Is PFC a Paleo or Low Carb Diet?

It’s easy to understand why people ask if we follow a Paleo or low carb approach—after all, I am the co-host of Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore, Dietitian Cassie and Friends. There are certainly some similarities. Let me explain. PFC is our approach to balanced eating. It’s not a diet, but a lifestyle that’s individualized to meet each person’s specific needs. When someone follows the PFC way of eating, they feel vibrant and confident so they can live life to the fullest, and they’re able to reach their goals. The letters P, F and C stand for the three macronutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrate. The foundation of our approach is eating real food, including all three macronutrients, in a healthy balance. Our approach certainly can be Paleo and/or low carb, it just doesn’t have to be, nor is it specifically intended to fall into either camp. It’s completely individualized and really, we just like to consider ourselves balanced.

What do you mean PFC can be low carb?

PFC can be low carbohydrate, and probably is considered low carb in comparison to most “diets,” especially the SAD (Standard American Diet). Besides, everyone has their own idea and opinion on what a low carbohydrate diet is and how many grams that constitutes. We think the Standard American Diet is a high carb, low fat diet and we’d say our approach to PFC balanced is not high-carb or low-fat. That said, we do find for some of our clients that they feel better and reach their goals quicker when they aren’t focused on keeping their carbohydrate intake extremely low. Like everything, it’s different for everyone, and with our PFC method, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all, cookie cutter approach.

What do you mean PFC can be Paleo?

Our foundation for the PFC balanced eating approach has many similarities to the Paleo diet. Like the Paleo approach, we also hold tightly to a focus on real food while removing inflammatory foods like bread, pasta and grains that can interfere with optimal health and vitality. Unlike the Paleo approach, we make it a top priority to focus on individualization, rather than always eliminating specific foods or food groups like legumes and dairy. (Not that we necessarily think those are essential foods, but we think if you can tolerate them, they’re okay!) Our goal with our PFC approach is balancing blood sugar levels, which we believe is the underlying key to nearly all aspects of health, such as consistent energy levels, positive moods, improved mental clarity, supported metabolism, decreased sugar cravings, and when your blood sugar is balanced, you avoid getting hangry. It seems like everything comes back to blood sugar regulation. While there are many different approaches to keeping blood sugar levels balanced, we encourage people to obtain balance by incorporating healthy fat, quality protein and nutrient-dense carbohydrates into every meal and snack. When blood sugar levels are too high or too low, we are sure to experience consequences like increased blood pressure, inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, mood swings and more. To stabilize blood sugar levels, we teach our clients to eat protein, fat and carbs consistently throughout the day. If you want to know more specifically what this looks like in daily practice, check out this post. Most of our clients are coming to us with a history of dieting and restricting their bodies. We find what works best to help them past this kind of destructive eating is working with them to stabilize their blood sugars through regularly eating in balance. We adapt as we go, and we believe that if we focused on fasting or not eating frequently, it wouldn’t be beneficial, and in fact it would set our clients up for binging and restricting, and it would likely put them back in that vicious cycle of carbohydrate and sugar addiction. This is why we encourage all of our clients to “Eat PFC every 3”, meaning eating a combination of protein, carb and fat every three hours. Certainly we meet all of our clients where they are in their journey and work with everyone individually, but we’ve found this to be immensely helpful for those who have a history of dieting and/or restricting. Our mantra really is "keep it simple", and that's what we do with our PFC approach, and we see it working, healing and empowering our clients, our families and friends every single day.

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