If you feel like you are constantly low on energy, would like to lose fat, gain muscle, tone up or tired of yo-yo dieting, you might benefit from this post.
What is Paleo diet?
Paleo is short for Paleolithic. Paleo diet usually refers to hunters and gatherers or cavemen diet. The basis of Paleo diet is to eat what you are genetically designed to. Basically, imagine what hunters and gatherers would eat, before our agricultural revolution.
The First Principal of Paleo diet
Generally, this diet consists of low carb, moderate protein and high fat caloric contents.
Why is this a good thing? Well, eating more fat doesn’t make you fat. In fact, being on a low-carb diet will shift your body metabolism to run on ketone instead of glucose. (In another word, running on fat instead of sugar). What this means is that
- you have turned your body into a fat burning machine.
- fat becomes a more readily form of fuels for your body, instead of sugar. That means your energy level will not depend on blood sugar level– no high or low sugar crash.
- less likely to become insulin resistance. One of the world’s most widespread epidemics is type II diabetes, which, in most cases, is a result of insulin resistance.
Benefits of running on ketone, among others are
- reduce inflammation
- avoid insulin resistance
- do not crash from sugar low or high
- heart operates 25% more efficiently on ketone.
- muscle mass deplete slower or accumulate faster
(1)-(3) are directly a result of having high blood sugar level. 4-5 are benefits from running on ketone. Glucose is necessary for some body functions but most of them can be replaced by ketone. For those that glucose is indispensable, vegetables and fruits is a sufficient source. (For more on mechanics of metabolism and ketosis, check out this post.)
The Second Principal of Paleo Diet
How much protein or fat exactly? I don’t count calories (neither should you!) so I don’t know how much exactly. I just eat until I feel good. ;P Don’t worry, your body makes it very hard to overeat protein. Our livers can only process certain amount of protein per day, so there are natural mechanism to prevent us from eating too much protein. There are receptors in our mouth and stomach that are activated by only protein and fat to send signal to our brain that we are full. As a result, eating protein and fat will make us feel satiated– SATIATED, not just full! Unlike protein and fat, carbohydrates do not activate those receptors. Usually we feel full from eating carbohydrates from the stomach-filling sensation, and the familiar satisfaction from high blood sugar level.
Eating Paleo diet will change your body metabolism entirely, but this process takes time. Usually, people who just change to low carb diet will feel fatigue and crave sugar. It will take about two weeks for your body to adjust. For me, it was the best thing ever to not be sugar-dependent. I do not get hungry as often and eventually lost the resistant belly fat! Not to mention, no more cavities. ;D For those who are interested in making the change, I find this website an invaluable source.
QuoteBody not stiff, mind stiff -- Sri K Pattabhi Jois
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