A body that is conditioned to eat sweet is still crave sweet foods.
Joulwan, a founding member of the Texas Rollergirls whose book about the experience, “Roller Girl”, was Simon and Schuster published almost five years ago, started blogging in 2008 about her recipes and Paleo discoveries on The Clothes Make the Girl (theclothesmakethegirl. com). She persuaded to change both her father and a close friend to a Paleo diet, and both have lost more than 60 pounds.
Last year, she has compiled more than 100 recipes for her first cookbook, “Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for people who love to eat,” which is available in paperback on Amazon.com and as a PDF on their side early December.
Just a few days before Thanksgiving 2009 Kim Semenov decided she was ready to make the jump Paleo. You did not eat much more than turkey for Thanksgiving this year, but since then they learned how to make everything from chicken pot pie made gumbo with rice and cauliflower.
As a member of a group CrossFit in Houston, Semenov often brought her Paleo potlucks, group meals, and she realized that the Paleo options were limited company in restaurants and delivery of meals. She and her husband, Vitaly, moved to Austin this summer and started Caveman Cuisine, a Paleo meal delivery.
Because you do not just melt cheese on a tortilla or boil a pot of pasta for a quick meal, many people who try to eat a Paleo diet, but quit because it seems like so much work to begin.
“No processed foods, you have to cook everything,” says Semenov. “And it’s boring to eat chicken and salad every day.”
She uses almond flour and coconut flour as a substitute so that they can make things like pizza dough or even banana bread. It is not classically Paleo, but Semenov knows, it’s hard to ask people to so many of the foods they love. Say “A lot of people,” I do not want to go because I’m going to miss Paleo in this or that, ‘”says Semenov cooking and a closer relationship with the food you put into your body is a fundamental principle of Paleo, but white. that Semenov everyone needs a break from cooking. takes you ordered online (cavemancuisine.net) and makes deliveries twice a week. Finally, she wants to open a Paleo storefront and café.
The transition to Paleo was not hard for Semenov, especially if they had more energy for their daily workouts started to feel lost weight and stopped taking, medications to regulate body fluids. “For me, that right there was enough evidence that it works.”
Paleo critics are plentiful, from archaeologists, that modern humans have developed so that they do not like hunters and gatherers, meat-free (or meat-light) environmentalists eat that too much animal consumption, say, will say to destroy the planet . One of the biggest criticisms of the cost. “If you’re going to eat steak every day, it will be expensive,” says Semenov, but if you have a roller on the page, is not to be what breaks the bank. “If you’re going to have to eat better, it will cost more,” Semenov who buys almost all the ingredients for their meals says at the local farmers markets, but it points out that many ingredients, such as grass-fed ground beef or organic products do not cost that much more than at a market in a grocery store.
Even within the Paleo community, some of which, “No” are negotiable. Some food-fat yogurt and cheese, while other New World fruit and vegetables, including those in the family avoid the nightshade family such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. A recent New York Times profiled Paleo eaters in New York, who are among the “caveman” approach to an extreme, often fasting and eating raw meat to really mimic our ancestors eating habits.
Roussell says that most of us, even those who have insulin resistance or heart disease could benefit from a modified Paleo diet. Cut out dairy, legumes and all grains is “unnecessarily restrictive,” he says, but usually replaced refined grains with vegetables and both lean and even some fatty cuts of meat – and making sure you exercise regularly, of course – can improve your overall health. “More research shows that people who have insulin resistance, they lose more weight with more fruits, vegetables and less grains.”
Most Paleo eaters also fall somewhere in the middle, preferring to eat a gluten-free diet consisting mainly of meat and vegetables, but tailored to meet their own nutritional needs, likes, dislikes and cheats that Joulwan takes seriously.
Our ancestors were not perfect, and neither are we, so during the holidays, special occasions and on vacations, Joulwan allows herself some foods that are off limits to eat. Joulwan says she’s able to keep her diet because she slowly went into it rather than cutting staples like milk and bread at once. “We think that it is such a good health deposits in a bank you withdraw later,” she says, having just returned from a trip to Europe, where she and her husband Paleo, Dave, in the best cheese, bread, chocolate and indulged returned wine they could find, fine dining, which have not even dared to dream of our ancestors, when they wanted.