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  1. 1. The ultimate guide! 1
  2. 2. Paleolithic Plan Copyright © 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, including scanning, photocopying, or otherwise without prior written permission of the copyright holder. Disclaimer and Terms of Use: The Author and Publisher has strived to be as accurate and complete as possible in the creation of this guide, notwithstanding the fact that he does not warrant or represent at any time that the contents within are accurate due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet. While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this publication, the Author and Publisher assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein. Any perceived slights of specific persons, peoples, or organizations are unintentional. In practical advice books, like anything else in life, this publication is designed to provide accurate and personal experience information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the author, contributors, publisher are not engaged in rendering counseling or other professional services. If counseling advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought out. 2
  3. 3. Table of Contents 1 Introduction to the Paleolithic Diet Plan.......................................................................................... 5 2 Diets Don’t Work: The Truth about Losing and Maintaining Weight..............................................8 3 A “Diet” Versus a Lifestyle Change................................................................................................15 4 Choosing A Lifestyle That Will Work For You...............................................................................24 5 What is a Paleolithic Lifestyle/Diet................................................................................................31 6 Why is The Paleolithic Diet and Lifestyle Different, and Why Does It Work?..............................39 7 Health Benefits of the Paleolithic Diet........................................................................................... 46 8 Paleolithic Diet: What Can I Eat? What Can’t I Eat?.....................................................................53 9 Foods in the Paleolithic Gray Area.................................................................................................60 10 Health Issues with the Modern, Western Diet.............................................................................. 67 11 Planning Your Paleolithic Meals...................................................................................................75 12 The Connection Between Diet and the Law of Attraction............................................................83 3
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  5. 5. 1 Introduction to the Paleolithic Diet Plan We are programed by the $60+ billion dollar a year diet industry to believe our only hope and salvation to accomplish weight loss is to go on a diet (only for a short time) and lose weight, then we can go back to our regular habits and way of eating and things will be OK, and we will never have to worry about being overweight again. It reminds me of the old comic strip “Peanuts” when Lucie is holding the football on the ground with one finger and she tells Charlie Brown, “Come on Charlie Brown, I promise I won’t move the football this time,” and of course she does. Just as he starts to kick the football, she moves it and he falls flat on his back. Sound familiar? It is the same thing the diet industry has been doing to us for years. It’s called “The diet game,” one of the greatest money makers of all time. They have no interest in us losing weight on a long term basis or succeeding in getting healthier because that would put them out of business. What I am offering you in this guide is a “Paleolithic Plan” to reduce your excess weight and become healthier in the process, as long as you choose to do so by making a lifestyle change that you will enjoy. Let’s get started on the right foot and let’s be honest with ourselves and each other, let’s start with me. First of all, no, I’m not an MD, I’m not a PHD, I’m not a nutritionist and I don’t claim to be an expert in the field of medicine or nutrition. So who am I? I’m just like you, someone who has struggled with weight problems my whole life and tried numerous fads, diets, pills and other weight loss plans of the week and, probably like most of you, ended up heavier than when I started. So what qualifies me to write a guide on weight loss? Well I guess you can call me a researcher. I certainly have done a lot of research in the field of diets and weight loss over the years, and I certainly have been involved with a lot of case studies. Even though I have been carrying around a lot of extra weight for a lot of years, I have been very fortunate to have inherited my mother’s Italian genes and have never been plagued with any serious cholesterol problems, diabetes or any serious heart problems. And that’s been sort of a curse, so to speak, because even though I was heavy and knew that I was not exactly healthy, I never had a good, motivating reason to be serious about keeping my weight off. This probably sounds familiar to a lot of people, so it all boils down to, “I never had a why,” and if you don’t have a “why” clearly planted in your mind, you won’t accomplish anything. This goes for any goal that you have ever had in your life, and if you think about it, picture every goal that you have ever attempted to accomplish, weather you have succeeded or not, and I guarantee you that for the ones that were successful, you had a “why” (a clear picture in your mind of “why” you wanted it, and a clear picture and plan of what the outcome would look like and how to get there even though you might not have been conscious of it.) Now let’s talk about you. No, you don’t have big bones. No, you don’t have bad genes. No, you don’t have a slow metabolism (well maybe). No, it’s not hereditary (well maybe again). What most of us have done is inherited some bad habits and haven’t figured out how to break them and what our “why” is yet. 5
  6. 6. The first thing is we all have to acknowledge that there is a challenge we have to address and then we must put together a plan to meet the challenge. You noticed I said challenge and not “problem.” That is because this is the first step in the process, to remove the negative thought and word patterns from our mind and vocabulary that have kept us stuck in the same places. Let’s get down to some basic facts: Your mind (both conscious and subconscious) are going to resist this challenge and try to sabotage you because sometimes they’re programed with bad information, and they think they are helping you or even saving your life when in actuality they are not, and sometimes they are doing the opposite. We can’t do the same old things that we have been doing and expect the results to change. (They won’t), Most of the repetitive things we do every day are on autopilot, and our subconscious minds take over these routine tasks or (habits) that we repeat on a daily basis, and a lot of them have been programed into our subconscious anywhere from our early childhood up to the place in time that we are now. For example, when we get into a car every day to drive somewhere, we don’t consciously think about every detail like starting the car, putting it into reverse, turning the steering wheel, putting on the break. It’s the same thing when we decide we are hungry. Our subconscious takes over this routine task that we typically do numerous times a day and says to the conscious mind, “Don’t worry about this, I got it. You do the important things like looking around and noticing new things,” and it makes the same old programmed choices for you! Here’s another example. Let’s say that when you were young, your parents always told you that, “You can’t leave the table until that plate is clean.” Do you ever find yourself, like I did, eating and starting to feel full, yet you keep eating anyway, until your plate is empty? And then you feel uncomfortably full? Well that’s probably your subconscious mind doing its job, just like it is supposed to do, making sure that you obey your parents so you don’t get into trouble 20, 30 or 40 years later, or even after they are dead. (You’re subconsciously still trying to please them) It will take some planning and time to accomplish this challenge. We didn’t get to this place or condition overnight, and we won’t correct it overnight. If you break the challenge into small tasks with goals that you can accomplish every day and see the progress, your mind will sign up for the challenge, take over the process and put you on autopilot to succeed. For instance, let’s say that you decide you want to lose 30 lbs. OK, now let’s say you are going to give yourself six months (remember you didn’t gain 30 lbs. in one or two months, so don’t expect to lose it in one or two months) to do this. All you will need to lose is about 1.2 pounds per week. That’s eliminating about 600 calories a day or maybe eliminating 300 calories and letting the exercise do the other 300 calories. That means you could replace eating a sandwich (1/4 lb hamburger with trimmings, 459 calories) and a soda (Coke 12 oz, 143 calories), which totals 602 calories, with a salad and dressing, with water, which equals 80 calories, and you would have saved 520 calories right there. I can tell you that I lost 20 pounds in the first 30 days and that was including about 5 days that I was on a plateau. (For a complete list of calories burned during exercise visit the link below.) http://www.nutristrategy.com/activitylist3.htm 6
  7. 7. But first we must have a “WHY” and a clear picture of final results and a well-defined plan path to get there. This is the same method that every successful person in the universe uses to accomplish their goals and dreams whether they know it or not. Why do you want to lose weight? To get healthier? To look better? To feel better about yourself? To live longer? Whatever it is for you, you will definitely have to get in touch with it, and it might not be an easy task because your mind probably won’t want to admit it has a (problem). There’s that word again that your subconscious has programed for you. Let’s all agree on one thing right now. Diets don’t work, or you wouldn’t be reading this guide right now unless this is your first time at attempting weight loss. If it is, consider yourself lucky because you may not have to join the other 90 percent of us that didn’t get the correct information the first 5, 10 or 20 times that we attempted this process. Here is the absolute truth and the one thing that both your conscious and unconscious mind must understand: Diets don’t work. Lifestyle changes do. If you don’t start changing the way you view food and eating, you might as well through this guide away because you are doomed to repeat the diet industry’s $60 billion dollar a year game called, “Try this one. This time I promise it will work.” Let’s start with some basic psychology. It is a well-known fact in the world of psychology that the mind will seek out pleasure, and avoid pain at all cost. This is its way of protecting you, but the only problem is sometimes it gets things mixed up and thinks that pleasure is eating certain foods that it has determined that taste good. In reality, however, they may be making you unhealthy. So until your brain decides that the results of eating the pleasurable foods might be painful to you, it will avoid changing your eating habits at all cost. What happened to me was, for the first time in my life, I got in touch with my “WHY.” (For me it was looking at obese people younger than I was in wheel chairs not being able to get around anymore by themselves and thinking about all the things that I wouldn’t be able to do if I kept on doing what I was doing.) My mind decided that the pain wasn’t worth the pleasure. And what happened after that was amazing to me. Almost automatically, everything I had ever heard or ever read about weight loss became crystal clear, and the plan was the Paleolithic Diet Plan. I looked at the foods that I could eat, and I looked at the foods that I could not eat, and I studied the facts and data about the Paleo process and decided this was a lifestyle I could adapt to and live with on an ongoing basis. I believe that once you get in touch with your “why,” you will be successful with any plan that you decide fits your lifestyle. For the first time, I took an honest look at my short comings and the mistakes that I had repeated over and over again on previous attempts at weight loss and decided what tools and plans I needed to be successful. Once I put these tools in place and started the process, and the emotional feelings of experiencing the results, I had this self-empowering feeling that I have never had before that failure was would never be an option again. I was not on a diet. I was on a very comfortable lifestyle change. 7
