Fitness expert Mark Sisson said a low-carb Paleo diet has significant anti-aging health and weight loss benefits, and credits it for his age-defying physique at 61.
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, Palm Springs Life reported.
“I fell into the paradigm of eating complex carbs for fuel,” said Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint. “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.
“I actually work out less,” said Mark, whose 58-year-old wife Carrie is equally fit. “Thirty percent of your body composition is determined by how you eat.”
Sisson said he got fitter, stronger, and ripped to shreds by scaling back on "chronic cardio" exercise and resting more. "At 60, I feel incredibly healthy and fit, perhaps more than ever before," he wrote on his blog, Mark's Daily Apple.
Mark said people who go Paleo will notice health changes almost immediately, including 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,” said Sisson. “It takes about 21 days for your body to switch to this mode of fat-burning, and that’s when you’ll really start to see results.”
Mark said the low-carb Paleo diet also improved his immune health and dramatically reduced his chronic joint pain. "The arthritis that I had in my fingers, that I thought was just a normal artifact of being in my forties, went away," said Sisson. "Lingering sinus issues that I had during hay-fever season — they went away. I stopped getting colds and flus almost entirely."
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 and 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.
“Clinical trials have shown the Paleo diet is the optimum diet that can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, markers of inflammation, help with weight loss, reduce acne, promote optimum health and athletic performance,” said Paleo Movement founder Dr. Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet for Athletes and The Paleo Diet Cookbook.
Fitness expert Robb Wolf, a former biochemist, agrees. "The Paleo diet is the healthiest way you can eat because it is the only nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic," said Wolf, author of The Paleo Solution.
Meanwhile, a riveting documentary called The Perfect Human Diet concluded the Paleo diet is the best diet for natural weight loss and optimal health. CJ Hunt, executive producer of "The Perfect Human Diet," said we can solve the obesity crisis by embracing the original Paleo-inspired diet that helped humans evolve over millions of years.
"Scientifically, a diet emphasizing whole cuts of meat, wild plants and nuts, and eliminating grains, dairy, beans and potatoes is the perfect human diet," Hunt told me. "If this is a fad diet, then it's a two-million-year-old fad."