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A Paleo Diet Plan with Crossfit Workout for Healthy Weight Loss

Updated on November 20, 2015
photo compliments of burgerbaroness
photo compliments of burgerbaroness | Source
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It all began with addressing the postpartum problem of "baby fat"

Following childbirth a young friend found herself in a dilemma. During her pregnancy she'd suffered with gestational diabetes and was placed on a very strict diet by her physician. With the pregnancy, the necessity of altering her daily routine and juggling work at the office and at home was difficult. In following doctor's orders she found herself thinking constantly about her diet and the health of her unborn child. Having gained weight prior to the pregnancy she'd controlled it well during the term. Her choice in breastfeeding the child to provide him with proper nutrients took its toll as was during this period that her weight sky-rocketed and she found herself carrying an extra fifty pounds.

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With an effective exercise program came the introduction of the Paleo Diet

Depressed about the added weight and her inability to lose it she examined various methods in losing it wanting as healthy a weight-loss plan as possible. Her body's build is one of an athlete, a mesomorphic style and metabolism which has to burn calories to maintain proper weight. She realized she would have to become physically active as she'd been all her life and committed time to a local gym. She found a CrossFit gym with a program perfect for her situation and physical goals. Committing herself to at least an hour-per-day workout she vowed to stick to the plan.

Paleo: Stone Age cuisine 21st century style

In the midst of working out at the gym she learned about the “Paleo Diet.” For me, it took several months of hearing about the “paleo diet” for it to sink in to my brain–– this was a diet that emulates the eating habits of prehistoric man. This diet is comparable the eating patterns during a time when human beings were foraging for berries, grasses, leaves, roots and hunting for meats. The Paleolithic era is basically the Stone Age period spanning from 10,000 years ago to 2.6 million years ago. This diet is from a time long before the age of granulated sugars and processed foods.

The more she spoke of the diet, the more curious it became. She could eat all the meat she wanted, and all the vegetables she wanted–– except potatoes. I still was a little confused. (Aren't potatoes vegetables?)

The Paleo Diet is one of limited carbs and potatoes are carbohydrates. In following the diet she avoided beans (legumes) and rice (carbs.) The diet limits sugary fruits, depending on the dieter. Prehistoric and paleolithic fruits weren't as sweet as they've been engineered to be in recent centuries. Thousands of years ago fruits and berries were actually quite tart. And my friend altered the official paleo diet a little to include a limited amount of dairy products in her personal program.

paleo pizza with coconut crust & cheese
paleo pizza with coconut crust & cheese | Source

Compared to flour, the prices of some of these ingredients seemed so expensive I jokingly suggested she store them in a vault instead of a canister. We made a Paleo Pizza with a recipe found online and it was pretty tasty.

Being an old fossil myself, I was able to toss in a few "old-hand" recipes and tricks like my naturally paleo ancient beef stew recipe and the secret passed down from my grandmother of thickening sauces with an egg. It was rough at first figuring out how to make some of my own favorites and get the taste and something close to the consistency without the gluten and starch. Mixing the old and the new together makes Paleolithic cuisine more realistic and reasonable for those of us ancient homo sapiens who've lived beyond 1/2 century.

coconut flour and almond meal––paleo staples
coconut flour and almond meal––paleo staples | Source

Paleo Means Meats and Foraging for Veggies, Fruits and Nuts

Meats, nuts, vegetables and fresh fruits is the main paleo diet. Some folks choose to customize the diet to suit their needs by adding dairy products or allowing sweeter fruits.

Strict in avoiding legumes, grains, carbs, sweet fruits, and avoiding breads, rice, cereals, noodles and anything with starchy flour, gluten or wheat she substituted noodles with cauliflower, to enjoy dishes like cauliflower spaghetti for dinner. She purchases staples like almond meal, coconut flour, for breading and pastries. Agave nectar is the natural sweetner choice.

With the Paleo Diet there are no limits with meats. Eggs, fish, hot dogs, sausage, steak, shellfish, bacon and no matter how much fat and cholesterol is involved, meat is completely acceptable. There is no concern for high cholesterol, possibly because of her extremely active lifestyle and daily workouts at the CrossFit gym.

The results were stunning. Over the course of about a year, the extra pounds were gone, and she went from size 14-16- to size 4-6. Filled with energy, a smile and confidence she hadn't felt in a couple years, she began a new life healthier and happier. I felt a tinge of ancient jealousy and began to read more about the Paleo Diet for myself.

