When you truly want to lose weight and improve your health, one of the first changes you’re going to have to make is the food that you eat.
Sadly, most of us living in this modern, hectic world are almost forced to consume unhealthy junk food that can really cause a number of health issues in our organism as the years go by.
However, there are still people around who very much care about their health and what their diets can do to it, so a lot of them have started coming up with some pretty radical dieting ideas in order to get back into shape and raise their health up to an acceptable level.
Possibly most popular of these new, some would say crazy diets are the paleo diet, and the keto diet.
Some people even end up mixing up the two or think that they are the same thing, but in reality they have nothing to do with one another. In case you’re interested in trying one of these diets, in this article I want to share some of the most basic information about them, as well as how to pick the one that’s right for you.
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The Paleo Diet: Back to Basics
The paleo diet actually gets its name from the Paleolithic period of prehistory.
This was way before humankind discovered agriculture or any remotely advanced technology, so people still lived in hunter-gatherer tribes, living off the fat of the land in a much less efficient way than we do now.
Nowadays, we get our food at the grocery store or we order it online, but before it even reaches those shelves or gets to your front door, it goes through a very sophisticated manufacturing and packaging process, until it becomes a product that you can toss in your grocery bag and bring home.
The idea behind the paleo diet is that humans should eat like they used to eat back in the Paleolithic period. The reasoning behind the idea is that since there was no food production, our diets were much more diverse and therefore the average caveman was much more healthy than the modern human.
Eating like this means no processed grains or sugar, no bread, nothing that can be grown agriculturally, and avoiding foods that come from factories as much as possible.
The paleo diet also promotes growing your own food and eating locally as much as you can.
The Keto Diet: No Carbs Allowed!
The keto diet is a bit less extreme than the paleo diet, but as I already mentioned it is founded on a totally different concept. It’s named after the process known as “ketosis” that naturally happens within our bodies when we eat very few carbohydrates.
Put simply, ketosis is a state the body is in when all the energy it gets is from the fats in your organism.
Because of this, your fat supply can run low pretty quickly so this kind of diet can be great for people that want to burn off a lot of fat in a short period of time.
By denying the body fresh glucose that it can get from metabolizing carbs, it really has no other choice than to start burning up excess fat.
Choosing the Right One
In my personal opinion, which of these two diets you should be inclined to try wholly depends on your goal. If you want to lose a large amount of fat as fast as possible, then I say you go for the keto diet.
If you eat a lot of grains and processed sugar, then putting your body in a state of ketosis might actually feel like a relief. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t a diet that you should be on for extended periods of time, as it really isn’t healthy to swear off carbs forever.
The paleo diet is a bit more extreme however, and it restricts many types of foods and kind of makes food preparation difficult. Although the concept of what you can and cannot eat is simple (you just have to ask yourself “could cavemen get this back then?”), it will probably take up a lot more of your time and energy.
There have been many people that claim the paleo diet has really helped them lose weight and become more healthy, however, so there’s definitely something about eating as our pre-agriculture ancestors did that can be beneficial for our organism.
My Personal Choice: Paleo
If you ask me, out of the two diets that I’ve been talking about today, I’d have to say that I prefer the paleo diet.
The main reason why I’d make this choice is simple: diversity. I firmly believe that diversity is one of the most important aspects of any diet, simply because our bodies need a wide range of different nutrients that we simply don’t get with a conventional diet.
A big part of paleo is not eating the same food every day; by trying to emulate the diet of cavemen, you get to the point where one day you eat only vegetables. The other, you just eat some meat. Some days you don’t eat anything at all – a process called fasting, and though this really sounds like a bad idea when you first run into it, it’s really not a big deal and it can even be beneficial for your metabolism.
The keto diet, on the other hand, while it definitely has its uses and is very efficient if you want to lose weight, gives you less diversity because all you’re doing is cutting out the carbs.
This is why it’s not a good idea to remain on a keto diet for extended periods of time, as your body truly needs carbs as well as fats in order to keep functioning properly.
Hopefully I’ve given you enough insight to attempt one of these diets yourself, and see how your body reacts to it. Just remember to listen to your organism and adjust your diet accordingly, as we’re all built very differently and have different dietary needs, so just because it might work for somebody else doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for you.
Always be careful when experimenting with your diet, as it can really do more harm than good if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Monica Nichols is one of the most promising writers at www.diet.st, and apart from writing her main passion in life is designing clothes. In her free time, she likes listening to jazz and spending time with her boyfriend in their hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.