What Is Primal Living? A 101 Complete Guide (2024)

The Primal Living Diet is all about returning to our roots. It’s an eating pattern that’s loaded with protein and fat while keeping those carbs low. You see, it’s all about mimicking the diet of our early human ancestors. Just like the paleo diet, the Primal Diet argues that our modern Western habits have strayed way too far from the ways of traditional hunter-gatherers.

Now, those who swear by this diet claim it’s a game-changer. They say it helps with weight loss, inflammation, brain fog, sleep, and even heart and skin health. But hold your horses, folks! Some folks out there have concerns that it might be a tad too restrictive and not a realistic fit for everyone.

So here we are, ready to give you the lowdown on the Primal Diet. We’ll explore how it impacts your health and whether it’s a secret weapon for shedding those pounds. Stay tuned, my friends!


  • Overall score: 3.6
  • Weight loss: 3.0
  • Healthy eating: 4.0
  • Sustainability: 4.0
  • Whole body health: 5.0
  • Nutrition quality: 5.0
  • Evidence-based: 2.0

Now, the Primal Diet, my friends. It’s all about those whole foods and the benefits they bring, especially for our heart health. But hold on, it does come with a price tag and some restrictions on certain food groups.

What is the Primal Diet?

What Is Primal Living A 101 Complete Guide - Miller Reviews

Let’s talk about “The Primal Blueprint,” my friends. It’s a 2009 book by fitness writer and former endurance athlete Mark Sisson. This book lays out the principles of the Primal Diet.

Similar to the paleo diet, the Primal Diet argues that early humans enjoyed better health, with lower rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions, all thanks to their different diet choices. That’s why both diets focus on whole foods like veggies, fruits, meat, fish, and poultry while giving grains, heavily processed foods, and refined oils the cold shoulder.

But here’s the twist, folks. The Primal Diet goes beyond just diet. It attributes those health benefits to an overall lifestyle approach. It’s all about physical activity, mental stimulation, quality sleep, and connecting with nature and sunlight.

And you know what? The Primal Diet is more flexible compared to the paleo. It allows for moderate amounts of coffee, nightshade veggies, and raw or fermented whole-fat dairy.


 So, to sum it up, “The Primal Blueprint” is the foundation of the Primal Diet. It claims to improve your health by getting you in sync with the diet and lifestyle of our premodern ancestors.

Primal Living: How to follow it

What Is Primal Living A 101 Complete Guide - Miller Reviews

Now, my friends, let’s talk about the Primal Diet. It’s not just about shedding those pounds, oh no! This diet is designed to give your overall health a boost. It’s not a quick fix but a long-lasting lifestyle change that’s meant to stick with you.

So, the Primal Diet might be the answer if you’re looking for a comprehensive approach to improve your well-being.

Dietary Guidelines:

What Is Primal Living A 101 Complete Guide - Miller Reviews

Let’s dig into the Primal Diet and how it does things differently. Say goodbye to counting calories because this diet focuses on something way more important: food quality.

Get ready for a whole foods party! The Primal Diet encourages you to embrace those nutrient-packed goodies while giving grains and processed foods the cold shoulder. And here’s the kicker: it’s a diet that’s high in fat and protein but keeps those carbs low. In fact, Sisson himself suggests capping your carb intake at less than 150 grams per day.

Some enthusiasts like to take things up a notch by combining the Primal Diet with the keto diet. Talk about low-carb! Keto keeps those carb counts under 50 grams per day, my friends.

But that’s not all, folks. The Primal Diet also wants you to watch out for potential toxins in your food. That means avoiding or limiting exposure to pesticides, herbicides, added sugars, and hydrogenated oils. So, go organic and opt for minimally processed foods whenever possible.

Remember, it’s all about quality, my friends. The Primal Diet is here to shake things up & give your body the nourishment it truly deserves.

Lifestyle Guidelines:

What Is Primal Living A 101 Complete Guide - Miller Reviews

Let’s talk about the lifestyle aspect of the Primal Diet, my friends. It’s called the Primal Blueprint Laws. Here’s the scoop:

  • Get your beauty sleep.
  • Soak in that sunlight.
  • Keep your mind sharp with creative activities.
  • Stay active by reducing sedentary time.

