Paleo is the Scientology of Diets - AnabolicMinds.com
    • Paleo is the Scientology of Diets



      By James Fell: Sixpackabs

      I was close to landing an interview with Tom Cruise, but then he bailed. And so I am now free to say that Scientology is stupid.

      People make fun of the space alien aspect of it, but did you know that one of their beliefs is “silent birth?” A.K.A. Hey, woman who is passing a human being through a tiny orifice, quit yer damn caterwauling and just STFU because the baby’s head is getting squished into a cone shape and doesn’t need your howls of pain to make his mind any more reactive, or something.

      What does this have to do with paleo? Paleo is the Scientology of the diet world. It’s just as stupid, and I’m going to tell you why it’s stupid, and I’ll follow that up with why I have a bug up my ass about it.

      But one little thing first.



      If You Follow Paleo, it Doesn’t Mean You’re Stupid

      Well, maybe it does, like if you eat paleo, text “#YOLO” while cranking Nickelback and going double the speed limit through a playground zone because you’re rushing to get to the latest Adam Sandler movie, then yeah, you’re pretty stupid.

      But just because you do paleo? No. It’s the diet I’m calling stupid, not the adherents.

      One of the things I describe in detail in my new book is “Weight Loss Inc.” It’s the crap-filled industry of which I am a part, although I try to set myself apart from the excrement. Not everything in the industry is something you’d be better off flushing down the toilet. Anyway, I reference an FTC report that determines weight loss is the #1 form of fraud in the U.S., and it has been for a long time. More people get taken in by weight loss scams than any other type of fraud.

      Here is a quote from my book:

      In his 1997 book Why People Believe Weird Things, Skeptics Society founder Michael Shermer asserted that “smart people” could be more susceptible to outrageous claims than others “because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons.” These non-smart reasons can include peer pressure, sibling and parental influences, life experiences, cultural pressure and even genetic predispositions. Shermer further explained: “More than any other, the reason people believe weird things is that they want to. It feels good. It is comforting. It is consoling.”

      So there you go. Don’t feel bad if you fell for it. I used to believe aliens abducted and probed people after doing their crop circle happy dance. I’m not kidding. Still friends?

      This isn’t about you, it’s about paleo, and now we’re on to …



      Why Paleo Is Stupid

      Unless you have a time machine, you can’t eat paleo. You can’t even get close to it, the food environment has changed that much.

      “But, like, paleo is an idea of eating, man. It’s like a metaphor.”

      A metaphor for eating like they did during a time when starvation was the #1 killer of humans, and you were lucky to live to 35? Sign me up for that. Living in the Paleolithic era sucked.

      Nutrition expert Alan Aragon summed up paleo pretty nicely in an interview I did with him. He said the paleo diet, which is really just a form of low-carb dieting that its advocates presume our Stone Age, hunter-gatherer ancestors ate, is just another fad. “Paleo philosophy is wrong on a couple of different levels,” he told me. “They say our ancestors didn’t eat grains, and therefore we shouldn’t eat grains. First, our ancestors did eat grains. There is also the logical error that if our ancestors didn’t eat something we shouldn’t either. Well, our ancestors didn’t concern themselves with optimal nutrition, they just wanted to survive.”

      “It’s just another fad,” sport nutrition expert and registered dietitian Nancy Clark told me, echoing Aragon’s opinions on paleo. “There’s no science to support it.”

      I already said it’s impossible to replicate any aspects of the diet, because our food supply. Even the meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables have been so manipulated since humans first began farming that what we eat today can’t ever possible resemble that of mammoth-slaying Stone Age. Oh, and like I wrote in this piece, eating mammoth or any kind of meat was exceptionally rare.

      Our Paleolithic ancestors were far more likely to get protein from bugs. So instead of paying double for your antibiotic free, grass-fed methane dispenser meat, you should just head to your nearest field and commence chopping down crickets.

