Many Americans struggle with obesity with billions of dollars spent every year on weight loss aids and fad diets. However, losing weight and staying in great shape could be quite easy if we just go back to our roots. The Paleo Diet and Crossfit training program provides an excellent synergy in terms of a natural strategy to achieve your fitness goals.
The Paleo Diet is based around the philosophy of rejecting the modern diet and trying to get back to the way our distant ancestors ate. The diet not only does away with processed food, it also eliminates much of the produce from the modern agricultural revolution, including whole grains. Basically it reverses the clock to a time when cavemen roamed Europe in a hunter and gatherer mode before the time of agriculture.
As a result, the Paleo Diet mostly consists of a diet of meats and organic fruits and vegetables. The diet works mainly by cutting out much of the processed nutritionally deficient food that caused problems with our nutrition in the first place. Additionally whole foods combat insulin resistance that has become a big problem in the West. One advantage of the Paleo Diet is that more calories can be consumed since there is a greater thermogenic effect to the food since it is in its raw unprocessed state requiring more energy to digest. Thus calorie counting is not a problem.
One of the more highly controversial aspects of the Paleo Diet is that foods such as whole grains, milk, and egg products are excluded from the diet. There is little scientific evidence to support excluding these foods, and many claims about our system not having time to adapt to these changes over the years by Paleo enthusiasts have been debunked by scientific studies showing that there have been genetic changes over time, such as the expression of more copies of the salivary amylase gene. Nonetheless, the Paleo Diet probably does work better for some people with food allergies, such as those who are lactose intolerant or gluten intolerant.
The Crossfit training program likewise is based on the concept of doing things the way we are meant to. As a result it stresses functional movements mirroring day to day actions, over artificial workouts that do not correspond to anything we might do naturally during the day. In fact, given this natural philosophy it is not surprising that the Paleo Diet is one of the two diets recommended by the program (the other being the Zone Diet).
Workouts for the day are constantly varied and posted online each day. People are also challenged to set and achieve robust personal goals. Activities are done for short durations at high intensity. Much research has shown such high intensity interval training such as this can actually be more effective for fat loss because it is important to give muscle tissue an opportunity to periodically rest. Otherwise, by doing too much steady cardiovascular endurance training, one could be in danger of losing lean body mass during a diet. Our ancestors did not do cardiovascular endurance workouts, they expended a short amount of energy in short periods of time.
The great thing about the Crossfit program and Paleo Diet together is that since the Paleo Diet is not about calorie restriction and tends to generate high protein levels from meat consumption, lean muscle mass development can be accelerated. Maintaining and building lean muscle mass has long been recognized as key to boosting the metabolism and maintaining long term weight loss. By combining these two programs together, you just might reach your weight loss goals easier than you would have thought possible.