That’s how we roll with the Primal Diet lifestyle!

Exercise tips include:

  • We’re looking at a minimum of 2, but ideally 3 to 5 hours per week of low-intensity aerobic activities. Think walking, hiking, swimming, yoga, or dancing. Get moving and groove your way to fitness!
  • Strength training is recommended for 30-45 minutes, 2-3 times per week.
  • Go for 6-8 intense sprint bursts several times per week. Feel free to add interval training on a bicycle if you like. Get ready to unleash your speed!.


 The Primal Diet includes low-carb eating with whole, organic foods and a lifestyle rubric for exercise, sleep, sunlight, and mental health. It’s all about nourishing your body and mind!

What to eat & limit on the Primal Diet

What Is Primal Living A 101 Complete Guide - Miller Reviews

The Primal Diet is all about those wholesome goodies, my friends. We’re talking vegetables and meats taking center stage while grains, sweets, and processed foods step aside. It’s a delicious journey toward healthier choices!

Foods to include

What Is Primal Living A 101 Complete Guide - Miller Reviews

Fill your plate with whole, unprocessed foods, my friends. Think:

  • Vegetables: avocado, broccoli, cabbage, kale, zucchini, etc. (preferably organic)
  • Meat: bison, elk, & venison, plus grass-fed beef, lamb, pork, etc. (preferably organic)
  • Fruits: all fruits (preferably organic)
  • Fish and shellfish: salmon, halibut, trout, tilapia, shrimp, scallops, lobster, etc.
  • Poultry: chicken & turkey (preferably organic)
  • Eggs: whole eggs & egg whites (preferably organic)
  • Healthy fats: extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, walnut oil, grass-fed butter, ghee, & lard
  • Nuts & seeds: almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, macadamias, pine nuts, hemp seeds, Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, & natural nut or seed butterP
  • Some milk alternatives: unsweetened almond, coconut, cashew, hemp, and flax kinds of milk
  • Spices and herbs: basil, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, cilantro, sage, rosemary, etc.

You’re in luck, my friends! Some packaged foods, like Primal-approved salad dressings, are fair game. Just make sure they meet the Primal standards. Enjoy those tasty additions to your meals!

Foods You Can Eat in Moderation:

What Is Primal Living A 101 Complete Guide - Miller Reviews

Let’s talk about some wiggle room in the Primal Diet, my friends. While the main focus is on the foods mentioned above, a few exceptions exist. Although not strictly “primal,” these foods can still be enjoyed in moderation. But remember, stay within your daily carb goals. Balance is the key to success!

  • Dairy: raw or organic full-fat dairy, including unsweetened yogurt, kefir, full-fat cream, and milk
  • Coffee & tea: unsweetened coffee or tea (plain or with whole-fat milk or creamer)
  • Natural sweeteners: honey and real maple syrup
  • Legumes: soaked or sprouted lentils, edamame, dry roasted peanut butter or peanuts, and fermented whole soy products like tempeh
  • Starchy vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, & winter squash.

Sensible Indulgences:

What Is Primal Living A 101 Complete Guide - Miller Reviews

“Sensible indulgences” are also allowed on the Primal Diet.

  • Alcohol: whiskey, scotch, brandy, cognac, light beer, and red or white wine
  • Dark chocolate: 70% cocoa content or higher (preferably organic)
  • Cheese: goat’s or sheep’s milk cheeses, Gouda, Cheddar, blue cheese, feta, etc. (preferably raw and grass-fed)

Foods to Avoid:

What Is Primal Living A 101 Complete Guide - Miller Reviews

Let’s talk about the limits of the Primal Diet, my friends. We’re talking about:

  • Grains: whole grains, refined grains, bread, spelled, rye, barley, pasta, muffins, pancakes, cereal, etc.
  • Sugar & high fructose corn syrup: soda, fruit juice, table sugar, candy, pastries, cake, cookies, milk chocolate, ice cream, etc.
  • Some vegetable oils: canola oil, soybean oil,cottonseed oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, etc.
  • Trans fats & hydrogenated fats: margarine, shortening, & any foods containing partially hydrogenated oils
  • Artificial sweeteners: aspartame, cyclamates, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, saccharin, etc.
  • Processed foods: chips, pretzels, crackers, convenience meals, frozen dinners, fast food, granola bars, etc.

