Hacks have become very popular in the Paleo community over the last few years as people try to get even better results out of their Paleo lifestyle or simply try and expediate the process towards their goals. I for one am not a fan of many of them.

I am as curious as the next person and always open to new thoughts and ideas as to how I can improve upon my healthy lifestyle even further. I am always looking for new ideas, new foods, new exercises and new mindset tips that can help me continue my quest for continual and never ending improvement in my health and in my life. As a result I have tried many different things, including many of these ‘hacks’ as a personal experiment to see what works for me. What I have tended to find is that the ones that I have stuck with are the ones that have fit into my Paleo philosophy. Not necessarily because those are the ones that have worked the best but probably more so because those are the ones that I feel most comfortable about having a net long term benefit for me.

I have experimented with caffeine (including bulletproof coffee), with various supplements, with vibration plates for exercise, fasting, cold thermogenesis, a sun alarm and ketogenic diets. And I haven’t really stuck with many of them for any length of time because for me they just don’t feel right.

I always think of my body like a natural ecosystem, like a pristine rainforest. It has evolved over millions of years to be perfectly suited to it’s environment and has evolved to be in perfect balance so long as you give it everything it is designed to get and nothing of what it is not.

If I was to go into that pristine rainforest, what could I add to make it better?

Nothing! Not even if it was organic, or shown to have short term benefits, or scientifically proven to improve the environment (think cane toads to help manage the cane beetle). In fact even if you systematically introduced a natural, organic fertilizer into the forest it would alter the natural balance and change the very nature of the forest and impact the biodiversity.

This is the philosophy I like to use for any of these so called ‘hacks’.

Firstly I ask myself is this what I would have been exposed to as a caveman? In the case of cold thermogenesis and fasting the answer is probably yes which is why irregular intermittent fasting in particular is something that I do do from time to time.

Secondly I ask myself is this taking me closer to what I would have been exposed to as a caveman. In the case of replacing my regular alarm clock with a sun alarm that wakes me up more slowly with a full spectrum light (closer to a natural sunrise) then the answer is yes and this is something that I still use when I need to use an alarm clock.

If the answer is no to both of these questions then I tend not to stick with it because even if the short term results feel good I would rather not take the risk that I am destabilising my ecosystem long term.

I feel that most of the time when it comes to The Paleo Lifestyle, most of the results come from just doing the simple things really, really well.