Today, I want to talk about the idea of eating like your ancestors and simplify what this actually means.
Now I’ve used this terminology before, but based on a few comments, it seems like I need to simplify this concept.
So one of my most watched videos was called: How To Become A Fat Burning Machine.
To put it simply…
The spill over effect occurs when you consume more carbohydrates than your body can store as glycogen, in the liver and muscle cells, for short-term energy.
Once your glycogen levels are full, there is no room to store that extra sugar for energy, so it gets stored in the fat cells as fat.
This spill over effect tends to be a continuous cycle as people continuously eat too much sugar and don’t move their bodies enough to burn it off as energy, so they keep getting fatter and fatter.
On top of this increase in obesity, today’s leading causes of death such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are often related to lifestyle choices caused by poor diets of refined and processed foods and lack of exercise.
These insulin spiking, refined carbohydrate foods were not being consumed by our ancestors.
And this matters because our genetic structure is very similar to the genes of our oldest ancestors.
Since your genes control pretty much every function in your body; people need to start focusing on consuming more of the types of foods that your genes and digestive system were programmed for.
Unfortunately, the majority of the processed foods people eat today were not around, so our digestive systems are not even designed to know how to process these foods.
Now one of the comments that I always get is: “Well why was our ancestor’s life expectancy way lower than it is today?”
But our ancestors also didn’t have the advancement in health care, medicine, or even the kind of shelter from harsh weather and predators.
I’m pretty sure a lot of our ancestors were dying due to causes like being eaten by a lion or freezing to death.
Not diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Without getting the proper nutrients from food, the body malfunctions leading to these lifestyle related causes of death that did not affect our ancestors.
Now, if you’ve ever heard me say, eat like your ancestors, I’m referring to eating the majority of your calories from a diet of meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and some fruit.
And when I say meat, let me clarify, I’m not referring to the hot dog “street meat” that you see outside the sports stadium, or the cheeseburgers being sold at the majority of fast food restaurants.
I’m referring to grass fed, hormone free, and humanely raised meat.
And yes, I realize our ancestors probably ate many parts of the animal, like tongues and spleens, that we don’t eat today, but that’s not what I mean by eating like your ancestors.
I’m referring to focusing on adding a healthy protein source to your meals and reducing the amount of foods created in a factory using refined carbohydrates and over processed fats that are foreign to your genes.
If you look at most cases of obesity, their diet primarily focuses on refined carbohydrates as the meal’s main food source with very little, if any, high quality protein.
Once again, if your plate includes a burger patty in between a pair of hamburger buns from a fast food restaurant, that’s not considered a high quality source of protein.
Many scientists believe our ancestors diets consisted of at least 30% of calories from high quality protein sources.
Yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did research back in 2008 and found the average US macronutrient breakdown was approximately 48% carbohydrates for men (51% for women), 34% fat for both men and women, and only 16% protein for both men and women.
And that study was completed just under 10 years ago.
I believe our bodies become more susceptible to diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity when our plates are filled with more refined and processed carbohydrates than if our plates were filled with foods from the earth, that are closer to what our ancestors ate.
I’m not saying you need to be 100% “paleo” or never eating a piece of pizza again, cause you know I love my pizza.
I’m just recommending that you become more aware of the foods you’re feeding your body and focusing on making consistent progress towards cutting back on refined carbohydrates.
Check out our Live Lean 20 Diet system where we give you 20 delicious meals and snacks, using just a total of 20 healthy ingredients, prepared in 20 minutes or less.
Follow the quick and simple cooking videos, use the meal plans and grocery lists, and start changing the way you eat.
Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.