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What is The Wild Diet?

Posted by | September 25, 2012 | Featured, Paleo, The Wild Diet | 112 Comments
What is The Wild Diet

There’s little denying that our collective health seems doomed. Diabetes and cancer are rampant, health care costs are increasingly crippling our economy, and 8-year-old children are weighing in at 300 pounds. Clearly, something isn’t working.

We don’t need to go back millennia to witness a startling decline in health and increase in obesity. We really can just look back a generation or two.

Nan and AbelOur grandmothers knew that processed foods, namely carbohydrates like grains, starch, and sugar, make us fat.

And when our grandmothers bought food, it was usually local, organic, and free of most chemicals… Not by choice, mind you, but by default. Once upon a time, food was food.

Alas, those days have passed.

As Alfred Newman quipped, “We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.” Grim indeed.

Paleo has a PR Problem

Quite recently, “Paleo” has become synonymous with this particular set of dietary recommendations: avoid processed food, don’t be afraid of fat, and watch your carbs.

And it’s no secret that I’m a fan of Paleo – I love the people, the community, and the message.

But the word “Paleo” itself is problematic, and “Primal” isn’t much better.

Why? When newbies (or the media) hear “Paleo Diet,” they think of Barney Rubble stuffing his face with steak, binging on bacon (ok, that part might be fair), and bloodletting parties. That’s not what this is about, but it scares people away just the same.

The Paleo or Caveman Diet also sounds like a reenactment. And you don’t need to live like a caveman to eat like one.

Truth be told – my approach has always been more flexible than Paleo, certainly the idea of “popular Paleo” that seems to ignore the subject of food quality entirely. (It’s no secret that I’m a fan of pasture-raised dairy and even enjoy sprouted grains and legumes when I’m in the mood.)

That’s why I refer to my nutritional approach as “The Wild Diet.”

How Is The Wild Diet Different Than Paleo?

Simply, The Wild Diet suggests that we take a deep breath and start eating real food again. It urges you to eat the highest quality food you can find and afford.

We once had access to an immense variety of seasonal foods from small, local sources. Now we have access to very few varieties of very few foods from a massive industrial system often thousands of miles from where we live.

It’s important to note the few staples of the Standard American Diet – namely corn, wheat, and soy – are not produced in such massive quantities because they’re healthy. They’re produced because they make money for Big Food.

Modern food manufacturers have overwhelmed grocery store shelves with foods that are nutrient poor, rotten, spoiled, dead, old, and contaminated with antibiotics, chemicals, and growth hormones.

Essentially, we went from eating nothing but Wild foods to subsisting on the equivalent of human dog kibble.

You never see a fat wolf in the wild eating it’s natural diet. As humans, it’s time to get back to our roots.

GMO’s are creepy, artificial flavors are horrifying, and selective breeding has unleashed some freakish foodstuffs upon the general public. If selective breeding can do this to a wolf, imagine what they can do to a tomato.

Selective breeding at work.

Monoculture is raping the land, generating obscene wealth for a select few, and producing “foods” that make us fat and sick. We need to return to a system that works with the land, with nature, and with our own physiology and spirit.

Sure, it takes work to make (or find) fresh, wild, natural food these days. But the benefits for the health of our bodies and the land we inhabit are undeniable.

Here’s a small example of what you eat when you don’t pay attention…

  • Think you’re better off eating foods with “natural flavor”? Chew on this: secretions from the anal glands of beavers produce a bitter, smelly, orange-brown substance known as castoreum that is used extensively in vanilla and raspberry flavoring. It’s legally labeled as “natural flavoring.” – The Wild Diet
  • This is the state of affairs when you trust food manufacturers, my friends. I hope you like beaver butt.

The Wild Diet is a Paradigm for Making Healthy Decisions

The Wild Diet is not a dietary bootcamp; it is a template for making healthy eating and lifestyle decisions. But as a rule, the closer you can get to eating plants and animals that would thrive in their wild and natural habitat, the better.

Eat plants and animals that were recently alive and well. Heirloom and heritage plants and animals are in themselves healthier as a result more nutritious then their industrial counterparts. Imagine grain is expensive, hard physical work is necessary, and sweets are a treat.

And don’t be afraid to get some dirt under your fingernails. It’s good for you.

This is what eating what The Wild Diet looks like:


Get step-by-step meal plans to burn fat, improve performance, and eat outrageously well: http://bit.ly/30daymeals

Praise for The Wild Diet

“A word of caution: Everything you think you know about diet and exercise is probably wrong. It’s time to change your relationship to fat, whole grains, sugar, the pizza delivery guy, and even your treadmill. The Wild Diet flies in the face of the outdated advice touted by health and wellness “experts,” and gives you real-life strategies to lose fat and get fit as quickly as possible. In a sea of marketing hype, Abel James is a powerful and authentic voice that speaks the truth.”

-Jonathan Bailor New York Times bestselling author of The Calorie Myth

“If you’ve been yo-yo dieting and surviving on prepackaged ‘health foods’ with little or no results, you owe it to yourself to read The Wild Diet. Abel James shows you how to optimize your workout, diet, and habits to take your health back into your own hands. Abel rocks a chiseled 6 pack and makes it look easy. As the owner of a 1-pack, I marvel at his lean body mass!”

