Do you think a high-carb paleo diet could work for an obese person? Would it allow an easier transition to paleo? Are there any possible health problems that might occur?
Say a person is obese and eats a ton of carbs, of course they are processed and come in plastic wrappings, with ingredients used in oil paints. So lets say you can convince that person to try paleo by substituting lots of starches and fruits for their standard carbs of ice cream and bread. After they are used to eating fruits, starches and seasoned meats, you could introduce more healthy fats. Gradually at first. Since the fats are used in lots of hormones and have tons of vitamins that are require for optimum health.
I was low carb paleo and after an initial loss of weight I plateaued and had low energy. I went to approx 150g carbs per day (which is still low carb according the SAD) and then the weight just dripped off of me for 15 straight weeks untill I hit my current weight which is @ 10%-12% body fat.
So highER carb works for me. I think it depends on the person and their activity level. a morbidly obese person is probably not high activity. I, on the other hand, was obese (5'9" 220 lbs) while running 30+ miles per week.
When I first started Paleo, I was what I thought pretty high carb. I was eating about 150 g per day of carbohydrate, mostly from fruit and sweet potatoes with the usual vegetables thrown in.
What I found was that after about a month, in which I'd lost 10 pounds, the desire to eat the fruit and carbs dramatically decreased on its own.
Today, 3 1/2 months later, I'm down to about 50-75 g of carbohydrate per day, eat fruit only a couple of times per week, and don't have cravings at all.
So yes, I believe if you were to "go to town" on fruits and starchy carbs at least initially to get used to the new Paleo lifestyle, you will still see benefits. I also believe that naturally, the desire to eat high carb will diminish on its own.
You're going to see some improvement if your carbs go from "non-Paleo" to "Paleo" but the biggest factor in reversing metabolic damage and losing fat is regulating blood sugar and changing hormones.
Taking an obese person and substituting Snickers for Sweet Potatoes isn't going to immediately fix their underlying issues.
The idea of "carb reliance" is something that most of these people need to break and although nutrient density would improve, this mindset wouldn't and the person would be prone to falling back into old habits.
I recently made a full transition to Paleo. The first few weeks I played at Paleo and didn't really see any of the benefits. It just didn't work. I had to go cold turkey - Paleo all the way. In two weeks I lost 10 pounds. My wife did the same thing though she didn't have the same weight loss that I did (I work out a lot more than she does). But you shouldn't be focusing on weight loss...but how much weight you can pick up...strength gains (different issue - stop looking at the scale!).
I have been trying to get various members of my family to switch to the Paleo/Primal way too. I have found the easiest way to do this is to just start substituting their normal favorites with Paleo versions of the same thing.
Take bread for example: http://freetheanimal.com/2012/07/fat-bread-third-times-the-charm-mission-accomplished.html
Or super sweet Paleo chicken: http://paleomg.com/sweet-lemon-pepper-chicken/
Finding things that are palatable to your current palate as you transition to healthy food is half the battle. No reason to remove what you like...just make what you like healthy then this is easy.
The other half is preparation. Remove all offending non-Paleo foods. Replace them all (snacks included) with great paleo alternatives.
Generally you would want to stay away from lots of fruits if fat loss / weight loss is your goal. But what ever it takes to get you eating healthy foods should be the top goal. Look up sweet potato spears (baked sweet potato fries). They have cinnamon and a touch of cayan. This really gets the fat burning fire going and gives you some quick energy too!
It seems to me that the biggest reason that the Paleo diet AND the Lowfat Raw Vegan diet BOTH work for losing weight and getting into "better" shape for nearly EVERYONE (especially overweight and obese people) is thus: On Paleo (say Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint), the simple sugar carbs are clean BUT RESTRICTED so they aren't helping high dietary fat turn into the fat that you wear (the opposite of say, what DONUTS do). Inversely, on a lowfat Raw Vegan diet (like Doug Graham's 80/10/10), eating LOTS of clean simple sugars (fruits) while eating VERY LOW dietary fat causes a similar effect -- your body isn't converting anything to the fat that you wear. (unless you consume more calories than you are burning on EITHER diet of course!)
So, as long as we just keep our simple sugars FAR AWAY from our intake of dietary fats (i.e. not within the same meal), and don't overconsume more than we burn, we can EASILY stop producing the fat that we wear as long as the macronutrient ratio is not completely wacky (like 100% fat!).
Then, it comes down to a matter of what is a healthy, BALANCED macronutrient ratio for YOU.
A bodybuilder, a marathon runner, and YOU will all have widely different macronutrient ratio requirements to achieve your particular goals. There is NO perfect ratio because of this fact. Use common sense, listen to your body, and for goodness sake BE OPEN to things that go against your DOGMA (because your belief, no matter how ingrained, could be modestly or even BLATANTLY UNTRUE).
Just quit eating processed food that comes in a box or a bag and that will be a HUGE start to controlling your health! All the rest is mainly minutiae (though it seems that's all we have to gripe and argue with each other about ;)
Keep it real!
This could work. Especially since they are already big carb burners.. it would ease the transition. The only problem with this you would need advise them to watch their fat intake (if they are going high carb) which is the opposite of the Paleo message. That might confuse/overwhelm them..
I would tell them to eat whatever whole foods they want (save grains and sugar) for at least a month. After that, introduce like one low-carb meal a day.. preferably breakfast. And then like JB Primal said, I believe at this point their cravings would most likely diminish on their own.
One reason that paleo works for weight loss is that it reduces the quantity of high glycemic carbs consumed (sugars and starches). The macronutrient ratios are not as critical as the amounts. Someone eating 1000 carb cal/day of rice, pasta, stuffed potatoes and milkshakes benefits from imposing a restriction that holds that below 400 cal/day.
I would think that they would really end up being lower carb anyway but wouldn't really realize it. It seems that just by switching to fruits, veggies and tubers that they will be lower carb than when they eat all that other crap.
I have no doubt that if this is what it takes to get them eating non-processed foods that it is the right way to go. They can always tweak it later.
it will absolutely work! coming from someone who's slowly but surely turning all her chunky skeptical relatives to paleo :) weight loss does start in a couple of days, not to mention actually feeling lighter which is cooler than numbers!
i only go into details like how much carbs and skipping meals when there's a marvelous response and a person feels up to more than just giving up processed food.
after those two levels i plunge into the whole paleo philosophy thing :) when someone is not enthusiastic to begin with, theoretical stuff is not helping. but once they are steady, they sure want to polish it.
then i mention paleohacks, and we're done here :)