The Paleo Lifestyle

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Filed under Exercise

This is a guest post from Lisa Shoreland.Β  Enjoy πŸ™‚

Confused about the best way to lose weight and attain optimal fitness? According to some, our ancestors figured out the answer to that question 10,000 years ago. The Paleo Diet – also known as the Caveman Diet and the Primal Blueprint – emphasizes a diet natural to our Paleolithic ancestors before food was manipulated by agriculture and modern processing. The diet – paired with high intensity interval training – promises to help you lose weight, look younger, feel more energized, and lower your chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions.

How Does it Work?

The Paleo diet emphasizes a high-fat, low-carbohydrate eating plan. But this diet goes far beyond Atkins. It’s actually much stricter. You won’t be limited to eating meat, but you also won’t be allowed to have the limited amounts of grains allowed once you reach the maintenance phase in Atkins. Under the Paleo plan, only foods that would have been readily available to our ancestors are allowed: That means processed meats and soy are out, but free-range beef and poultry are in, and wild game such as bison is even better. All varieties of vegetables are permissible, but fruits are limited to low-sugar varieties such as berries. Grains and starches are never allowed on the diet.

Grains and starches are outlawed because of their influence on insulin levels in the body, which regulate blood sugar and contribute to fat storage or usage. The Paleo diet emphasizes getting the carbohydrates and fiber needed from fruits and vegetables, which have a lower impact on insulin levels.

Healthy fats from plant sources are emphasized, such as from avocados and coconuts. Manufactured oils, even olive oil, are discouraged.

Exercise and the Paleo Diet

Continuing to use our ancient ancestors as their guide, proponents of the Paleo plan argue that we should in engage in steady low-level activity – such as walking, biking, or swimming – in order to build muscle, strengthen blood capillaries for increased oxygen and blood flow, and to train the body to more readily use fat for energy. Shorter bursts of intense exercise – such as heavy weight lifting and sprinting – are encouraged as a way to promote production of human-growth hormone (HGH), increase muscle strength and power, build bone density, increase insulin sensitivity, and use stored fat for energy.

The Crossfit training program is closely linked with a Paleo diet plan, as the Crossfit program emphasizes a combination of weight lifting, sprinting, and gymnastics. The workout focuses on intense exercise in a short amount of time – typically less than a half an hour.

Shifting of the Paradigm

The Paleo diet and the Crossfit program reverse all the traditional thinking about how to attain weight loss and improve overall health and fitness. Instead of a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet and an emphasis on long cardio sessions, the program emphasizes exactly the opposite. Yet those who follow the plan say that they have achieved rapid weight loss – as much as 5 pounds per week – and have seen a significant improvement in their fitness levels, energy, and overall health. The diet may be too strict for some to follow – and would be almost impossible for vegetarians to follow as dairy is discouraged and soy is on the cut list – and it may be hard to adjust to socially. However, those who can stick with it are sure to see fast results.

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Bio: Lisa Shoreland is currently a resident blogger at Go College, where recently she’s been researching consolidating student loans as well as direct student loans. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing, practicing martial arts, and taking weekend trips.

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  • http://paleoaholic.com/ paleo

    “So, what is the paleo diet?” “Paleo” is short for paleolithic, and it refers to diet of the cavemen living during the paleolithic era. These early humans were hunter-gatherers, and their diets were limited to what could be killed or collected, things like meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and eggs.

  • http://paleoaholic.com/ paleo

    Whenever I tell someone that I’m a paleo dieter, nine times out of ten, I’m met with a blank stare. Those two words tend to mean next to nothing for most people. In all honesty, the diet idea has been around for literally thousands of years, but it’s only in the last couple that it’s really been examined and implemented, and that paleo cookbooks and paleo reference books have begun to appear on bookstore shelves.

  • http://www.paleoaholic.com/ cavewoman diet

    The basic natural foods make up the Paleo Diet. The dietary plan is dependent on meals created by foods that are not chemically processed. Fatty meals with chemical preservatives should not be consumed. The Paleo diet is not a fad or some creative diet plan. It’s a matter of returning to the fundamental meals that the human body intend to eat. This kind of dietary plan allows the dieters to get the best health as well as strengthen the defense mechanisms.