-Sara Gottfried, M.D. New York Times bestselling author of The Hormone Cure

“In The Wild Diet, Abel shatters conventional wisdom and gives us the truth about what it takes to be lean and healthy without obsessing about what we eat. There’s a reason Abel’s Fat Burning Man show has become #1 in 8 countries and I have no doubt that The Wild Diet will be just as well received. Abel’s message is simple, pragmatic, and can get you lasting results in less time and with less effort than you’d probably expect.”

-Yuri Elkaim New York Times bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet

“The Wild Diet stands out as a flexible, enjoyable approach to weight loss that you can easily cater to your individual needs and goals—a key factor in your ability to make lasting changes. Abel’s research and personal health-hacking have culminated in a simple, comprehensive program that works for just about everyone.”

-Chris Kresser, M.S., Lac New York Times bestselling author of The Paleo Cure

“Food is medicine, and The Wild Diet’s menu is one of the most nutritionally-dense ‘medicine cabinets’ out there. Abel has done his research, and his book shows you how to apply it to your life in a very realistic way. This book will change the way you look at food and exercise. More importantly, this book can help you take control of your life.”

-Terry Wahls, M.D. author of The Wahls Protocol

“Abel James walks his talk. He gives the health movement a personal voice that is fresh, approachable, and knowledgeable. In his book, The Wild Diet, Abel shares his own journey losing 20 pounds in 40 days and shows you how to do the same. By focusing on not just what you eat, but how you eat it, Abel gives a unique perspective on how to think about our diet.”

-Alan Christianson, NMD author of The Adrenal Reset Diet

“This isn’t your typical diet book. Abel doesn’t tell you to stop loving food, to give up chocolate, or to completely slash entire food groups. Instead, The Wild Diet shows you how to lose fat while satisfying your personal cravings. (Yeah, there are some yummy recipes in there– even desserts!) This is so important because, like everything else in life, change is inevitable—and this is one dogma that easily adapt to your body’s needs.”

-Alexandra Jamieson Health coach, chef, and author of Women, Food & Desire

“When I found myself overweight and struggling with my health despite doing my best to follow all the current dietary dogma of the day, I started seeking some alternatives. Somehow I landed on a podcast called “The Fat Burning Man Show.” The host, Abel James, was telling his story and it sounded like he had peaked at my diary. Everything he spoke about resonated with me. I began incorporating the principals of The Wild Diet into my own life and fifty pounds later, I’m a different man.

When I reached out to Abel to say “thanks for the great info” I got more than just “you’re welcome.” I made a new friend. I can tell you that Abel is the real deal. He lives The Wild Diet. The Wild Diet isn’t the latest fad diet book designed to line the author’s pockets only to regurgitate the same old, tired eat less and exercise more mantra. It’s a comprehensive, no nonsense guide to healthy living. It’s packed full of common sense that our grandparents or great-grandparents knew but somehow we’ve forgotten. Abel has re-discovered these truths and he shares them all right here in this book… plus more.“

– Denny Hemingson award-winning Musical Director of the Tim McGraw Band

“Abel James gives actionable steps to reverse obesity, disease, and low-energy problems by healing the body with delicious food and quick, effective workouts. Speaking as a busy mom, these recipes not only taste great, but can help the whole family get fit as a fiddle!”

– Katie author of Wellness Mama Cookbook

Now Available: Grab Your Hardcover Of The Wild Diet Today!

The hardcover edition of The Wild Diet is now available at all major retailers. Don’t forget to leave a review after you finish the book to help me spread the word! Thanks, you rock!

Wild Diet Book

Here is where you can grab your copy:


Discover how to drop fat with chocolate, bacon, and cheesecake. Plus: learn the 3 worst foods you should NEVER eat and the 7 best exercises for rapid fat loss. Click below to to claim your FREE gift ($17 value)!



  • Dr. Dan Egan says:

    Reminding folks that there’s quite a bit of flexibility within the confines of the paleo/primal/wild diet template is a good idea. You don’t have to eat a pound of meat every day if you’re body doesn’t roll with that. Lots of different “versions” of a “real food” diet can be healthy, of course. I appreciate the approach you’ve outlined here.

    P.S. I’ve been enjoying your podcasts.

    • Abel James says:

      Thanks Doc! Flexibility is essential for making this work as a lifestyle. Glad you dig the show!

    • PSL says:

      I was considering a paleo type diet – really love the emphasis on unprocessed food. I am concerned. Reading a lot on the connection between raised levels of IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor) when eating meat and poultry and long-term health problems – prostate cancer, reduced fertility, etc. Will switching to grass-fed meat prevent the elevation of IGF-1 in the bloodstream?

      • Herve says:

        Whilst there are some real concern about the effect of meat and dairies on IGF-1 blood levels, not many of those studies seem to do a distinction between wild, non-wild grass-fed and grain-fed cattle, and the effect of a proper lifestock diet on the IGF content of the meat.
        Also, there is the usual correlation problem:
        Meat high in IGF-1 high blood level of IGF-1
        High blood level of IGF-1 increased risk of cancer
        But does that mean
        Meat high in IGF-1 => increased risk of cancer ?
        I’m not sure. It could be that we have
        Diet high in industrial meat => high level of chemicals (including synthetic growth hormones) => increased risk of cancer => high blood IGF-1 (as you’d need it for the tumor to grow).

        • Hugo says:

          i think you´re rigth, i dont think that 100 years before the meat industry started, the people got sick of cancer, like nowadays.

