MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The hardest part of any diet isn’t starting it: It’s sticking to it. And even if you’re able to lose the weight, keeping it off can be difficult.

That’s why I’m so excited about the diet I first discovered in November. I lost almost 20 pounds in the first month.
And because the food is so satisfying, I was able to stick with it, and even picked up a partner.

This month, Amelia joined me in “the Cave”, as I like to call it. She tried out the Caveman Diet while I tried to push past my plateau.

And we both tried to get along.

Remember back in November? I’d put on about 25 pounds and I wanted to look and feel better. So trainer TJ McNiff weighed me, measured me and invited me into the cave.

It’s called the Caveman Diet, because you’re basically eating like a like caveman – it’s all meat, vegetables and seeds. It’s otherwise known as the Paleo diet. All the foods are things that a caveman could have hunted and gathered thousands of years ago.

The diet is heavy on protein. You don’t need to count calories, but if you follow the diet correctly, about 55 percent of those calories come from lean protein, with the rest coming from vegetables, fruit and good fats.

After a month on the diet and in the gym, I had some impressive results. I lost 17 pounds and shrunk my waistline by 5 inches.

And with all the fresh, healthy food around the house, I made a convert.

“Just watching what you eat, I actually think I want to try the diet,” Amelia told me.

So, we went back to the gym together. Amelia got weighed and measured while I updated my numbers. And although they were almost the same as two months earlier, McNiff wasn’t concerned.

“Basically your body is adapting to your new weight,” he said. “So just keep going and it will kick back in again.”

He worked us hard, but he warned that dieting together could be difficult. He said that one person usually gets upset as the other takes food away.

And he was right.

Amelia had some immediate results, losing five pounds in two weeks But she got frustrated when she hit her plateau in week three.

McNiff said she wasn’t eating enough meat, which was true. But I’m not sure she wanted to hear it from me.

“Protein has got to be the centerpiece of the thing,” I told her. “You know, you wake up in your cave, you go out and kill a rabbit or a squirrel.”

She said that I didn’t tell her all this. She also said she didn’t have time to learn all about the diet.

Amelia had a hard time thinking of this as a meat eater’s diet, rather than modifying her old ways of eating.

And I had a hard time not lecturing.

“You can’t complain that I’m not getting results if you don’t stick with the program,” I told her.

Amelia agreed with me on that point. But she said she didn’t like my “old school” coaching.

But, overall, we did pretty well.

Amelia lost two pounds, but she wasn’t all that happy about it. However, she also shrunk her waistline by a quarter inch and her hips by a half-inch.

As for me, I lost three-and-a-half pounds and I took it in stride. I wasn’t crazy about it, but I knew I was stronger.

My waistline looked better, too. I shrunk it by six inches.

On Friday, I weighed myself again, and I lost another three pounds. But McNiff told us a scale is not a great way to gauge how you’re doing, since muscle weighs more than fat.

He said he prefers measuring inches, especially around the belly button.

Frank Vascellaro

Comments (9)
  1. Carolyn Rush says:

    Congratulations on your success so far! I’d like to encourage you both to read the book “Primal Body, Primal Mind”, by Nora Gedgaudas, which actually goes beyond Paleo and emphasizes a diet based more on fat than on proteins. Keep up the good work!

  2. Cheeses Riced says:

    Glad I am so thin and don’t have to worry about what I eat. Life is good. Heena!

  3. Darla says:

    I’d love to know what your cholesterol / blood sugars /blood pressure #s looked like before and after several weeks of the diet. I’m trying to research how to get my hubby’s blood pressure under control and I know that diet can play a big role in that but there are so many opinions it is hard to know which way to turn!

  4. Sara says:

    What happened to my submitted comments??? They are VERY relevant and important to this story.

  5. Jan Anderson says:

    I am going in for a hip replacement in April. I know that Frank has had both of his hips replaced. I would like to hear some comments from him, as to how it went, and how does he feel now?

  6. Jan Anderson says:

    I am going in for a hip replacement in April. I know that Frank has had both of his hips replaced. I would like to hear some comments from him, as to how it went, and how does he feel now?

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