  8. 8. 2 Diets Don’t Work: The Truth about Losing and Maintaining Weight All of the statistics on obesity in the United States seem to be perpetually headed in the wrong direction. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control reported that obesity among kids from the age of six to 11 has nearly doubled to roughly 20 percent. Meanwhile, adult obesity is up to 34 percent. Meanwhile, if it feels like you or someone you know is always on a diet, there’s a good reason for that. They probably are. According to various surveys, approximately half the United States population is dieting in a given year. That’s up from about a third of the population in the early 2000s. This is particularly appalling when you consider that the human body was not designed to be fat. Perhaps we weren’t designed to look like your run of the mill supermodel either, but we are obviously doing something wrong to see such high rates of obesity coinciding with such a high frequency of diets. Speaking of which, did you know that “diet” is a word that had a much different connotation just 30 to 40 years ago? If you pulled someone out of the 1950s or 1960s and told them half the population was on a diet, they’d probably look at you like you were insane. “What’s wrong with the other half?” might be their response. You see, diet actually means “food and drink regularly provided or consumed; habitual nourishment,” according to the Merriam Webster online dictionary. It’s only the fourth definition that gets to restriction. That alternate definition is, “a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight.” Sadly, nowadays that is not only the primary definition, but the only definition for millions of people. So what do those masses go and do? They spend their hard earned money trying desperately to figure out a way to lose weight and get the body of their dreams. People spend an absolute fortune on the diet market. As of forecasts for 2012 by Marketdata, which has been keeping an eye on the United States diet and weight loss market since 1989, the total market is $65 billion. And it’s growing, Marketdata projected growth at a rate of 4.5 percent in 2012. 8
  9. 9. It stands to reason that if half the population is on a diet in a given year, and those diets are effective, the market should be shrinking. So, why is it still growing so quickly? The answer to that is simple. Diets don’t work. Sometimes people have a tendency to read things without paying full attention to the words they are reading, so I’ll say that again. Diets do not work. Got it? You’ll learn why in depth, but for now it is important to re-train your brain and realize that dieting, by current definitions, is doomed to failure. Instead, do one of two things. Either eliminate “diet” from your vocabulary or turn it back into the old definition. Let’s begin to examine why diets do not work. In fact, not only do they not deliver results, diets are usually counter-productive in a variety of ways. In other words, they make you gain weight rather than losing it. Diets are extremely difficult to sustain from a mental standpoint. People on diets are told all about what they are not allowed to have and spend most of their time and energy focusing on the negative. That ice cream looks so good, but I am not allowed to have it while I am on my diet. I would love an ice-cold beer, but that is not allowed on this diet I am on. I could really go for a cheeseburger and fries, but that is not on the menu in my diet. What do those three statements have in common? Let’s break them down, because there are a few things. First, they all leave the dieter wanting something. When you say things like that, your mind is thinking about the ice cream, the beer or the burger and fries. You’re imagining the pleasure you would get from eating it. You might even be imagining that while reading this. That makes you crave it. Second, they all mention the diet. Diet, diet, diet. They also refer to it as being temporary. That reinforces to your brain that you are only doing this for a little while, and then you will go back to normal and eat your ice cream, drink your beer and eat your cheeseburger and fries, and peoples favorite “Junk Food”. 9
  10. 10. Third, they are all framed negatively. Remember when you were a kid and your parents, teachers or other authority figures told you that you couldn’t do something? What happened? You found a way to do it. People have a tendency to want to overcome something when they are told they can’t do certain things. They harbor resentment, and they are obsessed about it until they get what they want. So we need to begin training our minds to process our thoughts a little bit differently. Instead of thinking about the foods that you are trying to avoid, think about the foods you want to eat that are on the menu for your new lifestyle. Surely you like some of them. Perhaps you enjoy apples, strawberries or oranges. Maybe you’re a fan of a nice salad, squash or carrots. Perhaps you love a juicy steak, grilled chicken or salmon. Think about all of those healthy foods and how you’re going to add them to your new lifestyle and daily life. As you do this, the unhealthy foods will naturally begin to fall out of your daily intake, and you won’t have to suffer the cravings nearly as often. You see, many dieters often fail to replace the foods they eliminate with better alternatives, but instead they attempting this by withstand the hunger. Of course, even if they are successful in the short term with this approach, if they don’t learn what foods they can eat, they will fall right back into their old ways and put the weight back on. Ongoing yo-yo dieting is a big reason the diet industry is so profitable and such a large percentage of Americans are always dieting. So what’s a good alternative? Instead of planning your personal menu around eliminating all of the foods you need to remove from your diet, plan it around adding the foods you should be eating. Then, simply eat slowly and remind yourself not to eat when you are full. Over time, you’ll be able to make the changes you need in order to eat properly. This will also help change your mental outlook on eating healthy. Instead of focusing so intently on everything you’re not supposed to eat, which only makes you want it even more, you can hone in on some of the healthy foods that you enjoy. Many successful people will tell you that it is a great deal easier to accomplish something framed in the positive than to avoid something framed negatively. Always try to keep this in mind, in particular with regard to your healthy lifestyle. 10
  11. 11. From a physical standpoint, diets can be incredibly counter-productive as well. Deep down inside, I think most dieters realize that it’s not healthy to follow some of the more extreme diets they use, even if they work in the short term. After all, when one diet tells you to eat nothing but carbohydrates and another tells you to eliminate all carbs, something has to give. I’ve been on diets that are fluid only, soup only, protein only, carbohydrate only, complex carbohydrate only, meal replacement shake only, meal replacement bar only and various other diet perversions that worked for a week or two and yielded no long-term results. The problem is that, diets that limit your caloric intake too much, or limit other nutrients too much, can send you into starvation mode. That’s not something that you want. When it comes to surviving without food for long periods of time, starvation mode is an amazing capability of the human body. When it comes to dieting, starvation mode is very, very bad. Our bodies are incredibly adaptive and over hundreds and thousands of years, the human body has fine-tuned its survival systems. It’s why we can adjust to things like new climates and new food sources. It’s also why we can live without food for two weeks. Have you ever wondered how that is even possible? Since food is our primary source of energy, we need to get that energy somewhere. You probably know that fat is stored energy, but what you may not realize is that when you deprive your body of new energy through food, it doesn’t just keep burning two to three thousand calories per day as usual by taking them from your fat stores. That’s because your body is concerned that no food is coming in and this could be an ongoing situation. Thus, it wants to make sure that its supply of energy (fat) lasts as long as possible. In other words, when we starve ourselves, our bodies try to preserve fat. This is done by providing less energy to processes in the body that are not essential for survival. This is why you may feel sluggish on extreme diets. It’s also why long-term dieting can wreak havoc on your metabolism. The fewer calories we take in over time, the slower the metabolism will get in order to keep your body functioning. The longer your body continues in this deprived state, the more permanent it believes the decreased 11
  12. 12. amounts of food coming in are. Thus, your body makes a habit of burning fewer and fewer calories. As a result, it’ll be increasingly difficult to lose weight or maintain your weight, and you’ll find yourself feeling lethargic, thus making it harder to exercise as well. If you’ve ever been dieting for a long time and gotten to a point where you were eating healthy foods, limiting your calories and still losing no weight, you may have been in starvation mode. Keep in mind that starvation mode can occur a lot easier than you may think. You can be eating food and still enter starvation mode. In fact, the vast majority of Americans are depriving their bodies of at least some essential nutrients, which is minimally causing various illnesses, aches, pains, lethargy and other ailments. In the worst-case scenario for dieters, this is slowing down the metabolism and preserving stores of fat. So as you read on, keep in mind that it is essential to avoid going into starvation mode, and you will actually receive quicker, longer lasting results by doing things properly. Another reason diets don’t work is that they often include a variety of diet products that actually trick our body in ways that are very unhealthy. In fact, this is true on a lot of the processed foods we eat. Just as the human body can adapt to a lot of the changes we throw at it, it has adjusted over thousands of years to the proper diet it’s been eating. Hundreds, let alone thousands, of years ago we did not have processed foods. You couldn’t stroll across the street to the supermarket and buy frozen dinners, potato chips, candy bars, or other various goodies that are actually very bad for our health. People have a tendency to think that a calorie is a calorie, regardless of the source. That’s simply not true, and if you think about it, you’ll probably realize it. Who do you think will be healthier? Someone who eats 2,000 calories a day from lean meats, fruits and vegetables or someone who eats 2,000 calories a day from frozen meals, sugar-rich cereals, candy bars, potato chips or any of the other various processed foods many Americans consume every day? If you’re honest with yourself, you know that it’s not the processed foods. We’ll get more in depth in some of the science behind why processed foods are so terrible for your health and your weight loss, but for now let’s focus on those that are related to diets. 12
