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

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  1. #1
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    What are the real weight loss benefits of going primal?

    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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    Quote Originally Posted by eKatherine View Post
    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.
    Plenty of people ask about weight loss while eating Primal. The title does not suggest that the OP thinks it's a temporary weight loss diet at all. That's just you constructing a strawman.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakejoh10 View Post
    Plenty of people ask about weight loss while eating Primal. The title does not suggest that the OP thinks it's a temporary weight loss diet at all. That's just you constructing a strawman.
    The thread title "What are the real weight loss benefits of going primal" implies that there need to be "weight loss benefits" for primal to be worth doing. The site is also visited regularly by dieters who are looking for a fast and easy weight loss diet.

    The thread starter reads like it was written by a troll who came here to attack "primal". Why do people come here to argue that "primal" is supposed to be a rigidly paleo diet? That isn't anything that is argued anywhere. Red flag.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eKatherine View Post
    The thread starter reads like it was written by a troll who came here to attack "primal". Why do people come here to argue that "primal" is supposed to be a rigidly paleo diet? That isn't anything that is argued anywhere. Red flag.
    Maybe it reads like that to you? I don't know, I guess I just don't assume that someone's priority is to bash the diet. Maybe the person is just looking for information, that's what people do on forums. Who are you to assume someone's motives for asking a valid question?
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    Quote Originally Posted by eKatherine View Post
    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.
    Are you saying that the processing of protein and fat burns more calories than the processing of carbs? Is that why you think I would lose more weight eating a low carb diet versus a regular diet even if calories and exercise are kept constant?

    I think that most people don't count calories (or if they do many don't count correctly) while dieting. So it is difficult to know if people lose more weight because of actually eating less calories or because eating less carbs somehow burned more calories. Maybe being on a low carb diet causes energy levels to increase. So dieters subconciously move more throughout the day, thereby burning more calories.

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