• Your life and health are your own responsibility.
• Your decisions to act (or not act) based on information or advice anyone provides you—including me—are your own responsibility.


“Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”:
The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps,
A Motivational Guide

This article exists for one simple reason: I get asked, over and over, “So how does this ‘paleo diet’ work?” And I want to give people an answer that is simple, solid, and above all, motivational. I want you to finish this article and think “Yes! I understand, and I can do this.

Here it is: a step-by-step guide, roughly in order of importance. Make progress at whatever pace you can. Don’t stress about perfect adherence, or obsess about making it all the way down the list: any progress you make will most likely improve your health, mood, and physical fitness.

“Do not eat” items are grouped with “Eat more” items at each step, so you’ll always have something to eat. Let’s go!

First, our guiding philosophy:

Eat like a predator, not like prey.

Predators gorge and fast; prey grazes.

Rephrased for modern humans: predators eat meals, prey grazes on snacks. This means you need to eat meals which will carry you through to your next meal, but that won’t make you tired or sleepy.

Here’s how!

Step 1: Eat Meat, Not Birdseed

  • Eat more meat. If it’s not meat, it’s not a meal.
    • Favor ruminants—animals that eat grass and leaves. (That means red meat: beef, lamb, bison, elk, venison, goat.) Ruminants are far better at converting plants into essential fats, complete protein, and bioavailable nutrients than humans are.
    • Buy grass-fed beef whenever possible: it’s better for you, and better for the Earth. Cows didn’t evolve to eat corn and soybeans any more than humans did.
    • Buy fatty cuts, buy occasional organ meats. Do not avoid animal fat! If you try, you will become ravenous for fatty junk food.
    • Pork and chicken are permissible in moderation, but are far less healthy due to excessive omega-6 fat content.
    • Frankly, you could stop here, as many native cultures did: as long as you eat organ meats and marrow, fatty, grass-fed ruminant meat provides 100% of your nutritional needs. But most of us enjoy more variety in our diets—and some vegetables and fruits offer tangible health benefits, even if they don’t provide meaningful calories.
  • Eat more fish and shellfish.
    Favor oily fish like mackerel, sardines, and wild salmon, but be careful of methylmercury content: keep your intake of tuna, shark, and other high-level carnivores low. (The FDA’s table of mercury content can be found here.) In a Paleolithic world we could eat all the fish we wanted…but we humans have polluted the entire Earth so badly (mostly by burning coal for power) that one of our healthiest food sources is now universally poisonous. Good job, ‘civilization’.
  • Do not eat anything made with ‘flour’.
    No bread, no pasta, no cereal, no crackers, no cookies, no donuts or danishes. Period. This is your most important step.
    Flour is ground-up seeds. What eats seeds? Birds and rodents. If it’s poisonous to humans until we grind it into powder and cook it, and it causes mineral deficiencies and birth defects unless we add vitamins, it’s not food. (Read more about lectins, phytic acid, and the role of grains in autoimmunity and heart disease.)
  • Do not drink your food.
    No soda (even diet soda), no sports drinks, no milk, no soy ‘milk’, no smoothies, no fruit juice, no yogurt or vegetable drinks. Tea, coffee, and mate are fine in moderation. Learn to drink water: once you get used to it, you’ll find that soda and juices no longer quench your thirst. (You can potentially add small quantities of dairy and fresh fruit/vegetable juices back in later, if you’ve met your other goals.)
  • Do not eat table sugar, or its equivalents.
    This includes circumlocutions like “brown rice syrup”, “agave nectar”, and my favorite, “evaporated cane juice solids.” That’s what sugar is! Sheesh. Even honey is basically just sugar, though it has useful medicinal properties. Diet sweeteners are out, too, as are those goofy Atkins sugar alcohols.
  • Get your ‘carbohydrates’ (sugars) from plants—not their seeds.
    Prefer foods that are high in glucose and low in fructose, particularly root starches like potatoes, and only eat what your body needs: 15-20% of calories is plenty. (Do you want to lose fat? Then you’d better accustom your body to burning it for energy.)

    Important! If you are active and not concerned with losing weight (or trying to gain it), you’ll want to eat more carbs than the average person trying to lose a few pounds. Sports nutrition is beyond the scope of this article…but in general, I find occasional starch refeeds, when necessary to refill muscle glycogen, much better than a constant diet of pasta, “energy bars”, and other sugary junk food. Basically, if you find yourself bonking during long, intense efforts, try upping your starch intake.

    Don’t forget about sweet potatoes, sago, taro, sweet cassava, and tapioca…and always peel your potatoes, as that’s where the solanine is. If you must eat birdseed, white rice is the least bad of the grains…but give yourself a couple weeks to see if it’s just withdrawal symptoms, or whether you really need it on a regular basis.

    Remember, fatty meat is your primary source of calories and nutrients. Quite a few ‘mainstream’ paleo books and sources sugarcoat or dance around this. You’re a predator: eat like one.

Congratulations! You’ve just made some massive, positive changes in your life.

You may be going through bread and cereal withdrawal, with periods in which you absolutely crave them. This is absolutely normal: you’re forcing your body to learn how to burn fat again, because it’s used to burning all the sugar (‘carbohydrates’) you’ve been eating.

However, you’re probably already noticing an increase in energy, a decrease in post-meal fatigue, and a lessened desire to snack. Stay on target! The cravings will dissipate, but the benefits won’t.

The best part about a primal/’paleo’ diet is that you don’t have to measure or keep track of anything: no counting calories, no ‘points’, no worries about macronutrient ratios. Eat real food, and you won’t have to worry about parceling out your addiction to junk.

Step 2: Eat Food, Not Diesel Fuel

  • Buy fatty cuts of meat, cook with their included fat.
    If you need to douse it in butter to make it taste good, it’s too lean. I always laugh when I see people making sandwiches with low-fat hamburger or skinless chicken breast—then covering them with cheese and mayonnaise because they’re too dry! Hint: ask your butcher for untrimmed cuts of meat. Often they’re cheaper.
  • Cook with butter, coconut oil, and grass-fed beef tallow.
    These are healthy fats: they don’t oxidize or polymerize during cooking the way that seed oils do, they don’t contain hidden trans fats, and they have low to zero omega-6 fat content.
        I discourage lard unless it’s from pastured pigs: store-bought lard is usually hydrogenated (= trans fats), and grain-fed lard is high in omega-6 fat.
  • Cook with eggs, and always eat the yolks.
    Egg whites are just protein…the nutrition is all in the yolk. And few foods remain unimproved by the addition of a fried egg.
  • Do not eat “vegetable oils”. The term itself is a lie.
    There’s no such thing as “lettuce oil” or “broccoli oil”. They’re made from seeds, and they’re extracted using poisonous organic solvents (hexane). Remember: if you can put it in a truck and the truck starts, it’s not food.
    • This means no french fries or other deep-fried food; no potato chips or corn chips (or any ‘chips’); no margarine, ‘spread’, or bogus butter substitutes; no mayonnaise (or, worse, Miracle Whip); and you can basically ignore the entire snack aisle.
    • This prohibition includes granola, which is just birdseed stuck together with oil and sugar. Corn ‘nuts’ and wasabi peas are soaked in oil, too: frankly, nothing in those bulk bins is food. One of the best things you can do for your health is to avoid everything you see in the ‘health food’ aisles.
    • Extra-virgin olive oil, cheese, avocados, and nuts are OK in moderation…think of them as condiments, not ingredients. If you need to eat a can of nuts or a brick of cheese, you didn’t eat enough meat.
    • Heavy cream, sour cream, full-fat yogurt (not that worthless ‘low-fat’ candy), and whipped cream make delicious sauces, condiments, and desserts, used in moderation. But remember that fatty meat is always your primary source of calories.

Well done! You’ve made another big step towards better health and greater vitality. You’re no longer shuffling through life like a wounded gazelle, expecting the jaws of death on its neck at any moment. You are becoming less tasty and more dangerous each day.

Yes, we all need some moral support when we give up potato chips and corn chips. But wouldn’t you rather have an omelet for breakfast, and then not have to snack at all? Butter, eggs, and coconut oil taste much better than seed oils and ‘spreads’…and after you’ve used them for a while, you’ll start noticing that canola oil smells terrible, and that your food is much less greasy despite a much higher fat content.

Most importantly, now that you’re no longer eating huge plates of sugar (‘carbohydrates’) and greasy seed oils, you’ll find that big, hearty meals don’t make you fall asleep. You’ll also find that it’s much easier to go without food now that your body is reaccustomed to burning fat. In short, you’ll have more useful hours in your day now that you’re not spending them stuck in food coma, or constantly grazing to keep from going hypoglycemic—which more than makes up for the extra time you’re spending on cooking and buying food.

Besides, shopping for food is quick and easy when the only places you have to go are the meat counter, the produce bins, the dairy refrigerator, and the spice rack.

Step 3: Supplements For An Imperfect World

  • Consider vitamin D3 supplements.
    Our bodies naturally produce vitamin D3 from sun exposure…but Paleolithic humans didn’t live and work indoors. 2000-4000 IU per day is, from what I understand, a good start for most adults on days they’re not getting meaningful sun exposure. Testing for 25(OH)D levels will tell you if your dosage is correct: 45-60 ng/mL is apparently a good place to be.
  • Consider EPA and DHA (“omega-3”) supplements.
    The seed oils and grain-fed meat we’re often forced to eat are higher in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats, and lower in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, than natural grass-fed meat. 1g/day of EPA and 0.5g DHA can be helpful if you haven’t eaten any fatty fish that day; more if you’re pregnant or nursing.
        Note that it’s much better to minimize omega-6 intake by eliminating seed oils and reducing nut intake, than it is to “balance your ratio” with pathological quantities of fish oil.
  • Flaxseed oil (ALA) is not an acceptable substitute.
    Our bodies are woefully inefficient (less than 1%) at converting it to the DHA we require. Besides, its real name is linseed oil. That’s furniture polish, and furniture polish is not food.
  • Consider chelated magnesium supplements.
    Until the last few decades, humans drank untreated ground water or well water, usually with high mineral content—but modern treatment plants strip them from our tap water.
        The bioavailable forms of magnesium, and the ones you should buy, are chelates: any form ending in -ate. Magnesium citrate has a laxative effect that some people don’t tolerate well—in which case magnesium malate, glycinate, or orotate will be superior. The RDA of 400 mg/day is a good start. (Avoid magnesium oxide, found in most supplements and all multivitamins, as it’s not bioavailable.)
  • I am not a doctor, and you are responsible for your own health. Do your own research, and if you notice adverse effects, use common sense. What your body tells you is more important than what a website tells you.

If you get to here, you’re doing great—and you’re already far healthier than you were on the SAD (Standard American Diet) even if you haven’t lost any weight. (But odds are good that you have.) You’re also probably noticing, over time, that you’re happier and less depressed, that your skin problems and allergies are less severe (or gone entirely), and that you sunburn less easily.

Step 4: Play Like A Predator

  • Play hard, work hard, challenge yourself, then rest.
    Lift heavy objects, sprint until you’re out of breath, climb trees and jump down, kick balls, shoot baskets. Shovel snow, dig dirt, split firewood. Practice agility as well as strength and endurance. People will stare at you if you’re doing it right, because you’re enjoying yourself—not shuffling down the road in ‘running shoes’, with that vacant look of resigned suffering usually seen on wildebeest being eaten alive by hyenas. The world is your playground! (And if others won’t take advantage of it, too bad for them.)
  • Don’t ‘exercise’, don’t ‘do cardio’. The only way to improve is to push your limits.
    You’ll lose more weight and gain more strength from periodic bursts of short, intense exercise than from hours of ‘cardio’. You’re a human, not a hamster; get off the treadmill! Seriously: drive to work, then drive to the health club so you can pedal a bicycle that goes nowhere? Imagine this: every time you get hungry, you and your six closest friends have to chase down an antelope or spear a mammoth—and if you can’t, none of you get to eat. That is the required intensity.
  • If you must ‘work out’, do bodyweight exercises, and get some dumbbells or kettlebells.
    That way you can finish a workout before you’ve even arrived at the gym. Our objective is health and fitness: a gym body is a lot more work. (Do it if you want, and I admire those with the dedication to sculpt themselves—but it’s not necessary.) Remember, you should be doing short, intense bursts of activity throughout the day: you’re not going to drive to the gym three times.
        Note: If you have the time and genuinely enjoy it, absolutely lift heavy weights and get strong. Especially women: you’re not going to suddenly become 1970’s Arnold just because you do squats, and any man who thinks you’re “too muscular” because you don’t look like a heroin addict is weak, insecure, and not worth your time.
  • Stop trying to ‘save energy’. Make physical effort part of your life. Don’t waste time looking for the closest parking space: just park and walk. Take the stairs. Shovel your own snow, split your own firewood. Unless you’re a cabinetmaker or construction worker, do you really need that cordless screwdriver?

Congratulations! You’ve put all the pieces together. Most likely you are sleeping better now that you’re regularly putting forth physical effort. You’re thinking of the world as your playground, and you’re seeing familiar surroundings with new eyes. And now that your symptoms of withdrawal from the SAD (Standard American Diet) are over, you’re feeling more energetic—and thinking more clearly due to the action of ghrelin, now that being hungry doesn’t just make you cranky and hypoglycemic.

In other words, your body is finally—perhaps for the first time—beginning to function as it should.

Now that you are physically stronger, you will find that you are emotionally and mentally stronger. You are less willing to be walked on and taken for granted, and more likely to take credit for what you deserve. You are beginning to understand what it feels like to be a predator, instead of the prey you’ve been for so long.

You’ve tasted power, and it’s delicious. You want more.

Step 5: Optimization

By now we’re just cleaning up loose ends. Some of you may never get here, some may find it doesn’t make much difference to you and drop back, some may find here the key to optimal health.

  • Remove any remaining grains from your diet.
    They should be mostly gone already, but if you’re still eating corn, oats, or any bogus ‘health grains’ like kamut or amaranth, ditch them. Absolutely eliminate all gluten grains from your diet: wheat, barley, rye, spelt. (You should have done this already by eliminating flour in Step 1, but people always find a way to sneak in ‘wheat berries’ or some other bogus name for seeds. And gluten hides in all sorts of things you don’t realize.)
  • Remove any remaining legumes (beans) from your diet.
    This is usually easy once you’re getting plenty of fat and protein from meat. Like grains, beans are seeds—and they’re for birds and rodents, not humans.
  • Remove all remaining junk from your diet.
    There are a lot of non-foods that technically sneak through the above rules, but which we all know perfectly well are junk. I’m not going to enumerate them, because there are thousands…but if it has more than one layer of packaging, contains any ingredient you don’t understand, claims any health benefits on the label, or is a fake version of something else, it’s not food.
  • Experiment with removing dairy from your diet.
    Milk is already out, but some people feel better without cheese, yogurt, or even heavy cream. (Butter is basically 100% butterfat, and extremely unlikely to cause problems for anyone.) In general, the more butterfat and the less casein and lactose, the less likely it is to cause problems.

Now that you’re sleek, powerful, and dangerous, you’re feeling quite satisfied with yourself. You wake up well-rested, with no aches or pains, and you know yourself capable of stalking, killing, and eating whatever problems the day might bring. Yet you must remain watchful, for an insidious parasite feeds on your pride and saps your strength:


Step 6: Never Stop Hunting

  • Push yourself harder and in new ways.
    It’s easy to get stuck in an ‘exercise routine’. Explore someplace new. Learn a skill you’re bad at. Throw and catch with your off hand. Try a team sport if you’re a soloist, or a solo sport if you’re a team player. Set goals you’re not already sure you can achieve.
  • If you’re going to cheat, cheat with something delicious and portion-limited, or too expensive to eat often.
    I’ll eat a Reese’s or drink a Coke before I’ll eat pasta or bread, because they’re individually packaged. Once you open that package of goldfish crackers, they’re all going down the hatch, and we both know it. And I’ll be damned before I’ll completely give up sushi, because I care about toro more than I care about that last 0.1% of bodyfat.
  • Be suspicious of all diet advice.
    Anyone can write a diet book—and most of them make nutrition complicated so that you’ll keep buying books and going to meetings. Remember that observational studies don’t necessarily tell you whether something is healthy to eat: they tell you whether the healthy people in that study ate that food. Abstracts and conclusions often misrepresent the data. And the comparisons are usually between ‘absolutely terrible’ (refined grains, sugar, trans fats) and ‘less bad’ (whole grains)—which doesn’t mean ‘less bad’ is actually good for you, nor that the culprit in ‘absolutely terrible’ is what they say it is.
  • Listen to your body.
    Once you’re functioning at a high enough level to tell the difference, you’ll understand what’s helping you and what’s hurting you—not just what’s feeding your addictions. Make individual changes and evaluate their effects before moving on: don’t change too many things at once, or you’ll never know what’s doing what. If you’re physically active, you’ll need some glucose (starch) in your diet to keep your weight stable and your energy level high during severe exertion. And if your body craves a random vegetable, eat it! You might need some micronutrients.
  • Your life and health are your own.
    You are responsible for them in every respect. Don’t let breathless ‘news’ articles tell you that a new industrial product is your key to better health, or that what humans have eaten for millions of years will kill you. Be suspicious when your government, which spends billions of dollars each year subsidizing agribusiness to grow corn, soy, and wheat, tells you to eat more corn, soy, and wheat. And always remember that ruminants are far better at converting plants into essential fats, complete protein, and bioavailable nutrients than humans—or our factories.

Conclusion: Living Like A Predator

Fatty meats are, quite literally, what made us human. The DHA, complete protein, and sheer calorie density of fatty meat allowed little 65-pound savanna apes with tiny 350cc brains, just smart enough to make rocks sharper by banging them together, to grow into modern humans—with huge 1400cc brains that use a full 20% of the calories we ingest! And we didn’t get fatty meat just by scavenging, because the lions, tigers, wolves, giant hyenas and sabertoothed cats got to it first. We got it by being the most effective predators on Earth.

Now that you’ve been eating like a predator for some time, you are discovering that when you eat like a predator, and play like a predator, you start thinking like a predator. Stupid people aren’t annoyances: they’re profit centers. Fat people are no longer disgusting: they’re delicious. And nothing is more important than being able to trust your packmates, so it’s time to cut loose all the leeches, layabouts, whiners, and malcontents—and it’s long past time to start valuing the solid, dependable people whom you can trust.

You will stop giving your time, love, and strength to those that demand it, and start giving it to those who deserve it. You will understand that ‘love thy fellow man as thyself’ doesn’t apply to someone with his hands in your pockets or his gun in your face, no matter whose authority they claim. You will have compassion for the herd as it moos and bleats, for you were so recently one of them yourself. And you will share your knowledge, because you understand that our real enemies are the predators who hoard this knowledge for themselves, the predators who profit so handsomely from our fear and ignorance—and from our indiscriminate love, whose endgame is the crazy cat lady dead in her condemned house, corpse devoured by the creatures she fed in life.

Now clear those frozen pizzas and Weight Watchers out of your freezer and give them to your fat neighbor, because you are going to the supermarket right now. And you will take a shopping cart, not one of those demure little baskets, because you are going to fill it with heavy, fatty, delicious MEAT.

Live in freedom, live in beauty.


(Your next step is to read my “Paleo Starter Kit”, so you’ll know what to do with all that meat.)

Postscript: More Information

The first objection I hear is always “But…but…you’re eating so much arterycloggingsaturatedfat!” We’ve been lied to for decades: grains and grain products are what’s making us fat, saturated fat is good for you, and cholesterol has been framed for crimes it didn’t commit. Tom Naughton’s “Big Fat Fiasco” (also on youtube) handily debunks these myths, but the science would fill an entire book. (Which Gary Taubes wrote: Good Calories, Bad Calories contains a long history of how the erroneous fat-cholesterol hypothesis took hold of science and government policy—and while I don’t agree that carbohydrates are solely responsible for making us fat, his debunking remains first-rate.)

If you want to understand more of the science behind why I eat the way I do, I recommend Dr. Paul and Dr. Shou-Ching Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet. (I review it here.)

For more books that explore ‘paleo’ in depth—and the science and philosophy underlying it—visit my Recommended Reading list. If you have a specific topic you want to look up, try Primal Blueprint 101 at Mark’s Daily Apple.

Wondering what to cook? Here’s a quick and simple starter meal: The Paleo Scramble. Moving on, you can get inspired by Melicious’ tasty list of paleo recipes, and the endlessly mouthwatering photos and recipes at Chowstalker. For a giant list of paleo recipe sites, go here (and make sure to click the “order by popularity” or “order alphabetically” buttons).

I hate to link just a few paleo weblogs, because there are so many excellent ones…though for the science behind ‘paleo’ I must give special mention to the following:

Finally, there is a wealth of solid information right here at gnolls.org. I’ve organized my articles by topic in the index…

…and that should be enough information to keep you busy for weeks.

Important! I must note that there is not universal agreement, even among those I’ve linked, on what exactly constitutes ‘paleo’, let alone ‘healthy eating’. I call my approach “functional paleo”—and I define it in detail here, in “What is the Paleo Diet, Anyway?”

Did you find this guide useful, educational, or inspiring? Then you will most likely enjoy my “Funny, provocative, entertaining, fun, insightful” novel The Gnoll Credo. Read the glowing reviews, read the first 20 pages, and buy it here for just $10.95 US. (Outside the USA? We have you covered. Click here.)

(Amused? Enraged? Inspired? Leave a comment, and forward this to your friends! The “Share” widget below makes it easy.)

“Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey” is a trademark of J. Stanton. Not that I have commercial plans; I just want to make sure no one rips off the phrase and publishes some cheeseball diet book.


Permalink: “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”:
The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps,
A Motivational Guide
  • Susan

    THAT was magnificent! Thank you.

  • Bodhi

    I loved the bite of this article. I’ll be referring people to this blog for a no-holds-barred introduction to the paleo way. I especially liked the emphasis on eating fatty meats from Ruminants. I’m going to add Robb Wolf as a good resource for people wishing to explore paleo.


  • Courtney

    ahem… I see no mention of beer in this diet?

  • Susan, Bodhi:

    Thank you!  

    This article took a long time and a lot of work.  I thought at first that it was going to be a simple 12-step plan, but quickly realized that I couldn't do justice to the 'why' without writing more.  And I didn't want to promulgate yet another long list of “don't do this, don't do that”…I wanted to give people who aren't paleo some idea of WHY we go to all the trouble, and why we won't eat their delicious homemade muffins.  I'm glad it spoke to you.


    Drinkable food made of grains…sorry, right out.  If you need alcohol, stay classy with wines and distilled liquors.  

    Plus, you're a woman, so you get to drink Midori and all that delicious fruity stuff.


  • Tweets that mention

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Meat Head, EmotionsForEngineers. EmotionsForEngineers said: “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: Paleo In Six Easy Steps… – GNOLLS.ORG http://bit.ly/gkUf6f => Don't eat what food eats!! […]

  • Brest

    That is an awesome article, really enjoyed it!

  • BADKarma

    Just one thing: You've swallowed the Enviro-Gestapo's kool-ade about tuna and other predatory fish. They're not poisonous, nor are they dangerous. The EPA's(Eternal Pollution Assumed) guidelines have a tenfold safety factor built in, and the idea that “detectable = dangerous” is one of the insidious little headgames the Veganist Jihad uses to scare people into eating like cows.

    Here's a website which does a good job of illustrating this point: http://www.howmuchfish.com/. So, feel free to nosh away on tuna, swordfish, crab, shrimp, etc. with no (BOOGA-BOOGA!!!) terror of “Demon Mercury”.

    Note from JS: The site above blithely assumes that the EPA levels are set ten times too conservatively, and calculates based on ten times the EPA-permitted level.  I don't know enough about the science to make a definitive statement on the issue, but: proceed with caution.

  • Kurt G Harris MD

    Reading the “postscript”, one might get the impression this is equally derived from butter-fearing Dr. Davis and variety of other sources. Certainly the science is found in many places.

    But not the hierarchical concept.

    You can read the original 12 step list, whose recommendations are basically identical, published almost 2 years ago by an MD here:


    Follow the links on that page to fill out the details


    (Note from JS: Dr. Harris and I have since communicated privately and reached an amicable resolution.)

  • Susanna

    Best article and advice I’ve read in years!!!

  • nada knut

    so all the research on fatty meats,butter,cholesterol,coconut oil,etc. and the effect on not only the heart and blood vessels,but also colon,bladder cancer,etc. is wrong and you are right.
    not to mention that your paleos enjoyed a life expectancy of 20.

  • shoo

    excellent information!

  • Brest

    Nada, don’t be envious 🙂

  • Juan-Carlos Sanchez

    Man, I’m Ok with it, but I WILL NOT eat organ meats.

    I am from South America, and when growing up we ate orgam meats just because it was all we could afford. As a matter of fact, I think that when my dad did not have a job (which happened every so often), we were in the Paleo Diet. We eat organ meats, fruits and cashews – from the mango and cashew trees that grew like weeds in our backyard!

    No way I’m eating organ meats. I hated it! And the cashew fruit is gross! It tastes like vomit… The cashew nut is Ok.

    I wonder why “Amerricans” like to digress in history. Why?

    However, I have to say, that we ate better than many do in the States (e.g McDonalds Diet)

  • Jay

    I love this article. Its so direct. All the other paleo stuff I’ve come across is all over the place, lean meat here, fatty meats there, pork and chicken, lots of seafood, no seafood (mercury!). What’s your opinion on Game, because here in Australia one of our major meat options is Kangaroo and Wallaby, which aren’t very fatty but are absolutely delicious and a key in the Aboriginal Australian Diet.

  • Dr. Harris: 

    I'm honored to hear from you, and apologize for the delay. I'm happy to credit you and have revised
    the post accordingly.  Let me know if you find this credit acceptable.


  • Susanna, shoo:

    Thanks!  Glad I could inspire you.

    nada knut:

    “so all the research on fatty meats,butter,cholesterol,coconut oil,etc. and the effect on not only the heart and blood vessels,but also colon,bladder cancer,etc. is wrong and you are right.”

    What research?  Give me references and links.  I bet you'll be surprised when you find out that the research says things like “A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.” (link) and “Red meat intake was not associated with CHD (n=4 studies; relative risk per 100-g serving per day=1.00; 95% confidence interval, 0.81 to 1.23; P for heterogeneity=0.36) or diabetes mellitus (n=5; relative risk=1.16; 95% confidence interval, 0.92 to 1.46; P=0.25).” (link)

    “not to mention that your paleos enjoyed a life expectancy of 20.”

    The average modal age of adult death for hunter-gatherers is 72 with a range of 68-78 years. This range appears to be the closest functional equivalent of an “adaptive” human lifespan.” (link)

    Someday you'll taste a nice fatty steak, seared in butter, and you'll realize that it's what your cells have been craving all your life.  We'll be here to welcome you home.


    You ate better than 98% of Americans are eating right now, even if you didn't like it at the time.  I agree that it's nice to be able to afford tender, fatty muscle meats, and only eat the occasional bite of liver for nutrition purposes.

    I'll make sure not to try cashew fruit.  Isn't it covered with poison oak-like oils anyway?  How do you pick something like that?


    I'm not an expert on Australian fauna.  The only nutrition information I can find indeed shows roo meat to be ridiculously lean…and though it's proportionally higher in polyunsaturates than most red meats, and doesn't have a particularly favorable n-3/n-6 ratio, it's so lean that this isn't really a concern.  You're going to have to cook it in fat to make it palatable anyway, and with such little intrinsic fat it can't make too large a proportion of your diet.  Think of it as eating protein powder shaped like a steak.

    Based on the data I have, I'd say it's fine in moderation…but you'll need an extrinsic source of fat to balance it out.  I'd be putting a fried egg on top, myself.  Then there's the old standbys of butter and coconut oil…but my favorite for cooking lean meat will always be grass-fed beef tallow.

    You might ask someone else who lives there for a confirmation.  I was going to say Jamie Scott, but he's a Kiwi.  Anyone else know any Aussie paleos?


  • Theresa

    Great article! I just have one question:
    So fatty meat, fatty meat, fatty meat is apparently the way to go. But what if my only source of meat is grain-fed? Is it still best to go for the less lean choices? Would it be better to get leaner cuts of the grain-fed meat since I can’t get my hands on grass-fed?

    Thank you so much!

  • Theresa:

    No, eat the fatty stuff anyway.  Consider some EPA/DHA supplementation along with it, though, to keep the PUFA ratios more in line.  I am not of the school that thinks “just eat as much n-6 as you want, and eat gigantic amounts of n-3 pills to compensate”…but since even grain-fed beef is very low in PUFA, you can take reasonable amounts of fish oil to balance it out.  (And keep in mind that EPA/DHA content is the ONLY important number in fish oil supplements, particularly DHA.) 

    Keep in mind that there are many vendors of grass-fed beef, perhaps even one near you:


    And quite a few of them ship!  Shipping is reasonable for larger orders ($1/pound or less).  Check this sub-directory for details:



  • Jo

    Hi – I love your post and the more recent one ‘does meet rot your colon’ which was the one that brought me here.

    Can I ask, what is the issue with cooking in lard? I use butter and coconut oil, but lard is another one I use.

  • Jo:

    Lard is higher in polyunsaturated fat (~12%) than tallow (~4%)…and since there's really no such thing as a grass-fed hog, that's going to be mostly omega-6.  And if you buy it from the grocery store, odds are good that it's partially hydrogenated, i.e. loads of trans fats.  No good.  (Make sure to check the label!)  

    That being said, regular, non-hydrogenated lard is still better than seed oils — especially leaf lard, which will be higher in saturates, and is probably more like tallow in its fat composition.  And I still fry eggs in bacon grease.  But given the choice, and unless the recipe demands it, I buy and use tallow over lard.  (Or render your own…that's what I do.  Trimmings are often free, as the butcher is just throwing them away.)

    I'm glad you enjoy my writing!  Thanks for letting me know, and I hope you'll stick around.


  • Nigel

    Hey loved this article and it makes a lot of sense. I once went on the Atkins diet, which is similar though not the same. Anyway I lost weight fast and found that I had more energy and even thought clearer. What is your preffered way to cook? Baking, grilling or frying? And I saw an earler post about kangaroo. Is it any good

  • Nigel: 

    I cook as the recipe or my mood demands.  With a high-meat diet, variety is essential.  Slow braising for pot roasts, baking for prime rib, grilling for steaks, burgers, and some roasts, frying for scrambles and if I don't feel like going outside to fire up the grill.  As far as kangaroo, I've already posted everything I know.


  • Josh Clark

    This has become my diet manifesto for the rest of my life, thanks J. Stanton. It’s a doable approach which has instant results, and then long-term ones which cannot be denied..

  • Ravi

    Almost all the basic tenants of the Paleo diet make pretty good sense – but like any other popularizing discipline, paleo diet and lifestyle are already showing signs of dogma and zealotry. “eat like the predator, not the prey” is great advice to fire up the flabby males with any testosterone left in their bods and get them to the meat department of the grocery store and jerk them back on track. But therein the dogma already starts. Clearly we WERE smarter than the ridiculous brute caveman stereotype – and as such – were not merely “predators” as are the big cats. We had hugely more intelligence, wit, resourcefulness, creativity and even art.

    So guess what? blind-sided anthropology whose theories can never be definitely proven or dis-proven, keeps re-guessing our “history” every time a few new bones are turned up all the while ignoring the most common sense extrapolations – possibilities that still call out to us even in this present day.

    why do most of us do well with dairy? – and even human babies can almost universally switch over to goats milk with success if mama cannot supply. How much better could a paleolithic people – especially those wandering into a life offering 4-6 months of winter and scarce hunting – survive if they pressed into nutritional service indigenous animals – goats for many, or even wild reindeer for the Lapp population? (for example)

    the paleo dieters cries of “foul” regarding conventional wisdom about sat fats, red meat eating and carbs/grains are right on… and then they go on to accept mindlessly ill-conceived and bad science methodology to call dairy non-paleo.

    I believe that not only did we husband animals for many 10’s of thousands of years -if not more – prior to what CW fertile crescent domestication theory would have us believe – but i would posit that much of the genetic pool of humans that survived the ice age did so with the help of the mammals pressed into their service for both meat AND dairy products.

    THAT is what i mean about the developing dogma – the absolutism of paleo diet thinking that is crystallizing around people like Cordain and others whose creds and ideas are heavy with merit – but they are not infallible.

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  • Justin

    Just a hint for getting good grass fed beef: make friends with someone in your area who has a little land and will go in with you on raising a cow. You have control of what goes into it and how it is butchered. Good quality meat for cheaper than the store prices if you do it right. Plus it needs less medication and hormones.

  • Josh:

    Much appreciated!  I'm glad it inspires you.  The world needs more healthy people eating grass-fed beef, and less sick, obese, diabetic, depressed people eating the products of industrial agriculture.


    There's a reason I put “experiment with removing dairy” last, and stress that butterfat is a good food for everyone.  But it can't be denied that there are a lot of people with casein and lactose issues, particularly A1 casein.  And I have a hard time believing that pastoralism predates our leaving Africa ~65,000 years ago, since cows and goats aren't native to Africa…so that makes the earliest possible dairy consumption very recent compared to meat, root starches, veggies, and even fish and shellfish.


    I wish I knew people with a fenced pasture!


  • F Boyd

    @ Dr. Harris
    You don’t own paleo and this presentation of “how to” is not a knock-off of yours. Get off your high horse.

    And oh, candida albicans overgrowth is a legitimate problem for many. But you’ve probably been set straight on that since your Jimmy Moore interview where you claimed it didn’t exist.

    “You can read the original 12 step list, whose recommendations are basically identical, published almost 2 years ago by an MD here:”

    yes, and in my local phone book I can find a hundred MDs ready to put us all on low-fat diets and statins.

  • F Boyd:

    I’m glad you enjoy the article! However, I must note that Dr. Harris and I have communicated privately and reached an amicable resolution.


  • F Boyd


    Thank you for your blog. I am enjoying it. I have also enjoyed and learned much from Dr. Harris’ blog. But even in his own forum, which is now closed, he is often unreasonably cantankerous and condescending. That is his intellectual playground so he can do as he pleases. But he does not need to contaminate others blogs with his puffed up ego.

    None of his peers do this. Not DeVany, Wolf, Masterjohn, Lalonde. Sure it his right to be a donkey, but insulting those who want to learn from you and being petty with those who support your endeavor is amateurish.

    Please feel free to delete this irrelevant digression

  • F Boyd


    While many thrive on dairy, I have seen a greater number who benefit from its elimination. I’ve had patients who are already eating a grain, legume, and processed food -free diet. Then, upon elimination of dairy experience substantial benefit.

    Chronic muscle soreness has completely resolved upon going dairy free. This is likely due to tissue phosphate levels normalizing. Resolution of minor mucous membrane inflammation has also occurred. This inflammation was likely systemic but only apprecialble in the sinuses.

    What makes us thrive through childbearing years and what keeps us disease free into our eighties or nineties may not be exactly the same.

  • Phil

    Hello. I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this article. I was hoping to get more clarification on fruits and vegetables, and your recommendations/experiences.

  • Phil:

    I don't worry about vegetable intake, because I eat far more now that I'm 'paleo' than I ever did before!  

    I don't have to force myself, either: plain meat and eggs get boring quickly, and I find I crave veggies along with the meats.  Whereas before, when I was eating lots of starch, I was perfectly happy to eat meat and noodles in cream sauce with no vegetables at all.  In other words: cut the starches, and the veggies take care of themselves.

    I eat very little fruit: most modern fruits (apples, grapes, watermelons, pears) are just big fructose bombs with very little nutrition to compensate.  And “fruit juice” is basically Coca-Cola with a couple vitamins.  Especially apple and grape juice, which is the foundation of most “juices” even if they claim to be something exotic.  (Read the label.)  

    I enjoy berries and cherries, and pomegranates are delicious too. But fruit isn't a significant calorie source in my diet.

    F Boyd:

    I'll delete it if you specifically ask me to: leave another comment if so and I'll delete them both.  I am now closing this particular part of the discussion.

    As far as everything else, I'm glad you enjoy my writing, and I hope you'll continue to read and comment.  Can you elaborate on “tissue phosphate levels normalizing”?  I don't immediately know to what process you're referring and would like to learn more.


  • Vlykarye Hazel

    Good evening JS.

    I have questions about butter.
    I keep reading in other sites that butter should be avoided for paleolithic diets. You, however, say that butter is not harmful to anyone. So the question is, what type of butter are you referring to? I don’t know much about food but I know that butter is usually linked to dairy.

    Thanks for reading,

  • VH:

    Butter (and dairy in general) is a controversial issue in the community. No dairy product is strictly Paleolithic (although there is no consensus as to whether pastoralism predates or post-dates agriculture).  

    However, given the fatty acid composition of butterfat, it's very difficult to argue that consuming animal fat or coconut oil is healthy but consuming butterfat is not.  And butter is basically 100% butterfat with minor protein and sugar impurities.  (Ghee is butter from which even the impurities have been removed.)

    As I mention above, the issues of dairy are with casein (the protein in cheese) and lactose (milk sugar).  Many people can't digest lactose, and casein is implicated in many allergies and sensitivities.  So that's why I say milk products are suspicious in proportion to their casein and lactose content: often cheese and milk are right out.  And some people are so sensitive to casein or lactose that even the tiny amounts in butter cause problems for them.  That's why one of my last steps is “Consider removing dairy from your diet.”

    I tend to follow the Dr. Kurt Harris/Drs. Jaminet/Mark Sisson approach which involves using what Paleolithic people ate as a guide to understanding what is healthy to eat for us today…not specifically recreating what Paleolithic people ate.  We can't do that anyway, because roots, vegetables, and fruits have been bred for thousands of years and no longer resemble whatever it is we ate 20,000 or 200,000 years ago…and we're not living off wild game we hunt ourselves, either.  And some of the conclusions I see drawn about what Paleolithic people ate are either highly speculative or not supported by the data: see this article.

    Hope this helps!


  • jmo

    Have you read all the “research” or have you read a magazine article that said “research shows” but they don’t tell you much more than that?

  • jmo

    That is so what I was gonna say to Josh, before I read your post JS about pastoral-ism, he kind of left out a huge portion of Africa and Asian descent peoples who don’t tolerate milk real well, and may pastoral peoples lived off blood products and not milk, plus the earliest modern humans before common era of 10,000 were all (more or less) hunter/gatherers. Supplementing gathering when the hunt didn’t happen like they thought it would. Our teeth are not that of a prey (as you would state). Take a look at any bovine they are quite a bit different.

  • Cherie

    I want to add my two cents in the debate over whether milk should be included in the paleo diet:
    Until pretty recently, milk was consumed raw. From what I read, raw milk has many benefits over pasturized milk, such as often decreasing allergies, asthma and eczema in those who consume it. Also, not pasturizing the milk leaves intact the enzymes a human needs to digest the milk. Lactose intolerance is a non-issue for raw-milk drinkers because the enzyme needed to break down the lactose is still there (among other enzymes that help break down other parts). I think raw, creamy, fatty milk would have been a perfect substitute for meat when game was not abundant centuries ago, so perhaps it deserves a look in the modern paleo diet.

    Disclaimer: Raw milk would not be for someone allergic or sensitive to casein.

  • DJSapp


    After 2 weeks living on paleo, the Mrs. and I have lost 22 lbs, are more energized, and overall feel like rockstars.

  • DJ:

    HELL YES!  I'm so glad to hear it's working for you.  Keep me posted!


