Section 1: Introduction to the Caveman Diet
The caveman diet, also known at Paleolithic diet, hunter gatherer diet, or stone-age diet, is a dietary regime based on the idea you should consume only what our Paleolithic ancestors did. Agriculturally-developed plants such as grains and domesticated animals like cows have only been around for 10,000 years, so proponents of the diet believe our physical systems are not suited for this “modern” diet. If you want to be a bad ass mofo like your Paleolithic ancestors, than you should be eating a diet comprised of fruits, non-starchy vegetables, lean meat, and fish.
There is a Caveman diet community and movement and there are many different levels of strictness within this sphere, where on one side the liberals might aim to eat 80% paloe, including cheese, vinegars, wine, and a few other essentials to the diet (but never grains) and the conservatives who eat raw meat and avoid even tomatoes and eggplant because of their apparent toxic heritage. A lot of the conservatives are serious athletes with highly-tuned physical systems. If you’re a newbie, start by dumping the grains and starchy tubers and keep tweaking as you feel necessary.
The Caveman diet is not a weight loss diet but a dietary regimen, although if you are carrying an extra pound or fifty you will lose weight by following this diet and eventually reach your ideal body weight. However, the Caveman diet can be used efficiently as a weight loss tool with just a couple tweaks, and this is the primary purpose of our site.
It’s not the Atkins diet. You steer clear of bacon, sausage, ribs, wings etc. and you eat more vegetables and fruits than on Atkins. I would suggest picking up the Paloe Diet book, where they have huge lists of the foods you can and cannot eat as well as and recipes. Pick foods that have one ingredient–mainly, whole foods. You will have to cook quite a bit on your own, but we cover menu planning in section X to reduce this workload.
So, What did they eat again?
Again, fruits, non-starchy vegetables, lean meat, fish, nuts, berries. And no calorie counting, no measuring, they just ate as much as they wanted.
What didn’t these old school ancestors of ours eat?
Obviously pre-packaged, mass-produced foods, but also salt, sugar, dairy, grains, legumes, vinegar, beans, and Jack Daniels.
That sounds a bit anal retentive, obviously they ate honey.
Yes, ok, they were sure to have eaten honey, but how often could they have? Certainly not at the 180-pounds-of sugar-a-year level each individual on average consumes today in the United States.
Sure, Twinkies are bad, but whole grains and beans are healthy, yes?
Grains, legumes, and beans were not cultivated in the 2.5 million years our ancestors roamed the world, not until the development of agriculture 10,000 years ago, so by caveman standards, they don’t make the cut. But that’s not the whole of it. These plants might not be as healthy as we think. Grains, beans, and legumes need to be either soaked, boiled, or baked before being rendered edible, and are actually poisonous in their raw states. Even with boiling, we still experience some of the toxic effects after eating a big bean burrito, and wheat and gluten allergies and Celiac disease also seem to suggest we might not be wholly suited to consume these tasty buggers.
Poisonous? Are you high?
These plants coat their grains, beans or legumes with a toxin to discourage predators from eating them. Most of this is neutralized by cooking, but not all, and some individuals are more susceptible than others to the effects of the remaining chemicals. These plants also contain what are known as “antinutrients,” substances known to interfere with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.
But dairy is healthy, just look at those Got Milk? commercials.
Consumption of dairy is also wrought with a history of allergies and health problems, from lactose intolerance to glucose intolerance. Entire modern races are lactose intolerant, not just a few wimps here or there who can’t handle their cheese. Dairy also is loaded with unhealthy saturated fats and have a high insulin index.
Sorry, but you need to give more facts if you want me to start buying this line of bull.
We’re going to step away now and focus on using the Caveman or Paleolithic diet for weight loss, which is the main focus of our site. If you would like detailed information on the Caveman diet as a daily regime and in-depth discussion of the ideas presented in brief here, we recommend starting with The Paleo Diet book by Dr. Loren Cordain. If you want to push the diet to achieve peak athletic performance, The Paleo Diet for Athletes by Cordain and Joe Friel, MS. There are many other resources available in bookstores and the web.
Section 1: Introduction to the Caveman Diet
Section 2: Introduction to Dieting in General
Section 3: Introduction to Weight Loss
Section 4: The Caveman Diet to Lose Weight
Section 5: Menu planning
Section 6: Exercise