By Dr John Piesse 2008

About 20,000 years ago, our ancestors were 'hunter gatherers'. They did not practice agriculture nor didthey keep farm animals.

What did our ancestors eat?

They hunted game animals and fish, but also relied heavily on plant foods - leafy root vegetables, seeds and nuts, and seasonal ruit.

What did they not eat?

They did not have agriculture, so they had no cereal grains, dairy foods, sugar or potatoes - the foods in modern diet which most favour weight gain.

Their metabolism favoured energy storage.

They had lean times when food was scarce, so their metabolism was adapted to storing energy as fat for the times when they had sufficient to eat.

Our metabolism is very close to theirs - it also favours energy conservation.

Research has indicated that modern man has a gene code almost identical to that of our hunter-gatherer anscestors. It is our gene code that determines how our metabolism functions. For most of us that means that we gain weight easily, like they did, in order to have reserves for hard times. They are of course genetic variants called polymorhisms which may explain why some people don't gain weight whilst others struggle with weight gain.

They were energy expenders : we are energy conservationsists.

Our hunter gatherer ancestores had a very active lifestyle. They were constantly on the move in search of food. They needed all the energy that their relativelylimited food supply provided. By contrast, modern man has a much less physically active lifestyle. For many of us, we have to go out of our way to eercise in order not to gain weight. In addition our food supply is abundant and energy rich, over refined and often nutrient poor.

Caloric over indulgence (eating too much) + lack of exercise + depletion of key nutrients + other factors (eg. stress, food allergies) = weight gain.

The Message of Our Ancestors

If you want to lose weight:

  1. exercise more - aim at 1/2 hour (initially), increasing to average 1 hour daily. Our ancestors did much more than this.
  2. minimize the foods they did not eat - sugar, foods from cereal grains, corn, pitatoes and dairy products. Get more of your calories from vegetables.

In other words, live according to your genetically determined metabolism - like they did.

In addition:

  • reduce stress - many modern day people have too much chronic stress in their lives:
  • seek help for emotional over eating or emotional food dependancies if these are factors:
  • identify and eliminate reactive foods. These can sometimes contribute to weight gain.
  • use nutrients that aid weight loss:

          Chromium - deficiency favours drops in blood sugar and carbohydrate yearning:

          L-carnite - which may boost energy and aid fat burning with exertion:

          fish oils - deficiency of omega-3 essential fatty acids is preventative in our society.

  • correct hormone depletions - especially thyroid, and sex hormones if you are past middle age.