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Thread: What are the real weight loss benefits of going primal? page

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    Katie14's Avatar
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    What are the real weight loss benefits of going primal?

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    With regard to weight lose, gain, or maintenance, a calorie is a calorie. If you eat at a deficit you will lose weight and if you overeat you will gain weight. It does not matter what the composition of those calories are. The only benefits I see from going primal ( strictly from a weight loss perspective. I am not talking about any other health benefits) are :

    1)Increased satiety, so you are more likely to naturally eat less

    2)More of the weight that you lose comes from fat instead of muscle. This preservation of lean mass can probably be accomplished by lifting weights while being in a calorie deficit without going primal.

    I looked at Mark’s pyramid How to Succeed with the Primal Blueprint | Mark's Daily Apple and he says that if you eat over 150 g of carbs per day you will likely gain weight. If you are counting calories and eating at a deficit, how can you possibly gain weight even if 100% of your calories come from carbs? There are plenty of people following conventional eating plans who are maintaining healthy weights or losing weight. I think mark’s approach is interesting and useful for people who have a lot of trouble with hunger while dieting. But, if you can eat at a deficit without going primal, what weight loss benefit does primal eating give you? Let’s say you have 2 twins who are the same weight and gender and are fed the same amount of calories and exercise the same exact amount. If you feed 1 a high carb diet and the other a low carb (primal) diet, they will both lose the same amount of weight.

    I don’t mean to disrespect Mark or anyone else who supports him. I just want to see if I am missing something here.
    Last edited by Katie14; 07-22-2013 at 08:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Katie14 View Post
    Let’s say you have 2 twins who are the same weight and gender and are fed the same amount of calories and exercise the same exact amount. If you feed 1 a high carb diet and the other a low carb (primal) diet, they will both lose the same amount of weight.
    This is what's called a "hypothesis". Unless you have the data to show that you have run this experiment and found it to be correct, you are making unprovable assumptions about exactly what the results of such an experiment would be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eKatherine View Post
    This is what's called a "hypothesis". Unless you have the data to show that you have run this experiment and found it to be correct, you are making unprovable assumptions about exactly what the results of such an experiment would be.
    The Atkins Diet (BBC Documentary) - YouTube

    I watched this documentary and they did expereiments similar to the one I proposed. The conclusion they came up with was that people seem to lose more weight on low carb diets because they unknowingly end up eating less without much effort. Does Mark recommend a calorie deficit to lose weight?

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    You do not need twins. The same people can run for a few weeks on high carb diet or high fat diet to see how the diets impact him or her.

    The key for me is the satiety mechanism and well-being. I tried VLC in and out and I cannot feel full, lose weight or feel energetic on it. I am miserable when I can't eat fruit. So, I gave up on Primal, and go for Paleo. When I am not doing some body-building regimen.

    I went from 150+ lbs to 118 lbs by eating 70+% of calories from carbs and <15% from fat. On the Primal style VLC, i would drop a bit of weight, normally 5 lbs, and then it bounces back. The hunger is different. Hypoglycemic on high carb, lethargic on high fat.

    No matter the ratios I eat, I want to eat more than I need to lose. Hence, every time I can't take hunger any longer, I rapidly gain 10-15 lbs and unless I gather momentum and restrict calories, I am stuck there.

    I have tried everything under the sun save veganism to no avail. The 'FEED ME!' signal is stronger than 'WANT LOOK GOOD!' signal. I guess, it helps that I live in a winter city, have a good but boring job, and have not much fun in life, but plenty of obligations. So, calorie loading being pretty fast, food being the only accessible pleasure and having no time/energy to spend more than a couple of hours actively and away from the office or the house...

    Forget ratios. Fix mind to love living hungry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leida View Post
    You do not need twins. The same people can run for a few weeks on high carb diet or high fat diet to see how the diets impact him or her.

    The key for me is the satiety mechanism and well-being. I tried VLC in and out and I cannot feel full, lose weight or feel energetic on it. I am miserable when I can't eat fruit. So, I gave up on Primal, and go for Paleo. When I am not doing some body-building regimen.

    I went from 150+ lbs to 118 lbs by eating 70+% of calories from carbs and <15% from fat. On the Primal style VLC, i would drop a bit of weight, normally 5 lbs, and then it bounces back. The hunger is different. Hypoglycemic on high carb, lethargic on high fat.

    No matter the ratios I eat, I want to eat more than I need to lose. Hence, every time I can't take hunger any longer, I rapidly gain 10-15 lbs and unless I gather momentum and restrict calories, I am stuck there.

    I have tried everything under the sun save veganism to no avail. The 'FEED ME!' signal is stronger than 'WANT LOOK GOOD!' signal. I guess, it helps that I live in a winter city, have a good but boring job, and have not much fun in life, but plenty of obligations. So, calorie loading being pretty fast, food being the only accessible pleasure and having no time/energy to spend more than a couple of hours actively and away from the office or the house...

    Forget ratios. Fix mind to love living hungry.
    What exactly is paleo. I was under the impression that paleo was a low carb diet as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leida View Post
    You do not need twins. The same people can run for a few weeks on high carb diet or high fat diet to see how the diets impact him or her.
    The experiment is so easy to run that I am surprised no one seems to have run it on themselves.

    The easiest way to do this is to keep exercise constant through the duration of any feeding phases of the experiment.

    Record and track everything. Weight should be taken daily, measurements weekly, including body fat. All daily menus should be planned in advance to keep your intake of macros on target. All food should be accurately weighed or measured. Record all foods eaten for future reference. Record exercise, too. Other parameters may come in useful: sleep, FBS, ketones, etc.

