In my endless quest to lose the 20 lb I’ve regained since returning from St. Louis last summer – and maybe even getting to a normal weight someday – I tried an experiment for the last 10 days – the so-called “Paleo Diet.”
The concept is simple, and if you give it 10 seconds thought it is as dumb as it sounds. The idea is that humans evolved as hunter gatherers, so our bodies are not meant to eat certain foods of the modern age, including all grains, sugars, legumes and dairy.
Why did I even think to try this diet? Well, it’s obvious I’ve become sugar addicted. So I wanted to do a sugar detox. Plus grains, like rice, are really high calorie, low in nutrition and I think I’m addicted to them as well. Even brown rice.
So I tried it: fruits are ok, and vegetables. But no grains at all. And you eat lots of (ugh) meat, chicken and fish.
How did it work? Well, the first two days I lost 4 lb, so was excited about it. But it was all water weight loss because the diet is much lower in carbs than I’m used to. And after the first few days my weight started creeping up on me.
But the worst part of it was how I felt. I couldn’t get a refreshing sleep. During one 10 am conference call my brain was literally starting to shut down on me and it took all I had just to stay awake. So my energy was gone. Apparently this is “typical” when going Paleo and sites urged me to stick it out
After a week or so my energy started slowly creeping back, but I was still very sluggish. And I just felt creepy and nauseated from eating all those dead animals. And my stomach was upset.
So I finally gave it up a couple of days ago and returned to “mostly vegan.” I immediately sprung back to life, and my digestive system returned to normal. Apparently being mostly vegan (but not completely) the last few years has changed me. I just can’t stand meat anymore it seems. Or chicken. Some fish seems ok though.
Anyway, I am still eliminating almost all added sugars. Sugar is definitely evil. However completely eliminating all sugar is near impossible and just fanatic. If there are 11 ingredients in something, and sugar is like #8 and the total carb content is otherwise low, I figure the trace sugars can’t hurt. So that it what I’m trying for now.
It’s hard to control total calories though. I look forward to eating rice as a staple. But it’s high calorie.
Anyway, the whole Paleo concept is flawed I think. First, why do they think Paelolithic humans were so healthy? Didn’t they all die like around 20 years of age? Also, obesity did not start with the dawn of agriculture, which was when? Around 10 thousand years ago, right? The obesity epidemic started much more recently – like within the last 50-100 years.
Anyway, Paleo is nonsense. I’m just going to continue to try eating healthy foods in moderation and avoid sugars. Moderation is always the problem though.
The problem isn’t agriculture, it’s industrial agriculture that produces super cheap flour and sugar. Neolithic people didn’t have those things, they’re a product of the post-WWII fertilizer revolution caused by the desire to find a new use for the massive munition industry that had grown up (modern fertilizers and nitrate explosives are basically the same technology).
I’m also pretty dubious that Paleolithic people ate anything close to the amont of meat as called for by the diet. Hunting is hard and gathering is a lot easier. Modern meat production is possible only because of modern agriculture, which produces cheap animal food.