There has been a recent uproar in the media about the Wolf Diet. The main objective here is to only eat one meal a day, and that meal needs to be high in protein-heavy and fat. Let’s say you go with dinner. You’ll have to expel lunch and breakfast, as well as that last slice of chocolate mousse cake you were hoping to devour. But we love food, and we like to indulge, too much to give it up without good reason, so we delved a little deeper.
By Jana du Plessis
Marius Theron, a retired veterinarian from Pretoria, is the name and advocate behind the radical approach that means only seven meals a week with no snacks in between. At first glance, it actually seems quite a convenient way to eat with fewer dishes, less meal planning and less money spent on groceries. But is a daily 24-hour fast good for the human body?
There have been numerous studies done on intermittent fasting and how it can aid weight-loss and even the immune system. Simply put, our hormone levels adapt to make fat usage more available at the same time as regenerating cells when fasting. While most of these diets would encourage eating less on some days or choosing one or two days in a week to fast for 16-24 hours at a time, the concern with the Wolf Diet, is that it goes against what mainstream dietary practices teach.
We are all used to eating three to six times a day and have learnt that regular snacking keeps our blood sugar levels in check. Along with that, the Wolf Diet relies heavily on fat and protein with very little emphasis on fruits and vegetables. All of our micronutrients are housed within the colourful varieties of fresh produce. By eliminating leafy greens on such a grand scale, you need to question where you would otherwise get your vitamins from.
While famous Banter Tim Noakes agrees with Theron that eating more like the carnivore mammals is beneficial for our health, it’s too early to say exactly how following the Wolf Diet will affect our bodies. Theron experiences tremendous success on his diet and having completed a marathon with nothing more than sips of water, attests to that fact. But it remains a case of limited proof.
Perhaps some people do fare better on eating much less than the standard three main meals per day, but dietary requirements and preferences will always be individualistic. And until more comprehensive studies are done to show the health benefits of eating according to the Wolf Diet, we trust that eating when you’re hungry and choosing foods that nourish is the best way to feed a healthy mind and body.
And remember, always chat to your doctor or a registered dietician before making any radical changes to your diet.