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How to Lose Weight with the Caveman Diet

Updated on November 18, 2015
By spacing out your meals and drinking lots of water every day, you can lose weight with the "caveman" diet.
By spacing out your meals and drinking lots of water every day, you can lose weight with the "caveman" diet.

The "caveman" diet is inspired by the way humans are believed to have eaten during the Paleolithic period. (For those of you who don't know what the Paleolithic period is, think "caveman" era.) The period lasted about 2.5 million years and ended approximately 10,000 years ago.

Also called the "paleo" diet, this program trains your body to crave good and healthy foods and to eat at regular intervals. Eating paleo, or caveman-style, means eating meat, eggs, vegetables, and limited amounts of fruit and nuts. No grains.

In addition to avoiding carbohydrates, this diet program emphasizes eating at regular intervals. This boosts your metabolic rate (the rate at which your body burns fat) and keeps it at a more consistent level.

The diet has several stages to get you to this point. At first, to some people, it seems a little funky. But at the end of the diet your mind and body will be trained to crave healthier foods at regular times of the day and to not want junk food. All of this will be supported by the transition that your body will go through, as you will see noticeably in the mirror as time goes by. By the time you reach stage three, you should have dropped anywhere between 5-10% of your overall weight in fat (give or take, depending on your original body fat percentage).


What We'll Discuss

• How the Diet Works.

• The Caveman Diet: Stages One, Two, and Three.

• Frequently Asked Questions.

• Benefits of the Diet

Drinking water every morning is a key to success on this diet.
Drinking water every morning is a key to success on this diet.

The Caveman diet will demolish body fat throughout the troublesome areas of your body. It will also help bring your body's sugar levels to normal levels. (Closer to those of the original cavemen, who ate only natural sugars, and really not much of it.)

This diet will also help eliminate toxins from your body. By the end, you will feel much better and be more motivated to eat healthier food as it will have become natural.

Stages of the Diet

Stage One: Between Two and Four Weeks
Stage Two: Between Two and Four Weeks
Stage Three: Length Optional
• Water only in the morning, between 8 and 16 ounces.
• Water only in the morning.
• Water only in the morning.
• During the day eat a handful of unsalted nuts and fresh fruit now and then.
• Nothing during the day.
• Healthy, unprocessed foods during the day.
• At night, eat whatever you want.
• Healthy dinner. Choose from a variety of foods listed below.
• In the evening, healthy foods only.

Stage One: Two to Four Weeks

For the first stage, which can last between two and four weeks, eat plenty of fruit during the day.
For the first stage, which can last between two and four weeks, eat plenty of fruit during the day.

Stage one of the caveman diet lasts for a minimum of two weeks but for no longer than four weeks. This stage is geared to prepare your body for a shocking wake-up call.

In the morning, drink a glass or two of water.
In the morning, drink a glass or two of water.

Every morning when you first wake up, drink a normal-sized glass of water, about 8 oz. (I personally place a 16 oz. bottle of water on my night stand every night. When I wake up, I chug it on down!) Drinking water as soon as you wake up awakens your body. You won't feel lethargic or tired. You will be more energized and feel better about starting your day!

Throughout the day, eat only unsalted nuts and fruit.
Throughout the day, eat only unsalted nuts and fruit.

During the day, help yourself to a handful of fruit and unsalted nuts now and then. Just make sure not to choose dried fruit, as it is full of sugar. Your body will start to detox almost immediately. If you are hungry, drink water and push yourself to wait for dinner.

During the first stage of the diet you can eat whatever you want at night.
During the first stage of the diet you can eat whatever you want at night.

During this first stage you are allowed to eat whatever you want at night, as long as you only eat once. Allow yourself to eat pizza, burgers, or even your mom's famous spaghetti. At the end of this diet, you will learn how much you really, really don't like those foods.

Stage Two: Two to Four Weeks

Drinking water every morning will give you more energy to start your day.
Drinking water every morning will give you more energy to start your day.

