The Paleolithic diet. The caveman diet. The Stone Age diet. The “Hunt/Gather” diet. It has many names, but it all means the same thing- limiting your food intake to those foods which would have been available during the Paleolithic period. Most people simply call it the Paleo diet, and it’s highly popular with athletes in all sports right now – including NFL athletes, NBA basketball players and yes, even MMA fighters. Let’s learn more about what foods are allowed and which are forbidden, and how using it can make you a better fighter in the cage, and a healthier person outside of the cage.
You can eat what could be hunted or gathered, many years ago, before processed food had been delivered to this planet. Choose the right foods at the supermarket and you’ll always choose the right foods at home, once it is time to sit down and eat. You can select food options such as fresh fruit and vegetables, grass fed meat, fish and seafood, seeds, nuts, eggs, and oils (olive, macademia, avocado, walnet). Now for the hard part… Let’s examine which foods you cannot eat. Skip anything modern. You should be avoiding foods such as potatoes, sugar, cereal, grains, legumes, refined oils, and anything processed or salty. You should be shopping on the outer ring of the store, avoiding the junk, processed, salty foods that usually reside on the center aisles.
The Paleo diet offers many health advantages, for both MMA fighters, and those who would never come near a stage. Greater internal organ function, clearer skin, better digestion and sleep, lower cholesterol, a drop in blood pressure, and many other positive side effects are reported by almost everyone that employs a Paleo diet. Sure, you’ll miss the foods you love, but you’ll also miss out on the misery that comes from battling many health problems as you age. Even after you retire from MMA competition and training (hopefully that day will never come!), you will always benefit your health by employing the Paleo diet.
When you don’t consume a lot of processed foods, your body digests foods faster. When you consume the right kinds of carbs, your body will burn fat at a higher rate… your body almost becomes a furnace! When you choose foods from the Paleo diet, you will lose body fat. You’re skipping most of the foods that may have led to the excess weight in the first place. Eat Paleo, and you’ll lose weight. Pay special attention if you’re working on making weight each week! Remember that you may have some additional carbohydrate requirements that your friends who aren’t training ten hours or more a week will not encounter. Don’t be afraid to eat, and eat a lot – since the foods you’re eating are the right kinds of food.
We all train hard, employ drills, lift weights, and spend countless hours running so that our body can perform as a well-oiled machine. However, most of us just feed our bodies whatever food source is handy and convenient. Paleo dieting gives your body the best fuel the earth has ever offered. Your food will be used by your body in a more efficient manner. You’ll have more energy and last longer in the cage or in training. Your muscles will recover faster from tough workouts, since you’re consuming lean and efficient protein sources. Even your brain will work in a more efficient manner, since your body’s resources aren’t focusing upon removing junk from your body. Everything works better for the MMA fighter while using the Paleo diet.
You’re always looking for ways to change up your training, nutrition and fighting technique in order to become the best athlete possible. The Paleo diet might deliver a new way to feel better, live healthier, and possess a more effective and efficient body (and brain!), leading to greater success in MMA fighting and training. Good luck!