caveman eats bone

The Misperception of the Paleo diet

Do people cringe when they hear the word “paleo” and automatically shut down? The word ‘paleo” has been gaining some negativity within, and out of the real food community. Many big media outlets have sensationalized that paleo is a fad diet and that paleo will not last. People imagine a caveman chomping on a raw piece meat, or that it is a very restrictive diet, and cuts out a “major food group”. People think all we do is eat bacon and crossfit. People think it involves a dogmatic set of rules that you must follow. People in the paleo community are tired of being pigeon holed with this one word, and the negative connotations associated with it. These misconceptions regarding paleo only spread false information and lead people to be misinformed regarding this lifestyle. It is frustrating to hear, and we want to dismiss these accusations, and explain to you why paleo is not at all the newest fad.

Is the Paleo Lifestyle Fad?

fad-dietThe word paleo may expire as newer words such as “real food” and “ancestral health” gain popularity. However, the paleo template, this way of eating, it will not expire, and here is why:

You see, fad diets are diets short term fix diets. Usually people are just looking to lose weight quickly, and feel better about their physical appearance. They are often associated with “yo-yo” dieting, because once the individual stops severely restricting calories, they usually gain the weight back plus more. The severe restrictions actually teach the body to store the extra weight, or put the body into “starvation mode.” Usually fad diets not only severely restrict calories, but also involve eating excess of one particular kind of food, while avoiding all others. Like the “grapefruit diet” for example. People tend to obsess over what they are consuming, and usually these diets are for short periods of time because they are just not sustainable or healthy. In fact, these diets are notorious for being unhealthy. Quite the opposite of the paleo diet.

Most of these “fad” diets promise extreme and fast weight loss. Many involve the consumption of shakes as replacements for meals. These shakes are often made with questionable ingredients that can actually hurt the body. Others involve “cleanses” where you starve the body and “detox” the liver. However, the liver actually detoxes itself. The body can be quite efficient at detoxing itself, when given the right foods. These quick fix fad diets are not sustainable for your health. These are short term fixes, that can cause much more harm than good. These diets are not healthy for the mind or the body. They can lead to digestive issues, and contribute to autoimmune processes. These diets can lead to obsessive eating habits, and poor nutrition. Again, quite the opposite of the paleo diet.

The Paleo Diet is backed by Science not theory!

The paleo diet template, no matter what term you use to call it (real food, ancestral health, primal, Weston Price) is based on science and is helping people to heal at a foundational level. Guess what? It’s not going away anytime soon! It mimics the types of foods our early ancestors would have consumed, but based in a modern world. We aren’t hiding out in caves chomping on raw meat. We understand times have changed, yet want to move away from processed foods that are making us feel terrible.

This way of eating is actually gaining momentum, as people recognize that consuming real food helps that feel better and look better, without starving! The goal of paleo is health, and nutrient density, vs getting skinny and nutrient deficiency. It’s a long-term way of eating, that takes away the obsessive components diets invoke. In fact, many recovering from eating disorders find that the paleo diet actually helped them to stop disordered thinking surrounding food, and turned their lives around. Therefore it is quite the opposite of a fad diet. The paleo diet does not promote or promise a quick weight loss fix. However, for many the weight effortlessly comes off and therefore people want to show off how it helped them. With paleo, weight loss is secondary to good health.

There are actually many paleo recipe books and blogs showing all the amazing nutrient dense dishes you can create, when you stick with unadulterated, unprocessed, real food. It’s unfortunate that people who don’t really understand this lifestyle call it “restrictive.” It’s anything but restrictive. You actually get to eat like a King or Queen! The varieties are endless, and meals are satiating. The word paleo may no longer be en vogue as new words gain popularity. However, this way of eating that encompasses paleo will not expire. So who really cares what it is called? It’s changing lives for the better. Let go of your misconceptions and give paleo a try. Cheers to good health!