Natural sugar substitutes like stevia & monk fruit are better than artificial sweeteners but are not always recommended on the Primal Diet.


 The Primal Diet is all about whole foods like meat and vegetables. You can also enjoy moderate amounts of organic, raw dairy. But here’s the deal: limit or avoid grains, processed foods, processed oils, and high-sugar goodies. It’s all about making those smart choices for your health!

Does it Aid Weight Loss?

What Is Primal Living A 101 Complete Guide - Miller Reviews

Weight loss is on the table with the Primal Diet, my friends. Let’s explore the aspects that make it possible.

Dietary & Lifestyle Factors:

What Is Primal Living A 101 Complete Guide - Miller Reviews

Get ready to shed those pounds with the Primal Diet, my friends. Here’s how it works:

First off, we’re talking about regular physical activity and a high protein intake. These power duo factors are associated with appetite regulation, weight loss, and fat loss. It’s a winning combination backed by research!

But that’s not all. The Primal Diet knows the importance of cutting back on processed and sugary beverages. These liquid culprits often pack a calorie punch. In fact, studies consistently link regular consumption of processed foods & sweetened beverages to an increased risk of obesity. It’s time to kick those unhealthy habits to the curb!

So, my friends, get ready for a journey that promotes physical activity, protein intake, and a focus on real foods. Say goodbye to processed drinks and hello to a healthier, slimmer you!

Study Results:

What Is Primal Living A 101 Complete Guide - Miller Reviews

While the Primal Diet itself has yet to be extensively studied, there’s some promising evidence from related research on the paleo diet, which shares similarities.

A study involving postmenopausal women with obesity found that those on the paleo diet lost 2.5 times more weight after 6 months compared to a low-fat, high-fiber diet. Even after 2 years, the paleo group still maintained a 1.6 times greater weight loss.

In addition, a review of 11 studies showed that individuals on a paleo diet lost an average of 8 pounds (3.5 kg) in studies ranging from 2 weeks to 24 months.

However, it’s important to note that the Primal Diet and paleo diet have some differences, so the impact on weight loss may be different.

While these results are promising, but we need more long-term, large-scale studies to fully understand the potential of the Primal Diet for weight loss.


 To sum it up, the Primal Diet’s focus on whole foods, protein, and exercise may aid in weight loss. Yet, further research is required to fully assess its effectiveness. Stay tuned for more discoveries in the world of nutrition!

Other Potential Health Benefits

What Is Primal Living A 101 Complete Guide - Miller Reviews

The Primal Diet has potential health benefits, my friends. Let’s explore what it can do for you!

May Boost Heart Health:

What Is Primal Living A 101 Complete Guide - Miller Reviews

Limited research suggests that eating patterns like the paleo diet, including the Primal Diet, may help reduce risk factors for heart disease, which happens to be the leading cause of death worldwide.

Short-term studies on the paleo diet show significant improvements in HDL (good) cholesterol levels and reductions in triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. These findings point to positive impacts on heart health.

While the Primal Diet hasn’t been specifically studied, its similarity to the paleo diet in its focus on the whole, minimally processed foods suggests that it may offer similar benefits for your heart.

However, my friends, we still need more studies to paint a complete picture. The quest for knowledge continues as we explore the potential of the Primal Diet for heart health. Stay tuned for more findings in the world of nutrition!

May Support Blood Sugar Control:

What Is Primal Living A 101 Complete Guide - Miller Reviews

By reducing carb intake and limiting high-sugar foods, the Primal Diet may offer benefits for people with type 2 diabetes.

While no research specifically focuses on the Primal Diet, studies on the paleo diet show that it lowers blood sugar levels and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels in the adults with type 2 diabetes. These markers indicate improved blood sugar control.

