8

votes

Paleo and Calorie Restriction

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 05, 2010 at 2:37 AM

I've recently been reading up on the primal/paleo lifestyle as well as calorie restriction. I'm not yet ready to commit to either, but I'm wondering these could be compatible. Seems like that might be problematic, since so many of you guys advocate eating lots of fat. But it would be quite a challenge to eat lots of butter while still eating enough other foods for a good variety of nutrients if your daily calorie limit, is, say, 1,500. Not to mention that so many Paleo peeps are against counting calories. But is it theoretically possible to follow both Paleo and calorie restriction? Is anyone out there attempting this?

E05b8d2c9ae8a9a92341785f342f131d

(346)

on February 08, 2012
at 05:10 PM

People say the same thing about paleo. Plenty of people do CR and say they're happy.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on August 14, 2011
at 03:47 PM

Danielle I have been asked not to comment on medical advice here. Do it on my blog in comments. I have posted this stuff there and on the large MDA thread over there.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on August 14, 2011
at 03:46 PM

most paleos dont realize they are. CR is the best aspect of the paleo diet. Most paleo are young.....but they are eating less calories than their SAD cohorts.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 14, 2011
at 04:28 AM

CR means freedom to eat anything, while paleo mesns freedom from hunger. Combining CR with paleo destroys both approaches and creates an orthorexic nightmare.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 14, 2011
at 04:08 AM

Before Cordain, and long before Taubes and Sisson, there was the ADA diet. Carb counting for diabetes control using a system of exchanges. Though complex, it was/is a diet that allows any food but limits the high glycemic carbs severely to control blood sugar. In the form I'm familiar with (a Novo Nordisk booklet), the method uses 3 meals and 3 snacks to flatten out blood glucose throughout the day. The low carb diets which follow after ADA simplify the carb counting by eliminating those with the highest GI (starchy and sugary foods).

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on August 13, 2011
at 10:40 PM

Ambimorph, I'm not sure exactly what you're asking... Could you rephrase?

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on August 13, 2011
at 10:25 PM

Umm... Not really? If your paleo diet has a regular amount of calories it won't be CR. Most paleo's do *not* seem to be doing CR.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 13, 2011
at 09:44 PM

I wonder, though, if you are losing fat from your body, are you really calorie restricted?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 13, 2011
at 09:42 PM

It's extremely likely that the benefits to be gained from CR can be had by IF or a ketogenic diet. And that way you aren't depriving yourself of nutrients and fuel, which is an insidious way to undermine your health. See e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2649682/

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 13, 2011
at 09:42 PM

It's extremely likely that most of the benefit from CR can be had by IF or a ketogenic diet. And that way you aren't depriving yourself of nutrients and fuel, which is an insidious way to undermine your health. See e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2649682/

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on August 13, 2011
at 09:10 PM

Quilt- question for you and I don't know where else to ask this. I got "full bloodwork" done a couple weeks ago but it doesn't seem like "full bloodwork" (http://paleohacks.com/questions/55595/hack-my-blood-test-results#axzz1UwfrPqab) What would you recommend asking my doctor for as far as full bloodwork? I want EVERYTHING, vitamin/hormone/mineral, etc.

7df8f3cc7f1475c3ecbbd4a4feb87d04

(514)

on May 06, 2010
at 07:28 AM

There's been lots of research showing that calorie restriction lengthens life span as well as improving overall health. I'd love to find a study incorporating paleo diet into calorie restriction, but most studies don't specify what they feed the animals, saying only "nutritious" diet. But from my understanding, this calorie restriction effect goes deeper than just carbohydrate restriction (as HealthRediscovery hypothesizes) Here's one recent article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415141123.htm

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11 Answers

13
5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on May 05, 2010
at 03:42 AM

My, and many others, way of Paleo eating involves Intermittently Fasting whereby 2 or 3 times a week you fast for 24 hours. See Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon. That way you get to eat to satiety and maintain an overall caloric deficit. Don't get hung up on the myth that you need a great variety of foods or that you will miss out on nutrients. Meat and fat will provide everything your body needs and anything else is garnish, add vegetables if you enjoy that sort of thing, obviously not grains and the like. Note tho when I say meat I mean the whole animal, offal like heart, liver, kidney etc is needed to provide complete nutrition.

6
703331bec3d551d21d2178f60c9963c1

on May 05, 2010
at 01:56 PM

This is very possible. Since you're talking calorie restriction, I'm assuming you'd like to shed a few pounds. One of the wonderful things about this diet is the fantastic hormonal regulation. Even with a paleo meal that is a little light on calories, you're getting a nice dose of fat and protein alongside fibrous, calorically sparse vegetables. The protein in this meal will supress the hunger causing hormone ghrelin, as well as increase the hunger satiating hormone peptide YY. Fat has also been shown to increase satiety, as has fiber. Additionally, your insulin signaling will be spot on due to the minimal blood sugar spike from that meal, which will help you burn fat and will not lead to cravings shortly after your meal.

