I find that I feel better if I focus on vegetable carb sources over fruit. I still eat fruit, but my body seems to notice the difference between a banana and, say, sweet potato or squash. I will still eat some fruit if I am way down in carbs - and I struggle to get it as high as 60 - I want to be between 70-80 but too much fructose causes cravings for me. So I am getting creative. Some might say I need more than that given my activity level and strength training but I feel pretty good keeping it between 70-80 - when I manage to get it that high. Sigh...
I gain weight if I go VLC. (I tried the "moar fat" thing scientifically.) If you have thyroid issues, VLC can screw up your thyroid levels even more.
I do best around 75g carbs a day. I don't (er, didn't) want to lose any weight by going VLC, I just wanted to experiment, and that's when I found out about low carbs and thyroid. If you haven't had your thyroid checked, you might want to get those tests.
Just be aware that you can be hypothyroid and your thyroid hormone levels will look "normal" on paper, but if you still have symptoms, you probably have levels that are off for you. If your levels look "normal" but your doctor doesn't seem receptive to your problems, do your homework first and bring the data with you. Or get a different doctor.
The only times I've been able to steadily shed pounds is when I would do VLC, but I would always lose 10-20 pounds and then stall, and feel like crap in the meantime. So VLC is part of the answer for me, but sustained VLC wasn't pleasant (and my workouts were suffering). Earlier this year I was heavily carb-cycling and I saw some movement on the scale but the big swings between high carb/low fat and low carb/high fat were freaking my body out.
Right now I'm doing Cyclical Ketogenic, i.e. 6 days a week VLC and 1 big carb-up at the end of the week, and it hasn't been long enough to draw any conclusions, but I've lost three pounds. I think for people with a slow metabolism and a stubborn fat setpoint, some form of carb cycling can be very helpful. All I know is that whenever I sustain a way of eating for longer than a couple weeks, my weight stalls. I need to shake things up regularly to see results.
Ditto to the people who say the type of carb matters. I could eat potatoes with every meal and never gain weight, but fruit, and fructose in any form, immediately stalls any weight-loss efforts.
I've found no difference in rate of weight loss on any combo of carbs/fats/protein. What works for me is X calories per day + a one hour (or more) walk. So, that part of primal is going to be a personal thing. The difference in my X calories is that I no longer use lower calorie substitutes, and I eat whole foods, no grains, beans, etc. I also have added in resistance exercises.
The other thing I notice in not trying to mold everyday into the "right" proportion of carbs/fats/protein is that I eat more varied. Some days I'm in the mood for tons of tomato, avocado, pears, etc. Other days I could eat nothing but salmon and aioli. Watching those proportions and plugging everything into a tracker was making me too obsessed with food. Now the only two "rules" are X calories + healthy, non-processed foods.
I eat between 100-150g of carbs a day (2-3 pieces of fruit, tubers, green vegetables daily) and am still losing. I don't eat many nuts though.
Have you considered carb cycling? One high carb, low fat day after 5-6 days of <60ish carbs/day really helped me when I was trying to lose the weight I gained (yes, gained!) while breastfeeding.
I find that if I stop losing, then it's time for a carb refeed. A few hundred grams for a day or two seems to work for me, I'm a 150ish lb guy. I try to keep it as low fat as possible, but it doesn't always work that way haha. A carb refeed for me could mean 3 lbs of potatoes and a huge protein drink, or that "every now and then" splurge, which I consider my 20%. It seems to get my metabolism back to normal, and I feel like I'm on top of he world for a day or two. After that refeed I go back to my normal low carb primal diet, and I begin losing again.
I know everybody's different, but I hope this helps. Good luck and God bless!
Originally Posted by interzone
If I stay low carb for too long I actually start to GAIN. And I do count calories
I was low carb paleo (so also low fat) and I lost weight, but not in the way I wanted. Basically, most of it came off the top part of my body, making me seem emaciated, but the bottom part was still too fat, which gave me that wonderful pear shape.
I wasn't eating this way to lose fat, it was for health reasons.
I slowly added back more saturated fat while keeping carbs low, and i steadily gained weight. I ate no carb for a few weeks while I was doing an elimination diet and gained fat.
Over time I realized that eating low carb/high fat makes me gain fat. It also likely caused a host of health problems such as depression, lower metabolism, feeling cold all the time, extreme fatigue, pretty much every hypothyroid symptom magnified.
Switching to a high carb/lower fat diet made some dramatic improvements. My mood instantly improved, my energy levels were noticeably better, and I'm able to eat higher calorie levels and not pack on fat the way I used to.
I realize now that everyone needs something different. Some people seem to thrive on high fat/low carb, but I definitely don't. Somehow, I thrive on the opposite, and can only lose fat eating low fat.
I can eat fruit, dairy, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, a little white rice, a little oatmeal, and even sugar (dessert!), and still mainta/shrink (I dont know how that measures in pounds since I dont weigh myself). But I must be eating clean, fasting intermittently (or limiting to 2 meals a day), not snacking or grazing, and getting ample fat in my diet. Its not simply about macros...its the actual foods that matter.
Just have to avoid carbs and fats from wheat, corn, soy and seed oils.
Whether I see any change in body comp or not, when I eat clean I feel like a million bucks, and THAT is motivation enough to keep treating my body right. Weight/fat loss as a result of optimal health is the goal here. If it was ONLY about the number on the scale I'd be first in line at Dr. Bernstein.
*My obligatory intro
There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo
DAINTY CAN KISS MY PRIMAL BACKSIDE. ~~ Crabcakes