Back in 2007 I published an article highlighting some of the strangest weight loss fads of the season. Among them was a diet I had proudly, if satirically, invented myself — The Woolly Mammoth Diet. (You can read the details of it here.) Little did I know I had almost invented what would become the extremely popular Paleo Diet several years later, pioneered by the world’s leading authority on Paleolithic diets, Dr. Loren Cordain. Basically, it is based on the high-protein diets of our hunter-and-gatherer ancestors and to which the human digestive system is genetically suited.
What first attracted me to Paleo was the number of foods you are actually allowed to eat. It’s easier to focus on what’s attainable, rather than restrictions and limits. Any kind of meat is allowed — including bacon! You can also eat as many fruits and vegetables as you like. Paleo focuses on keeping your carbohydrates low and proteins high, but unlike the Atkins Diet or the Ketogenic Diet, it doesn’t require you to cut fruit and vegetable carbohydrates/sugars to the point where you are cranky and lethargic all the time. In fact, not only have I lost a total of 18 pounds in two and a half months, but I have more energy than I’ve had in years.
The second attraction that drew me to Paleo is that this way of eating doesn’t have to be a “diet” or “weight loss fad.” It can be a lifestyle choice. My husband is on this journey with me and we have thrown out refined sugars, grains, breads, processed foods, and carb-loaded snacks without one regret. He’s even lost 20 pounds on his own!
I won’t enumerate here all the “do’s and don’ts” and food recommendations of the Paleo Diet. There are many great websites which go into detail on that subject, and which can be found by a simple search. By following the guidelines, I’ve managed to lose weight despite not having a great deal of time to exercise. However, since my energy level has increased so dramatically, I find myself beginning to fit in workouts during “down time” which previously would have been spent vegging out in front of the TV.
To anyone looking for a permanent weight loss solution, I would strongly advise you to look into the Paleo Lifestyle. You can find healthy and delicious recipes in the many books and blogs that have emerged with the popularity of this diet. We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t diet; make lifestyle choices.” With Paleo, it’s perfectly do-able.