Whether you are a busy executive or a muscle seeker living by the reps and sets, diet determines your success in achieving your fitness goals. Paleolithic diet, the latest buzz word in the realm of diets reverts to the eating behavior of a caveman living, before the advent of agriculture. The idea of a Paleolithic diet can be traced to the work in the 1970s by gastroenterologist Walter Voegtlin. Later the idea was popularized by Loren Cordain in 2002 in his book The Paleo Diet.
WHAT IS A PALEO DIET
In an attempt to correct the modern day dietary excesses, a paleo diet goes back to a caveman’s dietary choices. In this diet, you eat foods as they look like in nature. In a paleo menu, you will find grass-fed meat, fish, organic eggs, nuts and fruits with a limited concession to oils. Healthy fats from nuts and seeds are included in paleo diet food list. Milk, grains, salt, legumes, processed foods, like cheese, cookies and cakes are out of bounds for someone on a paleolithic diet.
Eating out on a paleo diet requires a few intelligent tweaks. You should order a meat or fish-based main dish. Get extra vegetables instead of bread or rice. Request the restaurant to cook your food in extra-virgin olive oil.
Simple paleo snacks are baby carrots, hard-boiled egg, a bowl of berries, a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts.
BENEFITS OF PALEO DIET
A low-carb diet by design, paleo diet reduces weight, improves insulin sensitivity, digestion and provides a perfect balance of healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Since your food is closer to nature, you start feeling energetic and active on a paleo diet plan. The benefits of the early man’s diet for the busy executive and muscle building enthusiast are:
1.Stabilizes blood sugar. Since such a diet omits hi fructose corn syrup, table sugar, it can help in stabilizing your blood sugar level. As a result, unnecessary food cravings go down and your success rate increases in maintaining weight.
2. Lowers risk of chronic diseases. Moreover, limited intake of omega-6 fatty acids found primarily in cooking oils coupled with generous doses of nuts and fish reverses the omega-6 and omega-3 imbalance. Ideally, omega-3 and omega-6 should be taken in equal ratio. However, modern diet has skewed the ratio completely and it’s widely believed by many scientists that this shift in dietary intake of fats has led to many of the chronic diseases of ageing, like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and depression.
3. Enables weight loss and muscle gain. For someone who is insulin resistant, obese and struggling with weight loss, a paleo diet is invaluable. All he needs to do is to get in a calorie deficit mode, eat adequate protein, get roughly 100 grams of carbs from vegetables and whole fruit, and make up the rest of his calories from healthy fats. Since protein is difficult to digest nutrient, it keeps a weight loss aspirant sated for longer. Moreover, it keeps blood sugar stable and reduces cravings. Folks, who are on the anabolism trail, a protein-rich paleo diet provides enough amino acids for synthesis of muscles, along with a generous helping of good fats and complex carbohydrates, just the way nature intended.
CASE FOR PALEO-HYBRID DIET
Yet, like all things in life, it’s not all good with a strict Paleolithic diet, particularly for weight lifters. Since this diet allows carbs in restricted quantity, you may start to feel energy starved, This calls for going the Paleo-Hybrid route by introducing starchy vegetables and wholesome grains like brown rice and steel cut oats in the paleo diet. This will help eliminate the below-mentioned disadvantages of the strict Paleo diet and keep you energetic enough.
1. Fiber overload. If you train ferociously, your calorie requirement shoots up. If you’re aiming at 4000 plus calorie with 2000 coming from carbohydrates, where your dietary choices are restricted to fruits, you’ll morph in a walking balloon while attempting to fill in those calorie needs.
The middle path of the paleo-hybrid gives you the flexibility of choosing high-calorie fruits like banana and pineapple may help you deal with fiber overload.
2. Lesser bang in your workouts. The physiological state of someone who trains is different from a sedentary person. The muscle seeker in you knows that glycogen is the quick-burning fuel for that awesome workout. In the event of chronic carb depletion, your body is unable to replenish the glycogen reserve and begins to break down amino acids as reserve fuel to provide glucose during high-intensity training. This gives rise to a skinny-fat condition, whereby your muscles have been degraded to fuel your workouts.
Resorting to a paleo hybrid by incorporating wholesome carbs, like grains and oats is the only sensible option to spare the muscles and refuel their glycogen reserve. In case the inclusion of carbs is giving you guilt, say goodbye to it, as a recent report in the Quarterly Journal of Biology goes on to argue about the presence of carbs in a paleo diet 12000 years ago.
Be sensible and include starchy spuds like sweet potatoes and goodness of grains, like brown rice and old fashioned oats in your diet in sensible portions while on a paleo diet. Not only will it help break the monotony of meat, it will provide the much-needed energy for awesome workouts.