  • dogtravelpro says:

    Agreed, there is flexibility in the caveman/paleo way of eating. Just wish I could convince my family to give up those white carbs.

  • James Bascom says:

    Who’s the beautiful lady next to you? She looks like she’s been eating real food for 90 years! By the way, I’ve heard from reliable sources you are making great progress with your family. There are a few holdouts but they’re paying attention and asking good questions. Keep doing what you’re doing! Banjo Jim

  • Fi says:

    I’ve lost count of the number of times people have said, as I pour cream into my coffee “but that’s not paleo!” I’m with you – dairy fiend here too. Cheese for lunch – can’t wait 😉

    And you’re also right about the PR problem. I think one other problem is that we’re all so into eating this way, and so passionate about it, that we probably come across like a bunch of preach-y obsessive nutters! Add that to the fact that some of the paleo ideas (eg. high fat, no grains) go against conventional wisdom, I think some people find it hard to swallow.

    • Abel James says:

      Hi Fi,
      Thanks for stopping by. “But that’s not Paleo!!!” is one of the more annoying phrases I’ve ever heard, I agree. Can you imagine life without double-cream Brie? I can’t.

      You’re right – it’s difficult enough for people to accept the style of eating, let alone the more cultish (and optional) aspects of Paleo. The truth is that almost everyone can benefit, so we need to do our best not to scare people off!


      • Lish W says:

        I have just ordered your info..very excited and feel great eating according to your lifestyle. Thank you and keep the good info coming!

      • Or 5-year-aged gouda! Life would not be worth living 😉

      • Kathy says:

        Can I imagine a world without double-cream brie? Yes, but only if it’s TRIPLE-cream brie!!!

      • Corby says:

        I am a recent convert, after being in Spain for nine months this year, eating Hi Fat/Hi Protein, and going from 240 lbs to 190 lbs.
        I cook with a mixture of butter and oil, cream My coffee, and eat at least 8 ounces of cheese a day as a snack. I shut the mouths of these judgmental, holier-than-Thou, Orthodox-Paleos with this:
        “Do You think that all of Our paleolithic ancestors lived in the same cave village? No, as archaeology has proven, They were spread out around the world. Just as one group of people, in today’s world, eat a specific diet style that differs from another group, the “cave people” were the same way. In other words, does this entire world eat an Asian diet? No. We all have Our way of eating. If I am not eating grain, legumes, processed food, beaver butt-enhanced food, margarine, etc… then I am doing the right thing. You are dismissed.”
        Yes, I get on a high-horse when “attacked”. hahahaha

    • Herve says:

      evolution didn’t stop at the paleolithic :-)
      many of us have the gene to digest dairies. It’s also a question of dose.

    • I found this place a while back and would like to share how I greatly benefited from following Abel’s diet. Abel James is one of the most influential folks in my life for sure. Him and Cisson have really changed the way I look at health and nutrition and even exercising. I realized that I no longer have to run 10 miles a day to be healthy. It is more important what I put into my body. http://www.facialfeminizationsurgeons.com was how I first found Abel James’ wonderful work. A lot of doctors, ffs experts and non-mainstream health nutritionists have ascribed to a lot of Abel James’ ideas and I would say that their patients are lucky to have them, much like I am lucky to have found Abel.

      Thanks a lot Abel, for what you have done and I really appreciate your courage in sharing these concepts with the world, despite all the contrary information out there. I look younger, I feel younger, I feel like I have the perfect combination of feminized and masculine traits that we all inherently possess. I am not sure where I would be if it wasn’t for Abel…

  • Marcus Manno says:

    Thank you so much for all your hard work! You are an inspiration to me. I am just beginning my journey towards a healthier lifestyle (I’m a 40-year-old, 5′-9″, 261 lb [was 270 lbs last week] father or two little girls), and your podcasts, blogs, and writings are drastically improving my level of dietary education. After only 1 week of just removing obvious sources of wheat and beginning to curb my addiction to sugar, I’ve lost 9 lbs and have had a 180 degree (or at least it feels that way) turn-around in my digestive health. I’m not even using Organics or strict Paleo yet! My mental fog is lifting, I’m resting better with the same amount of sleep (4-7 hours/night), and my energy levels are through the roof (and everyone around me is noticing the change BTW). Did I mention I’ve only been doing this for a week? =) Best of all, I am eating like a King and I am NEVER hungry! Why the heck did it take us so long to come full circle?

    Keep up the Great work man!

    • Abel James says:

      Wow, 9 pounds in a week! That’s not too shabby, Marcus. I’m so glad you’re getting value out of the show. Eating real food just works. And being full instead of hungry all the time? That’s the cat’s pajamas. Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help you along the way.


  • […] message even more accessible to a lot of people which is why he created a brand new e-book entitled The Wild Diet. Listen in as Jimmy and Abel talk about this “wild” philosophy and why it is less […]

  • Luke Timms says:

    I’m more of a fan of ‘Real Food diet’ but I don’t think it matters what its called, there will always be some bitching from someone who thinks its a fad or has flaws. You know what, the Robb Wolf mentality is one I use, try it for 30 days, if you don’t see any improvements then tell me I’m wrong.

