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

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  • #16
    I like to think of it as calorie right-sizing :-)

    We've overdone it on calories--and the wrong sources of calories at that.

    We're trying to get back to what we were made to eat and in quantities we were designed to consume.

    You can call it "restriction" relative to the overload you've been on.

    It is what Mark says it is, and I agree with him. We're getting back to our Primal Blueprint which we've forgotten as a people.

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    • #17
      Also if you PBers would be so kind, I've attached photos of me and I'm wondering what people's thoughts are on whether I should: keep doing full PB, do PB with IF for extra fat loss, try carb/calorie cycling (done this in the past for about 2 months and think I actually got a bit cut on the upper body with it). By the way, weight now is 165 and I'm 5'8.






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      • #18
        Raja, looking at your pics I wouldn't be incorporating "much more fat". I would make sure you are not skimping on your protein to make room for higher fats. Yes you need to include good fats in your diet but don't need to go overboard. You've lost 50 pounds so far of hopefully mostly fat so you are doing something right!

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Raja View Post
          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'm curious. Why do you want to switch to a new diet? It sounds like you had a working recipe for losing weight.
          Yeah, my grammar sucks. Deal with it!

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          • #20
            Now with about 15-20 pounds to go
            I'm curious. Why do you want to switch to a new diet? It sounds like you had a working recipe for losing weight.
            This is how I try to resolve CW vs. PB argument with my friends. They are all gung-ho portion control. Well that's true in a way. IMO, CW will get you down to about 10-20 pounds of your real weight, but if you want to be six-pack cut (not to mention getting better lipid numbers), you need to fix the hormones by going PB. I know a couple CW folks who try to lose the last 10 pounds by starving themselves. If it works, they say "See, limited calories nya nya nyah." But when you think about it, they're automatically limiting carbs too.
            5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by oxide View Post
              This is how I try to resolve CW vs. PB argument with my friends. They are all gung-ho portion control. Well that's true in a way. IMO, CW will get you down to about 10-20 pounds of your real weight, but if you want to be six-pack cut (not to mention getting better lipid numbers), you need to fix the hormones by going PB. I know a couple CW folks who try to lose the last 10 pounds by starving themselves. If it works, they say "See, limited calories nya nya nyah." But when you think about it, they're automatically limiting carbs too.
              Endurance athletes consume a ton of carbohydrates, and they tend to be extremely lean. Clearly, it's possible to lose fat without resorting to low carb diets and intermittent fasting. Also, the original poster never mentioned that his weight loss had stalled on his previous whole foods diet. That's why I question his decision to switch to another diet.
              Yeah, my grammar sucks. Deal with it!

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              • #22
                I think PB was designed to be just that, a "Blueprint". It got me on the right track in food choices, exercise, and lifestyle. PB didn't restrict my calories or carbs--I did!

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Kharnath View Post
                  That's why I question his decision to switch to another diet.
                  First off your choice to switch to the primal diet should not be based off of ..well maybe I can lose some more weight. It should be to get better health vitaility and to live a better life! I can't tell you how much its changed my life, and I'm not talking about how many pounds I lost. For one I really didnt lose any more or any faster then any other diet I've been on. However, this is the only diet that I've been able to stick to for more then 3 months (I'm at 10 months and only get better at it with time). So you ask why?

                  1. It's not just about the pounds, I FEEL better! I finally understand the meaning of GOOD health! It makes me want to live more naturally which also makes me feel better! It's more then a diet... I feel good about what I'm eating and where its coming from as well.
                  2. I feel like CRAP now when I eat things that are not primal.. I'm more aware of my body and my body is not used to processing crap anymore. My tastes are actually CHANGING! The psychological changes are bigger then any physical ones for me. I am finally trying new foods...eating more veggies and enjoying them.. I think fruit is a sweet treat now! Food that I used to love I despise, it honestly doesnt taste as good as it used to, some of does not even taste appealing anymore. Food that I used to love makes my stomach feel knotty or makes me feel like throwing up. I dont have this constant battle about whether or not to eat those cookies person X brought into the office.
                  3. I get to eat delicous food all the time. I dont even want to think about all those crappy frozen meals I used to eat when I was trying to be good or that whole wheat supermarket bread eek.
                  4. I dont use food as a coping mechanism. It's another reprogramming thing... I now know whats best to enhance my mood.. nature/friends/family/my pets.
                  5. The same amount of calories does not enduce hunger like it previously did
                  6. I can safely skip meals without losing energy.. no more I have to eat right this minute!
                  ... and more