  13. 13. Many products that are marketed as diet products actually have the opposite of the desired effects on our bodies. There have been a number of studies showing that a lot of artificial sweeteners, including the widely used aspartame and saccharin, cause weight gain. In fact, even when the same number of calories are consumed; those eating sugar-sweetened foods will gain less weight than those eating aspartame and saccharin-sweetened foods. In a study conducted by researchers in Brazil and published in a journal called Appetite, scientists gave rat’s plain yogurt that had either sugar, aspartame or saccharin added to sweeten it. Otherwise, the rats ate their normal diet over the course of 12 weeks. The rats who ate the aspartame and saccharin gained more weight than the rats that ate sugar. Scientists believe that this is because of a chemical reaction caused in our brain that actually trigger our appetites and cause us to eat more food than we otherwise would have. Aspartame, for example, is made up of three components. It is 50 percent phenylalanine, 40 percent aspartic acid and 10 percent methanol. Phenylalanine and aspartic acid creates quick increases in the levels of insulin present in your body. In reaction to this, your body takes glucose out of your blood stream and converts it to fat for storage. With the glucose gone from your blood, your body will crave sugar. In addition, research has demonstrated that aspartame impacts the brains’ ability to produce or release serotonin, which causes the feeling we recognize as satiety or fullness. Thus, we are hungry for a much longer period and consume more food. So, the powerful diet industry that is marketing products to us with sweeteners like aspartame is actually causing weight gain, which of course means that we want to lose even more weight and thus believe we need their products even more! Even before you finish reading this guide , simply cutting aspartame out of your diet will go a long way to making you healthier and boosting your chances of losing weight. An interesting alternative is stevia, which so far appears to be a zero calorie sweetener without any bad side effects. You could also switch to water and various unsweetened beverages, or try those that actually contain real sugar and consume them in moderation (or minimally) until you can phase them out of your diet altogether. 13
  14. 14. In conclusion, diets don’t work for a variety of reasons. Diets are mentally challenging and nearly impossible to sustain. Dieters make them increasingly difficult by focusing on the negatives as opposed to the positives. Science shows that diets can actually slow our metabolism and thus hinder weight loss. Diet products often turn out to be counter-productive to our goals, causing weight gain due to chemical reactions in our bodies. The first step to losing weight, getting in shape and maintaining a healthy weight is realizing that diets don’t work. Your last diet was just that: your last diet. Now it’s time for a fresh start – the right way. 14
  15. 15. 3 A “Diet” Versus a Lifestyle Change As you’ve now learned, diets don’t work. So instead of setting out on a diet, what you need to aim for is a lifestyle change. In the coming pages, you’ll begin to understand some of the differences with examples and possible ways to facilitate your change. The key throughout this process to make sure that you don’t allow yourself to go onto autopilot. For years and years, from the time you were just a child until now, your brain has been adapting and coming up with instinctual, instant decisions that reinforce the behavior you made habitual. Since you want to develop new, better habits, you need to question everything you do related to a healthy lifestyle. Question your eating decisions, your fitness decisions and your activities. Ask yourself why you do what you do, and figure out your motivations. Are you taking these actions to obtain a reward (Pleasure) or to avoid a feared outcome (Pain)? Can you take another route to arrive at the same end result in terms of obtaining a reward or avoiding a bad outcome? Should you even fear whatever it is that you’re trying to avoid? It may seem over the top to ask yourself those types of questions about every decision, but the more you embrace the process of changing your lifestyle, the better your results will be. Also keep in mind that sometimes it is easier to only take on one major habit change at a time, or just a few instead of all of them at once. Now let’s lay out a comparison between dieting behavior and lifestyle change behavior. Diet Behavior: Eliminate Food As we’ve already discussed, when you’re on a diet, your thought processes mostly revolve around eliminating food. You may run through your daily menu and decide what needs to be taken out. Your thought process may go something like this: Breakfast: Coffee? Okay. Eggs? Okay. Bacon? Okay. Toast with butter? No. Muffin? No. Orange Juice: No. 15
  16. 16. So you just eliminate the extra carbohydrates in the muffin and toast, and the sugar-rich orange juice. Perhaps you replace the orange juice with water and the toast and muffin are replaced by vegetables in an omelet. Lunch: Cheeseburger? No. Cookies? No. Soda? No. Maybe this time you replace the cheeseburger with a salad, the cookies with some fruit and the soda with water. Now you should go back and ask yourself why. Why were the eggs okay? There high in cholesterol. Why was the water a good choice? What were your goals? What were the better the options? We’ll get into those later. At lunch, perhaps the salad was a good choice, but did you think about the salad dressing? It could contain processed sugars, MSG or other unhealthy additives. Perhaps you should be eating in some protein, but just not from a cheeseburger, maybe some chicken? The diet soda has the same problems as the diet iced tea. Again, why are you going with the options you’re selecting? Now let’s look at the alternatives to this diet behavior. Lifestyle Behavior: Eat Healthier Food This time around the plan is to simply eat healthier foods. Instead of focusing on what you will eliminate, plan from scratch what you want to eat. When breakfast rolls around, what are your goals? Here are a few good suggestions: get some energy, make sure you’re alert for the day and satisfy your hunger. Now, how can you go about that? How about some fruit for healthy carbohydrates, a cup of coffee for the alertness and scrambled eggs to provide some protein and a sense of satisfaction? You get the idea. Maybe you prefer egg whites or some nuts to get the protein and fats for the meal. 16
  17. 17. Now apply this approach to every meal, and don’t worry right away if you still have some unhealthy foods in there. Instead of worrying about eliminating them, focus on adding healthy foods and stop eating when you’re full. Pretty soon you won’t be craving or eating as many unhealthy foods. Diet Behavior: Manipulating Food Intake On a diet, you are often trying to manipulate your nutritional intake. Most fad diets are based on depriving your body of fats, proteins or carbohydrates. One reason this is so difficult is that you’ll crave whatever you’re depriving yourself of. Have you ever thought about why that is? When your body craves certain things, it’s either because you’re addicted to them or have stopped supplying them or because your body needs them. While these approaches can work for a short period of time, they are not sustainable methods and the weight loss is hard to maintain after returning to your “normal” habits of eating. Lifestyle Behavior: Proper Intake As part of your lifestyle change, your goal will simply be to get all of the nutrients you need, and to get them from healthy sources. You’ll be consuming a healthy mixture of fats, proteins and carbohydrates, thus avoiding cravings and feeling better. When your body gets all of the nutrients it needs, it is a well-fueled machine and all of its processes can run properly. Diet Behavior: Eating for Pleasure This could perhaps be better classified as pre-diet behavior, but it’s an important point to make. We have trained ourselves to eat for pleasure first and foremost. Jot down what you ate yesterday, and then ask yourself why you ate each of those things. Your answers will probably be along the lines of, “I wanted it,” or “It tasted good.” 17
  18. 18. There are two main problems with eating for pleasure. First of all, your focus will be on stuffing your face until you’re out of the pleasure-supplying substance. If you have a tendency to eat everything that is in front of you, this is an issue you need to deal with. Don’t feel bad about it, though. Your brain is hard-wired to get a pleasure response from eating certain foods, which are often unhealthy ones. You’ll learn more about this later, but the human body is essentially trained to pack on the fat in times of feast in order to prepare for the famine. The good news is you don’t experience any times of famine in this day and age. The bad news is, your body still enjoys feasting. Since it doesn’t serve a purpose, we’re going to try to find a better approach. Instead of focusing on the pleasure, you’re going to focus on eating to satiate your hunger and stopping as soon as that’s done. The other problem with eating for pleasure is that you aren’t making choices that give you the nutrients you need. So you’ll often end up over-fed and under-nourished. Lifestyle Behavior: Eat for Sustenance The best reason to eat is to get the nutrients you need and survive. Remember, eating is ultimately a survival function. First, you should come up with some food options that will give you the nutrients you need. Then choose the ones you like. Make the pleasure part of eating a secondary function. Of course, from time to time, you can indulge in foods that may not fit your healthy lifestyle, and you should enjoy them when you do. In fact, that’s going to be another key difference. Diet Behavior: One Mistake is Failure Have you ever been on a diet where you did great for a day or two, or maybe even a week? Then you cheated with one little thing, and all of a sudden it fell apart? A lot of times you use up so much willpower fighting the urge for so long, that you have none left once you break down. All of a sudden, you know you can’t finish the diet by the letter of the law. You realize that the difference between cheating once and twice is less than the difference between not cheating at all and breaking a rule once. Now you convince yourself that the next mistake isn’t 18
  19. 19. as bad as the first, and do so while your willpower is gone. That may sound like malarkey to you, but psychological research has shown that “willpower” is a quantifiable, limited resource of the brain. Each day you only have so much to go around, and when you use it up, you will be much more likely to make a bad decision. Have you ever noticed most of the cheating on a diet has occurred at night? In part, that is because of your diminished willpower. Outside stresses can also weaken your willpower. Lifestyle Behavior: Occasional Indulgence is Okay When you aren’t living so much by a hard and fast set of rules, you accept that from time to time you might have unhealthy food. Maybe it’s a slice of birthday cake to celebrate or a Christmas cookie. Whatever it is, enjoy it and stop eating when you’re full. You’ll likely find that you have a tendency to indulge less when you allow yourself to do so at will. When sweets aren’t forbidden and you’re focusing on your healthy lifestyle, you won’t be thinking about them as often. There’s also somewhat of a mind game at play here that can be illustrated with an interesting behavior modification that prisoners make. Prison can be an intense, violent, threatening atmosphere. The strong prey on the weak and convicts usually begin to protect their food by sitting with their arms around it, perhaps covering it or the tray it is on. Their mindset in this situation is a natural human instinct to protect food that is needed for survival when there are threats. If you are eating a cookie and know you are not allowed to have one, but you see a plate with 20 cookies in front of you, you want to protect that scarce resource. How do you do that? Scarf down five right away, so you get them while they’re available. If they’re always available, it will be easier to stop at one or once you are full and less tempted to indulge the next time. 19
