The more I read the more I'm confused and boy am I confused. I had never heard of Paleo until a month ago but after reading "Wheat Belly" and later "Why we get fat" I am hooked on the science of it, but I may be suffering from too much info. I am 6' 4" Paraplegic and I started the year @ 342 lbs with a large muscular build. I work out two - three days a week with free weights and cardio, and spent the last two summers Hand-cycling about 40 miles a week and even finished the Philadelphia Marathon this year on my bike.
I lost 30 pounds in a little over two months on Medifast but it proved too hard to sustain on the weekends. I'm a couple days into my second week of Paleo and have not lost even a pound. I'm not gaining weight but I'm not losing either. I'm eating nearly an avocado a day and cooking with coconut oil, I haven't touched a complex carb or starch in months, I found a local butcher for grass-fed beef and free range poultry. I have not been super strict with counting calories or carbs but I have done some quick calculations and If I use the 10-12 calories per pound of mass I don't know how to reach my recommended calorie and keep a healthy balance of Omega 6's to 3's. I've been eating about 2400 calories a day but but the tracker I've been using says I'm way off on Omega 6:3 ratio, Plus some sources say I may need more carbs and some say less carbs. Which do I experiment with first more or less?
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In the end, calories are what matters. Period.
For most of us, eating paleo is a real tasty, healthy way, to do so without trying. For many, this does not create enough of a caloric deficit to keep losing forever OR at all. You can overdo the fat and easily eat over your body's need.
So, if you are worried about losing weight, determine how many calories you need per day adjust with your activity.
Use Paleo to keep your food and diet clean and healthy. Don't think low cal, instead focus on the most nutritious food you can without going over.
Since you are starting out, I wouldn't worry about getting a perfect ratio of omega3:omega6. Just do you best to eat pastured meat/diary, and eliminate as much as possible vegetable/rancid oils.
Get plenty of sleep, get your stress under control, and keep up the exercise without over doing it.
Don't worry about low carb or high carb. Eat enough protein, then vary the carb around your activity level, and play around with it to what makes sense energy wise for you. The rest of your calories will come from fat (preferably saturated and mono-unsaturated). Going low carb may or may not work for you. Some do really well, while others feel much better with more starch and/or fruit Find out what you works for you, and forget about labeling.
The key, if weight loss is your goal, is to keep the caloric deficit going, otherwise you won't lose any weight.
You can definitely read lots of conflicting advice Paleoplegic!
I think it takes a while to figure out which brand of Paleo works for you, there are lots of different ways of doing things.
For me, calories do matter - I need to watch my portion sizes or I won't lose weight, no matter macro nutrient ratio I eat. However, I do find low carb to be beneficial.
Why not try low carb for a few weeks - then, if it doesn't work up your carbs with sweet potatos/ yams/ pumpkins and see how that goes?
I also really recommend Intermittant Fasting for weight loss and learning how your body works with resepct to hunger. If that's something you'd consider adding in?
I'd stick with Taubes and Davis for now, check out Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf and stay with the basics and you will see that Paleo, Low Carb, High Fat works. It is way to easy to overload with info, I did this week listening to a podcast on Jim Moores blog, So go with the basics. I'm in Philly if you want to drop me a line let me know.