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HomeDiets & Weight LossWhat is Paleo Diet? Paleo Diet Effective For Weight Loss?

What is Paleo Diet? Paleo Diet Effective For Weight Loss?

You’ve probably heard of the Paleo diet, haven’t you? It’s a dietary choice that many people prefer, especially when the goal is to scientifically and effectively shed excess weight and fat. For those who are “newbies” in the world of health and nutrition, starting with Paleo might seem a bit daunting. However, don’t worry! Today’s article from Grove Health Bondi will answer the question, “What is Paleo diet?” and guide you on how to apply the Paleo diet in a way that is suitable and yields the best results.

Paleo Diet Effective For Weight Loss?
Paleo Diet Effective For Weight Loss?

1. What is Paleo Diet?

The Paleo diet, also known as the “Prehistoric Man’s Diet”, draws inspiration from the menu of our ancestors during the Paleolithic era. This dietary approach simulates the lifestyle of our forebears thousands of years ago.

In this diet, we focus on consuming foods that prehistoric humans could find and gather. This includes a significant amount of protein from meat and fish, along with fiber and vitamins from vegetables and fruits. Importantly, all these foods must be natural and free from additives or preservatives.

The Paleo diet not only provides necessary nutrition for the body but also aims to foster a healthy and natural lifestyle. It is a unique and effective approach to taking care of your health and weight.

Paleo Diet
Paleo Diet

2. How Does the Paleo Diet Work?

The Paleo diet, invented by Dr. Loren Cordain, is based on the premise that the human body is designed to consume a high amount of protein and a low amount of carbohydrates, much like our Stone Age ancestors did.

When compared to other diets, the Paleo diet stands out for its high protein content, low carbohydrates, and moderate fats. This helps prevent unwanted weight gain from consuming too many carbohydrates from processed foods.

The Paleo diet encourages a healthier eating lifestyle, more compatible with human digestion. It improves health by eliminating foods that are high in fat, heavily processed, but low in nutrients and high in calories. As a result, your food intake will decrease, helping you lose weight and reduce fat more effectively.

Does the Paleo Diet Work
Does the Paleo Diet Work

3. 5 Ways the Paleo Diet Can Help You Lose Weight

The Paleo diet, inspired by our hunter-gatherer ancestors, is a popular choice for weight loss due to its emphasis on natural and unprocessed foods. Here are five ways the Paleo diet can assist in weight loss:

Paleo Diet Can Help You Lose Weight
Paleo Diet Can Help You Lose Weight

3.1. High in Protein

Protein plays a crucial role in weight loss, as it has the ability to boost metabolism, reduce hunger, and regulate several important hormones related to weight.

The Paleo diet focuses on enhancing protein intake, with recommendations to consume rich sources of protein such as meat, fish, and eggs. In fact, this diet provides a calorie count from protein that makes up 25-35% of the total daily calorie consumption.

3.2. Low in Carbs

Effective weight loss sometimes requires a reduction in daily carbohydrate intake. Numerous studies have shown that a low-carb diet often yields better results compared to the traditional low-fat diet.

The Paleo diet supports this reduction in carbohydrates by eliminating common carb sources such as bread, rice, and potatoes. This doesn’t mean that carbohydrates are entirely bad for health, but limiting carbs can help reduce daily calorie consumption, thereby aiding the weight loss process.

3.3. Reduces Calorie Intake

Weight loss often requires a reduction in calorie consumption. This means that choosing foods that can alleviate hunger and keep you feeling full for longer is crucial.

Studies have shown that the Paleo diet can help prolong feelings of fullness compared to other diets such as the Mediterranean diet or diets for people with diabetes.

In addition, the Paleo diet helps increase the production of hormones that promote feelings of fullness after meals, such as GLP-1, PYY, and GIP, more so than traditional diets.

3.4. Eliminates Processed Foods

Modern dietary habits, with a reliance on processed foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients, have become a primary cause of obesity. In fact, numerous studies have established a link between increased consumption of processed foods and obesity.