      But the modern concept of the paleo diet is way stupider than that. Why? Because you can buy these products, that’s why:

      • Paleo butter
      • Paleo coffee
      • Paleo dog food
      • Paleo chocolate
      • Paleo chocolate chip cookies
      • Paleo turkey jerky, which comes in plain, spicy and extra spicy
      • Paleo caviar
      • Paleo energy bars
      • Paleo waffles
      • Paleo syrup
      • Paleo yogurt
      • Paleo ice cream
      • Paleo protein powder


      Paleo protein powder? Really? These guys also sell you paleo Vitamin D (which I expect our ancestors got by, you know, going outside), and even paleo “recovery powder.” Check out those prices.

      Being paleo is like paying a stupidity tax. Again, it’s not you who is stupid, but the diet sure is, because it lets you drink paleo coffee while putting paleo butter and paleo syrup on your paleo waffles before you drive your paleo minivan to the paleo office to sit in your paleo cube and do spreadsheets on your paleo computer. You’re groking hard now.

      See, the paleo diet made up a bunch of silly rules on how we allegedly ate, and then goes and twists them all to hell in the name of selling you a crappy, overpriced product. That is scientology-level stupid.

      Let’s have some fun. I’m going to make up my own stupid diet with my own stupid rules. I’ll call it …



      The Disney Diet

      Everyone loves Disney movies. Just like the Paleolithic era, men were the heroes and women were the damsels in distress, although Disney damsels had way less body hair and much better teeth.

      So, based on what I’ve learned from watching Disney films, here are the rules of the Disney Diet:

      • Never eat anything given to you by an old woman, because it’s poison – Snow White
      • Eat only fresh kills, but only the females are allowed to do the hunting – Lion King
      • Unless you think you killed your father and ran away from home, in which case you can eat lots of bugs – Lion King
      • Sugar can only be consumed while taking medicine – Mary Poppins
      • Don’t eat turkey, popcorn or sweet potato pie. And definitely not pancakes piled up until they reach the sky, because if you do, it will cause mental deficiencies of Goofy proportions, not to mention the fact that you will eat and eat and eat and eat and eat until you die – Jack and the Beanstalk
      • Chicken is okay, but not duck, because I love Donald
      • Spaghetti can only be eaten as a couple, and must lead to a kiss, followed by the male chivalrously passing the last meatball to the female using only his nose. Any fornication that results from this romantic gesture must be done doggie style – Lady and the Tramp


      See how silly a diet can become when you start adopting arbitrary rules based on mythical thinking?



      Why Paleo is Dangerous

      Paleo can end up excluding nutritious foods for no other reason than its proponents think that we didn’t eat them a long time ago, and so we shouldn’t eat them now. Secondly, it’s dangerous for your financial future to be forking out big bucks for paleo-approved products, because such things usually don’t come cheap. Apparently that bulletproof coffee crap is paleo, and it costs a bloody fortune.

      But the real problem? Following a paleo diet can lead you down a path to an eating disorder. That’s why I rag on this kind of crap.

      My friend and registered dietitian Jennifer Sygo says, “The science of nutrition is complex. Eating shouldn’t be.” By the way, Jennifer has an excellent book entitled Unmasking Superfoods that I highly recommend.

      Eating shouldn’t be complex, but paleo is far from flexible. It creates a system of arbitrary, difficult-to-follow rules for eating that can lead to disordered eating. Primarily, it can cause one to obsess over eating the “right” foods and avoiding the “wrong” ones. This phenomenon has been coined “orthorexia,” which is not yet recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but enough mental health professionals are talking about it that it has gained some scientific legitimacy. While other eating disorders tend to obsess over calories and body weight, so-called orthorexics obsess over food quality. Again, which foods are right, and which foods are wrong. Some people end up thinking the right foods are 1,600 calories worth of butter paired with five eggs.

      A lot of paleo is about which foods are right and which ones are wrong. This is not a healthy mindset to go through life with, constantly obsessing over whether something is paleo approved or not, several times each day. It creates a toxic mindset about eating, and anxiety and fear around certain food types that are not good for your mental health. Such unhealthy obsession can eventually lead to a full-blown eating disorder.

      When people break these food rules they can feel like a failure, which increases stress levels and can cause binge eating because Well, I already blew my highly restrictive diet, so I might as well really blow it and go down in a blaze of gluttonous glory.

