28 February, 2011

Are you a Caveman, or a Modern Man?

I have been doing some thinking about food lately.  In all honesty, I have been doing a LOT of thinking about food lately.

As both followers of this blog know, I have been been adding calories to my food regimen for some time.  Starting the first week on January, and lasting over a month, I was eating in excess of 3000 calories a day.  That added about 12 pounds to me.  Starting mid-February, I dropped back 500 calories for a week, then last week, another 500.  For those of you that aren't good with math, I am now back to ~2000 calories a day.  This is the "maintenance" intake for me, where I will remain for a couple more weeks.  I am very hungry now, and find myself on the verge of  making excuses to eat more calories.  I have since dropped 3 pounds from my peak weight, but I am still ~14 pounds above my race weight,  where I wanted to be by Yankee.  It looks like that isn't going to happen.

So, back to the topic at hand, there are a ton of options to consider when dieting.  There are the fad diets, like Atkins (don't eat carbs), the South Beach Diet (Atkins with carbs), Grapefruit diet, Gluten free (more descrimination against delicious bread), Raw food dies (do you need an explanation of this?), the Amish diet (Which I assume means no eating in your car), and the new hit of the athletic scene, the Paleo or Caveman diet.

Now the premise of the caveman diet is not new, but it is rather simple: Eat what only a caveman would eat.  That means nothing from domesticated animals, grains, dairy, legumes, oils, etc.  Now, the last time I checked, saber-toothed tiger steaks are relatively hard to come by, so lean meats are allowed, as is cooking in some instances.

Now, the caveman apparently had a lifespan of 20-35 years.  Apparently the short life span isn't attributed to being trampled by dinosaurs (which I thought too!) but rather, lack of modern medicine.  Apparently a hangnail could be fatal due to infection.

Apparently our bodies are the same as they were near the end of the Paleolithic era, some 20,000 years ago.  So I began thinking, if our bodies have not adapted to the modern conveniences of Easy-Cheeze and Ritz crackers, what if we take things to the next level?

Of course it would be rather hard to acquire a cave in this housing market, but what about sleeping on the basement floor?  Instead of cushy leather office chairs, we should stack some rocks.  Basically redefine your lifestyle to mimic an episode of the Flintstones as close as possible!  Where do we draw the line, should we draw a line, did the cavemen draw lines?

Now, I know many follow certain diets because of medical issues, so by all means take advantage of the opportunities that modern medicine provides.  I certainly don't want you dead by 35.  Others may eat based on what works for the pros, if they only eat raw pork, maybe I should as well.

However, I am a firm believer in moderation.  An occasional Whopper is fricken' delicious.  It doesn't mean you should eat one or seven a day, but it isn't the end of the world if you indulge on occasion.  Apparently, you can lose a bunch of weight eating only Subway, but this means going from eating 3 large pizzas for lunch to 12" of processed meat.  You could accomplish the same thing by eating Twinkies.

What is the point of all this rambling?  I don't know.  I believe it is an excuse for me to rationalize the fact I still enjoy the occasional corn dog, even if I want to race my bicycle.  Maybe at some point I will become good enough at riding that my diet will become a limiter, but until that point I will continue to nom on modern man meals.

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