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View Full Version : Does Paleo REALLY work for you?...honestly!


Will Moore
12-14-2008, 02:55 AM
Ok, so I recently finished another failed attempt to permanently convert to a Paleo way of eating. I guess this maybe....hmmm...about the fifth try, and the end result is the same every time; I strictly follow a Paleo / low carb diet for about 5 months before and I just can't take it anymore, regardless of how healthy I believe it to be.
I don't want to write the story of my life here, but lets just say I have been involved in bodybuilding and fitness in general for the last 25 years. For most of that time I employed the "old school" high-carb, very low fat (less than 10% cals from fat) way of eating. I never ate meat...too much fat. My protein came from supplements: whey, egg, etc. I ate lots of vegies, whole grains, and breads. This worked well for me and I could easily maintain less than 9% bodyfat year round, about 4% when I made a concious effort to eat less.
In recent years, new research indicated that this low-fat way of eating was not so good and the carbohydrate load would eventually do you in. The book shelves became loaded with low carb diet books and suddenly, my old friend, carbohydrates, were the enemy...a threat to your health. I found "Neanderthin" and other Paleo themed books and strarted reading. It all made perfect sense to me and I decided I would make a big change in my life by converting to Paleo.
Evey time I start eating Paleo style, I feel great at first. Maybe a little slow, but I tell myself to wait for adaptation and I will be just fine. The problem is that I never become adapted. Sure, I get used to it, but my performance only gets worse as time goes by. This last time (went Paleo for 5 months) I didn't lose any weight. I gained about 4 pounds, but I wasn't tring to lose weight because I was already a little too thin when I started. I ate lots of vegies, fatty fish such as salmon and sardines, nuts and seeds, turkey, and chicken. No matter how much protein I stuffed in my face, I couldn't gain any muscle and my endurance workouts suffered as well. One day I was in the gym doing bench presses struggling with a weight that I once tossed around for a warmup....I got so depressed I just threw in the towel and quit Paleo.
Now, after about 3 weeks on my old "normal" diet, my strength is coming back, I've lost 3 pounds, and I feel much better. I'm making no concious effort to restrict calories...after I eat my protein and vegies, I pig out on evil grain products till I'm full. I eat breads of all kinds and my all time favorite, hard pretzels. As long as I keep my fat intake less than 10% of calories, I can slam carbs to my heart's content and not get fat...in fact I get lean. My only rule is to avoid anything with sugar.
So, in summary, the question I would like to ask all of you is why does Paleo just not work for some people? A Paleo diet, where one eats only the foods that man is biologically suited to eat should produce optimum health...but it doesn't seem to do this for me. Are there genetic factors involved? Could it be that some people have more post-Neotlithic genes? I'm your typical American white guy of Irish/English descent. Anyway, I just can't figure it out.

Garrett Smith
12-14-2008, 06:40 AM
You probably need a bit more carbs. If you want to do Paleo, eat more tubers (ie. sweet potatoes).

Chris H Laing
12-14-2008, 06:58 AM
What Dr. G said. Just cause you do paleo doesn't mean you have to go low carb. You should try paleo zone for a while and see how you like it. Some people think its too many carbs, but for you it might be perfect.

I've been doing low carb (fruits only after a workout, veggies when i feel like it) and eating a lot of protein and fat, and I feel great, so i think its based individual body type.

Robert Johnson
12-14-2008, 07:03 AM
I don't know. Poliquin says "And remember, only 25 percent of the population is genetically carb-tolerant."

And, Q: My Asian girlfriend eats all the carbs she wants and still has abs. I can eat too much healthy oatmeal and lose my abs in a heartbeat! What gives? Is this really a genetic or ethnic heritage difference?

A: Two things here. First, Asians are part of the 25% of the world population that are carbohydrate adapted. Provided they're plain carbs, they can eat them and still remain lean.



Asians can tolerate carbs more because their culture has had agriculture longer than other cultures; they're adapted. (On that same note, perhaps soy is bad for Caucasians but not so bad for Asians. Think about it.) But, most Asians can't tolerate diary. It just hasn't been around long in their diets.

Second, you're not Asian, and oatmeal is the most common food allergen. It comes from the grass family after all.



