Belly Dance Fitness for You

What Belly Dancers Need to Know About the Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet is a weight loss and fitness diet built on the principle that foods are either “in” or “out.” This diet has gained significant popularity over the last few years, and is being utilized by a variety of athletes, fitness enthusiasts and belly dancers. A discussion about the Paleo Diet, including an overview, explanation of benefits and review of how this diet can be helpful for belly dance, is described below.

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Overview of the Paleo Diet
The Paleo Diet follows the idea that the best diet consists of foods that were consumed by humans during the Paleolithic Era, before the days of animal husbandry or agriculture. This is based on the principle that animals should eat what’s natural to them. The Paleo Diet is low in carbohydrates and high in protein. People who follow the Paleo diet may be able to eat eggs, fish, meat, nuts, fruit and most vegetables. Foods that are not allowed include dairy products, legumes, whole grains, artificial sweeteners and food additives. Processed foods and vegetables that require cooking, such as potatoes, are also not allowed.


History of the Paleo Diet
The concept of the Paleo diet has existed since the 1980s, but Colorado State University Professor Loren Cordain popularized it. After reading about the diet in a scientific journal, Cordain decided to try it. He discussed his findings in the 2002 book “The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat.” Cordain argued that as humans, we should eat what our Stone Age ancestors consumed, as that is what are bodies are designed to live on. Fitness enthusiasts have embraced this diet and it has gained significant popularity over the last two to three years.

Paleo Diet Benefits
Cordain suggested that the Paleo Diet will enhance and improve athletic performance for people that follow it. This is because the diet is high in branched chain amino acids and trace nutrients, and is also thought to promote low acidity in the body. A diet low in carbohydrates, like the Paleo Diet, can also lead to weight loss and is beneficial for people with both gluten and casein allergies. Additionally, this diet is thought to prevent some of the health risks associated with a modern diet, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.


What Belly Dancers Need to Know
The Paleo Diet is also shown to increase energy, which is important in the area of belly dance. This energy surge could be attributed to the weight loss and improved health that is associated with this type of diet. Belly dancers may also appreciate that the high levels of branched chain amino acids lead to a reduction of tissue inflammation while increasing muscle development. This can help their bodies to recover after a long and intense workout or performance. Belly dancers should also note that since dairy products are not allowed in their diet, calcium and Vitamin D deficiencies may occur.
The Paleo Diet is continuing to gain popularity among the fitness world and in the field of belly dance. Its low carbohydrate principles help followers to lose weight and the high protein components give belly dancers the energy they need to perform. When followed correctly, this diet will give belly dancers the strength and stamina that they need to continue performing.