Dieters swear by popular 'Caveman Diet'

Albert Steed has lost 80 pounds after following the Cavement Diet for about eight months.
Albert Steed has lost 80 pounds after following the Cavement Diet for about eight months.
Steed prior to his weight loss.
Steed prior to his weight loss.
A meal that follows the Caveman Diet, prepared by Chef Drew Loesch.
A meal that follows the Caveman Diet, prepared by Chef Drew Loesch.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Recently, lots of folks in Wilmington are making their extra pounds extinct by following a unique diet plan, known as the "caveman diet".

Albert Steed is able to do chin-ups with ease, but he wasn't always so fit.

"My wife and other people wonder if someone has body snatched my mind," said Steed. "Like, who is this guy who is into health and nutrition?"

Steed says he's lost 80 pounds by following what some refer to as the Paleo Diet, or the Cavemen diet, in which participants are supposed to go "back" to basics – essentially, eating like a caveman.

The diet consists of meat, vegetables, fruit and nuts, and followers are instructed to avoid anything that is processed, such as bread and pasta.

Steed swears by it.

"When I started, I weighed 271 pounds," he said. "My current weight is 191 or 192."

The inspiration for his transformation was his family.

"I have a little boy who is four," said Steed. "I wanted to be an active parent, and be around for him and my wife, enjoy the things as a family…to go out and be able to show what it meant to be a man, to be healthy and lead a very productive and active life."

Steed found out about the diet when he started working out at CrossFit Wilmington, the gym that encourages its members not only to work out, but to get more out of their training by following the caveman lifestyle.

CrossFit holds a caveman crash course for its members where they can learn how to lose the weight and get healthy.

Candace Whiteaker attended that course, and for her, it wasn't about losing pounds -- it was about feeling better.

"I've always suffered from headaches and migraines, and since I started this, I don't have to take migraine medicine anymore," said Whiteaker, who has followed the diet for about a month.

She says it hasn't been difficult to stick to the plan, but Steed says he occasionally gives into temptation.

"I really strive for what they say is an 80 percent compliance," said Steed. "If I'm at a party or at an event and there's something that I want, I'm only going to make so many reservations and still be able to live and enjoy my life."

Steed says one of the ways he's been able to stick to the Paleo Diet is with Custom Fit Meals, a company that cooks and packages nutritious meals for buyers that allows them to eat healthy on the go.

So, WECT's Ashlea Kosikowski went to the Custom Fit kitchen in Burgaw.

There, Chef Drew Loesch showed her some easy Paleo recipes that people can cook at home in under 10 minutes.

He taught Kosikowski how to make fresh tilapia served over sautéed vegetables.

First, the fish goes in the oven.

"Put it in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how thick your fish is," said Loesch.

While it's cooking, throw the veggies in a skillet. Loesch preheated his skillet slightly, then added fresh cauliflower and kale and added some olive oil.

When it's all done, Loesch says the results should be a Paleo dinner that is pretty delicious.

He adds that it's a pretty easy diet to follow, and he should know.

"I lost about 30, 35 pounds [on the diet]," said Loesch. "That's just from changing my eating habits. I keep with the hunters, gatherers theme…try to eat a lot of fresh vegetables, healthy fats from nuts and coconut oil and things like that."

Back at CrossFit, Steed is working hard to look good at the beach -- something he thinks he can do by channeling his inner caveman.