                  Also I havent had one blackhead since going primal (no more monthly ones), my hair is also not so dry, my mood is better most of the time...
                  Primal since March 2011

                  Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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                  • #24
                    Mostly, yes it works by making calorie restriction easier (less hunger, better moods). Secondarily it works by not decreasing your metabolism as much as cw diets and giving you more energy to exercise, thirdly it provides plenty of protein which encourages your body to burn fat and preserve muscle. All of these things are "energy balance" relevant, so that whole question is kind of moot, really.
                    I have lost 40 lb on primal, then gained back 30 of mostly muscle while getting stronger. You CAN gain weight eating this way, it's just kind of hard and unnatural. The time to get lean has come again though - March will mark 2 yrs primal and I want to be in good lean shape for my primal-versary.
                    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                    • #25
                      Activia, I'm glad the primal lifestyle is working out for you. However, it doesn't really explain why the original poster decided to switch to a new diet. Maybe there's a very good reason (fat loss plateau, food intolerances etc.) - or maybe there isn't a good reason. I'm not advocating a high carb diet here, I merely try to understand what made him change his diet when the whole foods approach appeared to be working.
                      Yeah, my grammar sucks. Deal with it!

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Kharnath View Post
                        Activia, I'm glad the primal lifestyle is working out for you. However, it doesn't really explain why the original poster decided to switch to a new diet. Maybe there's a very good reason (fat loss plateau, food intolerances etc.) - or maybe there isn't a good reason. I'm not advocating a high carb diet here, I merely try to understand what made him change his diet when the whole foods approach appeared to be working.
                        It could be they want to speed up weight loss, or maybe whilest already doing whole foods found this lifestyle and wanted to try it for better health? I dont consider this diet to be a way for someone to lose weight (although its principles can make weight loss less painful and more fat less muscle), its a way for someone to change their life/health. I did a calorie restriced SAD diet, then I did even more extreme with body builders type diet (almost NO fat), then I switched to primal..all whilst losing weight. My weight loss rate didnt really change much on any of them....but this was the only one I believed in and I could enjoy my food. This is also the longest I've maintained a weight loss in my life, with relative EASE and ENJOYMENT!

                        People here are too caught up in carbs/weight loss is my point. They are also too caught up in fat intake. I'm more on a moderate approach to fat/carbs protein should ALWAYS remain the same no matter what diet you are on!

                        There is MUCH more then a way to lose weight here..
                        Primal since March 2011

                        Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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                        • #27
                          I don't dispute that calories have something to do with it, but I think low carb equally has something to do with it.

                          I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail twice (two halves). Both times at first I lost all my excess weight. Obviously calories out exceeded calories in. Also, since I was consuming my own fat, my diet was not technically low fat at the start.

                          The food I carried was extremely high carb and poor. Cookies, cereal and trail mix bars for breakfast, a steady drip of crackers, candy and cookies all day, pasta with powdered sauce and fresh cheese for dinner. Day in and day out for months. 3-5 days of this diet with a day or two in between eating pancakes and eggs or burgers and ice cream in restaurants. Slowly and steadily, on both hikes, the weight started to return after the initial loss. I actually struggled to find a balance between filling my endless aching hunger and not overeating because I didn't want to gain all the weight back. I was hiking 25-30 miles a day and struggling with my weight even with a calorie deficit. I'm certain that had my diet been high in protein and fat I would have had no trouble. I would have been less hungry. I would have stayed lean. I probably would not have lost weight until I disappeared, either, but I would have had effortless maintenance and much less hunger. Maybe less pain, too.

