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Is PB's (and IF as well) success mostly from calorie restriction?

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  • Is PB's (and IF as well) success mostly from calorie restriction?

    In reading Mark's articles and the getting through the PB book, I'm wondering if a major reason this diet is working is because of the calorie restriction from cutting out so many carbs. Also, just feeling more full on the fat makes us not need to eat as much, aka more calorie restriction. On the same token, with things like intermittent fasting, does a lot of the weight loss come just because you're pretty much eating nothing for anywhere between 12-48 hours?? This has to cut down weekly calorie totals tremendously..

    Mostly, I'm wondering about if this calorie restriction is going to screw up leptin levels and slow down my metabolism. And if so, could PB be more efficient with a refeed/cheat day worked in (sort of like a CKD diet)?

  • #2
    I don't think so. Mark recommends replacing carbs with saturated fat, which if I remember correctly has more calories per gram. I don't think he recommends restricting calories beyond reasonable levels (obviously you don't want to eat 5,000 calories a day if you're trying to lose weight). I haven't done much IF except for right when I started PB (but that was just because I had a stomach virus and didn't want to eat), and I've had no problem meeting my weight loss goals. As I understand it, the main idea is to get your insulin production down. You can do that just fine without counting or restricting calories.

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    • #3
      As someone who eats at least 2000 calories per day and has lost 45 pounds, I'd have to say no. There is not much calorie restriction. Intermittent fasting can be done daily without actual calorie restriction. I try to eat all my day's food within a 6-hour window, in two big meals. Easy to do with tallow, coconut oil, piles of vegetables and about half a pound to a pound of meat. Sometimes I have a tiny snack before falling asleep in the morning, but it's not really necessary since I sleep through the hungriest hours (which I've discovered through not sleeping on days off aren't that hungry anyway!). This is a full-nourishment way of eating. If you aren't getting your basic vitamin intake met (via Fitday, etc.) then you need to eat more. I love liver and spinach.
      Crohn's, doing SCD

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Raja View Post
        In reading Mark's articles and the getting through the PB book, I'm wondering if a major reason this diet is working is because of the calorie restriction from cutting out so many carbs. Also, just feeling more full on the fat makes us not need to eat as much, aka more calorie restriction. On the same token, with things like intermittent fasting, does a lot of the weight loss come just because you're pretty much eating nothing for anywhere between 12-48 hours?? This has to cut down weekly calorie totals tremendously..

        Mostly, I'm wondering about if this calorie restriction is going to screw up leptin levels and slow down my metabolism. And if so, could PB be more efficient with a refeed/cheat day worked in (sort of like a CKD diet)?
        Have you actually either read the articles on Mark's blog or tried the diet yourself? It's not necessarily a calorie-restricted diet. The weight loss comes partially from control of insulin and partially for some people from a natural reduction in calories desired. When you eat nutritient-rich foods you stop starving, you stop living in a state of disease, the cravings the food labs design into their franken food go away, your hormonal system normalizes, your weight normalizes, and your body processes begin to work as they should and you are restored to the god-given health you were supposed to be born with.
        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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        • #5
          .

          Yes. Creating a negative energy balance is the alpha and omega of fat loss. Period.

          Eat real, whole foods. Lift heavy things. Sprint. Eat 200-500 less calories than you burn daily to lose 1-2# every week or two.

          The biggest benefit of IFing for me is how much easier it is to keep my energy deficit/balance in check.... fat loss and maintenance are both much easier for me while intermittant fasting(I IF 16 hours daily).

          Carb refeeds, macronutrient cycling, and calorie cycling are all valuable tools I have used since starting PB. I consider 'cheat days or cheat meals' a different catagory. I have no problem 'rewarding' myself with pizza or cheesecake once every week or two - or whatever. As long as I eat real, whole foods 95+% of the time and maintain a long term energy balance - I'm golden.

          It's hard work to get there to be sure. But, I find maintenace rather easy. How bad do you want it? Becoming lean and maintaining a healthy body is a two step process like everything else in life: 1. Decide what it is you want to do. 2. Figure out how to get it done.

          There are alot of people around here who can talk alota talk. The trick on this board is to find and listen to the people who have walked the walk.

          .
          Last edited by Voyageur; 12-30-2011, 04:46 PM.
          There is a huge difference between talking about how to do something and getting it fucking done.

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          • #6
            Hi Voyageur, nice to see you. Size six and still walking here.

            To the OP, yes, spontaneous calorie restriction happens all the time when carb lovers cut out the carbs. Most favorites are off the menu plus fat is more satiating and so also leads to spontaneous calorie restriction. But many PBers will claim, "I never restricted my calories. I eat whatever I want." If a person is not tracking they would have no way of knowing how many calories they are or aren't eating.