    Raw milk doesn't have lactase in it, and is no different for the intolerant than regular milk. It has nutritional benefits, but that's not one of them AFAIK.


  • Roger

    I just started the paleo diet a month ago and so far I’ve lost 14 pounds and I feel much better each and every day. I also sleep deeper, clear my throat less, and have… shall we say… a suddenly more normal GI tract. Thank you J Stanton for an article that, in terms of emotional appeal and motivation factor, easily outstrips anything else I’ve read on the subject (including Mark’s Daily Apple, which is awesome). And it’s loaded with facts and great advice, too!

    I think I’m the only paleo dieter who finds it extremely difficult to stop drinking milk. People lament the loss of cheese all the time, but for me it’s milk. I love milk–it’s my liquid comfort food. I also still have morning coffee (although less than I used to) and I love to unwind after a long day with a glass of red wine (or two). I think I’m 90% “strict”, though. I’ve got a ways to go for my ideal weight, so I’ll just keep going.

    Thanks again!

  • Roger:

    I'm touched.

    I can see the statistics, so I know how many people are reading this article (and my other articles) — but what's important to me is that it's being read by real, individual people, like you and DJ, who have been inspired to make positive changes in their life.  That gives me motivation to keep cranking out articles.

    No, you're not the only person who finds it difficult to stop drinking milk.  I've shifted to half-and-half…and I find that a tiny glass satisfies me just as much as chugging most of a quart used to.  It's much higher in butterfat (good) and lower in casein and lactose (suspicious, bad for some).

    Rule of thumb: as long as you're making progress, don't stress about perfect adherence. Save that for when progress stalls out and you're still not where you want to be.


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  • Betrfutr

    what about need for calcium?

  • I eat dairy, so I'm not terribly concerned.

    But even if you don't, not eating grains (full of phytic acid, which binds calcium and other minerals) and getting plenty of Vitamin D (which is required to absorb calcium in the intestine) helps dramatically…much of the RDA of minerals is to make up for the deficiencies caused by eating grains.  

    Plus, eggs have calcium even if you don't eat the shells (which is a great source), most nuts have lots of calcium (except peanuts), and many different vegetables have some too (spinach, bok choy, turnip, beet, and dandelion greens, for example).

    I suspect bone broths have lots of calcium in them, too, but I've never seen it measured.


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  • Hitssquad

    “but if you’re still eating corn, oats, or any bogus ‘health grains’ like kamut or amaranth, ditch them.”

    Weston A. Price, in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, seems to recommend oats consumption. He writes:

    The basic foods of these islanders are fish and oat products with a little barley. Oat grain is the one cereal which develops fairly readily, and it provides the porridge and oat cakes which in many homes are eaten in some form regularly with each meal. The fishing about the Outer Hebrides is specially favorable, and small sea foods, including lobsters, crabs, oysters and clams, are abundant. An important and highly relished article of diet has been baked cod’s head stuffed with chopped cod’s liver and oatmeal. The principal port of the Isle of Lewis is Stornoway with a fixed population of about four thousand and a floating population of seamen over week-ends, of an equal or greater number. The Sunday we spent there, 450 large fishing boats were said to be in the port for the week-end. Large quantities of fish are packed here for foreign markets. These hardy fisherwomen often toil from six in the morning to ten at night. The abundance of fish makes the cost of living very low.

    In Fig. 5 may be seen three of these fisher-people with teeth of unusual perfection.
    On one of these islands, we were told, the growing boys and girls had exceedingly high immunity to tooth decay. Their isolation was so great that a young woman of about twenty years of age who came to the Isle of Harris from Taransay Island had never seen milk in any larger quantity than drops. There are no dairy animals on that island. Their nutrition is provided by their oat products and fish
    The older boy, with excellent teeth, was still enjoying primitive food of oatmeal and oatcake and sea foods with some limited dairy products.
    For nutrition, the children of this community were dependent very largely on oatmeal porridge, oatcake and sea foods. An examination of the growing boys and girls disclosed the fact that only one tooth out of every hundred examined had ever been attacked by tooth decay. The general physical development of these children was excellent, as may be seen in the upper half of Fig. 7.
    FIG. 7. Above: typical rugged Gaelic children, Isle of Harris, living on oats and sea food.
    This is in striking contrast with the picture of the girl shown in Fig. 6 (lower right) living in the Isle of Lewis, in the central area. She has splendidly formed dental arches and a high immunity to tooth decay. Her diet and that of her parents was oatmeal porridge and oatcake and fish which built stalwart people.
    A dietary program competent to build stalwart men and women and rugged boys and girls is provided the residents of these barren Islands, with their wind and storm-swept coasts, by a diet of oats used as oatcake and oatmeal porridge; together with fish products, including some fish organs and eggs.
    The diet of the people in the Outer Hebrides which proved adequate for maintaining a high immunity to dental caries and preventing deformity consisted chiefly of oat products and sea foods […] One important fish dish was baked cod’s head that had been stuffed with oat meal and chopped cods’ livers. This was an important inclusion in the diets of the growing children. The oats and fish, including livers, provided minerals and vitamins adequate for an excellent racial stock with high immunity to tooth decay.
    The important change that I made in this boy’s dietary program was the removal of the white flour products and in their stead the use of freshly cracked or ground wheat and oats

  • Thomas Kfm

    Thanks for writing up such a clear (and forceful) guide to Paleo! There is a ton of misinformation out there, even coming from the Paleo and Primal community. It is so hard to just boil it down to a few basic principles for people to follow. Plus, it makes total sense to be reasonable about it, if you want to make this a sustainable lifestyle. For example, as you said, I’m not giving up my sashimi! Love it too much and it brings me tasty joy.

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  • Scott Kustes

    Great article, but one thing…no one, in the history of mankind, has turned seed oils into hydrogenated oils in their kitchen. It absolutely does not happen. To hydrogenate an oil requires 3 things, two of which are missing in your kitchen: heat (you have this one, though maybe not enough heat), a metal catalyst (typically nickel in the food oil industry), and pressurized hydrogen. Without those three, you aren’t hydrogenating. You aren’t creating trans fats. You are oxidizing the oil, which is bad enough, but you aren’t creating trans fats.

    Again, great article, but you should change that piece about seed oils hydrogenating in your kitchen because it’s untrue.

    Scott Kustes
    Naked Food Cooking

  • Hitssquad:

    I'm moderately familiar with Weston A. Price's work.  

    He also notes that the grains used by these cultures are almost always sprouted, fermented, or both…practices that decrease the levels of anti-nutrients such as lectins and phytic acid, increase bioavailable nutrients, and are (as you correctly note) not generally practiced today.

    Furthermore, much of the benefit of these diets is due to the nutrients found in locally pastured animal meat and raw dairy (such as “Activator X”, later found to be K2-MK4)…hence Price's 'butter oil'.

    Note that I'm not disputing that the WAPF guidelines aren't far superior to the modern diet, and I have a great deal of respect for both Weston A. Price and the WAPF (as do all the paleo writers I know of).  But I believe the evidence against grain consumption is compelling: there's no good reason (besides poverty) to consume seeds that contain so many poisons, even if the poisons can be mitigated by careful processing, because meat and vegetables are a superior source of nutrients to grains — and there is strong evidence that wheat consumption (especially modern wheat) is detrimental to everyone, not just celiacs, due to the action of WGA and gluten exorphins.

    In summary, though I agree with them on everything else, I'd rather let the ruminants eat the grasses.


    Thank you! If we needed an entire book to teach us how to eat, the human race would have died out long ago.

    Note that this is absolutely not a slam on the excellent books that are out there, particularly Primal Blueprint and the Perfect Health Diet.  Most of their text is supporting and justifying documentation, not the principles themselves, which are relatively simple.  However, I do take issue with Cordain and DeVany regarding their saturated fat-phobia, which I believe the evidence shows to be both without merit and unjustified by the archaeological evidence…as you've noticed if you've already read this article.


    Are you sure about that?  Seed oils undergo meaningful hydrogenation just in the process of extraction and deodorizing (see the paper linked in this article), and these two articles (here, here) seem to indicate that the temperatures of steam deodorization (400 degrees F and above) are sufficient, in themselves, to hydrogenate linoleic and linolenic acid.

    You are correct, however, that oxidation is also a problem — perhaps a greater problem.  I'll update to reflect that.


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  • Hitssquad

    “I agree with them on everything else”

    …Except, perhaps, Guideline 14, which recommends we “Use natural sweeteners […] such as raw honey, maple syrup, dehydrated cane sugar juice”, contrary to your advice in the article to “not eat table sugar, or its equivalents [including] circumlocutions like “brown rice syrup”, “agave nectar”, and […] “evaporated cane juice solids.” […] Even honey”

  • TinaC.

    Great article! Informative, inspiring and down right funny! I have forward it to many friends. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Joan

    Sounds great, but what about people that HAVE to watch their cholesterol levels. My doctor has always told me to eat red meat in moderation (though I do LOVE it!)

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  • Hey J.
    You said: “…just in the process of extraction and deodorization”…
    One of your links said: “Oil samples were deodorized at temperatures from 204 to 230°C from 2 to 86 h.”
    Holding an oil at a temperature of 400-plus Fahrenheit for 2 hours to just over 3.5 days doesn’t sound like anything comparable to what happens in the kitchen. Further, the refining process requires some industrial solvents that people aren’t using at home.

    I’m not arguing that people should use vegetable oils (they are in no way healthy), just saying, trans fats aren’t forming in the frying pan. A minor point, but hey, if we’re going to spread information, it should be the right information, right?

    Also note that the 2% of trans fat in canola (again, don’t use it!)…well, dairy and beef contain 2-6% of their fat as naturally-occurring trans fats:
    “Trans fatty acids are also present at low levels (2 to 6% of the fat) in such foods as dairy products, beef and lamb. Some refined liquid oils may contain small amounts of trans fatty acids (0.5 to 2.5% of the oil).” – http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/food-aliment/trans-eng.php

    “The idea that cooking with heat damages the oils that are highly polyunsaturated is true and the warning against cooking or frying using fragile oils such as flaxseed oil is valid, but not because trans fats are formed. What is formed under harsh circumstances such as high-temperature cooking and frying is a polymerized oil, and this is because the heat has helped to form free radicals and then various breakdown products.” – http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/542-trans-fatty-acids-are-not-formed-by-heating-vegetable-oils

    Scott Kustes
    Naked Food Cooking

  • TinaC:

    Much appreciated!  It's tough to condense so much knowledge into something short but still entertaining…thanks for helping spread it!


    Total cholesterol is a basically worthless metric.  “LDL” isn't even a real number (it's “imputed”, which is to say it's a total guess calculated by a formula from your triglycerides, HDL, and TC)…and even if it were, it's measuring three things lumped together, of which only one (small/dense LDL) actually correlates to heart disease!  And total LDL is completely uncorrelated to small/dense LDL.

    I'm working on a long post about what your “cholesterol numbers” actually mean — but in the meantime, the most important number you'll get off your test (and the only one with a meaningful correlation to heart disease) is your triglycerides/HDL ratio.  (Triglycerides/TC is almost as good.)

    Lower is better: you want your TG to be low and your HDL to be high.  A TG/HDL ratio of 3.8 is associated with a 50% lower risk of heart disease, and it goes down from there.  The great thing about paleo is that it's basically custom-designed to fix this ratio.  TG is basically driven by carbohydrate: the less carbs you eat, the lower your TG.  And HDL is increased by saturated fat: the more saturated fat you eat, the higher your HDL!

    Like I said, I've got a long post in the works about this.  But in the meantime, you might read Dr. Malcolm Kendrick's “The Great Cholesterol Con”.


    OK, you're right.  I view sweeteners as a cheat (though a relatively harmless one if taken with meals and in great moderation.)  And I'm not terribly concerned about the “naturalness”: honey makes a good antibacterial, but nutritionally it's basically cane sugar with a few impurities, as is maple syrup.  If I use them, it's for the taste, not for health reasons.

    Personally, if I'm going to cheat and use sweetener, I usually use dextrose, which is much sweeter than rice syrup while still being 100% glucose (and, most importantly, 0% fructose).

    At the end of the day, though, I don't feel very strongly about it.  Avoiding white sugar keeps us from buying junk food at the store, which is the biggest element of all this.



  • [Scott's comment got eaten by the system: I'm copying it here so everyone else can see it.]


    Hey J.
    You said: “…just in the process of extraction and deodorization”…
    One of your links said: “Oil samples were deodorized at temperatures from 204 to 230°C from 2 to 86 h.”
    Holding an oil at a temperature of 400-plus Fahrenheit for 2 hours to just over 3.5 days doesn't sound like anything comparable to what happens in the kitchen.  Further, the refining process requires some industrial solvents that people aren't using at home.
    I'm not arguing that people should use vegetable oils (they are in no way healthy), just saying, trans fats aren't forming in the frying pan.  A minor point, but hey, if we're going to spread information, it should be the right information, right?
    Also note that the 2% of trans fat in canola (again, don't use it!)…well, dairy and beef contain 2-6% of their fat as naturally-occurring trans fats:
    “Trans fatty acids are also present at low levels (2 to 6% of the fat) in such foods as dairy products, beef and lamb. Some refined liquid oils may contain small amounts of trans fatty acids (0.5 to 2.5% of the oil).” – http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/food-aliment/…..ns-eng.php
    “The idea that cooking with heat damages the oils that are highly polyunsaturated is true and the warning against cooking or frying using fragile oils such as flaxseed oil is valid, but not because trans fats are formed. What is formed under harsh circumstances such as high-temperature cooking and frying is a polymerized oil, and this is because the heat has helped to form free radicals and then various breakdown products.” – http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/542-tra…..table-oils
    Scott Kustes


    The trans-fatty acids in beef and dairy are conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, which has many known health benefits and is sold as a supplement — and trans-vaccenic acid, which our bodies convert to CLA.  (An analysis.)

    The abstracts of the papers I linked seem to say that the isomerization didn't require any catalysts — just heat — especially for n-3 fats like ALA, which isomerize at the drop of a hat.  And 400 degrees is a very reachable temperature in a frying pan or wok, especially if you're stir-frying.  Do you have access to the full text of those papers?  I'd like to read them in detail.

    In the meantime, I'll take Dr. Enig's word for it, as she's the authority on the subject — and I've changed the text to mention oxidation and polymerization.  Thanks for the information!


  • Hitssquad

    the most important number you’ll get off your test (and the only one with a meaningful correlation to heart disease) is your triglycerides/HDL ratio.

    What about apo B? From Gary Taubes’ 2007 book Good Calories, Bad Calories:

    Goran Walldius, a cardiologist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, […] is the principal investigator of an enormous Swedish study to ascertain heart-disease risk factors. The 175,000 subjects include every patient who received a health checkup in the Stockholm area in 1985. Blood samples were taken at the time, and Walldius and his colleagues have been following the subjects ever since, to see which measures of cholesterol, triglycerides, or lipoproteins are most closely associated with heart disease. Far and away, the best predictor of risk, as Walldius reported in 2001, was the concentration of apo B proteins, reflecting the dominance of small, dense LDL particles. Half of the patients who died of heart attacks, he reported, had normal LDL-cholesterol levels but high apo B numbers. Apo B is a much better predictor of heart disease than LDL cholesterol, Walldius said, because LDL cholesterol “doesn’t tell you anything about the quality of the LDL.”

  • 110410 |

    […] Eat like a predator not like prey. Categories: WOD Tags: Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment Trackback […]

  • CrossFit Ireland &ra

    […] Eat Like a Predator – Gnolls.org […]

  • Hitssquad:

    That quote is correct AFAIK — but apo B isn't part of a standard “cholesterol screening”.  And it turns out that triglycerides/HDL basically tells you the same thing, which is how much large/fluffy vs. small/dense LDL you have.  The 3.8 ratio is a relatively sharp dividing line between the two, which is why it's used as a metric.

    As I said, I'm working on a full-length article about this, which will be fully referenced and linked as always.


  • Do it


  • Does coconut oil mak

    […] cues. (Unproven but seems likely.) Probably several more things. That's one of the themes of Eat Like A Predator: your mental health and toughness are strongly related to your physical health and toughness. […]

  • DJSapp

    6 weeks in, Mrs. and I down a collective 40 pounds, and definately down a couple inches on the waiseline (haven't measured lately, but I did need to tighten the belt a notch).  No snacking required, feel great all of the time.  No food coma, no ravenous hunger, no mood swings.  We're spreading the word to everyone who will listen, but we get a ton of crazy looks.  The food pyramid brainwashing has been deeply rooted in everyone's mind.

  • links for 2011-04-19

    […] “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: Paleo In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational Guide – GNOL… (tags: paleo diet health food nutrition) […]

  • DJSapp:

    Damn!  Excellent progress, both of you.  It helps so much to have a mutual support system, doesn't it?

    Don't worry about everyone else…your credibility will increase as the pounds keep coming off, you keep looking better, and you continue to not constantly complain about being hungry and how hard you're working to stay on the diet.  Obnoxiously good health is your best argument.

    Do it:



  • Jonathan Dunn

    Very funny. Reading a lot of “Paleo Diet” material vs vegetarianism. Jains believe that vegarianism is part of compassion. It appears that you would agree: ‎”Now that you’ve been eating like a predator for some time, you are discovering that when you eat like a predator, and play like a predator, you start thinking like a predator. Stupid people aren’t annoyances: they’re profit centers. Fat peop0le are no longer disgusting: they’re delicious.” So, enjoy eating Jains, Jesus, etc. Yummy!

  • Paleo or Bust | Vers

    […] Paleo in 6 Easy Steps – Gnolls.org (Awesome, simple description of Paleo) […]

  • Jonathan:

    I bet I could make a delicious pate out of a fruitarian's fatty liver!

    As far as compassion, you might note the following sentences I wrote: “You will have compassion for the herd as it moos and bleats, for you were so recently one of them yourself. And you will share your knowledge, because you understand that our real enemies are the predators who hoard this knowledge for themselves…”

    I have no interest in giving love or compassion to those who don't deserve it, nor those who would use it as a weapon to enslave me.  Lierre Keith: “The left in this country has come completely unhitched from any notion of actually being effective. Activism has turned into one big group therapy session. It doesn't matter what we accomplish–what matters is how we feel about it. The goal of the action isn't to change the material balance of power, it's to feel “empowered”. For fuck's sake, who gives a

    shit how I feel?”


  • Rest Day 29/04/11 |

    […] 6 Steps to Paleo Success […]

  • electrika

    I agree with all the information presented here, but have a major problem when it comes to meat consumption. I have never eaten red meat or fish before. I tried eating chicken for the first time a week ago and had a very hard time. I don't think it is possible for me to consume meat in high amounts. I can eat eggs though.

    What do you think would be the impact of replacing red meat with eggs, butter, whole milk, cheese and tofu as protein and saturated fat sources? ( I have been a lacto- vegetarian my entire life due to social and religious reasons). Is there any way to make meat taste and smell better? 

    I would appreciate any help 🙂

  • electrika:

    Eggs are an excellent food, full of complete protein and important nutrients like choline…and though pastured eggs are best, even regular supermarket eggs are a great source of nutrients.  Just about anything tastes better with a fried egg on it!  I eat over a dozen eggs each week.

    Butter and ghee are good too, especially from grass-fed cows: but again, even regular butter is far superior to seed oils.  

    I also strongly recommend coconut oil!  Unrefined is probably best, but Spectrum Organics makes a good refined oil that doesn't taste at all of coconuts but still gets you all the MCT benefits.  It's great for stir-frying, too.

    Cheese and milk can be problematic, depending on the person: some people do fine with casein and lactose, some people find they do better by omitting them.  That's up to you…but I'd definitely cut the soy, as it's full of phytoestrogens and other metabolic disruptors.  I wouldn't stress about soy sauce (it's fermented, which helps), but I don't see any good reason to eat tofu when you've got eggs available.

    As far as “how to get meat to taste and smell better”, a lot of it is just not having a taste for fat.  Once you've been eating eggs and cooking with butter and coconut oil for a while, you'll overcome that societal conditioning, and start realizing “Hey, this is rich and delicious and my body craves it!”  Then you can start throwing little bits of ham or bacon into your omelets…which is an excellent way to start getting used to meat.  Don't try to jam right into a big steak or chop…just throw some little salty bits in with an omelet or stir-fry.  (As I don't know your social and religious background, I don't know whether you've got prohibitions against beef and/or pork.)

    Also keep in mind that your gut flora will take time to deal with any dietary shift, and your bile and stomach acid production might not be up to dealing with lots of fat and meat just yet.  So feel free to take it slowly.

    Hope this helps…keep us posted on your progress!


  • JL

    To Mr. Stanton:

    I’d like to express my sincere and profound gratitude for the painstaking research and self-experimentation that went into the writing of this article. Where you really exceeded is what you strove for, namely motivation and inspiration. It shows that you’re not trying to sell anything – what you wrote is not really just a diet, but a way of life and it takes into account the economic and other realities of everyday life and human psychology.

    My own experience has been such a life changer in a very short amount of time. I dropped my sugar addiction and also took the opportunity to eliminate dairy, except for butter. Even having knowledge of my lactose intolerance for years, I still wasn’t able to give it up (To be completely honest, the lack of milk in my morning coffee has been the hardest part of this diet to get used to. I know, the logical thing to do is just give up the coffee, but I’m not quite there yet.). I’ve lost over 20 lbs. in the past 6 weeks (on a 5’7” frame) and probably for the first time in my adult life I am not over weight. Furthermore, there are so many little things in my health that have improved it is hard to list them all. It’s always difficult to know what’s psychosomatic and what’s real in assessing one’s own health, but I’m pretty certain many of these things are real. Obviously the weight loss is an objective measurement.

    The real key to me is the concentration on the consumption of red meat. I’ve always loved it, fat and all. But since it has been pounded into my head my whole life that it is unhealthy, I’ve always treated it as an indulgence. Centering a diet around red meat, psychologically, is kind of like telling someone to diet on cake and cookies. And it’s frankly incredible to be on a “diet” and not only to not be hungry, but to be even less hungry than I was before I started it! It’s just plain nice to not be hungry all the time. I basically eat eggs in the late morning and meat and vegetables in the evening. Some nuts and fruit get thrown in over the course of the day.

    The only real downside for me is the expense since where I live grass-fed meat starts at around $20 per lbs. and heads north from there. But, it is of course a bargain in terms of preventative health care and quality of life. Thankfully, I’m blessed with the good fortune to be able to afford it. I also don’t have access to such wonderful sounding products as coconut oil and grass-fed beef tallow, though I hope to pick some up on my next trip to the States. One other downside is that none of my clothes fit any more and I need a whole new wardrobe. I hate clothes shopping, so a jokingly sarcastic “thanks a lot” for that.

    At 37 years old, I’m hoping it isn’t too late to repair the damage done from a lifetime of ingesting poisons. In a certain sense, I suppose it’s never too late. I’m trying to spread the word, but it’s tough to convince people. Even my own wife, with the results right before her eyes, is still hung up on meaningless cholesterol levels and her doctor’s outdated advice. I think I have my mother-in-law gradually dropping in, which is great as she is an important person in our lives.

    I’m sure I’ve now thoroughly bored you with my story, but, really, thanks so much.


  • Trudy

    I’m new to this whole concept so excuse ignorant questions about fruit including tomatoes? Onions, garlic and lemons?

  • Trudy:

    Vegetables and spices are great!  (Yes, I know that tomatoes are technically a fruit.)  I don't stress their intake because once you're not eating lots of starch, you'll naturally want to jazz up your food.  I eat more veggies now than I did when I was vegetarian.

    I discourage heavy fruit consumption, and any fruit juice consumption, due to minimizing fructose intake.  Some berries or an orange (or pomegranate, or whatever) for dessert is delicious and encouraged…but snacking on fruit just puts you on the same blood sugar rollercoaster as candy, and fruit juice is basically Coca-Cola with a couple vitamins in it.


    Thank you for sharing your experiences!  I'm glad that I've been able to contribute to your quality of life in some way, though the credit is yours: all I can do is open a door.  You must walk through it yourself — and you have.

    And yes, I absolutely look at “paleo” as far more than just a diet and exercise plan.  You'll see much more on that subject as this site progresses — and in my novel, from which I took much of the inspiration for this essay.  (Available outside the US here.)

    Like you, I've also found that lots of niggling little issues and irritations, which never rose to the status of illness and I had always counted as “just part of life”, went away on a paleo diet.  It's great, isn't it?  And just as I talk about here, I refuse to believe that our taste for fatty red meat is an accident, or that we've evolved to enjoy only foods that kill us and dislike the foods that keep us alive.

    Out of curiosity, where do you live that you've got such a problem getting meat and coconut oil?

    And don't stress about “repairing a lifetime of damage”…I too wish I hadn't spent so many years eating birdseed.  As the gnolls say, hazrah nachti.  You've figured it out, and you are here now, and you'll enjoy decades of health and vigor you wouldn't have otherwise.

    As far as cholesterol levels, I'm working on an article about that which I'll post eventually…but there's a lot of science I need to get right.  And just like you did, people need to walk through the door under their own power.  All you can do is be happy and healthy and hope they get the message.  Remember that you're new to it, and the media treats 'paleo' as just a fad diet: all diets work, for a little while.  I suspect the skepticism will slowly melt as you continue to enjoy good health and not backslide into your old habits.

    Please continue to share your progress as time permits!


  • Sara

    I wasn’t convinced until my vegetarian (for 19 years) husband switched to following your guidelines and started dropping weight and feeling better.

    I defintely have addictions to grains and am working on that. My big challenge, though, is breakfast. I can’t stand eggs in any form, which takes a cheap, easy, extremely versitile food out of the mix for breakfast and other meals. Any suggestions on how to begin either liking eggs or finding other breakfast substitutes?

  • Sara:

    Sorry for missing this one for a few days…I've been slammed with newfound popularity and the dialogue on my latest post.

    Anyway, as far as breakfast, it's basically a mental trap that we have to eat “breakfast foods”…most of which are huge refined sugar bombs (cereal, pancakes, bagels, toast, English muffins, etc.).  Eat whatever food you like at any other time of day!  

    As far as learning to enjoy eggs: I like them as part of what I call a “paleo scramble”.  Make sure to check out all the variants at the bottom of the recipe!  Also note that using white rice instead of potatoes is a delicious and relatively harmless cheat.  Finally, keep in mind you can start out with only one egg instead of three. 

    If that works out for you, you can try omelets with lots of meat, veggies, and cheese to break up the egg texture.  Also try putting a fried egg on top of other things, like a steak or some vegetables.  One thing I do is to cook a single egg sunny side up, but break the yolk and flip it so I have a nice round disc of fully cooked egg to put on top of food.  Sunny side up looks great, but then the yolk breaks and runs over everything.

    Finally, are you cooking your eggs too hard?  How are you cooking them?  One mistake beginners make is not using enough cooking fat, and “working” the eggs too hard by moving them around too much, making them tough and rubbery.  Even “scrambled” eggs should just sit on the pan until they're cooked mostly through…then flipping and chopping them once should finish the job.

    Congratulations to your husband and you!  Let me know how it works out.


  • lynn

    I’m trying. I heard you on Latest in Paleo… Right now my legs and feet are aching,,, just in pain…for the last three weeks.Any suggestions?? I have been doing this for 2 months.

    Nothing will make me go back to eating grain…don’t get me wrong. I am convinced by all you say. I am dropping processed bacon and anything with chemicals this week… Am I missing something? .I am eating meat, low glycemic vegetables, a few berries, cream , butter, coconut oil, coffee, water. I also have not lost weight. I have lost 4 inches in my waist though…age 56, grandma. Oh yeah…I can breathe now. I have not used an inhaler for the last month. I am down a pants size.

    On the podcast, I smiled when you said you did not use soap. I am so allergic to yellow #5 in shampoos and soap makes my skin crack and peel. I have not used soap in 4 years. I wash my hair(long) in the kitchen sink so I won’t get the shampoo on my skin. I mostly use cream rinse to wash it with and organic apple cider vinegar for a rinse.

  • lynn

    Also, We have bought grass fed beef and venison. We found a person who sells range free chicken eggs. I am buying spring water and searching out a natural spring…(we live in a town with city water)

  • Lynn:

    Are your aching legs and feet a new thing, or is this something that's been around before and is more obvious now that your health is better in general?  Is it a joint ache or a muscle ache?  Those are very different issues, and I really can't give any advice until I know more.

    As far as weight, I'm not concerned about losing weight, I'm concerned about losing fat.  4 inches off your waist is great progress: congratulations!  Frankly, muscle mass is a good thing to have as we get older, because it's so easy to lose.  Women who think they're in danger of getting “too musclular” don't realize how difficult it is to get muscular, and how quickly it goes away if you stop training hard for it.



  • lynn

    It is a new thing. It began after I began to eat paleo. I was eating low fat.. with carb, 100-200 /day but no processed foods. The Body for Life diet. BUT..I was not losing my stomach. My doctor wanted to put me on hormones because I have low testosterone. They made me tired and naiseated…so I threw then away and began to work out.(last year) I can leg press 500 pounds and bench 130. I also do 100 push ups a day. . It did not make sense as to why I was not losing my stomach or body fat in general…just building muscle under the fat. . I began to research and learned that high insulin may be the cause of low testosterone. So I began low carb, almost NO carb. but I am allergic to wheat, soy, preservatives and food color. So I have to do it naturally.I am having Muscle pain…I feel like I am never recovering. I do interval training on a recumbent bike and weight lifting. I am not afraid of muscles..Every muscle just seems to be sore. If I sit on the floor cross legged and get up, all the muscles in my legs feel stiff. Like DOMS… I have cut back on the weight lifting. Stopped it… If I bench press, the first rep hurts. I have never had this before. I am still trying to do intervals three times a week and walk.

  • lynn

    I just noticed all the spelling errors..sorry… I am very reluctant to go to my doctor. He will insist on tests and drugs… He will never look for the problem, just treat the symptoms. We’ve been through this before. I have normal blood pressure and normal blood sugar. The fasting blood sugar numbers were hovering around 99 and 100. ( now in the 80’s) Cholesterol was just over 200. The sugar level and the stomach fat is why I began to research and found paleo. I need to lose about 40 pounds. My waist is 35 and I am 5’5…weigh 170. I gain weight in my upper body. I have also just started a vitamin d supplement. I have Mark Sissons “Primal blueprint”, Loren Cordain’s The Paleo Diet, and Gary Taubes “good calories , bad calories”. I also Have DR. James Jensons book..”Genocide, How you doctors dietary advice will kill you.” I appreciate your blog and other paleo blog’s I have come across. You all have a heart for teaching and helping others to be healthy and learn the truth.

  • Your Vegetable Oil i

    […] Hexane’s other primary industrial uses? To make glue for shoes, leather products and roofing. It’s also a constituent of gasoline. I love the way Gnolls.org summarizes this point: “If you can put it in a truck and the truck starts, it’s not food.” […]

  • Lynn:

    Sorry this has taken a while, but I've been traveling all week and couldn't even do a full nutrition post, let alone respond to all my commenters.

    My guess is that you might be going completely ketogenic and are dealing with glycogen depletion in your workouts: this article may be of interest.  Anything further is far outside my purview based on the limited information I have and the fact that I'm an author, not a doctor.

    Have you changed shoes lately?  A lot of people who go to minimal shoes, like VFFs or water shoes, go through a period of adjustment as all the atrophied muscles are forced to do work.


  • ~pjgh » Blog A

    […] Here’s a really fun take on the Paleo diet and one which I am very much in agreement with: http://www.gnolls.org/1141/eat-like-a-predator-not-like-prey-paleo-in-six-easy-steps-a-motivational-… […]

  • Paul Halliday

    Thank you!

    This is an excellent article and such a great twist on the Paleo diet.

    What I most enjoyed was how you link activity (not exercise) to food. I like how you call it activity and sneer at those who exercise – in fact, the single greatest reason I did not take up jogging as exercise is, as you describe: “not shuffling down the road in ‘running shoes’, with that vacant look of resigned suffering usually seen on wildebeest being eaten alive by hyenas …” … I have overtaken such prey while out walking! That must have made them mad, but they’re still prey.

    Truly, an excellent article and a principle that works so well when it comes to food and to activity – is it for predators or is it for prey? I’m a caveman! I’m now a predator, too!

  • Paul:

    Absolutely.  What good is being healthy if we just sit at a desk or on a couch all day?  

    The motivation to “look good” never lasts more than a few days.  The only lasting motivation to lose weight and improve health is that we can now do things we enjoy, and that we couldn't do before.  That's what this week's pictorial is about.

    I'm glad the article has inspired you!  And if you read my novel, you might find that you're a gnoll, too.


  • Kamahl Barhoush

    You are obviously passionate about your believed ‘truths’. To say that humans developed large brains because they started eating meat is an interesting mismatch of historic facts. Anyway, if you would like a debate on the science that would be ok with me (although most likely not for this forum).
    Please don’t get me wrong, this is not a message of hate, just another view.

    I wonder what your readers may think of this observation:
    The healthiest people on the planet (the Okinawans and the Hunzas), that live well into their 100’s with amazing vitality and vigor, have phenomenal intellectual capacity and remain disease free their entire lives, live on vegetarian diets (mostly raw), nuts and seeds with occasional supplementation from seafood. They exercise not intensly for short bursts, but gently for longer periods (I do agree that intense cardio is not for humans). Before we settled and started farming, we spent 1000’s years as nomads that grazed, a critical time in our evolution and the time when the major brain developments occurred.
    Since we settled and began hunting and farming, our species began a decline (as it is still doing to this day for the most part – as seen in the fact that modern medicine is getting better and better, yet we continue to get sicker and sicker).

    Anyway, food for thought…or is it?

  • Paul Halliday

    JS: I really enjoy reading your articles and I will buy your novel. Thanks for the link.

    My motivation was coming up 40. I gave up smoking at 30 and thoroughly enjoyed my 30s eating and drinking too much and all the wrong stuff. I was fat and unfit and before I turned 40, I decided to do something about it. I’m still big, but rapidly gaining in stamina and fitness … and the weight and bulk is falling off. More importantly, I’m having fun.

    I decided NOT to go jogging, instead … walking with periods of sprint when it looks like fun … and fell in love with minimalist footwear, stepping straight into VFFs and huaraches. I’m barefoot almost all the time around the house and garden and wear flat shoes with minimal soling for work. The transition was easy. In fact, no transition necessary. I was unwittingly already barefoot.

    Likewise, with food. I was unwittingly already probably mostly Paleo. I have always used animal fats, using only cold-pressed oils sparingly and always bought the fattier meats (and offals). Fat means flavour and this is a principle of northern English food – traditionally, we love fatty meat and we love butter.

    In terms of the things to cut out, like bread, pastas and so on … well, they account for such a small proportion of my diet that they’ll probably just drop out naturally as I further boost the things that will be most good for me – your ‘Eat like a Predator’ gives me such a simple principle to follow that is always right.

  • Paul:

    The support is much appreciated! Please let us know what you think of TGC once you've read it.

    Your journey into paleo sounds much like mine: I gradually backed into something much like it over the course of years of dietary research (primarily focused on inflammation), and am only recently going back and reading some of the “paleo diet” books.  And like you, I'm not a big proponent of the cold turkey “Whole 30” style…it works well for a few people who have major intolerance issues (usually gluten or dairy), but for many people the combination of absolute food restrictions and withdrawal pangs sets them up for failure. I have an article in the works about this.

    I'm glad this article has been useful to you, and I appreciate your comments.  Do stick around!



    “To say that humans developed large brains because they started eating meat is an interesting mismatch of historic facts.”

    Really?  What is your alternative theory?  How do you explain away the fact that the increase in brain size just happened to begin after our ancestors' invention of stone tools ~2.6 MYA, and the fossil evidence of cutmarked bones that accompanies them?  You're swimming against a very powerful tide of archaeological evidence.

    Moving on: the idea that the Hunza are either vegetarian, excessively long-lived, or even exceptionally healthy is baloney.  The book “Hunza – Lost Kingdom of the Himalayas” (PDF here, illustrations here), by a geologist who actually lived with them year round as a field doctor and teacher, illustrates this perfectly:

    “Each family owns so few animals that they can butcher but one or two a year, which they do at Tumushuling time in December. As one sheep lasts a family about a week, this means that the average Hunza gets meat for one or two weeks per year. Since visitors always come in the summertime, this also explains the ridiculous tale that Hunzas are vegetarians by preference.

    One of the stories is true—they certainly eat the whole sheep! Brains, lungs, heart, tripe, everything but hide, windpipe, and genitalia! They clean a bone to a polish that would put a western dog to shame, and in conclusion they always crack the bones and suck the marrow. As their diet is deficient in oils and vitamin D, all Hunzas have soft teeth, and fully half of them have the barrel chests and rheumatic knees of sub-clinical rickets.

    As far as the ridiculous claims for Hunza lifespan, that's a simple combination of lack of written records and a very, very poor (but smart) people eager to capitalize on the delusions of rich Western tourists.

    Continuing: the idea that the historical Okinawan diet is nearly vegetarian and low-fat is, as far as I can tell, a scam concocted to sell diet books:

    “The main meat of the diet is pork, and not the lean cuts only. Okinawan cuisine, according to gerontologist Kazuhiko Taira, “is very healthy-and very, very greasy,” in a 1996 article that appeared in Health Magazine. […] Okinawans eat about 100 grams of meat per day-compared to 70 in Japan and just over 20 in China-and at least an equal amount of fish, for a total of about 200 grams per day, compared to 280 grams per person per day of meat and fish in America. Lard-not vegetable oil-is used in cooking.” (link)

    And their lifespan has decreased remarkably in recent years as they've adopted a more grain-based diet.


  • I just have to share this … somewhere, and this article really inspired me so here it comes:

    At work today, we have a regular meeting up in the tower of a five story building. Today, I walked up two flights, then ran two and then walked the last flight to calm down. Two (fatter) colleagues ascended in the lift to the third floor to graze past the vending machine and met me in the tower laden with bags of mini Oreos, crisps (chips) and biscuits …

    … panting and out of breath. I was a little out of breath as well, but catching it with the final flight of walking. We had our meeting, I spoke, we spoke, they grazed. I was offered Oreos. I declined.

    I looked at these two guys and caught myself thinking, “No! They’re not grass fed!”

    Prey … and the predator 🙂

    They might read this from some random google … I don’t care …

  • Paul:

    Absolutely.  But think what a delicious foie gras could be made from their fatty livers!

    In related news, the vampires are in trouble now too.


  • Now that was a great read! Funnily enough, at work our internet filter branded the page as “Offensive and Tasteless” and so I had to wait until I got home to read it. I guess modern humans are tasteless … much like plumped chicken, grain fed cattle and factory farmed pigs.

    My flesh would be quite dark with a strong hint of having been marinated in Guinness! My liver, pickled … in Scandinavian vodka with a distinct scent of peat from Islay whiskies Laugh

    Anyway … eating people is wrong. I must put it out of my mind Wink

    I'm not a hunter, but I do like to eat what I see in the fields while out walking and good butchers almost always know which farms their meat comes from. I'm able to eat more and more local.

  • How Did Breakfast Be

    […] (From “Eat Like A Predator”, my popular guide to paleo diet and life.) […]

  • Barefoot running tur

    […] like I cannot eat mushrooms all that often and I love mushrooms. However, I do plan on adopting the GNOLLS approach of "eat like a predator, not prey" as much as possible. I like the idea behind it and to me, it […]

  • The world is your playground … here’s a chap who says, “don’t make a distinction between work and play; regard everything that you’re doing as play and don’t imagine for one minute that you have to be serious about it”.