  20. 20. Diet Behavior: Absolute and Sudden When you go on a diet, you tend to do everything at once and for a limited, set time. It’s hard to break a lot of habits all at once. In fact, it’s hard to break any habit suddenly. There’s a reason cigarette smokers have to wean themselves off of tobacco with patches or gum. In many ways, your bad eating habits are like an addiction. That’s not a metaphor either; there are chemical reactions at play. Lifestyle Behavior: Adept Over Time If you can’t make a change right away, slowly adjust over time. There are some things you may be able to do instantly. You can probably eliminate diet beverages right away and opt to sweeten them yourself with stevia. At the same time, if you need to wean yourself, that’s okay. If you drink five diet sodas a day now, try cutting down to two. Then go to one. Then make it a weekend treat. Then turn it into a rare treat. Diet Behavior: Counting Calories While taking in fewer calories than you burn is an important part of weight loss, it’s not the only part. Counting calories can be tedious, frustrating and hard to maintain, that’s one of the bonuses’ of the Paleolithic Plan you basically don’t have to if you eat the right foods and pay attention to your portions. Lifestyle Behavior: Making Healthy Choices Once you get accustomed to making healthy eating choices the majority of the time, you won’t need to count calories. Your body tells you when it’s hungry, and you respond by eating. If you are making healthy eating choices and only eating when you’re hungry, you won’t have to worry about your caloric intake – it will fall into place. 20
  21. 21. Diet Behavior: Surviving Until the End It’s amazing that people make this mistake for so long. I’m embarrassed that I used to do this too, because it really makes no sense. You diet, and the whole time you’re thinking, “I can’t wait until this is over, so I can have some [insert favorite unhealthy food here].” Then as soon as the diet is over, you gorge yourself on the unhealthy food, or simply go back to your normal eating pattern. Let’s phrase that differently. You had to diet, because you knew you were unhealthy. You got unhealthy because of your normal eating patterns, and then dieted to lose weight so you could return to the same unhealthy eating patterns that forced you to diet in the first place! This is the all-too-common, hence yo-yo dieting is born. Lifestyle Behavior: It’s Ongoing, You Develop Tastes and Alternatives Instead of surviving until the end of the diet to gorge yourself, you eat your vice foods in moderation or develop alternatives. Believe it or not, after just a few days to a week of healthy eating, sweet fruits may give you a similar enjoyment to what you currently consider to be sweets. You may realize that you can find a healthy, natural alternative to your unhealthy foods that you enjoy just as much. You just have to try new things and experiment with them until you find meals you enjoy. Diet Behavior: Working Out a Set Amount of Time People who combine exercise with their diet may run on the treadmill 60 minutes a day or pedal away on a stationary bike for 30 minutes. Often, when we “work out,” we are not enjoying the behavior. Hence the reason we call it working out instead of playing out. What are you more likely to do consistently? Work or play? 21
  22. 22. Lifestyle Behavior: Be Active and Have Fun I once read about a study that showed that people who took more than 6,000 steps in a day were significantly more likely than those who took fewer steps to lose weight over time, even if neither ever worked out at a gym or took a run or engaged in any formal exercise. I’m not saying a gym workout is a bad idea, but I am saying that you should incorporate regular, enjoyable, sustainable activities into your every day life. If you love basketball, shoot some hoops. If you have a nice park near home that you enjoy strolling through, take a walk every morning or evening. Incorporate fun into an active lifestyle, and it’s a recipe for successful weight loss, good health and even happiness (15 minutes of sunlight a day can help prevent depression). Diet Behavior: Results Oriented I used to weigh myself every morning when I was on a diet. If I went a few days without any new weight loss, I deemed the diet non-productive and considered myself a failure and went back to my normal eating. Weight loss can be an ebb-and-flow process. You could be retaining extra water one day or simply having the food move through you slower than usual. When you’re dieting, it’s all about one thing: losing weight immediately. This is an easy way to get yourself frustrated and fall back to your old habits. Lifestyle Behavior: Process Oriented When you make lifestyle changes, the results will come, but the focus is on the process. You focus on eating, acting and feeling healthier. You don’t worry so much about losing weight, but having a healthier body. You still get weighed, but not as often. You know that you may get thinner without losing weight 22
  23. 23. by building more muscle. Since you are thinking about the process and noticing rewards beyond simple weight loss, you are more likely to sustain your program. You are going to realize that you like the way you feel just as much as you like the way that your new lifestyle is beginning to change the way you look. That makes you more likely to stick with it. Diet: Empty Processes, Lifestyle: Hard Earned Results The choice should be pretty simple. It’s time to change your life and get the results you really want. Now, you have to figure out what your new lifestyle is going to be like. 23
  24. 24. 4 Choosing A Lifestyle That Will Work For You Once you realize that what you are really after is a lifestyle change rather than an endless cycle of diets and unhealthy living that never give you the results you desire and deserve, it’s time to figure out what type of lifestyle might work for you. This is not about finding a pattern that you can reluctantly handle; this is about working your way through the process of creating a lifestyle for yourself that you can enjoy. In this chapter, you will learn about and develop the tools needed to identify behaviors you can benefit from changing. Then you can plan out some enjoyable replacement behaviors to adapt into your daily life. Identify Your Programmed Habits, Good and Bad Begin thinking of your brain like a computer running programs. Just like your computer, some of the programs are on the surface and demand some of your attention while others run behind the scenes without any user input. There are many things that you do every day without even thinking about them: brushing your teeth, chewing your food or hitting the gas or brake while driving. You are unconsciously competent at these activities. That’s the highest of four levels of competency in any behavior. The lowest is unconscious incompetence. You’re not good at something and you don’t understand it. This is obviously the worst state to be in, as you can’t fix something if you don’t realize that it is a problem. Fortunately, you’re now learning that you used to be unconsciously incompetent with regard to weight loss. Now you can move forward toward the other three stages. Next is conscious incompetence. You’re not very good at the activity in question, but you understand that and can work to improve it. If you work to improve, pretty soon you’ll be consciously competent. You’ll have a new program running with your input. At this point, with regard to your health, you’ll be actively thinking about what to eat and when until it becomes second nature. At that point you’ll be at unconscious competence. Being healthy will come naturally, and you won’t even have to think about it. 24
  25. 25. In many cases, unfortunately, you’ve probably obtained unconscious competence in some bad habits with regard to your health. That means you’re going to have to figure out what they are and then make changes. You’ll have to break down the habits and go back to the second stage, conscious incompetence. The key is figuring out how to identify your habits, and we’ll look to one of the top football coaches as one of the most successful teachers in the country. Learn to Ask Why You’re now thinking of your brain as a computer running programs, some consciously and some unconsciously. The problem is, some of these programs are bad programs, and you need to identify them, shut them down and replace them with better programs. How do you do that? It’s actually somewhat simple. You need to ask why. One of the best in the world at asking why and then adapting his behavior in regard to that response is Chip Kelly, the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and the former head coach of the University of Oregon’s football team. Kelly went 46-7 at Oregon and took the Ducks to three BCS bowl games and a national title game, consistently keeping the Ducks among the top five to 10 teams in the country. Here’s what Kelly has to say about unconscious behavior. “Always harken back to, well, we did it because that's the way it's always been done, I just never bought into that theory in my mind,” Kelly said at one of his introductory press conferences. “I want to know why we do things and everything we do. Whether it's the athletic training room, the strength and conditioning room, to anything that touches this football team. And the only answer I won't accept is because we've always done it that way.” Apply that logic to your life and everything you do related to your health, or any other area in which you hope to make changes. Why do you eat what you eat when you eat it? Why do you exercise the way you exercise and at the time you exercise? You should quickly figure out there are a lot of things you’re doing for no reason or for a bad reason. It’s time to change those habits. 25
  26. 26. First Activity: List Your Favorite Foods, Then Find Substitutes If you’re going to create a new lifestyle, or a new eating style, it’s important that you still derive some satisfaction from it. As you have learned in the last chapter, you’re going to be eating for sustenance first and pleasure second, but it is still natural to enjoy your food. The first thing you should do is make a list of all of your favorite foods. It may be helpful to take a walk through the grocery store and jot down the list, or to take a look at a food pyramid and identify your favorite foods from each category. Once you do this, try to figure out what substitutions you can make. In some cases, just avoiding the fast food or processed version and switching to a natural alternative can make a big difference. It may not be the final step in your journey to the Paleolithic lifestyle, but it’s a solid start. If you love chocolate ice cream, perhaps you can switch to chocolate frozen yogurt. Then over time, give a fruit-flavored frozen yogurt a try. Eventually, you can then switch to a bowl of that fruit, freshly served. Part of the problem is that your body is likely currently addicted to the processed foods that you regularly consume. It’s not unlike an alcohol or drug addiction. Once your system resets, natural sweets will provide you a similar level of enjoyment to what processed sweets currently do. Second Activity: Sample a Wide Variety of Healthy Foods If you’ve never tried a wide variety of fruits, for example, how do you know what you will or won’t like? Many people stick to the simple basics like apples, bananas and oranges. There’s a whole world of fruits out there. Explore the options. Make a checklist and work your way through it. If you need some ideas, try the regularly available but somewhat exotic fruits that most grocery stores carry. Try blackberries, cherries (especially the darker, sweeter variety), kumquat, melons, peaches, pears, pineapples, pomegranates, raspberries and strawberries. Try different combinations, or perhaps frozen versions of the fruits. Jot down what you like. Now move on to another type of food, like vegetables and meats. Sample some of the recipes in the “Paleolithic Diet Plan Recipe Book”. You should be able to develop some favorites that you can enjoy in your new lifestyle. 26
