Though Loren Cordain, Ph.D., published his first paper on the Paleo Diet in 1999, it wasn’t until 2011 that his caveman diet plan started to catch on. The Paleo Diet recommends eating like our ancestors—only consuming foods that would have been readily available in Paleolithic times through hunting and gathering. Individuals on the Paleo Diet are encouraged to eat meats, fruits, and vegetables and avoid grains and dairy.
The Paleo Diet has become popular in recent years because individuals on the diet tend to lose weight quickly by cutting things like milk and bread out of their diets. While quick weight loss may sound like a dream come true, there are a few things you should seriously consider before starting the Paleo Diet.
You May Not Be Eating Like a Caveman
Our ancestors didn’t follow a diet; they ate whatever was available to them. The Paleo Diet recommends a significant amount of protein consumption, but it’s likely that our prehistoric ancestors consumed more plants than animals. Fruits and vegetables were more readily available and easier to harvest—no hunting was required.
Your Weight Loss May Not Be Sustainable
The best diets to start are those that can be maintained over a lifetime. While losing weight may be your primary goal, you won’t be satisfied if you gain it all back shortly after ending your diet. Because the Paleo Diet is so limiting in what you can consume, it’s not realistic to imagine that it’s a diet you can stay on long-term. Before you embark on the Paleo Diet journey, consider how you will maintain your weight loss when you add dairy and grain back to your meals.
You May Not Be Getting the Nutrients You Need
Calcium is important for bone strength, so with the removal of dairy from your diet, you’ll need to take a calcium supplement to avoid conditions like osteoporosis. Eating high amounts of meat can increase your cholesterol and put you at risk for heart disease. Additionally, carbohydrate deficiency over a long period of time can cause ketosis—a condition where your body is forced to burn fat for energy. While some fat burning is good, ketosis can cause side effects like dehydration and nausea and can be dangerous for people with diabetes and other chronic conditions.
Losing Weight Quickly Can Cause Stretch Marks
Your reason for starting the Paleo Diet is unique—it could be for improved health, more energy, or to fit back into those pants you’ve been hanging on to—but more than likely looking good is a factor in your weight loss plan. If your goal is to look your best, you’ll want to avoid stretch marks that can develop as a result of losing weight quickly. To prevent stretch marks, you’ll need to apply a stretch mark prevention lotion or cream daily throughout your diet. Search our catalog of stretch mark prevention products to find one that’s right for you.