      So what’s the solution? Stop falling for all the marketing. Realize that paleo is just a cheesy gimmick designed to sell an expensive pile of crap and adopt a more flexible approach to eating that isn’t so rule-based or restrictive.

      I understand that the skeptical mindset is not easy to adopt. People are naturally gullible, it seems, and will fall for just about anything if it sounds scientifically valid. I wrote a sarcasm-laden Facebook update a while ago about why people shouldn’t eat salmon, and a number of people fell for it. The followers of my page weren’t easily taken in because they know me for being a skeptic and a joker. But the post was shared by many people, resulting in comments by readers who don’t know me, and I was amazed that some thought the post was actually serious. Have a read.

      Skepticism can make you strong, so don’t go thinking it’s a negative mindset to have. Quite the opposite. Things like paleo create a negative mindset about how living in the modern age is allegedly toxic. They make you pine for good old days that never were.

      Quit living in the past, because it’s not coming back, and you shouldn’t want it to. The past sucked!

      Even in the middle of the last century we had far more chemical exposure, lead was everywhere, non-smoking areas didn’t exist, anyone who wasn’t a white male was second-class, and kids were being taught to duck and cover because the nukes could start flying any minute.

      You don’t live in the Paleolithic era. You don’t live I the 19th century, or even the 20th. You are alive, right now, in the 21st century, and it’s pretty damn awesome.

      So act like it’s awesome. Quit freaking out about all the allegedly bad **** that’s going to cause your innards to explode if you inhale a whiff of it, and stop lamenting about how things were supposedly so much better long ago, and just get on with living the best version of modern life you can.

      And for crap’s sake, stop putting butter in your coffee.

      Source: http://www.sixpackabs.com/paleo-is-t...logy-of-diets/
      Comments 12 Comments
      1. Lendo's Avatar
        Lendo -
        Re: "Paleo is the Scientology of Diets", I disagree with the title. Scientology is a crazy cult, Paleo is just a name, and marketing ploy, for a diet that many, many people were already following...all natural food, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, fruits, veggies, etc...haven't many of is the fitness/bb world been eating like this forever?

        Now Crossfit, that's a crazy cult!

        (just kidding (kind of)...I like Crossfit...but they be crazy!)
      1. elegua's Avatar
        elegua -
        Yeah, but buttered coffee tastes awesome...
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Originally Posted by Lendo View Post
        Re: "Paleo is the Scientology of Diets", I disagree with the title. Scientology is a crazy cult, Paleo is just a name, and marketing ploy, for a diet that many, many people were already following...all natural food, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, fruits, veggies, etc...haven't many of is the fitness/bb world been eating like this forever?

        Now Crossfit, that's a crazy cult!

        (just kidding (kind of)...I like Crossfit...but they be crazy!)
        And many crossfitters swear by Paleo, too. I think this is why he makes such a statement.
      1. wiseman's Avatar
        wiseman -
        This author is so spot on its hilarious! Paleo is one of thr dumbest fads out there.
      1. animani's Avatar
        animani -
        Well let me say that in this world everything is business.

        Now Paleo lifestyle can be seen in different ways it's all about the individual. Some people like to believe as you said and they like to pay for stuff. That's why they work for. To expend money some people expend in the latest single feature upgrade of a mobile device... others in food that could be home made for a fraction of the price. Anyway the reason behind this diet or lifestyle is to avoid specially wheat, simple sugars etc... They can cause lots of problems in excess and its whats going on nowadays most of the supermarket products are around wheat and simple carbs. It's cheap makes you hungry very soon after and you eat again as I said in the beginning its all about business so why are we gonna discuss between one or the other.

        You got to choose if you are lazy and have money or if you want to learn to make stuff and stay healthier without falling into the society business trap. To be honest every single food in excess no matter what meat, wheat, fruits etc... could be dangerous as the production always is greater than what we need. Why? Because we are over fed and we got supermarkets with all kinds of food year around and that's a basic idea to say PALEO is stupid. One way or the other you are caught. That's the truth.