  • The Breakfast Myth,

    […] “The evidence is clear. Whenever we finally do break our fast for the day, we should eat like predators: a complete meal, full of complete protein and delicious, nutritious animal fat.(Coconut oil is […]

  • The Breakfast Myth,

    […] “The evidence is clear. Whenever we finally do break our fast for the day, we should eat like predators: a complete meal, full of complete protein and delicious, nutritious animal fat.(Coconut oil is […]

  • The Breakfast Myth,

    […] “The evidence is clear. Whenever we finally do break our fast for the day, we should eat like predators: a complete meal, full of complete protein and delicious, nutritious animal fat.(Coconut oil is […]

  • Lion

    I like your site and your articles very much but I think this part is just silly:

    “any man who thinks you’re “too muscular” because you don’t look like a heroin addict is weak, insecure, and not worth your time.”

    Is any man who doesn’t like obese women weak and insecure? Is any man who doesn’t like skinny women weak and insecure?

    If a man doesn’t like a woman because she is too muscular then of course he isn’t worth her time, because he won’t be pursuing her.

    What if women don’t like muscular men? Are they just weak and insecure? What if the man truly is too muscular to be attractive?

    In the real world what men actually like the heroin addict look? We know homosexual designers in New York like the look but I’ve never met a man in real life who likes that look.

    Please don’t take as a personal attack, I truly do like your articles very much. Thank you for putting in the time.

  • Dana

    I think it would just be a better world if men liked women and women liked men and we didn’t treat dating, mating, and marriage like a shopping excursion.

    Guys went for me all the time in my late teens and early twenties. I’m no great beauty, but they did anyway. I was slender.

    I did not remain slender. No one looks at me now.

    I’m the same person. I really don’t get it. A few of them were even sufficiently besotted to propose to me. They would not ask that same question now, most of them.

    If all you want is looks then don’t be surprised if you lose a leg in a car wreck and she leaves you because you don’t look normal anymore. It is the exact same thing.

    And don’t tell me “health.” There are slender women walking around treating themselves like crap, candidates for metabolic syndrome and all the stuff that comes after. I used to be one of them. Hello. *waves* It’s nothing to do with health or you would judge a woman’s fitness for your affections by the composition of her diet, and refuse to date anyone who eats potato chips and drinks soda. How many people do you know of either gender who would make a dating judgment like that? No, I don’t know many either.

  • Lion:

    I'm not sure you understand the pressure young women put on themselves to look like the (Photoshopped) pictures in glamor magazines.  I'm trying to get across to them that (as you say) the only people who really want them to look like that are gay fashion designers — the same people whose male ideal is a hairless, prepubescent boy with giant steroid muscles.


    First impressions are hard to shake.  People judge you (and I) long before they speak a word to us — or, very often, choose not to speak to us.


  • Jackie Macfarlane

    Love Love Love it. Passed it to my 17 year old who is eating paleo because I am – She laughed out loud and got the point.

    Question: Our Health Insurance requires us to have annual physicals inclduing blood tests. I had blood tests done about 20 days into eating Paleo and the results were as follows:

    5′ 2″ now 146 (yeah!) want to go to 135 or better but am fully bought into feeling good anyway.

    cholesterol total 177
    HDL 39
    LDL 111
    Triglycerides 133
    Ratio ldl to total 4.5
    all above considered good except HDL.
    Glucose 93

    I will be having my annual physical end of the month and would appreciate any advice as to what tests to request from my doctor – I assume in addition to the above.

    so my HDL/Tri number would be .3 not what you are looking for I think. Thoughts on what I should do to improve it.

    My “cheats” are generally the odd glass of wine or beer, we have a social life and these are the hard ones to skip for me.

  • Lion

    Hi JS,

    “I’m not sure you understand the pressure young women put on themselves to look like the (Photoshopped) pictures in glamor magazines. I’m trying to get across to them that (as you say) the only people who really want them to look like that are gay fashion designers — the same people whose male ideal is a hairless, prepubescent boy with giant steroid muscles.”

    The pressure on women has nothing to do with my point. You said only an insecure man doesn’t like a woman for how she looks, that is inaccurate. It takes a secure man, as it takes a secure woman, to know exactly what he wants. If a man is not physically attracted to a muscular woman, or a fat woman, or a skinny woman how could that possibly make him insecure?

    If these women do face pressure to be thin (like most of the worlds female population is)it is disingenuous to tell them it is the fault of insecure men. Let’s use Dana as an example:

    “Guys went for me all the time in my late teens and early twenties. I’m no great beauty, but they did anyway. I was slender.

    I did not remain slender. No one looks at me now.”

    Is that the fault of insecure men? To say to her “you’re fine the way you are, it’s HIS fault” would be a bald-faced lie. If men don’t like you because you’re too large then it very clearly is your fault. We shouldn’t be giving these women excuses – they should be held accountable and take responsibility for their own actions.

    Dana –

    You have read this article. You know what makes people fat. You know what type of food promotes health. There is no earthly reason you should not be doing something about it.

    I didn’t quite understand the last paragraph of your response but I will say that no, I would not date a woman who ate potato chips and soda because that sends a clear message that she does not care about her health or her (eventual) appearance. A woman worthy of respect is one her treats her body right, not one who regularly eats poison. A woman’s diet is just as important as her physical beauty and her attitude (or in fairy-tale world her ‘inner beauty’). What you perhaps don’t understand is that outward beauty is a manifestation of your inner beauty. If the outer is lacking then that is a clear indicator of something lacking on the inside. For instance: understanding the cause of obesity yet doing nothing about it.

    Yin and yang. A person is not attractive because half of them is good. A person is attractive if the whole is good.

  • Jackie: 

    If you want to raise your HDL, coconut oil is the quickest way to do it, with other saturated fats coming in second place.  (And it has other health benefits, too.)  I use and recommend this stuff for cooking: it's refined, so it won't make everything taste like coconuts, but it's not chemically bleached or deodorized. 

    (The problem is, of course, that raising your HDL raises your total cholesterol…so if your insurance penalizes you for having “high cholesterol” (which means they are idiots, because for women the correlation is basically nonexistent) you may have to be careful.)

    Yes, you definitely want to get your TG down, because that's very strongly correlated with whether your LDL is small and dense (bad) or big and fluffy (good).  You want it under 100, under 80 if possible, to give yourself some margin.  The easiest way to lower TG is to eat less carbohydrates.

    Therefore: less carbs, more coconut oil.

    If you really want to know what's going on, get your doctor to request a VAP cholesterol panel, which will actually measure your LDL (instead of just giving you an “imputed” number, e.g. a guess based on a formula) and which will tell you what your LDL size distribution is.  It doesn't matter if you have “high LDL” (to a point) if it's all big and fluffy.

    (The other problem is that lowering your TG makes your “LDL” higher according to the guess they make based on a formula!  So by lowering your TG, you're raising your LDL number!  If your TG are low but your “LDL” (i.e. their big fat guess) is high, definitely request a VAP test.)


    I made a value judgment.  It's not a value judgment about a particular body type: lifting weights gives you muscle tone, but it doesn't automatically make you gain muscle mass.  (Some people gain mass very easily, some are “hard gainers”.)  You can be very skinny and still have muscle tone, which is what I'm talking about.

    I've never known anyone who actually liked the zero-muscle-tone heroin-addict look in the flesh: it can photograph very well, but when you see that there's nothing holding those pipestems together as she moves, well…

    The problem is that many women, particularly young women, think that look is what most men want to see because they're continually exposed to it in magazines!

    If you disagree with that value judgment, that's fine.  


  • Anastasia

    Many thanks for including me on the resources list. I feel very humbled to be in such distinguished company.

  • Jim


    BOYS who only like skinny, weak women are weak pussies themselves. No one likes weaklings except other weaklings.

    Strong MEN like strong women.

    Form follows function. Ladies: Train to move as fast as possible, jump as high as possible, lift as heavy as possible and you will look the best.

  • Anastasia:

    I periodically revise the list. Keep writing excellent posts and you'll stay on it 😀


    Strength attracts strength.


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  • WalterB

    Don’t eat people; they are full of toxic sludge and besides it’s probably illegal where you live. So, even if you think you can handle the tox load, be sure to check with a lawyer.

  • WalterB:

    Good points.  Note that cows are fed about the same thing as people these days: we just eat our corn in more highly processed forms.


  • This might not translate, but we have a store here in the UK called 'Marks & Spencer' – it is a high brow shop and a definite cut above even the best supermarkets. Anyway, I digress (which is not unusual for me) …

    Their meat is always considered really fine and I decided to check it out …


    While there are a number of really good points with the production of meat in the UK, such as no hormones and no antibiotics in M&S meat, the packet itself reads really well, “pastured … grass fed …” all that good stuff and then, finished for six weeks on grain. Noooooooooooooo!

    Oh well … back to my local farm shop.

    Time for another e-mail campaign, I think.

    I wonder, who has heard of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall? See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Fearnley-Whittingstall – we're still fighting against the remaining nations in the EU who permit battery chickens (that's the UK and Poland) but I think he needs a new fight! Grass fed, clearly labelled and unadulterated. I think between him and M&S we might get a high street retailer to do this.

  • primordial

    If you would have to choose between organic (probably at the same time both grass and grain fed) and grass-fed with a 2-week finishing on grains – which meat would you pick?

  • primordial49:

    Of course it depends on the mix of grass and grain in the organic…but most likely I'd take the 2-week grain finish.  The n-3/n-6 balance will only get partially screwed up in 2 weeks.  AFAIK it takes three months to completely swing the balance.


  • Paul:

    As I mentioned above, six weeks won't completely destroy the profile…but it'll harm it greatly.  No good.

    As far as “battery chickens”, the USA is factory farming central for the world.  It's very difficult to find any meat in a supermarket that isn't factory farmed.  So I hope you can do better than we are!


  • There has been a huge drive from all quarters here in the UK against battery chickens – most of the supermarkets stock a stong variety of free range chickens and are very clear about organic and fully outdoor reared chickens which are send out to peck and scratch for their own food. Our farm shops simply do not stock factory farmed chickens.

    Eggs, too, are clearly labelled and we know the distinction between barn raised, free range, outdoor reared and woodland reared. Alas, our present government seem hell bent on destroying the Food Standards Agency and all the hard work they have put into clear labelling.

    The last time “this” government were in power (our Conservative Party), they nationalised the homogenisation and pasteurisation of milk, literally killing off all the small producers of sound unpasterised natural milk. That was a dark day. They also brought CJD into the food chain, pushing heavy factory farmers and pushing out the little guy. This time around seems no different. I wonder what will happen to the Food Standards Agency and the wealth of small producers who have proliferated in the last 13 years bringing real, organic and naturally reared food to our table.

    You can tell … I am NOT in favour of the Conservatives! To say they are the party for open market and free trade, they close down trade and manipulate the market to the nth degree to the best gain of multi-nationals and huge conglomerates; and ignore the little man – the voter, the upstart business and the small producer. Ironic!

    We've got our food chain in a good sense of order here in the UK – I think while this government do everything they can to ruin it (again) we might hold strong this time – rebellion is well within the spirit of the British psyche.

    Huge factory farming is threatening from Europe – think, Danish pork. Urgh! Again, ironically, this government are so very against “Europe” yet it will be the trend of huge warehouse meat production from Europe which will flourish in the coming years. “Free markets” are not a good thing this side of the pond, because they are not free – the people in positions of power who are able to grant licenses, legality and so on do like the wheels to be greased with money! The little man, the upstart, the small producer has a hard time in such a climate.

    People like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (and me, in my small way) challenge the market to change – he challenges the supermarkets to stock food which is right; and relentlessly follows it up. I bombarded Sainsbury (my preferred supermarket) to remove aspartame from their soft drinks, and ultimately they did. Okay, they use sugar to sweeten, but if you're going to drink soft drinks you don't want to be consuming poison!

    We're getting there … and we have gained a lot in the last 15 years or so. It could all go in a snap if this government mess it up … which they will. At least there is more of a sense of rebellion amongst, well … everyone this time that we might just hold strong. I gather the milk producers are starting to fight back and get some proper money for their produce. Remember, this government the last time brought in the Milk Marque which ruined milk production in this country.

    I could go on for a long time about food production in the UK. We are a farming nation, but our government to various degrees seem hell bent on ruining it. Still, we have our local farms … who have their local slaughtermen and their local outlets and even if sometimes it's just a little outside of the rules, well so what? What the taxman doesn't see doesn't hurt him!

  • Detailed explanation

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  • SpareFoot

    @Paul Halliday – the Conservatives of the UK sound a lot like the American versions in regards to the commercialization of agriculture.

  • Paul, SpareFoot:

    The politicians who bleat loudest about “free markets” and “deregulation” are, when you examine their actions closely, generally just stacking the deck in favor of their large corporate contributors.

    In the USA, the FDA prosecutes small raw milk producers while dragging their feet on recalling contaminated industrial turkeyburgers that have already killed people.


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  • Sarah

    I must be extra hormonal today, because this brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, I am truly inspired.

  • Sarah:


    You can read book after book in order to justify everything laid out here…but it's all you need to know in order to take action.  If humans needed entire books to teach us how to eat, we'd have died out millions of years ago.  Make it happen.


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  • Ole


    I’m curios if you are still recommending omega-3 supplements, in light of recent post on the topic on the perfect health diet blog


  • Sylvia

    Hi JS and Jim,

    “Strong MEN like strong women”
    “Strength attracts strength”

    Well, as a “strong woman” (JuJutsu, rowing, weightlifting) I have to jump in and say that this is absolutely not my experience. At 178 cm and relatively muscular 69 kg it was mostly the “weaklings” (looking for shelter?) that would date me. All strong men I know (e.g. JuJutsuka) have tiny, more than slender wifes or girlfriends (male protection behavior?). Sigh! Gladly I have found someone who likes athletic women.

    Greetings from Germany an congratulation on your very inspirational homepage and book,


  • Ole:

    I follow the Jaminets very closely.  Quote: “Given the many proven benefits of moderate amounts of fish oil, I don’t see a reason yet to alter our recommendation that healthy people should eat a pound of fish per week. That said, I do think very high intakes of fish or fish oil are ill advised.”

    1 pound of wild salmon/week = 9g of omega-3s.

    Note that my recommendation reads “1g/day each of EPA and DHA can be helpful if you haven’t eaten any fatty fish”, which is 14g/week of omega-3s.  So I'm not too far off of their current recommendation — especially compared to Dr. Davis, Robb Wolf, and the other people trying to maintain a 2:1-4:1 ratio of n-6/n-3.

    I may revise it downward, but I'm torn between the benefits of the strong anti-inflammatory effects (which I've used myself, to deal with health issues) and the possibility (unproven, but plausible) of oxidative damage.


    The attraction goes both ways.  Consider that small women are often very strongly attracted to big, strong, protective men…and hardcore martial artists and gym rats often aren't the most socially suave people in the world, meaning that they'll end up with the women that are most strongly attracted to them, rather than the women they're most attracted to themselves.

    Big, strong women are quite rare in my experience: most big women are either trying to starve themselves into smallness, or have simply given up and aren't fit at all.

    Anyway, congratulations on finding a mate, and welcome.  You've read The Gnoll Credo, then?




  • Sylvia

    you´re certainly right with your comment on small women being attracted to strong men. And (judging from the women who come to my self defence courses) most are very pleased to delegate anything that needs physical effort to their SO, not realising what they do to their body in the long run.
    The Gnoll Credo: Yes, I read it (twice) and enjoyed it a lot. And I must say that I found it most unusual that a male author chooses a matriachal society with very dominant female characters to pinpoint the fallacies of our society´s norms and values. The book gave me a lot to think about…


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  • Sylvia:

    “Choose” is an exaggeration: I didn't begin The Gnoll Credo with such a plan.  In fact, I didn't intend to write a novel at all!  I wrote what became the first page (the Credo itself), and tried to figure out whom I had learned it from.  Once I met Gryka, she took over the narrative.  All I could do was set her life down as best I could, and sort out what I learned from her.  And I'll be thinking about that for the rest of my life.

    If I've communicated any part of what it was like to know her, I consider the book a success.  I'm glad the book spoke to you.


  • Tony

    This is the best article Ive read in ages!
    Ive been feeling myself slipping off the paleo wagon this week but this post has totally inspired me to get back on. Ill be bookmarking it for future inspiration.

    Now I want to go climb a tree!

  • Alice

    Hi JS,

    Just found your site and I am really enjoying it and learning even more. I have been on a health(ier) diet for awhile now, do employ some of your techniques and do drink raw milk and eat pastured meats and eggs. I am one who suffers from IBS (although not nearly as bad as when I was more on the corn diet). I tried giving up gluten awhile ago and did manage to eliminate it and my digestive system ground to a halt. I would like to be more true to your predator diet, but I have found that whole grains (mainly whole wheat) helps things move better. Do you have any suggestions for me to try to get rid of the seeds and still have a functioning digestive system?

    Many thanks and keep up the great work! I’ll be getting your book soon!

  • Tony:

    Tree-climbing is a great workout.  You'll wonder how you did it so easily as a child.

    And yes, the inspiration is intentional.  Logic often isn't enough to keep us doing the right thing.


    First, there is always a period of adjustment when changing diet, in part because your gut flora takes time to adapt to the new food you're feeding it.

    Second, do things completely grind to a halt, or are you just pooping less?  Since paleo foods are so nutritionally dense, they are absorbed much better than grain products, and you'll generate less poop.  For example, each gram of wheat bran you eat will cause your body to excrete almost six grams of poop.  (In other words, it's causing you to not absorb other foods you're eating!) 

    We're taught that something's wrong if we don't leave a giant log in the toilet every morning, but this is just a legacy of 19th century religious fundamentalism (more here).

    That being said, if you're becoming legitimately constipated (hard, painful poop, not just infrequent poop), then you might consider a low-residue diet: cut any vegetables high in indigestible fiber, eat plenty of fat, and drink a bit of coffee to help move things along.  Frankly, if you've got IBS and are trying to heal the damage, indigestible fiber is a counterproductive irritant.

    Hope this helps! Let us know how you do.


  • Alice

    Thanks for the speedy reply, JS!

    And thanks for addressing my concerns although they are graphic, LOL! My system literally grinds to a halt — (apologies to all readers for the personal nature of this reply) — hard, painful and extreme constipation is what happens when I eliminate all grain-type fiber from my diet. I have also know that soluble fiber (from things like oats) sends me into extreme abdominal cramps that I don’t get with insoluble fiber — weird, eh? I might try a full seed elimination/predator diet to see how I do. I already drink 1 cup of coffee in the morning.

    Thanks again!

  • Alice:

    The clarification helps: if 'soluble fiber' gives you massive cramping, it's because you've got a degree of gut dysbiosis…bacteria that produce lots of gas instead of lots of acid.  (Soluble fiber is fermented by colon bacteria, insoluble fiber is simply passed.)  Watch this presentation for more information:

    I would also look into FODMAPs, which are various types of soluble fiber.  Are you OK with onions and broccoli/cabbage/cruciferous vegetables, or do those get you too?  It's quite possible to have problems with certain types but not with others.

    It sounds like you've become dependent on some amount of insoluble fiber in order to poop…that happens to some people.  You don't want to have to take it forever…but you might want to try a small amount of psyllium husk to replace the fiber you're used to getting from whole grains.  You should be able to slowly wean yourself off of it over time.


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  • Rosie

    WOW! This is a fantastic site full of excellent and relevant information. As a previous meat lover I have spent the past year as a vegetarian under the misguided belief that it is better for my health. Guess what, it wasn’t!!!! I love this lifestyle. You are wonderful.

  • Rosie

    ps just read the other comment wanting Aussie info, here is a good site:



  • L Hutch

    Similar to Rosie, I spent a yr as vegan hoping for health improvement. My health deteriorated and my weight went steadily up! Now I am willing to give this a try to see if it will have better results.

  • Rosie:

    I'm glad I can be of help. It's nice not to feel hungry all the time, isn't it?

    The vegetarians are partially correct that the SAD (Standard American Diet) is unhealthy: where they go wrong is in claiming that the meat is the unhealthy part.

    L Hutch:

    I'm sure you'll see improvements!  Make sure to eat plenty of eggs, occasional liver if you can, and fatty fish a couple times a week, along with fatty muscle meats.  And since you're nutritionally depleted, you may want to supplement things like selenium, copper, zinc, iodine, etc.  A good multivitamin (One-a-day or generic equivalent) plus some iodine may be a good idea, as is magnesium citrate (if you tolerate it) or malate (if you don't).

    I wish you the best on your journey!  Feel free to stop in and give progress reports or ask questions.


  • Scotlyn

    “Basically, if you find yourself bonking during long, intense efforts, try upping your starch intake”

    Enjoying a thorough read through your site. Just wondering if you were recommending starch as an aphrodisiac here…;)

  • Scotlyn:

    There is an important difference between bonking and boinking. 

    First, I enjoy boinking much more than I enjoy bonking.

    Second, I don't often find myself boinking during long, intense efforts.  Boinking is a long, intense effort — at least if you do it right 🙂


  • Scotlyn

    Ah, the delightful book titled “Bonk” is a treat you have not yet given yourself, I take it…

    Here’s to long, intense, and delightful efforts, whatever you call it!

  • Well, I enjoy bonking … but it means something VERY different over this side of the pond!

  • Scotlyn, Paul:

    Apparently this is one of those America/UK things, like “pants”.  In the US, pants = trousers, whereas for you pants = underpants.



  • Scotlyn

    or “pants” = breathes heavily while “bonking”…

    You’re right – I never heard “bonk” used in your sense before – as in tired, run down… only in the fun sense. Mary Roach – the author of “Bonk”, “Stiff” and “Spook” is an excellent science populiser, by the way. Lots of fun, a bit of ick, and you always learn something you definitely never knew before…

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  • Natalie

    Great Info.. My partner & I have a small facebook group call “Paleo in Perth” and we will be sharing this info.
    I’ve lost 15 Kgs and my partner over 25kgs and have also lost lots of aches & pains and feel healthier than we have in ages!! Great way to live!

  • aseafish out of wate

    This is a delight to read.

  • Natalie:

    I'm glad to hear it, and I totally agree: many people think they're doing “fine”, but quickly discover how much misery they've been putting up with once they begin eating functional paleo.


    Thank you!  I do my best to motivate as well as inform.


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  • Aimee

    Hey Natalie, would love the link for your Facebook group!
    I live in Perth and tried a facebook search but couldn’t find it

    Aimeeridgway at hotmail dot com

  • Cara

    I started the 4 Hour Body diet which seems very close to the Paleo diet with the exception that it allows for legumes and severely limits fruit. At this point (day 5) I haven’t lost more than a half pound and I’m so sick of beans I can’t look at them. This diet also allows for a “binge day” where you can eat anything and everything. I’m having no problem not eating sweets since I’m not a huge candy, cookie, cake kind of person. Bread was a weakness but not difficult to overcome. It’s the mindless snacking that has been my downfall (Combos cheddar cheese pretzel, in particular).
    After reading this, beans are gone. Looking forward to eating as much meat, veggies and fruit as I want.

  • Cara:

    Don't be discouraged if pounds don't drop off right away.  Weight loss is a side effect of healthy diet and functional metabolism, which is what all of this is about.  Our bodies didn't become dysfunctional in a week, and they might not fix themselves in a week either.

    That being said, before snacking, ask yourself “Am I really hungry?  Am I just bored?  Am I just in the habit of eating at this time or in this situation?”

    The same question works with meals, actually: read my articles on “The Breakfast Myth” for more information.  Here's Part I.


  • Chris

    This might be a bit offtopic, but my mother always prepare french fries using clarified butter. They have always been my absolute favourite fries.

  • Mandy

    Love this article, very inspiring. Calling all Perth, WA Paleo / Primal people! My husband and I have been primal for over 12 months now, loving it (though I still need encouragement when it comes to bread/sweets). We have a meetup group – very aptly named – The Perth Paleo Meetup. We’d love to meet more ‘pri-mates’, so if you’re in the area, let us know.

  • Jules

    What a brilliant article – feisty and honest, and wonderfully simple to understand. It is all too easy to get trapped in the maze of complex and conflicting information out there, even among paleo advocates, so I found this a really energising reminder of how simple it is to be good to myself. Love it, and will be showing it to all my friends 🙂

  • Chris:

    I've fried potato chips in clarified butter, and they're delicious! You have to be very careful to not leave ANY sugar or protein residue in the butter, though, or it'll burn and make everything taste terrible.


    The paleo presence “down under” is small but growing.  Best wishes!


    The facts are everywhere: often inspiration is what's lacking.  I'm glad I could provide some. 

    And as I've said many times: if it took an entire book to teach humans how to eat, we'd have died out long ago.

    Thank you for helping spread the word!


  • While we're on chip, fries, pomme frites, or whatever it is our various language call them, I wrote a post about Chips on my paleo sibling blog Leaving the Ice Age: http://leavingtheiceage.pjgh.co.uk/2011/11/chips.html

    Summary? Get some dripping! Fry small amounts to keep the carbohydrate load under your glucose requirement and return the fat to the fridge once cooled a little. Enjoy them a lot!

    [Fixed broken link -JS]

  • Tania

    Hi, I’ve been eating vegetarian and then just recently started eating eggs, fish and chicken again. I would love to try this Paleo diet but I spill protein in my urine and I think this diet would be stressful on my kidneys. What do you think? My mom and my sister have already had kidney failure and they both loved their meat. My kidneys are doing pretty good right now, so I don’t want to compromise their health.

  • Tania – you can make the switch without having to eat red meat. Having gone the first step to taking in quality macronutrients from fish and eggs, chicken is also useful, but do eat the skin. Can you try turkey, too? Shellfish?

    Personally, I'd be quite happy to leave it there, too. I find red meat a little boring, but I do like some cuts long and slowly cooked.

    Your next step should be to cut out all grains and beans, and perhaps dairy, but definitely grains and beans … for good. These actively distrupt you, block absorption of minerals, promote overgrowth of bad flora in your gut and strip it of good flora which can make full use of the vegetables you eat. I think this  crux of the problem with malabsorption and improper use of macronutrients. With a healed gut, packed with flourishing good flora, you can take full advantage of vegetables, digesting the parts which we cannot naturally digest not having fermenting stomachs, like cows or chimpanzees. Flora in the gut can break down those final parts of goodness.

    Dairy is a useful source of fat energy and probiotics in yoghurt. If you are already a “real food” eater, I'd encourage you to complete the healing process with lots of probiotic yoghurt once grains and beans are gone. Youay want to remove it for a period of purging (30 days) and bring it back in afterwards yoghurt, cream, soured cream, kefir and skyr. Milk isn't much use when you have cream.

    Remove the final traces of sugar, soy, industrial oils (that's all oils which are not cold pressed) and other such things foreign to a natural diet. Extra virgin olive oil, avocada oil and palm oil are fine, but keep them for salad dressings. Coconut oil has a superb profile. Fats should be gleaned naturally – from fish, meat and dairy if you keep it in your diet. Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel are all excellent, and for you, chicken thighs, slow-cooked.

    Do not be scared of fat – the majority of your calories should come from fat, but that happens naturally with paleo; no need to go gobbling down blocks of butter! If you have a meal with lean meat, eat it with something fatty – chicken breast and an avocado, for example. If you eat something predominantly starchy, couple it with fat to lower the glycemic load – mashed potato with butter and cream.

    Eating like a predator is quite a foreign concept for a vegetarian, but it is a principle. We're not rabid carnivores with no conscience for the animals, far from it – we insist on the animals which have been naturally reared, eaten their natural food in the way that they should, free from steroids, antibiotics and bulking agents. Same for fish – wild and uncontaminated.

    It is a principle which works and one which guides.

    I think you could make the adjustments easily.There will be a purging and healing period and beyond that, I think paleo will be a natural diet for you.

    Good macronutrients is the key – short chain natural fats, not thin industrial oils; starches, not sugars; protein from natural sources like meat, fish, shellfish and eggs, not manufactured sources like soy, quorn or seitan.

  • Changes « Live

    […]  So I would give up, and that was that.  Recently, I was introduced to the idea of the “Paleo Diet” and was incredibly intrigued.  Upon doing more research, it really, really made sense. […]

  • Tania:

    Incomplete protein (e.g. from grains and beans) is more stressful on the kidneys that the complete proteins of meat and eggs.  Complete protein will generallly be used for repair and synthesis unless you're eating it in excess — whereas incomplete protein will either be converted to glucose by the liver, or (failing that) filtered out by the kidneys.

    Remember that this is not a high-protein diet!  I stress the consumption of fatty meats (and eggs) because they leave you with a more healthy proportion of protein/fat than artificial industrial concoctions like “boneless/skinless/tasteless chicken breasts” and “extra lean ground beef”.

    Just for example, 75/25 ground beef is 76% fat by calories (source).

    Also, the most common causes of kidney failure are diabetes and hypertension…neither of which are caused by high-protein diets.


  • Predator Diet | SNY

    […] here Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in […]

  • Diet comparison: Raw

    […] like a predator, not like prey” – J. Stanton  Posted by doc0c at 2:12 […]

  • Diet comparison: Raw

    […] like a predator, not like prey” – J. Stanton  Posted by doc0c at 2:12 […]

  • Alexis

    And few foods remain unimproved by the addition of a fried egg….. Have to say this is one of my favorite lines. I knew I was “home” after reading this.

    Oh and while no one probably cares I found after eating this way I wasn’t fixing extra meals or trying to find good dog food ( for my mutts) but just fixing extra with my meal for them, followed by some running around. We all sleep better, are more calm and healthier of course.

    Love your blog and have learned a ton…so bad people don’t bring up nutrition around me any more.

  • Weekend Reading #10

    […] Paleo in 6 Steps Guide […]

  • Alexis:

    It's criminal the amount of grain-based junk we feed to our (carnivorous) pets…and then we're surprised that they're fat and diabetic, just like the humans who eat grain-based junk.

    Glad to have you here.  Welcome home!


  • Diet comparison: Raw

    […] like a predator, not like prey” – J. Stanton  Posted by doc0c at 2:12 […]

  • 8 More Unmanly Thing

    […] 6. Low-fat foods. You should Eat Like a Predator. […]

  • xx67

    How much meat do we gotta ingest so we don’t waste money eating too much?

    No carbs in meat.. so how do you know how much protein gets converted into glucose/ketones?

  • xx67:

    The conversion of protein to glucose and ketones depends on the body’s needs.  AFAIK a mostly-sedentary person who isn’t in ketosis burns perhaps 15% of energy as glucose: this increases with exercise, though exercise burns less calories than people think it does.  So if you’re eating <15% of calories as glucose and aren’t keto-adapted, you’ll need to make up the balance via gluconeogenesis from protein.

    You’ll note that this isn’t an all-meat diet, which I make clear right in Step 1 — and that I generally recommend carb intake below physiological needs as a weight-loss tool, not a permanent state to aspire to (though some people seem to do best in ketosis, either because they gain weight otherwise or due to other health issues).

    Generally if one eats fatty cuts of meat, one ends up getting most of their protein and fat calories from meat (80/20 hamburger, for instance, is over 2/3 calories from fat).  The carbs come from vegetables, root starches, and some fruit.  But since vegetables have no significant number of calories (one asparagus spear has four calories), you can eat all the veggies you want.  I actually eat a lot more vegetables now that I’ve ditched grains and other empty carbs!

    A usual meal for me contains meat, a couple eggs, a big pile of veggies cooked in coconut oil or ghee, a big mixed green salad, and something involving potatoes, sweet potatoes, or (occasionally) white rice — e.g. the Paleo Scramble.


  • kbags

    I have to ask what your take on fruit is though ?

    I eat lots of animal protein and fat everyday which include wild fish, eggs, grass fed meats, coconut oil. I also am trying to lose that last stubborn belly fat so thats why I want to know your take on fruit like how much can I eat and still have my body burn fat instead of carbs. Does it really matter where my carb sources come from and how much (as long as its paleo carbs) for my body to still burn fat and not just carbs like saying getting all my carbs from fruit for example. I lift heavy weights (because I love it) and for carbs for recovery I have some sweet potatoes and some fruit and greens (carbs are anywhere from 80-120 a day).

    I just cant get away from eating lots of fruit per day even though I want to get rid of that last stubborn belly fat I have. It dont think the fruit cravings are from not eating enough fat per day either because Im getting anywhere from 170-200+ grams of fat per day and calories are 2600 + .

  • I will happily bow to J's more scientific take (always backed up with sources) but from the reading I've done (yes, backed up by the right sources), fructose seems to be the issue. We seem to have trouble using the stuff. You can google the matter – Sissons, Wolf and Cordain have all written on this, and the Jaminets, too … who write more about starches.

    So, while starchy carbs seem fine (especially with fat) for more active folks, fruit seems a poor cousin. With exception. Bananas, ripe or course, give us a good profile. Grapefruit seems to be the odd one, citrus, fructose-laden, but gives so much more … then, there are berries, which have a pretty damn good profile.

    If you're happy with starchy carbs for your energy requirements, carry on. As with all paleo food – while good food exists on the table, why look over there for something else? When it comes to “fruit” I stick rigidly to berries, and a slice of lime in my G&T.

    I'd be interested in a good paleo-orientated summary of fruit – maybe J can be enticed into a Tuesday Special on the subject?

  • kbags:

    Losing that last increment of fat is a tough topic, because it seems to vary for different people.  The approaches I see that seem to help with that last stubborn fat are:

    -Carb cycling, including carbless PWO protocols.  You might actually do better with more total carbs (80-120 is pretty low for someone active), but by cycling them instead of just upping your general intake.

    -Intermittent fasting.  A combination of 16/8 IF and carb cycling really leans me out.

    Part of my protocol is to never snack, which includes “recovery carbs”.  Always eat them with a complete meal. 

    And as Paul said, I'd strongly recommend getting most of your carbs from glucose, not fructose, because fructose can only refill liver glycogen.  To refill the muscle glycogen you deplete from lifting heavy weights, you need glucose.  Sweet potatoes have a lot of fructose, relatively speaking, and so does fruit…and since your total carbs are very low (80-120g/day is not much for someone active) you might be shorter on glucose than you should be. 

    If you want to maintain that low a carb intake you should probably ditch the fruit and sweet potatoes, and go solely with pure starches like white potatoes and white rice…but given your intense workouts, I'd consider leaving them in but bumping up total intake with some pure starch (subject to the timings and strategies above.)

    If you've got further or more in-depth questions, please post them in the Talk forum so this comment thread doesn't get derailed too far.  And if you find my advice helpful, please consider buying a copy of The Gnoll Credo.

    Thanks and welcome!


  • kbags

    Thank you J and Paul it makes sense.

    On the carbs subject, what range of carb grams would you think to be good so that my body can still burn fat instead of carbs for fuel yet enough for muscles.

    I want my body to still burn fat but adding higher amounts of carbs anywhere from 150-200 + seems to me like it wont do that or am I wrong as long as total fat intake is higher than carb intake I should be fine. (going off Mark Sissions ideas)

  • kbags:

    That depends on the intensity and frequency of your workouts.  The problem with carbs is when you eat them in excess of your body's needs, e.g. your muscles and liver are already full of glycogen.  That's when carbs start to become fattening.

    Someone with lots of muscle mass who lifts a lot depletes more glycogen, and can store more glycogen, than your average couch potato: 150g/day is just a rule of thumb for your average person of average weight and physical activity.  Basically, you have to experiment: eat more if carbs improve your performance, eat less if you're starting to gain fat.  (Note: weight is not the best thing to track, because glycogen comes with a bunch of water weight.  Watch your waist circumference and your jiggle factor.)

    And as I said, some combination of carb cycling and IF is likely to help too.


  • WerD

    Why would ANY of you listen to someone with NO trace of any kind of medical schooling or medical degree of any sort that goes by “J. Stanton”? There is no validity of any of this person’s articles and I can almost guarentee that he has produced no actual studies or experiments himself. Honestly people, are you actually going to be that naieve to believe that eating more meat than anything else is healthy for you? Have you EVER in your whole entire lives EVER heard of someone switching to an all meat diet and have reversed chronic diseases and illnesses? Lowered cholesterol? Lost weight? Lowered blood pressure? Let me answer that for you…NO. However on the other hand there are thousands of cases of people doing all of these things by switching to a plant based diet. It is an absolute sickening thought that some of you are making diet decisions based on some stranger who runs a website thats called “www.gnolls.org”….

  • T Sayce

    What are your thoughts on sprouted grains and legumes? I agree with you on the bird seed part. What if a seed or a bean is germinated first before it is consumed? Now is it in the plant category? since it is in the process of becoming a mature plant that would be edible in it’s raw state?

  • WerD:

    Facts aren't changed by the source.  I link my references, and you can read them and make your own decisions.

    “Have you EVER in your whole entire lives EVER heard of someone switching to an all meat diet and have reversed chronic diseases and illnesses? Lowered cholesterol? Lost weight? Lowered blood pressure?”

    Absolutely yes! 

    First, this isn't an all-meat diet.  Second, thousands of us have improved our health in all respects!  Here's Part 1 of the Primal Blueprint success stories, and here's the first page of Free The Animal “Real Results”.  I have two personal friends who no longer take statins, several more who have each lost 30+ pounds…and that doesn't even count my readers!

    Eating an evolutionarily and biochemically appropriate diet is the first step to better health — and that includes plenty of delicious, nutrient-dense animal products. 

    T Sayce:

    Soaked and sprouted seeds and beans contain less antinutrients than raw seeds and beans, but they're still inferior food.  Sprouting doesn't magically add lysine to grain protein, deactivate gluten exorphins, or turn linoleic acid into an omega-3 fat.

    The only reason I see to eat them is that you're too poor to afford real food.  This is a legitimate concern, but “Ezekiel bread isn't as bad for you as white bread” is not a sufficient argument to get me to eat it.  Even the humble white potato is a superior nutritional source, containing complete protein and a solid complement of bioavailable vitamins and minerals.


  • JohnL

    WerD is right. The Paleo Diet is a fad diet and a stupid one at that. “this is what i think ‘we’ might have eaten way back when.” what about the connection b/t cancer rates and meat consumption?

  • JohnL:

    Paleo is a 2.6 million year old “fad”.  I've previously responded to criticisms like yours at length, in the following article: “What Is The Paleo Diet, Anyway?” 

    “what about the connection b/t cancer rates and meat consumption?”

    There is none — you've been lied to by decades of vegetarian propaganda.  See the following references, among many others:

    Patty W Siri-Tarino, Qi Sun, Frank B Hu, and Ronald M Krauss. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr Jan 2010

    “A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.

    Circulation. 2010 Jun 1;121(21):2271-83. Epub 2010 May 17.
    Red and processed meat consumption and risk of incident coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
    Micha R, Wallace SK, Mozaffarian D.
    Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

    “Red meat intake was not associated with CHD (n=4 studies; relative risk per 100-g serving per day=1.00; 95% confidence interval, 0.81 to 1.23; P for heterogeneity=0.36) or diabetes mellitus (n=5; relative risk=1.16; 95% confidence interval, 0.92 to 1.46; P=0.25).”

    And if you were convinced by “The China Study”, note that Campbell's book is a fraudulent misrepresentation of the actual China Study, which shows that meat intake is associated with longer life, and wheat intake is associated with shorter life.  See: “The China Study, A Formal Analysis And Response.”

    I was vegetarian once, because I once believed the same propaganda you do.  Upon doing my own in-depth research, I realized that the science is unequivocal: humans are omnivores who are not only well-adapted to a diet with animal products — we require them, and we are healthier, happier, and stronger when we eat them.


