I’m sure if you’ve read about any sort of diets in the last several years, and which ones are most popular right now, you’ve stumbled across the Paelo diet. If you search for the word “paleo diet” online you will get more than 15 million results pages, nearly all giving out guides, articles, recipes or nutrition books. Why has this diet grown to be so popular and how does it work? What is this diet about and why have so many people taken it to heart? Let’s have a real look at how this diet works and what is advises for users.

What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo diet is more about changing your habits with a change in the way you associate with food. It’s not a set plan that a person has to follow, but instead a lifestyle change.  There’s no set or established “Paleo” diet method that everyone needs to follow.  There’s also not just a “guy” out there who developed this diet on his own. The Paleo diet was a culmination of significant research that was packaged into a usable format for individuals.

There are several tenets of this diet that can be summarized, however. When humans evolved, we only had a select foods available to us which helped us to survive and thrive. We also avoided foods that did not provide proper nutrition typically, as these would harm us. Through this “trial and error” process humanity was able to improve our circumstances and improve our ability to survive. For thousands of generations, we did not have access to food that was very high in carbohydrates. Most of what we had was lean meats, naturally scavenged fruits/vegetables and other things. Dairy and grains were never a part of our diet until farming materialized and was widely available some 5000 years ago. Eating these whole, unprocessed foods is claimed by this diet to allow people to lose weight and remain healthier, while also cutting your risk of disease.

But What is Science Saying About These Claims

Paleo Diet Plate
What Foods You can Eat on the Paleo Diet

Sugars and processed food removal certainly  makes sense, researchers have been advising avoiding these foods for nearly a decade as an abundance of research shows their harm. Yet, what about dairy and whole grains? The science is a bit mixed on this and this is really where people need to think about adding these in with some moderation. Certainly dairy has a lot of fats, and grain has a lot of carbohydrates. However, fat and carbs are not bad for you in any amount, just in excess. For this reason, dietitians and USDA guidelines do advise having some of these foods each day.

Many of the paleo studies which have been completed show some good support for the overall diet and its goals.  A recent study showed that on average people lose 15 pounds per month with just this change in diet (note: calorie controls are not part of this diet, so this is indeed fairly remarkable). The Paleo diet has been transformed int the Mediterranean diet as well, which is just a different name for the same overall program. The long term effects of the diet are not well understood as of yet, but they do appear to reduce waist size, improve glycemic controls, increase energy, and increase weight loss.

Does the Paleo Diet Actually Work?

This is probably the single most important question. Yes, the studies resoundingly point to the Paleo Diet providing extremely good weight loss results to users. The results of these studies indicate that this diet does provide a reduction in blood pressure, blood sugar and some of the indications of early heart disease. In spite of these exceptional results, there is still much more than needs to be studied before doctors should be widely recommending this. The long-term impact of this diet still remains a bit unclear, though there should not be any harm from simply eating these more natural foods (after all, vegan diets have been shown in numerous studies to be extremely healthy).

While you may not experience the huge gains and benefits touted by many proponents of this diet, it certainly has a lot of potential benefits and the weight loss results are undeniable. It is a lifestyle change, which are historically the most difficult diets to stick to over a long period of time. Still, if you do manage to stick with it well, you can expect about half a pound of day of weight loss, without needing to starve yourself. While not the best diet in the world, it’s perhaps one of the more easy ones to adopt successfully.


All Natural Dieting

Recent research has committed a great deal of effort to the goal of providing a natural and effective weight loss solution, that can actually work and result in rapid weight loss among users.  However, only in a handful of instances have they found anything that truly offered progress.  A recent study examining one of the more popular methods, green tea, actually showed that the making of an extract from this resulted in significant weight loss, even without exercise, among mice.  According to Penn State researchers, sharp reductions in body fat as well as overall improvements of health were seen in mice, which they forsee as likely in human patients as well.

After 16 weeks of regular administration of green tea extracts to mice, a high-fat group which exercised regularly showed a huge body mass reduction, around 27 %, with abdominal fat reduced by 37 %.  This is a tremendous result, and has never been seen in any other lab trials, except for the HCG diet.  Without the exercise regimen, mice lost on average 17 % of their abdominal fat, with a high fat diet.  Clearly something is going on with green tea extract that researchers did not initially expect to occur.

What was the most significant in this study is that if a person wishes to lose weight, a conjunction therapy of green tea extracts along with moderate exercise results in far superior weight loss than traditional diets or exercise.  The reasons for this appear to be related to the rate in which fat is metabolized with green tea ingestion.  This means that people can really take control of their weight loss, and dictate their progress.  This is a very unique aspect of this diet, one that goes far beyond what most diets offer.  Like the HCG diet, using green tea appears to be a conjunctive therapy for obesity, that causes massive weight loss far beyond traditional methods when used along with a proper diet or exercise program.

It should be noted this study tested decaffeinated green tea, which is important as most people would likely attribute the weight loss and metabolism boost to caffeine (though that would be a far lower level).

What Actually Causes this Weight Loss To Occur?

Spoon of Green Tea Extract
Spoon of Green Tea Extract

There are a group of risk factors known as “metabolic syndrome” which calculates associated risks related to waist size, triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol levels, blood pressure, etc.  These increase your risk of heart disease along with many other major health problems, including diabetes.  Additional research examined the use of green tea to help people realize large benefits in these areas, with promising results as well.  The extract in this study, is far too much for a normal person to take via liquid green tea.  It’s equivalent to around 6 to 10 cups per day.  This is a lot, and not really possible for most people to do solo.  However, extracts were found to result in the exact same outcome, which is a unique consequence and a much simpler method for patients to use.

Tea is naturally rich in a compound called catechins, which are a type of polyphenols (natural antioxidants).  There’s been many studies on humans and other mammals which show the huge impact that polyphenols and catechins can have on weight loss and obesity control.  A recent meta analysis study looked at many different trials using green tea and found on average people lost 1.31 kg per month without any change in diet or exercise.  That’s a surprising result, for just a simple addition to our daily routine.

The most effective way to deal with obesity may be a lifestyle change, but these are incredibly hard to commit to over a long period, as Lambert notes (a noted researcher at the Obesity Center in Montreal).  Exercise and green tea had much greater impact than doing either alone, indicating better outcomes, lower blood glucose levels, and better insulin control.  There’s a combination effect occurring in these studies suggesting that green tea actually improves the body’s ability to use stored energy from fat.

For the average “joe” green-tea drinking or through an extract can have a profound effect on weight loss, and obesity control in humans.  There’s volumes of researcher so far indicating as much.  The question remains if we’re all willing to commit to it, along with moderate exercise, to see these great results.

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