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    • Jarn profile image

      Jarn 5 years ago from Sebastian, Fl

      Are you entirely sure of there being no concern for high cholesterol? Most dietitians will tell you that diet affects cholesterol as much, if not more so, than exercise. And with the high protein and meat intake, there is a danger of kidney-scarring. Hunters and gatherers were able to stomach that kind of thing, but their lifespans were remarkably short, and it was frequent to go a few days without food at a time. I'm not sure their diet is conducive to our regular meal schedule.

    • michabelle profile image
      Author

      michabelle 5 years ago

      Hello, thank you for your comment. I was concerned about the cholesterol aspect of it because of family experiences. I personally have an issue with whether the processed meats are a healthy choice rather than lean meats.

      I suppose it's a question for experts, and the way I could justify the diet in my own thinking for this particular person is because of the rigorous fat burning exercise that has accompanied her diet. Another question I have about it is what would happen to one's physical health if either the exercise or the diet suddenly stopped, i.e. if the exercise stops and then the body is forced to adapt to the high levels of cholesterol without the ability to burn it off. You pose good questions.

      While the lifespans were short for Stone Age people I would be hesitant to blame it on diet––more aptly on starvation, or some form of poisoning, animal attack or famine. They didn't have penicillin, doctors, nor assistance in childbirth and surely with the food they ate, they were forced to burn plenty of fat in finding it!

      Diabetics are forced to avoid carbohydrates, and gluten and dairy can cause intestinal problems. As yet, we don't have the answers.

      Aside from that, the results in weight loss, energy, and all around healthy living that came with this young woman's achievements have been pretty remarkable. Again, thank you for your comments.

    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Sounds great, Michalbelle, there are so many diets. Carbs and processed flour products always seem to be behind the difficulty of losing weight. Let us know how it works for you...Cred2

    • michabelle profile image
      Author

      michabelle 5 years ago

      Hello Cred, to be honest I haven't tried it as yet, but I've been seriously contemplating it. Thank you for your comment and best wishes for a great New Year!

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 5 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      I bookmarked this for later study. I've been feeling guilty for not going vegan.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Important information. Thank you for this Hub. Just to make the connection: The Paleo diet is a version of Atkins or Atkins is a version of the Paleo. They are very similar.

      In answer to the question above about meat/fat and high cholesterol. Some individuals are prone to high cholesterol genetically and they need to be very careful.

      But repeated controlled studies of Atkins and non Atkins individuals showed that if you eliminate sugar and processed flours that a higher level of ingested fat does not lead to a higher cholesterol level.

      Apparently high levels of sugar in the bloodstream , for lack of a better word, scars or nicks the walls of the arteries and it is in these nicks and microscopic abrasions that cholesterol begins to build up... hence the connection. Both Paleo and Atkins eliminate simple sugars.

      michabelle, you made a comment about vigorous exercise perhaps preventing a high cholesterol problem from developing. You are right. That is another piece of the puzzle. Think about hard working farmers decades ago who ate fatty - heavy breakfasts, lots of eggs, bacon, sausage, butter, cream. Lots of fried chicken and fish, vegetables cooked in bacon fat. But they worked 10 to 14 hour days at hard physical labor and most of them did not show evidence of heart disease until they were in their 80's or 90's.

      So I am rambling, but I am trying to make the point that there are two reasons that Paleo and Atkins "can be safe." (1) eliminate sugars and processed flours and (2) lots of physical exercise.

    • michabelle profile image
      Author

      michabelle 5 years ago

      Hello B. Leekley, thank you for visiting. It's healthy I think, but this is definitely not vegan

    • michabelle profile image
      Author

      michabelle 5 years ago

      Phd I'm so glad you wrote. I had some concern about this being another dangerous crash diet, and what you've said makes sense. The only thing I worry about is that if the exercise stops abruptly, the body will have to adjust rather quickly, and may experience some overload with cholesterol or fat - so maybe the exercise routine should be stopped gradually instead of abruptly, if it's stopped at all.

      I hadn't known that about sugar making the nicks, but I do know my grandmother cooked with lard and died at the age of 91, healthy as can be. And she kept a garden for as long as she could, up into her 80's. Thanks for your comments, and feel free to ramble!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Exactly, 2-3 generations ago everybody cooked with lard and they ate all the cream, butter, cheese and bacon they could produce on their farms,but they didn't eat large amounts of sugar and almost no processed foods full of chemicals and fillers. And they didn't "exercise" but they worked hard and were physically active every day of their lives.