    I also worry that with too many names the point of it all gets lost between the cracks; oh its like the ‘Paleo Diet’ except we can eat dairy, oh its like the ‘Real Food Diet’ except we allow treat meals. Perhaps it doesn’t need a name, perhaps that’s half of the problem, I now say to people ‘I don’t eat that, I eat meat, fish, veg and fruit as a treat’ they ask ‘what diet is that?’ and rather than saying ‘oh its a modified Paleo diet’ I just say ‘well it’s not a diet, diets are labelled temporary, I’ve been eating this way for ages now and its more just how I eat, try it, you might like it’ then if they’re keen for more info I point them to Robb Wolf, you, Mark Sissons etc.

    Keep up the good work and I really appreciate your podcast, don’t tell Robb Wolf but I find it far more approachable as he sometimes goes into WAAAAY too much detail and my mind wanders, I’m not a simple minded person but on my commute into work I need something more approachable.


  • Lynn says:

    The funny thing is, when I read this, I thought, “isn’t this obvious? Duh, minimize sugar, processed foods, and carbs and add more fruit and veggies.” But I guess its not obvious for some. Many people are trained to think that what is offered to them as meals by stores and restaurants are actually nutritious. Especially if they use the word “healthy” or “natural” or whatever the current buzz word is. I guess Im lucky that my parents were raised on farms with chickens, eggs and gardens in the backyards (untainted by food manufacturing) and that we grew up gardening and going to the butcher for our meat. My grandmother worked out to Jack Lalane and swam in her pool til she was in her 90’s.

    I had exposure at an early age to vegetarianism, juicing and other healthy (or nowadays, “alternative”) practices. I feel sad for the children growing up with parents who did not have this nutritional foundation and are confused manipulated by confusing and mixed messages about food, fitness, meds and health.

  • Ralph says:

    Entertained and educated. Downloaded all available episodes of your podcast recently and listened to them all one-by-one in the car. I made a contribution to the upkeep of the show because I see real value in what you and your guests have to say. Great show and great informed guests providing fantastic information. Love it. Waiting for the next episode now. waiting…waiting ..waiting..

  • Spar says:

    Hi James,

    What format is your book in? Is that a PDF only?

  • dan wenzel says:

    Mr James!

    First off, thanks for the podcast you put out, “the Fat Burning Man” keeps my car rides, cardio, and weight lifting sessions full of awesome information, research, and banter.
    Second, I would like to give a quick background of myself. I am 23 years old living in northern Michigan (Boyne city). I work as a personal trainer and manage at a gym and am avidly researching more about nutrition and fitness, as well as sharing ideas in classes and hope to be in med school at U of M in the near future.

    Third, in April of 2011 I was 305 lb, had smoked cigarettes for 6 years, and was in catastrophic health. At 21 years old, my risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer was high to say the least. I decided to follow a high carb low fat diet rich in fruit, vegetables, lean protein, and no processed food or liquids. No candy, no soda, only raw natural foods.. just low fat. In 8 months I was down 80 lbs, and lost 40 more in the following year. I seemed to be stuck at my new weight, and am very interested in cutting more in preperation for a natural fitness show. I believe my body fat % to be upwards of 12-14%. My weight before trying ketosis was 179 and am 5’10”.

    Two months ago I decided to try nutritional ketosis. I found out about it while stumbling upon Dr. Peter Attia’s eatingacademy.com . Shortly after I heard “The Fat Burning Man”. After 5 solid weeks of approximently 75/25 fat/protein ratio, and under 25g of carbs a day, I have gained approximently 13 pounds. I feel like I have grown slightly in muscle and strength, and have tested numerous times and AM in ketosis according to test strips. My food consists of egg yolks/grass fed beef and cheese in the morning, “bulletproof” coffee, chicken wings and legs, steak, green veggies, nuts, avacados, cheese, and copious amounts of coconut oil, olive oil, and grass fed butter. I seem to be storing a bit of weight in the stomach and butt. Vascularity in arms and shoulders remains the same, but am wondering if you can offer any advice or tips. I follow your himalayan sea salt, egg yolks and grass fed beef, veggies cooked in fat/butter/coconut oil, and eat about 2-5 times per day, only when hungry. I do 30-45 mins of cardio 5-7 times per week, high intensity moderate – heavy interval weight training 5 days a week. I fear the big “200” and am at 191 right now. I am probably over-thinking it and haven’t given it as much time as I need to become “keto adapted”. If you wanted to talk about me in your podcast I would be absolutely ecstatic about it, and even happier to answer more questions if your busy self had any. But if possible I would appreciate any tips you may have, and am aware of my selfishness of this post. Truly appreciate all you do for the paleo movement, and am starting to feel as good as you . Lifts are getting better, endless energy, yet storing weight.
    From one caveman to another, thanks.

    • Abel James says:

      Hi Dan,
      Wow, what a journey! If you want to stick with nutritional ketosis, I’d reach out to Jimmy Moore directly. I’m sure he’d be happy to hear from you!

      But if you got down to 179, why did you go for ketosis? It sounds like you were in a pretty good spot. Cycling carbs might be something that’ll help you slim down – I’m training a bodybuilder for a contest right now and he’s killing it – down to 6% body fat with 5 weeks left.

      So many approaches – it’s all about what works best for your body, your goals, and your circumstance.

      Give a shout and let me know how I can help!

