Let’s face it—losing weight can be hard. Really hard.
Perhaps you’ve been on a diet before, and perhaps you’ve even lost a significant amount of weight. But more often than not, that weight creeps back on, until suddenly you’re back to the weight you were at when you started dieting.
Sometimes, you end up weighing even more than you did before you went on a diet in the first place!
It’s enough to drive anyone crazy. But why is weight loss so difficult? And why do some diets work in the short term, but ultimately fail after months of hard work and dedication?
Is #Paleo the solution to effortless weight loss?
You probably know that we gain weight when we eat more calories than our bodies can use. But you might not know that this doesn’t need to be a huge excess. Eating just 10% more calories than we need on a daily basis would lead to significant weight gain over time. And that might only be a few bites extra at each meal, which would be hardly noticeable.
If it’s that easy to gain weight, why isn’t everyone overweight? And why is our population suddenly becoming heavier than we ever were in the past?
In the early 1960s only 10 percent of people in the U.S. were obese. Today, one-third of Americans are obese and another third are overweight. While many have argued that certain nutrients like carbs or fat are to blame, the simple truth is that we’re eating more than we were before.
The problem is that to lose body fat, we need to be in what’s called a “calorie deficit” for an extended period of time. This means that the number of calories entering our body (i.e. what we eat and drink) have to be lower than the calories being used by our body (i.e. general metabolism and physical activity).
Seems simple, right? Just “eat less and exercise more.”
Unfortunately, this advice rarely works because the brain has powerful mechanisms for overriding our efforts to lose weight. If you consciously reduce the number of calories you eat, your body responds by lowering your metabolism to match your reduced intake. So as you purposefully eat less calories, your body finds ways to use less calories. All while ramping up hormones that raise your appetite and drive you to eat more at every meal to regain the fat you’ve lost.
The holy grail of weight loss, then, is an approach that naturally and spontaneously leads to lower calorie intake. In other words, eating less without trying to eat less. Many diets promise this, but there’s only one diet I’ve seen that actually delivers over the long-term: the Paleo diet.
While my clinical experience is enough to convince me that a Paleo diet is the best choice for weight loss, (even a few minutes searching on Google will show you mountains of testimonials) there is credible scientific evidence to back up this claim.
Research shows that a Paleo diet is more satiating per calorie than both a Mediterranean diet and a low-fat diet. That means it’s more filling for the same number of calories compared to other popular diet methods. This is crucial for weight loss, since it helps you eat less without fighting hunger or counting calories. As I mentioned before, if you’re constantly fighting hunger, your brain will respond by reducing your metabolic rate and increasing your appetite.
And not one of these groups were told to reduce their food intake or to count calories.
Not only do you not have to count calories, you don’t have to purposely restrict fat or carbohydrates, though you’ll naturally eat fewer carbs, simply because Paleo eliminates the highly processed and refined carbs (like flour and sugar) that are such a big part of the Standard American Diet. But there’s no need to strictly avoid any particular macronutrient.
With a Paleo diet, you just eat delicious, nourishing whole foods—including foods you’ve been told to avoid, like red meat and eggs—and watch the pounds fall off. This explains why so many of my patients have lost 20, 30, even 60 pounds or more (I have patients that have lost upwards of 150 pounds!) on a Paleo diet without effort, even when they’ve tried and failed with numerous diets before.
Best of all, they’re not hungry, and they’re enjoying their food. After all, who wants to be on a diet that makes them miserable?