This diet doesn't require you to count calories

Posted at 08/14/2014 2:41 PM

MANILA – Want to stay lean, strong and energetic without the fuss of counting calories? This diet plan may be the right one for you.

Paleo diet, which is growing in popularity across the globe, is based on food items eaten during the Paleolithic period, back when humans hunt and gather plants for their daily meals.

Called the “caveman diet” by some, the Paleo diet includes meat, fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables. Since the idea is to mimic our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors, grains, dairy and processed foods are out of the equation.

“One very important pillar of the Paleo diet that we have to remember is that there is no counting of calories,” Isabelle Chiang of the Paleo Manila team said in an interview on “Mornings@ANC” on Thursday. “But you have to eat the proper food.”

She added: “No processed food, no GMO (genetically modified organism), no inflammatory food because that’s where the diseases come from… [Non-inflammatory food includes] Grains, dairy and other allergen-carrying food that we don’t really know are infecting our immune system in the long run.”

Paleo diet is one of the topics featured in the latest issue of ABS-CBN Publishing’s Food Magazine.

Editor-in-chief Nana Ozaeta said the beauty of Paleo diet lies in its no-frills approach to healthy eating.

“It may not be for everybody, but it’s all about fresh food and not processed food. There’s enough fat and protein and lots of vegetables. And you don’t have to count your calories, so if you’re feeling hungry, just eat a little more. If you’re working out, you can eat a little more,” Ozaeta said.

A healthy Paleo diet is composed of the following: lean proteins, fruits and vegetables and healthy fats from nuts, seeds and oils.

While weight loss is not guaranteed, a regular Paleo diet can support strong muscles, keep bones healthy, decrease the likelihood of developing degenerative diseases, and reduce instances of obesity, among others, Chiang said.

“You have to choose food that is not packaged or processed. It should all be made from scratch. You have to choose the right food,” she said.

Anyone can prepare his or her own Paleo diet at home. Those who do not have the time or the patience to do so, however, have the option of having someone prepare a meal for them.

Paleo Manila, for instance, has a five-day meal plan composed of breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks for P3,600 (or P144 a meal), depending on the customer’s location.

Chiang showed a sample meal plan containing chia pudding, nitrate-free sausages and sweet potato mash and honey and lime-glazed chicken with roasted squash, among others.