  • […] vegetables, nuts, not so much fruit, even less dairy, and no refined grains. You can also read this article that will give you another breakdown of the diet. Where's the […]

  • […] that I came across via a friend who sent it to me (thanks, Jim!).  The article, called “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey” is written by J.S. Stanton.  For those of you familiar with the Paleo style of eating, the […]

  • […] with a kinda long-ish title BUT don’t let that dissuade you!  Please go and check it out – “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: Paleo In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational Guide. (also check his paleo recipes) “This article exists for one simple reason: I get asked, […]

  • […] fun and really help simplify things for us non-scientific types… Are You On the Faileo Diet? Eat Like a Predator, Not a Prey; Paleo in 6 Easy Steps Filed Under: Family Life Tagged With: feeding the tribe, going paleo, nutrition, paieo diet, […]

  • JP

    About how many meals a day are we getting? From what I would guess about 1-2 meals if they are high fat meats.

    I did paleo before but only did lean meats, which hindered my performance and overall mood. I will try the fatty meats, some veggies, and little/no fruit.

  • JP:

    Eat when you're hungry…but always eat complete meals.  “Predators eat meals, prey grazes on snacks.”

    Over time, I've found myself converging to an IF-like 1.5 meals per day…a late lunch/early dinner and a small top-up a few hours later.  However, I know a lot of people who do best with a big, high-protein breakfast, no lunch, and a late dinner.  Through experimentation you'll find what works for you and your schedule.

    Low-fat “paleo” causes all sorts of problems.  It's great for short-term weight loss, and it's quite healthy, but it's nearly impossible to stay on for the reasons you mention: it leaves you cranky and continually hungry.


  • … and some of us find a compressed eating window works just right through the week, skipping breakfast, good lunch and a good dinner between noon and 8PM. Weekends, big breakfast, skip lunch and a good dinner.

    It's all down to how hungry, or otherwise, you are at the time you get the chance to eat. Work patterns tend to dictate lunches, family commitments set dinner time.

    Do try to break out of your comfort mould – if you don't eat breakfast, try to; if you have a light lunch, try a large one and a smaller dinner. See what works out, but do try different things. Also, a J touched upon, IF is useful, but keep it random – if you're later than usual with a meal, just ride through and gorge at the next one.

    The human body seems very adept at settling down to whatever pattern you happen upon. If you have weight loss goals, particularly, then shaking it up with IF, with larger than normal meals at times you don't usually eat, skipping others entirely and some days compressing eating times your body will respond.

    On the whole, find a pattern and enjoy … shake it up every now and again.

  • JP

    Awesome! I can’t thank you enough for this great info you’ve provided all of us. Best of all, eating (and thinking) this way brings out a more dominant human attitude that we as “predators” need to apply to our daily lives. Living in America I feel like a hungry lion surrounded by fattened cows that need to be “devoured” in a metaphorical sense 😉 If you don’t agree with this stuff, you’re fixin’ to be someone’s dinner or plaything…metaphorically with the previous and literally with the latter.

  • JP:

    Welcome back!  I take it the “higher fat, less nuts and fruits” upgrade of functional paleo has worked for you…?

    Diet and exercise is the first step in reclaiming our evolutionary heritage.  Humans are strong, capable predators, not depressed, angst-ridden, compliant herd animals.


  • Patrick

    Very cool article! Makes a lot of great points.
    I will have to give this diet a try at some point. I’m actually experimenting with the raw food diet right now. I hear great compelling arguments on both sides, but I feel that I can only know for sure once I’ve tried.

    Here are my concerns on the article:

    1. Eating domesticated animals doesn’t seem very primal
    2. Daily consumption of meat seems uncharacteristic of our human ancestors. I read an article in National Geographic a while back, where a reporter lived with one of the last indigenous tribes of East Africa (forget the name). Anyway, he followed them as they went on a hunt which lasted for a few days. This was a very active time, all the while they ate very lightly on the local flora. Once they got their kill they brought it back to their tribe and feasted for a few days, remaining very sedentary until the meat ran out.

    So to me, fruit and vegetables are instant energy that power through my day, workout etc. And then at the end of the week, I can kick back, relax and eat some meat…. and then fall asleep.

    Just some thoughts.
    Any counterarguments or thoughts would be appreciated.


  • Patrick:

    There are raw paleo eaters (and an entire forum dedicated to the topic), and “raw + meat and eggs” is a very healthy and nutritious diet.

    Keep in mind that almost everyone feels great when they start raw, because they've eliminated so many frank toxins that paleo also eliminates: primarily grains and grain products (including “vegetable oil”), and all sorts of terrible junk food.  Raw also emphasizes the consumption of vegetables and fruits, with which paleo also agrees (though we usually moderate fruit consumption).

    The trouble often comes after some months on the diet, when deficiencies start catching up with you.  The usual response is to restrict the diet even more to try and find the offending toxin…but nothing is going to fix a lack of B12, choline, K2, carnosine, saturated fat, cholesterol, etc.

    Re: “eating domesticated animals doesn't seem very paleo”, eating domesticated plants isn't paleo, either.  Wild cabbage was only domesticated and bred into its modern forms (kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower) a few thousand years ago, and what you see in a supermarket (or even your garden) has very little to do with what was eaten during the Paleolithic.  See my take on that issue in “What Is The Paleo Diet, Anyway?”

    Re: meat frequency, it depends on the society you're talking about: modern foragers range from “every day, and it's basically 100% of calories” to “every few days on average”.  All they have in common is that none are vegetarian, and all prize meat as the most desirable form of food even if they can't obtain it every day. 

    That being said, if you feel best on a “gorge on meat every few days” schedule, then go for it!  It's easy to experiment, and it's not like you're committing to a year's prepaid membership in Club Paleo.


  • Patrick

    Good points… thanks for the quick reply. I’m definitely not going to live raw the rest of my life, I was doing it as more of a detox. I will say that I used to eat a ton of bread, and I do feel much better now without it. But I can see it having downfalls years down the road.

    After a month or so I’ll start incorporating meat, but slowly. I like your idea of “gorge every few days”; that just seems to suit my lifestyle/eating habits a bit more.

  • JP

    I’ve noticed I actually feel and perform great on just fatty meats and veggies. Never hungry, not tired, and no stress (about having to snack every few hours). With regards to what Patrick stated, after about 2 weeks or so of just meat and veggies, I get cravings for starches and/or rice. Never fruits. I go on a 1-2 day starch/glucose fill, and that resets my cravings for fatty meats and veggies…this is perfectly sustainable and seems in line with what you teach.

  • JP:

    I'm glad you found an approach that works for you!  Something I like to stress is that if you're having to constantly fight cravings or stay hungry, there's almost guaranteed to be substantial room for improvement in your diet.


  • Najam


    Very informative. I would like to ask, what if someone cannot find or assure whether meat is from grain-fed or grass-fed animal, what can he do? Sometimes, it’s really difficult to find grass-fed meat.

  • Najam

    I got couple of more questions as well. What do u say about Uric Acid, if we eat heaps of meat only? and

    What about the fact that our brain needs mainly carbs as fuel?

  • Najam:

    Grain-fed beef is still far better than eating the grains yourself.  Pasturing matters much more with pork and chicken, which seem to accumulate n-6 in their fat much more easily than ruminants do (cattle, sheep/lamb, goat, elk, bison).  The majority of meat in my freezer is, indeed, grass-fed — but when grain-fed rib primals go on sale for $5/pound, or I’m on the road, I don’t worry much about eating them.

    The only way to buy grass-fed beef at a reasonable price is to get a chest freezer and buy it by the side, directly from a local producer.  I hope to write an article about this process someday.

    Uric acid is not a concern:

    “Hyperuricemia results from the overproduction of urate (10%), from underexcretion of urate (90%), or often a combination of the two” (reference).  

    “90% of UA filtered by the kidneys is reabsorbed, instead of being excreted. These facts suggest that evolution and physiology have not treated UA as a harmful waste product, but as something beneficial that has to be kept.” (reference)

    The primary factors that cause uric acid to be retained are alcohol and dietary fructose, with exercise also playing a role.  Therefore, one should cut alcohol and fructose if one is worried about gout.  

    I know someone with lifelong gout issues who has not had one single attack since following the principles in this article, including basing their diet on fatty red meat.  The standard advice (cut alcohol and red meat) is only half right.

    Brain and carbs:

    Yes, our brain uses glucose as fuel…but it’s perhaps 20% of our body’s energy needs at rest, and those needs can be partially satisfied by ketones — which are continually being produced by the breakdown of fat for energy, even when one is not in ketosis.  This isn’t a zero-carb diet, as I make clear in Step 1…and even if you decide to go zero-carb, the body can make glucose from protein so long as you’re eating enough of it.


  • […] Eat Like a Predator, Not Like Prey – I’ve been enjoying this website for about a week now. I like the guy’s style, and his perspective. It’s an inspiring way to think about ourselves, and is definitely motivating to me. I haven’t read nearly as much of his stuff as I’d like to, but I’m going to keep chewing through all of it because there’s a lot of quality in there. […]

  • Frank

    I don’t often read through long (online) articles like this in one go but this one was most definitely worth it! I’ve been on a Paleo diet for a couple of months now but I’ve found a couple of good tips that I didn’t know about before. Thanks for enlightening me~ ^^

  • joe

    This is the most simple and informative breakdown of paleo i ever read i usually dont read long articles but this is well worth it thank’s i just started eating this way i eliminated all grains and processed foods lots of veggies and meat and i feel freakin great tons of energy and sex drive is through the roof but i am already following all the above steps i encourage
    any and everyone to give this lifestyle change a try you wont regret it…..

  • Frank:

    You're welcome!

    There's a lot more good information here at gnolls.org: you might browse the index.


    I appreciate the support (it's much easier to write a book than to boil everything down to one article), and I'm glad it's improved your health and life.  Spread the word, and you're welcome here anytime.


  • Patrick

    After a few weeks of being raw vegan, I’ve started to adjust my diet by including cooked vegetables and some animal protein. It has been a great progression, and I think it will be the lifestyle I live the rest of my life. I eat much more fruit(6-8 servings a day) and less meat(few ounces a day) than the Paleo diet, but it has been working really well for me. I think what it comes down to is just eating a “whole foods” type of diet.

  • David Siegel

    I’m sorry to spoil the party, but JS, who seems like a good guy, the kind of guy you’d like to have a glass of unsweetened tea with, is up to the usual tricks of storytelling and misdirection to get you to believe his thesis. While he happily applies the gold standard of research (randomized, double-blind trials verified by at least two large-scale studies) against those he wants to prove wrong, he doesn’t use it to make his own case. Instead, he uses analogies, storytelling, and complex scientific arguments – the same tools used to debunk climate science, promote creationism, and show the frequent visitations of aliens (with big, almond-shaped eyes) to our fair planet.

    If JS is so all-knowing, if he has indeed discovered the keys to a long healthy life, how does he deal with counter-examples? People like vegans who are robust and energetic into their 90s? What’s going on there? How did they manage to avoid ruin, decay, and death by flatulence?

    If he is so good at sleuthing our original diet (meat most of the time with grains/starches to get through the lean times), where is the anthropology on that? How does he explain chimpanzees, our closest cousins, who do exactly the opposite? And what about Gorillas, very close relatives who eat pretty much nothing but leaves and stems all day, have extremely sharp canines, aren’t ruminants, live to their 50s, and can throw a nutrition blogger about 40 feet if they have to?

    Ah, and what of protein? How much do we really need? Have you seen the randomized double blind studies on that? I don’t think so. But people in the Kalahari desert do just fine on a diet consisting mainly of roots and seeds and a chicken or goat just a few times per year (I’m using anecdotes because I’m not making any claims).

    JS makes the same mistakes Taubes does – he proves others wrong using science and reason then advances his own theories using analogies, anecdotes, and diagrams. Nice work, but let’s not call it science until he can apply the gold standard and show who it applies to and that the exceptions to his rules are very very very few. It could very well be that the advice is good for people who have metabolic syndrome (are prone to insulin resistance), but he hasn’t shown even that, and he certainly hasn’t shown anything relevant for large numbers of people. People like those reading these words. Until we are able to really test these theories independently without caring what the results are, your mileage may vary!

  • David Siegel:

    Oh, bosh.  If you can find me any controlled trials that show (for instance) unprocessed red meat is bad for you, I'm all ears.  To argue against 3.4 million years of archaeological evidence and basic biochemistry, you'll need more than bad epidemiology.

    For instance: if the low-fat, low-meat, high-grain diet we've been told to eat for decades — and have adopted — is so healthy, why did obesity and diabetes skyrocket just after we began to adopt it — and why is our functional lifespan decreasing?   Juggling self-reported associative data already proven to be bunk can't explain away the incontrovertible facts: we're fatter and sicker than ever.  

    “If JS is so all-knowing, if he has indeed discovered the keys to a long healthy life, how does he deal with counter-examples? People like vegans who are robust and energetic into their 90s?”

    My grandfather smoked two packs of cigarettes for over 50 years and lived well into his 80s, dying of a non-smoking-related illness.  That doesn't mean smoking is good for us!  

    The science of longevity is reasonably well-established: “Among our centenarians we have no athletes, no vegetarians,” Barzilai said. Thirty percent of his subjects were overweight or obese in the 1950s, and close to 30% were smokers. “We have a woman who smoked two packs a day until the age of 91. She is now 105,” he said. “What I’m saying is that they didn’t do what we tell our patients to do.”

    Instead, it turns out, these centenarians possess variants of one or of several genes that researchers believe protect the body against the harmful effects of aging. (Source.)

    “If he is so good at sleuthing our original diet (meat most of the time with grains/starches to get through the lean times), where is the anthropology on that? How does he explain chimpanzees, our closest cousins, who do exactly the opposite?” 

    I've covered the anthropology and archeology in detail.  There's plenty of archaeological evidence.  You may disagree with the consensus interpretation, but you may not imply that the evidence doesn't exist.  That's a specious argument. 

    Besides, if we were still primarily frugivores, we'd still be limited to living in tropical forests with the rest of the chimps and bonobos, and we wouldn't need brains capable of making and using computers and the Internet.  Please apply some common sense to the problem.

    “Ah, and what of protein? How much do we really need? Have you seen the randomized double blind studies on that? I don't think so.”

    Oh, bosh.  There is a raft of scientific evidence for optimal protein consumption, and it ranges from between 0.8 to 1.9 g/kg/day — even more if you're low-carb.  Start reading here and here for all the citations you could want.

    Note that this assumes complete protein with good bioavailability, such as eggs and meat.  Grain protein is both incomplete and less bioavailable, producing deficiency diseases like pellagra and kwashiorkor if not supplemented with meat or complementary plant protein.

    “JS makes the same mistakes Taubes does – he proves others wrong using science and reason then advances his own theories using analogies, anecdotes, and diagrams.”

    Oh, bosh.  As I've already demonstrated, mainstream dietary advice is based almost entirely on bad epidemiology, not controlled trials — and it has produced a fat, sick, diabetic America.  My work is based on biochemistry and evolutionary biology.

    All that being said, you're absolutely free to eat what you want, do what you want, and believe what and whom you want.  You're even free to debate here in the comment section.  

    However, you are not free to choose your own facts.  Obfuscatory rhetorical techniques that flout established science and misrepresent my work are not interesting, informative, or welcome.


    Humans, being omnivorous, have become adapted to survive on a wide variety of diets, depending on their ecological niche.  It is definitely the case that eating real, whole, unprocessed foods, and avoiding Neolithic toxins like grains and grain oils, is more important than the proportions we eat them in.

    I do my best to advocate what I think is optimal for most people…but I'm glad you've found a variation that works for you!


  • […] So, over at http://gnolls.org they’ve got a pretty basic way of living like a Werewolf. I like the way the blog’s author, a Gnoll by the name of J. Stanton recommends These Few Steps […]

  • Neil G

    J.Stanton! Glad to see this post still alive, and that your enthusiasm to help others is so strong. much respect to that. I’m a new paleo who used to be a pretty strict 6 meals a day/40c40p20f ratio/ low sat fat etc etc and i thought it was airtight. Couple questions for you when u get a sec

    1- why is meal frequency unimportant to keep one’s metabolism high throughout the day?

    2- If i ate 2000 calories of fat and protein in the morning, would all of it get burned throughout the day? I remember reading how if the portions are too big then your body will turn what it cant burn in the following few hours into fat and store it.

    3- i love protein shakes , mainly because of the convenience factor. U mentioned not to drink your meals.. whats your take on liquid protein/fat meals..?

    4- a few foods to clarify if i could get a thumbs up or down
    a) bacon and pork
    b) cottage cheese
    c) greek yogurt

    5-for someone who is strictly looking to optimize fat burning, how would you change meal size/ frequency/ food choices ?

    thanks again JS.

  • Neil G:

    1. A correctly functional metabolism can retrieve calories from storage as needed.  In fact, we have more energy available for maximal effort when we’re not concurrently spending energy on digestion!

    2. Everything gets stored and used (caveats below). The reason I recommend a relatively low carbohydrate intake (15-20% of calories, increasing with intense activity) is because excess carbohydrate — beyond our muscles’ and liver’s ability to store as glycogen — is indeed converted to fat, which often accumulates in the liver itself because that’s where the conversion occurs.  This is why high-carb diets raise your triglycerides!  In contrast, fat can hang around in your bloodstream a lot longer without requiring conversion or storage…and if they get stored, fats are continually being cycled in and out of your fat cells anyway, so it’s not as much of an issue.

    The caveat is that amino acids (e.g. protein) have no storage pool and only last so long in your bloodstream…so if you’re trying to maximize anabolism, you might consider grabbing a little bit of lean protein in between meals.  (I think even just isolated leucine does the trick.)  It doesn’t take much…just enough for your body to not catabolize.

    3. If you’re trying to GAIN weight, by all means drink protein/fat shakes!  It’s just a bad strategy to lose weight…and since most drinks you can buy are sugar bombs (soda, sports drinks, fruit juice and “smoothies”, nonfat milk) it’s a good rule of thumb to just eliminate liquid calories entirely.

    4a. Bacon and pork – OK in moderation. Pork fat, especially industrial pork, is high in omega-6.

    4b. I hate cottage cheese, so I’m the wrong person to ask.

    4c. Greek yogurt is usually OK in moderation: it’s a dense source of calories, but as long as you don’t have problems with dairy, it’s a delicious treat.  Note that a lot of junk gets passed off as “Greek” these days, as it’s a hot item: if the unsweetened stuff is less than 75% calories from fat, I wouldn’t buy it.

    5. The basic “Eat Like A Predator” plan should get you down to a healthy weight.  You can optimize purely for fat loss by increasing protein intake, replacing as much of your fats as possible with MCTs (e.g. coconut oil), and decreasing total fat somewhat.

    If you really want to get “ripped”, you need to talk to the bodybuilders, fighters, and strength athletes, and you’re going to need to do some unnatural things.  Jamie Lewis has you covered on that score (caution: lots of cussing and pictures of naked women, though damn funny IMO).


  • … as a predator, I'm happy to answer your direct food questions:

    1. Protein shakes – okay, so long as it is directly after very strenuous activity and made from undenatured milk, no emulsifier and no flavouring, preferably with a shot of fresh espresso and a slug of whisky! That, relaxing tired muscles in a bath of hot water is fantastic! Routinely, as a meal replacement, poor. Eat real food!

    2. Get your pork from a Butcher! Find pork that is closer to the ground than a factory. If you can, have a Butcher slice you some belly for bacon.

    3. Cottage Cheese – I love the stuff! It's good! Dairy, especially off product dairy like whey cheese and fermented dairy is superb! Eat and enjoy, so long as you are tolerant.

    4. Greek Yoghurt – unless you're in Europe, the chances are you're eating “Greek style yoghurt”. Greek Yoghurt is PDO protected. Anything else is fake. That said, it's still good – soured dairy as Greek-style yoghurt, Smetana, Skyr, whatever … good stuff, but get it live with a real culture working in there for good gut health.

    Generally, “paleo”, “primal” and “predator” eating is about getting the best you can. Seek out the best resources and shun those that a poor.

    To fat burning, something I have slid into and think I'm doing it well …

    When you sleep, you enter a phase of fat burning – you can continue that throughout the morning by continuing the fast (skipping breakfast), but for me, it helps to have a little fat and carb first thing – two tablespoons of full fat yoghurt and I'm set! I can feel energised and my brain is on fire for the morning! Greek yoghurt and cream cheese will do the same for you.

    I eat in a compressed window from noon to mid-evening. That little fatty dairy in the morning re-stimulates my body into doing some fat burning. I replenish over lunch and dinner with two larger meals. At the weekend, I brunch on a classic “English Breakfast”, skip lunch and eat late in the evening.

    I err away from carbs in the evening, generally. Meat or fish and greens for dinner. I also like something fatty for dessert and often have a panna cotta – this is double cream, vanilla essence, glucose syrup and gelatine. This sets me up overnight and when I wake … just a tickle of fatty dairy and I'm out of the gate and into the day!

    Lunch? Light and this is where you put anything carby … just a little, though. I like to eat fishy things for lunch, cold, with salady things. Again, yoghurt, smetana, soured cream alongside.

    I'm northern European and very happy with dairy. In fact, culturally happy with dairy. As a paleo eater, I can reconcile my dairy intake as something perfectly natural and right for me.

  • Fleur

    I have bee living the Paleo lifestyle for around 8 weeks and everything is good but I cant seem to break my addiction to sugar (in particular fizzy drinks, ice cream, chocolate, bread based cakes and the odd glass of red wine). My weight has dropped steadily but I know it could be even more dramatic if I were to cut out these things. Please don’t tell me to eat more fat because no matter how much animal fat I consume in a day I always get sugar cravings – particularly in the evenings.

    Can anyone give me some advice on how to break the sugar cycle?

  • Fleur:

    First, don't worry about the odd glass of red wine…I see no evidence that it's bad for us.

    Second, you've only been paleo for eight weeks.  If experience is any guide, you'll be experiencing changes to your physical and mental state for at least a year.  It'll become easier and easier to resist the temptation.

    Meanwhile, might I suggest the following:

    * Have a square or two of dark chocolate (85-90%) for dessert.  (The Lindt 90% is my favorite.)  It's natural to want something tasty for dessert, especially when we're so used to giving ourselves the treat!

    * Set yourself a rule: no snacking.  Period.  Either eat a meal or suck it up.  Then, once you've eaten, if you still want your cheat, go ahead…but since you'll have already satiated yourself with real food, you're much less likely to go on a binge.  

    Besides, 140 calories of Coca-Cola every once in a while isn't as bad for you as thousands of calories worth of hideous fake “primal cupcakes” made from n-6-laden nut flour and stevia.  Blech!

    * What's your carb intake like?  If you're VLC, you might just be craving carbs, not junk food in general.  15% of calories is a reasonable target for anyone who isn't very physically active…more if you are.  

    Keep in mind that it takes about 40 calories to digest a pound of green veggies, so most leafy vegetables are actually calorie-negative.  Root vegetables, OTOH, will be strongly calorie-positive.

    * Don't stress about it too hard as long as you're making progress towards your goals.  Once progress stalls, that's a good time to get more stringent with your diet.

    Hope this helps!  


    (As always, if you find my articles or advice helpful, I encourage you to support continued updates by buying a copy of The Gnoll Credo, buying a T-shirt, or at least making your Amazon purchases through my affiliate link.)

  • Fleur – I'm a little bit ahead of you, now about a year of ancestral eating. During that time, my requirement of the diet has changed dramatically – first, I needed a lot more fat to give me the energy after dropping off such high carbohydrate intake. Now, I'm quite the reverse and just use a little fat to wet up veggies, erring towards leaner meat. We're just coming into spring, so that might well be a factor – come next autumn, I might well be chowing down on the fatty meats again.

    Seasonal eating is a big factor and as you progress into your ancestral eating journey, you'll find your groove. Sensible indulgences are just that … red wine, chocolate, some spirits, even, are all good. The key focus is to absolutely enjoy it when you do. No guilt!

    Paleo is an inclusive diet – what you CAN eat. Prescriptive diets which tells you the paradigm within which you MUST stay in order for the diet to “work” are just bunk. Really! How can anyone progress for the rest of their life like that? Paleo eating releases you – you can have that chocolate, you can have that glass of wine, or two … or bottle if the fancy takes you.

    Eating paleo will put you much more in touch with YOU. From there, you will love those treats, but you will also love reserving them as just that – treats. Pleasures of being alive, rather than rewards for “doing well”.


    But …


    First, you do need to break the cycle and, just as J said, stop snacking. Go from meal to meal savouring the hunger – this will take a mere few days to break through. Really, that little. Same as giving up cigs – it's a bigger hurdle in your mind than it is in actual fact.

    Go from meal to meal and satisfy yourself then. Don't snack in between. The regularity of eating will release you from cravings and set you up for the next step which you might have heard about – fasting. Skipping a meal, just because; eating in a compressed time window, just because. Fasting only really works effectively once you've broken your addiction.

    That's a strong word, but that's what it is.

    Once you're through that, the next phase is a joy – you will love eating, you will love not eating, you will love fasting and the clarity and purity than comes with it, and the joy of eating afterwards.

    J's 'Predator Principle' is very sound indeed. More useful, I think, than the rather stark definition of paleo. Take time to read it through again – I think you'll understand the snacking thing a little better after savouring that.

  • […] like I cannot eat mushrooms all that often and I love mushrooms. However, I do plan on adopting the GNOLLS approach of “eat like a predator, not prey” as much as possible. I like the idea behind it and […]

  • Fleur

    Thanks JS and Paul for your answers. I will try not to stress too much about it as this causes comfort eating too! I’m currently 9st 12lb and want to get down to 9st 5lb but will continue the Paleo lifestyle even after that.

    My carb intake comes mostly from fresh vegetables. I try and avoid potatoes as the starch causes my insulin levels to spike (but definitely still miles better than cake). Plus, I’m recovering from a broken shoulder at the moment so can’t do much in the way of exercise so don’t really need to bulk myself up with energy dense foods!!

    Would it help to also follow paleo eating patterns as well as foodstuffs ( ie little or nothing during the day then a big meal at night)? Would this contribute to weight loss?

    Many thanks 🙂

  • The quick answer is … it varies.

    Everyone is different – I find that practically nothing in the morning (a couple of spoons of probiotic yoghurt) with a light lunch (erring on the side of fish and salad), then a large evening meal no later than 8 PM works well … for me. My main outdoor activity is between 5 and 7 PM, after which, I eat. That is pretty much what could be called a “compressed eating window” of 8 hours from noon, the rest, fasting.

    Others like a hearty breakfast, some lunch and a evening meal, and whatever combinations thereof that you can dream up. I depends upon the person, what they're doing and … whether fasting is part of their lifestyle.

    Fasting really is only useful once you've killed off the snacking. Jack Kruse has written a lot about this, and how to break the snacking/craving cycle – as I said above, it is fast but does need some discipline.

    Once you're into a habit of a good eating plan that suits you, you can then accelerate further weight loss by messing that cycle up – eating a good breakfast if you don't usually, skipping lunch if you usually rely on it, eating less protein in the evening, having a starch binge (!) or having a day where fat is the principal source of energy, keeping protein and carbs right down.

    There is a key to this in the phrase “intermittent fasting” …

    Intermittent – this is a trigger, not a way of life. Do this periodically. I like to use something outside of my control to determine when – if it snows, do something different, if you're just a little late for a meal because of unforseen work patterns, skip it, if your car is running low on gas … all sorts of things can be used to initiate a fast, or rather, a change in the normal routine.

    That's the long answer.

  • Fleur:

    Some form of intermittent fasting or meal skipping can be an excellent weight-loss tool — IF you're not forcing yourself to do it.  If you are, you'll just be miserable — and likely catabolize muscle mass you don't want to lose.  Don't rush it — I've been “paleo” for over a year, and my body and metabolism are still slowly changing and improving.

    “Eat when you're hungry, not when you're supposed to” is a good rule of thumb.  Some people, like myself, do fine skipping breakfast and not eating until late afternoon…others do best with a big, hearty breakfast but no lunch.  Either way, it's best for your first meal to include plenty of complete protein, and to be lower in carbohydrate than the evening meal.  Once your metabolism has normalized to the point where lunch rolls around and you're just not hungry, that's when you start thinking about fasting and meal skipping.


  • Neil G

    Hey guys, thanks for your responses on my earlier questions. The one area i feel lost in is the meat category, I walk down the meat section without a clue.

    Which are the fattier cuts? I am also on a budget so cant spend a ton of dough.
    what’s the best bang for my buck?
    If the meat isn’t grass fed, should i still be getting the fatty cut? or is that fat gonna be shitty omega 6?

    I emailed a guy who runs a wholesale meat farm and asked him “are your cows 100% grass fed?” and this is his reply, maybe you can help me make out if he’s got the goods or not.

    He replied,

    “Hi Neil,
    I have thought about your “100% grass fed” question. I am not sure how technical I need to be to answer your question to your satisfaction.
    I don’t think there is 100% grass pastures in Ontario. Any farmer worth his salt will have some legumes in the pasture seed mix. The legumes consist of alfalfa and clovers. The legumes provide added nutrition for the cattle as well as lengthens the pasture season into the fall. Grass growth slows down as the summer moves along. Think of your lawn. You can mow it twice a week in June and maybe twice in the month of August. Legumes continue growing until there is a frost.
    Hay (dried grass and legumes) is harvested late spring and early summer and stored for winter feeding. Oats, barley and wheat are grasses. So is corn a grass, believe it or not. Soybeans are a legume. So our cattle are grass and legume fed all year around. Whether it is in the form of pasture or stored hay and silages for winter. Cattle in Ontario are fed stored feeds 5 to 7 months of year.
    Beef Connections cattle that are destined to end up on the BBQ are generally kept in the stable and fed a ration that is made up stored forages and grains. When the cattle have obtained the desired finish (fatness) they are sent to abattoir and processed into those well marbled steaks that many enjoy on the BBQ and fine restaurants.
    I am bouncing around here, but I hope you can glean some idea of the complexity. There is such a wide gap in knowledge between rural (farming) and the urban citizens of Ontario. To complicate things farmers try to set themselves apart from one another by stating their animals are 100% grass fed , traditionally raised, natural ………. etc.
    While composing this reply I have another thought on the “100% grass fed”. It could be that you are referring to some farmers that raise cattle that are only fed grass (grasses and legumes) whether on pasture or fed hay in the off seasons. No grains.
    Cattle fed the “100% grass” diet tend to be older when slaughtered for they take longer to grow to a marketable size. Their meat is leaner and they are generally dry aged longer (3 to 4 weeks) because they are older and hence have tougher meat. Aging mitigates that toughness. The breed of cattle the farmer has makes a big difference on this too.
    Ee-gads! I have to get some work done. I hope I made sense.”

  • Daniel

    Hey JS haven’t commented here in a long while but I’m still reading. I went back over the earlier articles as well, including this one and I saw in the comments you are still responding to and answering the noobs. A lot of the Paleo ppl have stopped this mostly and its nice to see you still personally answer questions and still try to help guide the noobs. After 2 yrs of this lifestyle, my IBS is gone, my anger control problems have vanished, I’m still a little guy (5ft 7in, 135 lbs) but I look like Bruce Lee. Lol I love this and my mind state has shifted into a more “rational” and I guess I would say a less “emotional” basic platform of awareness. Idk, that part is harder to explain. Anyway thanks for being real and actually doing something worthwhile. Moving towards a predatory type lifestyle and mindset has certainly made me more ambitious albeit for very different things than in the past. I could (and prob should) write a book on all the deeper intrinsic-to-life things that change once this lifestyle really takes hold. I’m with Peggy at the Primal Parent, I think it actually does change both your body and mind further proving that they are NOT separate but one whole entity.

  • Neil G:

    Fat is the white part, so look for stuff with a lot of white inside the muscle.

    The fattiest cheap cuts will be hamburger (of course) and chuck roasts.  Round tends to be very lean, as is most sirloin (unless the butcher leaves the lip around the edge).  Tri-tip and short ribs are great if you can find them on sale.  I won't buy the tubes of hamburger from the packing plant: I only buy fresh ground from the store (it'll come on a tray, not in a tube).

    The main thing with meat on a budget is to shop the sales, and stock your freezer when the cuts you want become cheap.  I've bought entire rib primals (= 20 pounds worth of ribeye steak) for $5/pound!

    I still buy fatty cuts, even at the supermarket, because the n-3/n-6 ratio of grain-fed beef is still better than even pastured chicken or pork — let alone factory chicken/pork.

    As far as the rancher you're talking to, he's most certainly dancing around the fact that his beef is grain-finished.  (This is because most places want the most intramuscular fat, and the fastest way to do that is to feed the animal a lot of grain.)  The best question to ask is “Is your beef finished on pasture?”  If no, they're finished in a feedlot like most beef.  If yes, ask “Is their feed supplemented with corn or other grains?”

    Note that, contrary to his assertion, grass-finished does NOT mean tough and lean!  Here's a 100% grass-finished rib primal I personally cut (and ate part of):

    What you want is someone who finishes on pasture and doesn't supplement, and feeds his beef hay cut from the pasture during the winter.  Also, for best nutrition and flavor, you want your beef to be slaughtered after it's been feeding on fresh pasture for at least 90 days, and preferably 120, which most likely means “late summer/early fall” in your area.  

    I should write an article about this someday!


    Glad to hear from you again!

    “my mind state has shifted into a more “rational” and I guess I would say a less “emotional” basic platform of awareness.”

    Me too!  I'm not sure it's natural to be emotional over things that don't matter.  Paleolithic life was full of real risks, real triumphs, and real tragedies.  Survival was not guaranteed by the state — life was something we had to earn every day, and our actions had meaningful and immediate consequences that could easily include our death.  Powerful emotions are for when something real actually happens…not when a sports team wins, a celebrity gets married, or someone is stupid on the Internet. 

    “Moving towards a predatory type lifestyle and mindset has certainly made me more ambitious albeit for very different things than in the past.”

    Good!  All leadership is self-elected.

    Yes, mind and body are one, and have never been separate: what we call “mind” is just the part of the body that is self-aware.


  • Sally

    Hi, I’ve been Paleo since December 26th and have only lost 18 lbs. I get very minimal excersize as I am disabled with a severly bad back and knees, I can’t even walk a block without being in severe pain, I try to do some movement when i’m sitting down or I can walk in a store holding onto a cart, should I cut my portions, not that they are big, in order to see if I lose more weight, i’m currently 239 and my goal is 150, any help would be appreciated.

  • Sally:

    “only 18 pounds?”  That's a pound a week, which is a good, sustainable pace considering you're doing minimal exercise.  (Even the mainstream diet advice generally recommends a pound a week as a weight loss goal.)  I would only be concerned if you stop losing that pound a week and you're still well above your goal weight.

    That being said, you can try some experiments.  Eating your carbohydrates for dinner instead of at breakfast can help.  If you're drinking calories in any form, cutting those out can make a big difference while allowing you to leave your portions the same.  Nuts and nut butters are another concentrated source of calories that many people find don't satiate in proportion to their calorie contribution.  And some people find that they can skip breakfast or lunch occasionally and still feel fine…but be careful with this, because if it makes you feel like you're starving and you snack or binge to compensate, you haven't done yourself any favors.

    It's most important to keep eating in a way that lets you not be hungry all the time…you might lose the weight faster, but the moment you get tired of being hungry, you'll gain the weight back!


  • W Haworth

    Hi Sally, could you not just try skipping breakfast? I find if I have a really fatty Dinner in the evening, I can get away with a cup of black coffee when I wake and am fine till lunch time (sometimes I even can just wait till Dinner that evening).

  • Hugo

    I have this website bookmarked and I love this article, I’ve kinda already read it zillion times, and, from time to time I come back.

    But, IMHO, the only topic that I think had an unfair/undeserved attention/reputation (when it shouldn’t) is fruit and its fructose.
    Two readings I like about it; ‘Should you be afraid of fructose (James Krieger ) http://weightology.net/?p=434

    best regards

  • Daniel Taylor


    Dr BG pretty much nails it as usual.

  • […] “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational Guide […]

  • Hugo:

    I've noticed that all the people who say “Fructose is OK, stop being an alarmist” are athletes (often endurance athletes), who are continually depleting their liver glycogen and can easily absorb it.  For the average mostly-sedentary American, it's wise to be more cautious.

    Also, I see no benefits to fructose.  It appears to be inferior to glucose in all ways: at best it's a heavily oxidation-prone version of glucose that's limited to replenishing liver glycogen.

    I agree that Lustig overstates his case, and I think his calls for regulation are ill-conceived — but I see no reason to consume it in any more than dessert quantities of fruit.


  • Ferd

    Great useful article!

  • Jess

    Just a quick question about the paleo diet. It seems to me that one would not get enough potassium and fiber from it. Or are the daily recommended too high to begin with?

  • Jess

    Oh, and would the paleo diet be safe for a type 2 diabetic with high triglycerides and fatty liver disease?

  • Ferd:

    Thank you!  I've done my best to boil everything down to essentials.


    There's plenty of potassium in meat: a five-ounce steak has as much potassium as a banana!  And the humble white potato is loaded with potassium.  Fruits and vegetables have plenty of it…

    …in contrast, neither white nor whole wheat bread contains meaningful amounts of potassium.  So you'll be getting far more potassium on a paleo diet than you would otherwise.

    Re: “would the paleo diet be safe for a T2D?”, I don't feel comfortable giving you medical advice: see my disclaimer on the left sidebar.  However, I can say that from what I've seen, paleo diets generally seem to do an excellent job at lowering triglycerides and addressing fatty liver (both of which seem to be caused or exacerbated by excessive dietary carbohydrate, particularly fructose).  T2D is a disease of impaired glucose metabolism (“insulin resistance”), so it seems logical that reducing one's dietary load of glucose and reducing systemic inflammation generally, via a paleo diet, would be a good idea.  But the ultimate responsibility for dietary decisions, and their consequences, rests with you.

    Steve Cooksey is a source of more information about paleo and T2D.  


  • Jess

    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions 🙂 It’s my fiance with the health probelms, I am just trying to help him out as best I can. We will def bring up the Paleo diet to our doctor next appointment. Thanks again 🙂

  • Jess – Just remember to ask your Doc an awkward question about bloods or nutrition and then laugh at them when they falter, prodding, “you don't know, do you?” Embarassed

  • Jess:

    Often bringing up the word “paleo” makes doctors suspicious or hostile.  You might mention that you're eating more fresh meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and less processed food and sugar.  Of course, anything made with “grains” is a processed food by definition — but you probably don't need to go into that unless they ask for details.


  • […] Gnolls.org has a simple 6 step motivational guide called “Eat Like a Predator, Not Like Prey’, its a great place to start when trying understand the ins and outs of the Paleo lifestyle. It can be quite confusing when you start out let me tell you, conflicting information everywhere, luckily for me I had some friends who were a few years into the Paleo experience which made it a breeze. The best piece of advice I could give you is don’t get too serious too soon, one of the main things I love about Paleo is its simplicity, no weighing stuff or counting calories like most other diets. My first step was to quit the ’Grains’ and for someone who ate up to 10 slices of bread a day I was amazed at how quickly I adapted to life without bread. I don’t even think about bread anymore, quite amazing really! […]

  • Renee

    Has anyone ever prevented or cured cancer with this diet? My mother ate mostly vegetables and organic chicken and bounced back from two major cancer surgeries.

