Frank Vascellaro’s Remarkable Weight Loss Journey with Paleo Diet


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When it comes to diets, it appears there’s always a fresh approach or fashionable trend to strive towards weight loss. Back in 2011, Frank Vascellaro started a new diet. It’s very popular, but it’s not a fad. In fact, the entire process is ancient.

The Paleo diet is primarily focused on how our ancestors lived back in the Stone Age. He subsequently switched the clock back 10 millenniums and shared his experience upon achieving weight loss.

Frank Vascellaro’s Weight Loss – How Did He Lose 20 Pounds in One Month with Paleo Diet?

Frank Vascellaro before and after weight loss.

Frank Vascellaro before and after weight loss.
Source: WCCO

Frank Vascellaro lost a handful of pounds in the summer of 2011 during the Minnesota State Fair. Then he went back to T.J. McNiff‘s company to discuss it. There, he was weighed, measured, and asked to come into the cave.

“Because you’re basically eating like a caveman,” the fitness coach said about the diet. “It’s all meat, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.”

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McNiff follows the Paleo Diet himself, so you always feed like a caveman, relying on the food we might find harvested thousands of years ago. It is apparently helpful during a weight loss quest as well.

“The caveman didn’t have a liquor store,” Vascellaro joked. “No,” said T.J. “Nor did he have pasta.”

He even went to my doctor for regular blood pressure and blood tests, and recommendations.

“If you can adhere to it and get the exercise in addition, you’ll be successful,” said Dr. Ron Kaufffman of Metropolitan Internists. “If you cheat or eat more fatty foods or fried foods or processed foods, then you’re going to regain the weight.”

This diet had really been around since the mid-1980s, so in fact, it’s a safe way to feed. You don’t need to count calories, so if you practice it right, around 55% of your calories should come from lean protein, with the rest from fruits, berries, and healthy fat.

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“The Mediterranean Diet is probably the ideal diet,” the fitness guru said. “The longest-living people in the world abide by that diet, and it’s not so different from the Paleo Diet.”

So, he began working with McNiff, and after a few months away from the gym, it was a hard slog. He would work five days a week for an hour between the gym and home, usually four days of weightlifting and one day of cardio.

And he would have been cooking for a whole week on Sundays. Planning for food is crucial. His food bill went up, but he never ate lunch or dinner at a restaurant, so he’s forced to confess that the grilling just put him in a caveman’s mood.

It’s always hard to get hungry with this lifestyle, feeding five times a day, every two to three hours. Yet is this healthy? They took his dietary report to a certified specialist.

“It’s a lot of food,” said Heidi Schmidt of HealthPartners. “But it’s also dense calories, and it’s very satisfying, so calorie-wise he probably isn’t eating that much.”

Generally, she said it was a good mix of ingredients, but she wondered how he should manage that in the long term. Yet, she enjoys the beauty of a caveman’s idea.

“People have a lot of nutrition messages coming at them from all angles,” she said. “So if you find a way of eating that’s easy for you to understand and healthy, I think the packaging is fine.”

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His exercises grew stronger by the week, and so did his strength, but what did his most powerful critic say about it? Amelia found that his face was thinner and his pants were looser, along with a visible weight loss in his apperance. As a matter of fact, he believes he persuaded her to walk into the cave.

“Just watching you eat,” she said. “I actually think I want to try the diet.”

Five weeks later, he went to the weigh-in. He dropped 17 pounds, so his tests were pretty fun. He had been down 2.5 inches around his knees, up 1.5 inches (meaning more muscle) in his arms and down five complete inches around his stomach.

He was excited, but it turns out his results were not strange at all.

“I think it’s pretty standard,” said Kali Ofstehage of The Firm. “We’ve had a bunch of the trainers do it here and they’ve been right around the same.”

He even made a couple of adjustments to his blood tests. His blood pressure stayed the same. It was very good to start with, and it was checked by the doctor again.

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However, his total cholesterol actually increased by 24 points, which is something that the dietitian predicted after seeing his food log. He had been eating too many eggs.

The paleolithic ancestors would sometimes discover them, and the book claimed you might get one every few days. “I missed it, so I eat three eggs a day, or 21 eggs a week. I went out and only this weekend got egg whites.”

Who is Frank Vascellaro?

Frank Vascellaro co-anchors at WCCO at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and then, 10 p.m. News Monday through Friday with his lovely wife on his side.

On 29 June 2006, Vascellaro and his partner, Amelia Santaniello, became the first married pair to co-anchor the regular news program in the Twin Cities.

Raised in Denver Co., Frank attended the U.S. Air Force Academy before moving to Boulder University of Colorado. He then studied broadcasting at Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois.

The Society of Professional Journalists honored Frank with its 2008 broadcast award for Investigative Reporting. He was named the Best Anchor for National Emmy in 2011 and 2012.

Frank and Amelia are deeply involved in the community and often serve as masters of ceremonies at some of the Twin Cities’ premier charitable causes.

In 1999, Frank exchanged vows with Amelia in Florence, Italy. They reside in Minneapolis with their three children — a son named Sam as well as twins, Joseph and Francesca — along with two puppies.

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