4

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Semi-paleo - better or worse than SAD?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 30, 2012 at 4:03 PM

For someone who is overweight, is eating semi-paleo still better than eating full-on SAD? By "semi-paleo" I mean paleo for most meals, but with a sandwich, some kind of sugary snack, or some other non-paleo fare about once a day or every other day.

The way I see it, there are two main possibilities:

  1. Any paleo is better than no paleo, so even paleo with regular cheats are better than SAD, if most of your meals are paleo.

  2. Keeping regular grains, carbs, and sugars in the diet (even if at a reduced amount) combine with the increased fat in a paleo diet to make bad things happen.

Which of those two is more correct, or is there another more-likely possibility I'm missing?

337b24e948ed467fa775b5f56f51560c

on March 31, 2012
at 10:22 AM

Agreed. But if you're eating mostly whole-foods paleo, rather than the gobs of coconut oil/grassfed butter some paleos like, you're probably better off than eating SAD alone.

3bb4ff09e057c4e1b79acefaf1f8362d

(20)

on March 30, 2012
at 05:25 PM

My concern is actually in the other direction - backsliding rather than ramping up. The person in question is my wife, and we both started out being pretty on the ball with paleo, but the past month or so she seems to have increased her cheats. Sounds like the gray area in between paleo and SAD is still probably better than not trying at all though. At least that's what I'm taking away from these answers so far.

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on March 30, 2012
at 04:33 PM

Thank you for asking this in a clear and concise way. I've tried to get this answer in previous questions but with little luck. Kudos.

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3 Answers

4
4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on March 30, 2012
at 04:13 PM

it depends -- i'd tend to agree the some paleo is better than none, but you should be aware that if you're eating some grains every day, and then using paleo as an "excuse" to eating a lot of high-fat foods, you may actually end up increasing your weight.

337b24e948ed467fa775b5f56f51560c

on March 31, 2012
at 10:22 AM

Agreed. But if you're eating mostly whole-foods paleo, rather than the gobs of coconut oil/grassfed butter some paleos like, you're probably better off than eating SAD alone.

1
35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on March 30, 2012
at 04:13 PM

Yes, of course, eating semi-paleo is going to be better. If you're doing paleo except for an excursion every day or two then you're on your way. The more real food you get into your body the better off you are. Even if there were some unpleasant effect of combining grains with more fat than you're used to eating you know that that's a transitional thing which will go away the more real food and the less grains you eat.

Some people switch to paleo cold turkey, others ease into it. I imagine the "easing into it" approach is more common. Whatever works for you is good.

Welcome to PaleoHacks!

3bb4ff09e057c4e1b79acefaf1f8362d

(20)

on March 30, 2012
at 05:25 PM

My concern is actually in the other direction - backsliding rather than ramping up. The person in question is my wife, and we both started out being pretty on the ball with paleo, but the past month or so she seems to have increased her cheats. Sounds like the gray area in between paleo and SAD is still probably better than not trying at all though. At least that's what I'm taking away from these answers so far.

1
Fb677d93955eb0fac597e3d94db92980

(1115)

on March 30, 2012
at 04:09 PM

Number one. The further away you get from the SAD, the more benefit you will attain from eating paleo. However, it's the law of diminishing returns. Someone who is 90% paleo and goes 100% (regardless of your version of paleo) will reap less benefit than the person going from 50% to 60%.

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