Want a faster way to lose belly fat? Your best bet may be the Paleo Diet, according to researchers from Umea University in Sweden.
Tracking a total of 70 overweight women, researchers say that those who chose a Paleo diet over a low-fat diet lost significantly more weight and belly fat.
Now that’s a good reason to get back to your ancestral roots.
“Short-term studies have suggested beneficial effects of a Palaeolithic-type diet (PD) on body weight and metabolic balance,” write researchers, whose study was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “A PD [Paleo diet] has greater beneficial effects vs an NNR [Nordic nutrition recommendations] diet regarding fat mass, abdominal obesity and triglyceride levels in obese postmenopausal women; effects not sustained for anthropometric measurements at 24 months.”
Why the Paleo Diet Works
While some experts may be critical of the Paleo Diet’s strict exclusion of non-ancestral foods, such as sugar, the evidence shows now that it’s great for at least one thing: Your waistline.
This especially holds true if you’re overweight.
Here’s what happened: Researchers recruited 70 women described as being both obese and post-menopausal, something important to note as post-menopausal women have a significantly harder time losing weight.
Then, for the next two years, researchers assigned them to one of two diets–a Paleo Diet or a low-fat diet.
And while the study was designed to be carried out for two whole years, in just six months significant changes were already occurring–at least for those on the Paleo Diet.
“Study participants were measured for weight, cholesterol and blood sugars after six months on their respective diets, and again after two years,” says Samantha Chang, a celebrity fitness and health contributor to Examiner. “The results showed the Paleo dieters lost significantly more weight (14 pounds) compared to the low-fat dieters (5.7 pounds).”
In addition, Paleo dieters shed a whopping 4 inches from their waist in just six months–in contrast, those who opted for a low-fat diet only lost 2 inches. Over the entire two year period, however, Paleo dieters continued to keep the weight off and reported feeling “satisfied” on the diet.
For as extreme as this diet can get, seeing such a high rate of satisfaction is not only a good thing, it’s unusual.
“Both groups significantly decreased total fat mass at 6 months and 24 months, with a more pronounced fat loss in the PD group at 6 months but not at 24 months,” say researchers. “The long-term consequences of these changes remain to be studied.”
So bottom line for you? To slim down your waistline, forget calorie counting and low-fat diets–get in touch with your ancestral side instead. Turns out eating like this–and increasing your fat intake–could actually make you thinner in the process.
Readers: What do you think about the Paleo diet? Do you think it’s overrated?