  • Daniel Taylor

    I’ve read some studies on a ketogenic diet shrinking cancerous tumors. While this diet isn’t nessecarily ketogenic, it can be and it’s a damn sight healthier than the typical ketogenic diets used in studies and was (is) used to treat epilepsy.

  • van Rooinek

    Disagree on the dairy issue… a lot of Indo-Europeans have genetically adapted to milk over 10,000 years of farming, and thrive on it. The milk should be whole and raw, though.

    My wife thought she was “lactose intolerant”, til she started dating me. Then she tried raw milk and raw milk cheeses, and found she could handle them just fine.

  • I find gnolls.org to be one of the more dairy-friendly paleo sites … so long as it is good dairy: fatty, fermented or raw. Good on you, van Rooinek for introducing your good lady to proper dairy.

  • van Rooinek:

    There's a reason I don't proscribe dairy altogether, and place “Experiment with removing dairy” as one of the final steps.  Some people seem to do very well with dairy products, some people find that removing it solves nagging problems.

    There is also the matter of degree and quantity.  Even people with no lactase persistence can digest small quantities of lactose via gut bacteria, and this quantity may well be increased by enzymes in raw dairy and some consequent rebalancing of gut flora.

    That being said, my desire for cheese has dropped nearly to zero now that I eat plenty of fatty red meat…but I still enjoy the occasional insalata caprese.


    I wouldn’t be so brash as to make such claims…but I don’t think that having cancer changes what a healthy diet should be.  In fact, I would think it makes healthy diet even more critically important!

    That being said, DT is correct that a ketogenic diet has shown some success with certain types of tumors, and it’s reasonably easy to make Paleo ketogenic.  Paul Jaminet at Perfect Health Diet has written some good articles about how to make diets ketogenic: I recommend looking through these articles if you’re interested.  Note that “organic chicken and vegetables” is definitely a low-carb diet, and probably ketogenic unless “vegetables” includes starchy tubers like potatoes.

    I’m glad to hear that your mother has done well!


  • Insalata di Caprese, thank you …

    Sounds better: Capri Salad vs Salad of Capri. Say it like an Italian, shaking a supinated hand 😀

  • […] Diet FAQ, Sisson’s how-to on living “Primally,” and J. Stanton’s ”Eat Like a Predator, Not Like Prey.” This page on Melissa McEwen’s sitealso contains lots of useful resources for […]

  • Vegan

    I like the idea about living like a predator. Kudos to the author for that. It is like saying don’t be anyone’s bitch or take what’s rightfully yours. However eating so much meat will give you cancer someday my friends. Despite what the author is saying, humans are not meant to be carnivorous species. Look at this fact. When the Nazis invaded a country they took away most all of the meat for themselves. In all of these instances the death rate of the natives dropped dramatically. What do you say to the facts author? We are simply meant to be a vegetarian species. notice how heavy you feel like you need to lay down after you eat a big steak vs how you could run and play, like a predator, if you just had some vegetables and grains.

  • Quite the contrary – grain makes us lethargic, bloated and sick; meat leaves us bounding with energy and happy for immediate activity.

    I'll leave J to shoot the rest of the fish in this barrel …

  • […] So after much prodding around, I was convinced by a fellow Marine (Steve Weick)  to check out the Paleo Diet and by Rob Wolf’s book called “The Paleo Solution“. I have not finished the book at this time but much of the things I read in it kinda makes sense from the information I have stumbled upon outside the book. I have also stumbled upon Mark Sisson‘s “Primal Blueprint“, which looks very similar to the Paleo diet. I also stumbled upon a nice “Paleo How to” guide on Gnolls.org and can be found here: http://www.gnolls.org/1141/eat-like-a-predator-not-like-prey-paleo-in-six-easy-steps-a-motivational-… […]

  • Vegan:

    I'm glad you enjoy the take-home, even if we disagree on diet.

    However, meat doesn't cause cancer.  In fact, vegetarians have more bowel cancer than meat-eaters!  

    Am J Clin Nutr May 2009 vol. 89 no. 5 1620S-1626S
    Cancer incidence in vegetarians: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Oxford)
    Timothy J Key, Paul N Appleby, Elizabeth A Spencer, Ruth C Travis, Andrew W Roddam, and Naomi E Allen

    “The incidence rate ratio for colorectal cancer in vegetarians compared with meat eaters was 1.39 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.91).”


    And contrary to your “facts” (which probably came from “Forks over Knives”), the death rate in Norway dropped well before animal products were rationed.

    “During the first year [starting in spring of 1940] the rationing included all imported foods, bread, fats, sugar, coffee, cocoa, syrup, and coffee substitute. In the second year [starting in late 1941] all kinds of meat and pork, eggs, milk and dairy products were rationed…”

    See the problem?

    Animal foods didn’t really dwindle from Norwegian kitchens until the end of 1941. Even if we ignore the fact that changes in mortality would naturally lag behind changes in diet, it’s hard to blame the 1941 drop in cardiovascular disease on something that mostly happened in 1942!  

    (Full reference and critique here.)

    For those interested in the actual evolutionary background and diet of our ancestors, this ongoing series lays out the established evidence.  


  • The Girl in Yoga Pan

    This is fabulous! I’d like to include a link to it on my blog, if you don’t mind. I’m just getting started losing weight after a recent pregnancy and some new health issues I’ve just found out about. I like this post because I just recently wrote about not wanting to be model-thin – I want to be lean, like a tiger. This fits me perfectly!

  • […] Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey – Written by J. Stanton, author of The Gnoll Credo. I haven’t read the book, but the website is very informative. I love this article. It fits very well with my wish to become lean like a tiger. […]

  • TGIYP:

    I'm glad you find this article inspiring…and you're always welcome to link to me!

    In my opinion, model-thin only looks good in pictures…in person it's a bit creepy.


  • jan

    i want to know if cottage cheese is ok to eat. also which types of potatoes are the best (e.g. sweet potatoes, baby potatoes).
    my third question, at home we tend to eat lots of white rice it it ok to eat white rice at moderation.

    thank u

  • jan:

    Is cottage cheese OK to eat?  The most important question is “Do you feel any better if you eliminate cheese and other dairy products?”  If not, then carry on.  If so, make your own judgment.  Dairy is a gray area…for me, butter and cream are fine, but if I drink a lot of milk or eat a lot of cheese, I get a little bit of acne.

    And that’s why I place “Experiment with eliminating dairy” as one of the final steps: tolerances to it seem to differ dramatically from person to person.


  • What I find quite interesting is that northern Europeans have such little dairy intolerance; something like 4% only. Even then, I wonder how much that figure is inflated by Indian sub-continent people who do not so readily produce lactase, but seem fine with goat milk.

    Carry that one through to north America, land of northern Europeans. Certainly so, only a few generations back, yet, have a much higher percentile intolerance of dairy.

    What happened?

    To put a positive statement in about dairy, fermented dairy is better – that’s yoghurt, cheese, soured cream, skyr, kefir and so on. Fatty dairy is next best, cream, basically.

    If you find yourself intolerant to cow, try goat. Goat seems to have been domesticated much longer and much farther ago. Beyond that, see if you can get some kind of local beast – deer, moose, cairibou, that kind of creature. These tend to have much fattier milk than cow. Fat is fine.

    Many paleo diet routines will talk about removing certain food groups for a period of detox, something like 30 days, then re-introduce to see how you feel. J has talked at length about the dangers of self-experimentation and the “feel okay” factor – we know there is more to food than just eating it.

    Personally, I think dairy is a fine source of food. Personally, I prefer to let nature’s little miracle of fermentation take the guesswork out of the equation – yoghurt, skyr, kefir, cheese, cottage cheese.

    Eat, enjoy, remove milk, though … it too close to factory farming for my liking.

  • amir

    if i eliminate all wholegrain food such as bread, pasta, brown rice and whole grain cereals than how i am gonna get my Carbs from. also if i don’t eat enough Carbs i always feel tired.

    i want to get six-pack also i go gym 5 days a week and i do interval training with boxing but i don’t seems to lower my belly fat. if you can tell me what i am doing wrong.

  • amir:

    See step 1: “Get your ‘carbohydrates’ (sugars) from plants—not their seeds.”  Root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and white potatoes, are high in carbohydrate.  So are the other starches I listed in that step.  And if you're really putting forth intense effort, white rice is another concentrated source of starch.

    Though it's a complex issue, I think your consumption of “bread, pasta, brown rice, and whole grain cereals” may well be related to the belly fat.  Active people absolutely do better with some carbs in their diet to replete muscle glycogen — but glycogen isn't a major energy source (for the metabolically flexible) until you're over ~50% of VO2max, so most people aren't burning nearly as many carbs as they think.  Try switching to the carb sources I recommend above and see how you do.

    (Note: losing that last increment of six-pack fat is usually very difficult, it's not necessarily correlated with perfect health…and whole books have been written about it, so I can't possibly hope to cover the subject in a comment.) 


  • sami

    my meal plan.

    is there anything wrong with my meal plan?

    morning: 1x canned wild salmon, 1x banana, half cucumber
    snack: 1x large sweet potatoes, 3x oranges
    lunch: 2x grilled chicken breast with 2x apple
    snack: 1 cup cottage cheese, 24 almond
    dinner: 85g of lamb (trimmed fat) with broccoli and peas

    i am 19 male and i go gym 4 times a week and i do a lot of cardio and intense workout. i also take 100% whey protein powder and on occasion Creatine monohydrate.

    i want to know if i eat a lot of red meat, fish,vegetables, fruits, whey protein and eggs (not yolk) than isn’t too much protein in my diet also this will have a negative effect on my kidneys which is what worrying me the most.

    (i have eliminated all wholegrain foods from my meal plan)

  • sami

    can u reply please

    my meal plan.

    is there anything wrong with my meal plan?

    morning: 1x canned wild salmon, 1x banana, half cucumber
    snack: 1x large sweet potatoes, 3x oranges
    lunch: 2x grilled chicken breast with 2x apple
    snack: 1 cup cottage cheese, 24 almond
    dinner: 85g of lamb (trimmed fat) with broccoli and peas

    i am 19 male and i go gym 4 times a week and i do a lot of cardio and intense workout. i also take 100% whey protein powder and on occasion Creatine monohydrate.

    i want to know if i eat a lot of red meat, fish,vegetables, fruits, whey protein and eggs (not yolk) than isn’t too much protein in my diet also this will have a negative effect on my kidneys which is what worrying me the most.

    (i have eliminated all wholegrain foods from my meal plan)

  • cane

    Do you believe in food combination- basically, encourage separating specific foods, eating certain ones together and only in specified meals. is this really matter or is it bullshit?

  • Cane – there is much written about how proteins should not be combined, like cheese and meat in a meal, or eggs and fish in a meal, since the body deals with the different proteins differently.

    Personally, I think this is rubbish!

    Why? Once we start to abstract food, we lose sight of the reason we eat – we're hungry, we need sustenance and in modern times, we want something flavoursome.

    Real food works.

    Eat real food in any combination and you will be fulfilled. Our bodies are highly adaptive.

    I have written before on this forum how I am in favour of remembering old wisdom and applying it. In recent times, we have old wisdom as very new knowledge of what and what not to do when it comes to food. Religious texts tell us some useful things, something which one of my favourite “real food” authors wrote about here: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2012/02/pork-did-leviticus-117-have-it-right/ … by way of example.

    I guess in a roundabout way I'm coming to something J wrote recently: http://www.gnolls.org/2982/anti-nutritionism-l-canavanine-and-the-limitations-of-n1-self-experimentation/ – biochemical science will tell us everything, but just as in one breath J talks about the limits of abstracting this into nutritionalism yet on the other hand says collective experimentation might well lead us down the wrong path. I err on the side of old wisdom myself. I see biochemistry as an abstraction of understanding the whole; just as nutritionalism is an abstraction of understand the whole.

    Eat real food.

    That's the bottom line. Quite simply, the principles that guide us are – eat like a predator, eat foods which are capable of being eaten raw and eat food which is not made up of other foods (so, no processed foods … use real ingredients to make food).


    While biochemistry might show contra-indications, take that with a pinch of salt. Real food is real food and our ancestors did not have biochemistry. Our ancestors did have collective wisdom passed down generation to generation to generation. That does not mean religious texts should be blindly followed without consideration of their founding – ironically, biochemistry proves or disproves them (see Jaminet, above).

    Tools are tools, and we are blessed to have biochemistry to back up old wisdom. I would still be skeptical of some findings, since they are abstracted. We are complex organisms in a complex environment – we are also highly adaptive. Finding the fine line between having to adapt and continuing in our evolutionary footsteps is the key.

    Did I say, “just eat real food” yet?

  • sami

    my meal plan.

    is there anything wrong with my meal plan?

    morning: 1x canned wild salmon, 1x banana, half cucumber
    snack: 1x large sweet potatoes, 3x oranges
    lunch: 2x grilled chicken breast with 2x apple
    snack: 1 cup cottage cheese, 24 almond
    dinner: 85g of lamb (trimmed fat) with broccoli and peas

    i am 19 male and i go gym 4 times a week and i do a lot of cardio and intense workout. i also take 100% whey protein powder and on occasion Creatine monohydrate.

    i want to know if i eat a lot of red meat, fish,vegetables, fruits, whey protein and eggs (not yolk) than isn’t too much protein in my diet also this will have a negative effect on my kidneys which is what worrying me the most.

    (i have eliminated all wholegrain foods from my meal plan)

  • I'm a cook, Sami – from an ingredient perspective, I don't see anything wrong with your meal plan, nor do I think there is too much protein as this is very much how I eat (without the snacks, though … and perhaps less activity?).

    You can be a bit more imaginative with your salads – drop some olives in, perhaps an avocado? Keeping carbier food to mornings is good, so your banana early on and earlier snack of sweet potato. I do a lot of my activity in the evenings and actually have no issue with some carbs afterwards even towards an hour or two of going to bed! I tend to prefer sweet potato or root vegetables like carrots, swede or turnip, but heavier activity, like after my fencing class, and I like some white potato fried in dripping. It hits the spot after intense mind/nerve/twitch/muscle activity.

    Protein prior to activity, carbs afterwards.

    Other observations … why not the yolk from eggs? That the really good bit! Perhaps less sweet fruit? From an omega-3/6 ratio thing, perhaps less nuts? Maybe an avocado instead? Also, let's see some more imagination with veggies and less abstracting into pockets of nutritionalism – eat real food: meat and veg, varying in roots for carb energy at the right time. You might be happy to adjust to a little less protein and more fat as you switch over. Lunch, for example, one breast and an avocado, then an apple? Some nuts are better than others, too. Hazel and macadamia seem really good.

    For what you're eating, don't worry about the protein – you're active. Drink lots of mineral water (not filtered), keep hydrated. You might well find, like I have, that protein shakes become unnecessary – it's trendy to do it, but try dropping it out. You've plenty of protein from real food in your diet. Boosting for two heavy nights on the trot, yes, otherwise, just a few BCAAs prior to your workout, water throughout and some carbs afterwards will do just nicely.

    Try without the powder and see how you go …

    I'm a cook. Hopefully, someone more scientifically minded will be along to advise on the specifics from a biochemical point of view.

  • sami

    thank u very much

    your answers are much appreciated.


  • ahmad

    i like your idea of being like a predator-
    i am a Muslim and i fast for 30 days it usually begin at dawn and end with sunset i can only eat in the morning from 5:30 and in the evening at 9:30.so i fast almost 15 hours.

    last Ramadan i gained a lot of weight which i think it was because of eating too much at once and consuming too much wholegrain food.
    this year’s Ramadan will be in the next few weeks so i want to know if i can actually lose some belly fat instead of gaining fat.

    (i am 17 and i am active)

  • sami:

    First, it's very difficult to overeat protein.  The reason I emphasize fatty meats is because, as well as containing fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K, they contain a majority of calories from fat (80/20 hamburger is more like 80% fat by calories!)  Furthermore, as long as you're eating whole foods, your body generally does an excellent job of sensing its own protein requirements — and you'll find lean meats extremely unappetizing once you've already eaten enough protein.

    Second, as you're very active (gym 4x/week, etc.) you'll be able to use a lot more protein than a sedentary couch potato.  Again, if you're eating “too much” protein, you'll know it.  

    Third, I disagree with Paul on carb timing.  As I show in this article, whatever we eat for breakfast “programs” our metabolism for the rest of the day.  If we eat lots of carbs for breakfast, our body will tend to burn sugar all day, both leaving us with cravings when our blood sugar drops and resulting in less fat-burning.  In contrast, if we eat lots of fat and protein for breakfast, our body will tend to burn fat all day, a far more desirable outcome.  And there are interesting studies showing that eating exactly the same diet, but with carbs shifted to dinner rather than breakfast and lunch, results in greater weight loss.  

    So: I strongly recommend your breakfast remain high in fat and protein, and your carb intake be shifted to late in the day, definitely after lunch, and post-workout if possible.  (Remember that you don't have to eat “breakfast foods” for breakfast: eggs and bananas for dinner and steak for breakfast is perfectly fine.)  Result: you should be able to get through the day without snacking, and the snacks can become part of your meal.

    The actual foods you're consuming look fine, though I doubt you're consuming nearly enough of them if you're active!  You'll probably have to eat more of them in general…especially more fat and carbohydrate.  Let your body be your guide on this: eat your planned meal first, and if you're still ravenous for meat, fat, or carb, eat more and plan a larger portion for next time.

    Let us know how this works for you!


    Most of the claims for food combining are baloney.  

    That being said, bodybuilders who are trying to “cut” down to 6% bodyfat and below put themselves on very specific and difficult nutrient-timing schedules (among other things) in order to achieve that “dried-out” look…but for the rest of us, I don't think it's necessary.

    Again, I see benefit to eating carbs late in the day, and I believe it's a bad idea in general to eat “snacks” that don't contain a significant measure of complete protein (explained here) — but I don't see any evidence that (for instance) eating vegetables with meat is a problem.  In fact, eating meat increases one's stomach acidity and slows GI transit, meaning that anything you eat with meat will be more completely digested!


    My biggest recommendation for you will be the same one I made to sami: eat a breakfast high in protein and fat, and eat your carbohydrates during the evening meal.  I suspect that you'll find it much easier to make it through the day.  (In fact, you can start moving your carbs to later in the day right now, even though you don't have to skip lunch until Ramadan…and remember that it's fine to eat “breakfast foods” for dinner and “dinner foods” at breakfast.) 

    Please check back in and let us know how this works for you!  


  • Good call, J. I might just have fallen foul of giving conventional wisdom – one of my colleagues is a gym based body builder and has some very strong opinions on the matter. I've seen a gym, even driven past one, but never been in one … my comment about keeping carbs to earlier in the day is that conventional wisdom from my gym-going colleague.

    I, that is me, tend to be more active in the evenings and as I said, can happily cope with carbs as late as I like and even up to an hour before bed without feeling pogged the next day – after activity is best. We certainly agree on that. Sami can find his own plan.

    Getting fatty fruits like avocado and olives into the mix works well for me – if my lunch doesn't have an avocado, a boiled egg and a handful of olives, along with some protein (usually fish) I don't feel right.

    I certainly agree that more food is advisable – more quality, too.

    Glad you jumped in, pal – I'm a cook. I know about food. Timings, macronutrient ratio and biochemistry is something I happily leave to others to lay down the roadmap.

  • ahmad

    thank u very much J. Stanton – i will try it to see what happens-
    i will keep measuring my body fat percentage with Bodyfat Clippers and measuring tape to see if i gone fat.

    thanks anyway

  • sunil

    is eating carbs from vegetables such as potato, okra, zucchini, eggplant etc… at late night makes you fat or it depend how active you are.

  • shane

    is this paleo diets works for boxers as i am pro boxer and i train a lot. especially, i do lots of cardio and running. also what is recommendation before a fight(bout) what should i eat? (i used to eat energy bar and nutrient drink before a fight).

    any suggestions from you would be helpful.

  • (First, a note for my readers: during the 30 days of Ramadan, a Muslim is required to fast from sunup to sundown.  Thus, Ahmad's 5:30 AM and 9:30 PM eating schedule.)


    There's a lot of propaganda around eating carbs for breakfast, mainly in an attempt to sell “breakfast food” made of processed birdseed.  Also, if your bodybuilder friend is working out in the mornings, that might also explain his particular carb timing…there are dozens of bodybuilding diet protocols, most involving very specific nutrient goals at very specific times of day.

    While I believe that the science shows people, on average, will do better when they're eating their carbs later in the day, I agree with you that everyone should experiment to figure out what works best for them.  (And I'm not a breakfast-carbophobe…I just think breakfast should be primarily based on protein and fat, particularly protein.)  However, I feel that “carbs later” is the best starting point for someone new to paleo…particularly when they're going to be fasting for 15 hours a day.

    And yes, you're a far better cook than I am!


    There is some good evidence that late night eating (or eating soon before you go to bed) throws off your circadian rhythms no matter what you're ingesting.  I'd avoid it if I can — with the exception of a schedule that requires you to work out late in the day, in which case you've got to eat after your workout.


    There's a lot to say about Paleo and training, depending on what weight class you're competing at and how much you typically cut.  Please contact me directly and give me some more details so I can be more helpful.

    Meanwhile, yes, it'll absolutely work: I don't know about boxers, but several well-known mixed martial artists have been successful with their own versions of the Paleo diet.


  • […] you had so much energy when you first started your vegan diet. What you were really eating was a paleo diet of your own flesh.…And That’s Why The “New Vegan High” Never Comes BackYet […]

  • amir

    can u send me a link about diet for six-pack.

  • munashe kaz

    1, is white rice count as processed food?

    2, should i eat canned vegetables foods like okra, peas, spinach and chick peas?

    3, eating honey before hitting gym

  • Paul N

    @ Paul Halliday,

    In regard to “lactose intolerance” in N. America, I think it is more accurate to say “dairy intolerance”, and more specifically, intolerance to A1 type casein.

    Anyone who reacts to dairy just assumes they are lactose intolerant, but usually they aren’t,

    The A1 type casein, produced by Holstein cows, the main dairy breed used here, is less digestible than the A2 produced by Jerseys, Guernseys, goats, sheep and humans. So, many people do fine on goats milk, or jersey/guernsey milk if they can get it.

    And, many people do fine on raw milk if they can get it too, the denatured caseins in pastuerised milk being the problem, with denatured A1 being the worst.

    In aged cheeses (>6 months) the casein is often sufficiently degraded by the bacterial culture

    On the topic of egg yolks and whites, you will find no finer explanation as to why you should *always* eat the yolks, and, possibly, not even bother with the whites, here;
    The incredible, edible, egg yolk

    Many people who are “intolerant” of eggs, are actually intolerant of eggs whites – it contains lots of antibodies to protect the yolk!

    Finally, on the topic of traditional ways to prepare foods, the best compendium I have seen (and own) is “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon. For almost any (real) food you can think of, it tells you how it has traditionally been prepared, and why. It includes things that we paleo people don;t eat, like grains and beans, but lots if stuff that we do. And, importantly, how to do fermented things be it dairy, pickles/sauerkraut, *and* fermented raw fish and meat dishes (which appear in almost every traditional culture).

    It pretty much represents the state of the art in food and cooking in before the advent of processed food – anything that is on the paleo diet, is in there.

  • Paul N – you’ve demonstrated exactly what the problem is with dairy. I really have struggled to understand how a people descended from northern Europeans who exhibit little issue with dairy have such an issue with it only a couple of hundred years later. Perfect!

    How are northern Americans with bison, buffalo and so on?

    Actually, this is a perfect presentation of a principle that I hold very dear – localism. Or, “what grows together goes together”, and that means us! We are as much a part of our environment as the things that we see within it.

    We are evolved to eat a certain way, yet adapted (and adapt very quickly) to our environment. Across Europe, we’ve had certain breeds of cattle, sheep, goats and other ruminants for thousands of years. We’ve become accustomed. In a very short period (the last couple of hundred years), some of us have moved half way across the world and found new breeds. Do native Americans (is that the right term?) have issue with “local” dairy?

    This is one of the issues, if you like, that I have had with Paleo – that’s capitalised. I have often looked at paleo books and wondered just how tuned it is to modern US habits. That was the key motivator for my own food blog – paleo, but how we over here eat. 

    I will buy the book you mentioned – it looks “right up my street”. Again, being a northern European, we have a strong tradition of thrifty nose to tail eating and everything in between, and a strong tradition of bottling and preserving by means of an air-tight seal or by fermenting. I am very taken with Scandinavian methods, something that is exhibited strongly in northern British culture – fermentation really is nature’s little miracle, and now we’ve come through the Ice Age (:D) it’s something we can embrace.

    Funnily enough, I have an excellent book from Victorian times (turn of the 19th/20th century) which has all manner of recipes in, including curry, but most interestingly, a strong section on “food as medicine”.

    Neolithic eating might well have stabbed us in the side, but processed food is most definitely kicking us now we’re down!

    Fun chatting, pal – hope to see you around.

  • amir:

    I'll repeat what I said in another thread: The “six pack problem” is way beyond the purview of a single comment.  Furthermore, it's difficult to do without unnatural dietary modifications that are neither “paleo” nor healthy: see the classic article You, too, can't have a body like this.  

    That being said, the bodybuilders and weight-class athletes (e.g. powerlifters, MMA) have you covered on that score.  Look into cyclical ketogenic diets like Jamie Lewis' Apex Predator Diet (warning: his site is extremely NSFW), or do a search for terms like “cyclical ketogenic diet”, “protein-sparing modified fast”, or “Velocity Diet”.

    munashe kaz:

    “1, is white rice count as processed food?”

    White rice is OK in moderation.  Root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, etc. have far more nutrients for the calories, though, so I encourage it mainly for variety (sometimes you just can't eat any more potatoes, carrots, or sweet potatoes) and for people doing intense training (e.g. MMA, Crossfit) who need the extra carbs.

    “2, should i eat canned vegetables foods like okra, peas, spinach and chick peas?”

    Fresh is best, but canned is better than none at all.

    “3, eating honey before hitting gym”

    I don't recommend it unless you're in a competition that day and need the extra edge.  The purpose of training is to increase your body's ability to burn stored energy (glycogen and fat), not just burn existing blood sugar.  Then, when you absolutely must be at your maximum performance, you can down some simple carbohydrate some time before your event: but you don't want to do it RIGHT before, as you'll still be digesting it, which is bad.  30 minutes to an hour before seems about right for simple sugars like honey, more for complex carbs.

    Paul N:

    It's important to note that lactose intolerance, dairy intolerance, and dairy allergy are very different things!  

    Lactose intolerance doesn't depend on the source of the dairy: lactose is lactose.  (A note for my other readers: cheese contains little to no lactose.  It's basically 100% casein and milkfat.)  

    In contrast, dairy allergy is a specific antibody reaction to a specific protein in dairy, usually (but not always) casein.  The source of the dairy can sometimes (though not often) affect this.

    Dairy intolerance includes any number of systemic reactions to dairy proteins, including inability to digest them, and can frequently be addressed with a change to raw milk, goat milk, etc.

    The A1 vs. A2 casein issue is interesting, and I don't know if there's any research on how it affects allergies and intolerances.  There are, however, some very interesting correlations with heart disease and a reduced (AFAIK) exorphin response.

    In other words, people have to experiment and see what works best for them — which is why I place “Experiment with eliminating dairy” towards the end, and distinguish dairy fat (unlikely to cause problems) from dairy protein.

    And yes, egg yolks are wonderful, which is why I say “Always eat the yolks”.  I missed the part where sami was eating egg whites, to which I respond “Absolutely not!  The yolk is the whole point of eating an egg!”  So sami, if you're still reading this — eat your egg yolks.  

    I've heard great things about “Nourishing Traditions”, but I admit I haven't read it yet.


    There's no such thing as “local” dairy to North America: cattle and goats were brought over by Europeans — and while bison were plentiful, they were never tamed and milked.  Most Native Americans are truly lactose-intolerant.  And as I mentioned just a couple months ago, N=1 doesn't tell us whether something is good to eat in the long term.  

    That being said, I'm not dogmatic about dairy, as you well know…but I understand enough about the biochemistry and prevalence of intolerance to be suspicious of casein.


  • Beate Acker

    This is a great article. We have always felt that thousands of years of evolution didn’t bring us to a point to be able to survive on the diets we are on now. Back when we were hunting we felt the best when we ate wild game, and we understood what it meant to put meat on the table. We will work on reducing or eliminating all the foods you talked about, (sugar, milk, oils, etc.) and start to strengthen our mind, health, and stamina back. Thank you.

  • jamal

    should i follow paleo diet?
    i am quite skinny guy and i want to get big but the food that i currently eat did not seem to increase my body size.

  • jamal

    i think you can only get coconut oil for massaging or use it on hair not for cooking.
    also can u link a website that sells coconut oil for cooking.

  • jamal

    i can get this coconut oil from the local supermarket this is the link for coconut oil that i am talking about

    KTC Coconut Oil

    is this what you me recommend to eat also is this for cooking??

    [Yes, that's fine. I recommend buying it in tubs instead of bottles, though, because coconut oil solidifies at 74F and you'll have to microwave it or melt it under warm water every time you want to use it. -JS]

  • Liz

    Hey J,

    Awesome article. I completely agree with everything you said here because it’s simply right on the money. I’m a Type 1 diabetic (insulin dependent for over 20 years), and quickly noticed the downward spiral I kept seeing and feeling by the addition of excess grains/carbs/anything in “ose” in my diet. I still have a few tweaks to get out of my diet, and I’m excited about following this new lifestyle. Have you seen positive results from Type 1’s on Paleo? I’d love to hear.
    Thanks again!!

  • Beate:

    Grains and grain products (seed oils) are cheap, but they’re not the diet we evolved to eat.  I wish you the best of success: let us know how it works for you.


    Yes, you can increase muscle mass on paleo…but as paleo foods are very satiating, you might have to force yourself to eat more food than you normally do!  

    If you’re really trying hard to build muscle mass, you can break the “don’t drink calories” rules and drink things like protein shakes and smoothies (scoop of protein powder + 100ml coconut cream + some fruit + enough water to make it liquid = delicious mass gainer shake).


    Re: coconut oil, all the kinds you linked will work.  In fact, I haven’t yet seen a pure coconut oil for sale that isn’t food-grade, and therefore edible!  Note that unless you’re buying a gallon at a time, it’s generally cheaper to buy it at the supermarket…in the USA, even Wal-Mart carries it now.

    Also note the difference between refined coconut oil (has no taste, suitable for use in any recipe that calls for regular cooking oil) and unrefined/”virgin”/”extra virgin” coconut oil (which tastes like coconuts).  I generally cook with refined oil: if I want the coconut taste, I’ll just buy cans of coconut cream and make my curry with those.

    Finally, I'd buy it in tubs instead of bottles if I could, because coconut oil solidifies at 74F, and you'll have to microwave the bottle or melt it under warm water every time you want to use some.  If you get it in a tub, you can just scoop it out with a spoon.


  • Liz:

    A lot of Type I diabetics seem to do very well on Paleo: Steve Cooksey's Diabetes Warrior is full of information specific to diabetes.

    I find it bizarre that the mainstream advice in response to a disease of impaired glucose metabolism is “Eat lots more glucose!  Then shoot insulin/take pills to minimize the damage.”  That's a great way to maximize profits for drug manufacturers and the medical industry…at the expense of your life and health.

    Of course, your health is your own responsibility (see my disclaimer on the left sidebar): that being said, I think you'll find that eating like a predator can help you stay healthy and keep your blood sugar under control.  Keep us posted.


  • john

    4. A high fat diet doesn’t leave room for enough protein or carbohydrates
    High fat diets are often promoted as effective ways of increasing anabolic
    hormones and controlling fat storing hormones, resulting in increased muscle mass and
    decreased body fat. The problem with this approach is that eating large quantities of fat
    doesn’t allow enough room within your daily calorie allotment for a sufficient quantity of
    protein or carbohydrate. Any diet that leans excessively towards one macronutrient is not
    a balanced diet and will never produce optimal results.
    5. Saturated fats reduce insulin sensitivity
    Insulin sensitivity refers to the responsiveness of your muscles to insulin. Insulin
    carries the sugar into the muscles for energy and glycogen storage. It also carries the
    amino acids into the muscles for growth and repair. When you have poor insulin
    sensitivity, it’s like insulin is standing outside with protein and carbs, knocking on the
    muscle cell’s door, but the muscle cell won’t let the insulin bring the carbs or protein
    (aminos) inside. So blood sugar continues to build up, and you release even more insulin
    to try to get the nutrients into the cells. Not only are the high insulin levels disastrous to
    your fat loss efforts, severe insulin sensitivity is essentially an early stage of diabetes.
    6. Dietary fat gets stored more easily as fat than any other nutrient
    Dietary fats DO get stored as body fat more readily than other types of
    macronutrients. This isn’t just due to the high calories, it’s because the process of
    converting dietary fat into body fat is chemically very easy. Body fat is made of glycerol
    and fatty acids. Dietary fat is made of glycerol and fatty acids. There’s no costly energy
    conversion that has to take place. This makes dietary fat very easy to store. Too much of
    anything gets stored as fat, but foods such as lean proteins and complex carbohydrates
    must go thorough a metabolically costly process to be converted into body fat.

  • john

    the above article states why high fat diet is not good.

  • Aw, shucks … I guess all those thousands of generations of humans prior to the invention of (or rather, the invention of the process of extracting) poly-unsaturated fats must have felt just awful.

  • john:

    “A high fat diet doesn’t leave room for enough protein or carbohydrates”

    First, this isn't a high-fat diet!  This is a “don't throw away the fat that naturally occurs in food” diet.  Note that I don't recommend drinking milk (or any other liquid calories), nor do I recommend dumping butter or coconut oil on things in order to meet some magical macronutrient ratio.

    Let's do some math.  20% of protein calories at 2400 kcal/day ends up being about 1.5 g/kg for an 80kg person, which is plenty unless you're on a serious bulking program…and then you'll be eating a lot more than 2400 kcal/day.  

    Then, if you're on a bulking program, you won't be able to use more than 15-20% of energy from carbs, since cardio is counterproductive to bulking…meaning you've still got 60-65% of your energy needs to account for — from fat.  If you're not bulking, you won't need more carbs than that unless you're doing lots of glycogen-depleting exercise…at which point your energy needs will also increase from 2400 kcal.  

    Looks fine to me!

    “Saturated fats reduce insulin sensitivity”

    Actually, no, they don't.  This is another bunk myth that gets repeated over and over, despite being false.  Here's a review of the relevant literature.  

    “Dietary fat gets stored more easily as fat than any other nutrient”

    It's also burned for energy preferentially to any other nutrient — healthy people at rest are burning roughly 90% fat and only 10% glucose.  Eating carbohydrate stops this process, due to the action of insulin and other hormones — since high blood sugar is toxic, your body immediately switches to sugar-burning in order to keep your blood sugar down.  

    Furthermore, since high blood sugar is toxic while high blood fat is not (within reason), your body will clear the excess glucose more quickly, converting it into fat when necessary.  In contrast, blood fat is cleared more slowly, allowing your body to burn it instead of storing it.

    The unintuitive consequence: a high-carb diet actually raises your triglycerides (i.e. fat in your blood), whereas a high-fat diet lowers it.  This is well-established and noncontroversial.


  • john

    to be honest i am confused myself reading your article and the one above.

    i have no idea which one to follow

  • Follow this …

    If it comes in packaging, don't eat it.

    If it comes with an ingredient list longer than the description, don't eat it.

    If it comes with a label that gives any kind of warning, don't eat it.

    If it is real food – ingredients, as in a thing you can make a meal from, eat it!

    Eat meat, fish, shellfish, eggs and veggies. If it's dry, add animal or coconut fat. Beyond that, forget everything else and … enjoy J's tagline.

  • mike

    hi J. what is your opinion on eating raw meat?

  • john:

    It's easy to experiment, because you're not committing to a years' membership in advance.  Try eating like a predator for a few months and find out for yourself what it's like!


    I'd add “root starches, and occasional fruit” to the list, but that's about right.


    Good meat and fish are delicious when eaten raw…but most cuts of meat are too tough for me to enjoy that way, and one must be much more careful of the source.


  • mike

    Thanks, awesome website. Just ordered your book and looking forward to it.

    There seems to be lots of conflicting opinions about cooking or not cooking meat… digestibility, what nutrients are lost or gained, toxins, carcinogens, optimal cooking temperatures and times, ect. It's all a bit confusing!

    What is your evolutionary perspective on the matter?

  • john

    one more thing i wanna ask you J.

    reading articles about fat loss they tells you to include weight training, cardio and eat 2000 Kcal a day to lose fat and build pure muscle. but i am confused here because if i do weight training then how i am gonna build muscle as there are some articles that tells you to in order to gain muscle you have to eat 500 Kcal more than your daily calorie requirement.

    can you help me here…

  • mike:

    Thank you!  Sales of TGC, T-shirts, and Amazon referrals are my sole source of income from gnolls.org, so your support is appreciated.

    Evidence for human control of fire — hearths, burned bones, etc. — goes back a few hundred thousand years, so we've been eating cooked meat for quite a while.  (There is evidence of fire use back to perhaps 1 MYa, but it's sporadic, and it's not consistent with the hypothesis that we were always cooking our food that far back.  It's likely that we figured out how to tame and use existing fire, i.e. brush fires from lightning strikes, long before we figured out how to produce it at will.)

    Nutritionally, there's no problem eating meat raw, and it means less of the fat-soluble vitamins get burned or melted away.  Cooking kills surface pathogens, and it can make tough parts more tender.  And while I don't like to turn my meat into briquettes, it's pretty clear that Paleolithic cooking didn't involve poaching, steaming, or other “gentle cooking” (which requires pottery): it involved burning stuff on sticks over a fire, or perhaps digging a pit and roasting it with coals or hot rocks.  

    Given that I don't trust the provenance of most modern meats, my usual strategy is to sear the outside and leave the inside bleu — but I don't stress too much about it.


    Doing cardio will impair your ability to build muscle, as will trying to lose fat.  In general, you want to choose one or the other as your goal: build muscle (in which case you lift heavy weights and eat more), or lose fat (in which case you work on your aerobic capacity and eat less).

    If you want to gain muscle mass, get Dan John's Mass Made Simple and do the program.  It's not “paleo”, but you can adapt his dietary prescriptions to your own needs.  (For instance, instead of peanut butter sandwiches, you could use gainer shakes of protein powder, coconut milk, and fruit.)  Then you can switch to “lose fat” mode.  Trying to do both at once is generally counterproductive.


  • jamal

    Ramadan coming soon, can u tell me how should i eat to lose fat not muscle.

    as you know i will be fasting for a month with no food, no water, nothing, for nearly 15 to 16 hours from sun up to sunset. any suggestions what should i eat?

    should i do cardio during Ramadan?

  • jamal:

    What I said above to ahmad still holds: eat a breakfast high in protein and fat, and eat your carbohydrates during the evening meal. 

    I would imagine that a morning meal based on meat, eggs, and vegetables, prepared with butter or coconut oil, would be best.  (Remember that corn, peas, and beans aren't vegetables.)  I would stay away from sugars and starches, including fruit.  You might not be very hungry just after waking, and after eating so late…choke it down anyway.  (Since you're trying to preserve muscle mass, you'll need the protein.)  And since you're not allowed to drink water during the fast AFAIK, you'll want to drink plenty of water with the morning meal.

    In the evening, you've got a lot more freedom.  Again, to preserve muscle mass, make sure to eat plenty of complete protein (meat, eggs, etc.)…but starches and fruit are fine at the evening meal, including the traditional dates to break your fast.  

