Why so strict? According to the diet's founders, Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, these are the foods that are most likely to cause inflammation and gut damage. They're also the foods that the founders say destabilize blood sugar levels and lead to cravings. But it's hard to say whether that's true for everyone. In general, limiting sugar and alcohol is always a good idea. But dairy, grains, and legumes? They don't trigger an inflammatory response in everyone, Haas says.
On that spring day across America, the CrossFit faithful gathered--and toiled. There were hundreds of thousands of them, certainly. Maybe a million, maybe two. In an old industrial facility in New Orleans, they hoisted themselves on gymnastic rings and did dips up there. In a strip mall in Santa Cruz, California, they threw 20-pound medicine balls against a wall over and over again. In a business park near the Dulles airport in Virginia, they pushed weighted barbells above their heads, first once a minute, and then as fast as they could for three minutes straight--or until they couldn't lift their arms.
Another downside: If you have had chronic health issues (especially gut related), you may find that reintroduction actually teaches you that you're sensitive to most foods. It turns out peanut butter, gluten, and most dairy are now off limits. That rots!! But I'll live. I feel so, so much better without them, as I learned. And wouldn't you rather know why you feel crappy all the time?

Soon, Glassman started advertising seminars. For $4,500 plus airfare and accommodations, he would come to you. Or, for $1,000 a head, people could come to Soquel. He would lecture on everything he had concluded about fitness and run participants through workouts. Meanwhile, CrossFit.com devotees were attracting followers of their own. Robb Wolf, a biochemist and former powerlifter from Seattle, visited the Glassmans in early 2002. He and some friends were starting a little gym--could they call it CrossFit?
When the clock struck midnight, I couldn't wait any longer: I helped myself to a serving of plain white rice. I sat on my couch cross-legged, eating each spoonful with my eyes closed like one of the yogurt commercial ladies. I even smiled. The next day, I ate more gluten-free carbs, like rice and paleo pancakes. I also had wine and tequila, a grain-free liquor option. I didn't get bombed like I was worried about, but I did have a worse-than-usual hangover the next day. The fun night out was worth it, though.
The Hiwi gather and hunt a diverse group of plants and animals from the savannas, forests, rivers and swamps. Their main sources of meat are capybara, collared peccary, deer, anteater, armadillo, and feral cattle, numerous species of fish, and at least some turtle species. Less commonly consumed animals include iguanas and savanna lizards, wild rabbits, and many birds. Not exactly the kind of meat Paleo dieters and others in urban areas can easily obtain.