In contrast, the Paleo diet focuses on limiting processed foods and encourages the consumption of protein sources from lean meats, fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. These foods are not only lower in calories but also rich in nutrients, providing energy without leading to weight gain.

3.5. Removes Refined Sugars

Refined sugar, much like processed foods, can have undesirable impacts on your health and weight. It adds calories to your diet but doesn’t provide much nutritional value. In fact, consuming large amounts of refined sugar can increase the risk of diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

The Paleo diet, a popular dietary approach, completely excludes refined sugar and encourages the consumption of natural sugars from fruits and vegetables. While fruits and vegetables do contain natural sugars, they are also sources of vitamins, fiber, and water, all of which are beneficial for health.

4. Health Benefits of the Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet offers a variety of health benefits:

Benefits of the Paleo Diet
Benefits of the Paleo Diet

4.1. May Reduce Belly Fat

Belly fat is not only detrimental to one’s appearance but also poses numerous health risks, including heart disease and diabetes. The Paleo diet has been proven effective in reducing belly fat.

According to a study, ten healthy women adopted the Paleo diet for a span of five weeks. The results revealed that, on average, they reduced their waist circumference – a crucial indicator of belly fat – by 8 cm, and lost a total weight of approximately 4.6 kg. This serves as clear evidence of the effectiveness of the Paleo diet in improving health and promoting weight loss.

4.2. May Increase Insulin Sensitivity and Lower Blood Sugar

Insulin sensitivity refers to how responsive cells are to insulin. When insulin sensitivity increases, the body can more effectively remove sugar from the bloodstream, which is beneficial for health. Studies have shown that the Paleo diet can help improve this and reduce blood sugar levels.

A two-week study was conducted on 24 obese individuals with type 2 diabetes. They followed either the Paleo diet or a diet that included moderate salt, low-fat milk, whole grains, and legumes.

The final results showed that both groups improved in terms of insulin sensitivity, but the group using medication saw stronger improvements. However, only in the Paleo group did those with the highest insulin resistance see an increase in insulin sensitivity.

4.3. May Lower Heart Disease Risk Factors 

  • The Paleo diet, with its emphasis on lean proteins, healthy fats, fresh fruits, and vegetables, has been proven to be beneficial for cardiovascular health. This is unsurprising as it can reduce factors associated with heart disease.
  • Blood Pressure: According to an analysis from four studies involving 159 participants, the Paleo diet helped reduce systolic blood pressure by 3.64 mmHg and average diastolic blood pressure by 2.48 mmHg.
  • Triglycerides: Studies have shown that the Paleo diet can help reduce the total amount of triglycerides in the blood by up to 44%.
  • LDL Cholesterol: The Paleo diet has also been proven to help reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol – the “bad” cholesterol – by up to 36%.

4.4. May Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural bodily response aimed at healing and combating infections. However, chronic inflammation can lead to serious health issues and increase the risk of diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

The Paleo diet focuses on the consumption of foods that can help reduce chronic inflammation. Specifically, this diet encourages the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are excellent sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent and neutralize the harmful free radicals that damage cells during chronic inflammation.

Additionally, the Paleo diet recommends consuming fish as a primary source of protein. Fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have the ability to reduce chronic inflammation by inhibiting pro-inflammatory hormones, including TNF-α, IL-1, and IL-6.

5. Foods to Eat in the Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet emphasizes the consumption of natural, unprocessed foods. Here is a list of foods recommended when following this diet:

  • Meats: Various meats such as beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, and pork, especially those from free-range animals.
  • Fish and Seafood: Salmon, cod, shrimp, scallops, particularly those that are wild-caught.
  • Eggs: Eggs from free-range chickens or eggs enriched with omega-3.
  • Vegetables: Including kale, spinach, peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes, and many others.
  • Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, avocados, strawberries, blueberries, etc.
  • Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, and others.
  • Nuts: Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
  • Oils and Healthy Fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil.
  • Salt and Spices: Sea salt, garlic, turmeric, rosemary, etc.

