Confused about the differences between Paleo, Primal, and Zone? I was too so I decided to do some research and figure it out for myself. And of course, I wanted to share it with everyone! (disclaimer-I am not a doctor, nurse, dietician, or nutritionist. I am just a CrossFitter who likes to eat good food.) Check out our new CrossFitATB Recipe Blog for recipes (it’s a work in progress)!
In a nutshell, this plan focuses on eating vegetables, meats, nuts (real ones, not peanuts), seeds, and fruit. Things that are excluded are sugar, grains, legumes (beans), white potatoes, and dairy. Basically, if a caveman couldn’t eat it, then you don’t need to eat it. Some Paleo resources:
The Primal diet allows the same foods as Paleo, with some dairy allowed as well. Primal diet resources:
This diet is based on Dr. Barry Spears and his book, “The Zone.” It is more complicated than Paleo and Primal, requiring measuring, planning and a more rigid meal plan. If you like meal planning in advance, this plan could work well….if you are a procrastinator like I am, then you might have a hard time with it. It does allow for some grains, and some folks like doing a combo of Primal and Zone or Paleo and Zone (of course, to do that you’d cut out grains). Some Zone resources:
Something that can help you, no matter what your diet, is to read labels….ALL OF THEM. I recently started Whole30 and I was amazed at how many things had added sugar, MSG, soy, and artificial colors/flavors. Seriously, I could not even find bacon or sausage that didn’t contain added sugar. Eat real, non-processed foods as much as possible. Shop on the outside aisles of the grocery store for the majority of your foods. Avoid eating out, cook at home as much as possible (seriously, if I can cook yummy, healthy meals then anyone can do it). If you work, go to school, or know that you will not be home for a meal then plan ahead and take stuff with you. I keep snacks in my car so that I have them if I get hungry on the road. Drink water, lots of water. Water is good.