There are no accurate records from our Stone Age ancestors, so the diet is largely based on educated guesses.
Paleo diet: What is it and why is it so popular?
Most versions of the diet encourage large amounts of meat, which runs counter to current health advice on meat consumption. Like all high-protein diets, the Paleo can be expensive, depending on your choice of meat cuts, and it's impossible to follow without eating meat, seafood or eggs, so it's not one for vegetarians. Most versions of the Paleo diet exclude key food groups, raising the potential for nutritional deficiencies unless careful substitutions are made, and dietary supplements may be necessary.
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If you want to copy your paleolithic ancestors, you're better off mimicking their activity levels, rather than their alleged diet. The theory is that by starving yourself of carbohydrates, your body will start burning fat for energy.
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During the next three phases, the weight loss is likely to be more gradual and regular exercise is encouraged. With its diet of red meat, butter, cream, cheese and mayonnaise, it's one of the diets that appeals most to men. Like the Dukin diet, initial side effects can include bad breath, a dry mouth, tiredness, dizziness, insomnia, nausea and constipation from cutting out carbs, and potential for lower fibre intake. The high intake of saturated fat may increase your risk of heart disease, and there are concerns about the recommendation to add salt. Some could still find it complicated and time consuming, but the promise of initial rapid weight loss may appeal to and motivate some.
The theory is excess acid in the body is turned into fat and high acidity has been blamed on conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, tiredness and kidney and liver disorders.
The Weight Loss Plans to Try and the Fad Diets to Skip if You Want to See Results
The Alkaline diet involves cutting back on acid-producing foods such as meat, wheat and other grains, refined sugar, dairy products, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods in favour of "alkaline foods", which reduce the body's acidity levels. It was originally developed to help prevent kidney stones and urine infections by using diet to adjust the acidity levels in the urine, but there is little evidence to support the diet's more recent health claims.
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The diet contains plenty of good healthy eating advice, such as cutting down on meat, avoiding sugar, alcohol and processed foods, and eating more fruit and veg, nuts, seeds and legumes. This means you will be cutting out foods you may normally eat and replacing them with healthier choices, which will also reduce your calorie intake.
When cutting down on dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt, you need to find other calcium substitutes, as cutting out an entire food group is never a good idea. Getting to grips with what you can and can't eat on the diet can be time consuming, particularly in the beginning. The diet lacks evidence, and some versions that advise cutting out entire food groups should be avoided. If you are going to try the alkaline diet, choose a balanced plan, stick to it to the letter, and stay clear of supplements and other diet-related gimmicks.
The bars, soups, porridges and shakes can be used as your sole source of nutrition or together with low-calorie regular meals. The meal replacements are all nutritionally balanced, so you're likely to be getting all the vitamins and minerals you need, albeit not from real food. Again, initial side effects can include bad breath, a dry mouth, tiredness, dizziness, insomnia, nausea and constipation from cutting down on carbs and fibre. Giving up normal meals and swapping them for a snack bar or a shake can be boring and feel socially isolating.
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This isn't a plan you can stick to in the long term. There's no calorie counting and no limits on portions in the South Beach diet and you're encouraged to eat three meals and two snacks a day, and follow an exercise plan. This is a two-week quick weight loss regime where you eat lean protein, including meat, fish and poultry, as well as some low-GI vegetables and unsaturated fats.
If you can avoid phase one and start on phase two, there are fewer dietary restrictions in the rest of the plan than some other popular diets. No major food groups are eliminated and plenty of fruit, vegetables and low-GI carbs are recommended. The severe dietary restrictions of phase one may leave you feeling weak and you will miss out on some vitamins, minerals and fibre.
You may initially experience side effects such as bad breath, a dry mouth, tiredness, dizziness, insomnia, nausea and constipation. Some of the weight loss will include water and carbs, both of which will be replaced when you begin eating more normally. The links below provide the tools and knowledge you'll need from day one on the plan.
Before you download Week 1, it's worth taking a look so you can:. This guide is intended for use by healthy adults with a body mass index BMI of 25 and over. Find out if you need to lose weight using the BMI healthy weight calculator. It is not suitable for children and young people or pregnant women.
If you have a medical condition, you should consult your GP before starting. It's a good idea to seek the advice of a health professional before starting on any weight loss programme. Page last reviewed: 5 December Next review due: 5 December Start the NHS weight loss plan - Healthy weight Secondary navigation You and your weight Weight facts Height and weight chart Hidden causes of weight gain 9 medical reasons for putting on weight How can I speed up my metabolism?
People are free to eat starchy vegetables and fruit, as well as foods rich in healthy fats like avocados. What differentiates a fad diet from a healthy one is whether you can maintain your health and keep the weight off in the long run. So where do Paleo and Keto stack up? The Paleo Diet : Because this diet doesn't require you to maintain ketosis, there's no need to weigh your food, as some do on the Keto Diet; nor do you have to closely monitor your carbohydrate intake.
Plus, most people think of Paleo as a lifestyle rather than a diet, according to Kizer, so it's easier to stick to in the long run. The Keto Diet : Eating a banana or too many nuts could knock you out of ketosis, which makes tracking your food intake necessary to stay on track for your weight loss goals. For this reason, most people go in and out of ketosis because they have a hard time sticking with the diet.
Plus, Kizer says, people usually jump on the keto bandwagon to lose weight, so they rarely attempt to stay in ketosis forever. Bacon or no bacon, Paleo is a less labor-intensive diet, which makes it easier to stick to in the long run. Over time, this could weaken your bones and immune system, which makes it important to eat plenty of calcium-rich and paleo-friendly foods like broccoli and dark leafy greens. The Keto Diet : The extremely low level of carbs on the Keto Diet can cause what's known as the keto flu , which causes headaches, nausea, muscle cramping, and fatigue.
Like the Paleo Diet, these unpleasant side effects generally subside after a few weeks. Drinking plenty of water and getting a full night's sleep should help.
Paleo vs. Keto Diet: Which is Better for Health and Weight Loss?
He says lack of fiber is the biggest concern for keto fanatics, who may experience constipation. But it's possible to get fiber by eating lower-carb vegetables like broccoli and chia seeds. The winner: The Paleo Diet. Both come with some unpleasant side effects, but Yurechko doesn't advise sacrificing fiber to try keto in the long run. The Paleo Diet: Eating like your ancestors doesn't guarantee you'll lose weight. While the diet emphasizes plenty of foods that are good for weight loss, such as lean protein and fruits and vegetables, you would still need to eat fewer calories to drop a few pounds.
So if you're binging on nuts and fruit, you could actually gain weight on the Paleo Diet.