Since then, I've reintroduced legumes, soy, added sugar, and dairy back into my diet. Since I'm lactose intolerant, I was most afraid of dairy, but it seems as of my dairy intolerance has disappeared, which is an unexpected positive. I definitely sleep worse, though, and feel more bloated when I enjoy dairy or carbs with gluten. So going forward, I'll be eating these with more moderation than before.
A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research entitled "Crossfit-based high intensity power training improves maximal aerobic fitness and body composition" followed 54 participants for 10 weeks of CrossFit training. The study said that "...a notable percentage of our subjects (16%) did not complete the training program and return for follow-up testing." The authors said "This may call into question the risk-benefit ratio for such extreme training programs..."[59] In 2014, CrossFit, Inc. filed a lawsuit against the National Strength and Conditioning Association for publishing this study, alleging that the data were false and were "intended to scare participants away from CrossFit."[60] The NSCA denies CrossFit, Inc.'s allegations[60] but has issued an erratum acknowledging that the injury data were incorrect.[61] In September 2016, the District Court ruled in favor of CrossFit Inc.'s claims that the injury data were found to be false, but not that the NSCA was commercially motivated or that the publishing of the study was defamatory as the NSCA no longer stood behind the study.[62] In February 2017, CrossFit filed for sanctions against the NSCA after one of the NSCA's witnesses admitted to falsifying statements during deposition.[63] In May 2017, the Court issued 17 issues sanctions against the NSCA, writing that the organization did have a commercial motive to falsify the data, had published the false data knowingly to disparage CrossFit, and had misled the public with their erratum.[63] CrossFit was awarded $74,000 in legal fees and allowed to continue investigating the NSCA. If the neutral-party analysis of the NSCA servers turns up any further misconduct, CrossFit may file an amended complaint for further sanctioning and compensation for lost revenue.[64]
Gluten is a protein found in things like rye, wheat, and barley. It’s now being said that much of our population may be gluten-intolerant (hence all the new “gluten-free!” items popping up everywhere).  Over time, those who are gluten intolerant can develop a dismal array of medical conditions from consuming gluten: dermatitis, joint pain, reproductive problems, acid reflux, and more.[2]
The Paleo Answer: 7 Days to Lose Weight, Feel Great, Stay Young by Loren Cordain. The author shows you how to supercharge the Paleo diet for optimal lifelong health and weight loss. Featuring a new prescriptive 7-day plan and surprising revelations from the author's original research, it's the most powerful Paleo guide yet. Published December 20, 2011.
The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy by Mark Sisson is a journey through human evolution, comparing the life and robust health of our hunter-gatherer ancestors with a day in the life of a modern family. The author offers a solution in 10 empowering Blueprint Lifestyle Laws: eat lots of plants and animals, avoid poisonous things, move frequently at a slow pace, lift heavy things, sprint once in a while, get adequate sleep, play, get adequate sunlight, avoid stupid mistakes, and use your brain. The reader learns how the right high-fat diet can actually help one lose weight and how popular low-fat, grain-based diets might trigger illness, disease, and lifelong weight gain. The author presents a comprehensive, well thought out paleo style eating plan in a humorous and organized manner. He backs up all his work with research, natural wisdom, and historical timelines. He disputes the role of dietary saturated fat in causation of arteriosclerosis, the role of cholesterol in promotion of heart disease, and the costly over-promotion of expensive, potentially toxic statin drugs. He criticizes our massive overeating of refined carbohydrates and urges avoidance of grains, cereals, bread and sugar. There is specific recommendation for "primal" food including more natural healthy fats and meats, fruits, veggies, and nuts. Some reviewers consider this to be the best of the various paleo books. The many Amazon reviews average to 5 stars. The author's popular and worthwhile web site: Mark's Daily Apple. The 2nd Edition was published January 14, 2012.
Of course Wikipedia has a page on the Paleolithic Diet. It is quite thorough. It also isn't clear about the lean/fatty meat debate between the followers of Loren Cordain and a slew of others, and pushes lean meat. It is weak on the variations of the diet. Then it restricts fermented beverages. Even butterflies eat fermented fruit. Why wouldn't our paleo ancestors also?
The Whole30 book is the perfect thing to read while you’re visiting your in-laws or don’t feel like telling Aunt Sue for the 100th time what you do for a living. It’s helpful, it’s clear, and it will get you motivated. Want even more Whole30 recipes? Hartwig's latest Whole30 Cookbook may not have the nitty-gritty plan details, but the recipes are baller.
While there is wide variability in the way the paleo diet is interpreted,[6] the diet typically includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, and meat and typically excludes foods such as dairy products, grains, sugar, legumes, processed oils, salt, alcohol or coffee.[1][additional citation(s) needed] The diet is based on avoiding not just processed foods, but rather the foods that humans began eating after the Neolithic Revolution when humans transitioned from hunter-gatherer lifestyles to settled agriculture.[3] The ideas behind the diet can be traced to Walter Voegtlin,[7]:41 and were popularized in the best-selling books of Loren Cordain.[8]
Yes, the Whole30 diet encourages you to reintroduce off-limits foods. But the purpose of an elimination diet is to discover which foods do and don't work for you. Add everything back in at once, and you won't be able to tell which ingredient is causing the problem. Plus, after 30 days of squeaky-clean eating, gorging on junk will probably leave you feeling pretty crummy.
It takes 30 days to push the reset button on your health and change your relationship with food. This is the concept behind Melissa and Dallas Hartwig’s Whole30 program. By eating non-processed whole foods and ditching grains, dairy, and sugar, you will reduce inflammation in your system, clear up your skin, and revitalize your energy stores. These are just a few of the benefits this program boasts.
Paleo critics point out that not all grains are created equal—whole grains do not spike your blood sugar as much as refined grains. Even so, paleo dieters still steer clear of grains because they contain different compounds and proteins like gluten, lectins and phytates, which they claim cause inflammation in the body and block other nutrients from being absorbed. Paleo critics say these compounds are not a problem unless you have an allergy or sensitivity.
Paleo diets are based on a simple premise – if the cavemen didn’t eat it, you shouldn’t either. So long to refined sugar, dairy, legumes and grains (this is pre-agricultural revolution), and hello to meat, fish, poultry, fruits and veggies. The idea is that by eliminating modern-era foods like highly-processed carbs and dairy, you can avoid or control “diseases of civilization” like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and likely lose weight too. What you eat and how much depend on your goals or the specific program you’re on, if you choose to follow one. The high-protein diet is ranked poorly among U.S. News experts, who consider it too restrictive to be healthy or sustainable.
The Paleo Answer: 7 Days to Lose Weight, Feel Great, Stay Young by Loren Cordain. The author shows you how to supercharge the Paleo diet for optimal lifelong health and weight loss. Featuring a new prescriptive 7-day plan and surprising revelations from the author's original research, it's the most powerful Paleo guide yet. Published December 20, 2011.
Fruits are not only delicious, but they’re also great for you. That said, fruits (even paleo-approved ones) contain large amounts of fructose which, while much better than HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup), is still sugar. If you’re looking to lose weight on the paleo diet, you’ll want to cut back on your fruit intake and focus more on the vegetables allowed on the paleo diet. However, feel free to have one to three servings of fruit a day. Check out this list of paleo diet fruits and see if you’re not hungry by the end! (We’ll admit, we’re partial to blackberries!)