In 2001 I ran blood work on every single one of my clients using six different labs. Oatmeal always came out as the most frequent food allergen. It can raise cortisol and lead to the storage of fat in the abdominal area.

I'm anti-oatmeal, especially for Caucasians. Quinoa may be a better choice.


Not sure where this idea comes from.

For me personally I find it difficult to digest a gram per pound of meat and eggs (and the energy has to come from somewhere). I used to have no problem eating 10 slices of bread a meal. I also find that over a certain amount of fat makes no difference to my energy level, but makes me sweat olive oil.

It's possible to eat high carb 'paleo', e.g lots of sweet potatoes, but for me they are not as tempting as grains (less protein in them, perhaps).

?

Mike ODonnell
12-14-2008, 08:45 AM
Paleo foods are the best choices....but doesn't mean you have to do it 100%. I still have some grains (in the form mostly of bread.....and beer), but don't do dairy. I don't like low carb and need like 100g+ a day. I also take days off and eat whatever. Rule being avoiding sugar (as I only drink water and eat real foods). If I have a pizza and beer on the weekend....so be it. My mental happiness is more important that my abs. Find what works for you....if you have better gains, lean out and feel stronger on 150g carbs a day, then eat up....just make sure it's not all junk.....you may adapt better to eating fruit more often.

Fenthis Glusos
12-14-2008, 09:59 AM
Its my opinion that a lot of "carb-intolerant" people got fat off of junk food and blamed the carbs instead - as it is the most societally-accepted way to vindicate oneself of the charge of GLUTTONY. A more likely reason is that the type of carb choice these people indulged in were not white rice or fruit but cake, doughnuts and ice cream.

I eat a higher carb diet of clean grain, tuber and fruit sources with zero problems at all and even fare better than when I restricted them - performance & body composition-wise. I don't buy the bread from the stores though because what's inside of them is highly suspect. I'm not low-fat either.

This is why I can't stand that pompous guy from Mark's Daily Apple -- reading his low-carb bunk irritates me to no end.

Mike ODonnell
12-14-2008, 10:09 AM
This is why I can't stand that pompous guy from Mark's Daily Apple -- reading his low-carb bunk irritates me to no end.

He advocates eating fruits and veggies and says his personal intake is about 150g+ a day....how is that low carb or pompous?

If anything...your personal love of carbs and fruits is more pompous as the only answer to living longer and feeling better.

Fenthis Glusos
12-14-2008, 10:50 AM
He advocates eating fruits and veggies and says his personal intake is about 150g+ a day....how is that low carb or pompous?

If anything...your personal love of carbs and fruits is more pompous as the only answer to living longer and feeling better.

Well the difference is that I don't say a higher carb diet will be the best for everyone, whereas this Mark guy pretty much says that the low-carb diet should be followed by anyone looking for greater health and longetivity as you say it - when its plain b.s. And I don't make claims to truly know anything, just what works for me which is why I always state things to be of my opinion.

I don't believe that certain foods can even help one achieve a longer, healthier life - just the abstinence from the highly refined ones and very sugary stuff. In other words, it's what you don't eat that matters most, IMO.

I just find a lot of people on here following their herd instinct listening to guys like this when they're not 100% right themselves. Best to experiment. But I'm surprised to see he eats 150g of carbs a day...that is hardly low-carb to be touting a low-carb lifestyle.

Individuals constantly change so there is no reason why the right diet cannot also change in time.

Besides, I'm sick of eating fruit now...I just want some substance like a pork chop now.

Jordan Glasser
12-14-2008, 12:48 PM
Honestly, for me it works.
When my performance drops, I analyze my overall calorie intake, and it's breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. That's what keeps it working.
Sounds like your body likes to rev up the metabolism and burn carbs like crazy. There's no reason that paleo foods can't accommodate that scenario.

Scott Clark
12-14-2008, 04:23 PM
Its my opinion that a lot of "carb-intolerant" people got fat off of junk food and blamed the carbs instead - as it is the most societally-accepted way to vindicate oneself of the charge of GLUTTONY. A more likely reason is that the type of carb choice these people indulged in were not white rice or fruit but cake, doughnuts and ice cream.

