You’ve probably already heard of the Paleo diet. It’s become pretty popular, but if you haven’t, don’t worry! We’ll run you through the basics. Paleo comes from the idea that we should eat real, unprocessed food (like our Paleolithic ancestors!) while avoiding foods that are bad for us. When it’s done right, the Paleo diet has tons of health beneﬁts.
We want to make sure you are well informed to make healthy choices. Here’s what you need to know before making any changes to your diet.
The term “Paleo” is short for Paleolithic. Our Paleolithic ancestors didn’t suﬀer from the same chronic diseases and health issues that we do today, which probably has a lot to do with the food they ate. The Paleo diet is focused on eating real, whole foods that provide your body with the nutrients it needs, while avoiding processed and reﬁned foods.
Even though it’s called a “diet,” Paleo is not so much a diet as it is a lifestyle. The Paleo lifestyle aims to improve your overall health and well‐being while minimizing your intake of foods that hurt your body. Going Paleo is a constant learning process: you are always gaining new knowledge on the foods that support a healthy lifestyle.
The fact is, food these days has more calories and less nutritional value than the foods our ancestors ate. The Paleo diet helps you eliminate harmful foods and replaces them with delicious foods full of the things you need to keep your body healthy and happy!
Here at Start Fitness, we like to think that everyone has the power to live a happier, more fulﬁlling life. From the moment you wake up to when you fall asleep, everything you do has an impact on your mental and physical health. So, with that being said, what kind of mental and physical health beneﬁts can you expect to experience as a result of following a Paleo diet?
We’re not going to lie to you and tell you that transitioning to Paleo for the ﬁrst time isn’t a challenge — because it deﬁnitely is and hey if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you!
You may encounter social and family pressure to not change the way you eat. You may go through a ‘detox’ phase as you eliminate foods that your body and brain are likely addicted to.
But you CAN do it, and the results from changing your diet will make any challenges you face worth it.
Like we mentioned before, transitioning to Paleo isn’t always easy. You’re going to experience a few roadblocks in many forms. You’ll have cravings, you’ll initially feel a bit tired, and you’ll come across negative social pressure and/or criticism. It’s important to stay focused and realize these things as they happen during your ﬁrst 30 days.
While “Cheat Days” should be minimized, you should ﬁgure out what works best for your unique situation to keep you motivated and on course with eating Paleo. For example, If you struggle with food cravings or have an addictive personality, cheating all day can make it harder to get back on the wagon. One cheat day becomes a day and a half, then two. And it might not stop until you’ve fallen back into bad habits.
Paleo is more than just foods to eat and avoid — it also includes making sure that the products in our life, our home, and our environment, are the most natural & non‐toxic they can be. This includes skincare & cosmetic products, home cleaning products, shampoos, and more.
When you “go Paleo” you not only cut out all the toxic, processed foods that are making us sick, but you start eating real meals packed with nutrients. AGer your ﬁrst few weeks going Paleo, many experience weight loss, more energy than they have ever had before, and many other beneﬁts that come with eating real, nourishing food.
Here are some of the biggest beneﬁts you can expect by following a Paleo diet:
1. Squeaky‐Clean Eating
The Paleo Restart emphasizes clean eating, removing processed, unnatural foods and replacing them with whole ones. You won’t have to compromise ﬂavor for health—in fact, the more whole, nourishing foods you eat, the less you’ll crave the bad stuﬀ. This is not to say you can’t indulge, you’ll just do so with better‐for‐you options, like natural sweeteners low on the glycemic index, or higher‐quality dark chocolate.
2. Reduced Inﬂammation
Inﬂammation, caused by damage to the lining of your digestive system, can cause increased sensitivity in your immune system. This triggers allergies, asthma, and more. The Paleo diet eliminates four major inﬂammation culprits: dairy, gluten, sugar, and alcohol.
The Paleo diet calls for an increase in the intake of protein and healthy fats compared to the typical
Western diet, both of which promote satiety. Unlike other diets, you won’t end a meal feeling deprived, just satisﬁed.
4. A Healthier Gut
Your gut is your second brain: it houses the trillions of microbes, or gut ﬂora, that help digest food, synthesize vitamins, boost your immune system and regulate metabolism. By removing foods that irritate this system and restoring it with foods that promote its health, the Paleo diet can contribute to a healthier gut.
5. Better Sleep
With a holistic approach to health, going Paleo treats your mind, body, and soul. While your diet is important, so is your ﬁtness and self‐care. This includes adequate sleep hygiene. With a properly fueled body, you’ll be more inclined to sleep smarter.
6. Eat Amazing Food
Fajitas, stir-fries, tater tots and even cinnamon rolls—the Paleo community is full of enterprising kitchen dwellers, cooking up new Paleo‐friendly ideas all the time. If there’s anything to worry about on the Paleo diet, it’s not the quality of food.
7. More Nutritions
By eliminating ﬁller foods like grains and legumes (which themselves slow the absorption of nutrients due to the presence of phytates), you’ll incorporate more nutrient‐dense foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds into your meals.
8. Better Mental Health
A healthy, balanced diet can do tremendous things for your mental health and wellness. Better nutrition breeds more energy, mental clarity, and physical ﬁtness. Coupled with better sleep, self‐care, and regular exercise, the Paleo diet can help you to cultivate a healthy headspace.
9. Digital Detox
Living primal means channeling our ancestors who never had a smartphone, iPad or laptop. The Paleo lifestyle encourages disconnecting from the bustle of the digital world and taking some time for you.
10 Leaner Physique
The Paleo diet’s relatively high consumption of animal protein fuels muscle mass. Coupled with weight lifting, the diet can target underdeveloped muscles and fat, cultivating a leaner, muscle‐toned physique.
11. No Calorie Counting
Unlike other diets, the Paleo diet recognizes a person’s individuality—there’s no strict calorie‐in, calorie‐out ﬁgure that suits every individual, so why eat according to a metric? Rather than count calories, going Paleo encourages eating whole, natural foods until you’ve comfortably sated your
12. Fewer Toxins
Cutting out food additives, as the Paleo diet does, helps in reducing exposure to toxins. So does the increased consumption of antioxidant‐rich vegetables, fruits, and spices. Detoxiﬁcation boosts your immune system, promoting healing from within.
13. More Energy
The Paleo diet encourages eating to live, not living to eat. Generally, you’re eating foods that fuel your body rather than plummet your energy levels—think eggs with spinach, bacon, and salsa for breakfast, instead of a donut or pancake—leaving you with more energy to face the day.
14. Eco‐Friendly Living
The Paleo diet encourages organic, local and seasonal eating as much as possible—not only is it better for you but better for the environment and the farmers. As for meat, animals should be grass‐fed and pasture‐raised, giving the animal a better quality of life and your meat more ﬂavor.