The New Evolution Diet: What Our Paleolithic Ancestors Can Teach Us about Weight Loss, Fitness, and Aging

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Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale, Dec 20, 2011 - Health & Fitness - 224 pages
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Believe it or not, our DNA is almost exactly the same as that of our ancestors. While scientific advances in agriculture, medicine, and technology have protected man, to some degree, from dangers such as starvation, illness, and exposure, the fact remains that our cave-dwelling cousins were considerably healthier than we are. Our paleolithic ancestors did not suffer from heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or obesity. In fact, a good deal of what we view as normal aging is a modern condition that is more akin to disease than any natural state of growing older.

Our predecessors were incomparably better nourished than we are, and were incredibly physically fit. And certainly none of them ever craved a doughnut, let alone tasted one. In fact, the human preference for sweet tastes and fatty textures was developed in an environment where such treats were rare, and signaled dense, useful energy. This once-helpful adaptation is the downfall of many a dieter today. It's what makes it hard to resist fats and sweets, especially when they are all around us.

We are not living as we were built to live. Our genes were forged in an environment where activity was mandatory—you were active or you starved or were eaten. This created strong selective pressure for genes encoding a smart, physically adept individual capable of very high activity levels. Humans are among the most active of species, and we carry energetically expensive brains to boot. Our energy expenditures rank high among all animals. At least they once did.

The New Evolution Diet by Arthur De Vany, PhD is a roadmap back to the better health our ancestors once enjoyed. By eliminating modern foods, including carbohydrates, dairy, and all processed foods from our diets, we can undo much of the damage caused by our modern food environment. The plan is based on three simple principles:

1. Enjoy the pleasure of food and do not count or restrict calories. Eat three satisfying meals a day filled with non-starchy vegetables, fruits, and high-quality, lean proteins
2. Do not starve yourself, but do go hungry episodically, for brief periods, to promote a low fasting blood insulin level and increase metabolic fat-burning.
3. Exercise less, not more, but with more playfulness and intensity. The goal is to create a strong body with a high resting metabolism and a large physiologic capacity to move through life easily—not to burn calories.
 

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Contents

My Journey
11
Before You Begin Eight Things to Measure
25
The New Evolution Diet
35
Why Our Ancestors Were Not Vegetarians
51
How to Not Eat
53
A Month on the New Evolution Diet
58
The Worst Foods You Can Eat
84
How to Exercise
89
Sir Steven and Michael Phelps
119
The Competition Within
125
Age Like Me
132
My Supplements
143
A Last Word
147
When the Human Body Needs Extreme Randomness
148
Notes
158
Further Reading
188

Boys to Girls
108
The Metaphysics Behind the Diet
111

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About the author (2011)

Arthur DeVany, PhD is a Professor Emeritus of Economics at The University of California, Irvine and is the author of more than 100 scientific publications. He is the founder of Evolutionary Fitness and has appeared on PBS, ABC radio, NPR, and in the London Times, the New York Times, and other national media as an expert on the paleo lifestyle, and speaks at universities and conferences on the topic. DeVany has appeared on Fox and Friends, Nightline, and NPR, among others.

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