Wellness Pathway #256 The Feast / Famine Balance

Since I first encountered the body of knowledge regarding evolutionary nutrition in July of 2004, I have been slowly learning more, modifying my diet, and reporting to you on the matter through a number of Wellness Pathways. The premise is extremely simple: human beings evolved under very different conditions than we find ourselves in today.

Beginning with the agricultural revolution, about 12,000 years ago, people became more sedentary and started eating different foods. Over time, dairy, grains, beans, and cattle became dietary staples instead of fresh fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and wild game. Given the slow progress of evolution, evolutionary nutritionists assert that our bodies would still do best on their original “Paleolithic diets” — as modern science is slowly rediscovering.

One aspect of the hunter-gatherer diet that has garnered little attention in the literature of evolutionary nutrition is the fact that our ancient ancestors were much more likely to experience wide swings in the number and kind of calories consumed on a daily basis. It was the agricultural revolution that made it possible for people to grow, raise, and store food for long periods of time. Before that, people had to eat food while it was fresh or it would spoil.

So one day, if they found a great patch of berries or had a successful hunt, they would eat their fill of carbohydrates or protein and fat. Another day, they might not be so lucky as to eat so well. With the coming and going of the seasons, extended periods of feast and famine was a regular experience of life. Could that also have been part of their successful evolution? And, if so, what does that suggest for those of us today who live in an environment of constant abundance?

At least one nutritionist, Jay Robb, argues that we would all do well to replicate the feast / famine cycle by alternating between higher-calorie, high-carbohydrate days and lower-calorie, low-carbohydrate. This represents a tweaking of the “Paleolithic diet,” rather than a change. One still eats the same foods, just on different days.

We have been trying this at our house for the past month and find it to be a palatable way to live. From one day to the next, there’s always something different to which we can look forward. On the higher-calorie, high-carbohydrate days we enjoy dried fruits, starchy vegetables, salads, and fruit smoothies. On the lower-calorie, low-carbohydrate days we enjoy lean meats, salads, nuts, and protein shakes.

If you want to reach and maintain your optimal weight and wellness, then perhaps it behooves you to strike your own balance between feasting and fasting on calories and carbohydrates. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to experiment with such a pattern.

Coaching Inquiries: Do you go from feast to feast with your eating pattern? Or do you strike a balance between times of feast and famine? Have you tried both high-carb and low-carb diets, without success? What if the answer was to alternate between them both rather than to choose one or the other?

To reply to this Pathway, use our Feedback Form. To learn more about our Wellness Coaching programs and to arrange for a complimentary wellness coaching session, use our Contact Form or Email Bob.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran

President, LifeTrek Coaching Internationalwww.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformationwww.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coachingwww.CertifiedCoach.org

Address: 121 Will Scarlet Lane, Williamsburg, VA 23185-5043
Phone: (757) 345-3452
Fax: (772) 382-3258
Skype: LifeTrek
Twitter: @LifeTrekBob
Subscribe/Unsubscribe: Subscriber Services