17

votes

Why do Mark Sisson, Jack Kruse, etc. say you can eat as much as you want on Paleo?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 03, 2012 at 12:36 AM

In an interview with Paleo Magazine, Mark Sisson says, "The idea, then, is to cut out the grains, cut out the simple sugars, cut out the omega six oils, and instead eat literally all you want from a long list of very tasty healthy foods..."

In one question on PaleoHacks, Jack Kruse comments that you can "[eat] as much as you want as long as its good healthy food."

On NerdFitness, Steve Kamb also says the Paleo Diet "allows you to eat as much as you want."

On PaleoDietLifestyle, Sebastian Noel claims "you should probably have as much [fat] as you want."

And when I first learned about Paleo, this food list was one of the first ones I looked at and the first line reads "Starting with meats, eat as much as you want for breakfast, lunch & dinner." I had been a vegetarian with an eating disorder for a few years so my first thought was, "Really? As much as I want? WELL SIGN ME UP."

We all know that you obviously shouldn't eat as much as you want, even if you're really active and especially if you're trying to lose weight. Is saying you can eat as much as you want on the Paleo Diet just a way of enticing people to adopt it? I think that statement is misleading. It's like, "Hey you're full? But you still wanna keep eating? Well alllllrighty then!" Now I think it would be better to say, "You can eat as much as you want. But you'll find you don't have to eat so much since this diet is so satiating" or something along those lines. I don't know why this is frustrating me.

Ef26f888ed248de197c37a4cb04ef4a7

(584)

on September 30, 2012
at 10:14 AM

No, I just ate a lot of food because I believed the false assumption that you won't get fat on keto. 3 belt buckle sizes later I was forced to accept reality.

B6c16d850e7305aad0507ad079ecf1d4

(232)

on September 29, 2012
at 10:08 PM

Testosterone works to maintain/build muscle, and muscle burns more calories. Very different metabolism I suppose.

B6c16d850e7305aad0507ad079ecf1d4

(232)

on September 29, 2012
at 10:03 PM

People tend to binge eat when they are stressed and their diet is too restrictive, could this be the case for you?

B6c16d850e7305aad0507ad079ecf1d4

(232)

on September 29, 2012
at 09:53 PM

My guess is a person with zero poor eating habits and a perfect metabolism is very unlikely to deviate from the SAD anyway.

Ef26f888ed248de197c37a4cb04ef4a7

(584)

on August 06, 2012
at 09:08 AM

So it must of been all in my imagination when I gained 20lbs on a keto diet?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 30, 2012
at 08:01 PM

I guess I'm thinking of body builder guys here, the ones slamming protein shakes on top of a paleo template, and ending up with very low bodyfat in spite of consciously consuming a lot of calories. I don't think it is sexist that my body reacts differently to a diet than my husband's, I just think many of the recommendations come from men who have mentored and trained mostly men. Men tend to lose the most weight, and they lose it more rapidly when they make the switch to a paleo diet. Even when I go VLC, I can lose some weight, but beyond the initial water weight it is very slow.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 30, 2012
at 02:38 PM

Giving in to Twinkies is easier and cheaper than preparing a seasoned steak which would be much more satisfying for the same calorie load. Most people outside of the veg crowd would acknowledge that they'd rather have the steak.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 30, 2012
at 02:32 PM

There's something satisfying about eating steak for lunch over a handful of wheat thins and a sandwich. Even if that sandwich had meat in it. Like the difference between a cadillac and a ford fairlane.....dated metaphor.....whatever....there's a rewarding elegance to the steak that tuna fish can't touch....

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on July 30, 2012
at 11:02 AM

I don't think so. Eating past satiety is binging, therefore eating **past** what you want. That's not what they're saying. The trick is that protein/fats are satiating and you'll naturally stop when you've had enough, where as if most of your calories come from carbs, you won't. Even Paul Jaminet's version of the Paleo diet is considerably low carb compared to SAD, so it also works very well in this regard. It's not a sexist thing, it's not a carnivorous thing. You can completely shut off your appetite on nothing more than coconut oil.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on July 30, 2012
at 10:59 AM

Not true. If you eat mostly fat/protein (i.e. meat, and good oils: coconut, avocado, red palm, grassfed ghee/butter) you don't get fat. If you eat mostly fruit and starchy veggies, you will. The thing to understand is that fat and protein are satiating, where as sweet carbs, especially if it's missing fiber, will make you hungry.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 30, 2012
at 09:43 AM

That said, its definately an oversimplification. If someone specifically wanted to lose more weight, above and beyond reversing there metabolic syndrome, then some exercise is in order etc. And if they have food issues, calorie counting, or restricting hyper-palatable foods may help. But the general notion that it can help outside of that is correct -IMO it can.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 30, 2012
at 09:37 AM

It probably averages out to the "right amount" of calories. But theres nothing calorie or food limiting about how I eat. I just eat when I am hungry, the amount that fills me up. Volume wise I used to eat less, and was still hungry alot. I think most probably that the body is not really used to handling large amounts of refined carbs in an inactive state. Theres an ice age legacy in our genes IMO. It handles high carbs in highly active individuals of course, but low activity, high refined carb, and you got obesity and metabolic syndrome, I reckon.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 30, 2012
at 09:31 AM

Id say its because probably most obesity is related to metabolic syndrome rather than "too many calories", and lower carb paleo tends to fix that. I eat all I want, which is more than I used to and Ive lost weight (I used to eat one meal a day 90% carbs, and I was ten kgs fatter). I dont generally eat much too more than whats recommended for my height and weight calorically though, and occasionally its less too. I am always full after a meal.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on June 04, 2012
at 08:43 PM

Yeah, it's all about the "quick fix" in society. People want the easy-way-out and instead of accepting that you have to have a calorie deficit to lose weight and watch what you eat, they'd rather not have to pay attention to it. sad but true.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 04, 2012
at 12:29 PM

@Harry in the case of amino acids I suppose that it would be bore accurate to use something less than 4 kcal/dry gram for metabolic effect. But what? 3.5 kcal/g? The proteins are still largely metabolized. Beyond that, my big quibble here is not with protein, but with eating unlimited quantities of fat and carbs.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 04, 2012
at 11:01 AM

@thhq: Amino acids are treated differently to carbohydrate and fatty acid moieties. They flow into different metabolic pathways with different ATP utilization and generation. For example, fructose and glucose enter the glycolysis pathway at different stages. Similarly for the different fatty acid chain lengths and bond saturation. Additionally, some fatty acids act as ligands as well as energy substrates further influencing caloric quotient.

Bcc4479de4f16939076e0a00e2db1261

(94)

on June 04, 2012
at 10:07 AM

I think they say that because you stop eating when you're full on Paleo. Last night I ate a steak and broccoli cooked in coconut oil. I was full afterwards, no cravings. If I had spaghetti, I would have eaten the whole box and still been hungry, with cravings. Thats trouble.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 04, 2012
at 09:11 AM

Satiety is proportional to enzymatic digestion. The starch from the oatmeal begins its conversion to glucose in the mouth from the activity of salivary amylase. However, you're right insofar as the "mental satiety" is concerned - the sugars from the starch will contribute to "feel good" neurotransmitters.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 04, 2012
at 12:12 AM

They are trying to market a diet program that doesn't feel like you're on a diet, that's why.

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on June 03, 2012
at 11:56 PM

That's you! Everybody's different. Mark Sisson can eat all he wants and be full with 1500 calories. So can you. You can't eat 5000 calories on Paleo but some can. Everybody's different, and I think it's very important for paleo writers to remember that. I wish mark had said something like "Many who swich to Paleo find they can eat all they want without gaining weight, and even those who have to watch calories find it easier with Paleo." True, sympathetic, inclusive … that's what we want.

68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on June 03, 2012
at 11:15 PM

The idea isn't for all of us to be 100% controlled by hormones and have absolutely zero "non-instinctual" decision making. Obviously this doesn't occur nor does it make sense. Human beings reign supreme on this planet because of these non-instinctual capabilities. With that said, hormones can bring things to such a level that they don't factor much into the conscious thought. Maybe every once in a while, when you decide to have that extra drink or dessert, but not all the time. The people who are out of hormonal balance tend to make food consumption conscious much more often.

14e1dbdd25db00d2c9db36d6a695f6cb

(159)

on June 03, 2012
at 07:55 PM

This comment fires me up a little. I totally agree with the "deciding things", I think you have to give the hormonal thing more credit. Having struggling for most of my life with female hormone issues and carb addiction issues, I can tell you that the only time I was totally free from the addiction was when my carb intake was extremely low, and thus changing my hormonal environment. As soon as I added back fruit (berries), bam! I felt better but the addictions and struggle started up again.

14e1dbdd25db00d2c9db36d6a695f6cb

(159)

on June 03, 2012
at 07:49 PM

I found the LC high fat, high protein was awesome for satiety and lack of carb/sugar cravings, but I gained bodyfat and felt terrible most of the time (5 weeks). I'm pretty sure I was just overconsuming, but I'm pretty certain I'm one of those that has ED probs.

14e1dbdd25db00d2c9db36d6a695f6cb

(159)

on June 03, 2012
at 07:38 PM

I found this to be true for me, lost an initial 15 pounds on paleo, then plateau'd for months, while 'eating as much as I want'. Am trying to watch caloric intake 5 or 6 days a week for the first time in my life, and guess what: it's working. (Not easy, tho)

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 03, 2012
at 07:09 PM

Neolithic diseases include eating disorders.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 03, 2012
at 07:07 PM

Evolutionary biology says use your legs and arms to get food.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 03, 2012
at 07:04 PM

@Harry you confuse digestion with metabolism. Foods digest at different rates but once in the bloodstream they all burn the same.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on June 03, 2012
at 07:00 PM

eat all you want makes sense to me if you take into account that there are some days I don't 'want' to eat at all--which leads me to IF.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:32 PM

I hadn't realized it was you who interviewed Mark. But thanks for your input!

Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on June 03, 2012
at 04:42 PM

I dismiss a lot of Kruse's advice. Dude is just strange.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 03, 2012
at 01:41 PM

I think Harry's point is very interesting. Once I switched to eating this way I felt I was no longer caught up in an eat-reward cycle and was free to go do other things.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 03, 2012
at 01:39 PM

A bowl of oatmeal leaves me hungry in about an hour. I always had to put about a quarter cup of almond or peanut butter in my oatmeal to make it satisfy more than 2 hours.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:34 PM

Harry, you're correct that the cals from whey and pasta do not produce the same response in the body however at the end of the day, week, month, life, etc the amount of calories one consumes is what dictates whether more mass is added to the human body. Those calories can come from the happiest grassfed cow or white bread.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:27 PM

I agree with you. Initial claims of eating ad libitum on paleo are just like LC claims about eating as much fat and protein as you want. The action is simply that people unconsciously consume fewer overall calories eating that way. That is what leads to the weight loss.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:26 PM

So you don't think that grains are "high satiety"? You realize your claim flies in the face of millions of people's experience, right? A bowl of steel cut oatmeal, creamy buckwheat, simmered lentils, etc are quite filling, very high satiety both physically and mentally.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:24 PM

I think your reasoning is flawed. Your answer supposed human beings are automatons. Your answer positions humans more like wild animals. However we are quite different as we can decide things. We decide "oh hell I'll have another steak, another bag of chips, another twix" etc. While I wholly agree with you that hormones most definitely contribute to the drive to eat more, at the end of the day people always decide to consume more or not. We are not at the mercy of our hormones.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:22 PM

good answer. voice of reason.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:21 PM

I agree with you David. Unfortunately I think the desperate masses see quotes like theirs and read it as "yes, finally a diet that allows me to eat a ton of X or Y!" People want the easy answer that calories don't matter. They do, though.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:20 PM

would consume over maintenance calories and so would gain some type of body weight. If they had a good muscle-building stimulus going then they gain lean muscle mass (yah!) and if they don't have that stimulus most of the weight gain will be body fat.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:19 PM

Anyone claiming that a person can eat beyond what their body requires for maintenance and not gain weight is not telling the truth. That is fact; it's a settled issue, not up for debate. Whether eating the foods those guys claim leads one to perhaps tend to unconsciously eat under or right at a person's maintenance is another issue. I'd say it's more dependent on each individual person. There are millions of people eating SAD who are eating as much as they want and not gaining weight. There are plenty of people who eat vegan, paleo, this or that, who if they ate really "ate all they want" woul

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 03, 2012
at 10:28 AM

Calories are definitely not calories. Our bodies are not calorimeters. The body treats the three macronutrients differently, hence 50 calories from whey protein do not equate to 50 calories from pasta.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 03, 2012
at 10:00 AM

Well they seem to have said virtually the same thing.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on June 03, 2012
at 04:03 AM

Yeah, it would be different eating that much fat. I do eat fat, but not 80%.

7383f6c855d79e3fd67d0e72146a004d

(0)

on June 03, 2012
at 03:28 AM

Not sure I would lump Sisson et al. together with this guy: http://imgur.com/Epd9P

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on June 03, 2012
at 03:22 AM

I easily have 5000 calorie days. It's pretty easy on an 80% fat diet. But like you, I only know that after the fact, I never think about what I'm eating and only stop when I'm full.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on June 03, 2012
at 03:08 AM

Agreed. If I eat over 1200 calories daily, I do NOT lose weight (and I'm borderline obese, so I'm at a point where I should be losing weight "easily"). Calories do matter at the end, at least for most females. I've seen some men who indeed eat a lot in keto, and did lose weight. But for most cases I've read about females, calorie restriction was paramount.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:55 AM

This is now true for me, after 18 months Primal. It took awhile for my metabolism to sort itself out.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:45 AM

I think the problem lies with the possibility of taking that statement out of context. We definitely don't want to go around advertising that people can eat and eat and eat on Paleo and *not* gain weight.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:12 AM

Not eating fruit really helped me to shed weight.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:11 AM

My question is - how do they know? Have they done extensive research on the subject?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 03, 2012
at 01:36 AM

Our ancestors ate to satiety when they could but they weren't living in a superabundance of food like we are today. Eating all you want is just another reward strategy. IF makes more sense as an emulation of paleo eating.

Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on June 03, 2012
at 01:17 AM

I get what you're saying Sol. From what I've seen the "experts" have been pretty consistent in saying there's no one answer for everyone. *shrugs* It's the interwebs people, the best we can hope for is a few bits of wisdom in a vast sea of nonsense.

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on June 03, 2012
at 01:14 AM

There's nothing wrong with the idea for the people it works for. The problem is the blanket statement that it works for everyone.

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30 Answers

28
1bbcd2122d9c75b07440f22ef57d6448

(2934)

on June 03, 2012
at 01:16 AM

A major part of the paleo diet (that is often overlooked) is eating to satiety. When the various paleo gurus say "eat all they want," they are advising someone with a healthy relationship with food who is aware of when they have sufficiently fueled their body.

Eliminating harmful foods can improve health, but calories are still calories, and if you are consuming a great deal more than you're burning, you're going to store the rest of it. I've heard people get very upset when told they won't magically lose weight eating the same number of calories that got them to where they were, just by eating less carbs and more something else.

"Eat all you want" isn't intrinsically wrong, it's just not complete.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 03, 2012
at 01:36 AM

Our ancestors ate to satiety when they could but they weren't living in a superabundance of food like we are today. Eating all you want is just another reward strategy. IF makes more sense as an emulation of paleo eating.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 03, 2012
at 07:04 PM

@Harry you confuse digestion with metabolism. Foods digest at different rates but once in the bloodstream they all burn the same.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 04, 2012
at 11:01 AM

@thhq: Amino acids are treated differently to carbohydrate and fatty acid moieties. They flow into different metabolic pathways with different ATP utilization and generation. For example, fructose and glucose enter the glycolysis pathway at different stages. Similarly for the different fatty acid chain lengths and bond saturation. Additionally, some fatty acids act as ligands as well as energy substrates further influencing caloric quotient.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on June 03, 2012
at 07:00 PM

eat all you want makes sense to me if you take into account that there are some days I don't 'want' to eat at all--which leads me to IF.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 03, 2012
at 10:28 AM

Calories are definitely not calories. Our bodies are not calorimeters. The body treats the three macronutrients differently, hence 50 calories from whey protein do not equate to 50 calories from pasta.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:34 PM

Harry, you're correct that the cals from whey and pasta do not produce the same response in the body however at the end of the day, week, month, life, etc the amount of calories one consumes is what dictates whether more mass is added to the human body. Those calories can come from the happiest grassfed cow or white bread.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 04, 2012
at 12:29 PM

@Harry in the case of amino acids I suppose that it would be bore accurate to use something less than 4 kcal/dry gram for metabolic effect. But what? 3.5 kcal/g? The proteins are still largely metabolized. Beyond that, my big quibble here is not with protein, but with eating unlimited quantities of fat and carbs.

14
B6e742bab3bf787b01f1c6cab8825412

on June 03, 2012
at 01:19 AM

To me, "eat as much as you want" means not counting calories or macros or blocks or whatever.

Many come to paleo unhealthy and needing to lose weight. So there are two scenarios to consider (and I believe Robb Wolf talks about this too):

1) Do I need to lose weight? Yes - then I can't really eat as much as I want, but it still probably is not as strict as a "normal" diet.
No - refer to scenario 2.

-OR-

2) Am I at my ideal weight?
Yes - then I can eat as much as I want until satisfied.
No - then refer back to scenario 1.

Choose your own adventure!

12
980a08fc871f83f803191278d1a8c3c3

(531)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:54 AM

Yeah, and I can't count the number of posts I have read here from people new to eating this way and frustrated that they are eating 3000 cal from healthy fats and proteins and gaining weight- feeling like they were tricked, and they sort of were.

Maybe what they mean is that you can eat as much Paleo food as you want without doing damage to your health- but that doesn't mean you won't gain weight?

Obviously the idea is that Paleo foods tend to be much more satiating, but we all know that in reality you can over eat on any diet, and it will always lead to storing weight.

Maybe a person with zero poor eating habits, no history of ED, eating out of boredom, food addiction or emotional eating, and a perfect metabolism may be able to stay so tuned to their body that they can eat all they want because their body only asks for the right foods at only the right times... I can only theorize, since I have never met anyone like that.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on June 03, 2012
at 03:08 AM

Agreed. If I eat over 1200 calories daily, I do NOT lose weight (and I'm borderline obese, so I'm at a point where I should be losing weight "easily"). Calories do matter at the end, at least for most females. I've seen some men who indeed eat a lot in keto, and did lose weight. But for most cases I've read about females, calorie restriction was paramount.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 03, 2012
at 07:09 PM

Neolithic diseases include eating disorders.

B6c16d850e7305aad0507ad079ecf1d4

(232)

on September 29, 2012
at 09:53 PM

My guess is a person with zero poor eating habits and a perfect metabolism is very unlikely to deviate from the SAD anyway.

9
43f469552cfd3be73fc88a9821b14986

on June 03, 2012
at 03:21 AM

If you can eat as much pasta, cake or bread as you would like. How much pasta or cake would that be?

Now compare that with eggs, steak or broccoli. How much would you eat of that? Big difference, huh?

After once slice of bread, I want a second and third. After one serving of steak, I am not going for seconds and thirds.

This diet naturally gives you natural speed bumps. But of course you can binge on any diet.

9
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:02 AM

If you cut out grains, processed carbs (inc simple sugars) and foods with a high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, you end up with a limited range of foods that - in addition to their excellent nutritional profile - have two defining effects on the hypothalamus:

  1. High satiety

  2. Low reward/addictiveness

Whilst both of these effects are known, (2) is rarely mentioned in terms of the "you can eat as much as you want and still [insert goal]" paradigm.

To understand how (2) works, its important to view food not only in terms of its macro/micronutrient content but also in terms of its neurotransmitter effect, particularly neurotransmission associated with reward.

Sugar, for example, is associated with elevation of dopamine and serotonin. However, dopamine and serotonin are also released during goal achievement, exercise, sex, novel experiences, etc.

Paleo type foods don't have the same dopamine and serotonin releasing effect as processed foods rich in carbs and being on a Paleo type diet starves the brain of the serotonin and dopamine that it has become accustomed to obtaining from a Westernized/processed foods.

Consequently, one must revert back to activity-type dopamine and serotonin release, which has additional beneficial effects that are synergistic with appetite control and metabolic rate.

Take home messages:

  1. reward effect is equally powerful to satiety effect of food.

  2. reward may be mediated by ingestion (food/drugs) or activity

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:26 PM

So you don't think that grains are "high satiety"? You realize your claim flies in the face of millions of people's experience, right? A bowl of steel cut oatmeal, creamy buckwheat, simmered lentils, etc are quite filling, very high satiety both physically and mentally.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 03, 2012
at 01:41 PM

I think Harry's point is very interesting. Once I switched to eating this way I felt I was no longer caught up in an eat-reward cycle and was free to go do other things.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 04, 2012
at 09:11 AM

Satiety is proportional to enzymatic digestion. The starch from the oatmeal begins its conversion to glucose in the mouth from the activity of salivary amylase. However, you're right insofar as the "mental satiety" is concerned - the sugars from the starch will contribute to "feel good" neurotransmitters.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 03, 2012
at 01:39 PM

A bowl of oatmeal leaves me hungry in about an hour. I always had to put about a quarter cup of almond or peanut butter in my oatmeal to make it satisfy more than 2 hours.

8
2e5dc29c61f97d335ffb990508424719

on June 03, 2012
at 01:11 AM

Because Paleo is not calorie restrictive. It is certain food restrictive. Total calories are not what is important. Sensitizing your body to insulin and leptin is. This is what makes Paleo different from any other "Diet." It is more of a lifestyle that works based on evolutionary biology.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 03, 2012
at 07:07 PM

Evolutionary biology says use your legs and arms to get food.

7
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:20 AM

This advice is obviously based on the tacit assumption that how-much-you-want-to-eat when eating healthy whole foods will become an appropriate amount. I don't think they should be interpreted as saying you can eat any amount of food that one could conceivably want to eat and that will be fine. I don't think the ""Hey you're full? But you still wanna keep eating? Well alllllrighty then!" scenario applies to their recommendation. Eating even when you're full sounds distinctly like eating more than you "want" in the sense meant. I think it's pretty obvious that they don't mean "eat as much as you want, even if you want to eat solely to fill some psychological urge unrelated to hunger."

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:21 PM

I agree with you David. Unfortunately I think the desperate masses see quotes like theirs and read it as "yes, finally a diet that allows me to eat a ton of X or Y!" People want the easy answer that calories don't matter. They do, though.

6
Medium avatar

(19469)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:22 PM

The problem with this reasoning (the "you can eat all you want on Paleo" meme) is that "Paleo" is supposed to bear some sort of resemblance (somewhere between "reenactment" and "reasonable analogs") to the evolutionary environment of adaptation (EEA).

In the EEA, food choices, food quality, and food quantity would have been determined by population specific food gathering/processing technology and whatever flora and fauna was suitable and abundant enough to support a standing population of humans.

While modern Hunter Gatherers (HGs) are typically able to procure enough calories to survive relatively well (above the "starvation" level), this is still in the context of regular periods of scarcity and larger cycles of drought, disease, etc. that can completely obliterate the productivity of an area as well as human populations.

It is hard to imagine that there is any EEA equivalent to supermarkets, places that allow highly engineered (through genetic modification or traditional agricultural practices) pre digested animals and plants to be had for a minimum of energetic expenditure.

Note: I was the one who actually conducted the Sisson interview cited in the original question so I have to take some personal responsibility in letting that assertion go unchallenged.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:32 PM

I hadn't realized it was you who interviewed Mark. But thanks for your input!

6
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on June 03, 2012
at 03:20 AM

A major part of cutting the crap out of your diet is that "eating as much as you want" really becomes "eating what you need." Your body has great hunger/satiated signals as long as they're not getting screwed up with the wrong inputs. For the last 4 years I have never counted a calorie or stopped eating while I still felt hungry, and I have no trouble maintaining weight. If I have a really active day, I'll get really hungry; especially for fat and I can easily have a 6,000 calorie day if I think about it and add it up. If I have a lazy day on the couch, I won't get hungry and I may skip lunch (because I forget about it), and have a small dinner (because I'm still not hungry).

I totally buy the "eat as much as you want" mantra, but it has to be real food, not paleoized copies of bad food. You can't do the "technically paleo" trick. You can't feed your sugar demons with fruit.

6
Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on June 03, 2012
at 01:11 AM

I pretty much eat all I want. I count nothing. I have no idea how many calories, carbs, etc I get per day and don't care. I'm in the best shape of my life.

What's wrong with the idea that you can eat as much as you want if it's good food?

Edit: Some of us eat paleo for health, not weight loss. I'm not trying to lose pounds, I'm just trying to thrive. I thrive by eating when hungry and playing when sedentary. For me - the advice you say is wrong, isn't.

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on June 03, 2012
at 01:14 AM

There's nothing wrong with the idea for the people it works for. The problem is the blanket statement that it works for everyone.

Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on June 03, 2012
at 01:17 AM

I get what you're saying Sol. From what I've seen the "experts" have been pretty consistent in saying there's no one answer for everyone. *shrugs* It's the interwebs people, the best we can hope for is a few bits of wisdom in a vast sea of nonsense.

6
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on June 03, 2012
at 12:57 AM

I do eat all I want, it's just that I am very full on about 1500 calories a day. I only know that that is my usual calorie intake after the fact, when I occasionally log my foods, so I'm not aiming for that. I eat as I want, and I just end up there.

All those guys know how filling the food is, and that as we lose cravings for bad food, we will enjoy and consume more of the good food in a way that has us paying more attention to signs that we are hungry or full. Well, that's how it is for me. I don't think people should consume 5000 a day, but I have no idea how anyone could eating paleo.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:55 AM

This is now true for me, after 18 months Primal. It took awhile for my metabolism to sort itself out.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on June 03, 2012
at 03:22 AM

I easily have 5000 calorie days. It's pretty easy on an 80% fat diet. But like you, I only know that after the fact, I never think about what I'm eating and only stop when I'm full.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on June 03, 2012
at 04:03 AM

Yeah, it would be different eating that much fat. I do eat fat, but not 80%.

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on June 03, 2012
at 11:56 PM

That's you! Everybody's different. Mark Sisson can eat all he wants and be full with 1500 calories. So can you. You can't eat 5000 calories on Paleo but some can. Everybody's different, and I think it's very important for paleo writers to remember that. I wish mark had said something like "Many who swich to Paleo find they can eat all they want without gaining weight, and even those who have to watch calories find it easier with Paleo." True, sympathetic, inclusive … that's what we want.

5
35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:47 AM

It also doesn't sit well with me when the Paleo gurus tell us that we can eat all we want. While I've certainly not gained weight on Paleo I've not lost any either. To lose weight on Paleo beyond a certain amount (varies for each of us) will take a calorie deficit. I recognize that there are plenty of benefits to Paleo beyond whether I can lose those last 10 pounds or not but I do think the "eat all you want" thing is only a half truth.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:12 AM

Not eating fruit really helped me to shed weight.

4
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on June 03, 2012
at 05:29 AM

The caveat is that until you're completely "healed" metabolically, this isn't true. There are millions of N=1 testimonies that will prove it. In theory though, it should all be regulated by hormones as long as you're providing the body what it demands. This will be naturally compensated/adjusted, without conscious thought when activity changes.

The problem is, when these messages hit the mainstream, they are usually appealing to people who are nowhere close to metabolically healthy. That's actually part of the attraction of it as people naturally want something where they have the freedom to not restrict.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:24 PM

I think your reasoning is flawed. Your answer supposed human beings are automatons. Your answer positions humans more like wild animals. However we are quite different as we can decide things. We decide "oh hell I'll have another steak, another bag of chips, another twix" etc. While I wholly agree with you that hormones most definitely contribute to the drive to eat more, at the end of the day people always decide to consume more or not. We are not at the mercy of our hormones.

68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on June 03, 2012
at 11:15 PM

The idea isn't for all of us to be 100% controlled by hormones and have absolutely zero "non-instinctual" decision making. Obviously this doesn't occur nor does it make sense. Human beings reign supreme on this planet because of these non-instinctual capabilities. With that said, hormones can bring things to such a level that they don't factor much into the conscious thought. Maybe every once in a while, when you decide to have that extra drink or dessert, but not all the time. The people who are out of hormonal balance tend to make food consumption conscious much more often.

14e1dbdd25db00d2c9db36d6a695f6cb

(159)

on June 03, 2012
at 07:55 PM

This comment fires me up a little. I totally agree with the "deciding things", I think you have to give the hormonal thing more credit. Having struggling for most of my life with female hormone issues and carb addiction issues, I can tell you that the only time I was totally free from the addiction was when my carb intake was extremely low, and thus changing my hormonal environment. As soon as I added back fruit (berries), bam! I felt better but the addictions and struggle started up again.

4
Af3e3615beba642bcafd0f21d64d74f7

on June 03, 2012
at 02:55 AM

because you can

4
Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 03, 2012
at 01:27 AM

My version of paleo is like the Med diet with lots of meat and exercise. If I ate all I wanted of this 50% carb diet and went back to being sedentary I'd gain a lot of weight. Carbs support a high activity lifestyle. I don't believe that our ancestors avoided them like the Paleo pundits do. There's something wrong with their idea that paleo is like a Las Vegas buffet.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:27 PM

I agree with you. Initial claims of eating ad libitum on paleo are just like LC claims about eating as much fat and protein as you want. The action is simply that people unconsciously consume fewer overall calories eating that way. That is what leads to the weight loss.

4
76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

on June 03, 2012
at 01:08 AM

"You can eat as much as you want. But you'll find you don't have to eat so much since this diet is so satiating"

I think there???s a difference between feeling SAD full and then feeling Paleo full???when a SAD eater eats Paleo for the first or second time, it???s as though their body is rewired and they know for probably the first time in their lives what it???s like to be full AND satiated???so at least to ME, the above excert is almost a dare of sorts??????Just try to eat the way you use to using these foods, and see what happens??? which I did try and FAILED miserably. I so rarely eat more than twice a day and the idea of doing so makes me feel quite ill. So maybe instead of ???eat as much as you want??? it should read something like ???eat as much as you THINK you need, but you???ll find you don???t have to eat so much??????

There are of course those people that are food addicts who will consume food for no other reason than consumption for consumptions sake, and yes, this can seem like permission to do so and in that regard, I can see why it might bother you.

Truth.

3
F0a3e3f17d9a740810ac37ff2353a9f3

(3804)

on June 03, 2012
at 05:08 PM

We have plenty of evidence from dietary trials that people can eat "as much as they want" of protein and fat and lose weight as long as they restrict carbohydrate. In those cases, as much as they want turns out to be considerably less than they wanted before, which suggests that carbohydrate restriction normalizes appetite. It may be that the appropriate Paleolithic foods can have the same effect without regard to macronutrient ratios, but there isn't yet much evidence for it.

14e1dbdd25db00d2c9db36d6a695f6cb

(159)

on June 03, 2012
at 07:49 PM

I found the LC high fat, high protein was awesome for satiety and lack of carb/sugar cravings, but I gained bodyfat and felt terrible most of the time (5 weeks). I'm pretty sure I was just overconsuming, but I'm pretty certain I'm one of those that has ED probs.

3
26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 03, 2012
at 05:46 AM

Neither Mark Sisson or Jack Kruse are "paleo" in the original, strictest sense of the "diet." Mark Sisson advocates "primal" with LIMITED dairy and now "SAFE" grains.

Kruse advocates "BIG LEPTIN RESET BREAKFAST" and ice baths, and super-special-secret-stuff-of-the-week.

Sisson posts that CALORIES DO COUNT for weight-loss, as well as carb intake.

"Paleo" diet/eating, in the original Whole 9 sense, means, NO GRAINS, NO DAIRY, NO SUGAR, LIMITED SUGAR AND SALT.

It is supposedly hard to overeat whole foods, like meat and veg.

CALORIES DO COUNT.

Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on June 03, 2012
at 04:42 PM

I dismiss a lot of Kruse's advice. Dude is just strange.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:22 PM

good answer. voice of reason.

3
8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

on June 03, 2012
at 01:52 AM

I eat until I am satiated. I can't handle the feeling of fullness. I think "eat all you want" is, to not be stressed about how much you eat or to measure anything. To listen your body and do whatever makes you feel good.

Too many people on diets ask, how much can I eat? What's the measurement? And then they go on the weight scale, measure their calories, measure how much water hey drink, measure everything... too much stress.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:45 AM

I think the problem lies with the possibility of taking that statement out of context. We definitely don't want to go around advertising that people can eat and eat and eat on Paleo and *not* gain weight.

3
Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on June 03, 2012
at 01:15 AM

...I do eat as much as I want. Often I have to eat MORE than I want, because I'm strength training and trying to build muscle. I think a better phrase might be "eat as much as you're hungry for," thus excluding things like emotional eating.

1
B6c16d850e7305aad0507ad079ecf1d4

(232)

on September 29, 2012
at 10:14 PM

If someone is trying to motivate you to go on their diet, they want to say something that shocks you; that draws your attention. "eat as much as you want" will work better in advertising than "if you're trying to lose weight, paleo foods will be more satisfying and you'll naturally eat less therefore this is not a calorie counting diet". Basically they say one thing to get your attention, then explain it if you buy their book kinda deal.

Also, it's very foolish to assume everyone's goal is weight loss.

1
E0f5cc680bb8ae31c07abeb706d70a15

(370)

on July 30, 2012
at 02:12 PM

When I started doing Paleo, the very first change I noticed was that I actually felt full after a normal-sized meal. Before Paleo, if I ate a sandwich/Wheat Thins/Diet Coke for lunch, I was hungry again an hour later. Now, I eat a grilled seasoned steak/brocolli/small hunk of ultra-dark chocolate/ice water for lunch and I'm satisfied for hours. Point being, like many others have said, when you're eating the right foods you won't NEED or WANT to eat way more than you need to. Thus, statements like 'you can eat as much as you want' have some validity, because when you're eating the right foods and not Cheetoes or frozen pizzas you wont WANT to eat until you explode. The chemicals and sugars in processed foods are what gives us that urge to go buckwild. Take those factors away, and you won't feel that necessity to eat until you can't move.

For me, the key has been healthy fats. Eat plenty of those and you'll be sustained for hours. That's why the traditional 'Low-Fat' diet that most health-concious Americans subscribe to inevitably fails; you never get a sense of being full eating foods that have no fat, so you're constantly hungry and overwhelmed by cravings, and most people eventually give in to temptation and go eat a box of Twinkies.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 30, 2012
at 02:32 PM

There's something satisfying about eating steak for lunch over a handful of wheat thins and a sandwich. Even if that sandwich had meat in it. Like the difference between a cadillac and a ford fairlane.....dated metaphor.....whatever....there's a rewarding elegance to the steak that tuna fish can't touch....

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 30, 2012
at 02:38 PM

Giving in to Twinkies is easier and cheaper than preparing a seasoned steak which would be much more satisfying for the same calorie load. Most people outside of the veg crowd would acknowledge that they'd rather have the steak.

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 30, 2012
at 08:09 AM

Because they are dudes...writing from a dude's perspective. Protein and fat eaten to satiety or past, plus weight lifting is likely going to yield much more visible results for men than women.

I think for women it works a little differently, and going beyond what is needed can cause weight gain on any diet, especially after years or decades of chronic starvation dieting. I have lost weight at times eating very, very well, until stuffed to the gills, but when I crunched the numbers they kept coming in well below what I was consuming on SAD.