Stage two lasts for at least two weeks, but for no longer than four weeks. This stage can last for a longer time frame, however the focus is to get to the next stage.

In the morning first thing, chug down that cup or bottle of water left on your nightstand from the night before.

During the second stage, eat nothing during the day. When you get hungry, drink some water.
During the second stage, eat nothing during the day. When you get hungry, drink some water.

During the day, eat NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. Not a chip, a cracker, or a gummy bear. Your body will detox throughout the day. If you feel hungry, just keep drinking water.

Your body and your mind will actually find this surprisingly easy after you have finished stage one. At all costs, wait until dinner to eat. Just keep in mind that you spent the past 2-4 weeks preparing for this stage. If you slip up even one time during stage two, you just threw away all of your hard work.

In the evening, eat what and as much as you want as long as it is a healthy food. See list of good options below.
In the evening, eat what and as much as you want as long as it is a healthy food. See list of good options below.

At night you can eat as much as you want. Eat at any time that you'd like, even if its 3 am and you need to be up at 6 am. The important thing is what you eat. No burgers, pizza, or hotdogs. At the end of stage two your body and mind should be regularly craving these good foods instead of the cheeseburgers from McDonalds or even mom's spaghetti (sorry mom!).

Food Options for Dinner

 
• Any kind of meat, fish, chicken, or steak (I personally prefer steaks).
• Eggs from free-range chickens.
• Small amounts of fruit.
• Vegetables (I saute steak cubes with green bell peppers and white onions. Tastes great!).
• Nuts (almonds are best).
• Berries (strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are very good for you).

Stage Three: Length Optional

Follow the final stage of the caveman diet for as long as you want. The longer you follow it, the more second-nature it will become.
Follow the final stage of the caveman diet for as long as you want. The longer you follow it, the more second-nature it will become.

The final stage of the caveman diet can be followed for as long as you desire. The longer you follow it however, the easier it will become and the more weight you will lose.

In the morning, do the same thing you've been doing for 6-10 weeks now: Drink that bottle or cup of water!

Satisfy any hunger pangs and cravings with healthy choices, including fresh vegetables.
Satisfy any hunger pangs and cravings with healthy choices, including fresh vegetables.

During the day, when your body is hungry, feed it. At this point your body should only be craving healthy foods, nuts, vegetables, and meat. Satisfy any cravings you may have with these healthy foods. Teach yourself and your body to graze on small amounts throughout the day. This will keep your metabolic rate high, constantly burning stored energy.

The same as lunch. Stick with the healthy fruits, meats, and vegetables. Stay away from potatoes and sweet potatoes. Throw different vegetables in the mix.

At this point your body will enjoy and love the healthy food you have been feeding it for the past two months. Make healthy choices and you will never go back to the old way you had been eating before. Your mother may be sad that you no longer eat her spaghetti, but who knows? Maybe you can teach her the caveman diet! Tell her how amazing she will feel by the time she starts the final stage!

Frequently Asked Questions

Question
Answer
• Can I exercise while on the caveman diet?
Yes! Do as much exercise as you want, but if you start to feel weak or dizzy, stop immediately. I recommend starting off slow with exercise to see how your body reacts. Your body will need to adjust to the nutritional values that have changed.
• Is it OK to take hunger suppressors or multi-vitamins?
Yes. Just be sure to drink a lot of water.
• Is it possible to drink too much water?
Only if you drank gallons in under an hour.
• What if I cannot eat nuts?
Seeds will work.
• What are the best fruits for this diet?
All fruits work, but juicy fruits like pineapple, grapefruit, apples, oranges, plums, and peaches are best because they are low in carbohydrates and high in acid.
• I started the diet but skipped the "eat what you want in the evenings" part and just ate vegetables. Now I crave meat. What should I do?
I would recommend starting over, but don't skip the "eat what you want part." This will keep your cravings down.

