I think there is enough evidence to say the body is capable of controlling it's own intake appropriately to avoid obesity on the right diet, primarily because those ancestors whose bodies couldn't would have been prime candidates for our preditors dinner.
Why doesn't it work that well for some segments?, there may be a number of factors at play, just some thoughts.
* Distorted perception, are our expectations unrealistic, most seem to report the "Plateau", at this point that people report this, are they healthy, can they run at a good pace for long periods, any problems climbing stairs, if not, then is this a physiological problem or an aesthetic issue. Both men & women seem to express a need to trim the last bits out to express a particular ideal, we are all going to be slightly different, some of us will naturally hold a little more in reserve than others.
* The majority of individuals here, from my perception, are here because of previous health issues, is the "Plateau" the body's way of saying this is the place where I am most comfortable until we see further improvement in X, Y & Z health issues, possibly a protective measure and only further health improvement will allow that equilibrium to shift naturally.
* Is there a psychological issue, stress etc., creating a starvation response and hence still holding onto excess reserves in preparation for a potential food shortage, the concern could be job security, relationships or anything, but the only reserve the body can increase is fat tissue, so this is what it does.
* Is it just simply the issue of not enough slow movement, even though we have our various workouts tto burn energy, is it just the lack of walking a good 10km every day and some days doing 30km?
CICO is a therapeutic tool, yes it can help to manage a particular condition, but it shouldn't be a way of life.
Interesting, like to see what discussions come from this thread.
Paleobird, you are spot on. Mark says eat without counting, but, Mark is a skinny SOB and always has been. For most of us we have ALWAYS eaten without counting calories and it's part of our way of doing things. (Oink, why am I sooo fat?) Anyways I too have come round to believe that I need to count calories and reduce protein a bit as well as keep the carbs waaaay low. Jimmy Moore is doing this as he was stalled in his weight loss. He eats a high portion of fats, medium protein and low carb. He said he found out he had to restrict his protein even more than he thought to lose weight. (The body can only use so much protein and then it's converted to fat if I remember correctly for those of us who are weight challenged)
Myself, I too have to eat like this as I am trying to repair metabolic syndrome after far too many years of reckless eating. Thank you on all your contributions to this site and grats on your own progress.
Last edited by Moochy; 08-28-2012 at 05:00 PM.
Primal/Paleo is not for everyone, it's for those who have committed to understand.
READ THE BOOK! ...as Robb Wolf says: "Trying to convince people to save their own ass will burn you out."
Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for -- the pure enjoyment of food.” Anthony Bourdain
and yes, calories DO count my little piggies
I do agree that there are people here working on those last few "vanity pounds" who may be perfectly healthy. I'm one. But I don't think that this is bad unless someone takes it to an extreme such as anorexia. Wanting the LGN factor, as Mark calls it, is a good thing in my mind.
Healing first. Definitely. This was a point I made on my calorie counting threads as well. But for many people healing and weight loss go hand in hand. You lose a few pounds, it's easier to move so you exercise more, and so on.
I totally agree that stress is a major factor holding a lot of people back. I really like the emphasis Mark puts on getting outside and making time for play.
Walking doesn't get the respect it deserves from a lot of people who say, that's not a workout, that's just a walk. I think walking is the most Grokian of all exercises. Working up to being able to walk a half marathon was a big part of my pathway back to health.
Interesting article on ketosis for those interested...
"First, let’s talk a little bit about what a ketogenic diet is and what it does for certain peoples’ brains. It is a current mainstream treatment for epilepsy and neurosurgical pathology today but it is rarely used often enough. The reason it is not used is because antiepileptic drugs are now considered first lines of therapy these days.
Conventional medicine wisdom exists even in neurology and neurosurgery I am afraid. The treatment actually dates back to the early Greek civilization around 350-400 BC. They used fasting as a way to improve the symptoms of epilepsy. I remember reading back then the reason the treatment often failed is because the patients got quite hungry after a week of this. So it was not a sustainable long term treatment.
The medical community re-discovered fasting at the turn of the 20th century in Europe. A study was even undertaken in France to show its efficacy. It showed much promise but again compliance was the rate limiting factor. The idea then traveled across the pond to the USA and several physicians came up with a “modified water diet” that had ten percent food and 90% water as its backbone. The American trials showed promise but again were limited by hunger compliance.
Interestingly enough, one of the patients was a boy who's father was a rich NYC landlord who donated some money for further research into how this “water diet” actually worked. The money went to Dr. Lennox and Dr. Cobb at Johns Hopkins, who later became famous. From those studies we found out that fasting induced the formation of ketone bodies. All three ketone bodies were found with that grant. Once this occurred the Mayo Clinic researchers joined the party and actually named the diet the “ketogenic diet“.
They actually worked out the macronutrient ratios for the diet to be used in 1924. They found children needed one gram of protein per KG of weight, no more than 15 grams of carbohydrates per day, and the rest of dietary calories had to come from fat. Once this was done it was used extensively in children with great success. It met with limited success in adults and interestingly enough, this is why the diet was abandoned and antiepileptic medications became first line drugs back then. This is where my residency recall ended of the papers I had read for my talk. I knew even today that in difficult seizure cases where all medications fail, like Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, that the ketogenic diet is still used. I have used it myself as a neurosurgeon for patients with difficult seizure control who harbor brain tumors.
