The Don’t Eat for Winter® diet, or The DEFoW Diet for short, is a set of 10 guidelines to escape the infinite autumn (the western diet), and become the summer hunter version of you. It is not a fad diet, as it does not advise cutting out whole food groups, and it does not advise going outside well established guidelines. Saying that, it does advise opting for closer to the minimum recommended carbs (starches and sugars) for your activity needs, and also avoiding combinations of carbs and fats (The Squirrel Formula) to prevent gorging and limit fat storage. Other than this, it is a set of common sense guidelines for a healthy lifestyle. This is how I (about the author) personally live most of the time (yes I do eat for winter at times, as it is important to indulge my autumnal instincts occasionally).
Here are the 10 rules of The DEFoW Diet (which are fully expanded on and reasoned out in the Don’t Eat for Winter):
Copyright © 2018 – Don’t Eat for Winter
There are a number of aspects to the guidelines which requires some basic understanding the problem before the solution can be presented. These include background theory, societal issues, nutrition, human energy systems, body processes and instincts and exercise to appreciate them fully. All of this information is contained within the pages of Don’t Eat for Winter.
At the heart of The DEFoW Diet concept is this:
- In the past, autumn foods allowed human beings put on a little bit of body fat as a backup energy supply and thermal insulation layer for protection during the winter months
- In the present, we have autumnal foods available all day long, all year long, which means winter never comes and so we accumulate weight by living like a squirrel caught in an infinite autumn
- Through eating seasonally on a daily basis we can become the version of ourselves that nature intended for us, a perfect creature just as if we were in balance with our environment once again. As nature is out of the equation these days, we must simulate other times of the year besides autumn.
Winter and Spring macros would be closer to ketogenic diets / high protein diets, whereas late summer/autumn macros would be more in line with how we eat today. DEFoW falls somewhere in the middle, a happy medium adjusted based on your own personal goals and requirements. It is not ketogenic as your brain continues to utilise glucose as it’s source of energy. On DEFoW you burn fat aerobically. You can read more about how the seasons affect us on the advanced DEFoW theory page.
The DEFoW Diet is a type of Paleolithic Prescription in that it encourages mimicking our ancestors eating habits and activities to become optimal versions of ourselves. These types of diets started in the 70s with Walter Voegtlins book, The Stoneage Diet, followed in the 80s by The Paleolithic Prescription itself by Stanley Boyd Eaton et. al. In the 90s, James V Neal, an American Geneticist, recommended the Paleolithic Prescription as a way to tackle modern day chronic obesity and all of the health issues that ensue as a result. His hypothesis, known as The Thrifty Genotype suggests that human beings evolved with an ability to store fat easily, as it was once an advantageous tool to facilitate human survival during feast/famine cycles. Nowadays, of course, the feast is eternal and the famine is dead, so this talent is no longer advantageous. This results in individual’s often simulate famine with dreaded diets to lose weight, but with long term calorie restriction, metabolism slows, and you get all of the torture but none of the results. This is why a healthy lifestyle with sensible food choices, and good levels of activity, simulating what our ancestors would have done makes common sense.
When you understand why, how becomes easy!
Don’t Eat for Winter suggests that it is specifically the over-consumption of autumnal carbohydrates, in both starchy and sugary forms (both forms of sugar), that prepare us for winter by triggering instincts (insulin response, ghrelin rebound, leptin skews, dopamine release etc.) that make us overeat and constantly have us storing fat. Eating these foods with fats compounds the problem (the squirrel formula). Nature used to moderate carbohydrates for us through the natural seasons, however, now that we’ve taken her out of the equation through modern storage facilities, preservatives, transport etc., we must take responsibility and moderate the consumption of carbohydrates in order to escape from the infinite autumn in which we find ourselves, get out of hibernation mode and become the vibrant summer hunter versions of ourselves that we were meant to be.
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