tracking macros on paleo ?

Commented on December 19, 2014
Created November 10, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Hey guys,

few similar variations of this question have been around here, based on my search. However, I'd like to hear some personalized advise. Is it even possible to hit my desired macros with paleo in combination with IF ?

I am doing intermittent fasting for quite some time now, without noticing any major effects. Despite the fact that almost anyone swears by IF... 

Only recently I have finally decide to track my macros and try the paleo approach (the paleo is not specifically for weight loss, but health issues - intolerance to dairy/gluten). First of all, I was really surprised when I counted my desired calorie intake and macros (I am trying to go for roughly 40-20-40 fat-carbs-protein). Supposedly I should be getting 1700 kcals. I know, crazy low. But I am not very active right now, so anyways. 

When I actually started tracking, I found my self even way under these macros! I wasn't able to hit my protein at all.

I always though I must be well over my calories and that's why I am not loosing weight/fat. I am not limiting myself at all, and I am fully satiated all the time. 

Is it even possible to eat for such a calorie deficit and still not loose weight like crazy? Is there any advice you could give me? 


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3 Answers


on November 12, 2014
at 10:12 PM

Alright, so here's all my meals for today.. again I am shocked, and kind of pissed off. I am way below my target calories. 40g of protein came from protein powder (which I rarely do have) and I am still not even at 1g/ pound of weight.

I mean, there must be something wrong... how come I eat in such a caloric deficit and still not shed weight??

Meal 1:

- coffee

- butter

- vanilla extract

- caynne pepper

Meal 2:

- bone broth

- 2 egg omelet

- tuna

- baked beans (don't hate me on this one, had one can left that I needed to get rid of :P)

- dark chocolate

Meal 3: 

- 1 banana

- mixed berries

- kefir

- cinnamon

- beef protein

Meal 4

- 1 can sardines

Meal 5

protein sludge with raisins and cinnamon

Meal 6

bone broth

steamed mixed veggies

- 2 grilled chicken drumsticks

 Calories: 1333

Protein: 128 g

Carbs: 88.4g

Fat: 47.7g


I did not track bone broth and veggies.


Thank you for any tips and suggestions.


//edit: apparently I cannot add links (to the food tracking site) so I am just going to list individual food items and macros.



on December 19, 2014
at 10:39 PM

i think your body "adapted" to your daily deficit (1700kcal intake) and it is in "survival mode" which means body stores part of your intake as fat so you cant lose weight, you will gain some kgs or your weight will stay constant (dead point - no gain, no loss)
sometimes more means less (like in the study posted below)

to your macros: you say you dont get enough protein but i think you eat more than enough protein - 1g/1lb ? maybe for active bodybuilder, for you it is wasting and it only converts to glucose

and the last thing that can stop losing weight is a bad ratio - too little fat intake with too much protein intake is not good


on November 11, 2014
at 04:00 PM

Can you please provide some background info i.e age, BMI, sex?

I do a 16/8 IF on my workout days (4-5 a week) and then usually a 20/4 IF once or twice a week on non lift days. I also use carb cycling, which could be useful for you. On lift days I only eat carbs after my workout (usually a banana or straight dextrose in my shake, then sweet potatoes with my meal). On my off days I don't eat any starches or sugars, but I never limit intake or count carbs from veggies. I usually shoot for around 3000 kcal on my lift days with 150g protein, 100g carb, and the rest coming from fat. On my off days my goal in 1800 kcal, with 120g protein, under 50g carb, and the rest fat.  Note, my protein intake is probably higher than what is optimal for most, but I am very active (29 years old, 5'9" 170lb - 11%BF). I have lost about 15 pounds over the past year doing this. 



on November 11, 2014
at 04:48 PM

yes, I forgot to add that. 20 yo male, roughly 68 kg and 180 cm (studying at university right now, haven't weighed myself for quite a long time). 

Not very active at the moment (don't have access to a gym). Only doing HIIT sprints 1 or 2 times a week. And a morning walk if I do have time.

Your approach is probably optimal, very similar to what I (ideally) want to be doing. 

As I am not activelly working out right now, I don't do carb cycling.. rather I try to eat most of my carbs for the night. 

I was trying to meet certain macros, as people claim to get good results from following 'numbers'. But there is only so many eggs, tuna and chicken I can fit into my eating windows - but I never come even close to my protein (I have similar macros than you).

I'll give it maybe like 2 weeks of strict regime and will see what happens. But as I can see, it's probably not optimal to try and meet my macros on a diet like this. Rather focus on timing of the nutrients and try to adjust it to my needs.

If that doesn't do the thing, I might try ketosis. I am trying to loose some fat (not weight necessarily) for way too long, but never was 100% serious and dedicated to it. Now is the time :D



on November 12, 2014
at 03:51 PM

So I just went back and did the math on your nutrient ratio. 40% protein at your caloric goal would be just under 200g. At your size and energy expenditure that is a complete waste, it will just be converted to glucose in your liver.  If you continue to be sedintary I would drop the protein to around 60-90g/day.  If you start to be more active bump the protein to 1g/lb of body weight. I think your problem is that you are under eating fat. Just to make things easy try adding a tablespoon of olive oil to every meal over the next two weeks. I know "eat fat to burn fat" sounds weird, but it works.   



on November 11, 2014
at 06:01 AM

"Is it even possible to eat for such a calorie deficit and still not loose weight like crazy? Is there any advice you could give me?"

Unusual, i would say, but not unheard of.

Below is a link to a post reviewing a study that may be of interest/relevance to you, 
the study looked at four groups of women, 3 groups are in energy deficits of varying magnitude, the 4th group was the control with ~zero energy deficit.

On the weight loss front, one piece of interesting info was;
the women with an energy deficit of ~42% lost Less weight than the women with an energy deficit of ~22% who lost Less weight than the women with an energy deficit of ~8%.
Yes, that's right, the women with the smallest energy deficit lost the most weight.

Here's the link;
Magnitude of daily energy deficit predicts frequency but not severity of menstrual disturbances associated with exercise and caloric restriction

 & here's the link to the study abstract



on November 11, 2014
at 11:07 PM

i now see that you are male. when i saw that you were undereating i presumed you were more likely to be female...

anyway i'll leave my answer up, as it's still good info. & still has relevance, even tho the study discussed was on women. 


on November 11, 2014
at 08:03 AM

ok, thank you. I am going to read through the study.

Maybe tonight I will post my daily food tracking list here.. I can't believe it's so low in calories. I am around paleo and nutrition for a while now, but I never realized until I started tracking... and I don't think I am eating anything unusual in terms of paleo.


on November 12, 2014
at 09:25 AM

exactly.. that was the issue for me. When I started tracking, I was surprised, that the calories were so low. I wasn't tracking my intake before, but I feel like I was always below my maintenance calories. But I still wasn't loosing weight. That's why I am doing this right now and will see how I 'react'. Tonight I will post my food tracking here, just for reference (and proof :D )

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