I have struggled with my weight and body my entire life. When I was young my mom always called me “big boned” while other kids (and myself) knew that I was really just “chubby”. It also didn’t help that my parents didn’t know anything about eating right. My dad cooked all the time, but we sure did eat a lot of processed, sugary, and just generally bad foods while I was growing up.
So, in the last 4 weeks I have really committed to making a complete life change. I have cut out all processed foods, grains and wheat products, started eating lean, beef and chicken, and have gained a dramatic level of energy that I have never had in my life. I have also effortlessly lost 13 pounds in the process.
I’m sure you have heard of it. It’s called eating Paleo or Primal, but I like thinking about it as eating like our Ancestors did. Below I’m going to hook you up with a primer on eating this way and direct you to some awesome resources so you can start your own primal journey. Just like Robb Wolf suggests (a Paleo blogger, nutritionist, author and pundit), just try it for 30 days and see how you feel. You will be amazed.
The Gist of Eating Like a Human
The whole basis of eating and living a Paleo lifestyle is to use “scientific evidence and evolutionary clues” to decide how we should eat, exercise, and play. The basics of the diet is as follows:
- Eat a bunch of meat. Preferably grass-fed and natural. Try to go lean, but it’s not that big of a deal.
- Don’t eat any cereal grains, wheat, dairy (sparingly), nasty seed oils, processed sugars and processed foods. If it’s in a box or a bag it probably isn’t good.
- Eat seeds and nuts (sparingly)
- Overdose on green leafy vegetables or pretty much any vegetables for that matter.
- Eat some fruit too. Don’t go too crazy if you want to lose fat.
That’s it in a nutshell. The idea is to eat like our “caveman” ancestors did and with that kind of eating comes a vibrant, natural kind of feeling and health. Like I said before, it is tough to explain but you can try it to feel its full effect.
How To Exercise and Play Like a Human
Next is exercise and play. Mark Sisson has some really good suggestions about this topic. Here is what he suggests:
- Move slowly. Our ancestors didn’t run a rat race on a treadmill. But they sure did walk and rummage for food a lot. Try to walk around 3 to 5 hours a week. Nothing crazy. Just nice and easy walking.
- Sprint every once in awhile. About 3 times a week. Just like we had to run to catch our food back in the day.
- Lift heavy things. Well, after our ancestors sprinted and caught their food, they had to drag it back to their site for eating. And, if it was a big catch it was definitely heavy. So, you can lift weights, climb, do pushups, dead lifts, etc. About 3 – 4 times a week.
Most people are convinced that they need to exercise and lift weights for hours and hours a week to get “ripped” and be healthy. That’s not really the case, especially if your diet is awesome and you are treating your body right. Just take a look at Sisson’s physique. He is no slouch.
Here is a list of benefits of eating and living the Paleo lifestyle. These are things that I have noticed and also things that other people have experienced:
- Ability to skip meals without a crash of blood sugar.
- Reversal of type 2 diabetes.
- Reversal of insulin resistance.
- Rapid and effortless fat loss.
- More energy throughout the day.
- Less doctor’s visits
- Loss of allergies
- Reduction in symptoms of ADD and ADHD
- Clearer skin.
- Lowering of bad cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, blood pressure.
- Ability to lose the last “10 pounds” that you couldn’t do so before.
- More restful sleep
- Increased sexiness.
- And the list goes on…
Seriously, eating and living this way is amazing. I can’t stress enough how much better I feel and how much more alive I am even only after a little under a month. If you have experienced anything in this list or something else from eating and living this way, share it below.
The Resource Shortlist
So, if you are interested in learning more about the Paleo lifestyle, you are in luck. There are a ton of blogs, books, and podcasts out there for your learning pleasure. This is the shortlist of the best resources that I have run into so far.
- Mark’s Daily Apple
- Robb Wolf. Also his FAQ and podcast is pretty awesome.
- Latest in Paleo
- Weston A. Price
- Primal Body, Primal Mind
That should be plenty to get you started. Also, these sites are great for the scientific evidence that shows that living this way is effective and even superior to what you think you know about a healthy diet. Of course, make sure you question everything. It’s the only way to be sure.
The whole idea is to challenge conventional wisdom and find out what our bodies really need to be the best they can. Eating and living like our ancestors is all about learning and gaining a better understanding of who we are as humans. So, if you have been struggling with your physique, your energy, blood sugar, weight, etc., take some clues from our ancestors and become a better human.