I recently listened to Mark Sisson, the founder of the Primal Blueprint, giving a lecture about human evolution and our diet.
Mark´s theory is based on the assumption that we all have a DNA “recipe” to build a healthy human and that the key in doing so is to switch genes on & off based on signals that we give them.
In other words, he believes that our body is designed to be healthy but that our genetic blueprint was set up for us to survive in the wild and not in the type of society that we live in today. So his theory is based on looking at how populations were surviving and striving before agriculture and reproducing this type of behaviour today in order to maintain health and lose any excess weight.
I must say that I strongly believe in this theory and that a lot of the ways I have adapted my own diet has been based on thinking about how we are designed to survive in the wild.
During the 100,000 years we were living in the wild, we would hunt for our food and mainly survive on animals, plants (roots, vegetables, fruits, plants, nuts & seeds). There was no refined sugar, dairy or grains and we did not rely on a specific schedule to eat.
Our food supply varied with the seasons and we ate when there was food available. This often led to periods without food where the human hunter-gatherer would rely on stored fat for energy. It´s only since the start of the agricultural era that humans have had access to grains and have therefore started relying on the sugars derived from carbohydrate for fuel.
This is a pretty simplistic way of explaining Mark´s theory but the bottom line is that he believes that by changing the type of foods that we eat to what was available to us as hunter gatherers and by changing the way we eat to only eating when we are hungry, as opposed to on a set schedule, we can convert our body back to being efficient fat burners. In theory it takes 21 days for this to happen.
I truly believe in looking at our bodies from Mark´s perspective and that the reason a lot of people are struggling to lose weight today is because their bodies are using the food they are eating as fuel instead of digging into their body fat. They are sugar burners instead of fat burners.
And the answer isn´t as simple as skipping a meal here and there or eating less quantity, it´s about overturning the whole system and breaking with some of the guidelines we are given by society in terms of the frequency and content of our meals and start listening to our bodies instead. It´s about breaking the rules and following our guts!