                          When I returned home I thought maybe if I ate only fruit -- grapefruit and peaches -- I might not gain all the weight back. But I did, and rather quickly. I could see the change daily in the mirror.

                          So far the only thing that has worked since hiking the trail has been a low carb primal diet. Not that I've yet become as thin as I did while hiking the PCT, but my weight has been dropping. It recently went up again when I spent 4 days in Death Valley. I blame the two pints of beer, the one serving of mashed potatoes and the half serving of hash browns during those 4 days.

                          I believe that the damaging high-carb diet of my hike has made me very carb-sensitive and insulin-resistant. So even though I could create a calorie deficit on a high carb, low fat diet, I don't think it would actually work for me anymore. I would be way hungrier, my total calories would probably even have to be lower than a high fat, low carb diet, probably so low my metabolism would slow way down (which is what I think it did during my hike). With high fat low carb the calorie deficit is automatic, painless, with no slowing of my metabolism and I feel healthier overall.
                          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                          • #28
                            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
                            This article is misleading for a number of reasons. First of all the people in the starvation diet were eating 1560 calories a day but were (if I recall correctly) walking 10 miles a day and doing other manual labor. Maybe that low carb group in the Yudkin study (a whopping 11 people...lol, WHAT a sample size) wouldn't have done so well on their low carb diet if they were doing physical labor all day. And even if that wasn't the case, it seems as though the high carb diet is better for weight loss according to the article, right? It took me one read through to completely dismantle that whole article.

                            A calorie isn't a calorie for overall health, well being, and satiety. A calorie isn't a calorie for weight loss either, because protein needs to be adequate to stop lean body mass loss. But if protein is constant, changing proportions of fats and carbs won't do much for weight loss. There have been a few studies recently that have shown that people that are insulin sensitive lose more fat on high carb diets and people that are insulin resistant lose more weight on low carb diets though.

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                            • #29
                              The meals I eat on Primal are far more calorie dense than before, however I frequently have no appetite at all and don't really snack anymore. I would guess that I calorie cycle dramatically eating this way with a net caloric deficit running over the long term while I was losing weight. I believe IF can help create a reduction in calories simply because many people mindlessly snack on things without even noticing it and you don't do that when IFing.

                              The current work in the weight loss field suggests that caloric intake is not actually well controlled in the long term by the majority of people. The name of the sustained weight loss game is finding a macronutrient ratio that promotes satiety in the absence of excessive caloric intake. That is the beauty of primal eating for me - I can trust my body (most of the time ) to tell me how much food it needs.

                              This was true to get me from overweight to a healthy weight (US size 14 to size 4). However, I am not super thin or ripped. I suspect to lose the last ten lbs to have a rockin' body I would need to be a bit more careful and try a little exercise.
                              Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

                              http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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                              • #30
                                @Kharnath and Activia, I switched up for 2 reasons: because fat loss had slowed down from about 5-10 pounds a month to 2 a month, and also I'd stumbled upon the fat loss beliefs of this guy Chris the Kiwi. It's actually very similar to PB (sometimes I wonder if he copied Mark's philosophy) and it seemed the perfect path...eat only grass-fed/free range meats and vegetables, and tiny bits of fruit for both superior fat loss and long term health/happiness. My previous whole foods diet included beans, but reading all his stuff made me realize it would be best cutting legumes out as well.

                                So I tried it but didn't have the resources that I have now on PB about how to increase fat intake. I definitely had too little fat in my diet and got tired of starving and quit after like 2 weeks. Tried some other things and got to carb cycling for about a month or so (no weight loss in pounds, but definitely saw fat loss). I like the philosophy here on PB, but mostly I'm trying to find the best method for weight and fat loss that isn't super extreme.

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