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So I hope you’re ready to brush up on some human evolution today, because we’re about to jump back in time to explore our true human roots. And just to clarify here, I am NOT an expert on the evolution of humanity, but I still know a thing or two about the subject.
The main goal here is to explain a few key concepts, but keep it peaceful at the same time. The reason I say this is because I know how angry some people can get when this topic is brought up, it’s much like religion, and everybody has their own take on it.
Anyway, let’s start what I like to call “Caveman 101.”
Why I believe fasting is a natural thing to do
You see, we humans have not always had such a ready food supply as we do today; we actually had to hunt for our meals in the past, (I know, I know, sounds crazy right?). We literally had to go out into the wild and hunt for animals. Yet, even while leading this type of life back in the day, we also had to survive by grazing throughout the day on berries and other gathered selections. This is because there were many days that we didn’t eat! And this was called “a normal life” back then! Animals migrated, food became scarce, and we had to stay on top of seasonal changes in order to maintain our existence.
The truth is that meals we’re skipped often and we (humans) got pretty hungry at times. Because of this “feast or famine” type of state, our bodies had to evolve efficiently to deal with such situations. If we didn’t adapt to these periods of famine and low to NO calorie dry spells, we simply would have died out. But luckily, Mother Nature had our backs! Our so cleverly engineered bodies had figured out how to get through these hard times. And what’s crazy is that they’re still set up to work like this.
You see, without eating carbohydrates (something that we modern humans don’t do), the body switches tactics from deep within. It’s called burning FAT! And it’s a beautiful thing to be burning.
Let’s look into this a little deeper so you can better understand what it is I’m talking about here.
How cutting carbohydrates can control blood sugar
So why is it that an excessive amount of carbohydrates can be bad for the body? I’m glad you asked! You see, these days, we all seem to have an overload of carbohydrates. And as the title above states, controlling blood sugar becomes very hard to do if one is eating mass amounts of carbohydrates all day long, especially the refined items like breads, rice and added sugar. That’s right, we’re all big sugar addicts today.
The point I’m driving at here is that controlling blood sugar is by far one of the best tactics to take when looking to control weight, or should I say, fat loss. And this little trick does tie-in with fasting or grazing as stated above. But we need to go back in time again (to prehistoric humanity) so we can peek into this whole concept a little further.
Mr. Caveman and his low carbohydrate diet
So Mr. Caveman (let’s just call him Thor), was quite the eater. And outside of his last kill; which was about 2 days previous, he hasn’t eaten much. So what does a caveman do in this position?
Well, to start…he grazes the plains, forages the forests, and gathers all that he can find. These collecting procedures are vital in his survival. Berries, shoots, root vegetables, and even insects, he would gather these items to survive. Thriving off the land was key to living.
And I bring all of this up for very specific reasons; you see, Thor knew how to control his hunger and blood sugar quite efficiently. And even though he would often go long periods without hunting/eating, he would keep his energy going with what he could pick off of the land; and this was so very important. His fasting (or lack of eating I should say) was sometimes interrupted by brief and very small meals throughout his day. This was typical behavior for a caveman back then. There were no huge sugar spikes and crashes like we’re having today. Everything was pretty balanced and in check.
You see, these early humans were experts at keeping their body systems in check (whether they knew it or not), something that we’re not very good at doing today as you can probably see. I hate to say it, but this is the exact opposite of how most of us are living today. We’re so far from truly being in touch with our bodies that it’s sickening…literally! And I’d like to give you my take on how and why this is happening.
Our ready and extremely unhealthy food supply
So, we’re naturally programmed to fast (go long periods without eating) and graze, right? And even though our genetics are STILL set up to work in this manner, we’re not doing as Mother Nature requests.
You see, we have any food we want at our fingertips today, but we’re not eating the right types. When was the last time you saw an American fasting, or not eating because there was no food around? It’s been a while (if ever) for me! Now, I know and fully acknowledge the fact that hunger hits all parts of the world, but I’m not referring to those who can’t afford to eat – this is an entirely different issue that also needs to be dealt with accordingly. I’m simply talking about the people who can afford to eat, but are doing it all wrong.
