Food & Drink Magazine

How Do We Restrain Our Inner Caveman?

By Gjosefsberg @gjosefsberg
Captain Caveman???

We Have Met The Enemy And They Are Adorable!

As I mentioned in the last couple of posts from this series, one of the main issues with staying healthy is dealing with our inner caveman.  Evolution has programmed us to seek food and minimize physical exertion.  These were very good survival tactics in a world of scarcity, but they’re no longer so effective in a world of abundance (which, if you’re reading this blog) you’re likely living in.  So how do we merge these two needs?  How do we manage the primal needs for food with our modern desire to be healthy?

First, let’s recognize a few things about Grok, our inner caveman:

  • He’s very short termed – Grok doesn’t think about next week or even tomorrow.  Grok mostly thinks about right now.
  • He doesn’t make complicated plans – Grok didn’t think about steps 2 through 20.  He thought about the very next thing he needed to do to survive and that’s about it.
  • He’s stupid – Actually, it’s probably fairer to say that he’s uneducated.  Since he lacks higher brain functions, Grok mainly relies on instincts and urges.  Not a bad thing when you’re being chased by a saber-toothed tiger…
  • Grok has a basic pyramid of needs – Specifically, Grok needs water, food, sleep and procreation in that order.
  • Grok has no memory – He can’t remember what happened yesterday or the day before.  Grok has a very limited time horizon both in the past and looking forward to the future.

Essentially, Grok is a 2 year old child.  Yes, Grok is a bit (a lot!) more interested in procreation than a 2 year old, but otherwise they’re very similar.  In fact, this comparison is the key to how we’re going to deal with Grok.  Because we’re not going to tame our inner caveman by yelling at him.  Instead, we’re going to do it by becoming good parents.  We’re going to:

  • Convince him that healthy = good
  • Convince him that unhealthy = bad
  • Distract him with fun activities
  • Remove unhealthy temptations
  • Learn to ignore his temper tantrums

Just like we would with a baby.

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