    • michabelle profile image
      Author

      michabelle 5 years ago

      Regular exercise combined with good healthy foods are the perfect mix.

    • kjrzeek1 profile image

      kjrzeek1 5 years ago from New Jersey, USA

      I have had great success with the Paleo diet! Thanks for the post!

    • michabelle profile image
      Author

      michabelle 5 years ago

      Thank you for your comment kjrzeek1, I believe it has been successful for many people.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      I had never heard of Paleo Diet. Of course I knew about low caloric food. Your article is reliable because you share first hand information. I'm going to share this.

    • cebutouristspot profile image

      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

      I will give this a try am trying to lose weight. In order to lower my cholesterol :)

    • J Burgraff profile image

      J Burgraff 5 years ago

      Thanks for your article. I think the Paleo diet sounds pretty healthy if you really take it literally. From what I know the caveman wasn't practicing animal husbandry, so while they may have gathered a few eggs from the nests of unsuspecting birds, for the most part their diets were free of heavy cream and butter, which is a huge culprit when it comes to heart disease. Also, meat was leaner. We are not talking about animals fed to feed us, but animals who are eating to stay alive and moving fast to avoid their predators. And I'm pretty sure there were no weiners, so we don't have to go there. Which makes it a lot like 'clean eating'. I think I'll give it a try right after I finish my toaster french toast slathered with butter and jam!

    • mia capretta profile image

      mia capretta 5 years ago from North America

      Michabelle, Thanks for a great Hub. I just came across the Paleo diet also and, though it does sound like a way to feed our bodies as they were designed to be fed, I'm concerned about eating unlimited amounts of meat. The additives in meat today are frightening. I'm still going to give it a try... now if I can only find a recipe for cookies made from coconut flour or almond meal!

    • michabelle profile image
      Author

      michabelle 5 years ago

      Hello Vinaya. Thank you, and yes it's a true story, but note that she altered the paleo diet a little by adding some dairy products. The other thing she does is exercise extensively at a gym for about an hour or more per day. There is plenty of information available regarding the paleo diet. Her routine combining the diet and exercise has been extremely effective for weight loss and energy.

    • michabelle profile image
      Author

      michabelle 5 years ago

      Hello Cebu, Please note the true paleo diet doesn't include dairy products. I am not an expert! And I know dairy products (and eggs!) have a lot of cholesterol. I was told that at the crossfit gym a man lowered his cholesterol and blood pressure with this diet combined with exercise. It is worth investigating, for sure. Asking your doctor is always the best thing to do. Good luck!

    • michabelle profile image
      Author

      michabelle 5 years ago

      J Burgraff, it's not easy to give up dairy butter, is it? :)

      As I've written my friend included dairy products and paleo doesn't. I have a little problem with the amount of cholesterol in them, but the intensive exercise routine probably helps burn it away. I don't know how the true paleo diet could be bad, but it's nearly painful to think of abstaining from sweet bread & butter!

    • michabelle profile image
      Author

      michabelle 5 years ago

      Mia, I agree completely about the additives in all foods. Freshly baked bread doesn't have the preservatives and of course it molds quickly as compared to store loaf bread. There are many processed meats that have low fat content. Oscar Mayer hot dogs are delicious and 99% fat free, with 1/3 the calories of other hot dogs. Chicken and turkey products are usually leaner than pork or beef and I've found them just as tasty. Please check out this recipe for some of the best "paleo" muffins you've ever tasted:

      http://www.elanaspantry.com/cinnamon-bun-muffins/

    • mia capretta profile image

      mia capretta 5 years ago from North America

      Yum! Thanks for the recipe, Michabelle, it looks simple and tasty...I can't wait to give it a try.

    • profile image

      Joe 5 years ago

      I've been doing the Paleo Diet for about 7 weeks now and it's insanely easy. I've lost about 16 pounds so far. I've been blogging about my progress at http://www.paleodietandexercise.com. This is a nice article and does a pretty good job of covering some key topics.

    • profile image

      Tarok 2 years ago

      [..YouTube..] Corn, that looks so good. I like new flavors, like ylouserf. Not sure if you like cilantro; but here's my twist on soft taco. Try it and tell me what you think. Whole wheat soft taco shells. Chicken breast cut into strips or ground. Marinate your diced jalapeno(deseeded), bell peppers, red onions, tomatoes and cilantro in lime juice. Sauté chicken strips or brown ground chicken, add desired taco seasoning, then add your corn and black beans. Assemble my fiesta taco and enjoy! Hope you like it!

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