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

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Overview

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 ...

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

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“There’s a disconnect between how we were designed to live and the way we are now living. De Vany’s plan is all about closing that gap. The New Evolution Diet lays out an approach to food and exercise that feels intuitive.” —The Daily Beast
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781609613761
  • Publisher: Rodale Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/20/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 345,076
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

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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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 My Journey 11

2 Before You Begin: Eight Things to Measure 25

3 The New Evolution Diet 35

Interlude: Why Our Ancestors Were Not Vegetarians 51

4 How to Not Eat 53

5 A Month on the New Evolution Diet 58

Interlude: The Worst Foods You Can Eat 84

6 How to Exercise 89

Interlude: Boys to Girls 108

7 The Metaphysics Behind the Diet 111

Interlude: Sir Steven and Michael Phelps 119

8 The Competition Within 125

9 Age Like Me 132

Interlude: My Supplements 143

Conclusion: A Last Word 147

Afterword: When the Human Body Needs (Extreme) Randomness Nassim Nicholas Taleb 148

Notes 158

Further Reading 188

Index 200

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