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Primal versus Paleo. What works best for weight loss?

Answered on December 31, 2013
Created December 29, 2013 at 5:18 PM

I realize this is a paleo site, however, the two (primal and paleo) are very similar except primal seem to offer a little more options like yogurt for example. My goal is to lose weight and I am wondering if anyone has any experience with the two. Thanks for your replies.

Dd33c7472c69b878227c8bcc8d0bee0b

on December 31, 2013
at 12:49 AM

You're the man. Thank you so much. Heading to the store now, will definitely use your advice and @CDone as well! You both rock!

Dd33c7472c69b878227c8bcc8d0bee0b

on December 30, 2013
at 10:12 PM

Thanks for the advice. I am not going to worry about calories in the beginning then, I'll just worry about eating until I'm full.. My problem with my juice cleanse I tried a few months ago was I was juicing and when I drank the juice.. I didn't feel full so I was going crazy and ended up eating when you're supposed to just drink juice.. Anyway, by eating clean, I don't have to eat every vegetable, right? I am going to try some veggies like celery, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower, etc.. is this ok? I don't need to eat like, beets, to do this?

Dd33c7472c69b878227c8bcc8d0bee0b

on December 30, 2013
at 12:25 PM

Do you exercise as well? I am looking to go Paleo/Primal starting tomorrow and I am 235 pounds.. I'm only 15 but I want to lose the weight. I'm overweight. I'm 5'10. I don't exercise much because I am a computer programmer and I'm usually on the computer all the time besides being in school, but I have a gym membership and I have my own treadmill so I will definitely exercise as well if I should... Your progress seems amazing. I would definitely like to lose around 30-40 pounds in 2 1/2 months or so :) Thank you so much for any insight you could give me!!

2eb1b3e896624be5506029e3fec3e9e2

(10)

on December 29, 2013
at 10:33 PM

that's the basis of the paleo diet philosophy: *magic*

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on December 29, 2013
at 09:31 PM

C'mon folks, are y'all still rejecting basic nutrition science?

B31805c30ac668043fafb85a0b57a02e

on December 29, 2013
at 09:30 PM

I facepalm when I think back to my calorie counting days.. I'd rather eat something processed than whole foods because they weren't "track-able"

161750c67d1c0a39309fa8fa06ce1d35

(0)

on December 29, 2013
at 09:24 PM

I entirely approve.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 29, 2013
at 08:52 PM

welcome to PH tinacristina. a newbie tip for you...see if you can add a comment...i noticed you have posted quite a few 'Answers' across your posts, but zero comments as yet.

Answers should be used for actual answers to the original question whenever possible.

You should see an 'Add comment' text beneath every question and answer, click on the 'Add comment' text to add any comments relating to the answer or question directly above it.

good luck

161750c67d1c0a39309fa8fa06ce1d35

(0)

on December 29, 2013
at 07:14 PM

I used to do this as well when I DID count calories. Or let MyFitnessPal calculate it for me. It's a good way to go.

B31805c30ac668043fafb85a0b57a02e

on December 29, 2013
at 06:18 PM

Depending on how much you have to lose, I'd follow a low(er) carb paleo diet staying under 100g at maximum, lots of non-starchy vegetables, all sorts of meat and maybe 1-2 cups of low sugar fruit a day. Eat about 0.8g of protein per pound of body weight.

Start lifting weights and have patience, results will come.

Also, limit nuts and cheese while trying to lose weight, very easy to over eat.

While bacon isn't necessarily bad for weight loss, some varieties contain lots of omega 6 polyunsaturates, which you want to limit.

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23 Answers

0
8c98172e3f8e78eaca36ef7b80cb6899

on December 31, 2013
at 02:01 AM

@afferox3: Right on, glad we could help. Check back and let us know how your first week goes.

0
8c98172e3f8e78eaca36ef7b80cb6899

on December 30, 2013
at 11:09 PM

@ afferox3: No you don't need to eat every vegetable. I found there are only about 10 I like, so I just eat a lot of the veggies I like. I also found a recipe for primal ranch dressing, I use sheep's milk yogurt as my base, and my primal ranch makes eating veggies much more enjoyable.

