It is the dawning of the age of the modern caveman, at least when it comes to their diet. The Paleo diet is attracting celebrities such as Tim McGraw, who used the plan combined with CrossFit to achieve six-pack abs and impressive biceps, reported Us Weekly on Thursday.
"I'll be the first to admit I take it to extremes," admitted the country crooner. With the theory that half-way measures don't work, he tosses around weights the size of one of his daughters.
And in fact those little girls are part of the reason he decided to shape up with diet and exercise. "It got to the point where my kids were getting older, and it was way past the point that they noticed it," he revealed of his three girls.
In addition, Tim credits his wife Faith Hill for persuading him to push away partying and stop drinking, reported ABC News on Wednesday. "I partied too much. And did other things too much," he admitted.
"When your wife tells you it's gone too far, that's a big wake-up call," said Tim. "That, and realizing you're gonna lose everything you have."
Now Tim has lost 40 pounds on a Paleo-style diet, according to Mother Nature News on Thursday. His plan emphasizes unprocessed foods that represent what our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have eaten.
On the list: Organic proteins, healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables. Off the list: Sugar, dairy and legumes.
Robb Wolf, author of "The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet," talked with us in an exclusive interview about the benefits of this approach. A research biochemist, Robb tracks the caveman diet origins to 2001.
"No other eating/lifestyle template in history has logged that type of growth or success," notes Robb. Moreover, he feels the movement has only begun as it attracts both celebrities and consumers for its quick results both in terms of overall health and weight loss.
"The Paleo template is just Evolutionary Biology applied to food and medicine," summed up Robb. And for dietitians who have attacked the plan because it removes grains from the plate, Robb emphasizes quality of food choices.
"I can’t spin this yarn that all food are created equal," he stated, noting how the increased intake of grain in the Standard American Diet (SAD) has led to obesity, diabetes and other conditions linked to weight. Robb also cites studies showing the benefits.
Robb questions the notion "that some kind of mystical nutrient deficiency will emerge if one builds their diet built around fruits, veggies, lean meats, nuts and seeds. My research associates have published papers demonstrating not only that a Paleo diet provides all the nutrients for health, but that the Paleo diet is, calorie for calorie, the most nutritious way one can eat."
For those who want to customize the Paleo diet, Robb recommends "Your Personal Paleo Code: The 3-Step Plan to Lose Weight, Reverse Disease, and Stay Fit and Healthy for Life." By scientist Chris Kresser, it offers alternatives to the traditional Paleo diet.
For Tim, that means the option to include extra food in exchange for extra exercise. "I like food. That is one of the reasons that I throw that extra hour of working out in," he confessed.