    In general, I believe you'll do best to follow the dietary rules from Eat Like A Predator while doing all this…but that's your decision.  

    Should you do cardio?  Only if you feel up to it.  Don't go running in the morning, get hungry, and then be starving and miserable all day…and dehydration is a real danger here, since you're not allowed to drink water AFAIK.  But if it's late afternoon or evening, you're feeling good, and you're not feeling dehydrated, then sure, do some fasted exercise!


  • jamal

    thank u very much J. i appreciate your answers and i will try to stick with what you said.

  • kareem

    as i am a boxer and i want to know ur opinion on heavy weight training for boxers?

  • kareem:

    I don't have enough experience with martial arts or weight training to answer that, but I know someone who does.  Try asking him.


  • ArekExcelsior

    It’s not just the historical Okinawan diet. The Japanese diet in general has been heavily carbohydrate-focused; moreover, even you admit that the historical Okinawan diet was pork-focused, not focused on beef or extremely fatty red meat.

    My concern with the paleo diet is that our paleolithic ancestors had an immensely different lifestyle where they might actually put a lot of that protein and complex carbohydrates to work. Bushmen, for example, walk miles a day on average, whereas many Americans might walk a thousand feet in total. You advocate living like a mythical predator, but human beings in modern civilized contexts just aren’t.

    The empirical confirmation for snacking is immense. Dismissing it based on a loose analogy of predators and prey is silly.

    That all having been said, my understanding of paleo has been that it heavily emphasizes nuts, fruits and vegetables, with meats of any kind being the second tier of consumption. This seems to be a solid plan to me.

  • johan

    i heard that dairy product such milk is complete protein and eating them in moderation would you to lose fat. is this true and what is your opinion on this?

  • Arek:

    There are plenty of ways to eat better than the Standard American Diet — historical Okinawan and Japanese diets being among them.  However, as I've said many times, “better” is not “optimal”…and we know enough about human history and human biochemistry to point ourselves toward a reasonable set of optimal solutions.

    “The empirical confirmation for snacking is immense.”  Really?  Please feel free to cite some of it.  On the other hand, there's plenty of empirical confirmation for intermittent fasting…

    “My understanding of paleo has been that it heavily emphasizes nuts, fruits and vegetables, with meats of any kind being the second tier of consumption.”

    That depends if you're measuring by weight, by volume, or by calories.  Meats are more calorie-dense than veggies, tubers, or fruits…so though meat provides the majority of calories, it'll almost always be a minority by volume (unless you're not eating veggies at all), and can easily be a minority by weight depending on the dish.


    Milk is indeed complete protein — but casein, in particular, causes issues for some people (including acne and allergies).  I recommend getting your complete protein from meat and eggs instead of milk or cheese.


  • David Crewz

    It is consoling in this world of industry-inspired medical misinformation (such as, saturated fats are bad) to see a treatise on diet that incorporates much of what I have come to understand after a lifetime of biological research (65 yrs old and counting). I agree with almost all of what you have written (I have not yet looked at the links however) but have one (possibly unfounded) reservation.

    My research interest for the last 10 yrs or so has been in regard to vitamin E (tocochromanols, which includes the eight vitamers, alpha-, beta-, delta-, and gamma-tocopherols and the same for tocotrienols, plus plastochromanol-8) in plants and animals (in my case, seagrasses and manatees). In recent years the pro-oxidant, as well as the anti-oxidant, roles of alpha-tocopherol have been revealed, and it is becoming clear that taking too much of the alpha vitamer is probably harmful.

    Critical to human well-being are the non-alpha forms of tocochromanols, and these are obtained mainly from seeds and seed products (e.g., vegetable oils), whereas the alpha form can be obtained mainly from eating leafy parts of plants (associated with chloroplasts and photosynthesis). This is not to say that alpha-tocopherol cannot be obtained from animal fats (it prefers to dwell in fatty membranes), and this is the rub. Humans and other animals have enzymes that destroy the other forms in preference to retaining the alpha form, but the other forms, although more transient, are important in resisting diseases such as cancer. The chemistry is complex and I won’t go into it here.

    My point is that, even though “eating like a predator” has some validity, I suggest that a tocochromanol supplement (esp. gamma- and delta-tocotrienols) that does not contain alpha-tocopherol is needed to reduce some of the risks that this diet might create. alpha-Tocopherol will actually contribute to the destruction of the other forms, so an excess taken as a supplement or when eating only animal products may be risky. I take a pure tocotrienol formula each night, which I get from A.C. Grace company, called Delta-Gold. Look up tocotrienols and you will understand why industry is killing people with the excesses of alpha-tocopherol based on misinformation.

    It has been suggested that our species evolved eating mostly roots and tubers that could be grubbed from the ground by women and children (approx. 60% of the diet), and these contained essential phytonutrients such as flavonoids and phenolic acids. Also, fruits with their seeds, where available, could augment levels of melatonin and serotonin that are necessary for a healthier life. Hunters (men) brought back fatty meats to augment the diet of the clan, as well as to barter for sex; more meat led to more sex and ergo, more genes into the next generation. Life expectancy during those times was short (on the order of several decades), and living to be my age was rare. The concerns of long-term nutrition were just not an issue. The sole issue for men and women was to survive predators and falling rocks (and unknowingly, pathogens), while trying to get more sex with the more desirable humans. Meat was the currency for men, who, unlike women, did not know for sure if their children were actually their children. So, more meat equals more genes in the next generation for men. Those who could get meat were fit, and those who could not, were not. It seems that meat-eating evolved along with humans.

    As you say, ones’ health is up to one to research and decide what is proper. I suggest that using the paleo diet approach is a positive step in building good health, but that certain nutrients must be obtained from different plant parts for one to have a lower risk of developing diseases. This may not be possible if whole categories are eliminated from one’s diet (such as sources of non alpha-T vitamers).

    I am going to explore your thesis in more detail, and I thank you for the effort it took bringing it together in such delightful prose. I will eat like a predator but make sure I get what I need for good health (until a train runs me down or a tree falls on me).


  • David Crewz:

    That's some interesting information on the various vitamers of E, which I confess I haven't spent a lot of time on…I'll have to look into the subject.

    However, I disagree with your recapitulation of the “nasty, brutish, and short” meme.  See:

    “The average modal age of adult death for hunter-gatherers is 72 with a range of 68-78 years. This range appears to be the closest functional equivalent of an “adaptive” human lifespan.”
    “Illnesses account for 70 percent, violence and accidents for 20 percent,
    and degenerative diseases for 9 percent of all deaths in our sample.”
    Post-reproductive longevity is a robust feature of hunter-gatherers and
    of the life cycle of Homo sapiens. Survivorship to grandparental age is achieved
    by over two-thirds of people who reach sexual maturity and can last an aver-
    age of 20 years. “

    And it's well-established that the “average” modern hunter-gatherer eats a diet of appx. 2/3 animal-source calories and only 1/3 vegetable-source calories, so I don't understand where you find the assertion that “our species evolved eating mostly roots and tubers that could be grubbed from the ground by women and children (approx. 60% of the diet).”  Unless you want to go back to the Pliocene, at which point you also have to go back to the australopithecines and a 400cc brain.


  • […] grown locally and in season whenever possible. For a good primer on an ancestral/whole foods diet, check out this excellent site and the other health websites we […]

  • JB Primal

    This is the best case I’ve seen for laying out why eating in the Paleo style is superior to the SAD diet. I almost can’t believe how we as a people have gotten it so wrong for the last sixty years or so.

    By combining Intermittent Fasting with Paleo style eating, you are able to dramatically improve your health in a very short period of time. After reading this and implementing J. Stanton’s suggestions, I’ve lost almost 30 pounds in about 3 1/2 months.

    Along with the other Paleo “gurus” Stanton stands out! Thanks so much for all you’ve done. Please keep posting.

  • Jen Shurek

    J. Stanton… by far your writing is not only the most educational but most well-written and pleasing to read. I’m a nineteen year old intern at a local gym that is heavy in paleo. I was introduced to your website by the owner of the gym to begin reading your index. Without a doubt your articles have become pivotal in my entire way of lifestyle. You are my idol and I want you to be aware of the surmounting respect that has developed for an extroardinary and evolutionary author like you.

    I’ve been wanting to say this for quite some time…
    In your interview, Richard asked something along these lines “J., I’ve noticed that you write your articles with a more “sciency” approach than most authors…why is this?”

    I began to laugh uncontrollably.. This questions is exactly why I have great trouble finding credibility in most people… IT CONTAINS SCIENCE: FACT.

    Some topics I would be excited to read about from you are the following:

    1.) Someone argued with me that meat actually shortens our lifespan. Maybe we could dive in on the life expectancy of a paleo-activist or more concrete examples of the effects of paleo-activist’s after years of change? To sustain an active (I train anerobic and aerobic exercises every other day) lifestyle where mucle isn’t lost and I have enough protein to not have just the body composition – maybe for my vanity’s sake – but a little extra to not be too lean?

    2.) How exactly does paleo affect a human being PSYCHOLOGICALLY. This would be very interesting. Let’s say for every one thing we put into our body, it’s a “super power”
    People always worry about getting enough vitamins, nutrients, protein (especially for me), and apparently SUGAR IS A NECCESITY some people say. I understand that for an active lifestyle, carbs ARE – in controlled quantities – useful. Do these combinations of food establish not only a physical difference but a psychological foundation? This is probably too broad of a question to fully analyze.

    3.) It would be very interesting if you were to write an article about fasting! I read your article of your hike and how you didn’t need all that much food or water.

    These are all off of the top of my head. Thank you, J.!

  • Nick "LapsusHominum" D.

    Hello, I’ve just signed up to this website because not only to I agree with the information presented here, I also wanted to ask you a question:

    I’m already aware that ruminants are built to digest grasses moreso than grains, and I’m also aware that this plays into their health and by extent the health of the consumer. That however, is the technical side of it.

    I had a question about how you feel about the ethics of feeding them a substance they have not evolved to consume, and on a not entirely related note, how do you feel about the treatment of said animals in their life and death?

    Please note that I do indeed agree with the science presented here and am in no way trying to imply anything disagreeable; I am merely curious.

  • Sierana

    Interesting read, my ex got very into the paleo diet and I keep coming across things about it and these wars between vegans and paleos and as just a general omnivore I wanted to ask some questions..
    This is all based on the premise that humans evolved, started eating meat, were predators etc and then just.. stopped evolving thousands and thousands of years ago..
    Humans have progressed as a species from a time where this was relevant to a far taller, more intelligent, omnivorous species. Humans are evolving to be leaner and have far different sets of teeth from the time they originally began hunting. The thing that confuses me is that clearly if you’ve gotta go chase down a gazelle and rip it apart you need to be a powerhouse of energy, very built up, just as a lion is.. But our modern consumer culture has absolutely no need of this whatsoever and has evolved well past the point where this can be reversed and where we can all start eating a diet where the majority of it is meat and whatnot. You can forgive me for being confused and just questioning where the logic is coming from here.
    Thanks =)

  • Nick "LapsusHom

    I also have one more question. Suppose I am currently in a position where I am not the deciding factor in what is bought as far as food is concerned (More specifically, I’m 17 living with parents).

    Should I not be too worried about all of this for the moment (My young body is maybe capable of my current lifestyle at the moment? Don’t get me wrong, I follow these steps wherever I can, though), at least until I have my own income and am capable of living this way, which hopefully should not be too many years in the future?

    Thank you for your input.

  • Steven

    Dear JS:

    Having been on paleo for about a year my cholesterol, tri numbers, etc. are where I want them, after having failed miserably with the doctors’ pills and SAD diet. Recently however there are medical reports that prostate cancer is increased substantially by heated red meats. I don’t feel like eating raw meat at this time, though perhaps that’s what they originally did? Do you dispute the causal relation cited in the research?

  • JB Primal:

    Congratulations!  30 pounds isn't a full ruck, but it's quite a bit to not carry around with you all day. 

    (Note: Brooks' website is http://www.jbprimal.com )

    Jen Shurek:

    It's easy to pontificate, issue opinions, or ramble on.  It's hard to do research, and it's even harder to present it in a coherent way that non-professionals can understand.  Thank you for noticing!

    1. “Meat shortens our lifespan” — you can point that person to Denise Minger's refutation of the book “The China Study”.  It turns out that meat consumption is strongly associated with longer life!

    The problem with long-term evidence for a paleo diet is that it's all either anthropological (studies of hunter-gatherer cultures, which lack things like hospitals, antibiotics, and 'assisted care facilities') or anecdotal (Paleo is too new to have any population data, so you're looking at the lives of people like Vilhjalmur Stefansson, R. Buckminster Fuller, Owsley Stanley, and Dr. Wolfgang Lutz.)  It might not be a bad idea, though, to put all the anecdotes together in one place.

    2. The psychological effects of a paleo diet are substantial but difficult to quantify.  One very common report of people on VLC is that they become far less emotional.  Again, there's very little hard data, so it ends up being somewhat anecdotal and speculative…but it might not be a bad idea to collect them.

    3. Re: fasting, I've written two articles on “The Breakfast Myth” (part 1, part 2), which you'll find relevant if you haven't already seen them.  The problem I see is that the subject has already been covered remarkably well by people like Martin Berkhan at leangains, so I'd have to find a unique angle from which to approach the subject.

    I'm glad I've been able to inspire you (and the others at your gym).  Have you read The Gnoll Credo?

    More soon!


  • Nick:

    “I had a question about how you feel about the ethics of feeding them [ruminants] a substance they have not evolved to consume, and on a not entirely related note, how do you feel about the treatment of said animals in their life and death?”

    Obviously it's the wrong way to do things, and I buy grass-finished meat when I can…but I'm more concerned about the effects of factory farming and a grain-based diet on people than on cattle.  Living alone or in a “nuclear family”, commuting to work, spending your day sitting in a cubicle or on a production line, and thereby becoming fat and sick from “food” made of processed grains is at least as cruel and evolutionarily discordant for humans as feedlots are for cattle.  The analogy of cubicles to veal fattening pens is not entirely specious.


    We've been over this before…is that more associative data (usually bunk), or a controlled study?  Go find the original paper and let me know.


  • […] “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: br /The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps, br /A Motivational G…. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Uncategorized. […]

  • Sierana:

    “This is all based on the premise that humans evolved, started eating meat, were predators etc and then just.. stopped evolving thousands and thousands of years ago..”

    The premise isn't that we've stopped evolving!  Agriculture has mostly been a relaxation of selection pressure…you don't need to be particularly smart or strong to do the repetitive manual labor of plowing, sowing, weeding, grinding, etc.  So: both our brains and our bodies shrank dramatically as we took up agriculture, because being smart and strong are energetically expensive — and if there is not selection pressure to maintain an adaptation, it will tend to atrophy.

    The differences between the Paleolithic genome and the modern genome are small except in a few narrowly defined categories such as disease resistance, lactase persistence, and a lower frequency of the HLA MHCs associated with celiac.  Remember that “anatomically modern humans” first appear between 200 KYA and 100 KYA…in other words, our ancestors were archaeologically indistinguishable from modern humans for 20-40x the span of time between the agricultural transition and modern times.  And compared to ~6 million years of hominin evolution, and 3.4 million years of well-established meat-eating, none of this is terribly significant as it relates to optimal diet.

    See the comment thread here for more discussion on the topic…and for an (ongoing) explanation of the evolutionary issues, you might want to start at Part I of that series.


    “Suppose I am currently in a position where I am not the deciding factor in what is bought as far as food is concerned (More specifically, I'm 17 living with parents).”

    Making what you want into a point of negotiation might be helpful: “I'll stop asking for <pick a junk food> if you'll get me coconut oil/serve rice instead of bread/etc.”  Basically you give your parents something they want in exchange for something you want.  And parents are generally short on time and energy, so anything that involves you cooking some part of your own food (and cleaning up afterward) is generally a huge win for them.

    That being said, I suspect you may have to choose your battles.  I'd go for the low-hanging fruit (staying gluten-free, using coconut oil and butter instead of seed oils) before I'd try to convince them to buy grass-fed beef or other expensive stuff they'll view as a luxury.  So long as you can stay grain-free except for white rice, seed oil-free except for eating out, and so long as you have eggs available, you'll do fine.

    Then, once you've graduated high school, you'll be in a much better position to control the rest of your diet…and you're starting much earlier than I did!  


  • Jen Shurek

    Thanks for the info, J.
    I’ve inquired of your book on iBooks to no avail. I’m currently residing in Kyiv, Ukraine. Once I return, I’ll either hunt down or order your book. I have read the sample and am lured towards the writing style.

    I’ve read The Paleo Diet, The Paleo Diet for Athletes, and The Paleo Answer by Loren Cordain. He has a slightly different stance on certain saturated fats such as Bacon, Canola oil, and Coconut oil (among other coconut products) while The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf seems to contradict that even though their basically a collaboration.

    I’ve stumbled across sites like Everyday Paleo and Nom Nom Paleo that allow certain quantities of pastured butter, other pastured dairy, bacon, tubers, and certain vinegar even though their resources include Robb Wolf and Loren Cordain.

    I’ve read quite a lot of your index and indices of others’ work about intermittent fasting (including the breakfast myth). I strongly advocate it notice a significant difference in my satiation when eating. I’m battling a mild case of hunger during the process of eating. The natural taste of foods and my capacity to eat a lot at once (eat two large meals throughout the day and try to not snack) make it difficult to stop eating sometimes. Loren Cordain strongly states in several chapters of each book that eating lean meats, fresh fruit, and vegetables shouldn’t have a limit and limiting your sugar intake isn’t too important unless suffering from autoimmune disease. I’ve read from other “Paleo” resources that put stronger emphasis on sugar consumption. The same goes for tubers. Some advocate it quite more than others. I am confounded whether these limitations or emphasis’s are for weight-loss for the ill or recommendations for athletes. Each paleo resources clearly makes autoimmune disease the example, but athletes and their recommendations aren’t mentioned nearly a tenth as often. The Paleo Diet for athletes is a little too extreme (mainly for Olympian intensity) where glucose stores must be replenished with tubers (not potatoes) but I don’t know if I even hit “their” threshold since I exercise frequently but am not sure whether that switch from fat burning to glucose was changed.
    I’m a mess, I know. It’s hard to handle the plethora of information, especially when even a hint of bias is involved.

    Anyway, any interesting articles that you can think of (I’ll read the ones provided in your latest response) would be appreciated. I’m head-over-heels into paleo and believe it with my “heart.” I want to read as much as possible. I follow your links and re-read the articles for the sake of my enjoyment and personal growth – to refresh myself.

    I’m going to enter PSU and am stumped as to what curriculum would best suit me. It’s perplexing enough to figure out how I’m going to afford college with my parent’s divorce and bankruptcy that just took into effect not even a year ago and what loan or grant will keep me afloat. I’m a novice personal trainer at the gym, [www.Clackamaspc.com, and am volunteering as an intern until the potential rise of the beginning of my career there. I am not allowing a job to conflict with the process because the hours simply will not coincide with my current ones. I’m in the pursuit of a full-time education and my gym for the sake of being intertwined with the only local “paleo” society I know. I’ve heard of CLEP but and am skeptical of digging a grave into a loan at a college. If a university, I thought maybe taking microbiology, biochemistry, and anthropology would be good goals. I don’t even understand if “Paleo” is BECOMING or ALREADY IS it’s own career path. If it’s “underground” or just not mainstream and how I can dive into the flow of the growth. I’m coming off of the original topic with this random background story, I know. Any help from you would be worth a million bucks!

    Any guidance would be almost surreal coming from you! Also, good to have you back. I’m excited that you were able to reply! Thank you so much.

    – Jen Shurek

  • Danny J Albers

    Thought I would share my latest labs, eating this way.

    Needless to say Gnolls is a major influence on us at Primal North. MAJOR.

    Cholesterol Results

  • Jen Shurek:

    I know you want to do what's best for your mental and physical health, but I think you're overanalyzing a bit.  Once you've eliminated gluten grains and products, eliminated seed oils (including canola), minimized nut consumption (including nut flours and nut butters), and minimized casein consumption (milk and cheese…butter is fine) — and replaced them with healthy whole foods like meat, eggs, veggies, and tubers — most of the other issues are extremely minor unless you have specific allergies, intolerances, or autoimmune conditions.

    For instance, putting vinegar, clarified butter, and white potatoes in the same “Not Even Once” bin as bread is just plain silly, and anyone who demonizes coconut oil due to saturated fat is ignoring a huge body of knowledge on the biology of MCTs and the health of Pacific Islanders.  There's a continuum of harm to everything, and it's the reason I give the six steps in the order I do.  Furthermore, some early assumptions (like “nuts are OK in any quantity, but white potatoes are bad in any quantity”) are simply wrong.

    That being said, there's nothing wrong with doing a Whole 30, figuring out how much of a difference it makes — and if it does, slowly reintroducing foods to figure out what's making the difference.  (Note: even the Whole 30 allows clarified butter now.) 

    At the end of the day, I think the Perfect Health Diet does the best job of triage — actually figuring out what's good for us and what isn't, modulo specific personal issues.  (I've read the new edition, due in December, and it's even better than the current one!)

    My rule on starch for paleo athletes is simple: to find your range, eat more until it stops helping or starts making you fat, then eat less until you start feeling “flat” or feeling sugar cravings. 

    In my experience, it's really hard to eat too much starch if you're not consuming liquid calories or “energy” bars/goop, even if you add rice to your potatoes and sweet potatoes.  That said, there are advantages to endurance training in a glycogen-depleted state: see Jamie Scott's articles on the subject.

    Tip: You can buy a copy of The Gnoll Credo from The Book Depository, which ships free worldwide (even, I believe, to Ukraine!)  Of course, if you'll soon be back in the USA, you can get a signed copy directly from my publisher.

    Re: curriculum, there's no degree in Paleo…and if you try to get any formal training in nutrition, you'll end up fighting conventional wisdom the entire way.  There's no formal career path in paleo, either.  Every paleo “authority”, whether online or published in print, has gained their reputation via self-education and self-promotion

    …and that includes all the people with doctorates and medical degrees, none of whom received any formal training in paleo principles.  No one has any academic or professional standing to define what paleo is, what paleo should be, or who is or isn't “paleo”.  We all gained our reputations the same way: by studying the material ourselves, collecting and organizing our thoughts and ideas, and presenting them before the court of public opinion.  It'll be a long time before there are enough primary sources to create a curriculum and associated dogma.

    Result: you're going to have to clear a path for yourself, and I can't say what that

    PS: Say hello and thank you to Jason Seib for me!



    Those are excellent numbers.  Congratulations on your transformation!  I'm glad I've been able to inspire it in some way.

    A note: I myself tend to eat a more Perfect Health Diet level of starches…but unlike some, I don't see the evidence that VLC necessarily causes (for instance) thyroid issues.  Biochemical individuality is real (I'll be writing more about this in the future), a meat and offal-based ketogenic diet is within the range of biochemically viable and anthropologically plausible options, and each person needs to find the preferred balance between their own individual homeostases.


  • Danny J Albers

    J what you say is so true.

    It really saddens me to see the rampant paranoia stirred up regarding the thyroid and low carb diets. Technically even the original PHD is borderline a low carb diet…

    My friend Liz is wonderfully intelligent in regards to nutrition, and has come at soem of the other issues claimed caused by low carb and they all seem to come to mucin difficiency. She successfully eradicated hers by attacking the protein side of the equation instead of the carb side, and added collagen, things like pig skin to her broths, chicken feet, etc… just like great great great great great great grandma used to do, and it was successful.

    I think you are correct, epi-genetics is real, but I also think most people could thrive on a low carb diet with minor tweaking as exampled above. I do however consider 20% calories from starch a moderately low carb diet… Most low carb studies that have positive outcomes have around that range. So Paul is not out of line either.

    For me, I have started adding super starch… and all I can say is WOW, if you want to follow that progress I am logging it all on my blog. Super starch + keto adaption I think is a game changer…

    Oops, got me rambling again!

  • Nick "LapsusHom

    I very much appreciate the reply, and I apologize with my late response. Thanks for your advice. I don’t eat junk food really at all I have been trying to follow these guidelines whenever at all possible, and from you saying that me beginning on this diet much earlier than you, (especially judging from how healthy you seem to be) it is of great comfort to me. (This sentence is awkwardly put together, I know. What I’m trying to get across is that if you can begin much later than I and still be healthy, it’s of great comfort to me that I am beginning earlier.)

    And I absolutely mean no offense, if there is anyway that I didn’t see that the previous couple sentences could be offensive.

  • Danny:

    You've actually sent me on an interesting research path.


    It's not offensive to acknowledge that it's been a while since I graduated high school!


  • Danny J Albers

    Well glad I could provide “muse” services. Was it the collagen or super starch? LOL

  • […] “Eat Like a Predator, Not Like Prey”: The Paleo Diet in Six Easy Steps, A Motivational G… […]

  • […] don’t graze like the prey…I like to eat big like the predator (after the […]

  • […] of those horrifying factory farms where the animals were horrendously mistreated? I may be mostly carnivorous, but I’m not okay with my dinner being tortured before it’s slaughtered. Yeah, […]

  • Mike

    Hi, J,
    A quick question. I’m not sure if you get into this elsewhere, but a quick search didn’t turn up anything. Eating soft fat versus eating hard fat (I’m talking about animal fat here). I always eat the soft stuff and avoid the hard stuff. The soft tastes better, and is easier to eat. Thoughts?

    Oh, cool! I just noticed the “East Coast Beef” article above. I wrote that.

  • Mike:

    The harder animal fats are higher in saturated fat, and the softer animal fats are higher in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.  I see no reason to avoid either…unless you're eating your meat raw, they both soften and melt at cooking temperatures.


  • […] In short, while I can’t rule out coincidence, it certainly appears that my excellent dental health is strongly correlated with eating like a predator. […]

  • […] Gnolls.org has a simple 6 step motivational guide called “Eat Like a Predator, Not Like Prey’, its a great place to start when trying understand the ins and outs of the Paleo lifestyle. It can be quite confusing when you start out let me tell you, conflicting information everywhere, luckily for me I had some friends who were a few years into the Paleo experience which made it a breeze. The best piece of advice I could give you is don’t get too serious too soon, one of the main things I love about Paleo is its simplicity, no weighing stuff or counting calories like most other diets. My first step was to quit the ’Grains’ and for someone who ate up to 10 slices of bread a day I was amazed at how quickly I adapted to life without bread. I don’t even think about bread anymore, quite amazing really! […]

  • […] From J. Stanton of Gnolls.org […]

  • […] “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey.” from […]

  • David

    “Fat people are no longer disgusting: they’re delicious.”

    Wtf? What kind of sick individual would think like that?

  • Maybe … maybe folks who actually have a fucking sense of humour?

    Let's break it down. gnolls.org is a website that promotes a normal and natural sense of eating, the way we have for millennia, prior to dogma, nutritionalism and other *isms. We eat to live.

    As normal human beings, we also like to laugh. It's called humour. It's funny to folks who are of similar minds. Your outrage says more about you, or rather the things that you have come to believe from a rather sick and dysfunctional society, than anything else.

    Do you have a mind of your own?

    If not, repeat after me … “ape shall not kill ape”. Then, we can share some bible time. Gawd!

  • E Craig

    Cannibalism is always funny.


    Until you're on a mountain expedition and get lost and have no food.  Then it's still funny as long as you're not the guy getting eaten.


    (Even Voltaire knew it was funny)

  • “Wtf? What kind of sick individual would think like that?”

    A gnoll.


  • alan2102

    “Flaxseed oil (ALA) is not an acceptable substitute.
    Our bodies are woefully inefficient (less than 1%) at converting it to the DHA we require.”

    But flaxseed oil is great for EPA. Alpha-linolenic (very high in flax) gets converted to EPA readily. Also, conversion of alpha-linolenic to DHA varies a great deal; it is not one set figure, like 1%. It is low, but variable.

  • You miss the point …

    Ask these guys how they prefer to get their omega-3s. I prefer to do the same.

    http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/bear/1024x768/wsWILD017_1024x768.jpgImage Enlarger

    These little fellows like to do it this way.


  • Farn

    J. Stanton, thanks for continuing to reply to these comments. I have some worries about red meat and colorectal cancer.

    For example, this study http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=200150 acknowledges many weaknesses in the literature, but still supports the association. Could you give me a brief overview of why you do not agree with the general conclusions of many bodies? I am keen to transition to paleo.

    Many thanks!

  • I'm not J, but for starters:

    “Consumption of red and processed meat has been associated with colorectal cancer in many but not all epidemiological studies …”

    So, this is not a study of eating meat … it is a study of eating meat AND garbage … and only then, absolutely inconclusive.

    “We considered red meat to include the following individual or grouped items on the questionnaire: bacon; sausage; hamburgers, cheeseburgers, meatloaf, or casserole with ground beef; beef (steaks, roasts, etc, including sandwiches); beef stew, or pot pie with carrots or other vegetables; liver, including chicken livers; pork, including chops, roast; hot dogs; and ham, bologna, salami, or lunchmeat.”

    So, meat … AND garbage.

    “High intake of red and processed meat reported in 1992/1993 was associated with higher risk of colon cancer after adjusting for age and energy intake but not after further adjustment for body mass index, cigarette smoking, and other covariates.”

    So, meat^H^H^H^H garbage eaters who are already fat and abuse themselves in entirely other ways.

    “Our findings add to the limited prospective data on meat consumption in relation to rectal cancer …”

    So, limited findings … perhaps there is something entirely other at play? I bet all these meat eaters at bread.

    Finally, how much of the red meat was grass fed? How much was grain bulked? How many of the animals suffered cramped into warehouses, rather than led stress-free lives out in fields?

    Summary? Flawed methodology, looking for a pattern where there isn't one and putting two and two together to come up with five, when all along (that is all along the entire history of human development, some millions of years) two plus two equals four!

    If this really was true, we would have died out millennia, if not aeons ago.

    Perhaps the correlation is with humans eating garbage?

  • Farn:

    Paul did a solid job of dissecting the first study, to which I'd add that there's a new anti-meat propaganda installment about every nine months.  Here's my response to a previous one.  As I point out in my response, you can pretty much torture any associative data set until it produces the “result” you're looking for.  

    Meanwhile, here's a study that gives the exact opposite result: vegetarians suffer more bowel cancer than meat-eaters!

    Am J Clin Nutr May 2009 vol. 89 no. 5 1620S-1626S
    Cancer incidence in vegetarians: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Oxford)
    Timothy J Key, Paul N Appleby, Elizabeth A Spencer, Ruth C Travis, Andrew W Roddam, and Naomi E Allen

    The standardized incidence ratios for colorectal cancer were 84% (95% CI: 73%, 95%) among nonvegetarians and 102% (95% CI: 80%, 129%) among vegetarians. […] The incidence rate ratio for colorectal cancer in vegetarians compared with meat eaters was 1.39 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.91).


    If red meat caused cancer, we'd all be dead…because we're made out of it.


  • S.P.Vallance

    Hi again JS, I was interested in knowing your thoughts about this article I found today –

  • That article contains a combination of straw man arguments and unsupported bunk.

    “But is it true that Stone Age hunters and gatherers didn’t eat any carbohydrates at all?”  No, it isn't — but no one has taken that position.  Straw man.

    “Compared to today, the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic diets included lots of proteins, less fat and fewer, though some, carbohydrates.”  This is a completely unsourced assertion that is also trivially false.  If we're eating less fat and less carbs, and being much more active, then we're having to eat dramatically more lean protein — but humans have a very limited capacity to process dietary protein.  Such a diet is impossible.

    “Stone Age people got their calcium from shellfish”  Given the lack of evidence for shellfish consumption until the late Paleolithic, this assertion makes no sense at all.  Where did we get our calcium from before 140 KYA?  (Our earliest evidence for shellfish consumption by our ancestors AFAIK) 

    Conclusion: the article is bunk.


  • This just might be t

    This just might be the stupidest fucking thing I’ve read.

  • S.P.Vallance

    Yeah I knew something was up with that article, after voicing my paleo stance a friend sent me the article (along with a barrage of vego/vegan propaganda), as I skimmed through it I knew I had to send it here for a royal debunking. The amount of mental gymnastics they performed when I criticized it was unbelievable.

  • Farn

    JS & Paul: Thanks for the replies. They were very useful. I’m particularly interested in how one responds to the general literature rather than that specific study, so I will focus my reply on JS.

    I’ve thought a fair bit about your reply, especially the article you linked me to. I have also spent some time looking at the following three meta studies and the studies they review. It’s worth noting that they use the same studies, the later ones including extra more recent studies, so we shouldn’t double count their evidence.

    In terms of the problems with associational studies: yes, they have many problems. But, they still provide some evidence. So, for example, I think we can agree that the literature fairly strongly rules out the hypothesis “in the global population, consumption of red meat is not correlated with anything that increases the risk of CRC”. Because our probability must still sum to one, the probability we might have assigned to that theory has to be spread between competing theories (according to Bayes rule). One of them is that the consumption of red meat (all red meat, not just grain fed or hormone-ridden or processed). The question is, do we have good reason to suspect something else is going on?

    Not many of these studies control for many things we might like them to control for (smoking, obesity, energy intake etc.) but those who do still find positive associations. Yes, as you say, there is data that vegetarianism is associated with an increase in cancer risk, but that could just be a case of there being a healthy amount of red meat intake and either side being non-ideal. Now, I’m not saying I support these theories, but that if we don’t consider them, we are making the same mistake that would lead one to mistake an RCC for an associative study.

    Many of the studies either include “junk meat” or fail to control for various things that probably undermine the study. If we could find a few studies that had a good collection of control variables and a good definition of red meat, and had an equally strong correlation as the other studies, I would have greater worries. The worst is this (http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/97/12/906.long) which seems to have a reasonably fair definition of red meat, large sample size, and good controls still finding an association.

    I would say then that we should really put our faith in a few hypotheses. One, the mainstream belief that red meat causes cancer. You may have a low prior probability for this owed to evolutionary arguments, in which case your posterior probability may remain relatively low. Two, people who eat a lot of red meat tend to eat with other carcinogenic foods (e.g. refined (or unrefined) grains). Three, grain fed red meat is as bad for you as mainstream health advices (or worse, to account for the fact that some in the studies are probably eating grass fed). Four, the FFQ surveys are completely borked in a systematic enough way to provide the data. (not too sure on this way).

    Finally, JS, what do you mean when you say “[i]f red meat caused cancer, we’d all be dead…because we’re made out of it”? This seems rather quick! Yes, I agree, it seems red meat can’t cause cancer by being close to it, but being made out red meat and digesting it seem different enough for this statement to be rather flimsy.

    (BTW, do you have any advice for paleo for a student with not great shared kitchen space? It’s a dorm type situation.)



  • Focus on JS for the above … it just went “blah blah blah” to me … I'm a cook … J's the guy with the biochemisty brain.

    This, I can cope with … one ring cooking!

    Meat or fish and a vegetable, or two.

    There's a simple way of doing this … cook the meat, set it aside to rest and cook the veggies. One ring. Easy.

    More complicated, like an filled omelette? Cook eat part in turn, pour it out onto a board and then put it all back together into one pan at the end.

    Imagine yourself some sort of settler … you've got one skillet … or one cauldron.

    That in itself is a journey, fun and excitement.

    Initially, keep it simple – meat or fish and one (or two) veggies. Work up from there and make it YOUR art form.

  • leo d

    great article js….i tried a low carb,,meat intensive way of eating 4 years ago and it brought on anxiety and panic attacks which i thought were heart related as i had never experienced anxiety at that level…my doctor sent me for a stress test then a nuclear stress test and finally a agiogram which showed one artery pluged at 50%,,,im 56 ,,the change in diet broght on a 30 lbs weight loss…i went back to my normal diet which included a lot more carbs and my anxiety went away,,i have read of other people being affected with anxiety on a low varb diet,,,can you comment on this please,,,,,,,,,,,,leo

  • “This just might be the stupidest fucking thing I've read”:

    This is the Internet.  I guarantee it's not even the stupidest thing you've read today

    May I presume you're a vegan?  A lot of you seem to have anger issues.  Try substituting some fatty meat and egg yolks for that grain-based junk: the vitamin B12 alone will do wonders for your mental state.


    “what do you mean when you say “[i]f red meat caused cancer, we'd all be dead…because we're made out of it”? This seems rather quick!”

    No, it isn't.  Muscles, and other lean tissue, are not static constructions.  They're constantly being broken down and rebuilt — both at the biochemical level within each cell, and at the cellular level via apoptosis and cell division.  So their breakdown products are continually present in our bodies…most of which are large compared to the di- and tri-peptides which are absorbed by a reasonably healthy digestive system when we eat meat.

    “In terms of the problems with associational studies: yes, they have many problems. But, they still provide some evidence.”

    No, they don't.  Odds ratios of 20-30% are COMPLETELY MEANINGLESS in that amount of statistical noise.  Here's a quote from this paper (hat tip to Sidereal):

    In an unpublished study, Meehl and Lykken cross-tabulated 15 items for a sample of 57,000 Minnesota high school students, including father’s occupation, father’s education, mother’s education, number of siblings, sex, birth order, educational plans, family attitudes toward college, whether they liked school, college choice, occupational plan in 10 years, religious preference, leisure time activities, and high-school organizations. All of the 105 chi-squares that these 15 items produced by the cross-tabulations were statistically significant, and 96% of them at p < .000001 (Meehl, 1990b).

    In other words, if you have a large enough data set, any correlation becomes “significant”. (Note that all the data sets in the studies you mention exceed 57,000 people.)

    Then, recall my example in which HRT for women produced a halving of cancer risk according to associational data — far greater than any effect ascribed to red meat! — yet actual RCTs showed a 30% increase.

    Finally, let's not neglect the fact I already explored at length in my article — people lie or misremember what they eat when asked to fill out a dietary recall survey.  For instance, the recall of hamburger intake is completely unrelated to actual hamburger intake (6% correlation), a fact which completely overrides any possible conclusion one can make about the actual effects of eating hamburger.  So if the correlation is real (which it probably isn't…see previous paragraph), the correlation isn't between cancer and hamburgers, it's between cancer and lying about how many hamburgers you eat.

    Result: the known error terms are so large that odds ratios like 30% have no meaning.  Real scientists don't get excited about associative data until they start seeing odds ratios well above the known measurement errors. 

    Nutrition is perhaps the only field in which this sort of noise-shaping gets passed off as “science”.  It's quite literally on the level of “throwing the bones”, or reading the entrails of the sacrificial lamb, to divine the future.

    “(do you have any advice for paleo for a student with not great shared kitchen space? It's a dorm type situation.)”

    (I'm assuming you're not forced to eat in the cafeteria.) 

    College students will steal anything that isn't nailed down.  Get a mini-fridge and keep the meat, eggs, veggies, and coconut oil in your room.  You can even buy an electric skillet if there's nothing but a microwave…just get some plastic utensils and eat out of the skillet.


  • leo d:

    “Low carb” can mean anything from “somewhat less than the 50% carb recommended by the government” to “no fruit or starchy vegetables, just greens, so effectively zero carb”…so I'm not sure I can comment without knowing how low you were going.


  • leo d

    it was the atkins diet and my urine test on the keto stick was a dark purple,,,after 53 years of a high carb diet i think the sudden change to a ketosis state brought on the anxiety attacks as i never experienced these before,,,,i also interrestingly was eating alot of coconut flour which is low carb and the mct fats might of been to new for my metabolism to handle ,,i am now following the phd diet with approved carbs and lost 10 lbs in 1 month,,,the aproval of the recommended starches (potatoes and rice mainly) is very aggreable with me,,,thank you for your response JS……………………leo

  • leo d:

    Atkins induction is definitely VLC…it's nearly zero-carb.