  • Jeff says:

    Love the podcast; reading the book. It’s great that you have so many people/experts on who have somewhat varying opinions. But in trying to eat well (I still don’t know whether to call it Paleo or Wild or Clean…) my head is spinning. Every time I feel like I’m on a solid track, something I hear on your podcast throws me for a loop. I’m still really confused on starches, and if some grains are necessary. I’m 33 – 6’1″ 195. In good shape, but I’d like to add muscle and tone up more. Primarily, I just want to be healthy and that’s such a moving target when I try to listen to each expert you have on. A Clarity podcast would be amazing. Just taking a second to say, ok, you’ve heard so many things, here’s what I think today. – Again, awesome show. Thanks for all the info, even if it can be overload!!

    • Abel James says:

      Hey Jeff, I hear you. That’s a great idea for a podcast! Maybe I’ll put out a “clarity” show soon. But to answer at least one of your questions, grains are never “necessary.” Wild plants and animals are. :)

  • Mer P says:

    I’m right about to click “buy” on this book (ben greenfield directed me here BTW), but if you even spend part of a chapter telling me I can’t have organic fine wine every so often or that i can drink my hubsters home brew on holidays I will have to quit you :) I agree with all the principles, but I know this is going to be ROUGH (I have a deep and passionate love affair with sugar and I know the white beast will be coming calling at several junctures). Glad there is a podcast to help with the other aspects of daily living. Okay, Let’s go!

  • Suzanne Shear says:

    This looks healthy and a diet I can live with. But what do you suggest for when you are not at home and faced with a lot of food temptations like at someone’s home for dinner? Thanks Suzanne

  • […] The Wild Diet by Abel James of FatBurningMan.com ($17) […]

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  • Hey Abel,

    I was actually referred to you and your site by Antonio Centeno. Had a conversation with him about what I’m doing with my website and your name came up as he was thinking of people in the Austin area that I could get in touch with.

    I’ve looked over your website and everything looks good man! I’ll have to catch up on the podcasts one of these days, but I’ll get there. I have to disclose up front that I’m not a fan of paleo (at least in the pure sense of the word), as it seems to unnecessarily place quite of bit of restrictions on food choice and it leads people to label food as “good” and “bad”, or view foods as black and white with no grey area. It’s more about context. The one line I’m referring to specifically is “Our grandmothers knew that processed foods, namely carbohydrates like grains, starch, and sugar, make us fat.” It’s a broad statement and doesn’t account other factors that can contribute to fat gain. Is it possible that grains, starches, and sugar can cause fat gain? Absolutely, but only in the context of excess consumption. When consumed in moderation, there’s typically no issues and can be a part of a fat loss regiment. I know I’m picking on just that one quote, as I’m sure there is more to the story, but it’s statements like those that make me raise my eyebrow. :)

    However, I’m glad to see that in your approach there’s a bit of flexibility, and I think that’s the idea that gets lost when someone goes to one extreme with a diet philosophy, as I’ve seen with some paleo enthusiasts. Without the flexibility, it’s simply not realistic and sustainable for the majority of people, which is why it turns many away.

    Though I might have my disagreements, I always have my ears/eyes open and enjoy learning more. Would like to get your feedback particularly on the quote above and any other insight you might have as far as how sustainable this would be for a business professional whose lifestyle is fast paced and involves restaurant outings.

    Thanks Abel, keep up the good work!


    • Mer P says:

      So I’m 20 days clean…ha, i mean 20 days into this diet and I wanted to post an update. Aside from not giving up wine (thanks Abel! now I really can’t quit you), I started this with going a little more severe towards paleo the first week and then worked back in dairy (which I ADORE, my homemade organic greek yogurt makes me feel like aphrodite) and because I also love legumes, I plan on bringing them in occasionally after my first 30 days are up to see how my body deals with them. I’m AMAZED that fruit now tastes like the sweetest candy I’ve ever eated, and most cravings have abated 90% of the time.

      What I’m still struggling with is 1) my extreme dislike of the flavors of coconut and bacon (I know, what carnivore dislikes bacon?!) and its frequent usage in a primal type of cooking and 2) how to fuel my workouts since I’m working towards running a faster 3-6k and no longer focusing on endurance. I’ll apologize also, as I’m still trying to catch up on podcasts and hoping some of the answers lie there! Overall I’m pretty happy that I’ve headed down this path, it has been an increase in grocery costs for sure, but I feel…fresher and an adrenaline rush each time I take on a recipe that I know will not involve opening a package that has more than 2 ingredients on it!! Thank you.

      • Abel James says:

        Hi Richard,
        Thanks so much for the update. Dislike for BACON?!? My goodness. Well, things like bacon and coconut oil are easy to swap out for other fats (grassfed butter, macadamia, avocado, olive oil, other animal fats, etc.)

        Yes, please listen to the shows. I just posted show number 65 – tons of info that will clear up ever question above. :)

  • […] author of “The Wild Diet, ” Abel brings ancestral, Paleo, and real food principles to the mainstream. Abel has conducted […]

  • Tales of 2 says:

    […] is Paleo you ask?  Well it is too much to write so here is a great site that I bought an ebook from and he calls Paleo the Wild […]

  • Catherine says:

    Hi! So, in a month, im turning 18. I know for sure im going to be drinking nothing but water, but since youve made a great point about all the GMO’s in our foods, what would you consider to be real food (othere then things in an organic super market)?