Benefits of this Diet

Aside from losing weight, there are several benefits of doing this diet:

  • It causes the body to lose weight, particularly fat.
  • The diet will naturally increase your energy level. It puts your body into a slight "fight or flight" mode. You will automatically access your animal instincts, which will give you more energy. This energy surge is the bodies way to ensure you can find and obtain food. The longer you are on the diet, the more often you will notice these energy surges. They will also begin to last longer.
  • Your body will be detoxed. By removing the toxins of processed foods from your body, you will feel cleaner, more focused, and even have a better mood. Your insides will be cleaner, your skin will be clearer, your hair and nails will be stronger ,and you will just feel better all around.
  • The diet taps into your bodies "animal instincts," the same instincts that you need to survive. Due to this, your senses will be clearer, stronger, and sharper. You will be more focused and driven to do the things that you want to do.

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    • profile image

      Adrianna 7 months ago

      Is it okay for kids 12+ to do this diet and will it affect them in a good way or a bad way

    • profile image

      Sofia 9 months ago

      Can u do this diet welly like part one for one week part two for one week part three for one week?

    • profile image

      Laura 12 months ago

      I'm starting this week, hope it works!!!

    • profile image

      Jelena 18 months ago

      Is it allowed to drink coffee and no sugar added tea? Thanks

    • profile image

      Erikatommie @gmail.com 21 months ago

      I'm starting tomorrow . .

    • profile image

      louise 2 years ago

      went a bit off the diet for about 3 weeks started feeling crappy so have got straigt back on it now an have lost even more an have toned up a lot now as i can do my work outs everysday now an have stopped drinking alcohol all month since i started again .

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      @ Jobby - Exactly! Good luck on your diet goals my friend!

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      @ Adam - I would take it easy, If you start to feel sick, or weak, then I would just eat like you do usually, but I don't see any real problems with this while training. Good luck!

    • profile image

      adam 3 years ago

      I want to start training for a half marathon, is it safe to do this diet at the same time? Im a little worried about the lack of carbs.

    • profile image

      jobby 3 years ago

      So stage one has to be done for 2 weeks straight then stage 2 for 2 weeks too and stage 3...I'm trying to lose 40 pounds for the end of September

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks for the comment! Yep! lol it works great for me, my two favorite things to eat!

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      Ken Williams 3 years ago

      Meat and veggies, my kind of diet! Nice hub :)

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      @ Louise - Glad to hear! Good job! :D

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      louise 3 years ago

      week 3 still staying on stage 1 till thursday seems to work ok for me im on 10 an half now an do my work out every 2 days as well as work so that's a stone gone i have started the healthy meals but still nuts in days cause i am enimic an get dizzy with out so good so far !:)

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      @ Amber Nelson - Hi Amber, do as much exercise as you want to while on this diet. However, if you start to feel weak, dizzy, etc stop immediately. I recommend starting off slow, and seeing how your body reacts, and if you have no problems, add another day, or an extra set into your workout routine, etc. Just be sure to start off slower, and don't jump into working out extremely hard after starting the diet, as your body will need to adjust to the nutritional values that have changed after starting the diet. If you have any more questions, feel free to comment here!

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      @ LaRonda - Step 2 is going to be about 2-4 weeks as well :)

    • profile image

      LaRonda 3 years ago

      I was just inquiring how long I should do Step 2 for? I know the first step was 2-4 weeks.. But I'm unsure of Step 2.. is it also 2-4 weeks?

    • profile image

      amber nelson 3 years ago

      Hey iam starting this diet as we speak. My question to you is what kind and how much exercise do I have to do with this diet to get it to work properly? If I do at all please let me know thanks...

    • profile image

      louise 3 years ago

      thank you !

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      @louise - Glad to hear! Thank you for coming back to share your success so far, keep us updated! It really works well when you stick with it :) great job so far!