In the long term, you have to be sure you’re getting calcium and other nutrients you’re missing by not having dairy products and certain grains. Some paleo-approved foods, such as salmon and spinach, contain calcium, so you have to be sure you’re including them in your diet. It would be a good idea to check with a registered dietitian, too, to make sure you’re meeting your calcium and other nutrient needs.

"Every fad diet thinks it has discovered the root of all evil," says Dr. Ochner. But nutrients in legumes, whole grains, and dairy—all of which are forbidden on the paleo diet—can help to lower the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, reduce blood pressure, and promote a healthy weight, he says. Cutting dairy, the primary source of calcium and vitamin D in modern diets, is especially worrisome for women who want to avoid osteoporosis.
Our ancestors didn't chase cows and chickens around in the wild. They hunted game, antelopes, buffalo, and probably some animals we've never heard of that are long extinct. Their meat was generally quite lean, and provided more healthy omega 3s than meats from modern day animals, even the grass-fed ones, according to Dr. Katz. Many of the plants that thrived back then are also extinct today, making it impossible to truly follow their meal plan, he says.
People with irritable bowel syndrome might gravitate to the Fodmap diet, which cuts out carbs like beans and lentils as well as avocados and other fruits, to help with constipation, bloating and gas. Many others can do just fine on a plan that includes more whole grains and vegetables, without worrying too much over specific concentrations of carbohydrates or fats. The Mediterranean diet, which can include portions of bread, nuts, fish, and cheese is a time-tested plan to help prevent heart disease and promote healthy aging.
Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fresh meat—the paleo diet is all about eating foods straight from the Earth just as our ancestors did. Those ancestors didn't have livestock or crops to call their own, so Cordain advises to go with grass-fed and organic varieties whenever possible to limit exposure to pesticides, antibiotics, and other chemicals that didn't exist back then. Research from Emory University suggests that Paleolithic people obtained about 35% of their calories from fats, 35% from carbohydrates, and 30% from protein.
Then I had my "aha!" moment. This was the perfect time to attempt Whole30, which I had always been interested in trying. My sister-in-law, Lisa, tried it a few years ago and she claims it changed her life. She ended up going off of the strict diet after 30 days, but stayed on the Paleo Diet. I asked her to be my "Whole30 advisor" throughout the entire process. (Side note: If you know someone who has done Whole30 before, ask them if they can be your guide!) Lisa was so helpful, I feel like I probably should have paid her.
It's especially hard saying no to drinks or a trip to the ice cream parlor when friends are involved. Rather than hole up like a hermit for the month, try taking food out of the social equation. Ask friends to go for a hike, see a movie, or meet at a café and sip black coffee or tea. Your loved ones have the power to seriously set you off course when it comes to dropping pounds—here's how you can stay on track.
You’ll be exposed to a ton of new, delicious recipes. If you know you’re not the cooking type, start simple. Instead of making the fancy egg-bake in a cast-iron pan, grab some eggs, veggies, sausage, and avocado then scramble your breakfast. Top it with (sugar-free) hot sauce, and you'll have yourself a solid meal in seven minutes. Don't be afraid to make that for breakfast five times a week; making similar meals over and over again is easier than trying to whip up (new) complicated ones.

So what does the science say about the paleo diet? Some research suggests that the health claims hold truth. A review analyzed four randomized, controlled trials with 159 participants, and researchers found that the paleo diet led to more short-term improvements in some risk factors for chronic disease (including waist circumference and fasting blood sugar) compared with other control diets. (4)


Once you've got your meals and snacks mapped out, make a grocery list and hit the store. Doing one big shop ensures that you'll have everything on hand for the week, so there's no last-minute scrambling. Be sure to read ingredient labels carefully in the packaged foods you buy. For example, some almond milks have carrageenan, an unapproved emulsifier, soy sauce has traces of gluten, and deli meats have preservatives.
Optimal Diet is a dietary model of human nutrition devised and implemented by Dr. Jan Kwasniewski. Lots of fat and low in carbs. Lots and lots of articles collected from various places. He has an out-of-print book: Optimal Nutrition. The book is explained at the Australian Homo Optimus Association website. A thorough analysis is the first post here: Dr. Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet: Sanity, Clarity, Facts.

"CrossFit is not a specialized fitness program, but a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in each of 10 recognized fitness domains," says founder Greg Glassman in the Foundations document. Those domains are cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy.[30]

×