We all know that you need to drop the grains from your plate, we know you need to eat healthy saturated fats. We have the basics down. But what might we be missing on our plate? In our lifestyle? What, in your opinion, is the most underrated aspect of the Paleo philosophy?
Sleep? Play? Nutrients that the diet might neglect? Please spill your beans... (on the floor! Where they belong!)
One of the most greatest psychological benefits has been the lack of guilt associated with eating. You don't have to count calories or worry that you ate twice as much today as yesterday. Every meal is nourishing. I never try to pretend I'm not hungry to keep pounds off or eat just because it's meal time. The second is the simplicity. It's so easy once the dietary guidelines become second nature. Homemade meals can be as simple or complex as you desire and taste great either way.
I love how eating paleo eliminates the hunger cravings. I can easily fast for 6-18 hours without any hunger pains or drops in performance/attention.
I'm amazed when I hang out with friends who go crazy after only 3-4 hours of not eating, they become distracted by their hunger and can only focus on the next meal.
there are 2 questions people are answering, since the original question was a little ambiguous.
i think the original poster didn't mean underrated, but perhaps under-emphasized. but since people gave answers addressing the literal meaning of underrated, i'll answer both questions based on my experience.
what's missing for my paleo lifestlyle at the moment is good stress-reduction habits. i'm still a procrastinator, and this is an on-going struggle, which i'm making some progress on.
what is underrated, or not recognized enough, is that (for me) paleo has greatly improved my mood. i don't get down as much, i have a longer fuse, i get out of a bad mood faster, and i just have a greater sense of well-being and less anxiety.
My whole life I have had at least 6 or 7 cavities per check up. Since I have been on the diet, I haven't had a single one. That means, not a single cavity in a year and a half. I was always diligent about brushing and flossing, but no matter what I had cavities until I was on the Paleo diet. How annoying is it that a simple diet change could save me from dentures, and the dentists had no idea!
Thank you, Paleo Diet.
To me it's the liberation from all the misguided and harmful dietary common wisdom. I especially feel it when I eat the drippings from cooked meat instead of discarding it. Something about that act really brings it all home. It feels amazing.
Sunlight, VitD3, and sleep.
Pre-Paleo, I would stay up for days at a time, eventually becoming delusional, and incurring tons of psychosomatic stress and hormonal imbalances. Sugar rushes through unhealthy snack consumption and energy drinks were a few of the tools involved. Sometimes this was insomnia, at others, it would be voluntary.
After about a year of Paleo, I've recently noticed that my body has arrived at some sort of equilibrium, where sleep becomes absolutely necessary after a certain point. I attribute this to regulation from VitD3 consumption and dietary habit changes. Good healthy rest has really allowed my days to become priority focused, as productivity has greatly increased.
As an add in, I'd say "playing" more is pretty underrated. Really helps mitigate the stress from the day to day life.
By far, one of the most mundane yet beneficial aspects of my dietary change has been that I no longer get headaches. I use to have a ready supply of Excedrin and acetaminophen to handle the daily headaches I would get. Now? None. I don't know what to do with all of the excess pills.