    • profile image

      louise 3 years ago

      i started doing this last thursday so its monday now everyone has noticed change in me already i also have been doing cardio work outs i dint get hungry in the day when only have the nuts an fruit an i do have a lot more energy than usuall suprising really going to follow it step by step an enjoying jt i was 11 an half stine im now just 11 stone just in thses few days an i feel great thanks x

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      @Sarah - Yes it is okay to take the suppressors, just ensure you are drinking water. As far as nutritional supplements, I would just recommend a good multi-vitamin. Almonds or brazil nuts are a good way to go.

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      Sarah 3 years ago

      Is it okay if you eat hunger suppressors? To put in the water? For stage 2. Do you recommend any nutrition supplements I may not be getting? And what nuts do you recommend?

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      I would recommend starting it over, but don't skip out on the eat what you want part, this will keep your cravings down, and it is beneficial to the diet.

    • profile image

      Zack 3 years ago

      I started the diet 9 days ago, but I skipped the evening eat-what-ever-part and had only vegetables, fruit and water for 9 days. The problem now is that I can't go on like this any more.I crave for meat. Can I start stage 2 now for 2-4 weeks? Or should I re-start the diet from day one ?

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      @AlexTylor - No worries! Thanks for reading! feel free to share!

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      @ B599 - Its not possible to drink too much water unless you drink gallons in under an hour, then there are health risks, but it is hard to reach that point and you need to absolutely force yourself to do so. Also, the best kind of workout for this will be either weight training or cardio. I personally like the bike, as you can track your calorie count easily while on a bike machine. Don't push yourself too hard, if you feel weak or sick, stop exercising, or if you are working out hard in the gym, slow it down a little. Good luck!

    • profile image

      B599 3 years ago

      Is it possible to drink to much water?

      Also what kind of work out is suggested & how much weight is lost?

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      All fruits should work.. Juicy fruits like pineapples grapefruits apples and oranges work the best due to low carb and high acidic content, plums and peaches work too. Always make sure they're fresh and not canned though, canned fruits are full of sugars and preservatives, not good for the diet. Think like a caveman, what could they have eaten that was available to them during the time? Anything not natural or semi-prehistoric-like, don't eat. Good rule of thumb that makes it easy to remember is, if it's got something in it or added that either you have trouble pronouncing, is spelled like it could potentially be a disease and doesn't grow naturally, avoid it, haha. :) happy dieting my friend! The cave man diet can be somewhat rough, if you have a problem at all trying it, I like to tell people to start here; www.military-diet.com then after 2 weeks instead of restarting that diet, switch to the caveman diet. Just a suggestion and food for thought if you check it out :)

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      Liz 3 years ago

      for stage 1, is it all fruits or just berries?

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      I would suggest taking calcium and vitamin d supplements if you are drinking the milk for these reasons, other than that, I wouldn't recommend it due to the calories contained, unless it is skim milk or low fat, or even unsweet almond or soy milk!

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      tej 3 years ago

      Is it safe to have 2 glasses of milk per day?

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      @ Michael - It isn't unhealthy, however for the best results it is recommended to start at stage one and work your way through the diet plan to ensure that your body gets used to the diet, also, it will make the rest of the stages easier to get through. Up to you though :)

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      Michael 3 years ago

      Is it ok to start straight from stage 2?

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      preferably at night for the diet to work the way it should, however, make the exception, but don't do it often if you are following this diet. Good luck on your goals! :)

    • profile image

      Bethany 3 years ago

      Does the one meal have t be at night. - I have a dinner party next Sunday for lunch and was wondering would it be okay if I ate my one meal ofr lunch on that one day.

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      Seeds should work for you then if that is the case, if you can, try to eat some before and after your work shift, just for the more energy and nutrient benefits that are in the nuts, then just snack on the seeds throughout the day.

    • profile image

      frani 3 years ago

      what do you suggest if I can't eat nuts during the day? Do seeds count? I am not allergic but work in a school that is a "nut free zone."

      Thanks!