  27. 27. The bottom line is, if you don’t try all of these foods and give them a chance, you won’t know what you love or hate. Changing Activities and Foods: Derive Satisfaction This was touched on in the last chapter, but it’s critical that you derive satisfaction from your new lifestyle. Your brain learns its habits by rewarding behavior that provides a benefit, like pleasure, or avoids a bad outcome, like a feeling of risk. Thus, you need to attach your new lifestyle behaviors to positive feelings that your brain will want to repeat. This is part of the secret to becoming unconsciously competent in your new lifestyle. If you keep reminding yourself that you really enjoy that bowl of fruit you’re replacing your old dessert with, your brain will reward it as a pleasure behavior and it will become a new habit. On the other hand, if you spend 60 minutes on a treadmill or elliptical pounding away and thinking about how much you hate it, you are going to have to fight an inner battle to go to the gym every day. Thus, you need to figure out ways to enjoy your exercise. The options range from simple to hardcore. For example, I like to take a walk to a park that’s about a mile away from my home. There’s a river and a view of the city nearby, so I treat that as the end goal: to spend some time taking in the view and relaxing. Thus, my walk is always rewarding, and I enjoy the activity. At the other end of the spectrum, you can try to ramp up the intensity of your workout in an attempt to get a “runner’s high,” which is a release of endorphins when strenuous activity occurs. This can occur from high intensity interval training, which you’ll learn about in the next chapter. Since endorphins are associated with pleasurable activities, your brain will want to repeat an activity that leads to a release of endorphins. Those are some examples, but you’ll need to find a way to frame your new activities in such a way to create a reward that you’ll want to strive for – at first consciously, then unconsciously. Satisfaction Doesn’t Have to be on the Surface You can derive satisfaction from eating foods that you don’t really like if you attach them to other benefits. This phenomenon is at work in acquiring the taste of beverages because of the effects they 27
  28. 28. provide. If you’re a coffee drinker, did you like coffee the first time you drank it? Chances are you didn’t. If you drink alcohol from time to time, did your first drink taste good? Chances are they were acquired tastes. That’s because the flavor, in and of itself, is not enjoyable. After you realize that coffee can wake you up and provide energy, though, or that alcohol can lead to relaxation or fun times, you learn to enjoy the tastes. You can apply that phenomenon to healthy eating by reminding yourself of the benefits you’re getting from what you’re eating or drinking. I recently came across a great example of this after buying a juicer and trying out a recipe with apples, lemon, ginger, kale, cucumber and celery. I didn’t expect to enjoy it, but found that the taste wasn’t actually bad. It’s not something I’d probably drink just for the flavor, but about 30 minutes after drinking it, I was totally energized and alert with a clear mind. All of a sudden, I found myself looking forward to the concoction each day, because I knew what reward I would get from drinking it. Figure out what benefits you’re getting from behaviors or foods that you don’t enjoy on the surface, and acquire the taste. Make Your Lifestyle Work For You One of my first thoughts when trying to change my lifestyle was, “How in the world am I going to find the time to cook all of this food?” Sadly, I was ordering most of my meals to “save time,” which lead to very unhealthy eating habits. The solution for me was to find quicker ways to make meals. I liked a breakfast wrap with egg whites, turkey cutlets and Swiss cheese on a whole-wheat pita. (As you’ll learn, cheese and any type of bread/grain are not considered part of the Paleo Diet, but they could be part of your bridge from unhealthy eating to the Paleo Diet). This meal gave me a combination of protein, satiety and enjoyable tastes. That said, there was no way I wanted to cook turkey every morning. Instead, I spend one or two nights a week throwing the turkey cutlets on the Foreman Grill, two at a time. I then store three or four of them in the fridge and just microwave them in the morning. I can 28
  29. 29. cook the egg whites in about five minutes, which is doable. You can do the same thing with chicken breasts and some veggies for a microwaveable stir-fry. Create Time to Exercise People often say they don’t have time to exercise, but they don’t really sort through their schedule to find ways to fit it in. Step one is to just lead a more active lifestyle. Walk more and drive less, if possible. You can park further away from stores to get a quick stroll in. At work, take a walk down the hall for a quick question rather than sending an e-mail or making a phone call. Once you maximize your natural activity, it’s time to figure out how to adjust your schedule to get some exercise in. You can often combine activities or shorten commitments to fit in some extra time. One great way is to DVR all of the shows you watch and skip the commercials. For every hour of television that you watch, you are spending around 18 minutes on commercials. According to a Nielsen report last year, Americans spend an average of 34 hours a week watching live television. Let’s assume you’re less glued to the TV than most Americans and bump it down to 20. That’s still 360 minutes of commercials a week, so the DVR-and-fast-forward method can free up six hours a week for exercise, which is more than enough. There are plenty of other strategies as well. If you need to spend time with your significant other or your kids, do something active – even if it’s just taking a walk. Once you start thinking outside the box a little bit, you should be able to significantly increase your activity level. Limit Guilty Pleasures Among Activities I already mentioned that you can DVR your television shows in order to fast forward commercials, but you could take it a step farther and cut down on your television viewing. I mean seriously, an average of 34 hours a week is pretty frightening. That’s almost a full workweek of television watching. One area that I’ve tried to apply similar logic to is in playing video games. I used to be a binge video gamer. I knew it was wasting too much time, so I’d abstain completely for days and weeks at a time. Eventually, though, I’d want to try a new game or kick back and relax a bit. Inevitably, I’d waste several hours binging on my video game enjoyment. 29
  30. 30. Instead of alternating productivity and time-wasting, I decided to let myself enjoy some television or video games every day, but to limit them to an hour or so. This way you get a little bit of relaxation time and can adapt to your lifestyle change in a way that is not too extreme. If you watch television 34 hours a week, that’s nearly five hours a day that you’re spending more or less motionless. It’s hard to imagine that anyone could argue that 2.5 to three hours a day is not enough time in front of the tube. If that means recording multiple shows on one night to watch them on another night instead of all at once, so be it. You don’t have to entirely cut out your guilty pleasures, but it should be pretty easy to limit them to reasonable amounts. 30
  31. 31. 5 What is a Paleolithic Lifestyle/Diet In order to understand what a Paleolithic lifestyle and diet are, first you should understand what your body is naturally designed to do. Like any species, humans have being adapting to the conditions of the previous generations in order to increase the odds of survival. The problem is that modern lifestyles are nothing like those that our bodies have adapted to. For example, we are increasingly living in urban areas as a species. According to the Population Reference Bureau (www.prb.org), half the world’s population was living in urban areas as of 2008. That number is projected to hit 70 percent by 2050. A mere 212 years ago, in 1800, only three percent of the world’s population lived in urban areas. These moves to urban areas also come with challenges in how we obtain our food and what our lifestyle looks like. Given that most of our genetics are tied to ancestors that survived as hunters and gatherers, it’s worth considering what our bodies are naturally constructed to do and eat. According to scientists, humans dating back 1.8 million years ago were primarily hunter-gatherers, obtaining their food by a combination of hunting prey and gathering vegetation. This was the primary method of survival until approximately 10,000 years ago and is still present in some parts of the world. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors’ lifestyles consisted of a great deal of walking to gather vegetables and short bursts of sprints to chase down and hunt animals. Due to their extremely high levels of activity, it stands to reason that hunter-gatherers would take in a great deal more calories. This would enable them to consume more nutrients from a variety of healthy sources. Today, we take in more calories from less food since most people eat unhealthy, highly processed foods. As a result, we are over-fed but under-nourished. Since our bodies are designed to work best when fueled by hunter-gatherer diets (note, this is referencing the natural meaning of the word diet, not the modern perversion of it), it makes sense that we would be healthier eating like our hunter-gatherer ancestors. 31
  32. 32. The Hunter-Gatherer Life and Diet It’s so simple it could probably go unsaid, but our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate whatever was in their region to be hunted or gathered. That’s all they had. There were no grocery stores or food processing plants, so they had to live off of the land. Today, modern society gives us one big advantage over the hunter-gatherers when it comes to obtaining healthy, proper food. We can import natural foods from all over the world. We don’t have to live in Florida to get a Florida orange, or in the Mediterranean or Middle East to buy a pomegranate. This means that we can, in theory, take in the perfect ratio of various nutrients from all over the world. Modern society also gives us one huge disadvantage over our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Most of the food that is readily available to us is completely processed and has all sorts of unnatural additives. Diet soft drinks, potato chips, cereals, cookies, ice cream, white sugar and a list of processed foods long enough to fill this entire guide are available in most grocery stores. Unhealthy, processed foods range from those that everyone should understand are essentially fake foods (“Just add water!”) to things you may consider natural, like white sugar. Perhaps your best option is to figure out which natural, Paleolithic foods you enjoy and begin adding them into your diet until they make up the majority of what you eat. Why Do We Crave Unhealthy Foods In understanding the chemical reactions in our bodies as they relate to hunter-gatherers, it’s important to understand that eating was not a certainty to them. Droughts could wipe out vegetation, for example, leaving them with nothing to eat if they relied primarily on fruits and vegetables. On the other hand, if they relied primarily on meats or seafood, it was never a certainty that they’d catch their dinner. Thus, the human brain subconsciously encouraged eating foods that could be stored as fats and used for future sources of energy. 32
