Diets are part of American culture — Americans (at least 2/3 of the US population) are overweight, looking for a magic bullet. About 55% of Americans are actively trying to lose weight, and a full 80 percent of 10-year-old girls have been on a diet. And the diet mentality is very much about eating foods from a prescribed list, losing weight, and then going off the diet and still being skinny — and everything is awesome.
The reality is the diets don’t work most of the time. In fact, 95% of the time, they fail. They feel restrictive, and people start binging once they go off the diet. The diet is looked at as a quick fix, not a deep shift. Personally, I’ve experienced this, several times, which is actually how I came upon paleo. I had to do something that was going to be maintainable for my health and sanity.
Paleo and primal are not just about going on a diet, they’re about an entire lifestyle. As a society, we need to realize that the standard American diet, and also “diets” where you restrict yourself in certain arbitrary ways, are not sustainable. Paleo and primal are deeply rooted in what our bodies actually need to thrive. So “going paleo” is about making changes that will be with you for a lifetime. It’s about finally giving your body what it needs to function at peak. This is about so much more than just temporary weight loss. Plus, going paleo is about much more than just food. As Mark Sisson describes in The Primal Connection, it’s about realigning our entire lives to be in sync with what our minds and bodies crave most deeply — play, social connection, sleep, sunlight, a natural environment, etc.
People who look at paleo as a “diet” are missing the bigger picture. It’s about so much more than that. It’s a deep major shift that has the possibility to completely transform your life, the deeper you go.
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