While I consider biochemical and evolutionary science to be the most compelling argument for eating Paleo, something that I also find super compelling is the abundance of success stories out there. But the devils advocate in me has always wondered about the other side. There's just got to be people out there who tried paleo but quit--and not necessarily because they failed (re: Melissa's "faileo"), but because they felt crappy or didn't like it.
For example, I have one friend who tried paleo but is attributing his continued blood pressure problems to the diet. I have some more suggestions for him, but he's adamant.
So my question is this: do you know people, either in real life or via the internet, who have sincerely tried paleo and swear that its ineffective/harmful/stupid/etc? And why do you think that is? Did they just not do it properly, or was it truly bad for them, or did they just not feel any benefits worth raving about and therefore quit?
I think everything works differently depending on the person. Before I went paleo, my body worked wonderfully on the 2:1 carb to protein ratio many bodybuilders (the old school folk, if you will) use. That, of course, included oats and dairy (and more fruit than I take in these days). Now that I've eaten paleo for a year I have noticed changes, and not all good. My body fat percentage rests much higher than it did before, despite also having more lean muscle mass. Also, I am almost always hungry. My body's tolerance for "bad" foods is zero. So, thefew days I choose to eat poorly are hell. Sugar makes me noticeably swell up - and it takes longer than most to get re-regulated. I'm not going to argue that I haven't seen benefits as far as physical performance, but I'd say there are some downfalls.
I think there are elements of the paleo diet that can be applicable to all. Such as: grassfed meats, lots of veggies, little to no sugar, etc. However, each person is so unique that it's hard to say that 1 particular way of eating will work for all. Especially if you get too detailed (No dairy for everyone, no legumes, even if properly prepared, etc). I do think that there will always be people who won't do well on a seemingly healthy way of eating. It's hard to blame the paleo diet, though, since we don't have food logs, blood test results, etc.
Not exactly anti-paleo, but related: I have not grown to love meat and shrug off bread/sugar. It may come with more time, but many testimonials hinted that this happens.
If I wasn't eating for health, I would still go straight to McDonalds and get a Big Mac meal with a hot-fudge sundae. Sure, I get less hungry than before. But when I get hungry, I would totally choose Doritos over pemmican if health had nothing to do with it. Almost thirty years of lapping up sugar and salt will do that to you, I guess :(
Not to mention that the paleo foods that I liked most before eating paleo (bacon, barbecued pulled pork, rotisserie chicken with crispy skin, almonds) have the highest amounts of omega 6! Damn you, level 2 paleo!
I tried a strict low carb paleo diet for about 2 months - no potatoes, no rice, very little fruit. Everything I read said I would go through an "adjustment" phase where I felt like crap, but then I'd come out the other side after a few weeks - but it never happened. I started to get weird mood swings very similar to blood sugar highs/lows, was really low energy, couldn't get through my workouts, and felt seriously hungry all the time. I figure if something makes you feel like shit for 2 months, it's probably because it makes you feel like shit - not because you're detoxing or need to be more regimented or whatever.
I still eat paleo, except that I eat as much rice, starchy tubers and fruit as I want, when I want, and I probably don't eat as much meat as some paleo eaters. I don't track calories or macronutrients, I don't take supplements, and I don't have "cheat days." I pretty much just eat the real food I feel like eating until I'm full. This is what works for me - I feel good, my health is good, my energy is good - I think that's the important thing. Not being "super paleo."
Everyone's body is different - eating real food is the main point. The rest is just tinkering to see what's going to work for you.
I have one (of sorts)....my mom had some heart issues about a year ago, they found a partial blockage, and the doctor put her on a strict diet that allowed only fish and/or a few fish oil pills for fat, nothing else, no avacado, no coconut, no other meat options. Now, her blockage seems to be reversed, she can exercise at a higher intensity, her blood work numbers are great and she's lost weight. The doctor claimed that the diet was necessary because, genetically, her body converts all fats to cholesterol.
Faced with her mortality, she doesn't want to hear anything else because her current diet has worked. Certainly makes it difficult to argue with her....thoughts?
Related: Have any paleos gone veg?
I'm back on insulin and I quit the paleo diet.My sugars started increasing to the 140s-150s in March and I went back on insulin. The diet really wasn't helping. However, I stayed on the paleo diet for a few days but I couldn't take it anymore and started having dairy, grains, and legumes again.
I totally understand. I don't think I could do paleo if I could NEVER EVER cheat or I might die.
I have a friend who ate lowfat (he avoided it) paleo for 2 months lost a lot of weight and then couldn't sustain it. He wouldn't eat any fat and gained a lot of weight back. Now he doesn't believe in paleo. I tried to help him find what kind of paleo diet to eat but he wouldn't listen. It was probably more vegetarian than paleo, regardless, he wasn't willing to find what worked for him and now he will spread a bad word on paleo eating.
The Blue Zoners don't eat strict paleo - veggie based diet, lots of nuts and legumes, soy products in Okinawa.
I'd say their lifestyle is paleo though - constant physical activity, lowish caloric intake, tight almost tribal community, have a purpose.
I've noticed that when I try to adapt to a strict paleo diet ( I've done this twice) without cheating I get wicked stomach aches, migraines, and food just moves through me. I've done a paleo challenge before where I cheated about 2 meals a week and loved it. My performance went through the roof but I got super skinny. I tried this again a few months back, this time without cheating and it sucked ass. I noticed that if I threw in some beans the stomach ache and migraine went away and I was all around happier.
Hey, I love my McDonalds. Not paleo at all but that is where I go once every two months for my "cheat meal". My GI system gladly cleanses it's self of this refined white flour and deep fried potato garbage the next day. I alternate McDonalds one month with a banana split the next. Both are worth a good cleansing. And yes, any self respecting caveman would have eaten the same thing if it was available. :)
However, in a hurry or on the go... fast food will serve just fine. Get whatever burger or chicken sandwich you want, get a side salad, toss the bun and skip the fries.