The paleo diet is a very popular diet and consists of whole and unprocessed foods.
Many advocates believe the diet can reduce the risk of certain health issue, using the hunter-gathering theory as a pointer. However, many studies reveal that following a paleo diet can lead to a significant weight loss and improve overall health (1, 2, 3).
What Is the Paleo Diet?
The paleo diet is a diet that promotes eating whole, unprocessed plant and animal foods like fish, eggs, meat, vegetables, seeds, fruits, and nuts. The diet tends to avoid processed foods such as sugar, dairy, and grains. However, some alternative versions of the diet do allow options like dairy and rice
Most weight loss diet involves counting calories, but that is not the case with the paleo diet. Rather, the diet restricts the above food groups, all of which are rich in calorie.
Studies reveal that whole food diets are far better for weight loss and overall health. They tend to be more filling with few calories and also reduce the intake of processed foods which are linked to many chronic diseases (4, 5, 6).
Ways The Paleo Diet Can Help You Lose Weight
They are a number of ways in which a paleo diet can help you lose weight. We highlighted five of them below.
1. Paleo Diet Meals Are Low in Carbs
One of the best ways of losing weight is to reduce your carb intake (31 Low Carb Foods For You).
Also, a paleo diet reduces your carb intake by eliminating common carbohydrate sources like rice, bread, and potatoes.
It’s also important to note that carbs are not that bad for you, but limiting your daily carb intake can lower your daily calorie intake and help you lose weight more effectively.
2. High in Protein
One of the most important thing about the paleo diet is that it encourages eating protein-rich foods like eggs, fish, and meats.
It is worthy of note that the average paleo diet provides between 25-35% calories from protein alone.
3. Reduces Calorie Intake
For effective weight loss, you need to reduce your calorie intake.
That’s why it is recommended that you eat foods that are filling, as they tend to fend off hunger and reduce your appetite.
In addition, a 2015 study shows that a paleo diet has a dramatic impact on hormones that keep you full after a meal such as PYY, GLP-1 and GIP (15).
4. Eliminates Highly Processed Foods
High intake of highly processed foods is a major reason why there is an increase in metabolic diseases.
The modern diet encourages eating highly processed foods, which are low in nutrients, packed with calories and may increase your risk of many chronic diseases (16).
What the paleo diet does is that it restricts highly processed diets, as they were not available during the Paleolithic time period.
Rather, it encourages eating fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources and healthy fats which are rich in nutrients and low in calories.
5. Eliminates Added Sugar
Just like eating highly processed foods, consuming too much sugar can be detrimental to your general health as well as your weight loss effort.
The Paleo diet promotes the natural source of sugar from fresh fruit and vegetables while eliminating added sugar altogether.
Although fruits and vegetables have natural sugars, they are also rich in many essential nutrients like vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, all of which promotes overall health.
The Paleo Diet also Improves Other Aspects of Health
Not only is the paleo diet effective in weight loss, but it has also been linked to many other health benefits.
1. May Increase Insulin Sensitivity and Reduce Blood Sugar
Insulin sensitivity refers to how your body responds to insulin.
Increasing your insulin sensitivity ensures that your body is more effective at metabolizing sugar from your bloodstream.
2. May Reduce Belly Fat
Belly fat also known as visceral fat is unhealthy and increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and many other chronic health problems (23).
Studies reveal that the paleo diet is very potent at reducing visceral fat
3. May Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
With all the health benefits stated above, it is quite clear that the paleo diet can promote heart health.
Being a low salt diet it encourages healthy fats, lean protein source, fruits, and vegetables.
It’s no fluke that several studies have shown that the Paleo diet may reduce risk factors linked to heart disease.
4. May Reduce Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is harmful and increases the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart diseases (24).
The paleo diet encourages certain foods that help reduce chronic inflammation.
It promotes eating fresh vegetables and fruits which are a rich source of antioxidants.
Antioxidants help mops up free radicals in the body that damage cells during chronic inflammation.
Following a paleo diet meal plan can help you lose weight fast.
Being high in protein, low in carbs, it may reduce appetite and eliminate the tendency of consuming highly processed foods and added sugar.
However, the paleo diet may not be suitable for everyone.
For instance, those who have difficulty with food restriction may struggle to adapt.