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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Paleo can make you fat -- Muffin in disguise





Yes, it's true. Paleo eating can make you fat. That's a pretty bold statement, you say? Yes, I would agree. But alas my friends, it is true.

It's not what we eat. It's not the lean meats, veggies, nuts and seeds and fruit. It's not the prescribed exercise that goes along with it. If we examine the way the caveman ate, there is virtually no way he could have gotten fat. It's how we eat today. What has happened is that we have taken modern eating into consideration and thrown portion size out the window. There is a misnomer that goes along with "unweighed and unmeasured" paleo eating. And that is the idea that we can eat all day long like gluttons and we will come out on the other side unscathed.

I will concede to the fact that it is very hard to overeat protein. It's even hard to overeat vegetables. It's a little easier to overeat fruit and incredibly easy to overeat nuts and dried fruit. Now try this one on for size...

I just made the most delicious muffins on the planet. They come from a website called www.paleoplan.com. This website is actually genius. They figure all of it out for you for a fee. There are preplanned menus, shopping lists, recipes, you name it, it's in there. What a great idea! I can think of nothing easier in the world than logging on and pressing a button and having my meals for an entire week or more planned complete with shopping list. I don't know how any of the other meals taste, but these muffins are pure heaven.

So let's examine the ingredients of said muffins. There's almond flour, bananas, dates, coconut oil, walnuts, spices, eggs, carrot, etc. All the ingredients qualify as paleo. All of the ingredients are healthy and nutritious. There's another common denominator here: All of the ingredients (except the carrot) are highly caloric. I don't know how many actual calories these muffins have in them but I can imagine it's off the charts. And then it gets even better. I dare you to make these and then just eat one. It's impossible. They are so good they take your breath away at first bite. I have to admit, I knew this going in because I had a bite of my friend Marc's at sectionals and they have been on my mind ever since. I broke down and made them this morning. I inhaled two of them in less than 90 seconds. When I get the courage to re-enter the kitchen I'm going to bag them up and bury them in the backyard. Talk about dangerous!

So what's my point in all this? Just because something is made with paleo ingredients and it beats it's conventional counterpart (the mega-muffin or bagel) in nutrition and quality does not give us the right to eat it with abandon. We have to use common sense and know our calorie contents.

A long while back I posted about Taco Bell and how they are duping us into believing you can have a lean body by eating their "diet" menu. The girl on the commercial had cut her calories down to 1200 per day. My argument was that anyone could loose weight on that little amount of calories (but, ooohhhh the rebound. Get ready to gain it all back plus some). The inverse is true of paleo eating. If we don't stay conscious while we are shoveling food in, even if it is paleo, we will gain weight.

So here is my plea. To be successful on paleo, you don't have to weigh and measure. But you DO have to be conscious. Just because the ingredients are paleo does not give us the right to eat unlimited quantities of food. If you want to make these muffins, go for it. Like I said, they are divine. But have one as an occasional treat. Try to pair it with some protein. I guarantee if you eat these day after day, they will blunt your results.

That's my rant for the day! Now, off to CrossFit

6 comments:

  1. Poo!! These are the most amazing muffins! I KNEW deep down inside they were detrimental to my weight loss efforts! They were too good to be true! I won't make these anymore...I can't eat just one. Thanks for posting this...I think. LOL

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  2. Great post! It took me some time to come to the same conclusions. I know what you mean about paleo baking taking you well into the Dark Side. I have experimented with it quite a bit and came up with some delicious recipes for banana nut muffins, pumpkin muffins, and paleo bread. I think these goodies help quell cravings and are comforting when you need them. Most of the time I don't need them in the house because, like you said, they are awful temptations and can easily deliver a powerful caloric punch. But when I do really get the hankering for toast or a warm, gooey muffin, I have my go-to paleo recipes to feel better about indulging than I would if I had cheated. These pseudo cheats are both delicious and dangerous in the same bite!

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  3. I make an awesome paleo carrot cake. Nobody else in the house will eat it, though (not sweet enough), so I've solved the problem of portion control (and storage) by cutting the cake into serving-sized portions, then packaging it and putting the leftovers in the freezer. That way, I have to plan -- get it out, thaw it, before I can eat it. It saves me from breaking down to 'boredom binging' on these nut-based goodies.

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  4. Totally agree with this post. As some evenings I find myself munching on too many nuts and or nut butters. Thanks for sharing! I too have heard of these muffins and have yet to make them!

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  5. You pay $9.99 a month and don't get a nutrition breakdown? I also just looked at a sample menu and it included cheese.... Doesn't sound like the best Paleo investment to me. Too bad!

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  6. I asked a Primal friend of mine what the difference between Paleo and Primal was and he said that Paleo tends to allow all 'good' food, in 'reckless' abandon (meaning: Just what you discussed here). Also, the good fats. In Primal, I eat WAY more fat than Paleo and although the calories are higher in fat, the fat keeps me satiated for much longer than a simple lean meat and veggie meal (not to mention the nutrition for my brain!). Great post!

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