The low-carb Paleo diet has soared in popularity with both athletes and celebrities because it promotes natural weight loss and optimal health, say obesity experts.
Dr. Jeff Davis, a family physician, said he recommends the Paleo diet to his patients, saying its emphasis on real food makes a huge difference in his patients' health and waistlines. “A lot of what we eat is Frankenfood,” Davis told the Wichita Eagle. “It’s made in a plant. It doesn’t come from a plant.”
David Yee, one of Dr. Davis' patients, credits his recent 30-pound weight loss to the Paleo diet. Yee lost 25 pounds in the first six weeks, and the last five shortly afterward.
“I never would have believed I could lose weight with a high-fat, high-protein diet,” said Yee, who said he has never felt better.
Caleb Summers, owner of Evolve Paleo Chef in Kansas City, said he lost weight without even trying after switching to the Paleo diet in 2011. Summers lost 12 pounds in the first two weeks of adopting the Paleo diet without any extra effort.
“I call it accidental weight loss,” said Summers. Jason Fechter, a chiropractor and Summers’ business partner, said weight loss occurs without effort because you're eating whole, natural foods on the Paleo plan.
“It’s because your body is shedding all the crap you’re been eating before,” said Fechter. “As long as we put things into our body that it can utilize, it does great.”
Paleo Diet Has Anti-Aging Benefits and Boosts Fat-Burning
Similarly, fitness expert Mark Sisson said the Paleo diet has significant anti-aging health and weight loss benefits, and credits it for his age-defying physique at 60. Sisson, a former Ironman triathlete, used to carb-load during his years as an endurance athlete, but actually got healthier with less exercise after switching to the Paleo diet.
“I fell into the paradigm of eating complex carbs for fuel,” Mark told Palm Springs Life. “I got fit, but my health declined. I was one of the top runners in the country but had many health ailments.”
Since going Paleo, Sisson maintains his rippling six-pack abs without working out as hard as he used to when he was an Ironman triathlete. Mark said people who go Paleo will notice health changes almost immediately, including effortless weight loss, improved sleep, and more energy.
Sisson said the Paleo diet enhances weight loss by turning your body into a fat-burning machine. “Over time, you become good at burning off your own body fat for energy rather than depending on carbohydrates throughout the day,” Mark said.
Celebs Go Paleo for Low-Carb Weight Loss
The Paleo diet is the most popular diet around today, and has a huge celebrity following, including Tim McGraw (who credits Paleo and CrossFit for his unbelievable 40-pound weight loss), Megan Fox, Robin Wright, and "True Blood" star Joe Manganiello.
The Paleo diet emphasizes high-quality animal proteins, healthy fats, non-starchy vegetables, and excludes gluten, sugar, dairy, legumes, alcohol, and processed foods.
Research suggests the Paleo diet accelerates weight loss, reduces blood pressure, and prevents cancer, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and even Alzheimer's. TV star Jack Osbourne and singer Chad Vaccarino both use the Paleo diet to treat their multiple sclerosis.
A recent study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates the Paleo diet is twice as effective as other diets for promoting weight loss and reducing belly fat.
The two-year study tracked 70 overweight, post-menopausal women who were assigned either a low-fat diet or a low-carb (higher-fat) Paleo diet. Study participants were measured for weight, cholesterol and blood sugars after six months on their respective diets, and again after two years. The results showed the Paleo dieters lost significantly more weight (14 pounds) compared to the low-fat dieters (5.7 pounds).
What's more, the low-carb, high-fat Paleo dieters lost 4 inches from their waists after six months, compared to just 2 inches for the low-fat dieters. In previous studies, the Paleo diet has routinely beaten low fat diets at controlling cholesterol and diabetes.