Benefits of a Paleo Lifestyle

No one likes going on a diet, yet somehow, we’re always doing it. Resolutions are constantly being made and broken. Weight is being lost and then gained back. A good day on a new diet often results in a sugar and carbohydrate binge the next day. There is something we are doing wrong, and diet gurus are getting rich off our misery as we struggle to reach what seems to be an unattainable goal. And reaching that goal can be worse. Reaching the goal means tying yourself to a maintenence diet for the rest of your life. One of the benefits of a Paleo lifestyle, though, is that it is not a diet. 

Not a Diet

Paleo is a lfestyle. This is not a situation in which you follow a regimented plan, add steps as you are told and get to an end. So many of these situations end with weight regained. Once you’ve reached your goal, you go back to eating the way you had before, and you gain all that weight back. Or perhaps the diet you never lose the weight. Perhaps the diet is just not right for the way your body works. Or perhaps it’s so restrictive you just can’t stay with it. How often are you going to run through that cycle before you give up? 

I am a child of the ’80s, and we dieted. It’s just what we did whether we needed to or not. I remember that my mother and my sister went on a day that was so restrictive that they were only two days into it and my sister was in tears. She wanted food she could taste. She wanted to eat enough she didn’t feel like she was starving. She wanted to eat meals with eveyone else and not feel like she had to hide so she didn’t see us enjoying our meals. That’s not to say you don’t give things up for Paleo lifestyle, but you certainly don’t deprive yourself. 

It’s Not Tasteless, It’s Clean

Another benefit of the Paleo lifestyle is that it’s just good clean eating. There is nothing anywhere that says it has to be bland and tasteless. There is also nothing anywhere that suggests food has to be spicy to hide the fact the food just isn’t good. When I first told one of my customers that I was going Paleo, her first comment was, “I feel sorry for you. I’d rather eat food that tastes good.” The crazy thing is that I’d had a steak, a baked sweet potato and a salad for dinner and nothing there was tasteless. 

Clean just means it’s real — okay, some people do take the term “clean” further than that, but, really, we’re just talking about real food. A steak under the broiler, a salad of real food items. A potato, an apple, a handful of pecans. Nothing I’ve just mentioned is tasteless. And the fact I’m going to broil that steak with onion, garlic and maybe some sage guarantees I’m not eating anything bland. What I’m not doing is opening a box of prepackaged food and throwing it in the microwave.

It’s an Anti-inflamatory and Autoimmune Protocol Eating Plan

The biggest benefit I have gained from my Paleo lifestyle is the loss of pain. My doctor recommended the “diet” (a word she used with the most scientific of meanings) to help alleviate the pain of osteoarthritis. The things I was eating before — the breads and muffins and refined sugars — was causing the inflamation that caused my pain. Removing those things from my diet would help, at the early stage at which we caught my disease, keep me from daily medications. People with autoimmune deficiencies also benefit from a Paleo lifesyle. Those with diseases like Rhumatoid Disease, Lupis, HIV and AIDS, for example, benefit from this lifestyle for the very same reason I benefit with my osteoarthritis. The clean eating removes inflamation and pain and other issues caused by autoimmune problems.

It’s Vitamin Rich

Everything in our lives tells us we can’t possibly get all the vitamins we need by just eating food. That’s not true with a Paleo lifestyle. The foods are vitamin rich. I was told I needed extra calcium due to my osteoarthritis, not by my doctor, but by every other thing I read on the disease when I was diagnosed. So, imagine my surprise when I ended up in the emergency room with a calcium-based kidney stone. Why? I was taking too much calcium. With almond-based flours and milks, spinach and citrus, I was actually getting all the calcium I needed from my food. Instead of a finger dish full of vitamins every morning, I take only two in addition to my regular mutivitamin. A Paleo lifestyle can, indeed, provide you with all the vitamins you need. 

The Lifestyle is the Benefit

I mentioned before that the Paleo lifestyle is not a diet. It’s not a set of crazy rules and preset meals. Yes, there are going to be some restrictions, but, in a perfect world, they are restrictions we would already have been making. Paleo is fresh and real. Does it take a little more work? Yes. Is it going to take some practice? Yes. But at the “end” of this race toward a goal, there is no maintenance plan. There is no fear of stepping out of a restrictive regimen and regaining weight. The biggest benefit to Paleo is that it is a lifestyle that can be lived by the individual’s needs. There is no portioning, no fat trimming, no measuring, no watering down. Paleo is stepping away from the world of processed foods and eating food the way we were meant to eat it.

 

Author: Kelli Heitstuman-Tomko

Kelli Heitstuman-Tomko has a degree in journalism and is a published novelist. She has written on food, agriculture, business, crime and tourism. She has lived in Idaho, New Hampshire, Florida, Wyoming and Colorado. She currently resides in Fallon, Nevada.

8 thoughts on “Benefits of a Paleo Lifestyle”

  1. This is interesting. I’ve never thought about doing a Paleo lifestyle, but it sounds appealing compared to a “diet”. I’ve read a lot about Keto and was not interested in doing it. This is more up my alley in terms of lifestyle. Do you have some favorite recipes?

    1. On a day-to-day basis, I just open the fridge and figure my meal is going to be a meat, two eggs, a veggie and a fruit. That’s just for simplicity. But to mix it up or to have a dessert thrown in, check out the recipes tab from the menu at the top of my home page. My mother and I have played around with recipes and have come up with a few ourselves. I’m very partial to the “Simon and Garfunkel Chicken.”

  2. I’ve been hearing about the Paleo diet for a long time now, but did not understand the benefits. I thought it was just another diet being offered on the market. Your post has cleared up my misconceptions. I’ll continue to read your articles to learn more about Paleo and hopefully try it soon. Do you have some recipes to share?

  3. I am heading in this direction now! I cannot seem to do Keto because there are so many foods that I cannot eat (egg whites, beef, dairy), so I think that Paleo is the way to go now.
    Do you have a resource to help me get started or can you point me to a blog post that can help??

    1. Irma, thank you for that request. I will build a resource that will help. As far as starting down the road, keep in mind that you are going to be eating clean and you are going to be eating what you want which is really the key. I eat a lot of eggs, beef, bacon and veggies. My mother, who also has gout, could do Paleo as long as she avoided foods that aggravated her gout. No beef for her, or seafood, but she did a lot of chicken, some pork and turkey. Keep in mind as you get started, that your no-nos are going to be dairy, grains, sugar and legumes (no beans or peanuts). Anything else that you can eat, as long as it’s “clean” or non-processed, is good.

  4. I know a lot of people who have changed to his lifestyle and really love it. I’ve yet to try it myself but have though about it a few times. Great article, what would you say is the biggest hurdle in switching to this lifestyle of eating?

    1. Really, the biggest hurdle is the misconception that it’s going to be hard. We as a society are so trained to think that “dieting” or proper eating is a restrictive burden that we walk into any change expecting to hate it. Know what you’re getting into. My first foray into Paleo didn’t make it because I tried to do it all at once assuming I knew what I was supposed to do. I was eating food I liked, but I had no energy and I was convinced I missed a lot of processed crap I didn’t really miss in the long run. You really have to change your mindset. This is not deprivation. It is not food you’ll hate. But you have to understand that going in or at least be open-minded enough to accept the fact if it proves you wrong. I still have people tell me they fell bad for me eating that way and I’m thinking I just had bacon, eggs, sautéed zucchini and a banana for breakfast. What’s there to feel sorry for?

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