Calorie counting Paleo and using maths rather than just eating on instinct.

by 15 · April 05, 2014 at 06:52 PM

OK, I want to have one last thread on a basic topic that I feel is being attacked for no reason and not being engaged.

Disclaimer, I am not saying paleo is unhealthy or you should not do it, I am saying too much of anything makes you fat. If you too support this basic premise you are supporting IIFYM.

If you support basic scientific fact that calories in v out equals weight gain v weight loss you support IIFYM.

You can have different macros, you can be ketogenic, you can be low carb, be zone, be a 35/35/30 follower, you can even have loose macros, just follow a basic calorie goal depending on what you are trying to achieve while hitting micronutrients and protein targets, or even fat targets.

IIFYM is basically saying this. There is no such thing as a clean food and a dirty food, but rather healthy or unhealthy dietary lifestyles. If I eat grassed beef, organic eggs, lots of fresh vegetables but everyday I use up 350 calories of my 2800 calories a day on some pop tarts am I unhealthy?

How does that 350 calories or so from non nutrient dense pleasure foods make any difference, it is not impacting my weightless or gain while at a 10% deficit or surplus and it lets me enjoy food i like or go for a drink with buddies or whatever and I am still having to get the vast majority of my food from fresh wholesome food in order to hit my vitamin RDA, my mineral RDA, my protein and fats %

I really want to talk about this because I feel like the paleo community and even the cross fit community brought a lot of good stuff back and like IIFYM guys they stress not eating nutrient deficient diets, they stress fat phobia is a myth and fat is just a micronutrient and can not make you fat. Rather it is essential.

I want to hear either people say yes of course basic maths and science, calculating calories and using maths to know you will or won't lose fat/ gain mass is good. Or give reasons why it is not. Just saying agh you know fad diet whatever is not an answer.

Again you can't just eat twinkies doing this. You have to hit every vitamin and mineral, every macro, do not miss calories, your diet will consist mainly of whole nutrient dense foods. On average people doing a 2800kcal a day diet on IIFYM will only be able to fit in about 250-500kcal from nutrient sparse pleasure foods.

For a very rough example


coffee - TBS coconut oil

fast till lunch

Lunch - large steak oven cooked with a sweet potato, grassed butter, broccoli, leeks, onions, garlic and lots of spinach

Preworkout snack - banana

postworkout snack - whey protein with grassfed full fat milk

Dinner - salmon with a creamy sauce, lots of mixed vegetables, baby potatoes

Snack - 300 calories of ben and jerries ice-cream curled up with the wife/husband or with the kids watching a film.

How did that become unhealthy?

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10 Replies

15 · April 05, 2014 at 12:07 AM


I do understand what the paleo diet is, I am saying eating mainly whole food foods plus "junk" food for the remainder of your calories won't change your health or make you any less healthy than if you ate 100 percent paleo. I mean shit even Robb Wolf has stated most of the Anthropological and evolutionary science that spawned the paleo diet has been debunked and now its merely about finding what works.

most people in the world do not have gluten sensitivity or intolerance, most people following paleo lose weight because rather than eating crisps they eat meat and veg, its the calories restricted from their regular diet that results in weight loss and thus health boosts, not the removal of gluten and processed food.

It is just ridiculous people are s afraid of eating some processed food even if their diet is 90 percent meat and veg. as if a piece of toast makes or brakes health.

I don't think its a coincidence its mainly white middle class people who turn paleo and find these imagined food intolerances and that they "need to cut carbs" or that "sugar is toxic"

It is like a haute culture hypochondria syndrome. There are some very very rare cases like Robb Wolf with severe autoimmune problems, but most paleo dieters would be just as healthy counting macros and micros. For the 3 people on the planet with celiac disease, then maybe paleo template is necessary. But so is counting calories and macros if you want to do something specific like lose weight at a predetermined weight, or gain mass or gain weight, or whatever.

IIFYM is basically a word for common sense and very basic math. It is just the counter balance to pseudo science and fad dieting that says there and good and bad foods and that something like say a macronutrient or a food source can make you fat, when in reality only consuming more than your maintenance level of calories can make you fat.

1207 · April 04, 2014 at 09:26 PM

Omigod - what IS it with you and this repeating of this mantra over and over? You don't seem to listen to what anyone is answering. It is like your brain is stuck on a nail.

1 - Paleo isn't necessarily a weight loss diet. You are stuck on weight loss as the main reason we do this and it isn't.

2- Eating SAD is unhealthy. Processed foods full of HFCS, ultra-refined wheat products, sugar, and artificial chemicals has made every culture that has adopted the SAD sicker and ... wait for it ... fatter. These hyper-palatable processed foods and the large portions they encourage are BAD for people as they lack nutrients. The lack of nutrients leads to a lack of energy, which leads to a sedentary lifestyle.

3 - Those little tests you posted about McDonalds are small samples - who knows what this man would develop into over time given his desire to eat McDonalds - I'd wager after time he would eschew the healthy menu for the unhealthy one, because sugar and processed flour/starch works that way - you want more and more after a while. Yes, his calories are good for now eating an occasional McRib or shake, but once he slips into the diet most teenagers have - a Big Mac, fries, and a shake as an after school snack - this becomes a different story. These foods make people want more - that is precisely why they are successful businesses. Not good when trying to keep to a calorie in / calorie out model.

4 - YES, DUH - calorie deficit = weight loss. WE GET IT. But that isn't the ONLY thing when looking at total health. I want my teeth healthy, which won't happen if I am drinking my calories in sugary beverages (yet keeping them at a deficit). I want my gut to be healthy - not going to happen if I am eating ultra-refined processed wheat products throughout the day (even if I am in a caloric deficit). I want my hormones in balance - once the sugars that infiltrate most of the processed food that make up SAD hit my system, things go out of whack (even if my calories in are lower than my calories out). NONE of this has to do with weight, yet they all impact health in the biggest way.