Yeah juice cleanses will leave you starving. That's why in primal/paleo fat makes up 50%-70% of our calories. Fat keeps you full and from over eating. Just make sure your fats are coming from good sources: Grass fed beef, eggs, avocados, free range chicken, wild caught fish, nuts, grass fed butter, grass fed cheese, grass fed yogurt, etc.

Dd33c7472c69b878227c8bcc8d0bee0b

on December 31, 2013
at 12:49 AM

You're the man. Thank you so much. Heading to the store now, will definitely use your advice and @CDone as well! You both rock!

0
73405829e4cd62de86d52ef5c557dc42

on December 30, 2013
at 10:28 PM

Some berries are good options for snacks but I would stay away from other fruit as most of it is high in sugar and carbs and spikes your insulin which will also slow fat loss. Hopefully once you get the eating plan down you won't be too hungry between meals and won't need snacks. I have been dabling in paleo/primal for a couple of years and recently started embracing Dave Asprey's Bulletproof diet. I have bulletproof coffee for breakfast with 2 tbs grass fed butter and 2 tbs mct oil and then don't eat until 1 or 2 pm most days. I'll eat two big meals and I stay under 50g carbs for the day. After a few days I wasn't really hungry in between meals. I used to be snacking until 11pm but now I eat my last meal around 8pm and don't eat anything else the rest of the night. Your body will adapt. When I did or do need snacks I eat what I would eat for a meal in smaller portions. A couple of eggs, some left over meat from the fridge, veggies, salad, an avocado, a couple of squares of 85-90% dark chocolate. Those are snacks to me

0
8c98172e3f8e78eaca36ef7b80cb6899

on December 30, 2013
at 09:15 PM

@afferox3: Hey! Congrats on going primal, it will be hard at first, but it's worth it. As far as exercise goes I just walk 2 miles a day. I just got a heavy bag so I'll add that into my routine, I was a good martial artist before I got fat. Eventually I'll get my butt into a gym for some weight lifting.

Looks like for your age (15 right?), height, and weight it looks like you need around 2500 calories to maintain, 2000 to lose a pound a week, and 1600 to lose 2 pounds.

My advice start your primal journey by eating clean and not worrying about calories. Do that for 2 weeks to get used to your new way of eating. Cutting out grains, sugar, etc. you will lose weight.

After 2 weeks weigh yourself and use a couple of calories calculators to figure out how many calories you need to maintain your weight and then eat 300 to 500 calories less a day.

Also, try eating 60% fat, 25% protein, and 15% carbs. Use myfitnesspal to track all this. Under custom settings you can enter in your own calories and percentages of fat, protein, and carbs.

Take it slow. You're young and still growing so make sure you're getting the right amount of nutrition and calories.

Read all you can about Primal/paleo, get plenty of rest, some exercise, and eat clean.

You can reach your goals.

Dd33c7472c69b878227c8bcc8d0bee0b

on December 30, 2013
at 10:12 PM

Thanks for the advice. I am not going to worry about calories in the beginning then, I'll just worry about eating until I'm full.. My problem with my juice cleanse I tried a few months ago was I was juicing and when I drank the juice.. I didn't feel full so I was going crazy and ended up eating when you're supposed to just drink juice.. Anyway, by eating clean, I don't have to eat every vegetable, right? I am going to try some veggies like celery, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower, etc.. is this ok? I don't need to eat like, beets, to do this?

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 29, 2013
at 09:18 PM

Eat whole foods -- don't worry about labels.

If you find labels on a diet, ignore it.

If you find labels on your food, put it back and get something fresher.

B31805c30ac668043fafb85a0b57a02e

on December 29, 2013
at 09:30 PM

I facepalm when I think back to my calorie counting days.. I'd rather eat something processed than whole foods because they weren't "track-able"

161750c67d1c0a39309fa8fa06ce1d35

(0)

on December 29, 2013
at 09:24 PM

I entirely approve.

