There are many people who are wanting to find the best ‘build muscle, lose fat’ diet. In one of our recent blog posts, we took a look at the ketogenic, or keto, diet. To refresh your memory, this is a low-carb, high-fat diet that has helped many people with weight loss, energy boosts, cognitive health, and hormonal balance support. The diet can also help reduce the risks of chronic diseases, such as high blood sugar. However, when it comes to all the lose fat gain muscle diets and fads out there, one of the more well-known diets is the paleo diet.
WHAT IS THE PALEO DIET?
The Paleolithic, or Paleo, diet is one of the more modern diets that help with weight loss. It is often referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet, or hunter-gatherer diet, as it consists of eating uncultivated plants and wild animals in a similar fashion to what our ancestors in the Paleolithic era are presumed to have eaten.
Research has linked that our modern diet — full of refined foods, trans fats, and sugar — is at the root of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, depression, diabetes, infertility, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. The paleo diet is quite the opposite of the modern diet. It is solely based on foods that can be hunted, fished, and gathered such as meat, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, honey, berries, and roots. Chances are if a food did not exist 10,000 years ago it is not an authentic paleo food item.
It seems simple enough, right? Well, for some people it’s not that easy. The paleo diet requires giving up a lot. And we mean a lot. Just so you know what you’re getting yourself into, the paleo diet does not allow the following:
- Whole grains
- Dairy products
- Refined grains and sugars
- Canola and refined vegetable oils
Processed foods — no more cookies, candy or cake!
The thought of cutting out some of the foods above is enough to scare some away. However, there are many that would agree that the sacrifice is worth the reward, especially for those who are wanting to lose weight without losing muscle. Whether you are interested in trying the paleo diet or you would just like to learn more about, continue reading as we share some essential things you should know!
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU TRY THE PALEO DIET
PLANNING, PREP, AND COOKING ARE ESSENTIAL
Unlike the keto diet, it is a little bit easier to find restaurants and meal kit services that support paleo. However, you should know that relying solely on ordering out while on the paleo diet can get expensive quickly. Taking the time to plan, prepare, and cook your meals can not only help you save money, but it will also teach you how to master paleo diet recipes!
THE DIET REQUIRES HIGH-QUALITY MEAT
There are now different versions of the diet, but it is mostly the same, especially when it comes to the amount of meat being consumed. Most diets suggest consuming more meat than the current USDA guidelines recommend. Keep in mind though, this can’t just be any meat. It needs to be high-quality — think grass-fed beef or free-range chicken.
EATING FRUIT AND VEGETABLES IS IMPORTANT
While this diet does recommend consuming a lot of meat, fresh produce holds a significant importance. If you want to follow the Paleolithic diet, you need to emulate the diet of the hunter-gathers of that era, which in addition to meat, also included fruits and vegetables. A great source of fiber, fresh produce is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that have been shown to decrease the likelihood of developing a number of degenerative diseases including cancer and diabetes.
IT CAN REALLY HELP CLEAN UP YOUR DIET
Restricting not-so-good-for-you foods helps many people clean up their diets. When you cut out these foods from your diet, you can instead opt for a diet with whole foods to help you eat cleaner and healthier. You saw the list of foods excluded from the paleo diet above. Because the paleo diet does not include processed sugars, sweeteners, trans fats, and other refined foods, you can really transform not only your diet, but your lifestyle.
LESS FAT, MORE MUSCLE
As mentioned before, this diet relies on high-quality, healthy protein sources. When combined with a healthy and effective workout routine, these proteins help build new muscle cells. What does this mean for you? Well the more muscle you have, the better your metabolism works. Because muscles are metabolically active, more energy is directed to muscle cells instead of stored in fat cells. When this happens, your body is more likely to store energy as glycogen in your muscle cells, which is better than the alternative: triglycerides in your fat cells.
IT CAN HELP GIVE YOU MORE ENERGY
Many rely on energy drinks and coffee for some energy. However, these aren’t the most efficient and sustainable options. The paleo diet, on the other hand, is filled with naturally occurring nutritious energy. Unlike the energy you get from synthetic sources, the nutritious energy is more slowly metabolized, making these energy sources burn slower and last longer. If you find it hard to stay awake without feeling groggy, switching to this diet could help with increased and more stable energy levels.
IT HAS ANTI-INFLAMMATORY BENEFITS
Paleo foods are clean. Unlike processed and refined foods, they don’t have added chemicals, preservatives, or dyes. Paleo diets are rich in vegetables, plants, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils can help reduce inflammation, which is a major contributor to the development of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and dementia. The diet promotes complete and sustainable lifestyle changes.
WORKS AS A DETOXER
When you stop eating refined foods and processed sugars, you are giving your body a much-needed break by allowing your body to purge itself of all the toxins built-up. Many people that try the paleo diet have claimed that just after a few weeks of switching the restrictive diet, they felt lighter and more focused! Plus, once your body has been detoxed and you are no longer regularly consuming processed foods, your cravings for them dwindle and eating them will no longer have the same satisfying effect that it once did.
IT MAY NOT BE THE MOST BENEFICIAL DIET OUT THERE
While there is research that supports the paleo diet, a majority of the studies have been minimal. A few years ago a study was conducted that compared the paleo diet with a popular controlled diet. The studies revealed that there were no long-term differences between those who follow a paleo diet and those that are on a control diet after two years. Of course, with all diet fads and crazes, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor or dietitian to ensure that it is right for you and that you’re following the paleo diet correctly and meeting your nutrition needs.
IS THE PALEO DIET RIGHT FOR YOU?
Choosing the right diet is never really easy, especially one that restricts all of your sweets, drinks, and your favorite foods. However, there are some benefits that come from it. In the end, the paleo diet is still one of the most popular diets that are spreading throughout the social media world.
If you are curious to find out if the paleo diet is the right choice for your weight loss goals or muscle building aspirations, talk to the experienced and knowledgeable nutritionists at QuickHIT Fitness Labs! To find the nearest QuickHIT Fitness, click here!