Intrigued by the headline? You definitely should be. Personally, Paleo has restored my health from the inside out, and that’s coming from an ex-vegetarian. I didn’t eat meat for almost two years and I couldn't understand why I wasn’t feeling my best. I thought that was the ideal way to eat, right?
Wrong. Being a veg-head left me lethargic, bloated, moody, starving and depressed. Paleo has helped me in many ways, I’ve never felt better and people around me have noticed. Not only will changing lifestyles benefit you physically, but it will also improve your life mentally and emotionally as well. Here are five issues you may be facing that turning caveman (or woman) may help improve.
1. You're suffering from a constant illness.
Does the black cloud of obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression, PCOS, infertility, arthritis and hypertension hang over your head? I think most Americans are battling some type of chronic illness, or are in fear for their future. Paleo may help all of these conditions, and many more, because it addresses the root cause of each disease: inflammation.
Have you ever heard of leaky gut syndrome? Eliminating grains and dairy (specifically milk, casein and gluten) rids the body of any allergic reactions and heals your gut naturally. No allergies, you say? Try again. Most Americans have food sensitivities but ignore the signs and let it go untreated or medicate to cover this real issue. Both dairy and gluten cause inflammation, which can irritate the gut and promote disease. Ridding them from your diet will restore the overall balance in your belly and your body.
2. You can’t lose weight or get lean.
Excluding all dairy, grains, sugar, processed foods, legumes, other starches and most alcohol will lead to weight loss without even trying. It may sound like a lot of adjustment, and it might be at the beginning. But there's no calorie counting, no confusing system to follow and no weighing of food. It’s easy to follow and you can eat as much as you want — no restrictions, no suffering and no feelings of deprivation. Big sigh of relief!
3. You have insatiable hunger.
This is the main reason I knew I couldn’t justify being a vegetarian anymore. Since switching to Paleo, I don’t have crashes in between meals at all. My hunger used to lead to a roller coaster ride of over-eating and binging. But because of the incorporation of so many healthy fats, I am satiated all of the time. Fat is digested more slowly, so the energy you'll gain is maintained over a longer period of time. Your body will start burning fat for fuel, instead of glucose (also known as ketosis). Think of fat as the slow and steady “tortoise” winning the race, as opposed to carbohydrates and sugar, the “hare” that burns out very quickly. Adding avocado, coconut, ghee, organic grass fed meats and butter, nuts, seeds, and fish oil to your meals will make all the difference in the world.
4. You're addicted to sugar.
Sugar is a drug, and if we don’t make drastic changes it will cause many health issues in the long run. Even if we don’t think we're consuming a lot, we are. I would challenge you to read labels and see exactly what's hiding out in the processed foods you are consuming. Eating Paleo provides a sugar solution for life. It stabilizes your blood sugar levels and keeps cravings at bay by upping your intake of good fats.
5. You're trying to maximize your workouts
Most of those aware of Paleo know it goes hand in hand with the CrossFit community, and this is for good reason. Eating a clean, Paleo diet as often as possible will help get you to the next level of your workouts. You'll have sustained and balanced energy, burn off stored fat and see improvements so much faster than just exercising alone. Marrying Paleo with the proper exercise regimen will give you the results you want in half the time.
If you’re new to this concept, give yourself a trial period to see how eating Paleo feels. Thirty days is substantial and will truly show you the beneficial aspects this lifestyle has proven to be true. Check out what the Whole30 is all about and see if this is for you. It may get worse before it gets better (think detox stages), but I promise the benefits will definitely outweigh the risks in the long run. What will you find?