0
8c98172e3f8e78eaca36ef7b80cb6899

on December 29, 2013
at 07:35 PM

Glad I could be an encouragement to you! It's a hard road at times, but enjoyable as well. I'm sure you will meet your goals as will I.

0
B738e397b6688cc117ff5a9c80b9d8ea

on December 29, 2013
at 07:30 PM

Good points Tricci...I am excited and this is all making me happy!

I can't WAIT to see the results like you have!! Way to stick to it..you have given me so much incentive!

0
8c98172e3f8e78eaca36ef7b80cb6899

on December 29, 2013
at 07:27 PM

Glad to help! 1200 sounds low, especially since you're doing crossfit. I would suggest going with 1400 and see how your body responds. Good luck to you! It's a journey and takes some time to figure out, but you will get there. Always listen to your body if you're not getting enough calories it will let you know. Also, look up stuff on paleo/primal and women's fat/protein/carb needs. You want to create and maintain healthy hormonal balance which is really important for weightloss. Men's hormonal systems are much simpler than women's.

0
B738e397b6688cc117ff5a9c80b9d8ea

on December 29, 2013
at 07:22 PM

Thank you DaMont..it sounds like you had a good handle on this. I am sure you will drop those holiday pounds quickly...it seems a lot of times that extra weight ends up being mostly water anyways...I sure want this to work and with the new Year here it's a great time for me to stick to it...Funny thing, my older boys bought me a $100 gift certificate with a women who teaches "how to decorate cakes". (she was on HGTV too of all things. I always wanted to learn but now, well, I may need a gluten free cake!! Anyways, I am in no hurry to use that gift certificate...might save it for a much later date when I can get this all down first and see some major change and results.

0
B738e397b6688cc117ff5a9c80b9d8ea

on December 29, 2013
at 07:15 PM

Tricci...wow, I just used your idea by going to calorie calculators. Great idea! I went with your idea and here is what it said. I put my goal weight like you did: 150 lbs. It says to Maintenance 1821 calories, Fat loss 1457 calories and for Extreme fat loss 1200 calories a day...I put 1200 calories as a goal on MFP and stick to that but if I go over a little up to 1400 I am still in range to lose as well...whew! This really helped me out. I also am using your ratios you use in MFP too ...You've really helped me so much so thank you. I am sure in time I will get a better handle on this but for now I got some solid direction. THANK YOU!

0
161750c67d1c0a39309fa8fa06ce1d35

on December 29, 2013
at 07:12 PM

As I understand it, fruit of most types are a no-no because they're nothing but sugar. They're natural sugar, but sugar all the same, and as such easy fuel for the body.

Perhaps someone with some more info/experience could chime in. On this diet I've been avoiding all fruits as a de facto standard. I miss bananas!

And that breakfast sounds simply delightful! I was (and will be) doing 3 eggs every morning and the fillings varied by day; chopped artichoke heart, chopped bacon, sauteed mushrooms, sauteed shallot, green chiles, mild jalapeno rings, chopped pepperoncinis, green onions, sauteed red or white onions... What ever sounded good that morning. Heck, I even chopped up some baby spinach one morning; gonna do that one again!

I personally think people get too caught up in counting calories instead of just listening to their own body. I've got the same 25lb or so to lose and I've never paid attention to calories. When I eat my portion of food, let it settle, I find myself rarely going back for more. I know it's different for everyone though and some require that structure and stability.

I've found myself finding my portions growing considerably smaller, even though I don't get hungrier between meals; I feel content. Seeing about 4-5lbs a week going away is always encouraging until you muss it all up like I have this holiday season. :P I was down 10lb before the week of xmas and am now about 15 up! Yuck!

As for snacks, if you like Almonds they are a good way to go. Tuna salad made with homemade mayo using celery stalks to dip is another fantastic choice. Fish of most (all?) types are good to snack on. Sliced and lightly (kosher) salted cucumber. Slices of lightly salted and peppered tomato, maybe with some basil on the side! Sliced avacado with a bit of black pepper. Deviled eggs using homemade mayo is always a winner in this house at any time of the day, for any reason. Those are just some of the dozens, or hundreds of ideas.