I eat a higher carb diet of clean grain, tuber and fruit sources with zero problems at all and even fare better than when I restricted them - performance & body composition-wise. I don't buy the bread from the stores though because what's inside of them is highly suspect. I'm not low-fat either.

This is why I can't stand that pompous guy from Mark's Daily Apple -- reading his low-carb bunk irritates me to no end.

I don't see how Mark Sisson is pompous. He has a soapbox (blog) and he's using it to promote what works for him personally and according to many of the blog's visitors, it works for them too. Low carb isn't for me and yet I find his site very informative and presented very well. 150g carbs from fruits and vegetables is an awful lot, especially since he says he doesn't eat much fruit at all. Whatever he's doing, it's working for him.

Grissim Connery
12-14-2008, 04:39 PM
i perform better when i am pretty low on the carb scale.

if i have a mental craving for carbs, then generally i am just as satisfied by using more acid on some meat - gives it a nice sweet taste.

if i am having a physical craving for carbs (walking around campus is tiring, mood is messed up, performance is sagging, getting sore too much) , then i'm not eating enough fat. and for reals, i will make sure to not just eat "some" fat. i'll chase every meal with a solid portion of coconut until i'm not hungry at all.

just listen to your body. if that's what it's telling you to do then do it. i can handle nuts well and dairy not at all. other people on these threads are different. they have different bodies. just try to really understand what your body is telling you.

i grew up with a really terrible eating disorder and learning how to know what hunger was became a big challenge for me. things get a lot better when you tune in.

George Mounce
12-14-2008, 05:05 PM
Low carb for most healthy eaters is low carb to a high carb eater, its not "low carb". I watched 4 people eat a plate full of 14 deep fried twinkies today. Thats not high carb, that disgustingly killing yourself.

Lets not mince words, most Paleo eaters eat plenty of carbohydrates, but they also get great sources of protein to go with them and plenty of healthy fats. Nobody Paleo advocates starving yourself of carbohydrates.

Mark eats a normal amount of carbs - the rest of the world is eating way too much.

Will Moore
12-14-2008, 11:42 PM
Here's the thing about carbs that disturbs me: Back in the 90s when the notion of low carb dieting became popular again (Adkins, etc.) the low carb camp distorted a lot of facts in promoting their agenda and condemning carbohydrates. For example, they showed that Americans had decreased their percentage of fat in the diet and increased the percentage of carbohydrates. They translated this to meaning that despite decreasing fat, Americans were fatter than ever. Therefore, the carbohydrates and low fat diets were the culprit...BULLSHIT.

The truth is, and what they failed to mention is that Americans never decreased the total fat in their diets...they simply consumed more calories overall which dropped the fat percentage a few points. The low carb camp's claim that low-fat dieting made America fat is totally invalid. America, as a whole, never was on a low-fat diet...in fact, the average percentage of fat in the diet never even got down to the Government recommended 30%, which by the way, is not low-fat by most people's definition.

What most people fail to understand is that most people got fat in the first place from eating huge amounts of fat and carbohydates together. When it comes to using energy, your body will take the easiest route; if carbs are plentiful, the fat in the diet will not get used and will end up as body fat. If one were to eat large amounts of carbohydrates in the absence of dietary fat, the body will use the carbohydrates for fuel, store what it can as muscle and liver glycogen, and then if there is still an excess, store the rest as fat. Now, if you reverse the scenario and large quantities of fat, but no carbohydrates, the body is forced to use the fat as fuel and doesn't become bodyfat unless the amount is excessive. This does not mean that fat is a superior fuel as many low-carbers try to imply. Unlike carbohydrate, fat cannot be stored as muscle glycogen and therefore is not superior for fueling high intensity muscle work, i.e. bodybuilding, power lifting.

My point here is that you can function and maintain a healthy body weight on either a low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet. One just has to remeber that if carbs are high, fat must be low and vise versa. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Everyone has their own unique biochemistry...Some people seem to have no problem doing heavy lifting and strength work on a low-carb diet while others, like me, feel like a dead man in the gym on a low-carb diet.

Garrett Smith
12-15-2008, 05:26 AM
Put simply, you are lumping the Paleo Diet (which talks about types of foods, not macronutrients) with a low-carb diet (which talks about amounts of a macronutrient, not types of foods).