Additionally, the Paleo diet allows for the consumption of a small amount of certain foods and beverages such as high-quality red wine and dark chocolate (with a cocoa content of 70% or higher). These foods are not only delicious but also contain many antioxidants and nutrients beneficial to health.

Foods to Eat in the Paleo Diet
Foods to Eat in the Paleo Diet

6. Foods to Avoid in the Paleo Diet

When adhering to the Paleo diet, you should avoid the following types of foods and ingredients:

  • Sugar and Corn Syrup: Products such as soft drinks, fruit juices, sugar, candies, pastries, and ice cream often contain high amounts of sugar and corn syrup.
  • Grains: This includes products made from wheat such as bread, pasta, as well as barley and rye.
  • Legumes: Types of legumes like beans and lentils should be avoided.
  • Milk: Most types of milk, especially low-fat milk, are not included in the Paleo diet.
  • Vegetable Oils: Soybean oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, and others.
  • Trans Fats: Typically found in margarine and various processed foods.
  • Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame, sucralose, cyclamates, saccharin, acesulfame potassium. Instead, use natural sweeteners.
  • Processed Foods: Products labeled as “diet”, “low-fat” or containing many additives.
Foods to Avoid in the Paleo Diet
Foods to Avoid in the Paleo Diet

7. Sample Paleo Diet Meal Plan for a Week

Here is a new version of a week-long Paleo diet menu, designed to suit your lifestyle and eating habits:


  • Breakfast: Fried eggs with greens cooked in coconut oil. Add a piece of fruit.
  • Lunch: Chicken salad dressed in olive oil. Add a handful of nuts.
  • Dinner: Grilled meat sandwiched between two layers of greens, served with avocado and salsa.


  • Breakfast: Smoked meat and eggs, accompanied by a piece of fruit.
  • Lunch: Grilled meat from the previous night’s dinner.
  • Dinner: Salmon fried in butter, served with greens.


  • Breakfast: Meat and vegetables from the previous night’s dinner.
  • Lunch: Sandwich wrapped in lettuce leaves, with fresh meat and vegetables.
  • Dinner: Ground beef stir-fried with vegetables. Add a handful of berries.


  • Breakfast: Eggs and a piece of fruit.
  • Lunch: Stir-fry from the previous night’s dinner. Add a handful of nuts.
  • Dinner: Pork stir-fried with vegetables.


  • Breakfast: Eggs and greens fried in coconut oil.
  • Lunch: Chicken salad dressed in olive oil. Add a handful of nuts.
  • Dinner: Steak, served with greens and sweet potatoes.


  •  Breakfast: Smoked meat and eggs, accompanied by a piece of fruit.
  • Lunch: Beef and vegetables from the previous night’s dinner.
  • Dinner: Grilled salmon, served with greens and avocado.


  • Breakfast: Meat and vegetables from the previous night’s dinner.
  • Lunch: Sandwich wrapped in lettuce leaves, with fresh meat and vegetables.
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken wings, served with greens and salsa.

In this Paleo diet, there is no need to count calories or worry about nutritional ratios. However, if your goal is to lose weight, you should reduce your carb intake and limit foods high in fat, such as nuts. Best of luck with your Paleo diet!

Paleo Diet Meal Plan for a Week
Paleo Diet Meal Plan for a Week

8. Conclusion

It’s undeniable that the Paleo diet is garnering increasing interest due to the remarkable benefits it offers, not only for physical appearance but also for overall health. However, transitioning to a completely new eating style is a journey full of challenges, requiring persistence and determination. Hopefully, through this article, you have decoded the concept ofWhat is Paleo Diet?” and determined whether it is the right choice for you. Wishing you success in finding the healthiest and most suitable dietary path for yourself!

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Glenn Salkeld
Glenn Salkeld
Professor Glenn Salkeld is a health economist with more than 30 years experience in public health research and a PhD in the economics of preventive health care. Glenn has a particular interest in screening and diagnostic test evaluation based on the implementation of multi-criteria decision analysis.

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