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Have you heard of the Paleo Diet? Well, I hadn’t until this time last year. My brother was visiting Berlin and when we went shopping for groceries that he told me that he was now eating like “a caveman”. That’s right, A CAVEMAN! He quickly explained to me that it was officially called the Paleo Diet. But what is exactly the Paleo Diet? What do you eat? And, most importantly, is it healthy and does it work to aid weight loss?

So, what is the Paleo Diet?

The concept is based on the idea that you will only eat the food that a caveman (or cave woman) would have eaten and nothing else (well, close to nothing else…). If the caveman  would have hunted or foraged for it, then it would be part of his diet. So fish, meat, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds would be on the menu. Bread, pasta and packages of processed food are a no go for the paleo! What’s more is that this diet does NOT encourage calorie counting or portion control and expects you to eat food that has a high fat content and be low in carbohydrates. The Paleo Diet, they claim, is an effort to go back to “eating how we’re biologically designed to eat”.

Paleo—the most googled diet of 2013

Healthy or not?

In its annual Best Diets Rankings, U.S. News and World Report assessed 35 different diets that people follow today based on input from a panel of health experts. The panel graded the different diets based on a number of factors including nutrition, safety, ease of adherence, weight-loss friendliness, and protectiveness against diabetes and heart disease. U.S. News and World Report  placed Weight Watchers at the top of the list whilst the Paleo Diet languished in position 35. They stated that the diet was “by far the least effective diet for weight loss of all those reviewed“. Damn!

But hold on! The diet steers you away from eating processed, convenience foods which means that you have to be proactive in the kitchen. You’ll need to start cooking quality fresh meat and vegetables which will in turn increase the amount of nutrients that most people lack in their current diet. The resulting decrease of salt and sugar and the increased consumption of vegetables, fruit and fibre surely is a good thing.

Exercise

Although I am not a big believer in diets, my brother has lost a lot of weight since embarking upon the Paleo trail. He has been following it religiously and not a bad word will be said about it by him.

I still think that simple maths is the solution to weight loss. Calories go in and activity burns calories, so exercising for 30 minutes 5 days a week while eating a balanced healthy diet will make lose weight and be healthier. Only then will we see less people literally buying into these diets.

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Does the Paleo Diet still sound interesting?

Want to try the Paleo Diet? Paleoleap is geared towards people who want to try it out and who just want to quickly know what they should and shouldn’t do. It also gives you the chance to download the Paleo 101 PDF.