The two are completely independent. You should be saying a low-carb approach doesn't work for you and leave the Paleo discussion out of it.

Darryl Shaw
12-15-2008, 06:31 AM
I don't know. Poliquin says "And remember, only 25 percent of the population is genetically carb-tolerant."

I'd love to see Poliquin's evidence supporting that statement because the idea that 75% of people belonging to a species which evolved from small fruit eating monkeys into the large omnivorous apes we are today can't tolerate carbs is clearly bullsh*t.


I think part of the problem with this whole paleo debate is there's no clear definition of what a true stone-age diet is. Personally I tend to think that eating paleo means eating more or less how we ate in Africa up to the point about 50,000 years ago when we started migrating north into colder climes but others seem to think that the more modern diets of indigenous north Americans and Inuits should also be considered paleo. I don't think it matters too much which version of the diet you eat as long as you're eating mostly natural foods but I think people who cut out fruit and other healthy foods in an attempt to cut carbs are somewhat misguided.

My own version of the paleo diet therefore, which I've been following and modifying for the past twenty years, is made up of roughly 80 - 85% plant foods and 15 - 20% animal foods with no real attention paid to daily macronutient ratios. I tend to buy whatever plant foods look freshest regardless of whether or not they're strictly speaking in season and I always try to buy the leanest cuts of meat available. I'll also eat fish two or three days a week or as the mood takes me.
Today age 40 after twenty years of eating like this I find that I can maintain an average of 5% BF year round without any effort and my BP averages 104/60 with a resting pulse of 48bpm despite doing hardly any cardio. On a slightly superficial level it's worth mentioning that I look much younger than my 40 years with most people seeming to think I'm in my mid to late twenties and this is despite spending most days outdoors in all weathers.
So to answer the OP's original question "does paleo REALLY work for you?" the answer has to be a resounding yes.

Will Moore
12-16-2008, 04:11 AM
Garrett, you are correct, Low-carb and Paleo are not the same things. I should have phrased it differently. I was actually referring to a low-carb Paleo approach to dieting....certainly, all those who follow the Paleo prescription are not avoiding carbohydrates. However, I have found that many Paleo dieters do adhere to the reduced carbohydrates approach (at least in most of the Blogs and Forums I have read elsewhere). One thing that bothers me about these people is they "cherry pick" natural foods and label them "non-paleo" just because they are higher in carbohydrates. Example: potatoes and most starchy tubers are not paleo. Why? Its a natural food that grows in the ground and can be eaten raw...sounds Paleo to me! But no, its got to many carbs so we'll say its not. Or peanuts....yes, technically its a legume, but so what? It grows in the ground, can be eaten raw, and required no technology to process and eat...sounds Paleo to me. Those are just a few examples.

I too am over 40 (45 now) and have managed to keep myself together pretty good for my age. I am a retired Marine but I still drill with the Army National Guard and I can outdo 90% of these kids have my age in physical fitness tests. I do some form of meaningful high intensity exercise 6 days a week, whether it be cardio or resistance training. I have not been able to make Paleo work for me, but perhaps that's because I have been using the low carb approach. Perhaps I should try an approach with more paleo friendly carbs, as you all have suggested, and I would get better results. The main reason I have not, is fear of putting on bodyfat from combining too many carbs with fatty foods. Up to this point, the only reason I allowed myself to eat high fat paleo foods (salmon, nuts, seeds, etc) was the absence of carbohydrate foods. I have often wondered what the results would be if I just restriced myself to Paleo foods and ate instinctively...without regard to macronutrient ratios. Apparently, this seems to work for some of you. Thank you all for all of your comments!

Gittit Shwartz
12-16-2008, 04:53 AM
Regarding the "definition of Paleo": some foods are regarded as "not Paleo". not because they were not available at all in the Paleo era but because they were not available in significant quantities. Various grains, for example, grew wild like grasses. I suppose Paleo man could pick a stalk and chew on it absently, but he would never get 7200 grains at once (the approximate number of grains in one cup of rice). So quantity as well as type of food is significant here.