    • Emily Dewey says:

      The term “real food” generally means anything that doesn’t come in a box, bag, or package! The more ingredients on the labe, the less “real” it is! :)
      – Emily, FBM Team Coach

  • agenba says:

    What is the format of the Wild Diet ebook ? Is it just a pdf (not really interesting for me) or something more convenient for reading on a ereader (epub, for example interesting for me) ? IThanks a lot

  • […] For more information on real food check out The Wild Diet. […]

  • […] Abel James. Abel is the proprietor of the wonderful website Fat Burning Man, author of the ebook The Wild Diet, and the host of the wildly popular podcast The Fat-Burning Man Show, and is here to tell us about […]

  • […] and keep the list short, 1-3 priorities will suffice.  It’s a strategy that was extolled by Abel James in a recent podcast and one that I began to implement this past week.  Make the scope of them […]

  • Rambo says:

    Buenos Dias Abelino!
    You are a Fountain Of Information!
    Your Podcast are an excellent source of good credible information
    I have 3 weeks of Sobriety from the chains of industrialized, processed,
    Contaminated,multi- ingredient foodstuffs!!!,!!,
    Let me first say that after years of chronic acid reflux and heart burn,
    And all kinds of meds and snake oils…. I have ZERO HEART BURN!!!!!!!
    And i credit that to you and my new lifestyle…. I fired my Doctor !!!! hahahahahha!!
    Again Thanks your doing an Awesome job , helping people undestand the conventional wisdom is not wise, amen!

  • Ella says:

    Is unrefined sugar also not allowed in your Wild diet?

  • […] The Wild Diet by Abel James of FatBurningMan.com ($17) […]

  • […] reading Abel James‘ book “Wild Diet” now. It’s very interesting and educational. I’m hoping to take lots of good […]

  • […] Abel James: I could spend a long time gushing about how great this guy is. The Fat Burning Man Show has opened my eyes to so many intelligent and motivational people, as well as Abel himself. I love his back story, approach to advertising (or lack of), and urge you to check out The Wild Diet. […]

  • […] author of “The Wild Diet, ” Abel brings ancestral, Paleo, and real food principles to the mainstream. Abel has conducted […]

  • Mitchell says:

    I know you personally eat a diet high in good fats but I was wondering what you thought about the fact that DR Loren Cordain says lots of lean meats which are high in protein are best. And then you have people like Colin Campbell says too much animal protein is problematic and linked to degenerative diseases. Have you ever covered that topic and similarly the research of Dean Ornish and Mcdougall?

    • Emily Dewey says:

      Awesome question Mitchell. I think Cordain’s stance on lean meats was from his 1st version of his book – and it’s a good rule to go by though if you don’t know where your meat is sourced from. Stay tuned for a show that will dig into Campbell’s research like WOAH… In the mean time, check this out: http://rawfoodsos.com/the-china-study/ – Emily, FBM Team

  • Bobby says:

    It appears as this is not a diet for a vegetarian. Is this correct? If a vegetarian can do this diet how would they?

    • Emily Dewey says:

      It can certainly be adapted for vegetarians. The main tenet of a Wild Diet is just eating real, whole, unprocessed foods. Sounds good for anyone and everyone right?! 😉 – Emily, FBM Team

  • Janet says:

    Hi Able,
    Just recently found your site, very interesting and will try. Have you heard/read Food over Medicine? Would be interested in hearing your thoughts. No dairy, coconut is Bad???? This all gets sooo confusing.

    • Emily Dewey says:

      Haven’t read that one yet, but it certainly looks good! Conventional dairy is a good idea to avoid. If you can tolerate it without any digestive issues, raw organic/grass-fed dairy can be quite delicious :) – Emily, FBM Team

  • […] of me looking for an appropriate thread. Freaking made me laugh so wanted to post it somewhere. http://www.fatburningman.com/what-is-the-wild-diet/ Attachments Pending […]

  • Stan Slowcoach says:

    I’m so confused – don’t eat fat/eat fat. Eat carbs/don’t eat carbs. Don’t eat meat/eat meat. Cholesterol is bad/cholesterol is good/no – there’s good and bad cholesterol. Eat six pieces of friut a day/no fructose makes you fat. Saturated fats are the devil/no they aren’t, polyunsaturates are the devil. Eat breakfast/don’t eat breakfast. Carb-backload/No put yourself in Ketosis. This study/that study. This expert/that expert. Read this new book, follow this new program, diet or food plan, take this pill or supplement and swallow these good bacteria. Exercise more/exerise less. Do cardio till you pass out/no rock hard abs in just 6o seconds a day with doctor sixpack’s ab-blaster VXii. Make a raw egg and liver in a smoothie (yikes! NOooo) and drink it right out of the blender. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then someones says – “just eat real food. We’ve been eating it for 2 million years and we are still here”. Holy smokes it can’t be that simple…. can it?

    • Emily Dewey says:

      I know it’s confusing Stan! The most important factor is to adjust according to what works best for your body. The idea of all of these podcast, books etc., are to give you ideas and options to test out and see what your body responds best to. No one else can be the “guru” of your body, don’t forget that! – Emily, FBM Team

  • Kristina says:

    Hi, there.

    I’m have been addicted to the paleo life for about two months now. I just bought the Fat-Burning Chef and the recipes are just gorgeous (I’m a pro chef). I’ll be trying each and every one of them in the next few weeks. My personal success has been about 20 pounds off me in two months. Thankfully your delicious recipes will keep me on the right track.

    Thanks for being here!

