Becoming a Caveman

I have a problem. I recently deployed for seven months and none of my clothes fit me when I got home. I wear a belt to keep my pants from falling down, but I imagine I look like a midget wearing a tent. I admit this is a pretty good problem to have, because it means that my efforts at weight loss have been fruitful.

The best part is that I can assure you my so-called efforts were actually quite minimal. This might make me sound like a braggart, rubbing my success in the faces of the millions of Americans out there toiling with weight loss. (Okay, I realize that the number of people reading my column is actually much closer to 3 than it is to millions). However, I am not here today to brag, but to share my secrets with you.

I must begin by acknowledging that although I would love to claim credit for the regimen which I followed and will outline below, that claim would simply not be true. The tips I provide come from Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint, and his blog Mark’s Daily Apple. The book and blog were introduced to me by a coworker, and provide easy lifestyle adjustments for fitness and weight loss.

Three things initially attracted me to Sisson’s program. Firstly, the glowing endorsement from my colleague prompted me to actually look into what the so-called primal lifestyle had to offer. Reading through the blog, I was drawn to the apparent ease of following the program, which by design

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allowed 80% adherence and 20% indulgence. Furthermore, the scientist in me – who holds a B.S. in Biology – appreciated the regular references to peer-reviewed periodicals as rationale for the nutritional and fitness recommendations.

Satisfied that Mr. Sisson’s Blueprint was more than a crash diet and free of unsubstantiated “bro science,” I decided to dive right in. My twofold goal was the same as just about everyone on a military deployment: to decrease my waistline and increase my fitness level.

The obvious foundation of any weight loss plan is nutrition. The Primal Blueprint, along with numerous

other primal living guides, dictates that the human body runs more effectively using fats as fuel, vice sugars (a.k.a. carbs). So I took grains and other starches out of my diet, which was easier than I expected. All it took was making up my mind that pasta, rice, bread, etc. were not options before I even made it to the serving line. Plus, cutting the grains meant that I got to feast primarily on meats and veggies. How hard can a diet be when eating bacon is encouraged?

Admittedly, it has been tougher to stick to primal fare back in the real world where multiple food options don’t magically appear on a serving line. To cope, I did the math on the 80/20 rule and allowed myself up to four meals a week to

indulge a pizza or pasta craving. So far, there haven’t been any adverse effects on my waistline.

Complementary to eating primal, Mark outlines a very simple fitness program designed to be easily adaptable to the dynamic nature of modern life, and scalable to any fitness level. The program requires a minimal time commitment and the only “special equipment” necessary is a pull-up bar. Workouts are comprised of simple movements like pull-ups, pushups, planks, squats, and sprints; they can be completed in 20-40 minutes; and they are only required three times a week. Additionally, low to moderate physical activity – like walking – is encouraged in any amount totaling up to five hours a week. Let me say that again: your cardio workouts can simply consist of walking. If you

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have access to other equipment like a rowing machine, an exercise bike or a pool for swimming, and would prefer to get your cardio that way, knock yourself out.

So does it work? Well, I have taken over two inches off my waist and dropped a net of thirty pounds, while adding muscle mass. Even more impressive is the fact that I was able to accomplish this without ever running more than 150 yards at a time.

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I dare say that my physique is at least somewhat comparable to the build I had in high school. Back then, I was working out two and a half hours a day six days a week. Now, my routine includes three 40-minute workout days and three hour-long light cardio days a week. So yeah, I’d say it works.

This plan may not be for everyone (looking at you, vegetarians), but it is definitely the plan for me. It fits my busy schedule, feeds me primarily on foods I love, and allows me to indulge on desserts and comfort foods fairly regularly. Adhering to this regimen, I have effortlessly maintained a figure that I often catch myself admiring in the mirror. If you have a weight loss goal, I whole-heartedly recommend giving Mark Sisson’s genre of primal living a shot. I was able to attain fantastic results in six months while working 70 hour weeks, so why shouldn’t you be able to? And the best part is that it doesn’t cost a dime, so what are you waiting for?

*Disclaimer: This article reflects opinions of the author developed in a purely personal capacity. These opinions do not imply Department of Defense endorsement, official or unofficial, of The Primal Blueprint, Mark’s Daily Apple, or any of the fitness and/or nutritional tips discussed buy clomid without a prescription in this piece. Always consult your physician to ensure you are healthy enough to begin a fitness routine.

Raised in Dunedin, Florida, a coastal suburb of Tampa, Nick is a beach bum who appreciates the finer things in life. A graduate of The University of Tampa, he currently resides in central South Carolina with his beautiful wife and daughter and dreams of one day returning to modern civilization. His enjoys science, technology, being outdoors, and the chewy/crispy goodness of his wife’s homemade chocolate-chip cookies.

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