Likewise, I don't think eating a bag of almonds every day (as some Paleo folks do) is healthy. In the Paleo era you would need months to gather that many almonds, so we are not equipped to handle large quantities all at once.

I forget who it was that said "honey is Paleo... if you walk 10 miles to find a honeycomb, flee the angry swarm of bees, climb the tree to steal the honeycomb, run from a drooling bear and THEN eat it."

Hope you find what works for you!

Garrett Smith
12-16-2008, 05:49 AM
Will,
If you eating more carbs previously resulted in better performance and low bodyfat, stick with it--you are your own best experiment. My wife is mostly Irish, she seems to do better on more carbs than I do as well (I'm mostly Scandinavian heritage).

People who are dismissing certain foods as not being Paleo due to carbohydrate content are mixing up the message based on their own created biases.

As Weston Price found in the traditional cultures he studied, the common thread among them was *unprocessed* foods. Some ate grains, some ate a lot of dairy, etc. The key thing is the lack of processing of foods, eating them in their natural state. That's the first priority. Then Paleo. Then adjusting carb levels within that framework to fit one's physiological needs.

Marc Moffett
12-16-2008, 03:34 PM
I realize it is a bit of a side issue, but I think that there are two importantly different ways of thinking about paleo foods. One way of understanding it, suggested above, is foods that were available or readily available in paleolithic times. But I don't think that this is a particularly useful way of thinking about paleo foods. A better way of thinking of paleo foods is foods having a certain nutritional profile. Perhaps others can spell this out better than I can, but the two major factors are (1) high nutrient density and (2) low anti-nutrient density. Any food with the right nutritional profile is paleo in this sense, no matter if it was utterly unavailable in paleolithic times. Of course, there is a great deal of overlap between the two conceptions of paleo; specifically, the first conception is a pretty good hueristic for the second. And this dove-tailing of the two concepts is exactly what we would expect from an evolutionary perspective.

A second point. As the second concept of paleo makes somewhat clearer than the fist, the concept of paleo food is a graded concept not a categorical one. That is, it is simply not true that either something is or is not a paleo food. Rather, some foods are more or less paleo than others and this may be, in part, a function of one's ancestors more recent genetic changes (e.g., genes for digesting lactose).

Will Moore
12-17-2008, 02:09 AM
Another defiinition of Paleo that I read has nothing to do with food available during a specific time period: A paleo food is a food that can be eaten raw and does not require a technology to process. For example, you cannot eat grains raw and you cannot eat legumes raw (with the exception of peanuts). Grains and legumes are indigestible and toxic in raw form. Therefore, it doen't take a genius to figure out that these were not staple foods before the concept of soaking/boiling came along. However, this raises some interesting questions; If a processing technology is applied to a food that is toxic and indigestable which renders it "edible", making its nutrients available while destroying the toxins, can that food be considered healthy and nutritious or maybe even superior to some foods traditionally eaten raw? The grain and soybean producers would certainly have us beleive this to be the case. So does the government with its promotion of the food pyramid.

Man is unique among mammals. We are not the only omnivores, but we have demonstrated an ability to make radical dietary shifts in relatively short time periods. After eons of the same dietary pattern, grain foods suddenly became the staple of our existance...not for all populations, but most of them. It was a change brought on by necessity. Climates changed, the availability of game for meat became more and more scarce. Once it was discovered that grains and legumes could be rendered edible, our very existance revolved around their production. Even so, we tried to obtain our preferred food, meat, whenever the opportunity presented itself. The ability to produce grain created a new opportunity to have meat "on hand" when we wanted it. Animals were domesticated and fed on the grains. Therefore you can say grains were, and still are, the cornerstone of our existance for better or worse.

Now, since we have been living this way for what.....the last 10 - 15 thousand years...is that enough time for our bodies/genes to adapt to, and actually prefer grain based foods to function optimally? Could it be true in some population groups and not in others?

Josh Goguen
12-17-2008, 05:02 AM
I've been eating Paleo for quite a while and it's worked great for me. I've dropped 20 pounds and lost very little strength. I allow myself one day a week to eat garbage foods, but usually it's Paleo and I've never felt better.

