MUscle & Fitness
Everyone and their damn mother knows about the paleo diet. The diet that supposedly mimics what cavemen used to eat. Paleo advocates swear the diet will help you get healthier, jacked, and cause you to drop fat. All by getting in touch with your inner caveman and eating real foods. It’s even gotten big enough that it has its very own conference of sorts that happens in Austin, Texas every year.
At Paleo(f)x people from all over the country (and world?) gather to talk about getting back to their ancestral roots, buying weird ass looking squatty potties, and partake in a giant ancestral circle jerk. It’s apparently a damn good time.
The paleo diet catches a fair amount of shit for the amount of dietary restriction that its followers stick to. That doesn’t mean it’s all bad though. Sure, getting a strong dose of gluten isn’t going to kill most people. It turns out that dairy and grains aren’t the worst foods known to man, either.
There are a few things about the paleo diet that make it an excellent diet to help you shed fat, build muscle, and get healthier though. Specifically, here are 4 highlights of the paleo diet you can use to get abs.
1. Protein with a side of protein, covered with bacon.
What most people think about when they hear the word paleo is meat. Specifically bacon. There’s no doubt, meat is definitely a staple of the paleo diet. As an excellent source of protein, eating more meat will help provide you with the protein necessary to build serious muscle and drop body fat.
The good thing about the meats generally eaten on the paleo diet is the quality of meat. Most come from grass fed sources that have been sustainably raised. The higher quality of meat helps keep you healthy, while shredding fat.
How to use this: It may be more expensive, but it pays to buy higher quality meat. There are higher levels of good fats like Omega 3’s, it’s a high quality source of protein, and is better for the environment. Start shopping for better meat and maybe your new found abs will save you from having to beat your own meat.
2. Who knew cavemen ate so many vegetables?
One of the often forgotten staples of the paleo diet is the ridiculous amount of veggies that are eaten. Paleo places a serious emphasis on eating whole foods, and roughly half of those real foods should be vegetables. That’s a shit ton of veggies, even for vegetarians.
Paleo advocates swear by eating vegetables that are in season. Because believe it or not, shit usually doesn’t grow year round like we’re accustomed to. Eating a wide range of vegetables depending on what’s in season helps deliver a varied range of nutrients and changes up old routines.
How to use this: Set a goal to make half your plate at each meal nothing but vegetables. This could be leafy greens, asparagus, or more starchy vegetables like squash and potatoes. Bonus points if you buy from a farmers market, which ensures you get whatever is in season and support local farmers.
3. Lots of fat, without getting fat.
Nobody would ever accuse the paleo diet of being a low fat diet. That much is for damn sure. Thanks to the types of meat like grass fed steak, grass fed ground beef, bison, lamb, pork, chicken, and seafood. These plentiful sources of saturated and monosaturated fats help provide plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids, which will keep your heath and blood vessels healthy, plus help your brain out.
Eating quality fats also supports optimal hormone production, which plays a huge role in allowing your body to adequately burn through stored fat, build muscle, and recover properly.
Fat also happens to be a calorically dense food. It provides a ton of energy for tough workouts, and the more you eat of it, the more your body will actually start to burn. All of that on top of fat being fucking delicious.
How to use this: If you’re taking care of #1 on the list, this one pretty much takes care of itself. Place a special emphasis on wild caught seafood, because of the higher level of Omega-3’s. Staunch paleo advocates also love using olive oil and coconut oil as quality fat sources as well.
4. Naturally lower in carbs.
Is a low carb diet best for everyone? Of course it isn’t. What is best for everyone though is a diet that’s low in processed carbs that are filled with refined sugars. The paleo diet by definition removes these very forms of carbs. That’s the major advantage to paleo above all else.
This doesn’t mean you’re never allowed to eat processed sugar again. That’d be impossible. But if processed sugars have been removed from your diet for the most part, it saves drastically on calories. If those have been replaced with quality carbs like potatoes, beans (I count legumes as paleo even though some people don’t), fruit, and vegetables you’ll be far healthier, recover better, and shed fat quicker.
How to use this: Don’t eat cheap carbohydrates that you can buy in a box. Pretty simple. Removing most of the carbohydrates that are dirt cheap and come in a box ensures that you remove most of the refined sugars from your diet. Replace those with vegetables, and you’ll look damn good come summer time.