Paleo diets are very popular and many CrossFit boxes support Paleo for weight loss, however, not everyone is losing weight on Paleo.
Focusing on any diet, whether Paleo or other, can result in weight loss in the short-term when combined with exercise. Comparing a Paleo diet to the typical American diet of pizza, burgers, fries, alcohol, refined carbohydrates, and sweets, Paleo is definitely a step up. However, not everyone is finding success.
With a heavy emphasis on meat, many people miss the largest part of the Paleo diet which is plants, in particular, vegetables. Paleo diets also contain fish and seeds and nuts. Now, with an abundance of grab and go snacks labeled “Paleo,” most of them nut-based, it has made Paleo convenient, but calorically dense and high in fat.
Further, the Paleo diet did not go unchanged during its existence. Fire appears to have been used for cooking foods beginning in the mid- to late- Paleolithic Period. This dramatically impacted the food that people consumed and the nutrients available from all foods, including whole grains and plant protein foods, yet for some reason, these foods are omitted from the Paleo diet.
Over reliance on a restricted variety of foods and elimination of whole grains and plant proteins, can also lead to inadequate intake of nutrients and poor fueling for the high intensity metabolic conditioning integral to CrossFit. Scientific evidence supports an overall eating pattern with nutrient dense fresh, whole foods, such as, vegetables, fish, lean meat, fruits, nuts, as well as, whole grains, beans, peas, lentils, and low-fat dairy.
So, if you have tried Paleo and found that you are not losing weight on it, feeling tired and not getting the most out of your WODs, or unable to sustain the Paleo diet approach, please join us for the BIG nutrition challenge, October 9-November 19. The kick-off meeting is October 1, 2016, starting at approximately 12:30-1:00 pm at BIG.
Happy and healthful eating,
Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN