2

votes

If calories count then why would paleo be more effective?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 28, 2013 at 1:33 AM

In the end, weight loss occurs when a calorie deficit is created. So.... Why would paleo be any more effective for weight loss. If I eat 1500 calories of Doritos or 1500 calories of lean meat and veggies, i may feel like crap, but won't the weight loss be the same?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 28, 2013
at 05:02 PM

Advantage goes to paleo, but there are plenty of satiating non-paleo foods out there.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 28, 2013
at 04:28 PM

Wait, wait...you don't think the satiety advantage of unrefined foods is convincing?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 28, 2013
at 04:03 PM

The part that many paleos don't get is that the easiest way to improve body comp and to increase metabolism is to move more. At the outset carb restriction aids weight loss, but as your weight comes down carbs are very effective for supplying calories for exercise.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 28, 2013
at 03:37 PM

One other paleo advantage: meat is expensive compared to starch & veg oil. If you've only got so much to spend on food you're not so mindless about eating cheap mass quantities.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:45 PM

That's a wonk for you. Just show me ONE leaky gut in a vetted scientific publication. Paleos thrive on the mythology that suits their tastes. It has very little to do with relevant science. I'll take my paleoethnology books over a "science" book like GCBC.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:25 PM

Wonky modern obsessions? Yeah, no reason to bring science into this discussion, that's just idiotic...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:22 PM

When I was losing weight I wasn't doing a paleo diet, but I was doing virtually the same thing by stringently restricting high glycemic foods like Doritos. The more I lost, the more I became dependent on being active to keep losing. The ACT of being paleo replaced Neolithic sedentism.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:13 PM

What if you ate 500 calories of Doritos and 1k of meat and veggies? That would taste mad good.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:12 PM

But one is way faster? Scissors it is!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:08 PM

Insulin...Taubes...leaky gut....grrrr. Paleo is about ancestral health not wonky modern obsessions.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:04 PM

I agree with satiation. I disagree with the idea that fat is nutrient rich. Butter stick eating is as dumb as Doritos nutrient wise.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on March 28, 2013
at 11:43 AM

Nice link, and his follow up post.

A08b210e4da7e69cd792bddc1f4aae4b

(1031)

on March 28, 2013
at 05:57 AM

Because Paleo rips a tear in the space-time continuum that taps into a parallel universe where entropy is discontinuous so the laws of thermodynamics don't apply to high-fat foods. Truth!

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on March 28, 2013
at 04:24 AM

insulin is also a muscle storage hormone so....

183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

(1716)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:23 AM

Totally this. Eating whole foods makes the calorie cutting business far easier to adhere to consistently due to the satiating nature of the foods.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:51 AM

In every scientific study people on a paleo style diet voluntarily reduce their caloric intake due to satiety. If you can live on a bag of chips a day, good luck!

Ee6932fe54ad68039a8d5f7a8caa0468

(2668)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:43 AM

simply put, for weight loss, it is not. in your example above, i hope you realize that you'd retain more lean mass (a lot more!) with the lean meat and veggies, and your body composition would go to crap with the doritos. but for weight loss, paleo is no more effective than an isocaloric non-paleo diet.

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13 Answers

6
7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:38 AM

The difference is that the nutrient dense paleo diet is likely to be far more satiating. It's a lot easier to stick to a diet and lose weight if you're not hungry all the time.

183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

(1716)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:23 AM

Totally this. Eating whole foods makes the calorie cutting business far easier to adhere to consistently due to the satiating nature of the foods.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:04 PM

I agree with satiation. I disagree with the idea that fat is nutrient rich. Butter stick eating is as dumb as Doritos nutrient wise.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:51 AM

In every scientific study people on a paleo style diet voluntarily reduce their caloric intake due to satiety. If you can live on a bag of chips a day, good luck!

5
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on March 28, 2013
at 01:55 AM

If you can actually eat nothing but Twinkies or Doritos at a calorie deficit then you'll lose weight. A nutrition professor did exactly that.

However it's hard to under-eat crap foods like that because you won't get full and your body will constantly be hungry wanting more food and calories. I don't know how this professor did it, maybe he has super will power or maybe just doesn't taste his food. Try eating nothing but a few Twinkies all day and see how you feel, then try that for 10 weeks.

The Paleo diet is naturally satisfying and most people eat fewer calories on it because they are just full sooner and their bodies are more satisfied so they are not as hungry at meals and can skip meals more easily. The higher levels of nutrition make it easier to work out regularly and harder which improves weight loss and also overall health and metabolism.

3
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 28, 2013
at 03:28 PM

Calories are calories. Satiation on paleo versus SAD: advantage paleo, but not a convincing win. Nutrition on paleo versus SAD: advantage paleo, but it's not like SAD is simply going to be deficient.

Paleo is not a guaranteed calorie-restricted diet. Plenty of folks hoover up too much food and fail to lose weight, it's not a matter of incompatible foods or incorrect macronutrient ratios... it's just too much food, period.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 28, 2013
at 04:28 PM

Wait, wait...you don't think the satiety advantage of unrefined foods is convincing?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 28, 2013
at 05:02 PM

Advantage goes to paleo, but there are plenty of satiating non-paleo foods out there.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 28, 2013
at 03:37 PM

One other paleo advantage: meat is expensive compared to starch & veg oil. If you've only got so much to spend on food you're not so mindless about eating cheap mass quantities.