    • Nancy Jane says:

      Just have a quick question is there a quick link I can save to my favorites for the Quick start coaching video, I like to listen to it on Mondays to keep me motivated, and I always hear something new when I listen.

  • Andrew says:

    Hi Abel
    I just thought I would let you know that the Anchor brand of butter in the UK is now not from New Zealand, so can no longer be relied on to be from grass fed cows all year round. It looks like we are left with Kerrigold from Ireland to guarantee year round grass fed dairy. Do you know if butter from Normandy is grass fed all year round? Unsalted Normandy butter tastes good, so I think it might be solely from grass fed cows, but you can never be sure.
    Keep up the good work.

  • Gisele says:

    I didn’t have the time to skim through the rest of the comments, but I just have to complain a little… I clicked on your video, as it is said that you’ll show exactly how you lost your weight. After 10 minutes of watching I didn’t learn anything except that you want the viewers to purchase your program for a limited time only price. So if it’s a marketing video then please state so, because now I just clicked to learn something concrete, which I didn’t.

  • […] second. The last time I did something for 27 days straight that was out of the norm was called the Wild Diet.  And that’s technically […]

  • Patrick says:

    If I am allergic to butter, what are the best fats to load up on to keep my ratios in fat burning mode and still keep my omegas balanced?

  • mike says:

    I am a longtime fan of yours and Mark Sisson’s. I have quit sugar, bread, rice, potatoes, corn, legumes, etc. I enjoy my wild diet foods, don’t get bored, but I can’t avoid wine, scotch and beer. I have put 10 pounds back on frim where I was 2 years ago.
    Any suggestions?

  • […] on a mission to dispel all the old nutrition myths and make healthy eating as simple as pie. His wild diet is a simple plan anyone can follow, and his weekly Fat-Burning Man podcast features experts and […]

  • Sarah Preston says:

    Hi Abel,
    I don’t know where to post this question. I am interested in eating a loosely based paleo diet. I know there are a lot of benefits to vinegar and balsamic vinegar, but what about flavored balsamic vinegar? For example I have some fig flavored balsamic vinegar and I’m just wondering if this would be considered paleo friendly or what impact it might have. Sorry if you posted about this elsewhere! Love your podcasts, they keep me going during workouts!

  • […] What is The Wild Diet? – Fat-Burning Man by Abel James … – “A word of caution: Everything you think you know about diet and exercise is probably wrong. It’s time to change your relationship to fat, whole grains, sugar …… […]

  • Herve says:

    I’m a great fan of eating wild food. In fact that is what I suggest we would do, as we have evolved on a wild diet until relatively recently.

    The Paleo approach is excellent as well, but I think people who think it’s all about steak and bacon have it wrong. The latest hypothesis in paleoantropology is that before we knew how to hunt we started as scavengers, following lion packs and getting their already-hunted leftovers.

    In that context, we would have, for a consistent part of our evolution, eaten bone marrow, brain fat and collagen-rich ribs. That might explain why we can’t make essential fatty acids and vitamin C.

    New actualistic data on the ecology and energetics of hominin scavenging opportunitie

  • Rachael T says:


    How goes it? I learned about you from Lewis Howe’s School of Greatness Podcast. Loved your interview with him and I’m super excited for your new book.

    I’ve started being on a Paleo diet nearly 4 years ago and as I’ve improved in my physical training, I’m also looking for ways to improve my fuel consumption. You briefly talked about ketogenic diet & I’m intrigued on how I can leverage that as I’m becoming more and more serious in my oly lifting training.

    Thank you so much for writing your book and sharing your story! Looking forward to learning from your work.

    • Hailee Saenz says:

      Rachael, I am happy that you found this website, and I am even happier that you found it from Lewis Howe’s School of Greatness podcast. I think that that is a wonderful podcast and it was one of the ways in which I learned about how to honor one’s self and one’s emotions, and even one’s commitments. Personally, I found this the blog http://www.otoplastysanantonio.com, run by a very sophisticated ear pinning surgeon in San Antonio. I didn’t think that the people in the profession of otoplasty would care about the healthy, wild diet, but boy was I wrong. As an individual who has struggled with weight for many years, I am grateful for Abel for three reasons.

      1. The Wild Diet helped me lose 22 pounds in 4 months.
      2. I sleep better on the wild diet. I used to have insomnia, but now, I can sleep with relative ease.
      3. My eyes are brighter. This could be tied in to number two, as with less sleep, the less vibrant I looked. But I now look better, my eyes have the twinkle I’ve always wanted and I feel so much more youthful.

      All in all, with the help of Abel James, my appearance has improved dramatically and I would like to thank him and his team (if he has one) for all the work put into this site and show. The content is so rich. I am happy to be here and would not take advice from any other health guru without first consulting the wild diet.

  • […] habits, and have discovered a wealth of knowledge from sources reminiscent of BulletProof and Fat-Burning Man. These different well being advocates use innovative expertise and science that can assist you hack […]

  • Zachary says:

    Hey Abel. Just discovered your podcast and after listening to a fee episodes decided to buy your book. So far I’m really liking it. Personally I am looking forward to having energy again and not feeling crappy all the time (I’m not overweight so luckily font have that worry).

    I have a question for you; So I have your book, could I get the audio book so I can listen when my eyes aren’t free? If there is some reason this wouldn’t work excuse my ignorance. Can provide proof of purchase too :)

  • Lindsay says:

    Hi Abel! I just bought your audiobook on iTunes and I can’t find the PDF that goes with it! Can you (or anyone reading this) point me in the right direction? Thanks!

