Two friends and I discussed the article, and then one proposed something unbelievable: "We should do Whole30 together." After considering what Philipps' had to say about it, I decided to give it a try. Then Health editor in chief Lori Leibovich asked me to document my Whole30 experience with daily video diaries on Health Instagram stories, and I knew there was no turning back. I was about to do my first diet ever.
A lifelong habit of learning and engaging in mentally challenging activities seems to keep the brain in shape. Intellectual enrichment and learning stimulate the brain to make more connections, increasing the density of nerve-to-nerve connections. That means the "educated brain" may possess a deeper well of connections and be able to withstand more damage to the brain from a small stroke without causing loss of memory or thinking skills.
The aspects of the paleo diet that advise eating fewer processed foods and less sugar and salt are consistent with mainstream advice about diet.[1] Diets with a paleo nutrition pattern have some similarities to traditional ethnic diets such as the Mediterranean diet that have been found to be healthier than the Western diet.[3][6] Following the paleo diet, however, can lead to nutritional deficiencies such as those of vitamin D and calcium, which in turn could lead to compromised bone health;[1][20] it can also lead to an increased risk of ingesting toxins from high fish consumption.[3]
Davies MJ, D'Alessio DA, Fradkin J, Kernan WN, Mathieu C, Mingrone G, Rossing P, Tsapas A, Wexler DJ, Buse JB. Management of Hyperglycemia in Type 2 Diabetes, 2018. A Consensus Report by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). Diabetes Care. 2018 Dec;41(12):2669-2701. [PMC free article: PMC6245208] [PubMed: 30291106]

Update: So I just finished Day 23 of my Whole30 Journey and I feel good, aside from the fact that I caught a cold. Weighing myself today, I discovered that I lost 19.5 pounds so far! I measured myself and immediately noted that I lost 19 inches over all (I measure my chest, both arms, both legs, waist, and hips). I think when I am done with my first round, I'll take a day off then start a second round. I just feel that great overall.


Leptin and ghrelin are two hormones that have been recognized to have a major influence on energy balance. Leptin is a mediator of long-term regulation of energy balance, suppressing food intake and thereby inducing weight loss. Ghrelin on the other hand is a fast-acting hormone, seemingly playing a role in meal initiation. As a growing number of people suffer from obesity, understanding the mechanisms by which various hormones and neurotransmitters have influence on energy balance has been a subject of intensive research. It is now established that obese patients are leptin-resistant. (13)


Optimal Diet is a dietary model of human nutrition devised and implemented by Dr. Jan Kwasniewski. Lots of fat and low in carbs. Lots and lots of articles collected from various places. He has an out-of-print book: Optimal Nutrition. The book is explained at the Australian Homo Optimus Association website. A thorough analysis is the first post here: Dr. Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet: Sanity, Clarity, Facts.
Why are low-carb diets, especially the keto diet, so effective for shedding excess pounds, even in people who normally struggle to lose weight? When we eat foods with sugar and carbohydrates, the hormone insulin is released as a reaction in order to elevate blood glucose (sugar). Insulin is often called a “fat-storage hormone” because one of its jobs is to signal cells to store as much available energy as possible. This energy is initially stored as glycogen from the glucose found in carbohydrates, since glycogen is our “primary” energy.

This is a list of paleo diet meats allowed on the diet. Almost all meats are paleo by definition. Of course, you’ll want to stay away from highly processed meats and meats that are very high in fat (stuff like spam, hot dogs, and other low-quality meats), but if it used to moo, oink, or make some other sound, it’s almost certainly paleo (and, yes, that means you can still have bacon). Here’s the full list of paleo diet meats.
The premise behind "eating paleo" is that the current Western diet is contributing to the rise of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease and cancer. Paleo diet proponents claim, eating this way can reduce inflammation, improve workouts, increase energy, help with weight loss, stabilize blood sugar and even reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
The barbell may be pre-loaded to a start weight. The athlete has to load their own bar. No pit crews or assistance is allowed. The barbell must start on the ground. The athlete may then lift the bar from the ground and get it to an overhead position in any variation detailed above. As long as they are locked out with hips and knees at full extension before starting each rep. However, you may squat snatch the first rep if you wish.

This one was hard for us to grasp, so it deserves some explanation. If a Paleo pancake calls for nothing but Whole30-approved ingredients (eggs and bananas), the flapjack is still off-limits. The Whole30 wants you to change your habits and your emotional relationship with food. "Your brain doesn't know the difference between an almond flour brownie and your mom's recipe; it just knows you crave sugar. So if you keep eating those sweets during the 30 days, your habits aren't changing," Hartwig says. Don't shoot the messenger!
LOREN CORDAIN, Ph.D., is one of the top global researchers in the area of evolutionary medicine. Generally acknowledged as the world's leading expert on the Paleolithic diet, he is a professor in the Health and Exercise Science Department at Colorado State University. Dr. Cordain and his research have been featured on Dateline NBC and in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other media. He is the author of The Paleo Diet and The Paleo Diet Cookbook, among other books, and makes regular media and speaking appearances worldwide.

Ties on the overall leaderboard for Online Qualifier will be broken by awarding the best position to the athlete who has the highest result in any single Online Qualifier workout. If athletes remain tied after this first tiebreaker, the process continues to their next-highest single result, and so forth. Results from individual Open workouts will NOT be used to break ties on the overall Online Qualifier leaderboard. Ties will not be broken for single event results. More than one athlete can share an event result, and each will earn the original point value.
Dehghan M, Mente A, Zhang X, Swaminathan S, Li W, Mohan V, Iqbal R, Kumar R, Wentzel-Viljoen E, Rosengren A, Amma LI, Avezum A, Chifamba J, Diaz R, Khatib R, Lear S, Lopez-Jaramillo P, Liu X, Gupta R, Mohammadifard N, Gao N, Oguz A, Ramli AS, Seron P, Sun Y, Szuba A, Tsolekile L, Wielgosz A, Yusuf R, Hussein Yusufali A, Teo KK, Rangarajan S, Dagenais G, Bangdiwala SI, Islam S, Anand SS, Yusuf S., Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study investigators. Associations of fats and carbohydrate intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality in 18 countries from five continents (PURE): a prospective cohort study. Lancet. 2017 Nov 04;390(10107):2050-2062. [PubMed: 28864332]

It’s easy to find more guidance online, but a book also makes a handy reference. "The Paleo Diet," for example, outlines basic Paleo principles and offers three “levels” that allow for different degrees of cheating – three “open meals” per week on the “entry level” plan, two on “maintenance” and just one on “maximal.” Depending on the level, you might also get “transitional” condiments (low-fat dressing and salsa) and drinks (coffee, beer or wine in moderation) to wash down the meat and plants. You can use the levels as you like. Start with the first and move gradually to the more restrictive – or just stay put. For more dramatic changes, head right to the third.
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