3
81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

on March 28, 2013
at 01:56 AM

As-well as the fact that eating lots of carbs and high-sugar crap sends your blood sugars sky-rocketing, promoting a huge insulin response. Since insulin is a fat storage hormone= more stored fat.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:45 PM

That's a wonk for you. Just show me ONE leaky gut in a vetted scientific publication. Paleos thrive on the mythology that suits their tastes. It has very little to do with relevant science. I'll take my paleoethnology books over a "science" book like GCBC.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on March 28, 2013
at 02:25 PM

Wonky modern obsessions? Yeah, no reason to bring science into this discussion, that's just idiotic...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:08 PM

Insulin...Taubes...leaky gut....grrrr. Paleo is about ancestral health not wonky modern obsessions.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on March 28, 2013
at 04:24 AM

insulin is also a muscle storage hormone so....

2
048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

on March 28, 2013
at 11:18 AM

'Calories' count at least until a certain degree. I don't think that you can overeat as much as you can on a proper diet like some on Paleo defend but I don't also think that you can approach IIFYM at least with an iso-caloric diet and see weight lose, more even if you don't have the so-called 'good genetics' (I don't believe in good genetics but in a gradual lose of original ability to work properly).

There are plenty of studies that show how proper nutrition timing can make a difference and of course the source does matter. It's not even only a thing of calories but which kind of nutrients and how they affect the body.

Please read this eye-opening article by That Paleo Guy: Calorie Rants and Ketosis

In the end, I think that the amount of food still matters because overfeeding vs fasting is naturally different situation that will trigger different adaptations with body fat but still, when same 'calories' compared, nutrition-dense natural food that promotes good hormonal levels is hands down winner IMHO. And answering the question, I think that a Paleo approach vs similar crappy diet with same calories will win, maybe even when Paleo is still a little bit higher, because of the global positive effect on health and hormonal levels.

Well I'm no expert but based on everything I read until now and what I have experienced, this makes sense to me.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on March 28, 2013
at 11:43 AM

Nice link, and his follow up post.

1
028e70a250f38bd61fa81b0e0789bb6e

on March 28, 2013
at 03:43 PM

First to OP's question about 1500 calories of Doritos vs 1500 calories of meat and veggies. Purely on the subject of weight loss. Not talking about body composition. They are still different. Like you said 1500 calories of Doritos makes you feel like crap.

Thus you are likely going to have a much lower metabolic rate, you are also more likely to skip workout with any kind of excuses (rain, too late, blah blah blah etc etc). Your calories burnt will not be the same.

Yes, calories count. However, paleo makes it easier to retain a calorie deficit by making you feel fuller and more energetic.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 28, 2013
at 04:03 PM

The part that many paleos don't get is that the easiest way to improve body comp and to increase metabolism is to move more. At the outset carb restriction aids weight loss, but as your weight comes down carbs are very effective for supplying calories for exercise.

1
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on March 28, 2013
at 10:52 AM

Say you wanted to rid your garden of weeds.

You could do it in minutes by going around with a pair of scissors and cutting all the stalks, or you could spend a whole week and dig up the roots.

The initial results are the same, but...

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:12 PM

But one is way faster? Scissors it is!

1
D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:55 AM

Like Alex said, it is usually more nutrient dense then what you might eat otherwise. For me, there was also more fat and less refined stuff so I was fuller on less. You don't really notice it other than feeling "not as hungry" - really, most people end up eating less because they're getting what they need. You're inadvertently eating fewer calories most of the time.

0
6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

on May 11, 2013
at 07:58 AM

A lot of thin not very healthy girls in the UK and France live off coffee, chocolate, diet coke and a tiny bit of food. They may well be thin but they are not healthy and usually not very happy.

Also healthy foods keep you fuller longer. However yes if you manage to eat only a slice of chocolate cake every afternoon and diet coke at other meal times you would lose weight.

I eat very very well and lots of it and at present am not losing my extra weight because no matter how hard I try I always seem to eat double most people's portions of meat or nuts and raisins or fruit. I am never ill but I need to lose some weight and I need to find the will power to cut out nuts/raisins and fruit.

0
E331f8f1ac5077f681024999afbb886f

(40)

on May 11, 2013
at 04:10 AM

I wish people would stop advertising paleo as a weight-loss plan. It's not. If you want to lose weight, you can eat crap and still do it. I've done it. It's not that hard. Paleo is a better way of eating. It's about improving your performance, your health, your quality of life. Losing "weight" is not necessarily even healthy for everyone.

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 28, 2013
at 01:11 PM

Because paleo is a behavior shift. Eating an ancestral diet PLUS being as active as a hunter-gatherer.

0
89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

on March 28, 2013
at 05:17 AM

agree with all the points the other posters said.-You would essentially be "starving" your body of nutrients (even though your getting same calories. You'd never feel satiated, and it would drive your brain to eat more of those doritos..and youd be even more nutrient starved..and youd need more...and more..and more..:) u get the pic. I.I.F.Y M. is b/s and very unhealthy.

0
04a4f204bc2e589fa30fd31b92944549

(975)

on March 28, 2013
at 03:03 AM

It is absolutely not that simple.

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