Darryl Shaw
12-17-2008, 05:56 AM
Another defiinition of Paleo that I read has nothing to do with food available during a specific time period: A paleo food is a food that can be eaten raw and does not require a technology to process. For example, you cannot eat grains raw and you cannot eat legumes raw (with the exception of peanuts). Grains and legumes are indigestible and toxic in raw form. Therefore, it doen't take a genius to figure out that these were not staple foods before the concept of soaking/boiling came along. However, this raises some interesting questions; If a processing technology is applied to a food that is toxic and indigestable which renders it "edible", making its nutrients available while destroying the toxins, can that food be considered healthy and nutritious or maybe even superior to some foods traditionally eaten raw? The grain and soybean producers would certainly have us beleive this to be the case. So does the government with its promotion of the food pyramid.

Hunter-gatherers have always processed foods to remove toxins and make them more palatable so the if you can eat it raw it must be paleo test doesn't really work. Australian aborigines for example eat a kind of yam called the cheeky yam that has to be roasted, grated, then soaked for 24 hours before being cooked again in order to make it edible. This seems like a lot of work when other yams are available but the cheeky yam has a higher caloric value than most other yams which makes the extra effort worthwhile.

In Arnhem Land, north Queensland and the Kimberleys, there are many tropical trees which bear fruits and seeds, such as native figs (Ficus spp.), lilly-pillies (Acmena, Eugenia and Syzygium spp.) and Macadamia nuts. One fruit, the Green Plum (Buchanania obovata) is enormously rich in Vitamin C. True yams (Dioscorea spp.) were important root vegetables, although one of them, Dioscorea bulbifera, is called the 'cheeky yam', because it will make you sick unless it is grated up and thoroughly washed in water before it is used. Another important root was the wild Water-chestnut or Spike-rush, (Eleocharis dulcis).

http://www.anbg.gov.au/anbg/aboriginal-trail.html

Man is unique among mammals. We are not the only omnivores, but we have demonstrated an ability to make radical dietary shifts in relatively short time periods. After eons of the same dietary pattern, grain foods suddenly became the staple of our existance...not for all populations, but most of them. It was a change brought on by necessity. Climates changed, the availability of game for meat became more and more scarce. Once it was discovered that grains and legumes could be rendered edible, our very existance revolved around their production. Even so, we tried to obtain our preferred food, meat, whenever the opportunity presented itself. The ability to produce grain created a new opportunity to have meat "on hand" when we wanted it. Animals were domesticated and fed on the grains. Therefore you can say grains were, and still are, the cornerstone of our existance for better or worse.

Now, since we have been living this way for what.....the last 10 - 15 thousand years...is that enough time for our bodies/genes to adapt to, and actually prefer grain based foods to function optimally? Could it be true in some population groups and not in others?

It's true that man is unique among mammals but we are still primates with bodies evolved and adapted to the conditions we experienced in Africa over many millions of years and there is no evidence to suggest that we have experienced any significant genetic adaptations to our modern grain/dairy based diet, indeed there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that grains and dairy are the cause of numerous health problems.

ABSTRACT:
There is growing awareness that the profound changes in the environment (eg, in diet and other lifestyle conditions) that began with the introduction of agriculture and animal husbandry 10000 y ago occurred too recently on an evolutionary time scale for the human genome to adjust. In conjunction with this discordance between our ancient, genetically determined biology and the nutritional, cultural, and activity patterns of contemporary Western populations, many of the so-called diseases of civilization have emerged. In particular, food staples and food-processing procedures introduced during the Neolithic and Industrial Periods have fundamentally altered 7 crucial nutritional characteristics of ancestral hominin diets: 1) glycemic load, 2) fatty acid composition, 3) macronutrient composition, 4) micronutrient density, 5) acid-base balance, 6) sodium-potassium ratio, and 7) fiber content. The evolutionary collision of our ancient genome with the nutritional qualities of recently introduced foods may underlie many of the chronic diseases of Western civilization.

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/81/2/341

George Mounce
12-17-2008, 06:39 AM
Paleo for almost 2 years now (result = 30 pounds of fat loss, muscle gain, better all around health). I tried about 1/4 cup of rice the other night with some sashimi. I seriously thought I was going to die for the next 12 hours it completely destroyed my bowels.

Ya....not worth it. I'll stick with Paleo.