    Note that it's probably not ketosis that caused your anxiety…it's more likely the increase in cortisol caused by your liver suddenly needing to create carbs through gluconeogenesis.  

    Interestingly, people who are metabolically dysfunctional tend to do better with the transition to VLC.  My guess is that they often have high cortisol already due to inappropriate gluconeogenesis and other issues, so VLC might not actually raise it for them (and might even lower it, due to the decreased stress of not being hungry all the time).


  • […] Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey – Written by J. Stanton, author of The Gnoll Credo. I haven’t read the book, but the website is very informative. I love this article. It fits very well with my wish to become lean like a tiger. […]

  • leo d

    that makes alot of sense(especially after researching more on what you said) ive been quite stress free for all of my life and an increase in cortisol probably affected me differently than other people.. like type A personalities ,,as i would rate myself as a type C………..thanks for clarifying things for me JS

  • leo d:

    Keep in mind that what I said above is my own hypothesis. It’s biochemically plausible — but I’m open to correction, and I wouldn’t invest too much in it.


  • Max

    I don’t remember how I first stumbled upon your page, but I had heard of the paleo diet before. I found your article very interesting, but I wasn’t sure how eating fatty meat could be healthy, after all, its the antithesis of the ‘low-fat’ bullshit I’ve heard all my life! Sounded delicious though, so I just watched ‘the big fat fiasco’ and related videos, they completely blew my mind! Who knew!? My friends think I’m full of it, but they’ll come around eventually! Just wanted to thank you for such a concise guide to eating paleo….can’t wait to load up my cart with red meat at the grocery store.
    A quick question, obviously grass-fed is better, but is it a terrible crime if I’m eating normal store-bought meat?
    Thanks again,

  • E Craig



    Have you had grass-fed beef/pastured pork/chicken, nicely fed/treated lamb/goat before? 


    If you have the means, you may want to consider a personal experiment and obtain some, eat it (and other humanely sourced/properly fed animals) for a set amount of time. See how you feel. Take notes. =)


    Localharvest.org has a nice (though not complete) list of non CAFO farmers.

  • Max:

    No, it's not a terrible crime — especially if you're concentrating on red meat, which is less sensitive to grain-feeding than chicken or pork (which accumulate alarming omega-6 content on an industrial diet).  Your biggest priority should be finding a source of free-range farm eggs.  (Store eggs labeled “cage-free” aren't the same thing and don't make a meaningful difference: you want hens that get to run around in the dirt and eat bugs and plants.)

    So yes, it's much healthier to eat beef raised on genetically engineered corn and soy than to eat the corn and soy yourself.  I started that way myself, and it's basically impossible to ever eat out without eating industrial feedlot meat of some sort…

    …but it's even better to buy beef raised and finished on grass.  As you find yourself committing more fully to your new way of eating, it'll start making sense to purchase grass-finished beef — because you'll feel secure enough to buy it by the side from a local producer, instead of paying exorbitant prices for it by the steak.  

    Also, good grass-fed, dry-aged beef is delicious!  The store-bought stuff starts tasting watery and bland by comparison.


  • Max

    E- Yes, its delicious! Just tough on a college budget is all. Gotta find somebody to go in on a

    J- What are your thoughts on carboloading? It was an unconvinced roommate’s question…I’m not sure what to think, maybe more starch, or just some fruit post-activity to restore glycogen in the muscles? Are there any paleo ‘gus’ out there, or do you just run off fat for endurance?
    Loved the scramble article, keep the recipe posts coming!


  • Max:

    It's important to not let the best be the enemy of the good.  And it's not like you'll have a chest freezer to store a side of beef in college, so I wouldn't stress about it.  Save that for when you're no longer moving every nine months.

    Optimal carb consumption is something you have to figure out for yourself.  Yes, competitive athletes will need more than a sedentary researcher trying to lose a few pounds.  Fruit doesn't have a lot of calories, and much of them are fructose, so I'd just eat more tubers.  (Not that fruit's bad, it's just not the best way to replenish muscle glycogen.)  If you really need a huge bolus of glucose, get some rice noodles from the Asian market.

    However, for everyday endurance activity, I just run off my own fat unless it's an all-day epic, whereupon I'll bring lunch.  And I always bring some glucose-based candy (e.g. Sweet-Tarts, Bottle Caps…they're dextrose, not sugar or HFCS) just in case I hit the wall.


  • Jen W



    I also think what and how much “carb loading” you do, depends on the type of activity you do.  When my physical activity was just walking/sprinting/cleaning I didn't really need to carb load.  However, now that I practice martial arts (aikido) I find that a cup of mashed sweet potato after or before (depending on how late in the day class is) works well for me.



  • Paul N

    Another good reason to Eat Like a Predator is your mental health will likely be better.

    Consider this interesting result from a German study at Andreas Enfeldt’s site;

    Vegetarian diet and mental disorders: results from a representative community survey.

    Interesting point in there – people often had a mental disorder *before* becoming veg*n. Interesting to speculate what would have happened to such a person in paleo/tribal times – voted off the island?

    The comment thread that follows that story is also interesting.

    Emily Deans wrote an excellent commentary on this same study here

  • Jen W:


    Paul N:

    I remember when that made the rounds.  My personal intuition is that it's a self-reinforcing feedback loop: veg*anism is a great way to socially legitimize one's mental issues, and the resulting poor nutrition makes the mental issues worse.  But I'm not going to push that too hard, as it's just an intuitive hypothesis.


  • Lisa

    Thanks for this info. I admit I didn’t read all the comments, but I’m researching the Paleo diet to see if it’s a good fit for me. I’m trying to get rid of very mild, but stubborn and mysterious eczema. I’ve heard that dairy is the cause; I’ve heard that wheat is the cause. In fact, I’ve heard so many conflicting things my head was starting to spin. I went to a doctor about it and he prescribed an ointment that was very expensive and listed lymphoma as a potential “side effect.” In the trash, it went. … I was compelled to consider Paleo after coming across the criticism of the lipid hypothesis. Also, it’s hard to deny that those vegetable oil and grain dietary recommendations have coincided with epidemic rises in diabetes, heart disease, allergies, and everything in between. Incidentally, I finally realized that I actually felt better after eating a handful of foods — fish being one of them. Conversely, it seems that so many so-called health foods I eat leave me feeling blah, like multi-grain bread (which went in the trash after two tries) and dried beans. I realized that I rarely eat red meat and thought maybe I should give Paleo a try. I could never be vegan, so no worries there. I’m a dairy junkie though, so that will take some discipline. … Sorry for the long post, but thanks for the info, nonetheless!

  • Lisa:

    The great thing about trying dietary therapy is that it's not an irreversible commitment.  Try it for a few months and see how it works for you!

    I personally found that my cheese cravings disappeared after a few months of eating fatty meats, eggs, and butter: once I was getting plenty of saturated fat (and the associated fat-soluble vitamins) from other sources, I didn't “need” cheese anymore.  Yes, it still tastes good…but I don't crave it like I used to.

    I wish you the best on your journey.  Let us know how it works for you!


  • Paul N

    I found the same thing in regard to cheese – more (fatty) meat, eggs, avocados and I wasn’t so hungry for it.
    Also, by not eating sandwiches/toast/crackers, a major avenue of cheese consumption dissappeared.

    I also stopped buying supermarket cheese, it became (even more) tasteless, and just buy good, aged cheeses and enjoy a little here and there

    I had learned how to do home cheesemaking (and kefir making) months before going paleo, and I still do some of that, to make my own kefir and feta style cheese (for salad toppings), and use whey for doing fermented veg or the occasional buckwheat sourdough.

    So cheese has become a pleasure/condiment food, just like chocolate – though my butter consumption has increased!

    I suppose I could/should do a 30 day elimination and see if it does anything

  • Saddra

    Just one tiny detail, we are not carnivores, our digestive tract is 5x longer than they of carnivores. Yes, we need animal protein but together with plenty of fruit, vegetables and nuts. I do agree with grain and diary. Common we have more than 90% of genetically material of monkeys and look what they eat, fruits, some veggies, roots and some insect. There is where we should learn from.

  • Jen W



    If only we had the digestive tract of a monkey, but we don't.  We(humans) are NOT hind-gut digesters like apes are and while we are not complete carnivores, our digestive tact more closely matches that of a carnivore than monkey or an herbivore.



  • Max

    J, just a question out of curiosity: what happens to societies eating big amounts of carbs/wheat? Rice is a ‘safe starch’, but when your diet is based on it (many Asian, Latin/South American diets)? A big generalization, but what about Italy? Pasta, pizza, bread…etc? Wouldn’t heart disease have always been a problem? Just thinking…

  • Italians have not eaten the way they do today forever – it's a relatively new thing. In fact, many Italians don't eat that way at all … go up north and they eat meat and vegetables. Yes, pasta is practically ubiquitous but even then. It's a massive generalisation, but I wouldn't look at the archetypal older Italian and immediately think “healthy”.

  • Max

    Been reading up on some stuff, so basically this diet puts you in ketosis, right? And that’s how we become more efficient fat burners?


  • Jen W

    Not necessarily.  Total carb grams at 50 or below will put you in ketosis, but some people don't sleep well on that low a carb count (me included.  Tried multiple times.  Never really slept through the night.)


    You can still have fatty acid oxidation and not be in ketosis.



  • Paul N:

    It's worth trying a Whole 30 and seeing what it does for you.


    The human gut is strongly dissimilar to those of both chimpanzees and gorillas.  First, it's much smaller in total.  Second, our small intestine comprises much more of it, and our large intestine (colon) comprises a much smaller proportion.

    This is exactly what we would expect for an animal which became more dependent on easily-digested animal fat and protein (absorbed in the small intestine), and less dependent on plant matter (fermented in the colon).  

    So yes, humans are omnivores, not carnivores — but we're far more carnivorous than our primate ancestors.  (Recall that even chimpanzees eat a meaningful quantity of meat.)  If we were still folivorous or frugivorous, we wouldn't need our gigantic brains, and we'd still be little 60-pound forest-dwelling apes with 350cc brains.  I explore this subject at length in this series of articles.


    A high-carb diet based on rice is far better than a high-carb diet based on wheat, and the statistics bear that out — but a diet based on fat is better still.  The oft-mentioned traditional Okinawan diet is very heavy on pork and lard, in addition to rice; the traditional Tokelauan diet gets over 50% of its calories from coconut fat; and so on.  

    Diet isn't one of those things you have to get perfect or else die young.  It turns out that most major improvements (e.g. being gluten-free) correlate with increased absolute and functional lifespan.

    More soon!


  • Paul Halliday:

    Exactly.  The Western interpretation of the “Mediterranean diet” is not exactly in congruence with the variety of actual Mediterranean diets that exist.


    No, ketosis isn't the objective of this diet: you need to keep carbs very low to do that, as Jen mentioned above.  (Consuming the MCTs in coconut oil helps a lot, too.)  Being a more efficient fat-burner (which Mark Sisson talks about a lot) is a consequence of metabolic flexibility, which is not the same thing as ketosis: I discuss the difference in this article.

    Summary: it's possible to eat like a predator and be in ketosis, but it's not necessary.  Eating carbohydrate in line with your body's needs, not snacking, and periodic exercise appear to be your primary tools for regaining your ability to oxidize fat for energy.


  • […] paleo diet is not Atkins, nor is it zero-carb. The best research I can find shows that modern hunter-gatherers […]

  • Martin @ Leaky Gut R

    Very motivational, thank you. Is your position on supplementing fish oil still firm?

  • Martin:

    I know a lot of people claim that fish oil caps are necessarily rancid and therefore harmful — but I've not yet seen any actual proof of that.  (Meanwhile, people are happily taking fermented cod liver oil…)  There's a reason they put vitamin E and/or other tocopherols in there, and package them in an opaque container, which is to prevent oxidation.  Just to be safe, I buy mine from major, high-volume mail-order retailers and store them in the refrigerator.

    Meanwhile, it's always preferable to get EPA+DHA from real food, and I remain open to new evidence.  Yes, I've seen the study that says fish oil caps don't have a significant effect on heart disease vs. fish consumption.  However, as with any other uncontrolled, retrospective, self-reported dietary analysis, the number of potential confounding factors is so large that I'm reluctant to jump from there to “FISH OIL IS RANCID” (just to choose one example, people who actually eat fish probably have a much healthier diet in other ways), and the other benefits are large enough that I still recommend it for people who aren't getting it via food.


  • […] out coincidence, it certainly appears that my excellent dental health is strongly correlated with eating like a predator. This entry was posted in Miscellaneous Topics. Bookmark the […]

  • […] Article, “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational Guide   […]

  • […] follow this guide: “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational G… I've been on that diet since Christmas and I've lost 40# so far.(currently 245#, 6' 3'') There […]

  • […] Eu vou tentar traduzir da maneira mais simples possível os pontos principais da explicação adicionando alguns comentários, mas recomendo a quem interessar, ler o artigo todo nesse link: http://www.gnolls.org/1141/eat-like-a-predator-not-like-prey-paleo-in-six-easy-steps-a-motivational-… […]

  • […] Want to know more about this paleo diet you’ve been hearing about in the gym?  Check out this article from   www.gnolls.org […]

  • […] Diet FAQ, Sisson’s how-to on living “Primally,” and J. Stanton’s ”Eat Like a Predator, Not Like Prey.” This page on Melissa McEwen’s sitealso contains lots of useful resources for […]

  • Megan

    “Remember: if you can put it in a truck and the truck starts, it’s not food.”
    I apologize, but I’m an engineer geek. Diesel engines can run on anything that can “burn” due to pressure changes…yadda yadda. So they can run on coconut oil, olive oil, or any fat that we use to cook.

    “Cook with butter, coconut oil, and grass-fed beef tallow.”

    Awl, now I’m confused… 😉 Sorry I just had to throw that out there, but I get the point. I enjoyed the article.

  • Megan:

    AFAIK even the purest of refined vegetable oils won't start a truck without first undergoing transesterification.  And as coconut oil is solid below 74 degrees F (and beef tallow is solid at 90+), they pose some obvious practical problems!  So olive oil is perhaps the only usable exception to my rule of thumb.

    Your point is taken, though: technically one can use almost any oil as “fuel”.


  • Lara

    Thanks for this article. Its very informative & I love the way you convey the predator concept! The exercise bit is what I did not quite understand and/or agree with completely. Certainly, no one should be exercising on a treadmill, granted. But I do not see what is wrong with running/jogging (cardio). I’m a firm believer that running is a very natural movement for us humans and we should all be doing more of it, especially if its outdoors. What are you referring to when you say ‘periodic bursts of short, intense exercise’. It would be great if you could shed some light on this, like give some more practical examples of the sort of physical activity you are referring to.

  • Lara:

    I tend to agree with Mark Sisson that lots of walking and other low-impact activity, plus occasional intense effort, is most healthy and sustainable over the long term.  The much-vaunted “persistence hunting” seems to involve average speeds of 4 MPH…a 15-minute mile, which is a brisk walk for most.

    What seems to work for me is some sort of low-impact exercise every day, usually an easy bike ride comparable to a brisk walk or very slow jog, and taking 30-45 minutes.  Every few days I'll do something much more intense, like a heavy barbell workout in the gym (taking 60-75 minutes), and every so often I'll do something really big, like an all-day mountain bike ride or backcountry ski tour. (Or, under exceptional circumstances, climbing a mountain fasted.  Make sure to read the beginning of the article for some science on why every-day endurance exercise is counterproductive.)  Other examples would be game day in a competitive sport like soccer or basketball, a Crossfit metcon, an intense HIIT/Tabata workout, etc.  Note that genuine 100% efforts require at least three days for full recovery…

    Jamie Scott frequently writes about exercise and training within different energy systems.


  • […] first brought all of the Primal/paleo concepts together in one place and really resonated with me. “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational G… J. Stanton runs a great site and I highly recommend his book The Gnoll Credo as well. […]

  • Ben Rutkevitz

    Awesome article! thank you. I love how you relate the way we eat and play as predators to having a mentality that is assertive and not whiny. Great job!

  • Ben:

    It's easy to fall into the long-disproved Cartesian trap of mind/body duality — but this is the 21st century, and we need to understand that sound nutrition improves our mental functioning as well as our physical functioning. 


  • Harry Smith

    I’ve been a Paleo follower for a long time now. However, recently I stumbled across literature about Neu5gc, suggesting that a diet inclusive of mammalian meat and dairy will lead to chronic inflammation. Since I have been on paleo my inflammatory condition has improved but not gone away and I believe this could be due to my high red meat consumption. What are your thoughts on Neu5gc?

  • Harry Smith

    I’ve been a Paleo follower for a long time now. However, recently I stumbled across literature about Neu5gc, suggesting that a diet inclusive of mammalian meat and dairy will lead to chronic inflammation. Since I have been on paleo my inflammatory condition has improved but not gone away and I believe this could be due to my high red meat consumption. What are your thoughts on Neu5gc?

  • Chris Kresser has an article on the matter: http://chriskresser.com/does-red-meat-cause-inflammation

    I do wonder whether eating the organ meats as well as muscle meats might well dispel much of the “problem” that has been found.

  • Steve King

    My digestive system seems to love raw.. beef (tartar), fish (sushi), oysters (raw bar) , etc..

    Is there such a thing as “raw paleo” diet?

    Thanks much !

  • Yes, there is … and it's quite laudable.

    I love raw meat, even organs, and when I do cook them I drop them into a smoking hot pan to sear the outside and kill off surface bacteria … the rest is raw.

    Fish, I'd eat raw more often if I could vouch for the source and the length of time they've been out of the water. Fish straight from the water is phenomenally good. Shellfish, you've got to be careful. Still, if it makes you sick … you've done the right and natural thing: EJECT! If you don't, the food was good.

    Ceviche is another method: acidic juice over sliced fish. Eat, enjoy.

    Yes, our digestive systems are there to digest meat as we were intended to get it. Raw, straight from a fresh kill.

  • Harry Smith:

    The nutrition community is frantically casting about for some way to “prove” that red meat is bad for you, despite our multimillion-year history of eating it and lots of epidemiology showing it isn't.  They're down to hincty suppositions like Neu5gc and TMAO that require 'proofs' like “We fed the equivalent of 1000 steaks worth of carnitine to mice (which are seed-eating mostly-vegetarians) and projected our numbers based on one single human test subject.”

    Tip: before believing any of that, check to see whether Chris Masterjohn or Denise Minger haven't already debunked it.  And as I said in the article, “Don’t let breathless ‘news’ articles tell you that a new industrial product is your key to better health, or that what humans have eaten for millions of years will kill you.”

    Steve King:

    Absolutely.  There are whole forums dedicated to the subject!  Myself, I consume plenty of raw fish (sushi, gravlax), and sometimes even raw meat.


  • mrs.lee

    luv it this will be my first time trying it wish me luck have friends hat did great so hell tried everything elese why not. Where can I find some cooking ideas my fam not on board yet so it will be for one person and can I still juice love my green juice in the morn.

  • mrs.lee

    luv it this will be my first time trying it wish me luck have friends hat did great so hell tried everything elese why not. Where can I find some cooking ideas my fam not on board yet so it will be for one person and can I still juice love my green juice in the morn.

  • […] This is an awesome post from J. Stanton about eating like a predator. “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational G… Well-behaved women rarely make history : Laurel Thatcher Ulrich My New Primal Journal : […]

  • […] less live by it. I also like J. Stanton's version: "If it's not meat, it's not a meal" – “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational G… Reply With […]

  • Jenni

    Great explanation of the Paleo Diet. I am a big fan of eating like they’ve done back thousands of years. It’s one of the most healthy ways to eat since the food is raw. Looking forward to see my progress within the next half year. Jenni

  • Mrs. Lee:

    Green juice is fine in the AM so long as you eat it with some meat and/or eggs.  For recipe ideas, try the links in the “Postscript: More Information” sections, especially my article on the Paleo Scramble.  I wish you the best on your journey!


    Please keep us posted on your progress.


  • Hiram Nagdee

    Funny thing in the last 10 years I’ve switched from a high protein (with fats) diet to a high carb & processed sugar diet!Now I’m border Type 2 Diabetic with rising cholestorol risk. In the last 60 days I’ve reduced my processed carb and sugar intake and increased my red meat intake and strangely enough both my fasting and regular sugar levels have decreased without medicine>>> so Paleo works for me!!! And yes Paleo man only lived till 20 and died either hunting or fighting to protect his property not from heart desease.

  • Paleo man lived a lot longer, possibly to as old as we do on average today … and that's the word to take into account: AVERAGE. Back in the paleolithic, infant mortality and death from activities of everyday life were much higher, so the AVERAGE life expectancy fell. That does not mean that folks then did not live to a ripe, old age.

    Great news about your health, though … carry on, I would say.

  • Hiram:

    Great news!

    It's bizarre that the advice to those with a disorder of uncontrolled blood sugar is to eat more sugar.  I'm glad you've found your way to a more reasonable approach.

    Note that as Paul mentions, Paleolithic humans had a reasonably long lifespan…as do modern hunter-gatherers. 

    Gurven, M. and Kaplan, H. (2007), Longevity Among Hunter- Gatherers: A Cross-Cultural Examination. Population and Development Review, 33: 321–365


  • sam

    im a vegan but i dont eat wheat and grains
    i have no problem with meat eaters eating meat….as long as they kill it with their bare hands and rip it apart with thier teeth then eat it raw..no salt sauces garnish..just like a lion eagle tiger or bear.
    i would like to hear from people that can go upto a cow and take it down then rip through its fur then eat it raw…please contact me

  • Steve

    I`m interested in this diet as i eat a lot of meat already.It`s the side dishes i am wondering about.
    You say that white rice is ok in moderation.
    How often per week is acceptable.
    Also, are there any better rice choices(brown)?
    Is pasta ok in moderation?
    Also are there better pasta choices such as whole wheat or a low carb type of pasta that be better ?

  • Alex

    It’s funny how vegans have so little regard for intelligence. That intelligence, which we use to fashion tools, is what allows us to be apex predators. Why insist that our behavior be limited to what less sophisticatedly evolved animals do? It’s like insisting that chimpanzees shouldn’t eat termites because they don’t have the claws of an anteater with which to tear open the mound. Well, duh, they don’t need to tear open the mound when they have the intelligence to fish for the termites with little twigs.

  • sam:

    “i have no problem with meat eaters eating meat….as long as they kill it with their bare hands and rip it apart with thier teeth then eat it raw”

    We have opposable thumbs for several very good reasons.  One is to hold sharp rocks, which we’ve been using to scrape meat from bones for at least 3.4 million years…and we’ve been making the sharp rocks ourselves for at least 2.6 million years, since we were little 65-pound savanna apes.

    Furthermore, there is no evidence of our ancestors using stone tools for anything but killing or butchering meat for millions of years!  The first evidence for starch grinding is perhaps 100,000 years ago, and it didn’t become common until the Neolithic, 12,000 years ago.



    There’s no hard limit on white rice…but it’s nutritionally empty, unlike tubers (e.g. potatoes, sweet potatoes), so I only eat it when I’m experiencing potato fatigue.  And since starch shouldn’t be more than perhaps 20% of your calories (unless you’re very physically active), you’re not going to be eating that much of it anyway.

    Brown rice is higher in antinutrients, and I don’t recommend it.

    Wheat pasta is not OK, even in moderation.  If you need pasta, get some rice noodles.  They’re usually intended for pad thai, and commonly available at Asian markets…read the ingredients carefully, as some of them contain wheat as well.

    Most “low-carb” pasta is fraudulently labeled, so I’d avoid it even if it claimed to be gluten-free.  Most importantly, you won’t be eating so much pasta that it matters whether it’s low-carb or not.



    Most veg*ans live in an alternate universe in which our ancestors were always frugivores.  Of course, in such a universe, we’d never have left the equatorial forests, and our brains wouldn’t have grown beyond about 300-350cc.

    Conveniently, those alternate-universe creatures exist!  They’re called “chimpanzees”.  First, they’re both mean and violent: your average vegan wouldn’t stand a chance in a troop of chimpanzees.  And second, they're not even vegans…the average chimpanzee eats about a McDonald's hamburger worth of meat every day during the dry season.



  • Harry

    Something you said in one of the comments:

    “I’d strongly recommend getting most of your carbs from glucose, not fructose, because fructose can only refill liver glycogen. To refill the muscle glycogen you deplete from lifting heavy weights, you need glucose”

    I’m trying to lose weight, so I’m eating glucose (white rice) so I can lift heavy weights (while maintaining a calorie deficit). However are there any benefits to eating some fructose (fruit) for weight loss? Would fructose filling up liver glycogen contribute to more weight loss?

  • Harry:

    I don't know any metabolic benefit to fructose.  Apparently a small amount of it mixed with glucose causes it to be absorbed slightly more quickly by muscles and the liver — but this is a marginal difference which is (AFAIK) only of import to sugar-fueled endurance athletes eating during an event.

    That being said, the small amount of it contained in reasonable amounts of fruit (not fruit juice) hasn't been shown to be harmful in any way.  More importantly, fruit is far more nutritious than white rice…so yes, go ahead and eat some fruit as part of your carbohydrate intake!


  • […] funny! Edit: just saw "The MGM Lion" – ROFL! I'd rather eat like a lion than a gazelle. “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational G… Well-behaved women rarely make history : Laurel Thatcher Ulrich My New Primal Journal : […]

  • […] are permissible in moderation, but are far less healthy due to excessive omega-6 fat content. “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational G… Thoughts? Reply With […]

  • […] Maybe this would help: “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational G… Reply With […]

  • […] necessarily need to be read out loud:) The reason we are asking is that we read this post: http://www.gnolls.org/1141/eat-like-a-predator-not-like-prey-paleo-in-six-easy-steps-a-motivational-… In step one he talks about favoring ruminants for various […]

  • […] necessarily need to be read out loud:) The reason we are asking is that we read this post: http://www.gnolls.org/1141/eat-like-a-predator-not-like-prey-paleo-in-six-easy-steps-a-motivational-… In step one he talks about favoring ruminants for various […]

  • […] is about the best one page breakdown of basic Paleo principles I have ever read: “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational G… My most recent Primal journal :http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread90369.html My 2nd […]

  • […] – seriously, Jay, get off the bike and write more stuff! – check out J. Stanton’s “How to Eat Like a Predator” […]

  • Tyler Ketay

    I am so happy I found your site. I really found you by accident, while I was browsing on Google for something else. Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a great post and an all round inspiring blog. (I also like the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment, but I have added your website to my favorites, so when I have time I will be back to read more. Please do keep up the awesome job!

  • […] if you have a problem loosing and keeping weight off. Another good place to start is to read “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational G… He will explain the what the how and why fairly well. A big problem seems to be that women […]

  • Ryan

    Hi J! What is considered “perfect” blood pressure? Is the AHA chart spot on or what does your research show is the optimum range? Thanks!!

  • […] Eat Like a Predator, Not Like Prey – The article that introduced me to Paleo […]

  • […] btw, is something I've noted in myself and in many others. There's a reason I titled my essay "Eat Like A Predator"…food affects your mental state as well as your physical state, and any assertion otherwise is […]

  • Stuart

    Loved it!
    One of the best “how to” Paleo articles I’ve read.

  • Ryan:

    I haven't studied that issue, so I can't make any specific recommendations.


    Thank you!  Please spread it as widely as possible.


  • Lesley

    Thank you for this wonderful, informative and scientifically rigorous blog. This particular page is a brilliant summary of how to eat for optimum health. I would like to share it, but feel that I can’t because of the line about fat people being “no longer disgusting, but delicious”. I feel that this attitude will alienate some of the very people who need your help the most. No one likes to be thought disgusting (even if we think it of ourselves sometimes).

    Anyway, great blog! I’ll purchase the Gnoll Credo soon to say thank you. I would prefer it in Kindle format, though – is it coming any time soon?

  • Lesley:

    Though it's not polite to say so, it's a feeling most people have.

    However, as I said by way of opening my AHS 2012 presentation: “It's important to recall that people aren't obese because they enjoy being obese, and diets don't fail because people dislike being slim and healthy.  Diets fail because hunger overrides our other motivations.” 

    This is an important distinction!  Most claim that they're totally OK with fat people — but when pressed, blame fatness entirely on sloth and gluttony (“Just put down the fork, fatty”) and not, say, 30+ years of bad dietary advice from all quarters, government included. 

    In contrast, I don't blame fat people for being fat: when we're all told that weight loss involves restricting calories until we're hungry all the time, and probably eating lentils and brown rice (no salt or butter!) instead of actual food, it's no surprise most of us either fail repeatedly or never get started.

    Re: TGC, there's no timetable on a Kindle version, so I'd recommend simply buying a copy.  Thank you for helping keep the lights on at gnolls.org!


  • […] Info! Could probably use a little updating web-design-wise, but can’t be faulted for content. This article on is a great ‘how-to’ guide for paleo […]

  • Matthew Liang

    Hi, I am a 3rd year college student and I have been doing semi-paleo for a few months now (low-carb for 2+years). I cannot buy grassfed beef(or even regular beef for that matter) simply because it is too expensive to eat it regularly on my college budget. Any suggestions?

  • You jump in at the level you can source and afford.

    Dropping grains, beans, oils and sugar puts you already most of the way there. The last bit is down to making the best that you can.

    Several strategies:

    Buy reduced price if/when available.

    Balance up potential inflammation of regular meat with anti-inflammatory offerings: offals (cheap, also) and oily fish.

    Eat more fish! Canned fish are cheap and nutritious. Look out for fresh fish bargains, marked down.

    Dairy? Not all dairy is evil. Fatty and fermented is perfectly acceptable for many ancestral eaters: cottage cheese, Greek yoghurt, feta, cream, hard cheeses and unpasteurised creamy French cheeses. Sounds expensive, but dairy is one area (along with meat) that supermarkets mark down way before they're even approaching going off.

    Whey? Undenatured and unflavoured.

    Eggs. Eggs are king. Eat lots.

    … and so, we're back to meat. Keep the really good stuff for a treat and really enjoy it when you have it. We don't eat meat much at all, but when we do, it's a treat of good, well matured fillet steak. Love it!

  • Matthew:

    I'll elaborate on what Paul said.

    1. Eggs are cheap and an excellent source of both protein and nutrients.

    2. Buy meat on sale.  Tri-tip is normally $7/pound here: it occasionally goes on sale for $3/pound in 3-packs.  (Obviously this only works if you have a freezer…if you don't, they can be found on Craigslist for under $50, sometimes under $25.)  After a while you'll get to know what the loss-leader prices are, and wait for those sales to stock up.

    3. Some supermarkets put out the unsold hamburger for extremely cheap (I've seen $1/pound) right as the meat counter closes.  Ask the guy at the meat counter if they do that, and at what time.

    4. Learn to cook pot roasts with big, cheap cuts of meat.

    5. Canned mackerel, sardines, etc. are a cheap break and a good source of omega-3.

    6. Potatoes are nearly free if you buy the 10-20# bags, and a decent source of nutrients, as starches go.

    As Paul said, you do your best with what you have.  Grass-fed is far superior to supermarket meat, but supermarket meat is far better than grains.


  • […] flax, hemp, …, ====> beuaaarrk!! Just for fun, you can always read J. Stanton's article : “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational G… I like the way he presents things from a certain perspective Reply With […]

  • […] Gnolls – Getting Started (my personal favorite) […]

  • Allen

    I am a fan of the Paleo diet. I do get concerns, however, on stories I hear on hormones being injected into our livestock at the feedlot before it is slaughtered for our consumption. Then, there are the stories of EU banning our beef due to hormones found in our beef. See here. http://www.preventcancer.com/consumers/general/hormones_meat.htm
    I’m a novice researcher and may not have the latest facts. My questions are 1) is it true and proven that the elevated level of estrogen level found in beef is linked to hormone dependent cancer cell development in human? http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=90869 and I guess same goes for cow milk? http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400175/Does-Milk-Cause-Cancer.html

    I guess a million years ago these are some topics that our cavemen ancestors didn’t have to worry about but it does raise some concerns. I know the surest way is to hook up with a local dairy/ranch and get stuff that is raised organic and grass fed but cost of beef is a substantial part of my budget already. I’d appreciate your thoughts on these highly publicized and controversial topic.

    Great site, BTW.

  • Allen:

    That preventcancer website is down, so I can't speak to any claims it makes…but I'm not aware of any conclusive research one way or another.  (The NYU website you linked doesn't give or link any actual information about anything, let alone cancer.)  And the studies I know of on meat and cancer are so equivocal, and contain so many confounding factors (they're prospective studies, not controlled trials), that I'm loath to use them as proof of anything.

    Personally, I'm much more concerned about antibiotics, because their use in animal feed results in drug-resistant bacteria in humans!

    That being said, we have to eat something…and based on what I know about hormone dosages and the bioavailability (or lack thereof) via oral dosing vs. injection/implantation, that phytoestrogens from soy, pesticides on grains, etc. are a more potent source of estrogenic hormones in the diet than anything left in meat.

    Yes, I mostly eat grass-finished beef which I buy by the side, for a host of excellent reasons…but worries about hormones are some distance down the list.

    I'm sorry that this answer doesn't contain a lot of definitive statements, but I don't know of any solid facts…just fearmongering, like in the NYU article.  If you (or anyone) comes across any pertinent primary research, do let me know!


  • Allen

    I think the study done by Harvard on red meat consumption and implications on health gets cited by many in the media. I agree that it is based on “survey” on what people responded and the “fudge factor” is certainly present as people don’t always tell the truth. However, is there any other ways to do this??? I think not. Unless it’s an animal testing on lab rats which are locked up all day long for 10 years, there really isn’t an easy way to do this kind of experiment. Even the study comparing Atkins, Zone, and a couple of other methods relied on people answering survey questions which, later, were found to be not 100% truth. (and many of in the Paleo camp keep on citing that study including myself)

    I guess my point is that statistical methods and error corrections (used scientifically with best known academic studies) should negate some of these outlier responses from people who have either a “vegan” agenda or “meat” agenda. In the end, the average of the results obtained from a large number of trials should be close to the expected value, and will tend to become closer as more trials are performed – thus; the reason why the survey type studies are done with huge number of people.

    Lastly, I wouldn’t knock on the researchers at Harvard. Harvard school of public health came out boldly AGAINST drinking 3 cups of milk per day as recommended by government. They also warned us about the dangers of too much soy consumption. Not many health related institutions are this bold and independent. Also they are not dependent on funding from say, the Kellogs of the world either, as their endowment size is huge and don’t have to kiss anyone’s behind. In other words, they are about as close to independent as you are going to get.

  • no name


  • Gahahahaha!!! Is that you, Clint? The Man with No Name?

    J, please don't delete the above comment.

    I've seen the light now. In just a few words, I realise just how gullible I have been. As researched, reasoned and intelligent as you are J, what you write is stupid. Clearly, plain stupid. What a total ditz I feel now for falling for your idiocy.

  • Allen:

    “In the end, the average of the results obtained from a large number of trials should be close to the expected value, and will tend to become closer as more trials are performed…”

    Only if all the studies get published! 

    In practice, studies which produce the desired result are far more likely to be published than studies that do not…so when you're trying to “prove” that red meat causes cancer, two things will happen:

    1. You'll play with your Nurses' Health Study or Health Professionals Followup Study data by “adjusting” for various factors (or not) until you get the results you want.

    2. If you can't get the results you want, you'll simply not publish the paper.  (Data mining is cheap, unlike actual controlled experimentation.)

    This is why funnel plots were invented: to see whether publication bias is affecting the results of a meta-analysis.  Unfortunately, since almost all of the red meat scare articles come from the same two data sets I listed above, we can't really do a funnel plot.

    I'm sure I've said this before…but in reality, no one but nutritionists trying to “prove” a pre-existing hypothesis gets excited about correlations below a doubling of risk:

    “In an unpublished study, Meehl and Lykken tabulated 15 items for a sample of 57,000 Minnesota high school students, including father's occupation, father's education, mother's education, number of siblings, sex, birth order, educational plans, family attitudes toward college, whether they liked school, college choice, occupational plan in 10 years, religious preference, leisure time activities, and high school organizations.  All of the 105 chi-squares that these 15 items produced by the cross-tabulations were statistically significant, and 96% of them at p< .000001 (Meehl, 1990b).” -Jacob Cohen, “The Earth Is Round (p < .05)”

    Mainly I knock Harvard for pushing the lipid hypothesis and the diet-heart hypothesis for so long — and according to their website, they're still pushing them.  Since neither has ever been true, and the combination is, quite literally, killing millions of people worldwide, I have very little sympathy.

    That being said, they've started to come around to the idea that massive sugar intakes are bad even if they come from fruit juice or smoothies — but that's a problem of their own fat-phobic creation.  So are the consumption of soy products and skim milk: they're coming out against foods that their own policies have pushed people into.


    no name:

    Compared to what?



    Caps lock can be very convincing!


  • […] (Amused?Enraged?Inspired?Leave a comment, and forward this to your friends!The “Share” widget below makes it easy.)“Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey” is a trademark of J. Stanton.Not that I have commercial plans; I just want to make sure no one rips off the phrase and publishes some cheeseball diet book.http://www.gnolls.org/1141/eat-like-a-predator-not-like-prey-paleo-in-six-easy-steps-a-motivational-… […]

  • […] SPONSOR: Quest Nutrition’s new Low-Carb Peanut Butter Cups – GNOLLS.ORG – The Gnoll Credo – “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey: The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational Guide&#8… – Richard Nikoley’s video interview with J. Stanton – VIDEO: “What Is Hunger, and Why […]

  • Allen

    Do you have any thoughts on Perilla Seed Oil? I personally find the taste and smell of this oil to be much more palatable than sesame oil when making Asian cuisine (not to mention that I am addicted to Perilla leaves – it’s awesome with goat meat). I am aware that the Omega-3 claims are pretty much based on the ALA content….. so, still not as good as fish oil. However, it seems there are readily available organic cold pressed bottles at reasonable prices. Perhaps not all seed oils are bad???

  • Allen:

    ALA isn't intrinsically terrible for you, and it's certainly better than omega-6…it just doesn't substitute for EPA or DHA.

    Keep in mind, though, that all omega-3s are unstable, even more so than omega-6…so high-temperature cooking with flaxseed oil, perilla seed oil, etc. is not a good idea!  (There's a reason you're supposed to keep them in the fridge, in the dark…)  Using them as part of a dressing, however, should be fine so long as you're not guzzling it by the bottle.


  • … that, and fish oil is best imbibed … from a fish, with a fish. Eat fish, eat meat, don't worry about it – your n-xs are covered.

  • Steve

    The advice to not count/measure/calculate what you are eating doesn’t work for everyone. I tried eating fairly strict paleo earlier this year with little success – my bodyfat didn’t budge.

    Turns out, I was simply eating too much!

    I threw steak, liver, egg yolks, butter, red palm oil, spinach, mushrooms, and bell peppers in a spreadsheet, then designed a diet to meet my nutritional requirements with a major calorie deficit.

    Viola! Rapid fat loss with boundless energy and a sustainable level of hunger with no desire to binge or break the diet.

    Once I finish burning off a decade of adipose deposits, perhaps I can go back to eating ad libitum, but not everyone can actually burn off bodyfat that way.