            For some people this unintentional restriction works just fine. For some people like me, it takes buckling down and doing some counting for a while. This was the only way I made PB work for me. I call it PPPC (Primal Plus Portion Control). Your concerns about leptin effects or metabolic shutdown are real for CW calorie counting when your body is still in sugar burning mode. In fat burning mode, these are not problems.

            There is a thread that might be of help to you.
            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread29501.html

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            • #7
              For the truth about calories in v calories out (which has been known for fifty years), read this: The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D. » Is a calorie always a calorie?

              /End thread
              A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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              • #8
                You can easily use fitday once a day to see what your caloric intake is. If you're like me, 2500 or so calories is barely enough to maintain. I walk 5 to 10 miles every night, so I do create a deficit on busy nights. But some days it is hard to eat the food you've allotted yourself because you'll just be - too full, which is new. It took six months of pretty solid adherence before I felt, for the first time in my life, full. I had to put the fork down because my food suddenly didn't seem like food at all. It was glorious and maddening, but I've come to accept it as natural. So you might sometimes restrict calories without knowing it, but fitday will tell you! There have been some days where I only had 1400 calories and felt fine, but not many.
                Crohn's, doing SCD

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                • #9
                  Honestly, I'm not sure. All I know is that I lost 27 kgs gorging myself on fatty meat, fish and fowl with plenty of veg drenched in in EVO dressings, etc.

                  Given the humongous steakes I eat and the lakes of fat I drench in cauliflower rice and then scoop up I'd be surprised to learn that I'm running a caloric deficit. Of course I do Crossfit as well, but the weightloss was already there before I started working out.

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                  • #10
                    Losing weight, and there is no question caloric reduction has happened, and that it played a big role. What is different, at least for me, is the ease with which I can not-eat. One meal a day happens really naturally and doesn't feel bad or tiring or etc at all.

                    Loving it!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bushrat View Post
                      For the truth about calories in v calories out (which has been known for fifty years), read this: The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D. » Is a calorie always a calorie?

                      /End thread
                      Here's why Dr Eades says he wrote that blog:

                      "I posted to show the difference between low-carb calories and low-fat calories in terms of appetite and body composition. I’ve never said – I don’t think – that carb restriction doesn’t cause a spontaneous reduction in caloric intake because it does. But, I’m not sure that all the weight loss that comes from low-carb diets comes about simply because of the spontaneous calorie restriction. I think it comes about because of a) the decreased caloric intake, and b) because of an increase in metabolic rate, and c) because it stimulates an urge in low-carb dieters to be more active.

                      Cheers–

                      MRE"

                      My point was this: I can eat 3000 primal calories a day and gain bodyfat and weight, or I can eat ~2000 primal calories a day - given my current activity level - and maintain my current bodyfat and weight.

                      Your point wasn't to say that energy intake/expenditure/balance isn't important - was it? What do you think that Dr. Eades - or any other honest, intelligent, person - would say is the most important piece to the fatloss puzzle? All things being relatively equal - surely it has to be long term energy balance.

                      -Voyageur

                      .
                      There is a huge difference between talking about how to do something and getting it fucking done.

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                      • #12
                        Factor into that puzzle strange fats like coconut's medium chain triglycerides. They provide good energy but aren't easily stored as body fat. You can eat considerably more MCT oil than other fats without gaining weight, thanks to thermogenesis. It's still energy in, energy out, for sure. But it's important to note there are differences in how the body uses different sources of energy.
                        Crohn's, doing SCD

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                        • #13
                          Agreed: energy balance. Even Eades says this in the excerpt noted here: his a,b, and c items are all changing energy balance.

                          As much as CV clings to all diets and calories being exactly equal and not acknowledging a more complicated energy equation, sometimes primal can also cling to the idea of calories not mattering that much, given the right foods. Well, I was able to gain fat pounds by eating pastured, organic, etc., VLC primal, so Eades's "You can't gain fat on low carb" is just wrong as far as I'm concerned. He is definitely at the end of a spectrum I don't think has it completely right... Love his blog though! Read it all the time..

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                          • #14
                            People still can't get it into their heads that its calorie restriction no matter how you get there!

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for all the responses! I've eating a very clean whole foods diet this last year during which I've lost about 50 pounds, but I had been getting carbs from beans. Now with about 15-20 pounds to go, I've kept up the whole foods but I'm switching to PB and trying to incorporate much more fat, and have cut out all carbs except for veggies and occasional fruit.

                              I feel the worrying coming on though, because my protein intake has dropped for sure since I've been paying more attention to getting in the extra healthy fats. But I want to make sure I don't lose the muscle that I have now (not much in my opinion but maybe I'm just critical). And I don't want this calorie restriction from PB to seriously slow down my metabolism/fat burning because well that would just suck:/ But anyway I'm going to keep going on PB and am hoping for the best!

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