I think it is a smoke and mirrors sort of thing, you think you are eating more because you are so full, but you're not. It certainly gets people excited, especially after being told ad nauseum to eat less.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on July 30, 2012
at 11:02 AM

I don't think so. Eating past satiety is binging, therefore eating **past** what you want. That's not what they're saying. The trick is that protein/fats are satiating and you'll naturally stop when you've had enough, where as if most of your calories come from carbs, you won't. Even Paul Jaminet's version of the Paleo diet is considerably low carb compared to SAD, so it also works very well in this regard. It's not a sexist thing, it's not a carnivorous thing. You can completely shut off your appetite on nothing more than coconut oil.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 30, 2012
at 08:01 PM

I guess I'm thinking of body builder guys here, the ones slamming protein shakes on top of a paleo template, and ending up with very low bodyfat in spite of consciously consuming a lot of calories. I don't think it is sexist that my body reacts differently to a diet than my husband's, I just think many of the recommendations come from men who have mentored and trained mostly men. Men tend to lose the most weight, and they lose it more rapidly when they make the switch to a paleo diet. Even when I go VLC, I can lose some weight, but beyond the initial water weight it is very slow.

B6c16d850e7305aad0507ad079ecf1d4

(232)

on September 29, 2012
at 10:08 PM

Testosterone works to maintain/build muscle, and muscle burns more calories. Very different metabolism I suppose.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 30, 2012
at 07:46 AM

Jimmy Moore says calories don't matter and you can eat as much as you want. That's good enough for me!

1
Fdf101349c397fbe1ecb98b310fb3737

(358)

on June 04, 2012
at 02:04 PM

I'll try to put a slightly different spin. "Eat as much as you want" does not mean to eat until you are stuffed to the gills. The main idea is that when you change to a paleo diet (for some a low-carb paleo diet), your hormones start to work properly.

Once that happens, you can better mobilize and use your fat stores for fuel. When that happens you feel less hunger and tend to feel more satiated.

Many people still need to use techniques to limit their intake, even of great foods. Do things like limiting the portions, and not having too many snack foods around the house. I am not saying to starve yourself, but it's important to find ways to not eat more than you need.

1
Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

on June 04, 2012
at 05:14 AM

Everybody is different.

why-do-mark-sisson,-jack-kruse,-etc.-say-you-can-eat-as-much-as-you-want-on-paleo?

Regardless of all the anecdotal evidence from one person's experience with their own diet , with their own unique body and their own specific training regimen everybody is different and everything is relative to what you want to accomplish.

Before you figure out your diet, or training program figure out what your goals are.

I would choose one performance goal and one aesthetic goal (preferably non-cardio or endurance sport related, because with an eating disorder you're going to walk around hungry and imbalanced all the time if your "performance goals" is running 60 miles a week).

e.g., Having a goal of 125 lbs and balancing that with 10 straight pull-ups is a great mix of aesthetic goals and performance goals because you won't kill youself trying to get to 125 lbs if you're also trying to maintain enough strength and muscle mass to hit 10 straight pull-ups.

"Comparison is the killer of all joy."

"Comparison is the killer of all joy."> "Comparison is the killer of all joy.""Comparison is the killer of all joy."

![alt text][2]

[2]: https://encrypted-tbn1.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQCtxO_uG1K1HXxqm4bAN6Tgho4AK6zoxNg4O4e3hiDXCpO9bPn4Q"Comparison is the killer of all joy."

1
Ef26f888ed248de197c37a4cb04ef4a7

on June 04, 2012
at 03:45 AM

You CAN eat as much fat, protein, veges and fruit as you want.

You'll just get fat, that's all.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on July 30, 2012
at 10:59 AM

Not true. If you eat mostly fat/protein (i.e. meat, and good oils: coconut, avocado, red palm, grassfed ghee/butter) you don't get fat. If you eat mostly fruit and starchy veggies, you will. The thing to understand is that fat and protein are satiating, where as sweet carbs, especially if it's missing fiber, will make you hungry.

Ef26f888ed248de197c37a4cb04ef4a7

(584)

on August 06, 2012
at 09:08 AM

So it must of been all in my imagination when I gained 20lbs on a keto diet?

Ef26f888ed248de197c37a4cb04ef4a7

(584)

on September 30, 2012
at 10:14 AM

No, I just ate a lot of food because I believed the false assumption that you won't get fat on keto. 3 belt buckle sizes later I was forced to accept reality.

B6c16d850e7305aad0507ad079ecf1d4

(232)

on September 29, 2012
at 10:03 PM

People tend to binge eat when they are stressed and their diet is too restrictive, could this be the case for you?

1
34d86d3b0a54fb0bb1d230af2b0d5b40

on June 03, 2012
at 11:30 PM

you can eat as much as you want, you just will not want as much. you are no longer chasing the (sugar) dragon.

1
F80aaa96354eb749a8a5efdda3feba7d

on June 03, 2012
at 04:05 AM

You can eat as much as you want, but when your leptin signals reset and your body actually KNOWS when it's full then you won't want as much as you think. And yes in the begining it's ok to eat two stakes and three helpings of veg. And yes you might not lose right away or you might even gasp gain. But it's not all about weight loss, it's about health. It's the right way to eat, and when you know that and have faith in it just let it be and you will balance out your body to where it's supposed to be. Like Bob says on the biggest loser, trust the process. hahaha

0
Afc0b8e755ac7cdde6b517fdadb50026

(778)

on July 30, 2012
at 01:37 PM

ive been eating as much as i want for many years. i guess i just dont want as much as others.

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