Derek Simonds
12-17-2008, 09:10 AM
I am trying to put on weight right now and have opened my diet way up compared to normal. Including breads, rice and oatmeal. Still not a ton but significantly more than my fairly paleo diet for the last two years. The result, constantly runny nose and 1 sinus infection. I am going back to a stricter paleo and increasing the fat about 10 times starting this week.

Dave Ogilbee
12-19-2008, 09:33 AM
If you eating more carbs previously resulted in better performance and low bodyfat, stick with it--you are your own best experiment. My wife is mostly Irish, she seems to do better on more carbs than I do as well (I'm mostly Scandinavian heritage).

My Scandi-brother! :)

Anyway, regarding the macro ratios, I've been on somewhat of a mission to figure out what works best for me. When it comes to my diet, I would say I am a bit more meticulus than most (I've got an excel spreadsheet system tracking cal/prot./cab/fat numbers dating back about a year and a half). I've tried a number of methods of dieting to keep bodyweight under control but try and put on lean mass (what guy isn't looking for this, I know). Ever since I started trying to eat more "natural" foods I've noticed feeling a whole lot better than I used to. I would love to go 100% paleo but i've got a serious addiction to oatmeal...like, stable, every morning ritual of eating the stuff. I'd like to put on some mass, and am not afraid to add a bit of bodyfat to do it, but i'm in the middle of trying to see how my body reacts to different eating methods (higher fat % vs. lower carb %, vice versa).
In all, I think the whole diet thing is just like Garrett said; its dependant upon the person. Some do well with higher carbs while others don't. I'd just like to try to find that happy median where I make the gains that I'm looking for while eating foods that aren't very processed and make me feel good.

Darryl Shaw
12-20-2008, 05:09 AM
My Scandi-brother! :)

Anyway, regarding the macro ratios, I've been on somewhat of a mission to figure out what works best for me. When it comes to my diet, I would say I am a bit more meticulus than most (I've got an excel spreadsheet system tracking cal/prot./cab/fat numbers dating back about a year and a half). I've tried a number of methods of dieting to keep bodyweight under control but try and put on lean mass (what guy isn't looking for this, I know). Ever since I started trying to eat more "natural" foods I've noticed feeling a whole lot better than I used to. I would love to go 100% paleo but i've got a serious addiction to oatmeal...like, stable, every morning ritual of eating the stuff. I'd like to put on some mass, and am not afraid to add a bit of bodyfat to do it, but i'm in the middle of trying to see how my body reacts to different eating methods (higher fat % vs. lower carb %, vice versa).
In all, I think the whole diet thing is just like Garrett said; its dependant upon the person. Some do well with higher carbs while others don't. I'd just like to try to find that happy median where I make the gains that I'm looking for while eating foods that aren't very processed and make me feel good.

Dave,

Re. macronutrient ratios: When you're eating a natural foods/paleo diet you might find it easier if you work out what ratio of plant to animal foods (P:A) suits you (measured by volume not weight) then as long as your diet is varied enough the macro's should take care of themselves.
In my case for example I seem to do best with a P:A ratio of about 4:1 but I'm a wiry little guy who needs plenty of carbs to avoid losing weight. If you're bigger or you're trying to gain weight though you might find that you do better with a P:A ratio of 3:1 or even 2:1 but once you've figured out what works for you weight control is simply a matter of increasing/decreasing portion sizes or number of meals per day.

As for the oatmeal; 90% paleo is close enogh so don't sweat the small stuff.

Daniel Labuz
12-20-2008, 09:40 AM
I am trying to put on weight right now and have opened my diet way up compared to normal. Including breads, rice and oatmeal. Still not a ton but significantly more than my fairly paleo diet for the last two years. The result, constantly runny nose and 1 sinus infection. I am going back to a stricter paleo and increasing the fat about 10 times starting this week.