  33. 33. Thus, when you eat something with a lot of fat or sugar, your brain gives a pleasurable response. It is essentially forming an addiction. Of course, in Paleolithic times, “a lot of sugar” might be that which was found in fruit. For example, an apple or orange has 23 grams of sugar. That sugar is also naturally occurring, not refined. When you consume the sugar from a fruit, the fiber slows the process by which the sugar enters the bloodstream. You also get a variety of nutrients from fruit that is beneficial. Processed, refined sugar on the other hand causes a quick rise in levels of glucose in the blood. To further understand the difference, consider the coca leaf. In northwestern South America, where coca plants grow, locals commonly enjoy coca tea (mate de coca), which is said to taste a lot like green tea but a bit sweeter. Coca tea, not unlike coffee, is a stimulant and is used for medicinal purposes or simply to improve alertness. One serving of coca tea usually includes about four milligrams of coca alkaloid, which is the stimulant in the leaf. It is not considered to be addictive. Those who know their drug chemistry might recognize the coca plant or coca alkaloid, as it is often sold under another name: cocaine. Once processed and removed from the leaf into a concentrated powder, coca alkaloid becomes cocaine, a highly addictive recreational drug. A line of cocaine contains about 20 to 30 milligrams of coca alkaloid. So you take a coca leaf, which is green, extract the alkaloids in it, and you get a white, highly pure and processed substance, which is harmful and addictive. Our hunter-gatherers probably enjoyed coca from time to time, at least those who lived in South America. They didn’t have the means or the idea to process it into cocaine. Now consider where sugar comes from. Sugarcane is a green plant. You may have seen Sugar in the Raw in stores. If you’ve bought it, you know that minimally processed sugar is made up of larger, crystal-looking granules that are tinted brown. White sugar is a highly processed, concentrated powder. Much like a drug, eating sugar creates pleasurable reactions in the brain. In hunter-gatherer times, this was a survival mechanism. Our ancestors needed to eat as much as possible to pack on the pounds in case of days without food, and sugar was a great mechanism to do that, as it could be easily converted to fat. 33
  34. 34. Nowadays this reaction is terrible for us, as we have unlimited supplies of food and sugar is added to many processed foods. Begin looking at your food labels and you’ll see surprising sugar levels in your foods. Pasta sauce, fat free salad dressing, barbecue sauce, cereal, crackers and fruit juices are all likely to have a lot of added sugar. These are some of the first foods you need to eliminate from your diet to begin to adjust to a Paleolithic lifestyle and diet. Starvation Mode We’ve already touched on starvation mode in the previous chapters, but it fits into a perfect context alongside some of the chemical reactions that lead us to crave more and more food due to our hunter-gatherer genetics. Our bodies are designed to survive in times of low food supplies by slowing down the metabolism. As a result, any time you consistently take in too few calories, your body’s natural response is to pack on as much fat as possible by slowing down your metabolism to a crawl. Information from various experts and studies suggest that you should keep your caloric intake between 1,200 and 1,500 calories per day in order to avoid entering starvation mode. This is one reason that a lot of crash diets have catastrophic long-term results. Other Problems With Processed Food There are also a lot of additives in processed foods that you may not even know by name that can have a terrible impact on your attempts to lose weight. For example, MSG is in a wide variety of processed foods and hides behind a variety of names. You may only know monosodium glutamate as the substance in Chinese takeout food that can cause headaches and other various, minor symptoms. MSG is far worse than that. MSG is known to cause weight gain and is actually a substance used in lab rats in order to make 34
  35. 35. them obese for research purposes. In fact, past research has shown that MSG can trigger weight gain regardless of your caloric intake. Monosodium glutamate causes your pancreas to release insulin, which makes you hungry. It also leads your body to store more fat than usual, which leads to weight gain. So, how prevalent is MSG? It is added to an estimated 80 percent of flavored, processed foods. You can find it on most labels under any of the following names: monosodium glutamate, monopotassium glutamate, glutamic acid, glutamate, calcium glutamate, monoammonium glutamate, magnesium glutamate, yeast extract, anything that is hydrolyzed, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, yeast food, yeast nutrient, autolyzed yeast, gelatin, textured protein, soy protein, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, whey protein, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, vetsin and ajinomoto. That is only part of the list, and you can read the entire list at http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html. One of the easiest ways to avoid unhealthy additives is by adapting to the Paleolithic lifestyle and avoiding any processed foods with additives. Exercise Like a Hunter-Gatherer It makes sense that our bodies would be designed to exercise like our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Of course, they didn’t call it exercise. They called it hunting and surviving. Perhaps they were running after a small animal to kill it for dinner, or running from a big animal or climbing a tree to get away and survive. So how can you emulate this type of exercise? Try high intensity interval training. It’s essentially working out for shorter, more intense periods of time. Instead of spending an hour jogging, spend 20 minutes alternating between sprinting for 60 to 90 seconds and jogging for two minutes. Research on high intensity interval training, or HIIT, has shown that it can get you into better shape with less effort than other methods of exercise. Interval training leads to better metabolism of carbohydrates like sugar and can lead to more fat burning even after your workout. This is, in part, because sprinting depletes the stored energy in our muscles in 20 seconds or less. Lower intensity exercise won’t always tap into that energy. Once you blow through that energy, your body must burn fat to continue the activity. 35
  36. 36. There are also other benefits to higher intensity, shorter duration workouts. They have been shown to prevent some of the wear and tear that distance runners experience, so you are likely to have healthier, pain-free joints. The other ways to exercise like a Paleolithic human is to focus on complex, natural movements that use the entire body, such as running, jumping, swimming and climbing. Get Some Sun Obviously our hunter-gatherer ancestors got a lot of sunlight, as they spent most of their time outdoors. Unfortunately, many people today don’t spend much time outside taking in the sunlight. They’re missing out. Sunlight helps our bodies to synthesize vitamin D, which keeps our bones healthy and is critical to our immune system. Various research and studies have shown that a shortage of exposure to natural sunlight can cause depression, seasonal affective disorder, obesity, cancer, diabetes, allergies, adrenal insufficiency and a variety of other illnesses. General advice is to get around 15 minutes of direct sunlight a day, but a bit less could be adequate in the summer and a bit more could be needed in the winter, when the sun isn’t as strong. Get in Touch With Nature Many who follow the Paleolithic lifestyle believe that it is also beneficial to be more in contact with nature, like hunter-gatherers were. This can be done through gardening in your yard, keeping potted plants in your home, having a pet or working with animals, and spending time hiking in a natural environment. The Paleolithic lifestyle also encourages experiencing a variety of temperatures by using fewer clothes and thus allowing your body to deal with the fluctuating temperature. Similarly, you should expose yourself to a variety of beneficial bacteria, as they can help your immune system and prevent allergies. This could be as simple as coming into contact with dirt, or eating foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, Kim chi and kombucha, which all contain healthy bacteria. 36
  37. 37. Socialize It may not contribute directly to weight loss, but socializing with real, live humans can certainly make you happier and prevent depression. Of course, some of the side effects of depression can lead to weight gain, so socializing can assist you in your weight loss goals. When I suggest socializing, I mean actually speaking and interacting with real people in the same room as you. Phone calls, text messages, web chats, e-mails, webcam chats, or any other varieties of technological communication are not a substitute for social stimulation. Socializing can also keep your brain sharp and improve cognitive functioning, according to research. One interesting way that we struggle to adapt to modern life with regard to socialization can be illustrated through our celebrity culture. In hunter-gatherer times, humans knew everyone in their social circle. They lived in smaller groups, or tribes, and interacted as such. Think about how you interact when you see your friends – you often converse about mutual acquaintances. However, in modern times we are surrounded by so many strangers that this is no longer an option. You can’t walk up to someone at a bus stop and say, “Hey, did you hear about Joan and Tom? Do you believe they broke up?” So, when talking about celebrity gossip columns, you can very easily go up to a stranger in a coffee shop and say, “Can you believe Lindsay Lohan is in rehab again? How about Jennifer Lawrence falling up the steps at the Oscars?” All of a sudden, you have your mutual acquaintances. In some ways, our celebrity-driven culture is an effort to resolve that need for socialization and common acquaintances. At any rate, we have an innate need to socialize, and it is important to fill this in order to stay happy and avoid depression. 37
  38. 38. Avoid Stress Our ancestors had a lot fewer stressors than we do. Granted, they did have more acute stressors, but they were all based on survival. There weren’t any concerns over getting or keeping a job, keeping up with the Joneses, losing weight, buying nicer clothes and so on. As a result, our bodies’ stress reactions are based on acute, urgent situations. Unfortunately, we now trigger these reactions a lot more often for a lot less pertinent reasons. Long-term stress can be very unhealthy for you. According to the Mayo Clinic, long-term stress can put you at an increased risk of heart disease, sleep problems, digestive problems, depression, obesity, memory impairment and worsening of skin conditions. Thus, it’s important to avoid and release stress. Avoiding it can be achieved through lifestyle choices. Releasing it may be even easier. Get at least eight hours of sleep, exercise and laugh as often as possible. They are three of the most powerful ways to relieve stress. 38
  39. 39. 6 Why is The Paleolithic Diet and Lifestyle Different, and Why Does It Work? From the first four chapters, you should by now, have a good understanding of why diets do not work, how effective lifestyle change can be and what the Paleolithic diet and lifestyle is. Now it is time to understand the key differences between eating a Paleolithic diet and other diets, and why it is so effective. The biggest key difference is that while other diets often seek to cut down on an entire macronutrient such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats, the Paleolithic diet seeks to change the source of those macronutrients. This means that it is sustainable, unlike fad diets. It promotes health, not rapid fat loss. The loss of fat on the Paleolithic diet is a benefit, to be sure, but it’s not the only one or even the primary one. Instead of going on a low or no-carbohydrate diet, you will be getting your carbohydrates from healthier sources that your body knows how to digest and put to use. Some diets will tell you that all carbohydrates are created equal, but that is absolutely not true. When consuming carbohydrates, it is important to keep their glycemic index in mind. What’s a Glycemic Index and Why Does It Matter? A food's glycemic index is a way to quantify how long it takes for your levels of blood sugar to increase after you eat the food. A food’s glycemic index compares how quickly it causes an increase to your blood sugar levels in comparison with pure glucose, which has a glycemic index of 100. Foods with a glycemic index of 55 or less are considered to have a low glycemic index, while 56 to 69 ranks a food as having a medium glycemic index, and 70 or higher is a high glycemic index. Why does it matter how quickly your blood sugar levels increase? Let’s consider how our bodies process carbohydrates, which can be digested in three different forms. Carbohydrates can be eaten as sugar, starch or fiber. The latter is not processed by your body and passes through undigested, while the other two types are converted to sugar, which is then sent into your bloodstream. 39