0
8c98172e3f8e78eaca36ef7b80cb6899

on December 29, 2013
at 07:08 PM

Here's how I determined my caloric needs. This may not be the best way, but here it is. I Googled calorie calculators and typed in my goal weight and activity level and started eating the calories I needed for my goal weight. So I was 332 and starter eating as if I was 210. That was probably a little extreme.

A better way would be to calculate how many calories you need to maintain your current weight at your activity level and subtract 300 to 500 calories from that number then weigh yourself once a week and subtract from that number.

I used 5 different calorie calculators and averaged the answers given.

161750c67d1c0a39309fa8fa06ce1d35

(0)

on December 29, 2013
at 07:14 PM

I used to do this as well when I DID count calories. Or let MyFitnessPal calculate it for me. It's a good way to go.

0
B738e397b6688cc117ff5a9c80b9d8ea

on December 29, 2013
at 07:08 PM

Thanks Tricci and Matt...yep I just posted another question about calories. I realize that I need to watch that carefully and follow paleo...Let's see what happens. Boy do I want this to work...thanks for all the positive advice and direction!

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on December 29, 2013
at 07:02 PM

All that matters is calories, you lose weight on both paleo and primal plans by consuming less than you burn.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on December 29, 2013
at 09:31 PM

C'mon folks, are y'all still rejecting basic nutrition science?

0
8c98172e3f8e78eaca36ef7b80cb6899

on December 29, 2013
at 07:01 PM

Thanks tinacristina! The percentages have been key for me. It takes time to figure out what percentages are right for you, your goals, and activity level but once you figure them out it makes eating a whole lot easier. Yeah the eat fat to fight fat thing was counterintuitive at first, but I'm a believer now.

I do eat fruit, I have some banana, strawberries, kiwi, and avocado just about every day. Eating within my 13-15% carb ratio keeps me from over eating on fruit.

I use myfitnesspal to track my ratios and calories, it's easy to adjust it to your specifications. Good luck to you!

0
B738e397b6688cc117ff5a9c80b9d8ea

on December 29, 2013
at 06:53 PM

How do you determine how many caloreis to eat? I am 5'7" and around 177 pound. Crossfit 4x's a week and work at a desk. Is there a formular for this? Wow, I sure have alot of questions today. Thanks for all the input out there.

0
B738e397b6688cc117ff5a9c80b9d8ea

on December 29, 2013
at 06:50 PM

Wow Tricci that is encouraging...hmm, I like what you said. The percentage options. I know on Myfitnesspal that is something I can modify. I will review this more carefully too. Again, why the fat to help lose weight is so contrary to what I grew up knowing. It's mind boggling really but I am open to the idea of feeling more satisfied with fat because after my breakfast I feel satisfied...I will see how long this last. Do you eat much fruit Tricci?

0
B738e397b6688cc117ff5a9c80b9d8ea

on December 29, 2013
at 06:46 PM

Thank you DaMont. It's interesting because no one talks about calories but fats and healthy options. That is no sugar, starch, etc...So for breakfast I had spinach, 1/4 onion, 2 eggs stirred in with coconut oil. This all came to a whopping 419 calories. (9 gms carbs, 36 grams fat, 15 grams protein, 4 grams fiber). I hope this all sounds good however, it's hard to wrap my head around all these calories.

Good news, last week I started crossfit. I got about 25 pounds to lose and quite frankly doing crossfit with this extra weight is tough but I am committed. I don't care right now that I am the slow poke who can't do anything anyone else can do but I am invested but invested in my health, future and the desire to look "hot" at 52! lol...well, it's true.

I agree with Ryan cheese is going to hurt me if I add that so the diets going to stay basic (paleo way) for me and I just need to find some good snacks when hungry. I am sure in time this will come easier but I know searching online for more recipe ideas might help.

