I was watching the Paleo Summit last night. It is too bad I didn’t know this was a free seminar with videos expiring in 24 hours. I would have been logged on every night.
I was lucky enough to catch the the talk by Dr. Cate Shanahan titled “The Paleo Diet vs. Top-Selling Drugs: Who Wins?”
This of course hit home, given I prescribe many of the top selling drugs. I plan on writing a summary of this webisode later tonight. I thought it was quite good!
After watching the video I started thinking more about the differences between The 4 Hour Body diet and the Paleo diet. Brian from the 4HourBody Zone has a great post on this with a simple chart comparing the two.
I realized something though.
With the 4 Hour Body cheat day and the lack of fruit and milk, the 4 Hour Body is definitely more of a DIET.
In other words it doesn’t transition well into a long-term lifestyle solution for healthy living.
Although, I do believe it plants the seeds.
“Paleo” itself is more of a way of life. It is also not set in stone (although it would be written on one). It seems to me that the Paleo movement is actually less about living the way our ancestors did and more about combining the best of the two.
This makes sense. I mean in Paleolithic times people did not have vaccinations or computers or Garmin wrist watches to track their runs during their hunts. That doesn’t mean following a Paleo lifestyle requires throwing these devices in the garbage.
Also, there have been wonderful and valuable innovations in healthcare and science which have the opportunity to make our lives better. This should not be overlooked.
The success of a Paleo lifestyle revolves around a fairly low carb diet. Less than 150 carbs per day is probably a sweet spot. I can say this because I have had the opportunity of seeing 1000’s of patients and lab values and different metabolic types.
People who reduce their carbs trend toward better health… It is just that simple.
No matter what your feelings are on carbs, I can tell you one thing is true: The modern American lifestyle is just to high in simple carbs.
So say you are on the 4 Hour Body diet. You cut, your carbs, you cut your fruit, you stop drinking milk, you start eating more meat, more beans (not allowed on Paleo) and more veggies.
You probably lose some weight and you start feeling better. Over time if you combine this with physical movement and appropriate rest you are likely to find yourself in a much healthier place.
But having weekly binge days probably isn’t a healthy way to live in the long run.
So you give up the cheat day, add back in some milk (depending on who you ask), continue to eat a diet high in meat, fish, eggs and veggies. You decide you don’t love beans so much, but you love nuts and a piece of fresh fruit now and then… Bam… PALEO!
Also, maybe you found yourself researching grass fed beef and organic produce. You learned more about your food and you started going to farmers markets… Bam … Yuppie!
I joke here, because I understand the health benefits of this. I also understand that depending on where you live the idea of organic and grass fed may get you some seriously interesting looks.
I happen to work in one of these areas.
Cost of course is an issue, and although I am a proponent of both of the above, grass fed and organic is not always realistic or readily accessible to everyone. And this needs to be respected with new solutions made by yuppies to help make this more cost effective and readily accessible to everyone.
The 4 Hour Body in this sense is like a Gateway Drug… One that will pave a pathway for healthier living and exploration into a LIFESTYLE.
Is this a PALEO Lifestyle? Or is it something different entirely?