I just designed a program like this for someone where it's essentially a 100% paleo diet that is calorie controlled to a specific range every day. I'll be interested to monitor their satiety levels as well as mood and energy.

5
8347d512bca9b034d53da40dab8cd21c

on May 05, 2010
at 03:37 AM

Sure, it's theoretically possible. It's funny you should mention this, because I do attempt to stay around 1500 calories per day. I don't always adhere to this, nor do I beat myself up if I don't stay close.

I use FitDay to keep track of what I eat, to see how the percentages for fat/protein/carbs come out. As long as I've been full (meaning "not hungry") and I've been eating Paleo, that usually counts more to me. I definitely ate some fat today (hello, grilled pork chop!) yet I was around 1400 calories when I sat down to the laptop roughly 20 minutes ago.

Admittedly, I also tend to NOT eat breakfast, as I like to hold off on eating for the later part of the night and most of the morning. I don't do this every day, but if I can get a 14-16 hour fast in from one day to the next (including sleep time), I'm happy.

4
Eae21abfabb19c4617b2630386994fd9

on May 05, 2010
at 02:06 PM

I don't think it is possible to state that humans benefit from calorie restriction. Any perceived benefits could be from carbohydrate restriction. Here is one recent analysis of a study of aging markers under a paleo diet. Also note that subjects voluntarily ate fewer calories.

Personally, I find it easy to reduce calorie consumption without feeling hungry by a combination of low carbohydrate and fasting. After I got used to fasting (at least < 24 hour fasts), I don't get hungry during them anymore.

I am still trying to figure out if it is better to be running a lower or higher metabolism (short-term could be different from long-term).

4
6fa48935d439390e223b9a053a62c981

(1676)

on May 05, 2010
at 01:37 PM

I'm sure you could do both, but why would you want to? The great thing about paleo foods is that they are not all that appealing after you've had your fill.

Cordain has an interesting thought experiment in his book. Imagine you've just had a big wonderful paleo thanksgiving dinner. You're sitting at the table and you're full. Want another helping of turkey? Carrots? Probably not because you're full. How about some ice cream or a piece of pie? Maybe yes. We're hard-wired to want fatty and/or starchy foods and will almost always have a little room for foods of that type. This has been consistent with my personal paleo experience. Once I've eaten, I'm done, and I don't want anything else. For me, the diet seems to be inherently calorie limited. Although I have to say I've never made any attempt count calories while on this diet, because it's just not necessary.

Why did you want to restrict calories?

7df8f3cc7f1475c3ecbbd4a4feb87d04

(514)

on May 06, 2010
at 07:28 AM

There's been lots of research showing that calorie restriction lengthens life span as well as improving overall health. I'd love to find a study incorporating paleo diet into calorie restriction, but most studies don't specify what they feed the animals, saying only "nutritious" diet. But from my understanding, this calorie restriction effect goes deeper than just carbohydrate restriction (as HealthRediscovery hypothesizes) Here's one recent article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415141123.htm

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 13, 2011
at 09:42 PM

It's extremely likely that most of the benefit from CR can be had by IF or a ketogenic diet. And that way you aren't depriving yourself of nutrients and fuel, which is an insidious way to undermine your health. See e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2649682/

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 14, 2011
at 04:08 AM

Before Cordain, and long before Taubes and Sisson, there was the ADA diet. Carb counting for diabetes control using a system of exchanges. Though complex, it was/is a diet that allows any food but limits the high glycemic carbs severely to control blood sugar. In the form I'm familiar with (a Novo Nordisk booklet), the method uses 3 meals and 3 snacks to flatten out blood glucose throughout the day. The low carb diets which follow after ADA simplify the carb counting by eliminating those with the highest GI (starchy and sugary foods).

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 13, 2011
at 09:42 PM

It's extremely likely that the benefits to be gained from CR can be had by IF or a ketogenic diet. And that way you aren't depriving yourself of nutrients and fuel, which is an insidious way to undermine your health. See e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2649682/

3
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on August 14, 2011
at 03:08 AM

My thought about caloric restriction is that you might live longer, but wish you were dead. It doesn't sound like a very pleasant way to live to me.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 14, 2011
at 04:28 AM

CR means freedom to eat anything, while paleo mesns freedom from hunger. Combining CR with paleo destroys both approaches and creates an orthorexic nightmare.

