“Reality Check” is an article series which looks at common mistakes people make when they begin dieting for weight loss. We’ll check out some ‘thought adjustments’ that will help you make better choices on your journey. The articles include tips, new ideas to try, strategies to follow, and encouragement to keep you moving forward.

Should you eat like a lion?

This is something that I heard someone say recently: “If you want to get healthy, strong, and lean then you should eat like a predator – like a lion… They only eat meat, and they are the strongest animals out there, so we should do the same.”  

First, let me say that I totally understand the thought behind this idea. Lions ARE strong, lean and fit. And it makes some sense that if we want to get those same results, we should just copy them. Simple, right?

Well… here’s why this diet suits lions far more than it suits humans, and what you should be eating instead:

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Lions have a VERY short digestive system so meat doesn’t go rancid in their gut. They have teeth that are good for eating raw meat (they don’t cook). And most importantly, they don’t eat the types of meat most people prefer to eat. A lion eats the organs first – liver, kidneys, lungs, heart – because that’s where the really valuable nutrition is. As humans, we like to eat the muscle-meats which are full of protein, but lack other nutrients.

Should humans predominantly eat protein?

Research shows that our bodies are not well designed for us to be carnivores. Eating too much meat tends to make us constipated, and we end up lacking in vital nutrition and having an increased risk of coronary heart disease. A healthy, balanced diet has been shown to contain some protein, a little starch, and a lot of vegetables and fruit.

This is the best way for us to stay fit and healthy while building muscle for strength and still having the energy to perform at our best every day.

If you’re going to source your proteins from meat, organ meats are some of the healthiest. You can also find healthy proteins in quinoa, beans, lentils and soy. Did you know that black beans contain 14g of protein in just a 1-cup serving? Plus you’re getting essential fibre, iron and calcium in black beans.

While protein is important in our diets, it’s not the ONLY macronutrient we should be focussing on. Stay balanced!

Read more in the ‘reality check’ series below:

 

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.