The diet came back to life while I was in residency because another famous NY TV person had a son who went on the diet and did quite well. They even made a TV show about the child’s case. A multicenter trial was begun and the results released as I was finishing my training in Neurosurgery.
Today most epilepsy centers offer ketogenic diets as mainstream therapy for drug resistant seizure disorders. It is even covered by all US insurance carriers as of 2011. Interestingly, the literature is bare with a mechanism of action. I can hear you saying this to me now, Doc, where is this all heading? Why should I care? Well, in the paleo blogosphere there are so many arguments about macro and micronutirents ratios and levels and what is optimal and what is not.
There are constant questions to many podcasters asking about metabolic typing and related topics. I think the ketogenic diet firmly answers the question whether or not specific macronutrient levels can have a direct effect on metabolism in a measurable way. Remember most current low carb paleo diets are direct ketogenic diets as well. Here comes your relevance.
The ketogenic diet of today is loaded with MCTs usually from coconut oil. MCT are metabolized quite differently than other fats. The low carb paleo diet is heavily steeped in MCT oils as well. The carb content is usually kept below 100 grams but the range most use is even lower than that. Mind you I don’t advocate this across the board for everyone. I myself eat a high percentage of calories of carbs based upon my own testing and results. This puts the patient in sustained ketosis and is a successful way to reverse metabolic syndrome and lose weight.
Last edited by otzi; 09-01-2012 at 11:28 AM. Reason: Because someone cared enough to ask me to!
"So, no, I am not saying that calorie counting should be tossed. Just that the two approaches, the "EAT MOAR FAT!" Camp and the "Calories Count so Count Your Calories Camp" need to be synthesized into one. Ketosis is the key that brings them together."
"I'm now finally "getting" what the forum pundits were saying about "EAT MOAR FAT!". They were right except that was a simplistic way to put it. If they had said, "Eat a higher proportion of your calories as fat while keeping your protein moderate and your carbs low AND your total calorie intake in check", that would have been perfect."
Thank you SO MUCH! I have found it very hard to "listen to my body" in this PB process!! Perhaps it will just take time and practice. In the meantime, I don't want to gain weight in an effort to learn! I am sort of ok having with keeping track of my portions and macronutrient balance, because I really think that is what keeps me from going overboard.
I'm taking notes girl!
I'd love to dip into Ketosis for a few days to speed my fat loss along, just unsure how to get there.
First, nice post.
Second - this is a pretty good synthesis of things that more people here need to read.
I agree 100%. Too often people just tell others to ADD fat on top of everything else they're eating - that's a recipe for failure. Shifting macros toward higher fat by going for fattier cuts of meat, swapping higher-carb fruits/vegetables for avocados, tossing a little olive oil on your veggies/salad - that's how to shift your macros in a reasonable, healthy manner. It's about having a macronutrient ratio that works for your body *AND* a total energy/nutrition intake that is appropriate for you.I'm now finally "getting" what the forum pundits were saying about "EAT MOAR FAT!". They were right except that was a simplistic way to put it. If they had said, "Eat a higher proportion of your calories as fat while keeping your protein moderate and your carbs low AND your total calorie intake in check", that would have been perfect.
But everyone kept telling me that calories didn't matter and that my body would just wonderfully "know" when to stop eating and that I should just "listen" to my body. Um, my body had just recovered from cancer and chemo at the time. It was too confused to be "telling" me anything that made sense.
This is a nice summary - eating good, paleo/primal foods(particularly if the carbs are primarily of the non-starchy variety) tends to be much more satiating than a diet with grains and processed oils. Depending on activity level and food type, I've sometimes found the same - that meeting caloric needs can sometimes be challenging, as it occasionally requires me to eat beyond my appetite. But this doesn't invalidate the need to eat appropriate portion sizes - it just makes it easier.So, no, I am not saying that calorie counting should be tossed. Just that the two approaches, the "EAT MOAR FAT!" Camp and the "Calories Count so Count Your Calories Camp" need to be synthesized into one. Ketosis is the key that brings them together.
No, you can't eat unlimited quantities of food, regardless of macros, and expect to lose weight. Reality doesn't work that way. But eating ketogenic macros consistently over time makes it soooo much easier to limit portion sizes. I have to really push myself to make sure to eat enough so as not to lose too much more.
This can't be emphasized enough. Many people(though not all) do well on a version of paleo/primal with healthy carbs, a decent amount of protein, and some fat. Others(though again, not all) do well on a version with moderate protein/high fat/lower carbs. However, trying to do low fat/low-car/high protein tends to be a recipe for misery. Trust me, I've tried it, and don't plan to go back there.I think where a lot of Primals go wrong is in embracing all those yummy primal meats so much that we overdo the protein portion of the equation and thereby knock ourselves out of ketosis. Then, still trying to hold down the carbs, we get stuck in what Dr. Peter Attia of The Eating Academy calls the "Zone of Misery", not enough carbs to run on glucose but too much protein to allow for efficient metabolism of fat. Stuck in the middle and generally feeling like crap.
Anyhow, nice post. Hope lots of people read and "get" it.