I’ve been asked from time to time if I’m following the “Fad Diet” of Paleo. Whenever I hear this question, I have to sigh. These people don’t understand the difference between a diet and a weight loss diet.
Adkins is what most people know of as a low-carb weight loss diet. It was designed for people to adopt with the sole purpose of losing weight. The Paleo Diet, on the other hand, is a lifestyle that is intended to be adopted for life. It’s a diet that promotes the eating of meat, vegetables, and fruit while avoiding sugar, grains, legumes (including soy), and dairy.
People think that because the Paleo diet has become very popular lately that it’s a fad. They also believe that people will only achieve short-term weight loss followed by a gain of weight. I haven’t experienced that in my 13+ months of being Paleo. As a matter of fact, I lost weight steadily for the first 12 months, got stuck on a plateau because I ate too little, and then started losing weight again once I realized I was under-eating. My body will hit a low point one day where equilibrium is reached between my calorie intake and utilization, but until I reach that point, I will continue to lose weight. I look forward to reaching that low. It’ll be a final victory.
Let there be no mistake: this is no fad. This is a diet that is rooted in good, solid science. The detractors who don’t take Paleo seriously come into the discussion with preconceived notions and a predisposition to dismissing any argument that shows that the Paleo diet is efficacious and safe. I just read a blog post from a blogger who is a nutritionist, and her understanding of the Paleo diet was atrocious and dangerously misinformed. She tried to take apart the Paleo diet and show how it didn’t make sense. Well, based on the incorrect information she had, of course it didn’t make sense! But she didn’t take the time to actually visit a Paleo website or even try to understand the actual foods we eat and avoid. Unfortunately, I’ve encountered far more medical professionals with the same view as this nutritionist. This is horrible, because instead of treating the root cause of so many of our obesity-related maladies, they choose instead to treat the symptoms. I guess there’s more money in it.
I am not Paleo because it’s a fad. I am Paleo because it’s made me healthy, helped me get fit, and probably saved my life.