There has been a diet trend that has risen to prominence with the tide of the “name brand workout” craze (Crossfit); the Paleo diet. The general idea behind this diet is that the advent of agricultural advancement occurred relatively recently in our evolutionary history and there are some foods that we can now consume in mass quantities that were simply never meant to be consumed in such a manner - namely gluten and dairy.
Here’s the kicker though: I think it’s a crock of shit. I really do. I haven’t been able to find any real science that lends credibility to the idea that eating meat, fruit and vegetables alone is healthier for you than a diet including gluten and dairy. I do know that some people are allergic to dairy and gluten; but I don’t see significant, peer-reviewed studies that indicate that these are universally harmful.
That’s not to say that people who commit themselves to these fad diets aren’t successful, but I am more of the belief that the diets have a lot less to do with the actual results. Diet is, of course, important; but the specific kind of diet is less important. By this I mean, if you take someone who is over-consuming and commit them to a diet where they have to carefully consider the things they are eating, they will undoubtedly make better choices about their food consumption. However, in the end the only real, scientifically-backed method for weight loss and good health that I’ve found is the timeless - “calories in, calories out.” If you want to lose weight consume less, if you want to gain weight consume more.
So I’m going to adhere to this stupid diet for 3 months… and I mean it, I am really going to follow this diet to the letter. I purchased a few paleo cook books and I am going to be as strict as possible about my food consumption, even limiting myself to grass-fed animal proteins.
I went to the doctor last week and had a full battery of blood work performed, I had my weight, resting heart rate and blood pressure taken. I went to three different gyms and had my body fat percentage taken. The results of these tests were that I’m in exceptional health, sans my being deficient in vitamin D due to the fact that I’m a pasty-skinned software engineer. After three months I’m going to have these tests rerun and I’m going to ask my doctor if he thinks I’m in better or worse shape than before I started.
Nothing else will change. I currently work out 6 days a week, lifting every single day and running 3 days a week. I’ve run several full and half marathons and am currently in the process of preparing for a half marathon. I also play on two soccer teams. The idea behind this is to see if an active, healthy person will really benefit from restrictive diets like Paleo; or if it’s just a bunch of nonsense. Granted, I am one case study and I doubt I will change anyone’s mind.