  40. 40. Your blood can then carry the sugar, or energy, to your body’s cells and any excess is stored in your body. This happens by creating glycogen out of the glucose, which occurs after insulin is pushed out into the body by the pancreas. Your body stores the glycogen in your muscles and in your liver. This process is all well and good when it works the way it’s supposed to, but if your body gets too much of an increase in its blood sugar levels too rapidly and either stays high or bounces up and down rapidly, your body may struggle to adapt and you could have an insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can lead to difficulty maintaining mental focus, high blood sugar, bloating, sleepiness or a lack of energy, weight and fat gain, great difficulty in losing weight, high blood pressure, depression and hunger. Hungar can obviously lead to a vicious cycle, creating even more weight gain, which in turn leads to a slew of new problems in and of itself. Essentially, the higher the glycemic index score of a food, the quicker the blood sugar levels rise, which can lead to spikes or maintaining too high a level of blood sugar hence the aforementioned problems. On the other hand, foods with a low glycemic index will not cause this rapid elevation of blood sugar levels and your body will be able to respond naturally and properly to the slower increase. Foods with a low glycemic index may be called “slow carbs” since they are slowly digested carbohydrates. Fruits and vegetables tend to have a low glycemic index, while sweet processed foods, white breads, potatoes, pretzels and cereals are some common examples of foods that have a high glycemic index. Many low glycemic foods also have a lot of fiber, which fills up more space in your stomach because it is not digestible. Thus, foods with a low glycemic index not only are digested more slowly and healthier for your blood sugar regulation, but leave you feeling fuller. Since the Paleolithic diet steers you away from foods with a high glycemic index and encourages eating a lot of foods from plant sources, you will have fewer cravings, better energy levels and better regulated blood sugar levels. All of these things are great for burning a higher amount of fat. Protein Plays a Role As Well You will also be taking in a healthy amount of protein on the Paleolithic diet, which is key in building lean muscle. Contrary to many commonly held beliefs about exercise, weight lifting and 40
  41. 41. weight loss, building muscle is key to losing and maintaining weight. The more lean muscle on your body, the more calories you will burn as part of your basal metabolic rate. Past research has found this increase to be nearly 100 calories per day per pound of muscle added to your body, but newer research has pulled that down. Some cite six calories per day per pound of muscle, while others estimate that the real number is around 30 calories per pound of muscle. Let’s do some math and see how much of a difference those numbers can make. Even at only six calories per day per pound of muscle, adding another 10 pounds of muscle will burn an extra 60 calories per day or 21,900 calories per year. It takes 3,500 calories burned to lose one pound of fat, so that’s 6.26 pounds per year from the added muscle. At 30 calories per day per pound of muscle, 10 pounds of additional muscle would burn 300 calories per day or 109,500 calories per year. That’s 31.29 pounds worth of extra calories burned per year, just so your body can maintain that muscle mass. So clearly, adding muscle mass can be very beneficial to your health and make it easier for you to maintain your fitness over time. Thus, any diet that cuts out all of your sources of protein is at an extreme disadvantage when compared to the Paleolithic diet. Healthy Fats Help Too So you know that cutting out all of your carbohydrates is no good, and the same goes for cutting out all of your proteins. But what about eliminating fats? Despite the low fat and no fat craze of the last 15 to 20 years, people are starting to realize again that there is a need to consume healthy fats. In particular, Omega-3 fatty acids are now considered to be essential fatty acids due to their health benefits and the fact that the human body cannot produce them by itself. This means they must be consumed to be present in the body. According to WebMD, some of the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids include improved heart health, lower levels of triglycerides, and improvements in conditions such as depression and rheumatoid arthritis. There is also evidence to show they may help reduce inflammation in the body as well. The key here is to keep an eye on your triglyceride levels, as high levels can be associated with obesity. While causality is not necessarily established, high triglyceride levels are typically found in people with excess belly fat. 41
  42. 42. There is also evidence to show that high levels of triglycerides can reduce the effects of leptin, a hormone that sends the message to slow down your appetite and crank up your metabolism after you've eaten. Thus, high levels of triglycerides can make you eat too much and burn fewer calories. This connection was found in 2004 and published in a magazine called Diabetes, based on the work of researchers at the St. Louis University School of Medicine. As backwards as it may sound, consuming certain fats is actually a critical step in staying healthy, happy and fit, because Omega-3 fatty acids reduce triglyceride levels. So how does this apply to the Paleolithic diet? Well, some of the common sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are also key components of the foods our Paleolithic brethren regularly ate. According to Discovery Health, the top 10 sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are: seafood, beans, canola flax, oil, walnuts, wild rice, edamame, omega-3 enriched eggs, omega-3 enriched dairy products and pasture raised meats. While some of those foods are not part of the Paleolithic diet, lean seafood is one of the key components of the diet and some of the other top 10 items are included as well. You will learn all about what is and is not considered part of the Paleolithic diet in the coming chapters, but keep in mind for now that the diet does include a good amount of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, which play a key role in helping to control your appetite and metabolism. Proper Vitamin C Levels According to a CNN article posted online in 2011, taking in at least 400 to 500 milligrams of vitamin C can help you burn a higher amount of fat. Other sources suggest that vitamin C can play a role specifically in reducing stomach fat. Why don’t we take a look the reasoning behind that, which was researched as far back as 2006. In a double-blind study of 20 obese men and women on a diet low in fat, one group was given a vitamin C capsule each day and the other was given a placebo. The group that got the vitamin C received 500 mg daily and both groups’ diets contained 67 percent of their recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. The study lasted four weeks and at the end, the group on the placebo had seen its blood levels of 42
  43. 43. vitamin C drop by nearly 30 percent. The group that received vitamin C saw an increase of 30 percent in vitamin C concentrations. Now, as adequate levels of vitamin C are necessary in order to oxidize fat, the group that saw its concentrations of the key vitamin fall also oxidized 11 percent less fat. Oxidization of fat is the process by which the body breaks down fat, to produce energy. Even though one group oxidized less fat, both groups lost the same total amount of weight – approximately nine pounds. The difference was that the group that oxidized more fat lost more fat, while the other group lost more healthy body mass. Given what you now know about the importance of lean body mass in boosting your metabolism, those results are a double whammy. Just to drive that point home, it is actually bad news that both the groups lost the same amount of weight. If you know you are going to lose less fat, you would actually rather lose less weight overall as well so that the fat you lost accounts for a higher percentage of the weight you lost. If you are wondering how vitamin C is important in the oxidization of fat, it is needed in order for your body to create carnitine, which is what transports fatty acids. This amino acid is important and needs to be present to properly oxidize fat. There are also other impacts of vitamin C deficiency that could have an impact on fat loss. One of the most recognized symptoms of a lack of vitamin C is fatigue, and those who are fatigued are obviously less likely to lead an active lifestyle and get the proper amount of exercise. Thus, you can certainly see how taking in an adequate amount of vitamin C is critical to your health and your fat loss. The recommended daily intake of vitamin C is approximately 90 milligrams per day according to the United States. To put that into perspective, no animal sources contain more than 36 milligrams per 100 grams of food, and the most vitamin C packed animal sources are not topping many lists of favorite foods. The top five sources from animals are calf liver, beef liver, oysters, cod roe and pork liver. On the other hand, Kakadu plums contain more than 1,000 milligrams per 100 grams of food, green chili peppers have 244 milligrams per 100 grams, guavas have 228 and more common fruits and vegetables have plenty too. Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C with 60 milligrams per 100 grams, oranges have 50 milligrams per 100 grams and lemons have 40. Vegetable wise, kale has 41 grams per 100 milligrams, broccoli has 90 and cauliflower has 40. 43
  44. 44. It is very clear that the easiest way to get your daily allotment of vitamin C is to eat healthy fruits and vegetables. That is just one more reason the Paleolithic diet, which is rich in foods from plant sources, is beneficial to, not only your overall health, but also to your quest to lose weight and get rid of excess fat. By now it should be pretty clear to see some of the reasons why the Paleolithic diet is so effective, and the thought process that led to its discovery. Our bodies are designed and have adapted over thousands of years to a pretty wide range of diets, but what we currently eat is very different from those that we are best suited for. Not only will you feel better and make it easier for your body to get the nutrients you need on the Paleolithic diet, but you will also find yourself losing weight for a variety of reasons. The Paleolithic diet will get you eating foods with low glycemic indexes that do not impact your blood sugar levels as quickly or drastically. This will prevent the chain reaction that saps your energy and leads to obesity through insulin resistance. The Paleo diet is also chock full of foods with high fiber content, which not only helps to regulate your digestive system but also increases your feelings of satiety, thus reducing your hunger and cravings. It is also comprised of high protein foods that will provide a natural boost to your metabolism, thus enabling your body to more rapidly get rid of fat. On the Paleolithic diet, your body will get the proper amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can also boost your feelings of fullness when eating and ensure that your body is metabolizing sugar properly and burning off stored fat. In addition, you will get more than enough vitamin C on the Paleo diet, which is necessary for your body to burn fat. The added benefit of an energy boost from the vitamin C will also help you with your active lifestyle, which will enable you to burn more calories. Not only will you be unlikely to feel deprived of food or energy, but you will not be counting calories on the Paleolithic diet either, which should be a major relief. Rather than trying to measure out your foods and keep a running tally of exactly how many calories you’ve consumed all day, you will simply focus on eliminating the modern, highly processed and unhealthy foods that your body is not designed or adapted to digest properly. 44