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      That is more than likely the problem, you've changed your diet routine and your body is reacting to it, once it gets used to the way and what you are eating this should stop. It could also be a combination of maybe something new or stressful going on in your life right now, coupled with the change in diet, stress has been known to cause lack of sleep and sometimes amplify body reactions to certain things, just like it may be in your case.

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      Denise White 3 years ago

      I am 44 years young female and have been playing around with one meal a day idea. I was doing IF with pretty good results, but I wanted to kick it up a notch so I tried this. I usually had no issues with my sleep which to me is as important as my diet. But it seems that doing this I am waking up in the middle of the night. I am not just going to the bathroom and back to bed, I am watching the stinken tv. Why is this happening? It seems I read somewhere about sleep interruption occurs when eating differently, it's just been so long I can't remember. Any ideas, they have to be related.

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      Yes. I would recommend starting the diet, and after a few days or a week when your body gets used to the diet and the new food load, then add in the diet pills. As for the fiber, you're free to take the fiber throughout the diet. Just be sure to drink lots of water throughout the day, this will keep your body healthy. Good luck!

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      daniel 3 years ago

      Can you take diet pills, fiber and lipozene wise with this diet?

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      Water is your breakfast ;) It isn't the "most important meal of the day" like everyone claims it is, that statement was originally a ploy to get more and more people to eat big breakfasts for businesses to increase sales. Water will ensure your body becomes functional, and you will feel more energetic and less lethargic due to not eating a big meal.

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      Joe 3 years ago

      So no breakfast?

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      It is safe to exercise during all stages throughout the caveman diet. But ensure that you know your limits, if you aren't sure of your limits, try to take it slow, if you feel weak, take a rest. If you must, you can also increase your intake using the same amounts, to supplement the calories you burned off during the work out sessions. - Just be sure to no over-do it and you will be fine :]

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 3 years ago from Las Vegas

      Of course! Water is your friend! Drink as much as you can get! :D

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      Christina 3 years ago

      Is it safe to exercise during stages 1 and 2? Im worried about not having enough calories to pull it off

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      Nicole2012 3 years ago

      Can you drink more water throughout the day or is it just the glass in the morning?

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 4 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thank you! Enjoy!! Feel free to share!!

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      ocfireflies 4 years ago from North Carolina

      So glad to have found this hub. I had been hearing about this diet, but I did not know how it worked. Thank You! Voted Up!

      Best Always,

      Kim

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      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great Hub! I know of the caveman diet. I have friends who have gone on it and it works great. I, however, need a balanced diet and cannot go day after day without carbs. I just wind down and cannot go on. But, if you are one that doesn't need carbs that much, this is a great diet. Thanks for sharing.

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      Ty 4 years ago from Las Vegas

      @ExoticHippieQueen - Thanks a lot! I appreciate it!

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      ExoticHippieQueen 4 years ago

      Interesting, but I don't think I have the guts to tough it out like that. It's a very well-written article in an easy-to-read format. Welcome to Hubpages!

    • Mackinreviews profile image
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      Ty 4 years ago from Las Vegas

      @ B.A. Williams - Thank you :]

      @MaeMG - I usually go by the 3 day rule, if you can pull it off for 3 days, only 3, without cheating the diet, you can do it forever. Its just getting your body and your mind into doing it. (Haha but yes, emotional eaters do exist!) Thank you for sharing on FB and hubs :]

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      MaeMG 4 years ago

      I think it takes a certain individual or personality to pull this off. That's a very strict regimen, but I do think it will work with certain people. Although, I do long to have that mindset, I am an emotional eater (lol, yes, they do exist!). However, I'm definitely sharing this article of FB and hubs, I know others who do have that type of stamina would benefit from this! Good information!

    • B. A. Williams profile image

      B. A. Williams 4 years ago from USA

      Interesting article, and considering they only ate things such as protein and veggies I would think it would work. Anyhow enjoyed reading this, it was different and your writing kept my interest.