In a 12-week study, adults with type 2 diabetes following the paleo diet experienced significant improvements in blood sugar levels. Another study found that the paleo diet was more effective at lowering HbA1c levels than a traditional diabetes diet.

However, my friends, a review of multiple studies suggest that the paleo diet is not necessarily superior to other healthy diets, like the Mediterranean diet, regarding fasting blood sugar and HbA1c levels.

To truly understand the effectiveness of the Primal Diet for managing blood sugar, we need more studies. As we continue our exploration of nutrition, let’s keep an open mind and await further research on this topic.

May Manage Stress Levels:

What Is Primal Living A 101 Complete Guide - Miller Reviews

The Primal Diet’s emphasis on lifestyle factors, such as physical activity and sleep, may contribute to alleviating stress.

Research shows that the engaging in regular physical activity and ensuring adequate sleep of at least 7 hours per night can help reduce perceived levels of stress throughout the day. These practices have been associated with stress reduction (26Trusted Source27Trusted Source28Trusted Source29Trusted Source).

Additionally, exposure to sunlight and participation in creative or social activities have been linked to improved mood and decreased stress and anxiety levels (30Trusted Source31Trusted Source32Trusted Source 33Trusted Source 34Trusted Source).

As we continue our exploration of the Primal Diet and its impact on well-being, let’s remember the importance of incorporating these lifestyle factors to promote stress relief.


 The Primal Diet shows promise in supporting heart health, blood sugar control, and stress levels, although further research is necessary.

Potential Downsides

What Is Primal Living A 101 Complete Guide - Miller Reviews

The Primal Diet can be expensive as it emphasizes buying organic foods and grass-fed meats. Its heavy reliance on animal products and limited plant-based protein make it difficult for vegans and vegetarians.

However, it is less restrictive than the paleo diet, allowing nightshade vegetables, moderate amounts of dairy, and small amounts of certain legumes.

Whole grains are restricted on the diet, which are essential sources of fiber and nutrients. nonetheless, these nutrients can also be found in other foods like meat, poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Studies show that whole grain intake reduces the risk of chronic illnesses.

Finally, the diet may make dining out or attending dinner parties challenging due to restricted ingredients.


 The Primal Diet’s cost and emphasis on animal products may only be feasible for some. It also prohibits nutritious foods like whole grains, which provide fiber and essential nutrients.

Sample 3-Day Menu

What Is Primal Living A 101 Complete Guide - Miller Reviews

Try out this 3-day Primal Diet meal plan:

Day 1

  • Breakfast: eggs, spinach, & plus coffee, peppers cooked in coconut oil, with the splash of cream.
  • Lunch: chicken salad with lettuce wraps, plus a side of mixed fruit.
  • Dinner: baked salmon topped with pesto & served with a side salad.

Day 2

  • Breakfast: Primal no-grain “oatmeal” made from blended coconut flakes, almonds, pecans, and whole raw milk, topped with cinnamon and blueberries & plus green tea to drink.
  • Lunch: a large mixed green salad with tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, pine nuts, & the drizzled, bison burger patty with the homemade vinaigrette.
  • Dinner: roasted pork tenderloin with baked sweet potato & roasted Brussels sprouts.

Day 3

  • Breakfast: veggies fried in a skillet with coconut oil, topped with two poached eggs & plus coffee with a splash of cream.
  • Lunch: a burrito bowl with cauliflower rice, grilled grass-fed steak, and roasted peppers and onions topped with guacamole and salsa.
  • Dinner: a bison burger with a lettuce wrap and roasted vegetables.

If you’re in need of Primal-Diet-approved snacks, look no further than nuts, fruits, and vegetables—simple and accessible choices.


 This menu offers satisfying, low-carb, high-fat meals for the Primal Diet.


Based on the diets and lifestyles of early humans, the Primal Diet emphasizes whole foods, physical activity, and stress reduction.

While specific studies on its benefits are lacking, similar diets have shown positive effects on weight loss, heart health, blood sugar control, and mental well-being.

Compared to the paleo diet, the Primal Diet is less strict but has limitations. It can be costly, restrict carbohydrates, including whole grains, and pose challenges for vegetarians and vegans.

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