  • Steve:

    It's true that switching foods doesn't get everyone where they want to be…but I think it's important to do it the way you did: eat the right foods first, see where that gets you, and only then start trying to reduce the quantity.  Otherwise it's tempting to eat the same junk that made you fat, just less of it…resulting in hunger and inevitable weight regain.

    Often I see your situation in people who have dieted and regained multiple times, particularly women: they're so used to restricting their food intake that they don't really have any idea what satiety feels like or when to stop eating!  In those cases, It Starts With Food gives some good rules of thumb for food quantity.


  • […] Eat like a predator – Paleo in six easy steps […]

  • AD

    This was so cool. I read it in the voice of Ron Swanson.

  • AD:

    Everyone knows how to eat paleo, and it's not difficult…what's often missing is the motivation.


  • Mike

    Interesting, a bit, and funny in places.

    And complete nonsense the way it ignores the fact that Paleolithic peoples were adaptable omnivores and ate what was available where they were. Some did drink milk, and managed animals in order to provide them with milk and meat. Some did eat a diet with a lot of vegetables, fruit and nuts and little meat. Some did harvest and process grains. And you can be pretty sure they would have eaten honey when they could find it and get it without being stung too much – it’s far too energy-dense a food for them to have ignored.

    But people should be free to eat what they like, even those who gleefully embrace all the trappings of a society/civilisation that would never have come about if we hadn’t abandoned nomadic hunting & gathering for settled agriculture, which gave us the time and the more reliable food sources to develop arts, crafts, metal tools, civic society etc etc.

  • Mike:

    Yes, humans are omnivores, and when you're hungry, you'll eat anything that doesn't immediately poison you or make you vomit…but the archaeological evidence is that the overwhelming majority of our calories in the Paleolithic came from hunted meat.  See Miki Ben-Dor's AHS 2013 slides for an overview.

    And if you're quoting Christina Warinner's junk-science anti-Paleo TED talk, you can read this article to see several of her key claims debunked as trivially false.  (Here's a longer discussion: the comments point out several more gaffes.)

    Yes, cavemen would have eaten honey here and there — but as this video shows, it would have required massive risk and effort to give each family member the honey-equivalent of perhaps a 12oz can of Coke.  Honey would not have been a significant contribution to total calories.

    And therein lies the issue: the breathless pop-science articles which proclaim “CAVEMEN ATE BREAD!!1!!1!” base this silly claim on a tiny bit of starch residue caught in their teeth, with absolutely zero evidence of the massive-scale processing required to generate a significant fraction of calories from starches — meanwhile ignoring the giant piles of hundreds and hundreds of defleshed and disarticulated animal skeletons located nearby.

    Finally, your claim about “the trappings of a society/civilisation that would never have come about if we hadn't abandoned nomadic hunting & gathering for settled agriculture” is completely false.  All but one of the traits we think of as “civilized” actually predate agriculture: sculpture (~40-45 KYa), painting (~30 KYa), music (~43 KYa), and even monumental architecture (see: Gobekli Tepe).  The single exception is written language, which apparently arose as a record-keeping system for government tax collection.


  • Allen

    I found an hilarious article on WebMD by Dr. Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, who is the director of nutrition for WebMD. No research links, no reference to any studies, just claims. We should do the opposite I think….

    9 Surprising Foods That Do Increase Cholesterol

    Ground turkey. Even when ground turkey is labeled as 85% lean, it has 12.5 grams of fat in a 3-ounce portion, says Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, Georgia State University nutrition professor emerita. Her advice: Ground turkey breast can be a heart-healthy substitute for ground beef, but watch the portion size because it’s not without fat.”
    Added sugars (such as table sugar or high fructose corn syrup). One of the biggest surprises is that added sugars in processed and prepared foods are associated with decreased HDL levels. A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in April 2010 found an association between added sugars and blood lipid levels and discovered adults averaged 21 teaspoons of added sugars daily. “Increased added sugars are associated with blood cholesterol levels and heart disease risk,” says Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, author of Guide to Better Digestion. Everyone would benefit by reducing the amount of added sugars in the diet because they can also lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes, Bonci says. The AHA recommends getting no more than 100 calories from added sugars on a 2,000 calories-per-day diet.
    Mashed potatoes. “Most mashed potatoes, especially at restaurants, include hefty portions of butter, cream, whole milk, sour cream, and/or cream cheese, turning a perfectly healthy potato into a saturated fat bomb,” says American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Marissa Moore, MBA, RD. Order a plain baked potato and top it with vegetables, salsa, or low-fat sour cream. Another option: Enjoy the natural sweetness of a vitamin A-rich plain baked sweet potato.
    Pizza. Just one slice of plain pizza has 10 grams of fat and 4.4 grams of saturated fat — and we all know that one slice without any pepperoni is not the usual order. Stick to one slice and top it with lots of high-fiber, filling vegetables.
    Whole-fat dairy products. “Dairy foods are nutrient-rich, loaded with calcium, protein, vitamins, and minerals, but if your choice is full-fat, you could be getting a hefty dose of saturated fat,” says nutrition consultant and author Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD. For example, one cup of Fage Total Plain Classic Greek yogurt has 18g saturated fat, but if you choose their 0% variety, it has no fat. When you choose nonfat or low-fat, you get all the nutritional benefits without the extra calories or fat. If you love full-fat cheese, “portion control is the answer,” Ward says.
    Plant foods from the tropics. Coconut, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, and cocoa butter all sound healthy but they are the only plant foods that contain saturated fat, says Connie Diekman, Med, RD, Washington University nutrition director. “Read labels for these terms and enjoy them in small doses so they won’t sabotage your cholesterol level,” she says. Karmally calls pina coladas “heart attack in a glass — there are 602 calories and 20 grams saturated fat in a 12-ounce glass.” And Moore says, “Don’t forget about chocolate, when eaten in excess can lead to increased cholesterol levels.”
    Ghee (clarified butter). In India, ghee is associated with healthful eating and honoring your guests but it is very high in saturated fat, just like butter, says Karmally. “It is also high in palmitic acid which is artery clogging.” Use heart healthy olive oil or a trans fat-free margarine instead of ghee.
    Pie and pastries. “Flaky crusts, streusel topping, custard filling, cheese filled pastries — these all promise a hefty dose of saturated fat because they often include butter, shortening, cream, cream cheese, and/or whole milk,” Moore says. It is the butter or shortening that makes the crust so nice and flaky. Choose fruit pies and eat mostly filling and only a few bites of the crust for a lower-fat and calorie treat.
    Movie theater tub popcorn. Regal Cinema’s medium-sized popcorn has a whopping 60 grams of saturated fat and 1,200 calories. Why? Because it is popped in fats, then topped off with more fat, earning it a spot on foods that can wreck your cholesterol level. Shave the fat and calories by skipping the buttery topping and opt for a smaller portion.

  • Allen:

    That’s hilarious.  Only two of the nine foods are anywhere close to correct (sugar, pizza), and the reasons given for pizza are bogus.

    Score: 1.5/9 = F

    Pop quiz:

    Estimate the number of people killed by the dietary advice given by the following organizations.  (You may round to the nearest 100,000 deaths.)

    1. Harvard School of Public Health

    2. WebMD

    3. U.S. Department of Agriculture

    4. Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)

    5. Livestrong.com

    6. American Dietetic Association/American Diabetic Association


  • […] eat a lot when I break the fast at 3pm. Anyway have a read of this post and see what you think: “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational G… Hope this is oK to post here? JMum __________________ Apertis thesauris suis, obtulerunt Magi […]

  • […] it was a book, it'd be my favourite: “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational G… … all I need to know. "Eat foods you could pick, dig, or spear. Mostly spear." … […]

  • […] by eating a paleo diet, we have made ourselves enemies of the establishment, and will be treated henceforth as dangerous […]

  • big juicy:

    Which part?  I'm reasonably sure I'm real, and this site isn't sponsored by anything other than my own wallet.


  • Valerie

    J. I “met” you before Christmas when I was searching for a gravlax recipe and I found yours. By the way it was delicious! I have been paleo for about 3 weeks, but I have been almost paleo for about 6 months. I now enjoy the most wonderful breakfasts, before that I ate steel cut oatmeal gruel (for my health!!), had to smother it with a lot of berries in order to eat it. I had an issue with high blood pressure, I take my PB every day and have not taken any pill in 6 months. In the last 3 weeks haven’t eaten any grains (pasta is what I will miss), and the persistent hip bursitis that I have had for almost a year is almost disappeared. I believe it is a result of the elimination of grains, which resulted in a reduction of inflammation.I will now be able to resume exercise. I also lost 4 lbs while that isn’t much it’s a start. After reading your article I think I may be eating too many vegs. I am eating from 100-120 grams per day and about 65 to 85 of protein. I was concerned about getting enough vitamins. I will get your book, hopefully it is available on Kobo. At the moment I am making a beef bone broth made from grass fed beef. I love you site. As others have said, you make much sense. Thank you!

  • Valerie:

    “the persistent hip bursitis that I have had for almost a year is almost disappeared.”

    That's wonderful!  Almost everyone, particularly those in the medical profession, underestimates the inflammatory effect of grains, especially gluten grains.  You could easily have gone to two dozen doctors and not had a single one tell you to try eliminating grains from your diet.

    Being able to exercise again will help tremendously, too.  Sickness builds on itself: once you hurt too much to move, you'll quickly get sicker and sicker.  Fortunately, health builds on itself, too: once you start feeling physically fresh and capable, you'll naturally find reasons to be more active and eat well.

    Don't worry about “too many vegs”, unless you're talking about potatoes or other starchy roots: it's nearly impossible to overeat them unless you're juicing in pathological quantities.

    I would personally suggest more protein unless you're very small: 1g/kg/day is pretty much the minimum for health and maintenance, and if you're active or trying to build muscle, I recommend up to 2g/kg/day.

    TGC is not available as an e-book, but it's available worldwide: this page will direct you to a place you can buy it in your country.


  • Valerie

    Thank you, J. I am really finding this to be a sustainable life style. I enjoy my food. I do have one other question. CW says I should have a minimum of 25 grams of fiber per day and I am struggling with this. Is this factor important? Most days I am below anywhere from 5 – 20. I am. 5’3″, 145ibs and small bones. I am working my way down to 125. I don’t have any physical issues with the lower fibre. Thank you again and I’ll try not to bother you anymore.

  • Valerie:

    Don't worry about fiber.  

    Insoluble fiber is just indigestible gunk that impairs absorption of nutrients: DART, the only controlled study on insoluble fiber, saw a 20% increase in all-cause mortality from the high-fiber group. 

    Soluble fiber is trickier: there are about a million kinds, each of which is a different indigestible sugar that we can't process but our gut bacteria sometimes can.  Whether that's a good thing depends on which gut bacteria you have, and whether the sugars are feeding the good ones or the bad ones.

    In general, unless you're dealing with GERD, IBS, or other digestive issues, “fiber” falls squarely in the “just eat real food and don't worry about it” category.  Recommending a high fiber intake is mostly just a way to push more whole-grain products at you (which are conveniently high in insoluble fiber…actually proven to be harmful!)


  • eddie watts

    “In general, unless you’re dealing with GERD, IBS, or other digestive issues, “fiber” falls squarely in the “just eat real food and don’t worry about it” category. Recommending a high fiber intake is mostly just a way to push more whole-grain products at you (which are conveniently high in insoluble fiber…actually proven to be harmful!)”
    J do you have any idea how what sort of advice is good for someone who is suffering with issues like this?
    i have a friend who has identified gluten as an issue but standard advice is still “eat a breakfast high in fibre of the cereal kind…

  • eddie watts:

    GERD?  IBS-D? (diarrhea)  IBS-C? (constipation)  I'll need more info to provide you with any useful information…


  • […] the point if you’re thinking this way. Here’s a quick back-and-forth from J. Stanton over at gnolls.organd one of the commenters on his […]

  • eddie watts

    thanks J, it is IBS-D (diarrhea) I just found out

    “Yup gastro said it was just IBS and wont do any further test as he said it would be looking for problems to treat which can often make things worse (but then he also said to eat porridge in the morning and I’m only just recovering from that!). Controlling with diet no wheat, low dairy, nothing that causes gas/bloating etc. Bit suspicious of sugar but I am not giving up my chocolate cake and biscuits!

    Oh symptoms, it is mostly the dreaded ‘D’ and not being able to leave my toilet that is the problem. i don’t get a lot in the way of pain or anything it’s mostly not digesting and having things shoot through when it’s really bad. Loo urgency is the worst! This has caused weight loss and general want to hide in bedness.”

  • eddie:

    First, get Dr. Norm Robillard's book on IBS: Fast Tract Digestion.  IBS-D is usually a bacterial overgrowth problem, and sticking to low fermentation foods will help a great deal.

    Vinegar will be very helpful.  Have them take a tablespoon with meals.  It's good for many other reasons, but the primary one here is that it's bactericidal and will help knock down the SIBO.

    Gluten-free is a must, because gluten is a continual gut irritant even if you're not celiac or “gluten-sensitive”.

    Then, once things are under control somewhat, they can start experimenting with fermented vegetables (not fermented dairy) in order to try and repopulate with better gut bacteria.

    This is the entire protocol for gut health, minus the hype, obfuscation, and anti-low-carb bushwah that's been clogging up the paleosphere lately.  Now you know!


  • big juicy

    humans are herbivores, just as i said earlier. our main source of food is grains! instead of eating grass we eat grains! we were never meant to eat meat so you are telling us to replace grains with meat? replace our main source of food with something we arent meant to eat? we are herbivores and meat arent good for us.

    i hope you would stop spreading pseudoscience.

  • big juicy:

    The first archaeological evidence for regular grain consumption only appears ~17000 years ago (Ohalo II, Israel), whereas the evidence for regular meat consumption dates back about 2.6 million years — and we have evidence going back to 3.4 MYA!

    For extra credit, try eating wheat or beans in their raw state.  (It's best to be near a hospital for the latter.)



    Sadly it would appear not!


  • Bea

    I’m slowly rereading through all your posts. Need to get my Paleo classic fix. Since most paleo bloggers are going WAPF these days. When I first went lc paleo I did high fat. Bulletproof coffee, high fat dairy, lots of coconut oil and bacon. I’ve since cut dairy except butter. Use coconut oil but don’t main line it anymore. Coffee black. Use bacon more for a garnish. I’ve always had an interest in native American hunter/gatherer culture.

    “Native Americans survived largely on meat, fish, plants, berries, and nuts

    An assortment of berries are now my Carb source . Meat and nuts are my protein and fat. Also sardines, salmon , smelt and oysters. Herbs and veges round it out. I love the simplicity and prefer berries to starch.

    My question is your opinion on nuts. Most have an extreme fear of pufas but nuts have been a huge part of native diets. The Pinyon nut was a staple for SW Natives. Mongongo nut is 50% of another’s diet. I love their energy density. Why does paleo frown upon a food source that was so prevalent in native cultures?
    But most embrace dairy .

  • bea

    I forgot lots of eggs from our chickens.
    I just feel better and TMI is great with replacing dairy fat and heaps of coconut oil with the fat, carbs and protein from nuts. I’m ordering raw pinyon nuts in the shell in the fall when they are harvested. The natives americans have utilized them for around 10,000 years. OK..that’s my rant. 🙂

  • bea

    “Eat what’s fresh in your area” is a good guide: usually that means fruit and veggies during spring and summer, nuts and tubers in fall and winter, fish and shellfish when you can get them, and red meat anytime. If we needed nutrients from twenty different kinds of plants every week, we would never have survived winter!

    Sorry, I kept reading and you are not anti- nut as alot of pufa fearing paleos. It just never sat well with me that paleo deserts with lots of dairy could be better than a few ounces of nuts a day.

  • bea:

    “Since most paleo bloggers are going WAPF these days.”

    I don't think it's even WAPF: it's just “Carbs sure are tasty” coupled with the fallacy of “I ate it for three months and I feel fine.”  I wrote a long article on this very subject here, and it's as relevant now as it was when I wrote it.

    Nuts are generally discouraged because they tend to be very high in omega-6 fats, with a few exceptions like macadamias.  I'm coming to the conclusion that the harmful effect of n-6 is mostly in the context of energy surplus, poor nutrition, and year-round consumption: for instance, if you're dieting, almonds in particular seem to be a great way to lose weight.  And yes, pine nuts are delicious!

    “Eat what's fresh in your area” is indeed an excellent guide.  Lots of foods are fine to eat for a couple weeks, but strongly fattening (or otherwise unhealthy) if eaten in great quantities year-round.


  • East SLOP! Seasonal, local, organic & pastured!

    I've been on this kick, along with a general “predator” attitude for a good while now and whatever experimentation I do, be it potatoes, dairy, lentils, beans and whatever other fringe elements become “paleo flavour of the month”, I always come back to the same place …

    Gorge during the evening feast, fast … perhaps begin eating again from around noon, light, protein-rich and fatty foods like a simple fish, avocado, boiled eggs, that kind of thing mimicing the kind of foods that a hunter/gatherer might easily catch, grab or collect during a day. Back round to evening feast … and repeat.

    I'm a confident, experimental and actually quite a fancy cook, but I am simplifying more and more and more. What we eat is not boring, it's simple, excellently prepared and extremely tasty. Less is more. Timing and attitude is as important as the food itself.

    In terms of seasonality, for a couple of years I followed a website 'Eat the Seasons' which detailed what was in season. I'm in my groove now, but what was difficult was not eating seasonally, but finding food which has been grown seasonally. Food is grown all year round in poly-tunnels. The seasonal food we eat today could well have been grown six months ago, completely out of season. Does it matter?

    Meat is easier, since animals do grow seasonally, but fish is very much along the same lines as vegetables, with the popular varieties being available pretty much all year around. One of our local supermarkets is bucking the trend and it heavily pushing fish in its season, buying in what is in season and explaining why, say, cod on this particular day would not be a good thing, since they're all young and still growing. Sure, have cod if you like, but it will be from the deep freeze and caught when it was matured.

    I'm a fish eater, largely, meat is not regular. I'm particularly looking forward to seeing what this supermarket is going to give us.

    So, combine the attitude and timing of 'Eat Like a Predator' with a local, seasonal, organic and pastured kick and you're probably going to be eating about as well as you can. Understand that body shapes may well change through the year, too, perhaps larger through the winter months, leaner through the warmer summer months.

  • bea

    Thanks for the replys and your right it’s not as much wapf as “carbs are yummy”. I don’t think avoiding the n -6 in nuts is necessary in a healthy paleo diet. I like foods with high energy density in a small package. I can get the calories with out the bulk.
    SLOP is a good guide ..thanks.
    I’m glad I quit the bulletproof coffee and coconut oil. I only use it lightly for cooking now. LC Dr Robert Su MD just recently passed and wrote that supplementing c.o on an already lc diet damaged his health. He said generating excessive ketones that are not burned through heavy exercise or can be excreted
    is unsafe. Mild natural intermittent ketosis via lc diet OK. I was starting to feel weird from a tbsp in my coffee. Just not really natural as it turns to energy so fast. It’s like the white rice of fats. I guess the extremes at both ends can lead to ketoacidosis!

  • Paul:

    “whatever experimentation I do, be it potatoes, dairy, lentils, beans and whatever other fringe elements become “paleo flavour of the month”, I always come back to the same place …”

    I feel the same way.  Is a small mound of tarka dal or meser wat tasty, every once in a while?  Sure, if it's prepared and spiced just right.  But it doesn't leave me sated like meat, fish, or eggs, which need only a little salt (if that).

    It's important to note that it's possible to eat seasonally simply by buying produce that is on sale.  Raspberries are never cheap in December.



    Bulletproof coffee is strong stuff!  Most people don't need the coconut oil, as caffeine stimulates lipolysis, which frees your own fat to be burned (this is one reason caffeine is an appetite suppressant).

    I'm not sure the extra ketones are actually harmful — but I don't think they're necessary for most people, and they're actually counterproductive to fat loss.  Coffee alone is usually plenty of stimulation.


  • bea

    I did not think excess ketones were harmful or C.O on a LC diet till I read Dr Su s blog. Here are some warnings from him.

    I had improved my health with remarkable physical strength for seven years since October 2002 with my own carbohydrate-restricted, fat-rich diet. In the fall of 2009, I began to take two tablespoons of coconut oil daily, and three tablespoons of it during the final month in the spring of 2012 when I became symptomatic severely. In the summer of 2010, I began to experience exertional angina. Besides, I got hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia, carotid atherosclerosis with 80-99.5% of occlusion in my right internal carotid………. Thanks to maintaining my carbohydrate-restricted diet, I did not have hyperglycemia but still had 2(+) ketone in the urine in a test done in the spring of 2012. I stopped using coconut oil immediately after that. However, the damages are done and need the time for me to reverse them. WIth my own experience, I hope you would take extra caution in checking your urinary ketone if you are consuming as much coconut oil as I did.
    I knew some people thought ketosis is a good thing and had tried to become as much ketosis as possible by using coconut oil and/or MCTs, when they adopted low carb high fat diet. They should know dietary ketosis without adding coconut oil and/or MCTs should be safe, if the individual is not diabetic and has functioning insulin, which should keep gluconeogenesis in check and prevent a high level of ketosis. However, ketosis by consuming excess coconut oil and/or MCTs is not subject to the function of insulin, as far as I know.

  • Charles

    I am following paleo as best I can right now. At the moment I am deployed to Afghanistan which makes it difficult as far as food options are concerned, but I am FOBBIT so that make sit easier lol.

    Anyway, I decided to take my body into ketosis eating less than 100g grams of carbs from vegetables (but still eating nutrient dense veggies). I am will do this maybe for 3 weeks and then bring it back up to 100-200 grams of carbs from veggies to maintain my weight.

    What I have notice so far is that my hunger/cravings has diminished and I eat less calories overall while still feel satisfied. I sleep better, have more energy, more focus, and I never get bloated. Basically, using body fat as a main source of energy (by eating less carbs and more fats) is far more efficient than relying on glucose/blood-sugars.

    The idea of getting carbohydrates mainly from vegetables and sometimes fruit compared to grains and wheat just makes sense. Plus, you will never get as many micro-nutrients from pasta as you would from a vegetable medley along side of a ribeye.

    Eat like a predator.

  • bea:

    It takes many years to develop atherosclerosis (not to mention his other symptoms), so I don't think it's reasonable to blame it on perhaps two years of coconut oil consumption.  

    There is also the tricky matter of proposing a plausible mechanism whereby ketones have these harmful effects — while every piece of research I'm familiar with shows that ketones are the preferred fuel of the heart, oxidized even before glucose.

    That being said, there's no prize for making your ketone meter show the biggest number — so if you don't need the extra energy, I see no reason to consume it.



    That's metabolic flexibility at work.  It's much easier to perform at our best, both mentally and physically, when our bodies have the ability to seamlessly fall back on fat stores instead of needing yet another carby snack.  In your situation, that's not an abstract consideration — it can easily be a matter of life or death.  

    I'm glad you're seeing success.  Welcome home.


  • bea

    Something I’ve been thinking about lately as I’ve changed my paleo way of eating is why is fructose so demonized? Sources of pure glucose such as white rice, white flour, dextrose are refined products. Pure glucose is not found in nature as far as I know. I eat 15 – 20 grams of glucose from the above and feel the fast BG rise and then crash but my morning berries topped with cashews about 30 -40 carbs with 15-20 grams of sugar in the form of fructose/glucose with a little fiber and BG stays under 100 with no crash. Fructose also from what I’ve read restores liver glycogen faster and does not raise BG. Of course I’m not advocating massive fruit intake but nature put fructose and glucose together in all fruit/berries and veges. for a reason. I actually feel energized after a little fruit or berries compared to lethargic after white rice, bread or tatos. I think starch can also be inflammatory. Oh and cooked and cooled starch”resistant” No difference in BG rise.

  • bea

    OMG! I just thought of the next big gimmick. “RESISTANT SUGAR’. Just add 2 tbs. of refined fructose to a glass of water and drink. You can now eat more fruit as the “Resistant Sugar” will protect you.I’m gonna be rich!

  • Tom

    Thanks for this. You have really given me some great ideas on food. I have a long term medical condition and stumbled into reducing my sugar and grain intake which helped my condition a lot. However I have struggled to make much sense of what I should or should not eat. This has helped put it in context. Avoiding food with added sugar was the best thing I ever did diet wise.

  • Tom:

    I'm glad you're seeing success, and I'm glad my work is helping you.  Stay on target!  You'll continue to see benefits for many months as you maintain this new way of eating — often the lack of chronic irritants you always thought were “just part of aging”.


  • Allen

    The mainstream media finally published an article on diet that is worth reading. I think it’s gonna make the AHA quite upset, but the article is quite truthful. Check it out. You can search the following terms in google. “The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease Are butter, cheese and steak really bad for you? The dubious science behind the anti-fat crusade.” I didn’t want to copy and paste the entire Wall Street Journal article.

  • Valerie

    J. First of all, thank you for all your wonderful articles and for taken your time to help others. I live a paleo lifestyle and it is a non brainer for me. I was wondering what your thoughts are on the recent Harvard study, that claims “Eating more fibre after a heart attack may lengthen life”? It stated that people who ate the most fibre after a heart attack had a 25% lower chance of dying in the following decade! compared with those who ate the least fibre. Thank you!

  • Allen:

    I've read the article, and it's a solid overview of the history behind the anti-fat crusade.  I suspect someone read Denise Minger's “Death By Food Pyramid”!



    Oh, great…more associative data retrospectively mined and “adjusted” from the Health Professionals Followup Study and the Nurses Health Study (done by Harvard) until it supports the dietary recommendations the Harvard School of Public Health has already decided on.

    I already wrote that article, about a previous pile of junk retrospectively mined from that same dataset.

    More importantly, we have much better data on dietary fiber, from DART — which was an ACTUAL CONTROLLED TRIAL of a fiber-only intervention.  Result: the fiber group showed a 20% increase in all-cause mortality.  (This was termed “not significant” by the authors, probably because it wasn't the expected result!)

    Here's a hint: if you see a reference to the “Health Professionals Followup Study” or the “Nurses Health Study”, especially in conjunction with the “Harvard School of Public Health,” you're almost guaranteed to be looking at a giant pile of bull feathers.


  • eddie watts

    J do you access to the full data on that DART attached?
    the abstract does not mention the mortality rates at all

  • eddie:

    The fulltext of DART isn’t free, but I read it a while ago. If you want to see the graphs, Stephan reprinted them in this article from way back in the day.


  • Pedro

    This is great! I have been consuming everything that I can get my fingers on regarding the Paleo way of eating. I hate to say diet because it is so often taken out of context. Thanks for this informative website.

    I ate a “normal” American diet until 6 years ago. I became vegetarian and it felt good, at first. Probably because I was not eating healthy foods prior to becoming a vegetarian then began consuming lots of healthy vegetables and fruits. HOWEVER, I always craved meat. I usually binged once or twice a year on meat for a week at a time. Then I felt guilty. Guilty because I felt like I was weak and because I let down The Club. Yes, vegetarians are all in a club. We are the chosen ones!

    I had a hard time maintaining my weight and a terrible time losing it. About 3 weeks ago I was up to 294 lbs at 6 feet tall. I knew I needed change. I started eating meat but restricted my fat to 15%. That didn’t wok. So, I kept searching and dieting. I’ve been eating Paleo for about 10 days and feel great! I don’t restrict my calories. I have been counting and eat about 1900 calories per day (45% fat, 35% protein, and 15% Carbs). Weighed in this morning at 276 lbs! And I’m not even trying!!!

    Thanks again!!!

  • Pedro:

    I was a vegetarian too, though not for as long as you were…I only lasted about a year before converting back into a guilty omnivore, though I spent several almost-vegetarian years living miserably off cheese quesadillas (I continually craved cheese for the protein and saturated fat I was missing from all the hearthealthywholegrains.)

    I’m sorry it took so long for you to find us, but I’m glad you finally did — and that you’re seeing solid results. The weight loss is nice, but it’s the functional improvements that will help keep you motivated. Over time you’ll rediscover what it’s like to inhabit a body that functions as it should.

    Welcome home.


  • […] Det er kanskje ikke nødvendig med doble porsjoner, men faktum er at 10 av 10 kvinner jeg har jobbet med så langt spiser både for lite og et utvalg av mat som egner seg for en fugl. Menn spiser oftere nok mat, men fortsatt tilnærmet fuglemat. Sjekk ut denne feiende flotte artikkelen om du blir satt ut av påstanden om konsum av maten til dis… […]

  • […] any credit for having been correct long before it was popular, or even acceptable. Accept that eating like a predator, and living like a predator, is its own […]

  • Allen

    there is an article called “Study Finds Elementary Students Like New Healthier Lunches” on WSJ.com I didn’t copy the hyperlinks for copyright reasons but you can search the terms. In the middle of the article there is a picture of a salad filled with veggies like green pepper, broccoli, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and croutons. Along its side, there is fat free milk and a whole peach. I think that’s a good salad for an appetizer and perhaps a couple slices of peach are good. But I wouldn’t like it if I were a kid. How am I supposed to study with bunch of fillers and no calories. Don’t kids need calorie dense foods like hamburgers and pot roasts and stuff? Fine. Beef is expensive but why can’t they get some pork dish or something. Even just barbeque pork with not too much sauce can give them satiation to last until they come home. I guess Mrs. Obama got some campaign contribution from the veggie growers association…… I’m sad for our kids. And they won’t be eating school food.

  • Allen:

    “How am I supposed to study with bunch of fillers and no calories. Don’t kids need calorie dense foods like hamburgers and pot roasts and stuff?”

    Especially if you’re, I don’t know, ON A SPORTS TEAM and practicing daily…

    …not to mention you’re GROWING THE BODY YOU WILL INHABIT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. You need PROTEIN, and all the meat-associated nutrients, to do that.

    Meanwhile, here’s the reaction of a bunch of actual school-age teenagers to the new guidelines:

    It’s not the veggie growers association supporting the guidelines: they’re more focused on keeping illegal immigration easy so they can continue to exploit their workers. Most likely Mrs. Obama is simply, like most from her generation, brainwashed into believing that you can starve your way to good health — despite her own abject failure to stay slim, and the fact that the US Surgeon General is morbidly obese.


  • […] 1: daca te intereseaza mai multe despre efectul cerealelor asupra organismului, citeste aici si […]

  • […] much about it or who may be doing it differently than me, I think this is a great intro article: Eat Like a Predator. I am not “doing Paleo” as some fad diet. One of my goals for this journey is to […]

  • Jean Bush

    Mr. Stanton,

    I came across mention your site while reading Fat Head The Blog. I did a month of LCHF and didn’t lose an electron:( However, I thoroughly enjoyed this posting and will tackle Paleo under your behest.

    Someone at work gave me a bread machine, which comes out like cake. Do I have to….sigh……throw it out?

    I will also introduce you and link your site on my above blog.

    Thanks so much for the funny and well informed article.

  • Jean:

    Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results, especially if you’ve already tried LCHF. Weight loss is, in general, a consequence of good health, it takes time to heal the damage from years of the SAD (Standard American Diet), and some of the damage can never be undone — only compensated for.

    That being said, if you’re looking to lose weight and it’s difficult for you, keep in mind two things:
    1. Be strict. It’s hard to completely avoid wheat and corn. Suck it up.
    2. Exercise is extremely important — not because it burns calories, but because it restores metabolic flexibility, without which losing fat without also losing substantial lean mass becomes extremely difficult! Read this article.

    I wish you the best of health on your journey.


  • Kelly H.

    My husband and I actually raise grass fed cattle here in south Texas. I have a couple of questions. First of all, different breeds of cattle carry their fat in different places usually. Especially compared to grain fed. In your experience, what cuts of meat qualify as “fatty enough”. We don’t cut the fat off of most meats. But what should I tell people are the fattier cuts? Also, we’ve just transitioned to trying to eat MORE of the fat. It’s been so trained out of me that I’m having a hard time doing it. It makes me gag! The texture is so….rubbery! Any suggestions? Thanks :)

  • Kelly H:

    There’s no need to force down fat! Just don’t be afraid of it anymore, e.g. eat however much of it tastes good to you. This amount will very likely increase over time…and since your cattle are grass-finished, the fat is rich in nutrients and healthy to eat.

    However, there are plenty of cuts that have giant fat globs stuck to them no matter what and will be difficult to choke down for anyone…in which case you can just trim them before cooking, freeze the trimmings, and render them into tallow when you’ve got enough. (Be careful not to include any meat or red streaks, or your tallow will taste like burnt meat. Also, wet-rendered tallow will be much cleaner and taste better.)

    “In your experience, what cuts of meat qualify as “fatty enough”?”

    As you say, that depends on the breed and how they’re raised. As a general rule, grass-finished beeves carry more subcutaneous fat (the “lip” around the edges of the muscle) and less intramuscular fat (“marbling”) than grain-finished beeves — though I’ve bought more than one grass-finished side with spectacular marbling!

    In general, and as I’m sure you know, cuts from the round are very lean, and thus go well with herbed butter or other fat-based sauces. The sirloin is often lean, but can sometimes accumulate fat (particularly the bottom sirloin or “tri-tip”). Chuck usually has decent fat content as a whole, but some parts of it are lean (e.g. the “tender”), so it depends how you have it cut. And shank, skirt, and tenderloin are always lean no matter what! In contrast, short ribs are usually the fattiest cut, followed by the rib primal in general, the New York, and the brisket.

    In general, the fattest “cut” is the hamburger. I seem to like my hamburger anywhere between 75/25 and 80/20. Any leaner and it’s a bit dry…any fattier and it tastes more like pate, which is delicious but too rich to eat very much of.


  • Dan

    Hi J, avid reader here. Was wondering if you could expand on the cat lady bit at the end of this article.

    “our real enemies are the predators who hoard this knowledge for themselves, the predators who profit so handsomely from our fear and ignorance—and from our indiscriminate love, whose endgame is the crazy cat lady dead in her condemned house, corpse devoured by the creatures she fed in life.”

    is it our indiscriminate love whose endgame is the cat lady death, or is that the endgame of the predators? I’m finding it hard to put to words….think I’m looking for what you are using the cat lady scenario as an analogy for.

    anyways, feel free to ignore this if it sounds like rambling…

    Thanks for the hard work and all the great information. -Dan

  • Dan:

    Yes, the cat lady death is from indiscriminate love. As I said just above, “You will stop giving your time, love, and strength to those that demand it, and start giving it to those who deserve it. You will understand that ‘love thy fellow man as thyself’ doesn’t apply to someone with his hands in your pockets or his gun in your face, no matter whose authority they claim.”

    We get what we reward. If we reward thieves, liars, jerks, users, and drama kings/queens just as much as the solid people who get things done every day, never cause trouble or drama for anyone else, and by doing so keep the world running, we will be overrun by thieves, liars, jerks, users, and drama kings/queens.


  • Dan

    Got it, thanks for the reply.

  • […] Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey – Written by J. Stanton, author of The Gnoll Credo. I haven’t read the book, but the website is very informative. I love this article. It fits very well with my wish to become lean like a tiger. […]

  • Chatin

    JS. This is great and validates my many beliefs on food and how we should eat. Im a Chef by trade and one who cares a lot about health and using good quality products.

    I only heard about the Paleo movement 2 years ago and only started reading into it recently.

    I’ve always been healthy and ate well all my life. But I have had extreme weight fluctuations from living in different countries and having to change my diet from one extreme to another.
    Also coming from a multicultural back ground (Asian/European) Im exposed to all kinds of food and ways of eating. But through experimenting on my self. I’ve found what you’ve written is the best way. For me at least. Although I dont agree with completely cutting out dairy or nuts.

    I’ll give an example. There was a period where I was living in Thailand. During this time I was researching a lot about food and various styles of eating. I concluded on my own that eating like early humans would be the best answer. After seeing a few BBC docos about what early humans ate as well as reading Harolds Mcgees books. So I cut out almost all possessed foods. No sugar. Very little possessed carbs. I did eat lots of nuts though. My diet was basically 70% fruit and veg. 20% good quality beef or fish. 5% grains. 5% dairy. I also worked out 2 hours a day 6 days a week (intervel training).
    I would have an ‘off day’ where I’d break all the rules i set for myself and eat ALL THE THINGS and put myself in a food coma (based on the idea that when food is plentiful predators will gouge themselves). But eventually I stopped that anyway because I completely lost my cravings for sugary possessed foods. Coke started tasting disgusting. I lost 10kg in 3 weeks. Didn’t put on much muscle but was noticeably ‘ripped’ and felt like I was on cocaine all day everyday.
    I maintained this for about a year. Then I moved to London and could no longer sustain the strict regime. Due to economics and a heavy work schedule. Started eating a lot of bread. All the old cravings for sugary things came back. 4 years later I put on nearly 30kgs of fat. Very unhealthy. No energy, mood swings, ready to give up on life.

    Shit this long. sorry.

    Anyway. Next point. Here is why I love this page. I moved back to Thailand 2 years ago. Got a decent job and finally had time on my hands to do something about my health. This time I didnt want to spend 2 hours in the gym or have to be a nazi about what I put in my body. All I did.
    1. Eat as little sugar as I can (I havnt cut it out completely)
    2. Eat about 50/50 good quality meat and veg. (like you mention) I wasnt concerned about grain fed or frass fed. (as a chef whos worked in a steak house I know grain fed taste better) Kobe for example.
    3. Limit bread consumption (again I didnt cut it out completely)
    4. Do a burst style work out (like you mentioned) I do push ups every night. Hard and fast. Takes about 10mins

    Managed to lose 25kg over a period of 6 months. And have a decent figure. Im not as full of energy as I was before or as muscular but how I look and feel now isnt bad for something that really doesn’t require much effort.

    Im considering following your guide more strictly to see what happens and will surely post the results!

  • Danielle Brown

    Although this is several years later, I’ve just read your article. I was actually googling “what proteins to eat for breakfast when you’re allergic to eggs and can’t afford bacon”. Lol. I am someone who thought I was doing the best for our family of 6 with “healthy whole grains”. Half of us are allergic to eggs. The rest don’t care for them. I’ve been cooking biscuits and etc for so long. I knew we need more protein when we eat breakfast but wasn’t sure what to fix. Bacons expensive for this many ppl. And I thought my husband was wrong for not eating many mornings. This is a real eye opener and as I get older(well 32 now), I’ve started to question a lot of things we do “in tradition” and things that we just go along with as expected. Like Halloween candy and hotdog on the 4th of July and 1$ for tooth fairy. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of passing down traditions but I’m just questioning where things started and wanting to decide if it’s a tradition I believe in. Anyhow, since this is an older article plz email or reply me if there is any important changes since. Thank you.

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  • plant-based researcher

    This is an incredibly irresponsible website. People like you who think they know about healthy eating is causing heart disease and diabetes. Shame on you. If you actually examined the research you’ll find that plant-based eating is the healthiest diet for humans. And did you inform your readers that processed red meat was named a class 1 carcinogen by WHO? Yes, processed red meats CAUSE CANCER. shame.

  • Patrick B

    “Fat people are no longer disgusting: they’re delicious.” WTF is the author even trying to say. Being fat is disgusting and unhealthy, period.

  • Bobfrank

    Great stuff, but it’s a bit distressing to see you mention tea, coffee, mate, and (in the comments) alcohol as acceptable parts of one’s diet.

    Isn’t this all about being strong and free? What kind of predator is a slave? And that’s exactly what you become when you take addictive substances: a slave to an addiction. When your health improves and your strength increases, you won’t feel the depressive tendencies that drive people to crave addictive drugs anyway, so it’s best to steer clear of them from the beginning.

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