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Why people fail on a paleo diet?

Why people fail on a paleo diet?

Paleo diet also called as the “cave man diet” is touted to be best for present day health issues such as diabetes, heart problems, blood pressure etc. and hence has become the trend for many people who are intrigued by its health benefits. However some individuals fail in their attempt to adopt a paleo diet and give up because either they don’t notice results or simply deviate from the paleo guidelines.

Reasons for failure

People who give up on Paleo diet are of two types:

  • The first group of people are novice, who attempt  and give up either due to lack of commitment or they may find it intimidating to leave behind the convenience foods.
  • The second set of people are those that are midway on their journey in paleo diet and give up because they either don’t see the results or involve in binging on foods or adopt wrong paleo methods. Thus, failing could be attributed to a variety of reasons. Although they differ depending on the individual, the most common reasons can be classified as follows and are listed below:


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Dietary factors

Most of the information pertaining to paleolithic nutrition and dietary advice is often associated with lot of conflicting ideas, which confuse and mislead those who want to embark on the paleo journey.

Some dietary alterations are made based on the wrong information and hence the results are not as expected. For instance, paleo diet is often confused with low carb diet, while it is not actually based on low carb dieting. A low carbohydrate diet typically means restricting the amount of carbohydrate intake to about 20 – 60 grams per day, while on the other hand paleolithic diet does not place such restrictions and encourages consumption of complex carbohydrates such as tubers, roots, fruits and vegetables.

While on a paleo diet, a whole fruit needs to be consumed rather than taking its fruit juice. Restricting carbohydrates to a greater degree leads to binging, food cravings on unhealthy choices and may result in weight gain and other poor health effects.

Lifestyle factors

Physical activity: Most often individuals who follow a paleo diet fail to see that the benefits of paleolithic nutrition is strongly associated with the lifestyle pattern. Our ancestors had a very active lifestyle that involved long hours of walking, running away from wild beasts, climbing tall trees for food as well as rest etc and thus enjoyed a healthy life.

It should be well understood that simply following a paleo diet is not the solution for weight loss or any other health benefit. Most people, tend to forget that being physically active is also a crucial part of paleolithic nutrition and hence do not achieve the desired effect.

Socializing: Another major factor contributing as pit fall in the paleo journey is the environmental factors such as friends and society.

Learning to successfully cruise through non-paleo environment without giving into taste bud pleasures and food cravings is also an important component. The most common mistake most of us make is to submit to peer pressure and derail from the paleo path.

Personal factors

Noncommittal: Habits such as slipping into unhealthy ways of eating may lead to gastrointestinal disturbances as well as hinders the progress towards healthful way of eating.

Being extremist: Being noncommittal is one part of the equation that yields negative effects on paleo diet, the other part of equation is being an extremist. Some individuals get too focused on paleo way of eating and assume certain food facts on their own such as limiting the salt intake to the extreme, refraining from carbohydrates and end up with low energy and drop in blood pressure.

The above mentioned factors are general guidelines to recognize the causes that lead to failure on a paleo diet.The key here is to identify and avoid them in order to reap the benefits of a paleo diet. Food habits are culturally as well as emotionally imbibed in us since birth and it is true that dietary changes can hit us hard sometimes.

The best strategy to stay on track, is to foresee the beneficial results as often as you should to keep the spirit high and remain motivated to enjoy a better quality of  health.

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