Sure "Paleo" diets are all the rage. I'm here to tell you that "Meso" is even better.
Here's how to do Josh Hillis' Meso Diet™:
1.) Eat 80% of your meals Paleo, 6 days per week
2.) Eat 20% meals that include "ancient" grains, 6 days per week
3.) The 7th day is a "cheat day"
What Is Paleo?
Paleolithic Man was the caveman that just ate meat and fish and birds, and some root vegetables (like sweet potatoes and yams) and fruit and nuts.
Proponents of the Paleo diet say that this is the caveman to follow, food wise.
Ultimately, it makes a lot of sense: It's all real food, it's got lots of protein, and all of the carbs are good carbs. There's also good fats from nuts and guacamole. Cavemen loved guacamole.
And I think cavemen loved Raquel Welch also.
What Is Neo?
Neolithic man is apparently the "bad" cavemen. People who are about the Paleo Diet say that Neolithic Caveman was the beginning of the end.
Neo Caveman was the dude that started to farm. He domesticated grains and combined 'em to make new grains. In fact, if this caveman new how to make that genetically modified food thats illegal in Europe, he probably would have. What an a-hole.
Seriously though, Neo Caveman started to eat grains 'cause it was way F'in easier than chasing woolley mammoths around all of the time.
What Is Meso?
Mesolithic Caveman overlapped the end of Paleo and the beginning Neo.
Meso actually isn't distinct from either one. Some people call Meso "Upper-Paleolithic" and some people call it "Proto-Neolithic". Basically it's a grey area where elements of both were blending.
So Paleo hunted and gathered. Neo farmed. What did Meso do?
Meso Cavement were still hunting and gathering. But they found out that they could mill, soak or sprout *wild* grains and eat 'em.
So that's the distinction between Meso and Neo:
Neo Caveman domesticated and farmed grains. Grains became the major part of his diet.
Meso Caveman would eat wild grains when he found 'em. He knew about grains and he ate 'em, but he mostly hunted and gathered.
Why Should You Do The Josh Hillis Meso Diet™ Over Strict Paleo
First, because it's a lot easier. 20% grains makes a big difference in having your diet work in real life.
If one meal a day, or one meal every other day can have some brown rice or quinoa or beans or something, everything goes a little smoother.
Second, beacuse I've never met anyone who didn't get the body they wanted because of brown rice or quinoa or Ezekiel Bread. For most people, these are A+ carbs, and are great tools for building a hot rockin body.
How often have you heard of movie stars, models, or athletes talk about eating chicken and brown rice? All the time. It's practicly cliche.
If brown rice is wrong, then I don't want to be right.
What Grains Are Allowed in The Josh Hillis Meso Diet™?
Old ones. The older the better. Like really retro.
1.) We'll do Emmer Wheat, Einkorn Wheat, and Spelt Wheat
2.) Any wheat that is sprouted we'll do.
3.) We'll also do brown rice and quinoa.
4.) We'll also allow pulses likes peas, lentils and chickpeas.
5.) And we'll definitely allow flax.
Everything above is off-limits in Paleo, but being the Meso's that we are, we're going to eat 'em.
As far as wheats go, sprouted wheats and spelt are going to be the easiest to come by.
Brown rice and quinoa are staples of any fat loss diet, and always have been. This is indisputable. Just ask every bodybuilder or fitness model ever.
And flax oil is a great source of fat, and flax seeds are a great source of estrogen fighting lignans and also fiber.
Health vs. Fat Loss
There are world famous Nutrition Phd's and Evolutionary Biology Phd's arguing over the health benefits of Paleo vs. Meso vs. Neo, the same way they were arguing about whether low fat was the answer or if eggs would kill you in the 90's.
There are really intelligent people on both sides of the debate about whether or not Paleo is the healthiest option. There are even really smart dudes arguing for Neo being the healthiest option.
WIth all these geniuses fighting about it, I'm not even going to step into that debate. I am going to say that it's all healthier than fast food hamburgers, pizza delivery and chocolate chip cookies.
What I am going to say is that people get wicked fat loss results from a mostly Paleo (like 80%) with some really awesome grains some of the time (like 20%), and that's where the Josh Hillis Meso Diet™ came from.
It's just about fat loss.
Movie stars, rockstars, personal trainers, and fitness models have all famously eaten Meso forever. Of course they don't call it Meso, but chicken with brown rice is so common among actors and trainers and models that it's cliche.
And brown rice is Meso.
How To Get Started with Meso™
So remember, Meso is just the 80/20 rule.
The Josh Hillis Meso Diet™
= 80% Paleo
+ 20% Neo
Or, to put it even more simply, it's "mostly Paleo".
Well, most people already know how to do brown rice. So really what you need to learn is how to rock the 80% that's Paleo.
My recommendation is to get this book: 7 Steps to Paleo by Jenna Shannon.
It's the simplest starter guide to eating Paleo I've ever seen.
It also gets bonus points because it's so totally realistic.
While I love what a "mostly Paleo" or "Meso" diet can do for you in terms of fat loss, most Paleo books turn me off because they are so over the top crazy. And that's the only reason I've never recommended a Paleo book before - I hadn't ever found one this normal and balanced.
7 Steps to Paleo, is a really simple, easy, down to earth guide to eating Paleo.
It's 1/2 Paleo Recipes and 1/2 a step by step plan to implement the logistics of actually making the diet work.
By Josh Hillis,
RKC, CPT, PES, ZMIS