Eating Clean vs. Paleo: Which Diet Is Right For You?

Shannon Slabaugh
     
Shannon Slabaugh
Shannon Slabaugh

When it comes to dieting, picking out the right diet to maximize your time without sacrificing your energy (and social life) is difficult. You may have heard it a time or two but there is no one size fits all method to dieting. Different diets work for different people who have different lifestyles. Figuring out what works best for you is an extremely important part of dieting. With that being said, we decided to break down the biggest differences between "clean eating" and following a "paleo" diet, so that you can determine which diet fits for your lifestyle and your goals.

paleo_curry_salmon_trifecta.jpgPaleo vs Clean Eating

Clean eating traditionally is defined as eating whole, natural foods. This typically involves the elimination of processed foods, trans fats, heavy saturated fats, and refined grains. At Trifecta, we take clean eating a notch further and eliminate gluten, dairy, and soy as well. Clean eating typically allows for healthy complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes. In a clean eating meal plan you may see meals incorporate rice pasta, cauliflower pizza, and more starchy vegetables.

Paleo can most easily be defined as following a "caveman diet" aka, the types of food could a caveman get their hands on at the time. By definition, this eliminates many foods that have been brought to life in modern civilization such as grains, legumes, dairy, and alcohol. Traditionally the structure of a 'paleo' diet will have less carbohydrates than a 'clean' diet, since paleo further refines the diet with the complete elimination of grains like rice, quinoa, and oatmeal. 

Which Diet Is Best For Weight Loss?

Both clean and paleo are not necessarily going to make a user lose weight by default. Paleo and clean eating are a style of eating. One that improves your physical and mental health. However, one common principle is still needed for both of these styles of eating to lead to weight loss. 

Scientifically speaking, a calorie deficit is the only way to trigger weight loss. A calorie deficit single handedly determines if you will or will not lose weight. Yes, even if you are following a paleo diet but consuming the same amount of calories you were consuming before, you will not lose weight.

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Which Diet Is Right For You?

In order to maximize your efforts here it's important to understand how certain plans may be more favorable for certain goals. For example: 

  1. Ally is a 140 pound female, looking to lose 5 pounds through diet, who doesn't work out and works a sedentary jobs. 
  2. Dan is a 160 pound male who is looking to add 5 pounds of muscle through diet, who works out once a day and works an extremely fast paced job.

For Ally, it would be ideal to start a meal plan that has the highest volume to calorie ratio. Meaning, she will want to eat more low calorie foods in order to target weight loss. Traditionally speaking, a diet rich in vegetables and lean protein will be the best for Ally as she will be able to stay the most full, while still targeting weight loss. 

For Dan, he will need to hit a steady calorie surplus every day. It would be beneficial for him to add in additional healthy carbohydrates to fuel his workouts and lifestyle. Following a clean eating meal plan would be the best for Dan as it would allow his diet to be more flexible and incorporate more foods. 

Ultimately, different meal plans will cater towards different goals. While, this information should give you a more in depth idea as to what will work best for you, there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to dieting. 

To check out more about the difference between a paleo diet and clean eating diet, check out these meal plans: 

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