I’m not going to say I didn’t have some pretty difficult moments. For example, don’t purchase an ice cream maker the day you start your Whole30 and let it sit in your entryway for 30 days to taunt you. I did that; it was dumb. Also, there were points in the program on those days when I felt off that I broke down or wanted to throw in the towel. Feeling bad on top of the normal Lyme symptoms wasn’t great, but I’m glad that I stuck it out.
Research into the weight loss effects of the paleolithic diet has generally been of poor quality. One trial of obese postmenopausal women found improvements in weight and fat loss after six months, but the benefits had ceased by 24 months; side effects among participants included "weakness, diarrhea, and headaches". Any weight loss caused by the diet was merely the result of calorie restriction, rather than a special feature of the diet itself.
I was very excited to get this book but am putting this in the "just ok" category. That said, I'm normally a huge Whole 30 fan and use the recipes from the Whole30: 30 Day Guide... all the time. Something that I appreciated from the 30 Day Guide was the simplicity of the recipes, most were kid friendly and included lots of one pot meals that work for busy people. That is not the case with the new recipe book.
As far as food goes, you’re simply going to eat a lot of fresh, good-quality eats and ditch the processed stuff. Beyond that, you’re removing all grains, dairy, soy, legumes, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and alcohol from your diet. All of these foods (especially in excess), according to the authors, have been linked to systemic inflammation, hormonal imbalance, gut issues, and more. The idea is to remove the stressors from your body and give it the nourishment and time to heal itself it needs. This means less inflammation, a healthy metabolism, hormonal harmony, a happy gut, clearer skin, and improved energy! Sounds good to me. (Although if we’re honest, I panicked a bit when I realized no cheese would hit my lips for a full month.)
Cordain argues that chimpanzees and horses avoid meat, and they have big bellies that we would have if we didn’t ditch plants for meat. He also says meat increased human brain size, and decreased stomach size so we can have the six-pack abs that chimps can’t. But I looked at his endnotes with citations to research and couldn’t find the source for these theories. I also couldn’t find research showing that legumes and grains were invented by humans.
What is the Stone Age or Paleo diet? The Stone Age diet, or paleolithic diet, is based on the foods early humans would have eaten in the Stone Age. It may help in weight loss. Supporters argue that, since our genes have changed little in millions of years, items such as meat, herbs, and insects are more suitable foods for humans than grains and flours. Read now
The NY Times had a blog article on Good News on Saturated Fat which is reporting on Gary Taubes's interpretation of the new report in The New England Journal of Medicine on a two-year diet experiment in Israel. A followup is the post The Fat Fight Goes On where Gary rebuts the arguments against the study. And here's a good interview with Taubes (and includes a good summary): Gary Taubes on Cold Fusion, Good Nutrition and What Makes Bad (and Good) Science.