We’re always searching for a new way to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. We want to look good and feel good, but try and find easy ways to achieve this, often putting fitness and our long-term health in the back seat.
Americans today spend $61 billion a year on diet products, and yet struggle with maintaining these diets long-term. Those that are successful after completing a diet, struggle to keep it off, with 97% of successful dieters gaining all or more of the weight back within three years.
The concept of dieting has been around for about 150 years. It started way back a few centuries after Christ. Many believed that the physical body was an enemy of the soul. Around 1066 William the Conqueror went on a liquid fast that never worked. The world’s first diet book was introduced around 1558 by Luigi Cornaro.
Modern dieting started in the 19th century. It started with the vinegar diet, anorexia, starvation, and then the first low carb diet which led to the Atkins, South Beach, Paleo, Caveman, and other low carbohydrate diets.
But instead of dieting, we should examine what our ancestors ate. A Caveman’s diet consisted of fruits, plants, and meat. Paleoanthropologists have found bits of date stuck in the teeth of an old Neanderthal. Archaeologists have discovered figs, olives, plums, and pears from the paleolithic era. Grapes were discovered in Tennessee that date back 7 million years. There are apple trees as old as 30,000 years ago in Kazakhstan.
Even religious scriptures provide their followers with guidance on what to eat. Genesis 1:29 states, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.” In the Quran, it is mentioned, “He created cattle that give you warmth, benefits, and food to eat,”(16:5) and “It is He who subdued the seas, from which you eat fresh fish.” (16:14).
You’re probably asking, OK, so what does this all mean?
History and religious text both show that we depend on what grows naturally, straight from the earth. Our eating patterns were not subject to all types of food being available throughout the year. Our ancestors whether 150 years ago or 10000 years ago, ate what was available during the season. They ate grains during the fall and winter, building up fat stores that carried them through the spring, at which time food was low in fat thus causing weight loss and the cycle would start again in the fall.
As you can see, we are naturally meant to live on a seasonal cycle, but with modern food production, import, and export, we are able to and access food that may be out of season. And in turn, we’ve developed diets like the Ketogenic, Atkins, Paleo, and other low-carb plans to help our bodies lose excess fat. The best thing we can do for present and future selves is to follow a seasonal eating pattern.
Eat the grains (unprocessed, whole grains only), roots, seeds, and meats in the fall season,
followed by a diet that consists of greens, legumes, and light grains (millet, quinoa and barley) in the spring.
Eat what you like, but stay away from foods that are not suited for the season you are in. Multigrain products are never a good idea, these grains are a mixture of different seasons, so as a general rule stay away from them. Eat healthy fats, proteins and grains in the winter and consume lighter foods in the spring.
Changing your habits to this type of lifestyle is never easy. But give it a try, and don’t give up, in time you will succeed and your body will love you for it!
Respiratory Therapist since 1999. Degree in BA/MIS. Started CrossFit in 2016. Obtained CrossFit Level 2 Certificate in 2019, also obtained Sports Nutritionist Certificate in 2020 from American Fitness Professional Association.
Passionate about further education in fitness/nutrition and coaching/teaching others about fitness and nutrition.