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Old 12-14-2008, 03:55 AM   #1
Will Moore
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Default Does Paleo REALLY work for you?...honestly!

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.
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:40 AM   #2
Garrett Smith
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You probably need a bit more carbs. If you want to do Paleo, eat more tubers (ie. sweet potatoes).
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:58 AM   #3
Chris H Laing
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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.
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:03 AM   #4
Robert Johnson
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I don't know. Poliquin says "And remember, only 25 percent of the population is genetically carb-tolerant."

And,
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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).

?
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:45 AM   #5
Mike ODonnell
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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.
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:59 AM   #6
Fenthis Glusos
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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.
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:09 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Fenthis Glusos View Post
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.
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:50 AM   #8
Fenthis Glusos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike ODonnell View Post
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.
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:56 PM
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Old 12-14-2008, 01:48 PM   #9
Jordan Glasser
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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.
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:23 PM   #10
Scott Clark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenthis Glusos View Post
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.
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