Going Caveman: Can the Paleo Diet Really Help You Lose Weight?

Advanced Sports and Exercise Nutritional Advisor
Advanced Clinical Weight Loss Practitioner

One of the latest, most talked about diet trends today is the Paleo diet, which is also known as the “caveman diet”. Despite its growing popularity, many are still curious about whether or not this diet can really help them lose weight.

Here, we will answer many questions that you may have about the diet itself and whether it can help you shed the pounds.

What Is The Buzz All About?

Most of the advocates of this diet swear by it suggesting that it helps reduce the risk of developing health issues such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. The Paleo diet focuses on eating whole, unprocessed animal and plant foods. It follows the “hunter-gatherer” approach back from the Paleolithic time period when our ancestors only consumed what they could find in their environment.

The diet restricts the consumption of sugar, industrially processed foods, dairy and grains. Some extreme versions also eliminate the consumption of white starches like potatoes.

What Sets It Apart From Other Modern Diets?

Let’s face it, when it comes to dieting, any of us are all about counting those calories! What sets Paleo apart from other diets is that it does not involve counting calories as it doesn’t allow one to consume some of the major sources of calories commonly found in the modern diet – from doughnuts and muffins, to white bread and ice-cream.

Facts and Evidence

There have been plenty of studies that have reported the Paleo diet can help achieve weight loss and improve one’s health. One of them is a three-week study published on the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (EJCN). The study found that the diet did help in reducing weight. It also showed lost BMI and waist circumference results among the participants. Another short study, which was also published on EJCN, showed a decrease in weight among the participants after the diet, too.

Protein High!

The Paleo diet generally involves consuming protein-rich foods, such as eggs and meat. Protein can be important when it comes to weight loss as it may help to increase our metabolism and reduce our appetite, ultimately aiding in the regulation of body weight.

Less Carbs

We all know that overconsuming starches and refined carbs is one of the reasons why some of us are gaining weight. With this diet and the food groups that you can only consume with it, it is likely that you will reduce your intake of digestible carbohydrates, such as starches and sugar. And by doing so, your total calorie intake may also go down, which may translate into weight loss.

Goodbye Processed Foods

As mentioned above, the Paleo diet restricts you from eating any kind of industrially processed foods. Some processed foods like biscuits, sugary drinks, and sliced white bread tend to contain high amounts of calories but very few nutrients.

Getting Sugar From Natural Sources

The Paleo diet doesn’t allow the intake of products with added sugars, which are often found in commercial sauces, soups, and energy bars. However, it generally encourages sugar intake through natural resources like fresh berries, nuts, and vegetables. At the same time, these can also provide individuals with some of the essential nutrients needed to maintain their health.

Bringing In the Science

So, does the Paleo diet work for everyone, at all times? And is it completely risk-free?

Or may eliminating dairy and grains cause issues for some of us?

Here, at The Health Sciences Academy, we believe that no one size fits all and that it’s important to personalise your diet around your health goals and your unique nutritional requirements. An approach that works for somebody else, may not work for you. So personalisation is key!

That’s why our team of scientists and researchers continue to unravel the mysteries of nutrition and how the foods we eat (and how we eat!) may help us lose weight – and keep it off.

Advanced Sports and Exercise Nutritional Advisor
Advanced Clinical Weight Loss Practitioner

What If You Don’t Go To University

It’s August, which means it’s that time of the year again: A Level Results Day.

And whether it’s your friends or your grandma, there’s one question on everyone’s lips…

Are you going to university?

You might be heading back from college to the tune of ‘Did you get the grades?’

Or maybe you never wanted to go to uni in the first place.

Whichever boat you’re in; what happens when your friends are prepping for freshers’ week, but you’re not?

No fear – we’re here to help! The first thing you need to consider is:

Are you sure about your decision?

It’s difficult to aim for your goals if you don’t know what they are, or how to reach them. This means that if you have a particular career in mind, you might want to see a careers advisor or thoroughly research alternative routes into the field you’re passionate about before making a final decision.

But then what? Well, first, it’s important to know…

There are a ton of careers that don’t require a university degree

It’s true! You may have considered some of these options: hairdressing, beauty, personal training.

But those aren’t the only choices – many careers have a variety of pathways into them, from accountancy, to journalism, to nutritional therapy.

Read on to see what you can do instead of going to university:

Take a Gap Year

Fondly known as the ‘gap yah’ among millennials, many teens take a year out to decide what they want to do before continuing their education. This often takes the form of travelling, learning a language, and gaining lots of experience of different cultures – but it can also involve volunteering in a mix of industries to help you make a more informed decision about your future. While this kind of break provides a temporary solution, it’s common for people to head back to school once they complete their gap year, but many teens also open doors to careers they never knew existed!

(Pssst… Looking for the latest work experience opportunities? GoThinkBig is a good place to start).

Find an Apprenticeship

Becoming an apprentice is a great way to get straight into work AND gain a qualification while you earn. From farming, to hospitality, to law, you can choose your apprenticeship from a huge selection of fields and levels, from Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) right through to Level 6/7 (degree equivalent). Depending on the level, an apprenticeship can take between 1 and 5 years to complete, but you’ll be learning loads of job-specific skills along the way.

If you’re in the UK, you can click here to find an apprenticeship.

Get an Entry-Level Job

While a large number of entry-level jobs will attract applications from students and recent graduates, many employers offer roles aimed at school-leavers – including training schemes. The obvious benefit of heading straight into work is that you’ll be earning right away.

A great way to find entry-level jobs is to keep an eye on websites that advertise vacancies in specific fields. Mediargh is a great example for media-related careers (publishing, science – whatever).

Become an Entrepreneur

Ever wanted to start your own business? Now might be your chance! This can be an exciting option for those not looking to go to university, but it’s wise to first consider the funding, support, and advice you’ll need along the way. If you’re in the UK, check out these government guidelines for new businesses.

For an extra boost when it comes to marketing your business effectively, check out Google’s Digital Garage for free digital marketing training.

Study for an Online Diploma

A huge barrier for many prospective students is the possibility of getting in over £50,000 of debt for a qualification in an area they’re not entirely sure about, or wasn’t necessary for their preferred career.

Whether you’re looking to boost your entrepreneurial endeavours, or you want to get a feel for a subject before jumping into a degree, an online diploma can be a great way to go! Loads of platforms offer you the chance to study via the web and many don’t require specialist technology, so you can get going with just a laptop and a cup of tea.

If it’s nutrition you’re into, we at The Health Sciences Academy® have a whole host of certifications and short courses for you to explore.

Nutrition not your thing? Not to worry – there are loads of other great providers out there. Check out Coursera and Lynda for an array of online courses on a variety of subjects.

They’re called options for a reason…

It’s important to remember that choosing to not go to university isn’t something that sets your career in a permanent direction. You may try one of the above and decide you want to go to uni after all! Perhaps you want some work experience, maybe you’re looking to boost your know-how before embarking on a degree, or you might even decide to do both an online course and an apprenticeship – the point is: the sky’s the limit.

What you’re doing this September doesn’t necessarily define the rest of your life, but it CAN boost it. Do what’s best for you and remember: it’s quite natural to need a little bit of extra time to work out where you want your career to go.

The Health Sciences Academy® is the UK’s largest online educator in nutrition science.

We are home to a variety of Level 5 online diplomas, in addition to a range of accredited short courses in nutrition topics – ready to help you ignite your career.

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Advanced Sports and Exercise Nutritional Advisor