The Name Game

We are a marketing-conscious society. We love brands: Audi, Yamaha, Apple, HP, Nike, Eddie Bauer, Duluth Trading, etc are all brands that have solid reputations and followers who trust those brands due to personal experience with value, reliability, and long-term support. There are other brands that people don’t understand and are maligned, unfairly, in my opinion: Yugo (they were surprisingly solid and reliable little cars, although very spartan), Ford (ask any Chevy fan), Chevy (ask any Ford fan), and Triumph (their cars were notorious for being mechanically difficult to keep running in the 70’s; their motorcycles are actually really quite good) to name a few. Another maligned brand that is often dismissed without further consideration is Paleo.

When you look at the logic behind the Paleo movement, it’s easy to be dismissive:

The Paleo Diet is an effort to eat like we used to back in the day…WAY back in the day. If a caveman couldn’t eat it, neither can you. This means anything we could hunt or find – meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds. – nerdfitness.com

Personally, I have no interest in living like a caveman. I like air conditioning, computers, and my LCD TV too much. Don’t even get me started on having to discover fire all over again! Seriously though, when it comes to our bodies, they have not been able to keep up with the most important technological advancement in the past 10,000 years: agriculture.

In the grand scheme of things, agriculture is a relatively new technology. Our bodies have not evolved quickly enough to be able to handle the excessive amount of carbs present in grains that are the mainstay of modern agriculture and thus, the modern diet. Grains are not bad for us, per se, but they are packed with a ridiculous amount of carbs that are too easy for us to over consume. For people who struggle with weight and are trying to lose weight, carbs have to be limited. Notice I didn’t say eliminated: I’m not talking about the Keto diet here.

While the Keto diet can be very successful for people who want to lose a lot of weight quickly, it is not without its difficulties. It is very difficult to put the body into ketosis while inversely easy to kick out of ketosis with one high-carb food item. I’ve dabbled with ketosis and had great success with it, but I found it was very difficult to maintain while eating with my wife and family. I settled on Paleo and I have been extremely happy with the weight loss rate and the satiety of the foods and with how much energy I have.

The reason I mention all this is because Paleo gets a bad rap. People hear the word “Paleo” and they immediately think of cavemen (duh!), eating nothing but meat (a common misperception), and they hear the talking heads in medicine and nutrition circles deride any diet that restricts any food group (Paleo restricts grains, dairy, and legumes).

When I talk to people about Paleo, I rarely mention the name of the diet until about mid-way through my pitch. I want people to consider the science, the logic, and the bio-mechanical aspects before they pass judgment on what I’m doing and what may work for them.

The Audi brands of cars used to be known for not being reliable. Today, they are in the top 2 most reliable luxury cars on the market. Perceptions can change. The Paleo diet works, and it works well. It’s easy to adhere to and it is not as restrictive as people may have led you to believe. Give it a try, and don’t fall for the negative hype.

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