How To Train Your Caveman
We all know that in order to lose weight, the success of achieving your goals doesn't lie solely on how much exercise that you do, but on the food you eat.
One of the main barriers I find is trying to get people to understand that in order to lose weight, they have to EAT!!!
We need carbs for energy, protein for cell repair and fats to absorb vital minerals and vitamins into the body. Food is not the enemy- you are. You chose what to eat, when to eat it and how much you are going to eat.
Our minds may have evolved over the centuries and with the creation of our civilisation...but there's a part of you that is stuck millions of years back in time -your body.
How can he not know that there's not a famine going on and that you just wanted to fit into that dress for your friend's wedding who you haven't seen for a while. Jeez! Does he not follow you on Twitter?! Loser!
Imagine that you are a caveman who has just been uncovered frozen in time in a glacier from the ice age by a bunch on Californian high school kids... (not remotely linked to the '90s blockbuster “California Man!”). That's exactly that era that your body has been stuck in since the moment you're born.
So imagine if that caveman is deprived of food and water....So how is he going to have the energy to hunt? What if he comes across a predator and has to make a quick getaway? Or what if there's a famine and he needs to migrate to find sustenance? That is exactly what your body is thinking when you decide to go on the Beyonce Master Cleanse, cabbage soup diet or any other calorie restrictive diet.
Yeh, sure you will lose weight as you won't have as many calories coming in as going out. But what happens to that caveman?? Well firstly he is going to use as much fast releasing sugar as he can for energy. But the caveman is a hunter-gatherer and grains and Doritos won't come along for millions of years, so this kind of low fat or non-nutritious food won't last very long. Then he will start using the fat stores. Sounds good doesn't it, but that sensible caveman is creating more fat cells ready for when he is able to eat again, so that he can replenish the cells he's depleted and also have a “rainy day” store of fat. How can he not know that there's not a famine going on and that you just wanted to fit into that dress for your friend's wedding who you haven't seen for a while. Jeez! Does he not follow you on Twitter?! Loser!
So he starts having to use the energy source that he really didn't want to use. Because he's probably going to need this in the future. And once he's used it, he won't get it back....he's going to start eating your muscle. That's right, you get muscle wastage. This is called being in a catabolic state. So you're going to feel lethargic. Even walking up the stairs is going to make your legs burn. And what's that?! A little flutter in your chest? Thats right, even the heart is a muscle and it needs energy to keep you alive.
Ok, this is extreme territory we are getting into but it can happen to people with prolonged food deficiencies. So let's just stop it there.
Understanding How Your Caveman Works
So, lets imagine that our caveman has come across a vast oasis. There is water and food aplenty, but there's a chance that this may not last, he may have to move on or he may have to leave if there are too many predators. So he takes as much water as he can drink and carry, and he eats as much as he can and stores as much as he can in those fat cells.....the result in the real world is that not only did you put the weight back on but you're bigger than when you started!!!
How did that happen??? It took you months to lose it but weeks to put it all back on and some!!?? Doesn't the caveman know that you have tickets for Take That next week and Gary Barlow isn't going to look at you twice now...especially since he's got all thin himself now! Disaster!!!!
Don't be mean to the caveman; he's your best friend, your protector, the only one that's looking out for you
Don't be mean to the caveman; he's your best friend, your protector, the only one that's looking out for you. He's doing his job perfectly, he's keeping you alive. See, he's thinking about the next time that this famine might happen and what will you do for food and water then? He might not find another oasis for twice as long as the time it took him to find the last one. He's being Mr Sensible and making sure that he has a contingency plan by being ready for the next famine!
So how do you reassure that caveman that he doesn't have to be over cautious?? Well, quite simply, you feed him....You let him know that there's no reason to worry and store any food. So you give him food regularly.
Now there may be some really unlucky people out there who can skip a few meals and lose a stone. And don't for a second envy them. Just look at their muscle mass and see if those little pins would be able to run away from danger. Give me some lean muscle any day of the week rather than having my ribs showing! Have you not seen Channel 4's “Supersized vs Superskinny”??
So if you ever get tempted to go on a calorie restrictive diet, think about what you're doing to your body in the long term....and what your caveman may do in return.