Paleo diet is half-baked and unrealistic


Me Gabby. Me love junk food. Me hate vegetables.

Followers of this “caveman” paleo diet should be extinct because its approach to eating is unrealistic. The paleo diet only includes foods that would be available to cavemen, such as fruit, nuts and meat. For one week, I attempted to change my “unhealthy lifestyle” that admittedly consisted of eating McDonald’s almost every day.

On Monday, I woke up at 5 a.m. to go running. Honestly, it was horrible. After a mix of walking, jogging, running and almost dying, I ran a mile and a half and ate a banana, so I was proud of myself. By the time I went to school, I had a ton of energy. I increased my water intake and instead of eating a Panera bread bowl, I went to Chipotle and got a burrito bowl. I cheated!

On Tuesday, I ran another mile. For breakfast, I ate scrambled eggs and went to school feeling great, but I went back to Chipotle for lunch and then I ate frozen yogurt. I know, it’s pathetic. However, the rest of my day was okay, considering I was so full that I didn’t eat again.

You might be wondering why I am ragging on the paleo diet, considering I cheated frequently. However, restrictive diets never work. Maybe I didn’t have the willpower, but pushing too far can be harmful.

Diets slow down weight loss because our body experiences dieting as a stressor. When we’re stressed, we produce high-levels of cortisol and adrenaline, which slows down the rate at which we burn calories. Our body intentionally slows down weight loss because it perceives reduced calorie intake as a threat to survival.

The Atlantic also says that Paleolithic people lived to be about 35, which isn’t a great health benchmark, so why are we looking to them for dietary guidance?

Restrictive dieting doesn’t give pleasure in becoming healthier. Whenever we are in a state of tension with food, we create an environment of stress within our body, and weight loss becomes almost impossible.

Last year, U.S. News and World Report listed the paleo diet as one of the worst diets because it is so restrictive. However, the most important thing I learned on the Paleo diet is that the key to eating healthy is to eat whatever you want in moderation.

For the short time that I was on the paleo diet, I had increased energy. It was challenging, and really pushed me to think about what I eat and how often I exercise. I’ll probably try to cut down on visiting McDonald’s so frequently, but I’m not going to be a health nut ever again.