  • Joe Lewis says:

    Mr. James,

    I just bought your ebook and am reading it….it sounds good, to good to be true. I’m on a low-carb diet now, I need to shed 20-30 pounds and am eating only about 10-20 grams of net carbs a day. The diet is going good, I don’t mind it too much but it seems like the Wild Diet incorporates a lot of carbs and this worries me – but it sounds awesome! What do you think about low-carb diets vs your wild diet?



  • Bridgette says:

    Listened to your whole book in one day on Audible. Loved it, didn’t want it to end! Great info.

  • Great book! Read it today. Always looking for other resources to use with my patients and when I am speaking at our national and international spine society meetings. I use many of these principles with my patients as we are dialing into what work best for them based on their unique clinical picture and physiology. Love that you included your own story of struggles as well. My story is similar and being open about it, I have found, it is a very effective tool to motivate people by reassuring them we understand their struggles. Quality of food is essential! Loved that you included information on exercise (Burpees are a favorite of mine) using HIIT principles and the section on sleep. I also love that you specifically addressed differences between men and women. This is often overlooked, but is a real factor and something that I see in my office every day. Keep up the great work. We should chat.

  • Margie says:

    Just bought the book and it is amazing – I have a question about the fast. How long do you fast until you begin eating three times a day? I would like to know if it is for 40 days or one week?
    Thank you.

  • Lisa says:

    Hi Abel!

    I’m a big fan of your podcast and I bought your Wild Diet Audiobook about a month ago. I’m eager to check out the recipes but I didn’t get a PDF or an email with a link to the recipes when I bought your book. Can you please tell me how to proceed? Thank you so much!


  • Tim Hede says:

    One has to only watch 1 episode of Life Below Zero with Glen eating his moose (fat and all) to realize we need a natural food source. We like to bend the rules when it fits into our own addictions. We have a tendency to look at food based on the insulin curve and not in the context of growth factors. Cordain is the real deal… he looks at the relationships of growth factors and hormones in dairy. Grass fed dairy still has these factors. We need to eat in a fashion that allows our body to regulate our own hormones and feedback loop. I love cream as much as the next guy, but I want my testosterone at peak levels for fat burning to take place. Eat high quality meat, vegetables, and a little fruit in season. The plains Indian before our intro is a great example as how to eat . Loren Cordain is right on target.

    • Abel James says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Tim. We ate a bit of moose growing up in NH and loved it.

      I couldn’t agree more about the high quality meat, veggies, and a bit of in-season fruit. As a dairy lover, I look forward to more research. But I think you’re right that most dairy is over-rated, especially milk and the low-fat, non-fermented varieties.

  • Dan says:

    I was just wondering, is there a difference between the Wild Diet and the Mediterranean Diet? No criticism of the Wild Diet – it looks great. I just wanted to know if the Wild Diet is as health as the Mediterranean Diet as I believe that this diet is very healthy but I like how the Wild Diet also focuses on fitness. Your thoughts would be really helpful.

  • Mike says:

    Hi Able,
    I just read “The Wild Diet” and loved it. I’ve been on a journey for the last couple of years toward many of the principles that you shared,, and I was ecstatic to find them all clearly explained in one book. I also want to thank you for giving me permission to fast during the day. I’ve always felt like I should be doing this, but I haven’t done it because it goes against all of the conventional wisdom that I had been following. However, one thing wasn’t clear to me in the book in regards to fasting. On one hand it appears that you normally eat just 3 times a day ~ your morning fatty coffee, your huge salad for lunch, and your evening feast. But on the other hand you have stated that you will eat leafy greens several times during the day. I’m confused, and I don’t know how many times a day I should be eating.

    • Abel James says:

      Hi Mike, thanks for the kind words! On most days, I’m having a big salad, veggies, or a green smoothie mid-day. Sometimes I might have something more substantial like eggs (especially if I’m on a big hike or working out). Then the big feast is in the evening. My best advice – follow your natural hunger. Some days you’ll be hungrier than others, but there’s no need to force breakfast (or any other meal) if you feel like you don’t need it. :)

  • thhq says:

    After having read your cookbook I have a few comments

    -Please do what other Primal/Paleo authors do not do: give credit where credit is due. You’ve created an interesting patchwork of Cordain, Atkins, Taubes, Lustig derived material. You reference a few articles but omit the core authors.
    -There is no semblance of a comparison of other healthy diets/lifestyles. Ancel Keys, the Okinawans and Jack LaLanne ate high carb diets and lived long healthy lives. It is very evident to me that while lowering carbs has benefits for weight loss it is not necessarily the best template for living to 100.
    -I like your focus on exercise. Most Paleo writers omit this. To me it’s the most important point. If you’re not doing the 1000 calories per day of activity Cordain estimates for ancestral, you’re just pretending to be Paleo. This level of activity is not only good for multiple health factors. It is what allows us to eat much more than moderns do, and to eat anything we can digest like omnivores should. The miracle of metabolism.

  • thhq says:

    One last point. Having lost 50 pounds counting calories, and maintaining that loss for the last 8 years by counting calories, it’s LOL funny that you would say it doesn’t work. As with the dismissal of high carb diets as unhealthy, please get off your high horse a little.

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