The Paleo Experiment: An Introduction
A realistic six week journey into the Paleo Diet
03/09/2013|By Chris Parkison
Raise your mouse if you have ever been on a diet.
Great! Now raise your mouse if you went on that diet to lose weight? Great! Now raise your mouse if you went on a diet thinking you would be on it the rest of your life. Not so much?
Fact is we have all gone on diets at some point in our lives. Another fact is that we go on them for short periods of time. Yet another fact is many of us may lose weight on a diet but most of us gain that weight back and then some when we stop dieting.
I defer to the experts as to why this happens and just go with the statistics here: a lot of diets just don’t work for a variety of reasons. We have known this for a while now and one result has been the rise of diets that are meant to change our eating habits forever. In essence, there are many diets out there now proclaiming to be a life long diet instead of a quick way to shed 10 pounds.
And these new “diets” come with many claims. The truth is, none of these diets or lifestyle changes has been studied over the long term. (My doctor told me this.) In other words, even if we know you will lose weight on them, we have no idea what that might mean for you 15 years from now if you are still on the diet.
Obviously we don’t have 15 years here at Thriive to do a double blind test involving thousands of people. But, Thriive does have me.
So for your benefit, I am going on the Paleo diet for the next 6 weeks.
According to thepaleodiet.com (the website I am using as an aid in this experiment):
“The Paleo Diet, the world’s healthiest diet, is based upon the fundamental concept that the optimal diet is the one which we are genetically adapted. The therapeutic effect of the Paleo Diet is supported by both randomized controlled human trials and real life success stories”
The diet experiment is not a new idea. But there are several spins we have in store here at Thriive that will make this one worth following:
1) I am an active person so we will want to see if I can maintain that lifestyle.
2) I live in DC and so do you so we will find out how much this diet costs (do I shop at Wholefoods? Harris Teeter? Safeway?)
3) What do I eat when I am dining out in DC?
4) We will have a Facebook page where you can follow my progress on a bi-weekly basis, interact with me and other health, wellness, and fitness people, and get into vicious arguments over the merits of Omega-6 supplements.
I am going on the Paleo diet for the next 6 weeks and continue my regular exercise routine in order to find out if or how the diet affects my performance of those activities (Note: sexual performance will not be included.)
I want to see if the Paleo diet is sustainable for the athlete and the active person.
In preparing for this piece I read and watched hours of dieters trying different diets and time and again they come up with really arbitrary “rules” for themselves. I am not a fan.
People have enough rules to live by so I am approaching this diet the way I think the “reasonable person” would approach it (for the legal definition of “reasonable person” just ask yourself, “what would a reasonable person would do?” See, you have learned Negligence 101 in one sentence [Copywrite, Chris Parkison.])
I will shop where most people shop—their neighborhood supermarket that may or may not have organic meat, fruits, vegetables and fish. I will look to the internet, the library, and friends for tips and recipes. And that is it.
Join the conversation:
We would like to open the topic of The Paleo Diet to our readers because we want to know your take on the subject.
Please join the Facebook Page we have created for this experiment where you will find a journal of my progress, updated bi-weekly, and be able to interact with other health, wellness, and fitness professionals that contribute to Thriive.
And Please remember to be civil. The Page is not intended as a forum for hate. Only for help.
In addition to my updates, there will be a companion piece to this one where one of our specialists will discuss the merits of the diet, its history, and the controversies. Stay tuned.
Next Week, the details and the starting numbers!