  45. 45. In other words, the Paleolithic diet is drastically different from others in that it is simple in its approach and delivers big time results. 45
  46. 46. 7 Health Benefits of the Paleolithic Diet It’s one thing to understand the reasoning behind the Paleolithic diet and the logical explanation of why it should make you healthier and happier. It is quite another to experience all of those benefits for yourself, which is very likely to happen if you give it a quick try. I say only a quick try, because studies have shown that the benefits can be felt in 10 days or less. After that, you will probably be sold on sticking with it. As important as it is to understand the logic of the Paleo diet and realize why it works and how it was created, the real clincher is figuring out just how good you can feel and just what an improvement you can see in your everyday life as a result. Among the benefits that have been proven in research studies are weight loss, improved glycemic control for diabetics, reduced risk of diabetes, lower blood pressure, lower risks of heart disease and lower cholesterol. Meanwhile, though it hasn’t been scientifically studied, anecdotal evidence shows that the Paleolithic diet improves energy, mental clarity, skin clarity, sleep quality and immune system functioning. Nowadays, despite the prevalence of so many fad diets and insane, rapid weight loss systems, the Paleo diet provides a great alternative that stands up to the rigors of testing. Plus, those who implement the natural eating habits of the Paleolithic diet tend to say they don’t feel like they’re restricted in their eating once they grow accustomed to the foods available to them. In addition, they don’t experience some of the side effects of restrictive diets, such as hunger, fatigue, irritability and a lack of energy. That’s because the Paleolithic diet takes people from either being overfed and undernourished or underfed and undernourished to being properly fed and sufficiently nourished. That’s why it can have such a beneficial impact on both overall health and some specific problems. Weight Loss On the one hand, weight loss is to be expected from the Paleolithic diet because it is full of foods that are filling, loaded with nutrients and healthy sources of those nutrients. That means that one can consume fewer calories but get more energy out of them, which is a great recipe for weight loss. However, one of the surprising benefits of the Paleolithic diet is that the weight loss goes beyond 46
  47. 47. the numbers. A study conducted by the Department of Neurobiology, Center for Family and Community Medicine, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institute in Huddinge, Sweden found amazing results from the Paleolithic diet. The study had participants eat 900 fewer calories per day than they had been. Over the course of a week, that’s 6,300 fewer calories, which should correspond to 1.8 pounds of weight loss, as there are 3,500 calories to a pound. Instead, the participants lost an average of five pounds! A big reason for the rapid weight loss is the re-balancing of the chemistry in the body that is thrown out of whack by the modern diet. The key comes down to not only taking in a better ratio of carbohydrates to proteins to fats, but also getting those carbohydrates from the right sources. Processed carbohydrates cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, while complex carbohydrates from naturally occurring sources make their way to the blood slower and don’t cause large spikes. Another study compared the Paleolithic diet head to head with the Mediterranean diet and found that the Paleo diet beat it out in total fat loss, fat loss in the midsection, voluntary caloric reduction, increased insulin sensitivity and an outstanding decrease in fasting glucose. We’ll dive into that a bit more in a moment. A study conducted by Dr. Anthony Sebastian and published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition also did an interesting study in which they measured the effects of the Paleolithic diet on overall health, ignoring weight loss. In order to keep their subjects from losing weight, they had to increase the caloric intake by more than 300 calories a day. Because of the chemistry involved in the Paleo diet, the body naturally wants to burn off fat stores, even if the caloric intake isn’t at a deficit. Thus, subjects had to take in a surplus of calories just to maintain weight! All of this adds up to scientifically backed evidence that the hypothesis behind the Paleolithic diet is accurate. The obesity epidemic really is fueled by processed foods and those that the body isn’t designed to digest. Thus, the rapid and impressive weight loss results on the Paleolithic diet make a lot of sense. Diabetes – Reduced Risk and Improved Control I mentioned above that a study found that the Paleolithic diet led to increased insulin sensitivity and a decrease in fasting glucose levels. These improvements mean that it’s a lot easier to control blood sugar levels on the Paleolithic diet and keep them in the normal range, thus allowing those who have diabetes to live healthier, easier lives. In addition, the Paleolithic diet can significantly reduce the risk of getting diabetes, another disease 47
  48. 48. that has seen its impact exacerbated greatly by the modern Western diet. The Paleolithic diet is a lot different from the types of diets diabetics are generally advised to stick to. This consists of vegetables, fiber, whole-grain bread and cereal, fruits, berries and decreased amounts of fat. Thus, the Paleolithic diet is lower or eliminates the intake of grains, cereals, dairy, potatoes and beans with an increase in fruits, vegetables, meat and eggs. A 2009 study published in Cardiovascular Diabetology tested people with type two diabetes for three months and found that the Paleolithic diet resulted in significant reductions in hemoglobin A1c, triglycerides, diastolic blood pressure, weight and waist size. It also achieved a larger decrease in the level of fasting glucose. Preliminary findings from a study at UCSF show that the Paleolithic diet is more beneficial to those with diabetes than a diet following ADA guidelines. Research is ongoing in order to figure out which aspects of the Paleolithic diet in particular have the most to do with the improvements relative to diabetes, but it’s already being recommended as a strong option as an alternative treatment to diabetes. While researchers are still hoping to get more funding for additional studies, all of the early signs point to the Paleolithic diet having a major impact on diabetes and significantly inducing risk factors related to diabetes. Reduced Blood Pressure Another major benefit of the Paleolithic diet is a reduction in blood pressure. High blood pressure or hypertension is an increasingly common condition that sometimes goes unnoticed due to a lack of symptoms. However, it's a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke, so it’s an important health factor. If you’re standing in public, in the United States, with someone on either side of you, look to your left and your right – chances are one of the three of you has high blood pressure. That’s because, as of research in 2009 and 2010 conducted by the Centers for Disease control, nearly 32 percent of the United States population over the age of 20 has hypertension. Enter the Paleolithic diet, which has impressive benefits and success with regard to high blood pressure as well. A report in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2008 found that 14 subjects on the 48
  49. 49. Paleolithic diet saw significant reductions in systolic blood pressure after three weeks on the Paleolithic diet. In 2009, the journal published results of another trial that saw a laundry list of improvements on the Paleolithic diet. Subjects saw significantly decreased blood pressure, better arterial distensibility and other unrelated benefits. Researchers suggested that even a short trial on the Paleolithic diet led to big improvements in blood pressure. Despite what you’ve probably been told since you were a kid about cramming for a test never working, it appears that may not be the case when it comes to lowering your blood pressure, with results possible in as little as 10 days. That’s not to say you should only spend 10 days on the Paleolithic diet, but you may be able to see major improvements just that fast. Reduced Risk of Heart Disease Cardiovascular disease can include anything impacting the heart or blood vessels, and it is the leading cause of death globally. One of the major risk factors is high blood pressure, and we’ve already established the benefits of the Paleolithic diet in that regard. Cardiovascular disease also accounts for a huge percentage of the preventable deaths in the United States, or 32 percent. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a lot of progress in improving these statistics, as a lot of it has to do with the modern Western diet. Until a larger percentage of the population realizes that the foods being consumed are causing earlier-than-necessary deaths, those numbers probably won’t improve. So far, the decreased risk of heart disease discovered in research has mostly been a secondary benefit found while researching something else. It makes a lot of sense though, as the Paleo diet is chock full of vitamin C, vitamin E and dietary fiber, which are all keys to good heart health. You should realize by now just how impactful the Paleolithic diet and lifestyle can be on your life, but perhaps the reduced risk of heart disease is the most important reason to give it a shot. It is one of those things you may never “feel,” but it could add years to your life. Lower Cholesterol High cholesterol levels can catch a lot of Americans off guard, because they aren’t always tied into other common, easy to read health factors like weight. Sometimes people who are overweight have healthy cholesterol levels or those who are in great shape have dangerously high cholesterol. Still, weight is a factor along with genetics, physical activity and intake of saturated fat and 49
  50. 50. cholesterol. High cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis, which is the hardening and narrowing of your arteries. That can lead to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, much like high blood pressure. It can also begin to occur even in young adults in their 20s, so it’s not a good idea to wait until later in life to start getting your cholesterol levels in order. Fortunately, this is another area where the Paleo diet has been shown to have a major positive impact. Lynda Frasetto is an internist and kidney specialist that works at UCSF Medical Center and has done research on the Paleolithic diet. In an interview with CBS in Boston, she had this to say about the Paleo diet: “Everybody’s blood pressure went down. In two weeks everyone’s cholesterol and triglyceride levels got better, and the average drop on this was 30 points, which is really amazing,” Frasetto said. It can take six months of medication to drop bad cholesterol levels 30 points with normal treatments, which puts the amazing benefits of the Paleolithic diet in perspective. The Paleolithic diet has also been shown to boost levels of good cholesterol, which helps to fight heart disease. Reduced Inflammation Chronic inflammation is one of the bad side effects of the modern Western diet that plays a key role in a number of diseases and can speed up the aging process. It has been linked to cancer, diabetes, obesity, arthrosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. So it’s bad news. There is now a mounting body of discussion and research into the ways the modern diet causes chronic inflammation, which leads to all of those diseases and general poor health. The belief is that the Paleolithic diet can reduce inflammation and that the increases in chronic inflammatory conditions go back to the beginning of the agricultural era, when humans began consuming a large quantity of grains. The higher rates of related disease kicked in then, and have been increasing since. 50