Do you want a bigger bulge in your biceps but no bulge in your belly? Take an old-school concept and apply it to your diet Do as that sage Greek suggested: Learn one subject through the study of another. Eat the way people used to eat before the advent of farming. Embrace old-school eating.
Along-gone, sage Greek said wise men can learn about one subject by studying a seemingly unrelated topic, and guess what? He was right. You can learn, for instance, how to get ripped and how to keep muscle by studying the lessons and lingo of basketball. Players who make no-look passes, ankle-breaking crossovers and 360-degree dunks may make the highlight reels, but these athletes don't necessarily make their teams winners. The guys who set back screens and cut back door, collect floor burns and floor-boards, take charge and charge at you are the ones who determine the outcome of games. One phrase, of high praise, is reserved for and best describes these hyperkinetic hoopsters: old school. This moniker means they play the game the way it used to be played years ago before the game went Hollywood.
According to Ray Audette, author of NeanderThin: Eat Like a Caveman to Achieve a Lean, Strong, Healthy Body and possibly the most radical proponent of what's known as Paleolithic nutrition, old-school eating means eating meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, seeds and little else. No grains, beans, potatoes, dairy products or sugar are part of the caveman diet. Sound extreme? A bit excessive? Your reaction depends on your understanding of genetics and your opinion of obesity and modern disease. Most geneticists agree our genes have only been altered about one hundredth of one percent since the development of agriculture transformed the masses from hunter-gatherers to farmers. In other words our genes are 99.99 percent the same as they were 10,000 years ago; yet paleontologists know obesity and diseases such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer didn't afflict hunter-gatherers, a pattern still true today in the few pockets of the world where people still subsist on the hunter-gatherer diet.
Many experts also believe an even more dramatic change in the industrialized world's eating habits 200-plus years ago -the reliance on highly processed, nutritionally compromised, packaged food rather than fresh foods - has exacerbated the above health problems. Perhaps eating like a hunter-gatherer isn't such an outlandish idea after all - especially when eating in this manner allows weightlifters to swap fat for muscle in a way not as impractical as Audette makes it seem.
How to Eat Like a Hunter-Gatherer
Audette's aforementioned advice is, without a doubt, as hardcore as a 100-rep set of full front squats. He also advocates eating raw meat (if obtained from the wild and not from a supermarket), limiting consumption of fruits and vegetables, and no cheating whatsoever. "If you can't stick to the diet religiously," he writes in his book, "you are better off not adopting it at all. "He claims that once on his diet, treating yourself to a forbidden food will have an even more deleterious effect than when you ate the food regularly. His logic: "Because the immune system responds to even small doses, the smallest amount of the forbidden fruit may produce weight gains far out of proportion to their size" and make you ill. However, other proponents believe you can derive benefits from Paleolithic nutrition without being so extreme.