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Thread: Determining how many calories to eat, eating primal? page

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    btownshreds's Avatar
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    Determining how many calories to eat, eating primal?

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    I notice when I first started this lifestyle I took the term not only from Gary Taubes, and Dr Eades, But from PB (eat as much fat as you like) as well and wasn't losing weight. Yes I have looked at the 17 reasons I may not be losing weight as well. But is there a caloric factor involved? I do eat whole foods and fatty meat, eggs etc, sometimes gouda cheese and extra sharp cheddar (ok by sisson). I also eat twice a day maybe with some pistachios in between.

    Bottom line, if there is a way to calculate your caloric needs eating primal, how do you do so?
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    Diana Renata's Avatar
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    I think the classic calorie guidelines still generally apply when it comes to weight. It's the kind of calories (protein, fat, carbs) that determine how healthy you are at that given weight.

    There are a lot of online calorie calculators you can use. Figure out your total calorie needs with one of those, then just tailor it to Primal diet. I average 50% calories from fat, 35% from protein, and 15% from carbs, but it varies from day to day.

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    Mark discusses all this in the book. I have the ebook version so I can't really tell you which page it is.

    First, you need to determine your basal metabolic rate (the amount of calories your body needs just to maintain itself if you were to stay in bed all day). Then you use a multiplier based on your activity levels to find out your caloric needs for the day. There are plenty of calculators on the net you can use. The most accurate ones employ your body fat percentage if you know that, but you can get a general ballpark figure even if you don't have that information.

    BMR calculator BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) Calculator | Muscle & Strength
    or BMR Calculator
    Body fat calculator Body Fat Calculator
    Daily calorie needs based on harris-benedict equation Harris Benedict Equation
    If you want to do the math yourself, here are the relevant formulas BMR Formula

    Then determine your protein needs based on your lean body mass [total weight - (weight x body fat percentage expressed in decimal form)] or a shortcut could be your goal weight. This will be 0.7grams to 1.0 gram/lb depending on activity levels. Multiply the total required grams by 4 (caloric value of 1g protein).

    Then determine your carbohydrate needs based on the carbohydrate curve. Multiply the required grams by 4 (caloric value of 1g of carbs). See carbohydrate curve here How to Succeed with the Primal Blueprint | Mark's Daily Apple.

    The remainder of your calories come from fats (1g of fat = 9 calories). If you happen to use your 20% allotment, it would fall here too. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram.

    Remember that if you want to lose weight, you need to create a caloric deficit. Don't compromise protein or your carbs for this, tinker the with the "fats & others" calorie allotment for your deficit.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Fiji; 02-22-2012 at 08:01 PM.

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    You don't need to create a caloric deficit. Fat calories are not metabolized or processed by the body the same way as carbohydrate calories are. Insulin controls what gets stored and what gets released. This is the reason eating fat doesn't make you fat and eating carbohydrates does. Calorie count is useless because all calories aren't equal.

    You can eat 1000 calories of carbohydrates and suffer extreme weight gain. Or you can eat 2500 calories of fat and protein and lose weight. Until you figure out how your body responds to carbohydrate consumption, trying to create some fictitious caloric deficit is useless. Besides, you can't create a long term caloric deficit without it resulting in an increase in sedentary behavior. They're positively correlated.

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    @lex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevingeary View Post
    You don't need to create a caloric deficit. Fat calories are not metabolized or processed by the body the same way as carbohydrate calories are. Insulin controls what gets stored and what gets released. This is the reason eating fat doesn't make you fat and eating carbohydrates does. Calorie count is useless because all calories aren't equal.

    You can eat 1000 calories of carbohydrates and suffer extreme weight gain. Or you can eat 2500 calories of fat and protein and lose weight. Until you figure out how your body responds to carbohydrate consumption, trying to create some fictitious caloric deficit is useless. Besides, you can't create a long term caloric deficit without it resulting in an increase in sedentary behavior. They're positively correlated.
    Carbs don't make you fat,numerous clinical ward studies have shown this. These studies involved weight loss comparisons between a low carb ketogenic diet and an isocaloric diet with much more carbs.At the end of all these studies the amount of fat loss was statistically insignificant,with low carb showing that it has significant benefits in repairing a broken metabolism but no real advantage in actual fat loss when compared to the other diets provided to the subjects.Keep in mind that these were tightly controlled clinical ward studies where everything the subjects ate was monitored and controlled by the researchers,not free living studies where there's much less control over what is eaten and more variables get added in.

    If you'd like to see these studies I can list them so you can read them at your leisure.

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    Play your carbs right
    Same calories in both groups, same % of protein, fat and carbs yet eating the carbs in the evening only resulted in fewer food cravings and greater weight loss. Seems logical that there is some effect and I mean an effect beyond the food cravings that would cause them to eat more but for some reason eating the carbs all at one time results in greater fat loss or more likely less fat storage from the ongoing insulin response.

    There was a study posted by a non-primal follower on this forum showing low carbs didn't make a difference but when you looked at the carb numbers they were well over the 150g recommended for maintenance in Primal and more than likely the diet included grains.

    If you do have studies with low carb diets (between 50-100g of carbs as per primal weight loss) I am sure we would all love to see them.
    Last edited by Dirlot; 02-22-2012 at 09:33 PM.
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    It's meaningless. What happened to the people AFTER the study? That's what's important. You can put people on a caloric deficit diet to make them lose weight but they'll invariably gain it back. That makes the study bogus.

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    So @lex and dirlot, is your argument that the key to fat loss is the consumption of carbohydrates?

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    Primal is healthy for me. Primal low carb equalled fat loss for me, eating more calories than on previous low fat diets.

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