What Is the Paleo Diet?
The paleo diet promotes eating whole, unprocessed animal and plant foods like meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts.
It avoids processed foods, sugar, dairy and grains, although some alternative versions of the paleo diet do allow options like dairy and rice.
Unlike most diets, a paleo diet does not involve counting calories. Instead, it restricts the above food groups, all of which are major sources of calories in the modern diet.
Research shows that diets that emphasize whole foods are better for weight loss and overall health. They are more filling, have fewer calories and reduce the intake of processed foods, which are linked to many diseases.
5 Ways a Paleo Diet Can Help You Lose Weight
The paleo diet can help you lose weight in many ways.
Below are 5 of them.
1. High in Protein
Protein is the most important nutrient for weight loss.
It can increase your metabolism, reduce your appetite and control several hormones that regulate your weight.
Paleo diets encourage eating protein rich foods like lean meats, fish and eggs.
In fact, the average paleo diet provides between 25–35% calories from protein.
2. Low in Carbs
Reducing your carb intake is one of the best ways to lose weight.
Over 23 studies show that a low-carb diet is more effective than traditional, low-fat diets for weight loss.
Paleo diets reduce your carb intake by eliminating common sources of carbs like bread, rice and potatoes.
It’s important to note that carbs aren’t necessarily bad for you, but restricting your carb intake can lower your daily calorie intake and help you lose weight.
3. Reduces Calorie Intake
To lose weight, you generally need to reduce your calorie intake.
That’s why it’s important to choose foods that are filling, as they can fend off hunger and help you eat less.
If you struggle with hunger, then a paleo diet could be great for you, as it is incredibly filling.
In fact, studies have found that the paleo diet is more filling than other popular diets like the Mediterranean and diabetes diets.
Furthermore, studies have shown that a paleo diet could help you produce more hormones that keep you full after a meal, such as GLP-1, PYY and GIP, compared to diets based on traditional guidelines.
4. Eliminates Highly Processed Foods
The modern diet is a major reason why obesity is on the rise.
It encourages eating highly processed foods, which are packed with calories, low in nutrients and may increase your risk of many diseases.
In fact, many studies have found that the increase in consumption of highly processed foods mirrors the rise in obesity.
The paleo diet restricts highly processed foods, as they were not available during the Paleolithic time period.
Instead, it encourages eating lean sources of protein, fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy fats, which are lower in calories and rich in nutrients.
5. Eliminates Added Sugar
Like highly processed foods, eating too much added sugar can be detrimental to your weight loss efforts and health in general.
It adds calories to foods and is low in nutrients. Not to mention, high intakes of added sugar may increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
The paleo diet eliminates added sugar altogether and instead promotes natural sources of sugar from fresh fruits and vegetables.
Although fruits and vegetables have natural sugars, they also provide many essential nutrients like vitamins, fiber and water, all of which are beneficial for health.