What I mean here is that when modern humans are hungry, we graze, but not in a fashion that’s good for our bodies. Here, I’ll give you some examples that I’m sure you’re already quite aware of:
- High sugar energy drinks
- Jack in the Box
- French Fries
Need I say more? Do you think these foods are going to assist one in grazing efficiently or staying adequately energized? I don’t think so! Actually these types of selections do the exact opposite! They crash the body out and hinder it form thriving well.
What all these foods are going to do is cause severe influxes in blood sugar, which in the end, will influence fatigue, and make the body convert all excess sugar to fat.
Yes that’s right, an excessive intake of SUGAR will cause one to get fat, not fat itself!
This whole “low fat” subject is something that has become skewed and lost in translation over the years. FAT is not what’s making people fat! Sugar is the bad guy here, and people are having a very hard time understanding this very important concept. No longer do I want to hear about “low fat this” or “low fat that.” It’s getting quite repetitive! Wouldn’t you agree?
Have you taken a look around lately? The grazers I see out there don’t look anything like our healthy ancestors from the past. And what I find crazy is that most of these people are on “low fat” diets! Do you think this whole “low fat” thing is working? I’d say not! Especially with heart disease STILL on the rise!
It’s as if we’ve fallen off the evolution wagon and have not been able to get back on it for some time now. What would Thor think if he could see us today? I think he would be quite disgusted to say the least. I really don’t think that cavemen had heart disease back in the day. The big threats at this time were: very large predators, deadly infections, broken bones, and harsh elements. Not diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Do you see what I’m getting at here?
So what can fasting really do for us?
First off, I like this concept because it mirrors our prehistoric past. And I’m all about eating how the human body is engineered to eat, simply because it makes sense. It’s like fuel for a car as I often point out. Some cars today have certain grades of gas that they require, as do humans. It’s just a cool little example that I like to throw out there from time to time.
Also, if you become an avid faster, or simply skip meals a little more than you used to, there’s a strong chance that you can drastically regulate your insulin. This is important for a variety of reasons, but the main ones revolve around it heavily increasing your chances of NOT getting diseases like diabetes, and heart disease.
Some studies even show that cancer can be avoided more efficiently if these insulin levels are in check. And that’s always promising to hear.
On top of disease prevention, fasting can effectively aid in controlling one’s fat capacity. In other words, the storage and utilization of fat for fuel. By going periods without eating, the body flips switches, and these switches are very good ones to flip on. What I’m talking about is how the act of fasting can start utilizing fat as a fuel source (something that we’re already set-up and programmed to do).
What this also means is that carbohydrates then become the less preferred source for fuel. But please keep in mind, there are different degrees of fasting, and all have their own set guidelines and ways of doing their thing.
Some plans call for a 15-16 hour fast, while others call for a 24-hour fast once per week. And although this seems quite hard, it’s not all that bad. I’ve experimented with this concept and it wasn’t all that difficult. Sure the body tweaks out a little bit at first, but for me, it was nothing too crazy.
But please keep in mind that this style of eating/living is not for everybody. Some can get extreme headaches, foggy thinking, vision problems, and even seizures in extreme cases. More of a reason to thoroughly research the subject and know what you’re doing before you start something like this. There are a few leading experts on the subject, so I encourage you to contact me or leave comments below if you need further clarification on something more specific regarding fasting.
In the end, I think the message here is quite clear. We modern humans are eating way too much, and our bodies are suffering because of it. By looking into our past, I believe that we can gain insight as to how we should be living now.
The simple truth is that our genes are still the same as they were during the prehistoric ages that I speak of here, and science has proven this. With information out there pointing to such factual evidence, we need to step back and think more like our ancestors did. Why do something that is wrong, when doing the right thing can be way easier? Eating pure and healthy is something that is engrained into our DNA, and this is a fact. We come from a long line of pure eaters, and food selections today simply do not cater to this style of eating.
That’s it for today, thanks for reading!
Please check out the studies below if you care to find out more on this subject.