Lose Fat With High Protein Paleo Diet
From Charles Poliquin
Eat a high-protein Paleo-style diet to lose fat and improve your health. Research shows that the Paleo diet, and related low-carb high-protein whole food diets, are one of the most effective dietary lifestyles for fat loss and overall health.
You may have heard that U.S. News and World Report recently published a diet “review,” ranking 29 diets in different categories including weight loss, diabetes, prevention, heart health, and overall health. The report is a classic example of mainstream nutrition’s blindness to reality, and the use of scare tactics to keep people from making their way through the maze of nutrition fallacies.
The report blatantly disregards the facts, ranking the top three weight loss diets as Weight Watchers, The Biggest Loser Diet, and Jenny Craig. The Paleo diet comes in dead last at number 29. Yes, it’s true, the report disrespects the Paleo diet for “shunning dairy and grains” since doing so is considered a health risk that will lead followers to “miss out on a lot of nutrients.”
Instead of going on about the travesty of this report for an overweight America, let’s look at what Paleo-style eating can do for you based on recent studies. One of the first studies on ancestral eating from 1984 found that diabetic Australian Aborigines who shifted to their “native” diet (fresh foods such as kangaroo, birds, crocodile, turtles, shellfish, yams, figs, honey, and fish) from their modern high-carb, refined food diets lost an average of 7.5 kg, improved cholesterol, and got rid of their diabetes. This wasn’t a double blind study, but it laid the groundwork for Paleo-style research.
A 2009 study by Swedish researchers compared a Paleo-style diet with a low-fat “diabetes” prevention diet that included dairy and grains. The Paleo dieters improved glucose tolerance, and lost more weight (3 kg more), shrunk their waist size to a greater degree (4 cm smaller), and had lower blood pressure than the folks in the diabetes diet.
For athletes, a recent study shows the benefit of a low-carb, high-protein diet that is similar to an ancestral diet, though not Paleo due to the inclusion of seasoned cheese, for example. This study used gymnasts from the Italian national team and put them on a cross-over low-carb or regular high-carb diet. For the first four weeks they ate 54.8 percent fat, 40.7 percent protein and 4.5 percent carbs (carbs totaled no more than 28 grams, strictly from green vegetable sources). For the second four weeks they ate their regular diet (composed of 46.8 percent carb, 38.5 percent fat, and 14.7 percent protein).
Results showed that the gymnasts lost an average of 2 kg of fat, dropped 2.6 percent body fat, but gained a tiny bit of muscle. Overall, they lost 1.6 kg of body weight, which is very significant since gymnasts want to be as light as possible with as little fat as possible. When they returned to the regular diet that was higher in carbs, they gained back 1.5 kg of fat, ending with 7.7 percent body fat. Most important for the readership, the gymnasts maintained power and strength over the course of both diets.
What should you take away from this evidence and the U.S. News report?
Public health and nutrition experts are not interested in the best dietary practices for health, weight loss, and nutrition. Might they motivated by business interests?
Don’t believe the lies. Find a nutrition expert you believe in. If you’re not getting results, troubleshoot your diet, training, and supplementation to find a program that works for you.
Read this article by Alexandra Bernardin to separate the facts from the fallacies.
Paoli, A., Grimaldi, K., et al. Ketogenic Diet Does Not Affect Strength Performance in Elite Artistic Gymnasts. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2012. 9(34).
Cordain, Loren. Rebuttal To U.S. News and World Report Top 20 Diets. The Paleo Diet web site. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
Jonsson, T., et al. Beneficial Effects of a Paleolithic Diet on Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Type 2 Diabetes. Cardiovascular Diabetology. 2009. 8(35).
O’Dea, Kerin. Marked Improvement in Carbohydrate and Lipid Metabolism in Diabetic Australian Aborigines after Temporary Reversion to Traditional Lifestyle. Diabetes. 1994. 33(6), 596-603.