The Paleo diet encourages us to eat like our ancestors, with a focus on unprocessed food and the elimination of grains, legumes, dairy and heavily processed foods.
Paleo-style eating has plenty of benefits — emphasizing whole foods, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats — and can certainly make a big improvement in your health. The weight-loss benefits of Paleo eating have held up in several research studies, making it a promising choice.
However, eliminating entire food groups like whole grains, legumes and dairy can mean cutting out nutrients known to be healthy and have plenty of scientific backing. Even if our ancestors didn’t eat tons of beans, research done on the Blue Zones (places in the world where people live the longest) shows the healthiest people on earth eat beans regularly — and whole grains have been linked to decreased cardiovascular risk and lower risk of mortality in numerous studies.
Whether or not you follow an entirely Paleo diet, focusing on unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods is a great idea for anyone looking to boost their health. Eating nutrient-dense foods that are packed with protein, fiber, healthy fat, vitamins and minerals also allows you to feel full and satisfied while cutting back on calories. While 1,200 calories is a pretty steep calorie cut, filling your day with nutrient-packed foods makes it doable and satiating.
Here’s an idea of what your day would look like eating 1,200 calories on the Paleo diet. Pro tip: Click on the image for a link to the recipe.