The information below will introduce you to a new way of looking at the food you eat and also your attitude to you food, exercise and longer term way of life.
The Palaeolithic diet, also popularly referred to as the Caveman diet, Stone Age diet and Hunter-gatherer diet is probably the oldest diet plan around. It is based on the ancient diet of wild plants and animals that humans would have most probably consumed during the Palaeolithic period. The Palaeolithic period was about 2.5 million years in duration and ended around 10,000 years ago with the invention and development of agriculture.
Palaeolithic nutrition is based on the assumption that modern man is genetically suited to the diet of their Palaeolithic ancestors and that the genetics of man has scarcely changed since the dawn of agriculture 10,000 years ago.
It’s estimated that today around 70% of the calories that an average person living in the UK consumes comes from processed foods such as cereals, refined sugars, refined vegetable oils and alcohol – all man made. Many people, me included, believe that this is one of the biggest contributing factors for the recent rise in obesity. Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and even cancer.
In short, our body isn’t very good at processing processed foods.
The Deeper Theory
The Elevate Twist – Giving a Damn!
Let’s face it. Every diet you’ve ever tried involves taking away some of the things you love. Generally when you diet, you stick to the rules for a while, make some good progress, feel good, then all of a sudden fall off the bandwagon and end up back at square one. Why does this happen?
It is my firm belief that the diets we see in the media are too extreme and cause people to burn out. “Lose 20 lbs in 4 weeks!” “Drop a dress size in 14 days!” “Look great in your mankini this summer!”…
These attention grabbing headlines are just that. Attention grabbing headlines. Are they motivational? Yes, very. They give you a goal, and then give you a short time frame. The most important 2 factors in achieving anything is being able to visualise something you want, then visualising how long it will take you to get there.
There is so much advise out there, much of it contradictory how to do this, but hardly anything at all about what you actually need to do to stay there. This is the reason someone will be able to “Lose 20lbs in 4 weeks!” and then put 25lbs back on in 5 weeks. It’s all driven towards moving you forward with you giving 100% of yourself to do it. I’ll let you in on something. If you give 100% of your dedication for 4 weeks how much dedication are you left with at the end? 0%. Now you understand why most people that achieve their weight loss goals bounce right back to the way they used to be in about the same time it took them to get to where they wanted to be. Just like a yoyo. Fantastic if you sell a magazine or a diet book that relies on people coming back for another quick fix. Not so fantastic if you’re looking to get in shape and stay in shape. How do you prevent yourself from turning into a massive yoyo?
I have a theory. It’s called The Give-a-damn (GAD) theory. There’s only so much ‘damn’ you have to give, right? Once its used up that’s when we give-it-up. This might be sounding a little bit “out there” but stick with me.
Let’s quantify things. You now have 100 damn points to give. You use these points to fight off the temptation of cheating on your diet. For example, your goal is to go on a crash diet for 4 weeks eating nothing but cabbage soup. It’s an extreme diet so it’s going to take all your damn points for you to stick to it.
Week 1: 25 damn points used. 75 left.
Week 2: 25 damn points used. 50 left
Week 3: 25 damn points used. 25 left
Week 4: 25 damn points used. 0 left.
Fantastic! You’ve done it! You’ve stuck to your diet for the full 4 weeks and have lost 14lbs. Now all you want to do is stay the same weight. You have 0 damn points left and it’s your BFF’s birthday party tonight. There’s going to be cake, booze, crisps and a load of other artery clogging fast food treats just waiting for you to consume. Oh crap! You’ve already used all your GAD up. You end up losing sight of your goal and go to work on that cake, those crisps, the booze. You now feel sick, guilty and end up leaving the party with your head down.. You then wake up to the smell of breakfast, croissants and nutella. Oh no, still no GAD to help you. The cycle of not being able to resist continues until you are back at square one, or worse. You will only start to move forward again when your ‘give-a-damn’ recharges. How do you prevent all your GAD from diminishing?
If takes time for us to get our ‘give-a-damn’ back. How long is different from one person to the next. A good indication is how long it takes you to stop one diet and start another. The trick is not to go on a diet but to simply change your lifestyle in a way that allows you to get the results that you want and maintain your achievement by keeping your ‘give-a-damn’ ‘charged’ from now until the day you die. You have to take responsibility for your health and lifestyle and make the change long term.
GAD recharges in two ways, automatically and manually. Automatically is slow and happens when you get sick and tired of where you are and build up the motivation to make a change. Manually recharging is what you are going to need to do if you are going to change your lifestyle. To manually recharge you can do this one of two ways. 1. Positive Charge – reading an inspiration story about someone who has achieved their goal, getting a friend or family member to support you and make the change with you, keeping a log of your achievements or 2. Negative Charge – little treats! A treat is something that is not recommended on your diet. Obviously something that is not recommended is not ideal, but if it allows you to pull to your long term goal, then it is allowed. In short, whether is be positive or negative a charge is still a charge
3 Strikes and you’re still not out?!…show me the treats!
Now this is where the Elevate Fitness 3-strikes-not-out policy comes into play. The Palaeolithic diet will most probably be very different from anything you’ve tried before. It’s probably drastically different from your comfy diet that’s got you in a bit of a pickle in the first place. If you jump from what you’re doing now straight into a hardcore Palaeolithic diet you will get fantastic results but you’ll know by now you’re GAD will quick deplete. What you need is to find a happy medium. To find this medium you should use the 3-strikes-not-out policy. Every day you’re allowed 3 mini treats to recharge your give-a-damn and keep you going! These are foods that don’t fit in with what you should ideally be eating.
· A yogurt
· A glass of Milk
· Some grated cheese on your dinner or in your eggs
· A small bowl of muesli
· A small portion of rice of pasta (ideally wholemeal)
· A few squares of chocolate, little milky bar or a 17p Fudge bar
If it can’t be hunted, fished, killed, picked and eaten then don’t eat it
Allow yourself a maximum 3 little treats per day
Enjoy the following:
· Meat, as unprocessed as possible
· Vegetables (not including potatoes, sweet potatoes however are ok as 1 of your 3 mini-treats)
· Nuts and seeds eg. walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia, almond, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds. Try to avoid peanuts or cashews
· Berries- strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc.
· Root vegetables- carrots, turnips, parsnips, butternut, Swedes etc.
Foods to avoid:
· Grains- including bread, pasta, noodles
· Beans- kidney beans, baked beans, lentils, snow-peas and peas
· Dairy products
Whys it’s so easy to stick to
As I’ve mentioned before, this might be vastly different from your current eating habits, but don’t worry. Plan your weekly shop and meals if possible. Use your treats wisely to make certain meals in the day ‘easier’ (no time for cooked eggs in the morning? Have a small bowl of muesli. How about a couple of rice cakes with your ham at lunch?). Its simple, healthy eating with a sensible attitude to treats. Nothing extreme!
The best thing is you don’t have to count carbs, fats, protein, calories or anything like that. Eat till you’re full. Stick to the 3 treat rule. You’ll get results.
A sample day
Bacon, Eggs, Mushroom and Tomato.
1 handful of walnuts or mixed nuts.
Mixed berries and Beef Jerky
Roast pork, carrots, broccoli and cabbage
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