Everyone you speak to seems to be on a diet. Every year, millions of us make an attempt at losing the extra tyre around our waists and become fitter and healthier in the process.
The sad fact though, is that many of us simply give up and fail to achieve our goals. Giving up our everyday luxuries such as chocolate, fried foods and alcohol is challenging to say the least. Unfortunately, even the threat of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and cancer are not enough to deter many of us from continuing with our poor dietary habits.
We all know that too much salt, sugar, carbohydrates and saturated fats are not good for our health and overall wellbeing. Medical practitioners and scientists have been drumming this into us for many years, yet still we fail to heed this advice.
Most of us have a lack of will power. When presented with a stringent diet which prohibits the consumption of ALL of our daily comfort foods, it becomes almost impossible for us to stay on track.
Recently, a new diet has been making the rounds and gaining more exposure, although it has actually been recognised for a number of years. The Paleo or the “Caveman” diet has become very popular with those who are looking for a diet that will remove those unwanted pounds yet at the same time, not be too stringent and restrictive.
What is the Paleo Caveman Diet?
The Paleo or “Caveman” diet refers to the Paleolithic age, between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago when hunter gatherers walked the earth. In these times, there were no fast food outlets and man had to live off the land eating fresh meat, berries, root vegetables, nuts and seeds.
This meant that people of this era were actually eating a low carb, low fat diet which not only made them strong and healthy but also gave them fantastic energy levels which they would need to hunt for food, not to mention protecting themselves from the odd Tyrannosaurus Rex!
According to many dietary experts and physicians, our bodies are not designed to eat many of the processed foods that we eat today and that these only lead to health issues.
So the aim of the Paleo diet is to get us to drop the processed foods from our diets and adopt healthier eating habits made up of more fruits, vegetables, nuts and lean meats.
What Can I Eat on the Caveman Diet?
There are many nutritious and healthy foods that you can eat on the Paleo Caveman diet including
What Shouldn’t I Eat?
It is very important that if you do the Paleo diet that you avoid consuming the following foods
How Do I Do The Paleo Caveman Diet?
Stage One – 2 to 4 weeks
1. Every morning drink a large glass of water to get you started.
2. Graze lightly throughout the day on fruit, unsalted nuts and seeds of your choice.
3. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
4. At night, have a nice big meal of ANYTHING you want. You can eat as much as you want including burgers, chips, fried foods and pizza etc. Do NOT eat multiple meals though. Only one meal!
Carry out the above for between 2 and 4 weeks. Then move on to stage 2.
Stage Two – 2 to 8 weeks
1. Every morning drink a large glass of water.
2. During the day, eat nothing at all. If you have carried out the first stage in the process you will find this surprisingly easy. At this stage you will be constantly detoxing your body. Make sure that you are drinking plenty of water.
3. At night, have a large meal only using the ingredients listed in the section “What Can I Eat On The Caveman Diet?”. So no junk food!
During this stage your body will no longer be craving the wrong kind of foods. You will start enjoying your food more and actually crave the healthy and nutritious foods. You will have also started to burn fat, reduce your LDL cholesterol levels and begun to break your dependency on carbohydrates.
Stage Three – For as long as you want.
1. Every morning drink a large glass of water.
2. Graze on seeds, nuts and fruit like you did during stage one. You can also include meat and fish if you wish but avoid foods from the “What Shouldn’t I Eat?” list above.
3. In the evening you can have a normal healthy meal only incorporating the good foods mentioned above.
By this stage, you will have become more alert, mentally sharper and more in tune with your food. You should now be craving healthy foods and avoiding the bad foods.
Make sure that you are not just eating but having a real relationship with it. Whenever possible, eat with your hands, smell your food, savour each mouthful, notice the colours, chew it lots and really get intimate with it. Food is life, rejoice in it!
What Are the benefits of doing the Paleo Caveman diet?
One of the main reasons that people do the Caveman diet is to lose weight and this of course will happen in a fairly short space of time. But there are other fantastic benefits including the lowering of LDL cholesterol, increase in energy levels, helps to reduce high blood pressure, lowers the risk of digestive system diseases, reduces risk of heart disease, strokes and cancer.
I think it is fair to say that we could probably do a whole blog post just on the benefits but the main thing is that you are embracing a healthier diet, which will not only help you to lose weight but also help to make you fitter, healthier and increase your bodies ability to repel illnesses.
Will I Lose Much Weight?
Different users of the diet will lose different amounts in weight and is dependent on factors such as age, weight and the amount of physical exercise they get.
Singer Tom Jones lost 2 stones in only 5 months which is pretty good going.
How long before I lose weight?
Once again, this can depend on the individual but you should start seeing weight loss within the first week or two.
How Long Should I Do The Caveman Diet For?
The Caveman diet is not really something you should do for a month or so. Like all good diets, it's a change of lifestyle and a change in the way you think about the foods that you eat and the body that you are putting them into.
It's ok to eat the odd "bad" thing but overall, after following the above, you should have a completely new attitude towards your food and your overall health.
Do I Need To Use Supplements While Doing The Caveman Diet?
If you already take supplements it is probably fine for you to continue to do so. If you do the Paleo diet correctly, there is no reason why you wouldn’t be getting your full recommended daily allowance of vitamins and other essential minerals through the foods that you are eating.
If in any doubt, please consult your doctor or physician.
Matt Emery’s – Caveman Power
Image courtesy of Wikimedia.