Weight Loss: How to Eat Like Your Ancestors

Photo by: Flickr
Photo by: Flickr

Eating like your ancestors makes sense in many ways. Of course, there are varieties of delicious foods that your ancestors couldn’t eat since they hadn’t been discovered; it would be a shame to discount them. However, the human digestive system has not altered dramatically. In fact, it might be argued that although many people’s systems have adapted to a change in diet over time, such as the consumption of cow’s milk and extra meat, the food choices of your ancestors might be better digested than a modern diet.

Your ancestors didn’t eat for comfort

Your ancestors were probably stressed periodically. However, their stress was short-term. If a saber-toothed tiger chased them, they didn’t go back to their cave and eat doughnuts while complaining about their bad day. Not only were sweet, processed foods unavailable, but most stressful events were short-lived. Therefore, they didn’t overeat in order to satiate emotional angst. People now, on the other hand, are subject to long-term stress, such as anxiety about not having enough money to pay bills, or concerns about climbing their chosen career ladders.

If you want to eat like your ancestors, adopt a stress maintenance strategy. Otherwise, unlike cave dwellers, you could be tempted to consume high-calorie snacks when anxiety strikes. Meditation is a great way to manage stress, and practicing this ancient art can teach you how to deal with your emotions so that you don’t need to use food as a means of quelling anguish.

Your ancestors exercised

Your ancestors didn’t need to use a treadmill to keep fit; they were physically active. Simply living helped them stave-off weight. While you eat like your ancestors, it might be wise to become more active.

What your ancestors ate

Your ancestor’s diet mainly consisted of plant-based and animal-based foods. They ate berries, nuts, vegetables, and animals, including offal. However, they ate far less meat than countless people do today. It is thought that about 80% or more of their meals came from vegetables, nuts and berries, and roughly 10 to 20% from meat and fish. They didn’t eat dairy foods, apart from eggs, and ate very little grain-based foods. They drank water, which means that you need to avoid most other types of drinks if you desire to follow your ancestor’s lead. The fruit and vegetables that they consumed would have had water content, which probably means that it’s okay to drink herb teas, pure vegetable drinks, and 100% whole juice drinks.

Sensible considerations

Unlike your ancestors, you might be used to eating a modern diet that is loaded with sugary, processed foods. If you strictly follow your ancestors diet, your system might respond by imagining that there is a famine taking place, which will mean that your body attempts to hold on to fat. The best way to include this way of eating into your lifestyle might be to allow yourself to eat a small amount of modern foodstuffs alongside healthier meals. Making sure that the majority of your food intake is similar to your ancestors, but having an occasional delicacy, will also help keep your enthusiasm higher than if you simply gave up all of your favorite treats.

Some stringent followers of the Paleolithic diet report that giving up all modern foods that were not included in their ancestor’s meals is best since doing so can curb food allergies. However, you alone know whether cutting out all processed food will suit you. There again, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to gain the advice of a medical professional if you have any concerns about eating like your ancestors. It must also be said that some foods that they didn’t eat are known to be healthy, and had they been available at the time, they might have been on the menu. As always, the key to success is about balance rather than taking extreme measures in order to lose weight.