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Is the Warrior Diet
A TRUE Paleo Diet?

My short answer is that we don't really know what a Paleo Diet looked like.

They didn't keep diet logs back then (250,000 BC to 10,000 BC). Or if they did, they lost their writings, and the ability to write altogether, since writing was invented about four or five thousand years ago.

I suppose some of the cave drawings we've found might have been diet logs. If so, those were some hungry people, because the pictures were usually of whole animals like a buffalo, an eagle, and a deer.

Did they eat these all in one day?

Nah, those pictures were probably there for some other reason.

And even if we did run across a Paleo diet log, we would have to suspect that the entries were just as inaccurate as the diet log entries people record today. "Oh sure Wug, you just had a few crickets and a piece of lettuce today . . ."

O.K., so . . .

we probably can't nail down exactly what the paleoliths ate, but maybe we can get a rough idea by studying modern day hunter-gatherers and doing some guesswork.

And maybe we can EXPERIMENT.

I'm doing a paleo experiment this month, and want to tell you about it. But first, I want to give a quick survey of the wider ongoing paleo diet project, so all my readers are on the same page.

Let's get started by asking . . .

What is a paleo diet?

Basically, a paleo diet is a diet that's set up to imitate the diet eaten by our ancestors from about 250,000 years ago (this is somewhat arbitrary) to about 10,000 years ago (this is not arbitrary and marks the beginning of agriculture).

But that might lead you to ask . . .

Why do we care?

Some people have given some pretty good reasons to care what our ancestors from the Paleolithic era ate. They believe that evolution crafted our food-processing organs during this time.

They claim that in the short amount of time since then, in the era of agriculture, there hasn't been enough time for our bodies to adapt significantly to the new foods. And this is the reason we suffer from so many diseases -- from diabetes to heart disease.

We're not built to handle the new foods, but rather the foods our ancestors ate.

Well, if they're right, that seems like a pretty good reason to care about Paleolithic diets.

But that raises another question . . .

Which Foods Were a Part of the Paleolithic diet?

It would be nice to know what the Paleoliths ate, and what they didn't eat. Perhaps, if we can eat the foods they ate, and avoid the foods they didn't eat, we will be eating the way our bodies were designed to eat. And that's got to be good, doesn't it?

Were the Paleoliths low carb? Well, the truth is, they ate all kinds of things--probably pretty much anything edible that they could find. The paleoliths might have been low carb and they might not have been.

If they were, it probably wasn't by choice.

I don't believe for a minute that Wug would have held back when he ran across a fruit tree, watermelon patch, or Hostess snack section in a supermarket. You can bet that he would have pigged out like a lumberjack at a pancake feed.

But many carbs might have been in short supply in some areas (it took a while for Hostess to build up their distribution channels), so there is reason to believe that many Paleoliths ate a fairly low carb diet -- even if not by choice.

It's difficult to determine exactly what they ate, and it probably varied from tribe to tribe.

Which Foods Were NOT Part of the Paleolithic diet?

Probably the better question is to ask what they didn't eat, and look to avoid those things. This list is fairly long, but the biggest differences between modern diets and ancient ones is that we have been eating a lot more dairy, grains, refined sugar, and refined vegetable oils than Paleolithic people did.

Personally, I think that if people cut out refined sugar and heavily processed vegetable oils (but surely olive oil is just fine and was eaten in Paleolithic times), and cut back on their dairy and grain consumption, they would stave off many diet-related problems -- even if they didn't go completely low carb.

Much of this ground is covered quite well in Loren Cordain's book "The Paleo Diet".

But there's something about the Paleo Diet, that isn't covered much, and it's got me wondering.

Though it took me a while to get here, my big question for this article is . . .

"WHEN" did the Paleoliths eat?

Did our ancestors eat six evenly-spaced meals?

Or did they eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with exactly two snacks?

I doubt very much that they followed either of these patterns.

Let's face it. There were times some of them went without very much food for days at a time. And I have trouble believing they were any better at voluntarily moderating their portions than we are when they had food in abundance.

Well, I just ran across a book that many of you might have seen already. It's called The Warrior Diet, by Ori Hofmekler. And he really got me thinking.

Ori's diet is not low carb. Though it's not exactly anti-low carb either. Ori recommends eating one big meal each day -- in the evening. Other than that, he allows some light grazing in the morning and afternoon.

And that's it.

Is this how the Paleoliths ate?

Did they wake up, nibble on grass, a piece of fruit, a nut or two, and insect or two, and then go hunt for the main course, bring it back around dusk, and then prepare for the feast, where they would pig out and then fall asleep with full bellies and big smiles on their faces?

Well, I don't know. I already indicated some skepticism about finding a "typical" paleo pattern. But you know what? The experimenter in me is aroused. I am going to follow a -- now get this name -- "Calorie-conscious low-carb warrior diet" this month.

Yesterday I ate four egg whites, a pear, some half and half in my coffee, and a cucumber before 5:30 PM. That's a total of about 300 calories before dinner. And it really wasn't that difficult.

That left me with room for two 1000 calorie meals the rest of the evening (I just can't get it all in in one meal!). I had one at 5:30, but honestly could only eat about 900 calories worth. I had 10 ounces of turkey burger, a cup of unsweetened tomato sauce, two eggs worth of egg salad, and a cup of mashed pumpkin (with some splenda and vanilla, if you must know). 900 calories, and I felt pleasantly stuffed.

At 8:30 I tried to get another 1000 calories in me, and managed only 800. Two hours later I went to sleep with a big grin on my face. It's nice to be stuffed. It was worth the slight hungry edge I had during the day.

Well, anyway, I'll let you know how it goes. And let me make it clear that I am not advocating this diet for anyone. Please, check with your doctor first, as always.

The Next Day . . . How's It Going?

I do feel kind of like a hungry warrior today. As I write this it's about 3:15 PM, and I've had a cucumber, a pear, some half and half, and four egg whites so far today. I'm about ready to head to the supermarket to "hunt" for dinner, bring it home, and start the low carb feast around 5 or 5:30 again.

A Few Months Later . . . My Conclusions

Well, let's just say I'm not doing the Warrior Diet on a regular basis.

The truth is, there are some pros and cons.

The Pros: You get a serotonin boost every evening when you eat until you're full. Even while watching calories -- which I advocate even for low carbers -- you get that stuffed feeling, because you lump most of your calories toward the end of the day. It's nice to feel stuffed once in a while.

Also, the hungry edge isn't that bad, and gives you kind of an alert feeling.

The Cons: I find that after a couple days of doing the Warrior diet the mid day hunger gets more intense. It was difficult for me to maintain.

In conclusion, I think the best plan is to have a Warrior weekend every couple weeks. That way you can get that psychological boost from feeling stuffed without deviating from your calorie target or getting off your lower carb lifestyle.

In the months since I first wrote this article, I have done some Warrior days, and have found them a refreshing change of pace. But every time I try to go more than a couple days, I regret it.

Well, that's it for this issue. If you want to try this, or any other eating plan, it is a good idea to check with your doctor first.

Best of health to you and your family!

Jim Stone is the author of "Stop Cheating
On Your Low Carb Diet!", found at
Jim also offers a free monthly newsletter at


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