Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Paleo Diet !

Ever hear about the Paleo Diet ?? I am sure you have developed an opinion around it already !!! Did you ever really dig into the premise of it enough to understand what it really consists of? I first off want to say that I will never suggest you to do a "diet". When people hear this term, you automatically assume it is some form of restriction, however I want you to start associating diet with lifestyle eating. This way it makes a healthy correlation between food, healthy living, and lifestyle changes.

So lets start off with what paleo is: Paleo, short for paleolithic, is an term use to describe dietary and fitness guidelines that are developed based on theories of human evolution or how our ancestors functioned. It also goes by names like Caveman Diet, Stone Age Diet, Evolutionary Fitness, Primal Blueprint, and Ancestral Health.

There are many variations of this way of living. People practicing the Paleo life agree on a few key principles:

-Eat foods that can be picked or hunted in nature
-Stick to foods that can be eaten raw
-Choose meat products from animals fed their natural food .
-Avoid sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and refined seed and vegetable oils as these are not available in nature, and only become available after heavy industrial processing.
-Avoid grains (particularly wheat), legumes (particularly soy), and starchy tubers (such as potatoes) as these foods cannot be eaten raw.
-Prefer grass-fed and grass-finished beef over grain-fed beef.
-Prefer pasture-raised poultry over conventionally raised poultry.
-Use natural fats like coconut oils, avocado oils, and olive oil.

By eating foods in the most natural state, your body will learn to love the taste of fresh, all natural, wholesome products. This will start to transform your body from the inside out. Your body can begin to repair and heal inflammation naturally and eating healthy foods has a significant impact on your weight. Here are some other great health benefits of eating primarily Paleo:

-Reduction of body fat percentage and increase in muscle mass with no change in exercise.
-Reduction of fasting blood glucose levels, in some cases allowing for the elimination of diabetes medication.
-Reduction in triglyceride levels and increase in HDL levels, in some cases allowing for the elimination of cholesterol medication.
-Reduction in blood pressure, in some cases allowing for the elimination of blood pressure medication.

As you know many of the above factors are directly correlated with chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and coronary heart disease.

The Paleo lifestyle is not just about how you eat, it's also about how you move. Paleo lifestyle raises your consciousness about what you put into your body, it may also draw attention to other aspects of your life, including your stress levels, how often you go outside, and how you choose to spend your free time.

Exercise improves your immune system, lowers your risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, and stroke, promotes heart health, and increases longevity, and even more importantly, it keeps your body strong. Exercise will strengthen your immune system functioning even as you age, so you can still enjoy your life as you get old but keeping you from developing chronic health issues.

Getting regular exercise also improves your quality of life by reducing stress, preventing depression, improving memory, and helping you sleep better. Of course, let’s not forget about the fact that exercise is a great tool to develop a good looking, lean and muscular body.

The Paleo lifestyle emphasizes natural movement preferably outside in nature as compared to being in a gym. When you think of natural movement think of things like manipulative (moving objects around), combative (self-defense), and locomotive (moving yourself from place to place). Along with natural movements you want to add in brief but intense strength training workouts, think HIIT WOD that I post everyday in exchange for extended sessions of steady-state cardio.

Chronic steady state cardio keeps you in a constant “fight or flight” mode. This increasing cortisol levels, inflammation, and damage to your cells from free radicals. On top of the increased stress from the exercise itself, the high-carb diet required to sustain chronic cardio harms your body in the long term by raising your insulin levels.

Along with working out Paleo exercise programs emphasis the importance of rest and recovery time. Your workouts should leave you strong and energized, not constantly sore and exhausted. Your exercise should never feel like a cruel form of torture you have to force yourself through. Fitness is important, but it should support your body, not dominate your life.Paleo exercise has the same basic goal: to improve your health by working with your body, not against it.

I hope this information might help you discover that living closer to the way our ancestors lived might increase our own lives. You never know until you try. What do you have to lose besides a few pounds, aches and pains and chronic illness ??

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