Can You Lose Weight on a Paleo Diet?

Can You Lose Weight on a Paleo Diet?

The paleo diet is also known as the caveman diet. This diet avoids all kinds of processed foods, dairy products, sugar, oils, etc. The primary idea behind the paleo diet is to imitate the stone-age diet and re-imagine what the caveman of the paleolithic age ate and drank.

Loren Cordain of the 21st century played a significant role in popularising the paleo diet. His books, such as The Paleo Diet for Athletes (2005) and The Paleo Diet Cookbook (2015), etc., are some of his best-selling books.

However, despite its popularity, there is still an ongoing debate about whether the paleo diet should be recommended as a direct measure to losing weight and if it is safe at all. Here are some points to consider before you decide to switch to a paleo diet.paleolithic diet

Vitamin Deficiency

Without a doubt, following a rigorous paleo diet may result in weight loss or maintaining a standard desired weight, but all of this comes with a cost, which can have potential risks.

Clinical studies concluded that the paleo diet could lead to vitamin D and calcium deficiencies, compromising growth and bone health. It can also lead to hypoglycemia among people of specific age groups.

If you still wish to go ahead with the paleo diet, you can consult your doctor to prescribe food supplements to have a balanced vitamin intake.

Fighting Obesity

The fundamental idea behind the paleo diet is to fight obesity. Fast food is notorious for causing unhealthy lifestyles, chronic diseases, and early deaths.

The paleo diet is therefore set in motion to help people adapt to a healthier way of living. Since not everyone can hit the gym regularly, individuals might as well adhere to a diet plan that can result in attaining good health.

The diet plan consists of fruits, vegetables, red meat, white meat, seeds, and nuts. Under the fruit sections, all varieties of berries are widely consumed, whereas fishes are at the top of the list under the white meat category.

The paleo diet abstains from are all kinds of processed foods, artificial flavors, additives, grains, legumes, and vegetable oils.

The strict diet regime in the paleo diet thus plays an essential role in preventing people from getting obese. However, if you wish to lose weight on a paleo diet, you may want to understand what many critics say about the red meat intake.

The Red Meat Controversy

Some paleo diet experts cited that red meat has a nutritional value such as vitamin B3, vitamin B12, protein, and iron.

They do not pose any ill-health effect if these red meats are grass-fed and eaten in the correct quantity, keeping in mind the body’s demand for protein consumption.

On the contrary, critics of the paleo diet believe that this form of diet encourages a high consumption of red meat.

They are of the notion that grass-fed meat is not always easily accessible in the traditional markets.

Thus, to stick to a paleo diet is to make compromises and consume factory-grown meat, which is high in saturated fats and can lead to cardiovascular diseases and kidney problems in the long run.

The critics further cited that since the paleo diet mirrors a caveman’s diet, red meat is not eaten in a balanced quantity as they advocate for.

Can You Lose Weight on a Paleo Diet?

Is The Paleo Diet Only a Myth?

The paleolithic age was the age of a hunting and gathering economy. Wild meat is a staple food which is consumed on an everyday basis. Up until this point, the paleo diet is understood (1).

However, even the paleolithic cavemen evolved and started farming. With farming, they began consuming grains and legumes. This era came to be known as the neolithic era.

The question is, why does the paleo diet not include grains? Our ancestors consumed grains yet remained just as healthy as ever.

Another controversy around the paleo diet is that the diet stopped in the paleolithic era while the world continued to evolve.

This created confusion among many people, and they wondered if a static diet plan such as the paleo diet could contribute much to combating new problems.

Does It Work?

As mentioned earlier, the paleolithic diet can contribute to the prevention of increased obesity. However, the chances of a person losing weight by following the paleo diet plan are minimal. Only people with a powerful conscience and determination are likely to succeed.

The sad truth is, no one can resist a bar of chocolate or a slice of pizza. The list can go on. Avoiding sugar and dairy products is a wise choice to make. But to avoid them for a reasonable period will only cause a person to consume more once their paleo diet plan is up. Human psychology works this way.

The Paleo diet is expensive and can prove inconvenient at those times when you have to be at a party or a gathering.

Since you will be cutting down sugar, your dopamine levels (also known as happy hormone) will decrease, causing you to go through a series of mood swings from time to time.  This will however, fade in time.

Final Thoughts

There are so many ways to lose weight. Yes, it is easier said than done. But every new technique is brought about to help individuals. The paleo diet is one such technique. Despite the many criticisms, this diet plan is indeed an exciting strategy to making the world a healthier place to live in.

But can you lose weight on a paleo diet? The answer is yes.

As long as you are invested mentally, physically and stay committed, you can be one among the few lucky people who can lose weight on this unique form of a diet plan.

End of the day, it is essential to keep in mind that staying fit is a choice, and whether you do it by following the paleo diet, vegan diet, or the keto diet, if you are determined and do it diligently, you will succeed.

Jason Shaw is an experienced bodybuilder, gym owner, nutritionist and content creator for many websites. He has competed at a high level and wants to bring that experience in muscle building, fitness and nutrition including supplements to our many readers, whether you're a skinny guy want to build muscle or a seasoned bodybuilder.

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