Nutritionist Esther Blum says the Paleo diet is a proven formula for weight-loss success among women.
Blum, author of Cavewomen Don't Get Fat, discussed the health benefits of the Paleo diet in her book.
The Paleo diet, which was the most popular diet of 2013, emphasizes high-quality animal proteins, fats (including healthy saturated fats), vegetables and fruits, and excludes gluten, sugar, dairy, legumes, starches, alcohol and processed foods.
Paleo proponents say eating whole, well-sourced foods and eliminating processed junk dramatically improves your health and makes weight loss easy because you never feel deprived.
"Your diet is responsible for 80 percent of weight loss (with exercise accounting for 20 percent)," wrote Blum. "Here’s a simple fact: unprocessed foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish always — and I mean always — contain fewer calories than processed foods."
Blum also explained that the Paleo diet promotes rapid weight loss because it reduces carb intake. On the Paleo diet, you substitute high-quality proteins, fats and fiber-rich vegetables for nutritionally empty carbs.
"Our bodies, as a rule, are designed to run on fewer carbohydrates than most of us are accustomed to eating," wrote Blum. "When you reduce the number of carbs you consume, your metabolism runs much more efficiently. You will likely see an immediate improvement in your moods, your energy levels, your sleep patterns, and your mental focus.
By lowering our carb intake, we encourage our bodies to burn stored sugars (glycogen) and this, in turn, encourages our bodies to let go of fat. When this happens, it’s as if our communication channels open wide, and our vital organs can then perform their duties well. Suddenly we find ourselves feeling much, much better."
The Paleo diet has rocketed in popularity after numerous news reports confirmed its health and weight-loss benefits. In September 2013, a woman made headlines after revealing she lost 88 pounds without exercising on a hybrid Paleo-ketogenic diet (see photo above).