Weight loss enthusiasts are constantly debating on which diet program is the best to lose all those excess fats and pounds – is it the more popular Atkins Diet or the new but highly controversial Paleo Diet?
When the Atkins Diet was first introduced in the 1990s, everyone thought of it as just a “fad diet”. But diet developer Dr. Robert Atkins persevered in his well-founded research that high fat and carbohydrate intake is the reason for the increasing incidence of obesity all over the world. As time passed, both dieters and the medical establishment saw the truth in his diet program and have accepted it as one of the best ways by which an individual can lose weight.
A decade later, the Paleo Diet was introduced to the public. The idea for the Paleo diet has actually been circulating as early as the 1970s. However, it was Dr. Loren Cordain who eventually developed the diet and introduced it to the public at the end of the 1990s.
The Paleo Diet advocates the consumption of foods that primitive man used to eat during the Paleolithic diet. This was before cooking and agricultural techniques were developed. The Paleo Diet strictly excludes grains, legumes, potatoes, dairy products and processed foods, specifically processed carbohydrates. It also prohibits the use of salt, vinegar and sugar.
Both of these diets share similar characteristics. They are both low carbohydrate diets. The Atkins Diet recommends low daily carb intake at 20 grams during the induction phase. Although the Paleo Diet does not emphasize serving sizes, proponents say that 100 grams of carbohydrates daily is okay.
From this information, you can probably surmise that the Atkins Diet promises greater weight loss than the Paleo Diet because of the larger carbs reduction. However, Paleo Diet proponents do not recommend a severe reduction in carbohydrate intake primarily because it is the main source of energy by the body. Instead, it promotes the intake of healthy carbs from fruits and vegetables (which also contain vitamins, minerals and other essential micronutrients).
In contrast to Atkins, the Paleo Diet emphasizes an increased intake of proteins. While proponents of Atkins argue that eating too much meat will cause an increase in fat levels, the Paleo Diet strictly advises that dieters only consume organic lean meat and that they should trim away all fats from the meat. For this reason, the Paleo Diet has become the ideal program for athletes and muscle builders.
What makes the Paleo Diet better than the Atkins Diet is that it is the best program for individuals who want to make a switch to a healthier lifestyle because of its holistic approach. The Atkins Diet even makes allowances for processed foods like bacon and salami (which contain high concentrations of sodium and nitrites), something which the Paleo Diet prohibits.
If you are unsure of which diet plan to follow for your weight loss goals, you should try both for a few weeks and see which one produces the best results for you. However, if you want to make that important switch to a healthy lifestyle, your best bet is to follow the Paleo Diet.