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Wellness

Why The Best Diet Is Not A Diet

We might eat “the best” diet, but it isn’t necessarily the best diet for optimal health. The Paleo way (the Atkins way, for example) has some serious flaws (read our post on the Paleo diet for more details)–they focus on what you eat, not what you should eat. That may be OK for those who are very lean, or lean while not eating enough food, but for people striving for a healthy weight, it’s just too little, too late.

The Paleo way (the Atkins way, for example) has some serious flaws (or as this article puts it, “A Pervasive Mess”), to say the least. It focuses on what you eat, not what you should eat. That may be OK for those who are very lean, or lean while not eating enough food, but for people striving for a healthy weight , it’s just too little, too late. And you don’t know what’s missing in the diet until you’ve stopped the diet. That doesn’t really allow anyone to determine whether the diet will actually lead to long-term weight loss or not (or, what your baseline “ideal” weight might be if you’ve been eating like this). All you know is, if you don’t eat more foods that are good for the body than the diet allows (in any way shape or form) then you will probably lose weight and that weight goes right back to where it started. And even more so, eating only “good” foods will mean that you probably have more problems getting and maintaining a healthy weight and you have to eat “the wrong stuff” (to use another example from the article) with the resulting health problems. On top of that, Paleo is a bit much in its emphasis on avoiding refined grains and eating more natural foods and more fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, etc.

The Paleo way (the Atkins way, for example) has some serious flaws (or as this article puts it, “A Pervasive Mess”), to say the least. It focuses on what you eat, not what you should eat. That may be OK for those who are very lean, or lean while not eating enough food, but for people striving for a healthy weight , it’s just too little, too late. And you don’t know what’s missing in the diet until you’ve stopped the diet. That doesn’t really allow anyone to determine whether the diet will actually lead to long-term weight loss or not (or, what your baseline “ideal” weight might be if you’ve been eating like this). All you know is, if you don’t eat more foods that are good for the body than the diet allows (in any way shape or form) then you will probably lose weight and that weight goes right back to where it started. And even more so, eating only “good” foods will mean that you probably have more problems getting and maintaining a healthy weight and you have to eat “the wrong stuff” (to use another example from the article) with the resulting health problems. On top of that, Paleo is a bit much in its emphasis on avoiding refined grains and eating more natural foods and more fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, etc. 

You can eat real Paleo foods as an occasional treat, as a treat to yourself on a special occasion (e.g. vacation to exotic locations with little to no convenience store), or as a treat to a group of friends on a special occasion (e.g. get together to celebrate a big event, like birthdays, special events, anniversary, holidays, etc. with the family).

You can do the Paleosphere Challenge . It gives you more bang for your buck in terms of health and weight.

Or as one Paleo advocate put it:

 The Paleo way (i.e. eating like an animal) sucks. If you have a problem with that, you are probably being a bit extreme. You might be able to live with an intermediate diet (e.g. eating a fair amount of meat from a few animals over the course of a week). Or you could try for the ‘perfect’ diet–and be a success. I suspect your chances of actually losing weight and getting into a BMI zone that makes it worthwhile for a trainer to work with would be close to zero. On the other hand, that probably also gives you a bit of a self-esteem boost. It’s pretty cool to say all those times you’ve eaten only the best Paleo food and you’re still getting smaller and leaner.