I don't get why you are bent on asking questions and not listening to the answers people are taking the time to give you. I think you just want to be validated. I feel sorry for you that you need this desperately from other people - we will not validate you. Your obsession is not as important to most of us on this forum. Maybe it would be best for you to spend time doing something else - it would be more productive and it might make you feel better about yourself. You obviously have weight issues. Maybe you should take up a team sport, so you can exercise while simultaneously learning how to interact with others?

I just hope this is the last we hear from you on this topic - it is exhausting and, at this point, boring.

180 · April 04, 2014 at 06:45 PM

@ManchesterPaleo Thanks for calling me an idiot. I have to say, I like how you troll, your persistence is almost as epic as your ignorance.

"There is no evidence to say sugar is bad or grains are bad" - ManchesterPaleo.

OK great, now why don't you go eat some sugar and bread and take the "Paleo" out of ManchesterPaleo. Oh and don't forget to add a multivitamin to that sugar/bread to make it healthy. Out of all the trolls we've had on here, you're definitely the funniest one yet :)

25734 · April 04, 2014 at 05:15 PM

you are grossly misrepresenting IIFYM.

IIFYM is based upon "science" (which has been discreditied) to calculate your BMR and activity burn based upon a flawed WHO algorithm of using a means of means for 5 countries.

IIFYM further bastardizes their studies when they suggest that certain macro ratio works best depending on your goals (and there is no science for this either). The completely misrepresent studies and extrapolate data in ways that do not fit with the original study's intent.

No one argues the fact that you should eat an appropriate caloric load to meet your energy expenditure AND ensure that you meet micro-nutrient RDAs (which are minimums, not optimal -- but I digress) then you can maintain or loose weight (depending on your goal). We believe that eating whole foods, and avoiding processed and industrialized foods will all you do do that more easily AND also promote health.

No one is saying that you can eat 10000 calories and not gain weight on paleo. Your strawman is rejected, and you cofirmation bias is egregious.

15 · April 04, 2014 at 04:02 PM


"No one cares enough to give you evidence on why is it unhealthy. Really though...we eat how we want to eat and enjoy it. Why do you care so much?"

This is a response i received to the question, below.

"How does...filling the rest of the calories remaining in with pizza or beer or doughnuts make it not healthy?"


WTF? Are you serious right now? Well, why don't you go ahead and declare your love for trans-fats and sugar while you're at it. This shit better be a fucking joke or an April fool's prank or something.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Because of the ignorance and lies people like this idiot @TheGastronomer puts out there. There is no evidence to say sugar is bad or grains are bad. Telling young people trying to get healthy not to count calories and not to track their macros and that they can't eat a slice of pizza on moray after their very nutritious day of eating or they need to avoid a pop tart in the morning because that will mean the rest of the day eating lots of fruit and veg ad fresh meat is now all unhealthy leads to eating disorders, leads to the promoting of psuedoscience and ultimately is just wrong.

If you ask me why I care about not letting clear scientific fallacies gain momentum, well take it up with every scientist, nutritional or otherwise, it is called not wanting people being lied to and fear mongered.

180 · April 04, 2014 at 03:37 PM

"How does...filling the rest of the calories remaining in with pizza or beer or doughnuts make it not healthy?"


WTF? Are you serious right now? Well, why don't you go ahead and declare your love for trans-fats and sugar while you're at it. This shit better be a fucking joke or an April fool's prank or something.

2272 · April 04, 2014 at 03:37 PM

I don't think people here are worried about IIFYM...we enjoy Paleo and go with that. If you enjoy whatever it is you do, then that's great. No reason to constantly debate. Everyone is different and we all need to find what works for us.

If you are healthy...good O3:O6 ratio, vitamins/minerals, enough calories for activity, etc...then you are on the right track. If you want to have Ben & Jerry's ice cream, have it...IT'S JUST NOT PALEO. This is a PALEO site which is why that may be deemed unhealthy, etc.

15 · April 04, 2014 at 03:23 PM


You said:

"Yes, you're right, twinkies and bread are health foods. If only they would fortify them with vitamins and minerals, then they would be the perfect food! (Sarcasm)"

They don't need to be nutritious, If you do IIFYM you get your micronutrients from meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts, etc. Why are you putting out straw men? How does eating mostly healthy nutrient dense food to reach your micros and macros and filling the rest of the calories remaining in with pizza or beer or doughnuts make it not healthy?

If all you have is more nonsensical snarky one liners don't bother.

0 · April 04, 2014 at 03:17 PM

Weight is not always a good indicator of health. You can still be diabetic, malnourished, etc. when a healthy weight.

Some people eat Paleo because of health conditions and eating "not Paleo" can cause them harm because of their conditions. However, this does not apply to everyone. For "optimal" health, you could be 100% Paleo, but some people do not want to be that restrictive. I often see people recommending being at least "80% Paleo", whatever that means to the individual. Basically, eat for health most of the time, and have a treat once in a while. Just make sure you don't overdo it. You're only going to live this life once, don't make it more complicated than it needs to be.

15 · April 04, 2014 at 02:24 PM


Which is great, paleo definitely IS healthy. My point is merely that its healthy because you get lots of protein, lots of vitamins and mineral, good amount of fat, omega 3 etc. Not because it excludes bread, or twinkles, or pizza. Not because of what it excludes. I have seen people lose weight and get in shape on pale and people put on weight.

The weight gain or loss is all calories in v out. The paleo diet is healthy because it forces you to eat good food. But adding bread and some chocolate or beer or pizza in once i get all my vitamins and protein etc does not make it any less healthy

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