E05b8d2c9ae8a9a92341785f342f131d

(346)

on February 08, 2012
at 05:10 PM

People say the same thing about paleo. Plenty of people do CR and say they're happy.

2
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on June 24, 2010
at 04:26 PM

I do it and I stay at about 1200 usually.

I'm a 5'8" female and currently 150. I do sprinting once or twice a week and strength training once or twice a week and then I also make sure to get some long slow stuff in as per Mark Sission's purview.

I've tried increasing my protein intake (and fat) and I begin to gain weight. I keep to about 90g protein and 75g of fat and under 50g of carbs (usually 25g). Obviously, I'm still in fat-loss mode. But I'm not hungry. In fact, I find myself eating more for dinner, than I need to satiate hunger, just out of habit. I could probably do with less.

I'm not making a proclamation, I'm just sharing with you my experience.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 13, 2011
at 09:44 PM

I wonder, though, if you are losing fat from your body, are you really calorie restricted?

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on August 13, 2011
at 10:40 PM

Ambimorph, I'm not sure exactly what you're asking... Could you rephrase?

1
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on August 13, 2011
at 09:06 PM

The paleo diet in essence a CR diet when it is optimized. Extremely beneficially especially as you age......maybe not so good if you want to become huge or be a marathon runner

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on August 13, 2011
at 10:25 PM

Umm... Not really? If your paleo diet has a regular amount of calories it won't be CR. Most paleo's do *not* seem to be doing CR.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on August 14, 2011
at 03:47 PM

Danielle I have been asked not to comment on medical advice here. Do it on my blog in comments. I have posted this stuff there and on the large MDA thread over there.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on August 13, 2011
at 09:10 PM

Quilt- question for you and I don't know where else to ask this. I got "full bloodwork" done a couple weeks ago but it doesn't seem like "full bloodwork" (http://paleohacks.com/questions/55595/hack-my-blood-test-results#axzz1UwfrPqab) What would you recommend asking my doctor for as far as full bloodwork? I want EVERYTHING, vitamin/hormone/mineral, etc.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on August 14, 2011
at 03:46 PM

most paleos dont realize they are. CR is the best aspect of the paleo diet. Most paleo are young.....but they are eating less calories than their SAD cohorts.

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 13, 2011
at 03:04 PM

Outside of starving yourself there are a million healthy paths to reaching a healthy weight. From paleo to vegan. All work by creating a net calorie deficit, usually by proscribing foods. I prefer more affirming approaches, like moving more and eating anything, to witch hunts for offending food ingredients and groups.

Ultimately it's social, what you can live with for the rest of your life. If you can stay in a dietary ghetto great, but if you have to travel outside you have to figure out how to eat what the natives eat and stay healthy. Holding at 25 BMI is sufficient for just about any diet the world can throw at you.

0
384d2242f773f833ed8cff901ab510ff

on August 13, 2011
at 02:01 PM

I'm interested in the question. January before last I weighed 215, (5'10" male, late 50's) decided to change my diet to lose weight. Last year I ate "mostly Willett" for a year, (Walter Willett, EAT, DRINK, AND BE HEALTHY) in the first five months I lost 15 lbs but settled into a plateau at 200. Last January I decided to try Robb Wolff, THE PALEO SOLUTION. I've been eating "mostly paleo" for eight months, lost another ten pounds, but seem to have hit another plateau at 190. A few days ago I started looking at Calorie Restriction, was delighted to find that everything they recommended to eat was stuff I was already eating. It apparently would not be much of a change, paleo with some portion control. Heck of a lot easier than switching to Vegan. Hard part would be weighing, measuring, and recording what I eat for a few weeks, looking up the calories and nutrients, to see what changes I would need to make. The game in CR is to get LOTS of good nutrients, Vits and Mins and Phytonutrients and Omega-3 fats and all that, with as low a calorie intake as you can get by on. Takes knowledge and skill and recordkeeping, at least in the early stages. Probably in practice it would be paleo with more emphasis on fresh fruits and veggies, smaller and measured quantities of nuts and meat/poultry/seafood. Read THE LONGEVITY DIET and THE CR WAY, you'll know as much as I do about this question.

0
48800a6b249b1415b11a67c250879cf5

on May 05, 2010
at 10:22 AM

I dont think it's difficult to stay within a certain caloric range when you eat the right things. You just aren't hungry for extra calories since those you've already had contain the nutrients your body needs. For me getting enough fat is key to this equation. If you don't partake of grains it seems you can eat almost anything and still stay within calories and stay full. This is why there is no need to track them- and that is freedom.

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