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Many nutritionists and medical experts have conflicting opinions on the popular Paleo diet, especially when it comes to promoting weight loss.
Supporters of the diet maintain that the Paleo diet for weight loss is beneficial because it is high in protein which increases a person’s metabolism and helps reduce hunger. As a low-glycemic index diet, it also helps maintain blood sugar and insulin levels, which prevents food cravings and overeating.
It also eliminates high carb foods, processed foods, and foods added sugars from the diet. All of these foods contain a lot of calories, so the diet promotes weight loss by reducing the number of calories people consume.
Many people have posted success stories on the internet showcasing their weight loss results since they started the Paleo diet. They also claimed that their overall health improved after they followed a Paleo lifestyle.
However, opponents of the diet argue that the Paleo diet may be harmful because it is restrictive. Plus, the diet’s lack of dairy can lead to calcium and vitamin D deficiencies. It also may not lead to sustained weight loss because it is expensive and difficult to follow over a long period of time.
Opinion in favor of following the Paleo diet for weight loss:
Supporters of the Paleo diet for weight loss believe that the diet helps people lose weight easily. This is because it is high in protein which increases a person’s metabolism and helps reduce hunger.
Furthermore, as a low-glycemic index diet, it is lower in carbohydrates than other diets. According to Dr. Loren Cordain, the founder of the Paleo diet, “The high protein of the Paleo Diet is the key to many of its weight-loss benefits. Protein helps you lose weight faster by boosting your metabolism while simultaneously blunting your hunger.”
Supporters of the diet also believe it promotes weight loss by removing foods that are high in calories. It eliminates artificial sugar sources and processed foods from the diet, which are highly calorific, thus reducing a person’s calorie intake and promoting weight loss.
In addition, many people who have tried the diet posted success stories on the internet showcasing their weight loss results. They have also felt their overall health improve after trying the Paleo diet.
Dr. Cordain acknowledges that the diet might be difficult to follow, that is why he created three levels of the Paleo diet for weight loss. Level I allows 3 open or cheat meals per week. Level II is a bit stricter and allows for 2 open meals per week. If people want to lose a lot of weight, they should try Level III which only allows for 1 open meal per week.
Opinion against following the Paleo diet for weight loss:
Opponents of the Paleo diet for obesity or weight loss believe that the diet can help people lose weight. However, they argue that the Paleo diet is just like any other diet. It promotes weight loss because it restricts the number of calories people consume. In other words, it is not a special diet or lifestyle, it is just another healthy “calorie restriction” diet.
Furthermore, many doctors maintain that the elimination of cereal grains and legumes from the diet is unhealthy. They point out that some types of cereal grains help people lose weight contrary to what the Paleo diet supporters claim.
In the 2008 study “Cereal grains, legumes, and weight management: a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence,” researchers found that the consumption of whole cereal grains was beneficial for weight loss and resulted in a “lower body mass index, waist circumference, and reduced risk of being overweight.”
And, although there have been studies conducted on the Paleo diet for obesity and weight loss, researchers call for more randomized controlled studies on the Paleo diet for obesity and weight loss. That way, scientists can examine whether or not the Paleo diet is effective compared to other weight-loss diets.
In addition, because the diet restricts certain food groups like dairy, opponents of the Paleo diet for weight loss maintain that it is harmful because it can cause calcium and vitamin D deficiencies. These deficiencies may negatively impact bone health.
Nevertheless, if people monitor their vitamin and mineral levels, opponents of the Paleo diet for weight loss concede that the diet may be beneficial for overall health because it encourages healthy eating habits, such as eating organic fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed meats, high sugar foods, and refined carbohydrates. However, some do have concerns about the high amount of proteins incorporated in this diet and believe that the diet is very hard to maintain.