    Planning: Set a goal level of protein that you will maintain throughout the experiment. Set initial carb and fat targets. Also differentiate carbs between starches and sugars when collecting data.

    Phase 1: Establish your RDI by estimating your probable required calorie intake. Maintain this level for a week, then adjust as needed. When your weight is stable (for a week, two is better) you are ready to move on to the next phase.

    Phase 2: Now cut back your calories to a target below your calculated RDI which is calculated to result in 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week. Keep your protein intake constant while varying your carb vs fat ratio. Do two weeks each of moderate (50:50 carb and fat calories), VLC, and very low fat. Also, do two weeks each where you attempt to get all of the carb calories from starch, and another where all of them come from fruit.

    A month would be better, if you have the patience and the weight to lose. Or you could just keep repeating the experiment until you have reached your weight loss goal.

    Of course, by the time you finish Phase 2 of this experiment you will have the data necessary to test any sort of diet, macro, or exercise variation or hack that you see, or to reproduce any experiment you read about.

    I'm looking forward to reading your data.

    Note: if, as the thread title suggests, you see the sole purpose of primal to be as a temporary weight loss diet, I think most people would agree that you needn't bother.
    Last edited by eKatherine; 07-22-2013 at 09:08 AM.

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    I think what most people do not understand is that changing your diet from CW to Primal is a sea change for anyone with metabolic syndrome. If you don't have metabolic syndrome, you just cannot understand how life-changing this can be.

    The CW sets up a person with metabolic syndrome to continue to have metabolic syndrome. After all, it causes metabolic syndrome in susceptible people. The "cure" that doctors hand out is to just keep eating the same crap but less of it. THIS DOESN'T WORK if you have metabolic syndrome. You cannot bear the hunger for long. You are still adding bad fats and too many carbohydrates to your broken system. It's not enough of a change to correct your hormonal imbalances.

    If you don't have metabolic syndrome, you just can't understand this. If you don't have metabolic syndrome, you aren't going to experience as big a change. You may experience other changes like relief of IBS, eczema, acne, asthma, arthritis or other things. Or you might not see anything different.

    So metabolically broken people change over to primal and their bodies can heal. Part of that healing is to drop a lot of the excess weight. You can finally lose weight because your body is starting to function correctly again. For some people, they turn into hunks and goddesses. For others they just get a little of the excess off and experience freedom from the other symptoms. Once you are cured of the metabolic syndrome, weight loss works the same way it works for anyone who never had metabolic syndrome: eat less/exercise more effectively.

    Get it? Can we stop with the CICO madness already?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katie14 View Post
    With regard to weight lose, gain, or maintenance, a calorie is a calorie. If you eat at a deficit you will lose weight and if you overeat you will gain weight. It does not matter what the composition of those calories are. The only benefits I see from going primal ( strictly from a weight loss perspective. I am not talking about any other health benefits) are :

    1)Increased satiety, so you are more likely to naturally eat less

    2)More of the weight that you lose comes from fat instead of muscle. This preservation of lean mass can probably be accomplished by lifting weights while being in a calorie deficit without going primal.

    I looked at Markís pyramid How to Succeed with the Primal Blueprint | Mark's Daily Apple and he says that if you eat over 150 g of carbs per day you will likely gain weight. If you are counting calories and eating at a deficit, how can you possibly gain weight even if 100% of your calories come from carbs? There are plenty of people following conventional eating plans who are maintaining healthy weights or losing weight. I think markís approach is interesting and useful for people who have a lot of trouble with hunger while dieting. But, if you can eat at a deficit without going primal, what weight loss benefit does primal eating give you? Letís say you have 2 twins who are the same weight and gender and are fed the same amount of calories and exercise the same exact amount. If you feed 1 a high carb diet and the other a low carb (primal) diet, they will both lose the same amount of weight.

    I donít mean to disrespect Mark or anyone else who supports him. I just want to see if I am missing something here.
    Many people with excess fat issues, tend to resupply blood glucose after it starts dropping by adding carbs exogenously (down their mouths). with this many times comes a calorie surplus. Alot of normal sized people still tend to do this also, just they don't see the fat gaining effects until their activity levels start dropping some time around mid twenties.
    A bout of low carb eating can help retrain the body to manufacture its own BG when it starts dropping. Once that is done LC is nothing special, unless there are unusual extenuating circumstances.


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    Virtually every overweight person understands CICO but 95-97% of them cannot translate it into action. Why is that? CICO is definitely one of the dominos in the row but it doesn't seem to be the first one.

    A body with nutrient deficiencies, allergen inflammation, or excess stimulant conditioning is going to behave differently around food. No amount of arithmetic is going to make them less hungry or less lethargic until the diet is cleaned up. Once that's done stored fat will find its way into tissues and energy intake demand will decline.
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    I don’t mean to disrespect Mark or anyone else who supports him. I just want to see if I am missing something here.
    Here are two sample days of me eating @ 1500 calories:

    Breakfast- 3 eggs, scrambled with bacon, mushrooms, spinach. 1/2 cup blueberres, coffee with cream
    Lunch- Chicken and asparagus, water
    Dinner- Steak, small sweet potato, butter, spinach

    OR
    Breakfast- eggwhites, low fat cheese, whole grain tortilla, salsa
    Lunch- veggie wrap with low fat cheese
    Dinner- pasta with tomatoe sauce, salad and a roll

    The above is primal, below is typical low fat. I feel like primal is WAY more nutrient dense and the focus on whole foods is really healing compared to straight up caloric restriction. It just works better to eliminate useless filler foods like grains and focus your calories on more satiating and nourishing foods.

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    Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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