I was a speaker at the Paleo f(x) conference last weekend. 1500 attendees—all interested in ancestral diet and fitness for health and performance. It was a treat for me to be one of the presenters with other inspiring Paleo spokespeople : Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Jimmy Moore, John Kiefer and countless others. Here are the top five things I’d like to share with you:
1 – Many attendees have a personal story of recovery after following a Paleo diet – Losing remarkable amounts of weight, radically turning their metabolic health around, eating low carb, no grain, almost no fruit, and no dairy. They are there to tell the world how easy and it was and how great the reward—100% inspiring.
2 – Niche performance athletes use Paleo diets for seemingly disparate performance results—triathletes and body builders both benefit. Dietarily, the very low carb diet can be used to trigger ketosis and preferential fatty acid utilization, which helps create a lean and muscularly strong body with insulin sensitivity
3- Body builders are very familiar with the beneficial anabolic effects of insulin – this hormone supplies both fat and muscle depending upon the physical demand. With lots of strenuous demand, insulin will promote muscle, so while carbs are kept very low at breakfast and lunch, after a hard workout day, an insulin spike is desired. Therefore the insulin system is hacked; a high carb meal is eaten one evening per week – on a day that coincides with weight and strength training. Do high insulin type 2 and prediabetics need this hack? I don’t think so.
4 – Several mastermind panels tried to answer to why Paleo does not work sometimes. In my clinical experience, especially with endurance athletes, people with low-normal fasting insulin (<5) need more rice or potato with meals. Strict Paleo with low carb results in burn-out and accelerates overtraining. I regularly see remarkable improvements after acting upon insulin blood tests for endurance athletes.
5 – Other panel discussions at this conference, appropriately, answered to eating disorders within the Paleo lifestyle. With a diet that focuses on elimination, it is too easy for the perfectionist-persona to slide down the rabbit hole of catabolism and breakdown. Paradoxically, moderation is sometimes harder to implement than strict adherence.
I look forward to ongoing participation in the Paleo community and discussion. Blood tests and assessment are key markers of the success of the Paleo solution. I have seen countless people improve their Blood Code with a Paleo Diet – and I have seen a few get worse. I am personally one of those that benefit. Insulin assessment, with fasting insulin and HOMA-IR, is critical to predict who will thrive. I wrote The Blood Code to motivate individuals to take command of their weight, reverse the diabetes trend and find metabolic health – the Paleo community is a rich community of supportive health and wellness advocates like you and me.