Sounds like me, I get terrible runny nose with grains and large amounts of dairy

Dave Ogilbee
12-23-2008, 09:11 AM
Dave,

Re. macronutrient ratios: When you're eating a natural foods/paleo diet you might find it easier if you work out what ratio of plant to animal foods (P:A) suits you (measured by volume not weight) then as long as your diet is varied enough the macro's should take care of themselves.
In my case for example I seem to do best with a P:A ratio of about 4:1 but I'm a wiry little guy who needs plenty of carbs to avoid losing weight. If you're bigger or you're trying to gain weight though you might find that you do better with a P:A ratio of 3:1 or even 2:1 but once you've figured out what works for you weight control is simply a matter of increasing/decreasing portion sizes or number of meals per day.

As for the oatmeal; 90% paleo is close enogh so don't sweat the small stuff.

Thanks for the response Darryl, I'll give your advice a shot. I'm always game for trying something new and seeing how I feel. Right now i've got a PA ratio favoring the animal side, looking at it from a protein/carbohydrate perspective. By P:A do you mean portion/serving sizes or prot./carb. count?

Bo Bolund
12-25-2008, 06:35 AM
Too low in carbs is known to imped performance.
Paleo diets do not necessarily mean low carb diet, but usuallly it lowers ones intake compared to regular western diets with grain and sugar.
Some do well on high carb low fat diet and are triggered to eat more if they try to exclude carbs. Others stimulate their appetite by eating carbs. Human physiologic functioning is not a one way street allthough we share the same metabolites. In many ways we are different, which in the end improves homo sapiens survival.

Darryl Shaw
12-27-2008, 04:32 AM
Thanks for the response Darryl, I'll give your advice a shot. I'm always game for trying something new and seeing how I feel. Right now i've got a PA ratio favoring the animal side, looking at it from a protein/carbohydrate perspective. By P:A do you mean portion/serving sizes or prot./carb. count?

Apologies for the slow reply but I've been visiting my parents over Christmas and they aren't online.

Okay my approach to the P:A ratio is actually very simple; you just forget all about macronutrient ratios and look at the volume of food on your plate. In my case for example I know from experience that as long as there's roughly four times as much plant food on my plate as animal foods my macros will avarage themselves out over the course of a day/week/month/year as long as my diet is varied enough and I'm eating enough food to get through the day.
The reason this approach to eating paleo works is because after 20+ million years as opportunistic omnivorous gatherer-scavengers and much later hunter-gatherers our bodies are able to function remarkably efficiently on a wide range of macronutient intakes and as long as our calorie intake is adequate homeostasis will take care of all that complicated biochemistry stuff.

George Mounce
12-27-2008, 06:01 AM
Apologies for the slow reply but I've been visiting my parents over Christmas and they aren't online.

Okay my approach to the P:A ratio is actually very simple; you just forget all about macronutrient ratios and look at the volume of food on your plate. In my case for example I know from experience that as long as there's roughly four times as much plant food on my plate as animal foods my macros will avarage themselves out over the course of a day/week/month/year as long as my diet is varied enough and I'm eating enough food to get through the day.
The reason this approach to eating paleo works is because after 20+ million years as opportunistic omnivorous gatherer-scavengers and much later hunter-gatherers our bodies are able to function remarkably efficiently on a wide range of macronutient intakes and as long as our calorie intake is adequate homeostasis will take care of all that complicated biochemistry stuff.

This is the approach I'm taking - I just eat constantly to gain weight to lift more, and don't care about the macronutrient profile. It all will even out in the end.

Dave Ogilbee
12-28-2008, 12:57 PM
Apologies for the slow reply but I've been visiting my parents over Christmas and they aren't online.

Okay my approach to the P:A ratio is actually very simple; you just forget all about macronutrient ratios and look at the volume of food on your plate. In my case for example I know from experience that as long as there's roughly four times as much plant food on my plate as animal foods my macros will avarage themselves out over the course of a day/week/month/year as long as my diet is varied enough and I'm eating enough food to get through the day.
The reason this approach to eating paleo works is because after 20+ million years as opportunistic omnivorous gatherer-scavengers and much later hunter-gatherers our bodies are able to function remarkably efficiently on a wide range of macronutient intakes and as long as our calorie intake is adequate homeostasis will take care of all that complicated biochemistry stuff.

Thanks for the clarification Darryl. Sounds like an interesting strategy, i'll have to give it a shot. I do plan on sticking with the paleo style of eating as much as possible, just because i've felt better from doing so than I have on any other method of eating.