Health

What Is the Primal Diet and Can It Help You Lose Weight?

It's like paleo's favorite cousin.

As we get older, losing weight is just one of the things that gets a bit more difficult. These days, there are so many diets out there to pick from that it can be confusing and frustrating to try and choose the right plan for your needs. However, it’s absolutely possible to lose weight just by getting back to basics. Enter: the primal diet.

What is the Primal Diet?

The primal diet was developed by Mark Sisson — a former distance runner, triathlete, and Ironman competitor — who went on to write The Primal Blueprint ($18.74, Amazon.) In his book, Sisson talks about his quest to find the right diet to keep his body in perfect health knowing that he would no longer be training the way he once did as a young athlete. He believes the problem today is that people are eating too many processed foods loaded with things like sugar that our bodies cannot metabolize properly — which is leading to epidemics of obesity and disease — so he developed the primal diet eating plan, which focuses on foods that our primal ancestors would have eaten in their most natural form.

What to Eat on the Primal Diet

The primal diet focuses on raw, natural foods and eliminates processed food, basically anything that comes in a box or a can. It’s fairly similar to the paleo diet, which is based on the eating habits of our Paleolithic ancestors. However, there are a few more restrictions on the primal diet than you wouldn’t find on the paleo diet, the main one being that you’re not to allowed to consume grains.

On the primal diet, you’re encouraged to eat raw fruits and vegetables in abundance while also including lean meat and fish, nuts and seeds, maple syrup and honey (for sweeteners), carbohydrates like quinoa, and raw or fermented dairy products like milk and yogurt. You’re also encouraged to buy grass-fed and organic whenever possible.

The primal diet mainly focuses, though, on eliminating processed foods. Foods you shouldn’t eat on the primal diet include all wheat products, corn, alcohol, soy products, peanuts, sugar (except that from fruit, honey, and maple syrup), other processed foods like cookies or crackers, and refined vegetable oils like canola and soybean oil.

The Primal Diet and Weight Loss

On the primal diet, you’re likely to lose weight — but only if you do it right. The great thing about this diet is that since you’re eating less processed foods and eating more natural foods, you’re more likely to get all the nutrients your body needs to start successfully shedding weight. This includes fiber, protein, healthy fats, and more.

However, as with many elimination diets, it’s extremely important to make sure that you are, in fact, eating a balanced diet. Since grains are eliminated, make sure to reach for lots of fiber-rich veggies and fruits to keep your digestive system in good health. Additionally, be sure that you’re choosing lean meats and avoiding too much saturated fat to keep your cholesterol levels in check. 

So there you have it. If you’ve wanted to try out a more natural way of eating, the primal diet is a great choice. The best part is, not only will you probably lose weight, but your whole body will be healthier and more nourished as a result. 

We’re wishing you a simple and successful journey to weight loss and better health!

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