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Thread: Nutshell version: compare/contrast Primal/Paleo/Atkins please? page

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    tumbleweed's Avatar
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    Nutshell version: compare/contrast Primal/Paleo/Atkins please?

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    Are the main differences the ratios of fat, protein, and carbs? The specific favored foods? Please help. Thanks.

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    AndreaReina's Avatar
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    In a nutshell, Atkins talks about restricting carbohydrates, while Paleo and Primal talk about restricting foods that cause disease. These tend to be carby (wheat, other grains, legumes, sugar) but also include seed oils and vegetable proteins (ie soy). Strict Paleo (eg Whole9) simply cuts out anything Neolithic including dairy and nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, etc).

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    Atkins restricts carbs for the first two weeks, then recommends they be added back 5 at a time every fews day until weight loss stops. This determines your "critical carb level". Atkins doesn't specifically restrict any "food" unless it makes you gain weight. What AndreaReina said about Paleo...

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    Atkins restricts all forms of carbs during the induction phase including veggies and fruits. Atkins puts no priority on quality cuts of meats or good oils to use for cooking.

    Paleo is how many nutrition gurus have interpreted the way we might have eaten prior to the agricultural revolution. Whole foods, meats, veggies, fruits. Paleo is normally pretty strict and some people don't use dairy. Some paleo gurus like Cordain and DeVany recommend leaner cuts of meat. While others recommend fatty cuts of meat just as long as they are from good grass fed sources. n3:n6 ratios are somewhat monitored and keeping inflammation down is key. Chronic exercise is normally avoided because of the inflammation factor.

    Primal is Mark Sisson's interpretation of paleo. Primal incorporates more dairy if its tolerable. The main points of paleo are adhered to, whole fresh foods, meats, veggies, and avoiding grains.
    "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

    People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.

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    Good definitions, though I would add that Primal does get fairly specific about carb levels. Mark pretty clearly states in his book that <150g/day is a good level for most people to maintain their weight and 50g-100g is a target for weight loss. This is total carbs, not net like Atkins. Now if you're following the general Primal guidelines, you don't generally have to tally up your carbs. You'll easily stay in the weight loss range if you're not making fruits and starchy veggies/tubers part of your daily diet and are being moderate with dairy. If I concentrate on meat and veg and think of the rest of it as treats, I have a hard time going over 75g of carbs a day.

    He also specifies protein targets: 0.8-1g of protein per pound of lean body weight. Once again, if you're sticking to whole foods, its pretty easy to naturally hit that target without thinking about it too much. He does recommend tracking your macros for a little while to get a feel.

    The rest of your calories (and Mark does mention calorie levels in the book) would come from fats.

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    Thanks. I have read the PB book, but I'm not as familiar with Atkins or just general Primal, so your answers have helped. Thanks everyone!

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