I’ve always started new clients with a hard look at diet rather than selling supplements and lab tests. “Food First” is my “Primal Diet – Modern Health” podcast motto. Clients may rebel and just want pills, but the goal is to FIX problems, not take people’s money for a month or two while they continue to eat and live badly.
Grain-free, dairy-free, clean food with plenty of veggies, pastured meats and fats has been my starting point for decades. What fun to hear about the new “Paleo Diet” and then the new “Primal Diet” long ago that fit with what I was already teaching. What I called “The Diet For Human Beings” (see my DVD/video) suddenly became popularized as Paleo or Primal. (As I told Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson on our podcasts – “you know I was teaching this before you wrote your book, right?)”
I always preferred the word “Primal”, hence the name of my podcast.
But “Paleo” won out.
Attempts to call it the Ancestral Diet didn’t get anywhere either. So “Paleo” it’s been!
Are we Tired of Paleo and Primal?
Times change and people get bored with a name, and really its a terrible name anyway. The jokes about the Caveman Diet, Stone Age Diet, the “you just eat tons of meat” diet…. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
In fact, many of my clients don’t even know that Paleo refers to “Paleolithic” and what would that mean anyway. Or that Paleo is THE plant-based diet when done correctly, as vegetables are the bottom layer of the Pyramid, not meats. In the second edition of “The Primal Blueprint”, Mark Sisson switched meat and vegetables on the Food Pyramid. A move I agree with.
Paleo is also about lifestyle, ecological eating choices, food quality, correct exercise, less screen time, more mindfulness, play and much more.
But we’re still stuck with that Paleo name…..
Enter KETO. It’s hot, it’s new, it’s the “thing” everyone is trying. It is also (forgive me folks) completely misunderstood by most and in my mind, yet another excuse for women to starve themselves.
“Oh I had some coffee and butter for breakfast. I’m going Keto!” Uh, no, you’re restricting protein and calories, not getting enough veggies, and using a trendy word to justify it….
Here’s my secret reason Keto is so popular
It’s a trendier name than Paleo which is, at this point, getting embarrassing to use…. Keto done badly lets you eat lots of fat and meat and ignore getting balanced vitamins/minerals/antioxidants from the plant world. You hardly have to cook! And you’re super-cool!
To give Keto its due, you absolutely can and will lose weight on it. But you also lose weight on Paleo! There’s thousands of testimonials to that on hundreds of blogs.
But going Paleo (should) mean evaluating lifestyle, preparing lots of veggies, and much more. Too many clients tell me they’re “Keto” now because they have coffee with coconut oil for breakfast, eat cold cuts with butter for lunch and skip dinner.
That’s not a diet. That’s insanity…
Ultimately, to my mind, the ONLY difference between correct Paleo and correct Keto is temporarily upping the percent of fat in your diet from 40 – 50% on Paleo to 70 – 80% on Keto. There’s really not much other difference. Getting into ketosis for a while to burn more fat by restricting starch and fruit, in a nutshell.
Keto lovers who actually do it right for a short time to lose weight – good on ya’. Then, get off it and go back to full Paleo.
While we think on a new name…. I like my “Diet For Human Beings” the best.