In 2013, the buzzword for people trying to lose weight was "paleo." The Paleo Diet was the most searched for diet on the web in the first week of January of that year. And, like most fads, it appears to have quietly slipped away into the night to be replaced by newer fads with equally short life spans.
But even though the Paleo Diet may not be hogging the spotlight anymore, it is still going strong as many people embrace the "Caveman Lifestyle." We'll take a closer look at what the Paleo Diet is and how it works in the next chapter. Before we get there, I'd like to take a moment to remind you that paleo is not for everyone.
There is no one diet that is perfect for every single person on the planet. If, after reading this book, you decide that the Paleo Diet may not work for you, that's okay. Many people have had wonderful results by eating paleo. Other people have had equally great results from different diets. It's all about finding what works for you.
The Paleo Diet does have two big advantages that make it easy to follow. The first is that you don't have to count calories or keep a strict schedule. Whenever you get hungry, you eat until you feel full. The secret is that you are eating nutrient-dense foods that fill you up fast and make it almost impossible to overeat. At least, you are if you're not cheating. And that's the second advantage of the Paleo Diet.
There is no cheating. There is no strict list that tells you eat all of this and none of that. Yes, you should cut down on grains, but if you want to split a pizza with the gang, it won't kill you. The trick is to make a conscience decision to go off-Paleo for one meal, or even one day. For example, if you go to a party knowing that it's going to be really hard to stick to your diet there, decide beforehand that you're going to eat what you want tonight and get back on track tomorrow. Making that choice ahead of time keeps you in control. If you go to that party determined to stick to your diet and then break down and eat half a cake, you've lost control. And that makes it much harder to return to your good eating habits the next day.
The Paleo Diet is as much as philosophy as it is an eating plan. So before we get to the nitty-gritty details of the paleo food list, let's take a look at the theory behind it.