If you’ve been reading up on the latest in the dieting industry, there is a very good chance that you’ve come across the Paleo approach before.  This diet plan, based on the notion that if we’d all go back to eating how our ancestors ate in the caveman days, promises to help you not only shed all that fat you’ve been carrying around, but also improve your health and fitness levels as well.

In addition to that, it’s also considered to be ‘Gluten-Free’, which is another hot term right now in the nutrition industry.  Gluten, a protein contained in all wheat, barley, and rye products is now being shunned by many in their quest for faster fat loss.

But, do these approaches work? Should you use them? Are they superior than others?

Let’s get these questions answered for you so that you have a clear picture on how you should move forward.

What You’ll Eat On Paleo

First let’s take some time to go over what you will eat on the Paleo diet so it’s crystal clear what this plan is all about.  Since you will only be allowed to eat foods that caveman ate, this means you’ll be cutting out all the processed foods so many people have come to love in today’s world.

Pasta? Gone. Pizza? Gone. Deli meat? Count it out as well.

Basically, if it doesn’t come straight from the ground or isn’t directly from an animal, it is not longer a part of your diet.  The paleo approach encourages meals that are based around lean protein sources along with a high dose of healthy fats, primarily coming from oils, avocado’s, coconut, grass fed butter, and a select amount of nuts and seeds. Fruits are to be eaten in moderation and to get some carbohydrates into the picture.

Because all grains are shunned, this means that the diet by nature will be quite low carb, instead, moving towards the higher fat diet side of things.

How It Helps

So how does this diet help? In many ways. All in all, this diet is quite good as the number one reason obesity is running rampant in today’s society is because of all the processed foods we’re eating.  By cutting out these processed foods, it immediately dramatically improves the quality of your diet plan.

You’ll have a lower risk of diabetes.  You’ll encourage cancer protection due to all the antioxidants you consume from fruits and vegetables.  You’ll lower your risk of heart disease.

If you want to get healthier, it’s a terrific diet to consider.  For fat loss purposes, it will work as long as you maintain a proper calorie intake.  Keep in mind that since you are eating lots of fat on this diet, if you do so with abandon, you’ll see your calorie intake shoot way up, which could lead to weight gain.

So like all other diets, portion control is key for weight loss success with the Paleo approach.

The Downfalls

That said, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.  The problem you’ll run into with the Paleo approach is that if you want to be very active doing intense exercise and taking on programs such as the 10K Trainer or the Leg Trainer, this diet may not provide sufficient complex carbohydrates as fuel energy to do so.

For that reason, if you want to keep active, you’ll want to make sure that you are adding back some complex carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes are permitted on the Paleo approach, so focus on more of those and along with that, consider adding back brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal (gluten free if you wish).

This will help you keep up those intense workouts and likely feeling better as well.

What About Gluten-Free?

Now, before we leave off, we must mention the gluten-free idea. If you do Paleo and are naturally gluten-free, great! It’s a smart move to make.

But if you just go gluten-free, hoping this in fact will help you shed weight – all while you feast on gluten-free crackers, gluten-free cookies, gluten-free bread and so on, you will be sadly mistaken.

Just because something is gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s necessary healthy or weight loss friend.  Sugar is gluten-free.

Keep that in mind and don’t lose your common sense.  Gluten free, for those who are actually intolerant will definitely make you feel better, but for those who think it’s just a way to diet, it likely won’t have any implication on their results unless their calorie intake does go down upon eating gluten free.

So there you have the low-down on these two concepts.  Try Paleo, but do it right. Success will await you.

What’s your experience been with the Paleo diet? Did you find it helpful or harmful?