Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chasing Their Food For Better Health And Weight Loss

 A couple of days ago, I read an article in the Star News (Wilmington, NC) written by Mike Voorheis about a local couple who had adopted the Paleo Diet as a method for healthy living.  Tammy Jackson and Will Poole were looking for a lifestyle change to help Will battle Type 1 Diabetes rather than a weight loss solution.  But along the way, Will managed to not only reduce his insulin use by 60 to 70 percent, but he also dropped 32 pounds.

So what exactly is the Paleo Diet? The name conjures up all kinds of prehistoric visions and running from dinosaurs would surely burn off some calories, but where does the food aspect fit in, other than T-Rex getting fed by slow moving cavemen? 

Interestingly enough, the diet focuses on eliminating processed foods (not available in the Paleo era) and focusing on modern versions of the very things early man would have had available to him.  In theory, foods that he would have to chase down or gather.

Examples Of Items That Are Permitted:
Rabbit And Goat Meat
Lean Beef, Poultry And Pork
Various Games Meats Including Turkey
Fish, Seafood, And Shellfish
Fruits And Most Vegetables
Nuts And Seeds

Examples Of Foods That Are Not Allowed:
Processed Dairy Products
Cereal Grains Including Rice, Rye, Corn And Barley
Legumes Including Peanuts And Peas
Food With Salt Such As Deli Meats, Bacon, Olives, Sausage
Fatty Meats
Soft Drinks

In the case of Tammy and Will, they modified the plan to better fit their lifestyle and have included more meats, vegetables, and nuts. But even with those changes, they have still seen the benefits of their new focus on eating with Tammy losing weight as well - 20 pounds in three months!  (An interesting plus that she noticed is reduced muscle soreness after intense physical activity.)

Of course there are plenty of nay-sayers in regards to the Paleo Diet.  For example US News And World Reports ranked it as number 24 in a study of 24 diets.  And some Nutritionists frown on the lack of grain and diary.  But overall, the diet has merit as a baseline plan for modifying eating habits for the long run. 

I give Tammy and Will FIVE STARS for searching out a dieting concept that they are committed to for the long run, rather than some kind of icky unsustainable plan that promised quick results.  If they stick with it (along with regular physical activity), they should have no problem maintaining their weight loss for the long term.

Remember, dieting is a waste of time because it has a beginning and an end (I lost 70 pounds without one.)  Diets, however, when adopted for the long run (as in forever) have merit if they provide you with foods that you like, prepared in healthy ways such that your body receives the necessary ingredients to keep it strong and energetic.

As a side note, I used the guidelines from the American Heart Association to help me focus on better eating. But at no point did I engage in eating habits that I couldn't sustain forever!!!!!

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