I am wondering about fruit too...I see some that are low carb. (Strawberries, blackberries,) I don't want to be afraid that the carbs in these are bad options but they do add up...again, I want to accept this way as a lifestyle and not a diet...I often times start to modify things thinking it will only improve the weigh loss but it back fires..so I want to let go of it all..perhaps that includes the calories in my breaksfast this morning too.

0
8c98172e3f8e78eaca36ef7b80cb6899

on December 29, 2013
at 06:43 PM

Hey! I've been eating Primal (a subset of Paleo) and I've lost 80 pounds in the last 5 months. I eat bacon, grass fed cheese, grass fed butter, grass fed heavy cream every day, I also eat sheep's milk yogurt.

I'm male and men seem to lose weight easier than women so YMMV. The keys to losing weight is eating clean, getting enough rest, and taking the time to figure out your caloric needs and what ratios of fat, protein, and carbs you need and sticking to your caloric limits and ratios. For example I eat 1820 calories a day and my ratios are 65% fat, 20-22% protein and 13-15% carbs.

Dd33c7472c69b878227c8bcc8d0bee0b

on December 30, 2013
at 12:25 PM

Do you exercise as well? I am looking to go Paleo/Primal starting tomorrow and I am 235 pounds.. I'm only 15 but I want to lose the weight. I'm overweight. I'm 5'10. I don't exercise much because I am a computer programmer and I'm usually on the computer all the time besides being in school, but I have a gym membership and I have my own treadmill so I will definitely exercise as well if I should... Your progress seems amazing. I would definitely like to lose around 30-40 pounds in 2 1/2 months or so :) Thank you so much for any insight you could give me!!

0
161750c67d1c0a39309fa8fa06ce1d35

on December 29, 2013
at 06:29 PM

Paleo and Primal are virtually the same thing. It's ok to intermix the two. Weight loss is about balance and removing unnecessary things from your regular eating habits. Basically just use your head, eat in moderation and learn what works for you.

Paleo/Primal is nice simply because they direct you to remove starches, processed foods and refined sugars from your diet. Something that a healthy diet really shouldn't have much of to begin with.

Letting yourself get that hungry though is not healthy and will actually work against your goals of weight loss since your body will want to retain as much as it can if it regularly sees itself as being mildly starved. Eating a few pieces of bacon isn't going to wreck your diet and is better than doing something like eating a bunch of crackers. Eating a can of tuna in water would be a good late-night snack.

Don't get overwhelmed or frustrated. Paleo is really simple. :)

0
73405829e4cd62de86d52ef5c557dc42

on December 29, 2013
at 06:28 PM

I eat a crapload of grass fed butter lately but no other daily. I went through periods eating cheese, whole milk and cottage cheese and always grained fat

0
B738e397b6688cc117ff5a9c80b9d8ea

on December 29, 2013
at 05:51 PM

Thanks Jesus...I will try the paleo way because obviously my goal is to lose weight. Thanks for the info. I will share that it's a bit confussing with all these websites our there. I saw bacon too was a good thing but not a good thing for weight loss too for weight loss.

It was tough too last night because i was hungry, it was late and I didn't know what to eat...So I cooked up 3 pieces of bacon and then later read (this morning) that bacon is not an ideal choice for weight loss....I feel overwhelmed with all this..

B31805c30ac668043fafb85a0b57a02e

on December 29, 2013
at 06:18 PM

Depending on how much you have to lose, I'd follow a low(er) carb paleo diet staying under 100g at maximum, lots of non-starchy vegetables, all sorts of meat and maybe 1-2 cups of low sugar fruit a day. Eat about 0.8g of protein per pound of body weight.

Start lifting weights and have patience, results will come.

Also, limit nuts and cheese while trying to lose weight, very easy to over eat.

While bacon isn't necessarily bad for weight loss, some varieties contain lots of omega 6 polyunsaturates, which you want to limit.

0
B31805c30ac668043fafb85a0b57a02e

on December 29, 2013
at 05:46 PM

I would say paleo. The main difference being dairy, which can stall weight loss for some people.

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