        I am not leaning to any side I am just stating that I do not eat carbs because I feel lazy and with other discomforts and I feel much better doing a low carb lifestyle. Call it Paleo or what ever, you name it.

        And let me say one more thing.

        Low carb high fat diets work wonders when bulking too. In my own personal experience. I feel as strong and last year I had the best gains ever. I do carb load sometimes but I don't think it is necessary. Do I feel stronger when back loading? No really I feel weaker sometimes. Maybe its the way my body works or something. The only benefit I find in carbs is endurance I can train for longer periods of time before feeling down. That's why I said you gotta find what works best for you and be smart about it. Stop buying stuff you can make at home or you can get from healthy food.
      1. Lendo's Avatar
        Lendo -
        Great point!

        The whole marketing of supplements specifically to X fitters is kind of crazy too!
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        The problem is everyone wants to be locked down to one single diet strategy. That isnt the best way. Many different strategies combined in an educated manner work well together.

        Low fat/High complex carb diets
        High fat/low carb diets
        40/40/20 traditional diets
        Paleo - for the few who react strangely to wheat
        Keto - for cutting and priming for bulking

        They all have pros and cons and I personally use 3 of those 5 in a toggling manner to maximize results. You could also get more granular and rotate meat and carb choices, alternate between IF and traditional styles & FatlessPWO & Carbless PWO. Using them all is superior to any one diet alone.
      1. huggy77's Avatar
        huggy77 -
        to me paleo eating is just eating stuff off a list like this:
        http://robbwolf.com/wp/wp-content/up...pping-list.pdf (week one)

        basically eliminating processed foods as much as possible.. The marketing stuff is DUMB...
      1. huggy77's Avatar
        huggy77 -
        Originally Posted by fueledpassion View Post
        The problem is everyone wants to be locked down to one single diet strategy. That isnt the best way. Many different strategies combined in an educated manner work well together.

        Low fat/High complex carb diets
        High fat/low carb diets
        40/40/20 traditional diets
        Paleo - for the few who react strangely to wheat
        Keto - for cutting and priming for bulking

        They all have pros and cons and I personally use 3 of those 5 in a toggling manner to maximize results. You could also get more granular and rotate meat and carb choices, alternate between IF and traditional styles & FatlessPWO & Carbless PWO. Using them all is superior to any one diet alone.
        The wheat thing is exactly why i think its popular too... Wheat allergies and carb sensitivity are not that painful to deal with when eating paleo....
      1. sheepdog.tx's Avatar
        sheepdog.tx -
        So eating a high fat, low carb, gluten free, unprocessed diet is dangerous huh? Wonder how those uneducated cavemen through to the 1920s cereal marketing campaigns lived without your pro-grain subsidies friendly advice. I'd argue more people have died from flour dust explosions and farmer's lung issues in cereal and pasta factories than have from a paleo diet.

        You're another broscience "writer" founding your thoughts against medical research papers showing eating a diet low in processed grains and high in nuts, grass fed meats, and veggies are shown to improve health markers across the board. Your advice is worse than stupid, it is in fact whats endangering a generation with fast food 'tato and cereal globbing.
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        So when u say "processed grains", what exactly does "processed" mean?

        An organic bag of nuts is also processed.

        Gluten free products ARE DEFINITELY processed.

        In fact, less than 1% of the population has Celiacs disease, which is a disease that causes intolerance to gluten. So that whole argument is a waste of time defending because from a medical perspective, unless u have Celiacs disease, u aint gluten intolerant. There is a non-celiac gluten sensitivity issue that roughly 6% of the population has. If u havent been diagnosed with it, then its likely that u dont have it!
      1. hrdgain81's Avatar
        hrdgain81 -
        I don't usually comment on these articles but this is so blatantly inflammatory it is laughable. I guess the best way to gain attention is to put "paleo" in the title of your blog post, rail against it with some half truths and misinformation, then mention your diet book (which is clearly a better alternative), and your friends diet book (which you also highly recommend).

        oh and for crap's sake, your site is called "sixpackabs.com" brah. You perpetuate the "crap filled industry" you rail against in your own post.

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