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Do We Adapt Our Lives to Fit Our Diet? Or Does Our Diet Help Us Adapt to Our Lives?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 25, 2011 at 6:27 PM

I read a lot of exchanges on Paleo Hacks that go like: "What ratios do you eat? How many grams of such and such do you need to stay in Ketosis?" etc. I wonder if all of these strict, self-imposed restrictions are handicapping us from adapting to our modern, ever changing environment.

It seems to me that early people/hunter gatherers, would eat in such a way that was dictated by their environment (whatever was available), and maybe that diet would in turn help them to adapt to the pressures of their environment.

Modern people have a much different environment to say the least. Stress, over-stimulation, pollution, etc. It seems that if we were to eat/exercise in such a way that would help us to best adapt to our modern environment, it may in fact not be ideal to eat a strictly "Paleo Diet." Maybe we need other diet and exercise tools in our box to best deal with modern living.

For example: I've just driven through rush hour traffic while listening to an AM talk Radio jockey rant for an hour. My kids were in the back seat screaming the whole time. When I get home I am frayed. Do I jump on the bike to do my scheduled sprints and eat my all fat dinner to stay in ketosis. Or, do I changed it up and eat a little fruit (juice if you're frisky), or something else in response to this stressful afternoon (get that cortisol down ya' know)? I don't mean to say one should have a bout of emotional eating, rather consciously and purposefully choosing certain "off plan" foods (or whatever) and dosing it out appropriately.

When someone asks "What ratios should I eat to lose weight?" is it best to immediately respond by prescribing X numbers of this or that, or would it be better to ask "What kind of day are you having today?" and use that to map out that day's meal/workout plan?

What do you think of this idea: letting our modern ever changing environment dictate what our diet and exercise should look like ? Do you think this is possible? What techniques/foods/exercise can be used? What say y'all?

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

You are right environments are different but out physiological response to stress and it's after effects are the same, the body does not differentiate between a lion inducing stress or an overdue mortgage payments coupled with rush hour traffic.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 25, 2011
at 07:49 PM

Mindi - you should join us ( join us join us join us). Who says you can't take a pic in a "TORSO" t-shirt?

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 25, 2011
at 07:48 PM

True - good point. But we can't really compare their environment with ours can we? I like laying under a shady tree though.

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on June 25, 2011
at 07:36 PM

that is possible, but thousands of years ago when we experienced a stressful day we did not have a convenient supply of sugar at hand, so we dealt with stress accordingly. Reaching for sugar may be a modern conditioned response, our body is trying to tell us what it needs and all we can 'hear' is sugar, hence the mind overriding the body. If the body requires glucose the liver can make it in short order. To de stress after out running a lion perhaps we had a sip of cool water and lay down in the shade of a tree ;)

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 25, 2011
at 07:22 PM

I'm thinking out of the box here - but maybe we crave that sugar because we actually need it?

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4 Answers

3
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on June 25, 2011
at 07:12 PM

Diet & our lives are intimately intertwined, they both influence each other constantly. One can be a more dominant factor depending on the situations or circumstances we find ourselves in. As humans we tend to over think things, it's better to let go and follow our natural instincts. If we are having a stressful day the mind may seek unhealthy 'quick' food for a fast fix of sugar, where as our instincts would say to do something to relax (exercise, meditation) and eat appropriately. The body's natural state in in balance and if we constantly second guess this, getting the mind involved when it shouldn't be then we will always feel faded and out of phase. Every human has this inner knowledge and capability, unfortunately is is usually suppressed or ignored.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 25, 2011
at 07:48 PM

True - good point. But we can't really compare their environment with ours can we? I like laying under a shady tree though.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 25, 2011
at 07:22 PM

I'm thinking out of the box here - but maybe we crave that sugar because we actually need it?

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on June 25, 2011
at 07:36 PM

that is possible, but thousands of years ago when we experienced a stressful day we did not have a convenient supply of sugar at hand, so we dealt with stress accordingly. Reaching for sugar may be a modern conditioned response, our body is trying to tell us what it needs and all we can 'hear' is sugar, hence the mind overriding the body. If the body requires glucose the liver can make it in short order. To de stress after out running a lion perhaps we had a sip of cool water and lay down in the shade of a tree ;)

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

You are right environments are different but out physiological response to stress and it's after effects are the same, the body does not differentiate between a lion inducing stress or an overdue mortgage payments coupled with rush hour traffic.

2
870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 11, 2012
at 02:55 PM

Wait.

No one responding to this thread suggested that you change the radio station? You're the driver, right? The kids weren't listening to the station, right? Put on soothing music for yourself.

I carry bubble solution in my car and blow bubbles out the window during traffic jams. I think it's soothing partly because of the change in breathing patterns it automatically induces, but it's fun to see reactions of other drivers too.

The above are trivial examples, but shows that there are many ways to reduce stress and modify our reactions to perceived stress, that have nothing to do with food. Look carefully at what is stressing you. Sometimes reframing the situation can help.

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on April 11, 2012
at 03:20 PM

Not really answering your question, but here are my thoughts, anyway!

Going Primal has helped me to think more clearly.

Eating intuitively helps me to listen to my gut.

Both help me to make better choices in this choice-filled world we live in.

And stepping out of the mainstream diet-wise has given me permission to step further away from other mainstream lifestyle choices that do not serve me.

So I would say that my diet has helped me get more in my integrity and to create more of the life I want.

No adaptation necessary!

1
Aeec781cc234fcae119d4a71532058f5

(2047)

on June 25, 2011
at 07:38 PM

Very interesting question. Maybe we do crave sugar more when we are stressed because our body wants it to deal with the stress. That would be a slippery slope for me, though; a handful of blueberries could easily become a big bowl of ice cream.

I love your torso pic, btw. I wanna be a torso chick...maybe 20 lbs from now!

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 25, 2011
at 07:49 PM

Mindi - you should join us ( join us join us join us). Who says you can't take a pic in a "TORSO" t-shirt?

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