“House of Cards” beauty Robin Wright said her weight loss secret is the low-carb Paleo diet.
“I’m trying to do the Paleo diet — no carbs,” Wright said (via Examiner). “I’ve got to get thin for the show. I also ran on the beach this morning. Running gets everything done, doesn’t it? Covers it all.”
Of course, the willowy Robin is hardly fat. And the Paleo diet is not a no-carb diet, or even an extremely low-carb plan like the ketogenic diet, but does eliminate gluten and starchy carbs, which is part of the reason it’s so effective for weight loss.
Robin joins a growing list of Hollywood celebrities to embrace the Paleo diet, including Tim McGraw (who credits Paleo for his jaw-dropping 40-pound weight loss), “True Blood” star Joe Manganiello, Megan Fox and supermodel Adriana Lima.
TV star Jack Osbourne and A Great Big World singer Chad Vaccarino are both using the Paleo diet to treat their multiple sclerosis.
The Paleo diet emphasizes high-quality animal proteins, healthy fats, low-starch vegetables and fruits, and excludes gluten, sugar, dairy, legumes, alcohol and processed foods. Proponents say the Paleo diet promotes weight loss, and prevents diabetes, cancer, heart disease, depression, and even Alzheimer’s.
A recent study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests the Paleo diet is twice as effective for weight loss, reducing belly fat, and controlling diabetes than a low-fat diet — which has long been considered the gold standard for diets.
The two-year study tracked 70 overweight, post-menopausal women who were assigned either a low-fat diet or a low-carb (higher-fat) Paleo diet. Study participants were measured for weight, cholesterol and blood sugars after six months on their respective diets, and again after two years.
The results showed the Paleo dieters lost significantly more weight (14 pounds) compared to the low-fat dieters (5.7 pounds).
What’s more, the low-carb, high-fat Paleo dieters lost 4 inches from their waists after six months, compared to just 2 inches for the low-fat dieters. In previous studies, the Paleo diet has routinely beaten low fat diets at controlling cholesterol and diabetes.
The results are noteworthy because older women — especially those who are post-menopausal — have historically reported having a hard time losing weight, especially from their mid-sections, due to slower metabolisms and hormone disruptions.
The Paleo diet works especially well for women because it reduces the blood sugar spikes and hormone surges that fuel overeating, mood swings and weight gain, wrote Nell Stephenson, author of Paleoista.
Paleo and Ketogenic Diets Curb Dementia and Cancer
The new Swedish study bolsters claims by leading obesity experts who say low-carb diets like the Paleo and ketogenic diets are the solution for rapid weight loss, reversing type 2 diabetes, treating multiple sclerosis, and preventing dementia, cancer, and ADHD.
In another surprising finding, research suggests the low-carb Paleo and ketogenic diets can help endurance athletes achieve peak performance. Endurance athletes have historically followed high-fat, low-carb diets.
“Clinical trials have shown the Paleo diet is the optimum diet that can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, markers of inflammation, help with weight loss, reduce acne, promote optimum health and athletic performance,” said Professor Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet for Athletes and The Paleo Diet Cookbook.
Joel Friel, a U.S. Olympic triathlon coach, said the Paleo diet works for triathletes because it helps with recovery.
“It offers better long-term recovery due to greater micronutrient content [than a standard high-starch, high-sugar diet], allowing the athlete to train with a greater stress load,” said Friel, author of the Triathlete’s Training Bible.