Diet trends are always changing and have been around for decades. People are always looking for the newest ground breaking plan that will make their unwanted pounds fall off. The paleo diet and the Atkin’s diet are among two of the most popular in today’s diet fads. Here are the “need to know’s” for each one.
What’s The Hype With The Paleo Diet?
1. What It Is
The paleo diet, or paleolithic, is a trendy diet based on what our ancient ancestors ate. Also known as the caveman diet, it is claimed that the needs of our bodies adapted to what foods where available during this era. The paleolithic period lasted nearly 2.5 million years and only came to an end around 10,000 years ago. Supporters say that the human body has not been able to adapt to the rapidly growing variety of foods that we eat today. The diet is comprised mostly of lean meat, berries, and nuts.
2. What You Can Eat
The main rule of the paleo diet is that if a caveman didn’t or couldn’t eat it then neither can you. This can be pretty tricky if you don’t have some extensive knowledge of caveman culture. Counting calories is also thrown out the window with this diet, the idea being you only eat healthy and nutritious things, so eat as much as you’d like! Here is a list of some common foods that you can eat on the paleo diet.
Any kind of peppers
The health benefits that supporters of the paleo diet claim are pretty impressive, and some studies do prove these theories. Weight loss and increased energy are two of the biggest draw points for people. There is no food or calorie restriction, it is all based on what you eat, so it is an appealing diet for people trying to lose weight that do not want to starve themselves. When paired with exercise and a healthy lifestyle the paleo diet can stabilize blood sugar levels, improve sleep patterns, reduce allergies, and help to clear skin.
While the paleolithic diet has gained tremendous popularity in the recent years, the studies are not conclusive. As with anything that is “trendy”, the paleo diet has gathered quite a few critics. The biggest issue that is pointed out is that what is being eaten is probably not even close to what real “cavemen” ate in this time. It is hard to pin point a diet of a cavemen because it would depend entirely on where they lived. Diet’s in this time depended on the land and wild life that where native to the region. For instance the diet of a person in Mexico would be much different than someone in Canada. Another point that is brought up is that the lifespan in the paleolithic time was extremely low, around 45 years or less. The exact cause of this is unknown of course.
All About Atkins
The Atkin’s diet has been one of the most renowned and popular diet plans since 1972 when Robert Atkins published his book Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution. He has since produced many other books, adding on to his original plan. It is a low carbohydrate diet that is focused on changing the way to body produces energy. Instead of using glucose, such as found in carbohydrate rich foods, into energy it switches to using stored body fat. When you restrict carb intake to only 40 grams a day your body enters a process called ketosis. This is when you body begins to burn fat as fuel.
The Atkin’s diet is broken down into 4 different stages; induction, ongoing weight loss, pre maintenance, and maintenance.
Induction: This stage makes up the first two weeks of the diet plan. People claim you can lose up to 15 pounds in this phase alone. You highly restrict carbohydrate intake to 20 grams a day, and the only carbs that are allowed are vegetables. Many other foods and beverages are eliminated from the diet.
Ongoing Weight Loss: During this stage carb intake is slightly increased to 25 grams per day. The rate of weight loss slows down as you hit a “ plateau”. Once this is hit you move on to pre maintenance.
Pre Maintenance: This is the stage when weight loss greatly slows down and you are essentially just maintaining the weight you have reached. During this stage you begin to “test” foods and introduce them into your diet one by one to see if they have a weight gain effect.
Maintenance: Once you have hit your goal weight you can begin to re introduce more carbs into the diet, up to 40 grams per day. If any weight is gained then you simply start at the induction stage and go through the plan again.
3. What Can You Eat?
Each phase of this diet has slightly different food choices but the main idea remains, high protein, low carb. The Atkin’s brand has expanded far beyond the books they began with in the early 1970’s and now have entire frozen food lines, snack products, and drinks that are available. All of which are Atkin’s approved of course. Some common foods eaten on the Atkin’s diet include seafood, eggs, certain cheeses, unprocessed meat and poultry, kale, tomatoes, asparagus, and brussels sprouts.
The biggest con of the Atkin’s diet is the cost. It is considered one of the most expensive diet plans to stick to because of the high call for meats such as steak. The American Heart Association also says that the amount of fats consumed put people are a high risk for heart disease. One way to help cut this risk is the get your protein from majority vegetables instead of meat.
Differences Between Paleo and Atkin’s Diet
The main goal with any diet is usually weight loss, but that doesn’t mean it is the only thing important. Health and wellness are also, if not more, important than simply dropping weight fast. The paleo diet focuses on a wide range of health benefits while the Atkin’s main goal is to drop quick weight.
2. No Stages
The Atkin’s diet is executed in 4 different stages that can be repeated over and over in order to lose more weight. The paleo diet has no stages and is simply a diet change. This means weight will be lost a bit slower, but it much more likely to stay off.
The price you pay to follow these diet plans are a pretty high price to pay. The paleo diet is a bit more conservative when it comes to dollar amount because of the variety of foods you can enjoy. The Atkin’s on the other hand can cost you quite a pretty penny. The high price of meats being the main culprit.