I’ve written before about my own nutrition and how I mainly eat a Paleo based diet.
I say Paleo based because I don’t follow Paleo eating at all in the strict sense or all the time and I adjust it to suit my own needs.
Essentially Paleo is eating what cavemen ate so basing your diet on meats, veg, nuts and seeds. It’s high protein and fats and low in carbs and dairy free. I eat largely like this with some exceptions (I include potatoes and often some chocolate milk after my classes in the evening). This is largely because my job means I’m very active so it wouldn’t be sensible to stay low carb. I try and do this 4 days a week with three days where I eat freely (although often along the same lines just with the addition of some bread and maybe pasta or rice and some sweet treats). If there is a social occasion on one of the days I’d normally eat Paleo I just don’t do it for that period of the day / that meal. Some months I just keep a check on my calories because that’s how the mood takes me.
So if I’m not strict about it that begs the question why do I bother.
Quite simply it is a way of keeping myself within my calorie requirements that suits my lifestyle and reduces the need for me to count calories.
I know I eat more at the weekend. I’m not in the office and more likely to go out for food or get a takeaway and eat chocolate whilst I’m sat on the sofa etc. By slightly reducing my calorie intake Monday – Thursday whilst still filling up on lots of protein I leave myself room for three more calorie dense days. This happens without even thinking about what I’ve eaten and how many calories is in it.
My message here is Paleo is one method of eating – it can have many benefits (and equally some drawbacks depending on your activity levels and lifestyle) but whatever way you look at it, it is one way you can reach a calorie deficit. So if you lose weight with it this isn’t because of a magic combination of food just a general reduction in your calorie intake.
For me personally it’s still the best way of eating most of the time as it reduces how often I think about food and encourages me to eat more homemade and less shop bought. Sometimes the idea of banning certain foods (even though it’s just foods and not food groups and even though it’s only ever for a few days each week!) is bad for my mindset so I will have periods where I don’t follow this and just eat to a bog standard calorie deficit. Not getting hung up on what foods you do or don’t eat is more beneficial to your long term health than cutting out bread to feel less bloated will ever be.
So it might suit you, it may not, but the habits of eating less processed foods and getting enough protein whilst keeping in a calorie deficit are all positives however you chose to eat.