The Caveman Power diet is one of several versions of the popular paleo diet -- based on the belief that true health comes from eating as our paleolithic ancestors did. It's a low-carb lifestyle that eliminates grains and most starches and emphasizes eating animal products, primarily wild game -- including organ meat, eggs and vegetables. The Caveman Power diet claims to promote weight loss, increase energy and "get you in touch with your natural instincts -- it's a healthy approach to making your body indestructible."
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Health Claims of the Caveman Power Diet
The Caveman Power diet believes that modern man is unhealthy because he's lost touch with his true essence. Paleolithic man did not have the constant availability of food, especially sugary carbohydrates and processed food products that modern man does. The Caveman Power diet works on a feast or famine principle that it claims can help get "you tuned into your animal instincts, and as a result your senses will become sharper; like an animal in the wild who needs all his senses to survive." Supposedly, following the Caveman Power plan will help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, detox your system and provide "more clarity of mind, and a deeper sense of knowing thyself."
The diet is divided into three parts. First, you'll start the fat-burning process by eliminating most carbs. You'll follow stage one for at least two weeks, but no longer than four weeks. During the day, you'll snack on fresh fruit and unsalted nuts -- not too much -- it's natural to feel hungry during the day. Every night you'll feast, eating one large meal that contains as much of the allowed foods as you care to eat -- but you can only eat once. Allowed foods include: meat, fowl, fish, eggs, nuts, vegetables and berries. You can eat root vegetables, including turnips, carrots and parsnips, but all types of potatoes are forbidden. Drink plenty of water.
You can move on to stage two after your sugar cravings have disappeared and your body has become accustomed to your new eating pattern. Stage two should last between two and eight weeks and is designed to detox your system and "help you to be instinctual with food." During the day, you'll drink plenty of water, but eat absolutely nothing -- no food at all. Every night you'll eat one meal, consisting of the allowed foods, as much as you want. Eat until you're full, using your stomach as a guide. According to the Caveman Power website, during this stage, "your animal instincts are coming back. The mild famine you experience daily activates your body's natural instinct to hunt and gather, which means your senses are getting sharper and your mind clearer."
Move into stage three when you feel that you've lost all the weight you care to, and are feeling energized and focused. During this phase you'll be allowed to eat small amounts of unprocessed foods, such as raw nuts, seeds, lean meats and oily fish high in omega-3s. Eat very small amounts -- "grazing" through the day and enjoy your one large meal in the evening. You can stay on phase three of the Caveman Power diet as long as you care to, but if your weight starts to creep back up, move back into stage two.
Pros & Cons
You may lose weight on the Caveman Power diet, but any diet that restricts calories by suggesting you fast during the day and eat only once per day will cause weight loss. "Time" magazine published an article January 25, 2011 that noted "there was no single Paleolithic 'lifestyle.' Survival in Ice Age Europe, for instance, was vastly different from life on the African savannah, requiring different diets, behaviors and genetic adaptations. For another, human DNA didn't freeze in place at some mythical peak. In fact, we're still evolving." MayoClinic.com suggests that health weight loss should not involve gimmicks or extreme dieting, but should incorporate a healthy approach to eating, exercising and lifestyle choices that are sustainable and realistic.