Paleo Vs Atkins Diet: How Do They Compare?
Paleo and Atkins diets are both low-carb but their significant differences can help you identify the most appropriate for you. Check out the underlying philosophies of Paleo diet vs. Atkins diet; benefits and drawbacks; and the do’s and don’ts of each.
Paleo vs Atkins
You may consider Atkins or Paleo diet if you want to shed those extra pounds or adopt a healthier lifestyle. Both meal plans are very similar as they advocate for taking healthy fats, whole foods, proteins, fruits, and vegetables. They have numerous benefits but the ultimate choice is entirely up to you. These famous nutritional plans are best known for weight loss but at different rates. Let’s dive into Paleo diet vs. Atkins diet for more insights.
Theoretically, Paleo vs Atkins diet represents different food perspectives. Atkins is more geared towards low carbohydrate levels, regardless of their sources (junk or pure). Paleo emphasizes healthy foods, whether they are high or low in carbs. The biggest drawback of Atkins diet is that you have to track the intake of carbohydrates. This effort is not sustainable to some people who give up as soon as they realize they must tally up calories for their entire life. But Paleo allows you to enjoy foods without worrying about the numbers.
One of the remarkable differences between Paleo and Atkins is the fat-burning rate. Atkins diet puts your body into ketosis, a state in which you burn fat at a very high rate. According to the plan, you gradually work back to a certain carb intake level whereby you can maintain your weight while still losing fat. A state of ketosis brings rapid and painless weight loss. A lot of people use Atkins to shed weight. Initially, you are supposed to hold off taking high-carb meals and take more protein, veggies, delicious fats, and healthy oils.
Notably, Paleo vs Atkins diet is about macronutrient ratios versus food quality. Here are the recommended and prohibited foods for Atkin dieters to help you understand their differences.
What to eat
- Meats: poultry, beef, lamb, pork, and game meat
- Milk and milk products: yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt
- Fishes and seafood
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthy fats: grapeseed oil, butter, high-oleic safflower oil, canola oil, mayonnaise, coconut oil, sesame oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil.
- Approved Atkins frozen meals, shakes, and low-carb bars
- Whole grains
- Starchy veggies for the last phases
- Berries and fresh fruits for the last phases
What not to eat
- Breaded fried meals
- Processed foods e.g. crackers, cookies, and French fries
- Hydrogenated oils
The Atkins diet consists of a number of phases. In the first phase (induction stage), the daily carb allowance is 20g per day. Depending on the length of this phase, you can get into ketosis. As you move on to the maintenance phase, the recommended daily allowance increases to 100g. But you must maintain a consistent ketosis state; otherwise, you could feel unwell if you keep on restricting carb intake. You should gradually add more fiber as well as nutrient-dense carbs but to a particular point. You can eat as much protein and fat as you can to give your body sufficient nutrients that meet your energy needs. You can eat low-carb processed junk foods as long as they don’t affect your weight.
- More convenient
- Cheaper than Paleo
- You don’t need to eliminate dairy, cereal grains, and legumes
- You cannot go hungry since you are taking more proteins
- Quick weight loss
- Easier to sustain in the long run
- Balance blood sugar and cholesterol levels
- Excess protein can lead to liver problems and inhibit ketosis
- Ketosis causes bad breath
- Keeping up with caloric intake can prove hectic
- Constipation might set in while struggling to get enough fiber
- You will feel lethargic and cranky in the first phase of low-carb intake
- You could gain weight in the later phases where you are allowed to take junk foods
Is paleo better than Atkins? For those who don’t like carb-counting, this diet is easier to keep up with. the name of the diet is derived from the Paleolithic human development era when cavemen started sharpening their hunting tools and using fire. The diet focuses on the foods that were available to the cavemen e.g. meat, fresh fruits and veggies, fish, and eggs. It is believed that these are the foods which people are best suited for as opposed to agricultural and processed junks that came later into the world.
What to eat
- Grass produced and free-range meats: game meat, beef, pork, poultry, and lamb
- Fishes and seafood
- Healthy oils: avocado, olive, flaxseed, walnut, and coconut
What to avoid
- Cereal grains
- Dairy products
- Processed foods
- Refined sugars
- Refined oils: sesame, corn, cottonseed, soy, safflower, and sunflower
- No counting of calories
- Lowers blood sugar and visceral fats
- Ideal for people with a sweet tooth since natural sweets are allowed e.g. maple syrup and honey
- Eliminated digestive discomforts
- Paleo has higher fiber content
- Free range and grass fed meats are more expensive
- You cannot discover your carbohydrate tolerance or potential food sensitivities
- The diet is more restrictive and difficult to follow
- Eating out is more challenging
- You need to find other sources of calcium because milk is not allowed
- Weight loss takes longer
When analyzing Paleo vs Atkins diet, the latter seems easier and more convenient since there are a few foods to eliminate. The Atkins is perfect for beginner dieters especially those who want to lose weight. It is an entry to low-carb nutrition while promoting veggies, fruits, and healthy fats. It is also less expensive as compared to Paleo. You also get to understand better your carb tolerance so that eventually, you may integrate particular carbohydrates into your life. On the other side, if you want to obtain optimum health, Paleo should be your go-to option. While it is a low-carb diet, it doesn’t always have to be and that is what differentiates it from Atkins which needs to get your body into a state of ketosis.
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