I've recently been reading up on the primal/paleo lifestyle as well as calorie restriction. I'm not yet ready to commit to either, but I'm wondering these could be compatible. Seems like that might be problematic, since so many of you guys advocate eating lots of fat. But it would be quite a challenge to eat lots of butter while still eating enough other foods for a good variety of nutrients if your daily calorie limit, is, say, 1,500. Not to mention that so many Paleo peeps are against counting calories. But is it theoretically possible to follow both Paleo and calorie restriction? Is anyone out there attempting this?
My, and many others, way of Paleo eating involves Intermittently Fasting whereby 2 or 3 times a week you fast for 24 hours. See Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon. That way you get to eat to satiety and maintain an overall caloric deficit. Don't get hung up on the myth that you need a great variety of foods or that you will miss out on nutrients. Meat and fat will provide everything your body needs and anything else is garnish, add vegetables if you enjoy that sort of thing, obviously not grains and the like. Note tho when I say meat I mean the whole animal, offal like heart, liver, kidney etc is needed to provide complete nutrition.
This is very possible. Since you're talking calorie restriction, I'm assuming you'd like to shed a few pounds. One of the wonderful things about this diet is the fantastic hormonal regulation. Even with a paleo meal that is a little light on calories, you're getting a nice dose of fat and protein alongside fibrous, calorically sparse vegetables. The protein in this meal will supress the hunger causing hormone ghrelin, as well as increase the hunger satiating hormone peptide YY. Fat has also been shown to increase satiety, as has fiber. Additionally, your insulin signaling will be spot on due to the minimal blood sugar spike from that meal, which will help you burn fat and will not lead to cravings shortly after your meal.
I just designed a program like this for someone where it's essentially a 100% paleo diet that is calorie controlled to a specific range every day. I'll be interested to monitor their satiety levels as well as mood and energy.
Sure, it's theoretically possible. It's funny you should mention this, because I do attempt to stay around 1500 calories per day. I don't always adhere to this, nor do I beat myself up if I don't stay close.
I use FitDay to keep track of what I eat, to see how the percentages for fat/protein/carbs come out. As long as I've been full (meaning "not hungry") and I've been eating Paleo, that usually counts more to me. I definitely ate some fat today (hello, grilled pork chop!) yet I was around 1400 calories when I sat down to the laptop roughly 20 minutes ago.
Admittedly, I also tend to NOT eat breakfast, as I like to hold off on eating for the later part of the night and most of the morning. I don't do this every day, but if I can get a 14-16 hour fast in from one day to the next (including sleep time), I'm happy.
I'm sure you could do both, but why would you want to? The great thing about paleo foods is that they are not all that appealing after you've had your fill.
Cordain has an interesting thought experiment in his book. Imagine you've just had a big wonderful paleo thanksgiving dinner. You're sitting at the table and you're full. Want another helping of turkey? Carrots? Probably not because you're full. How about some ice cream or a piece of pie? Maybe yes. We're hard-wired to want fatty and/or starchy foods and will almost always have a little room for foods of that type. This has been consistent with my personal paleo experience. Once I've eaten, I'm done, and I don't want anything else. For me, the diet seems to be inherently calorie limited. Although I have to say I've never made any attempt count calories while on this diet, because it's just not necessary.
Why did you want to restrict calories?
I don't think it is possible to state that humans benefit from calorie restriction. Any perceived benefits could be from carbohydrate restriction. Here is one recent analysis of a study of aging markers under a paleo diet. Also note that subjects voluntarily ate fewer calories.
Personally, I find it easy to reduce calorie consumption without feeling hungry by a combination of low carbohydrate and fasting. After I got used to fasting (at least < 24 hour fasts), I don't get hungry during them anymore.
I am still trying to figure out if it is better to be running a lower or higher metabolism (short-term could be different from long-term).
I do it and I stay at about 1200 usually.
I'm a 5'8" female and currently 150. I do sprinting once or twice a week and strength training once or twice a week and then I also make sure to get some long slow stuff in as per Mark Sission's purview.
I've tried increasing my protein intake (and fat) and I begin to gain weight. I keep to about 90g protein and 75g of fat and under 50g of carbs (usually 25g). Obviously, I'm still in fat-loss mode. But I'm not hungry. In fact, I find myself eating more for dinner, than I need to satiate hunger, just out of habit. I could probably do with less.
I'm not making a proclamation, I'm just sharing with you my experience.
I dont think it's difficult to stay within a certain caloric range when you eat the right things. You just aren't hungry for extra calories since those you've already had contain the nutrients your body needs. For me getting enough fat is key to this equation. If you don't partake of grains it seems you can eat almost anything and still stay within calories and stay full. This is why there is no need to track them- and that is freedom.
I'm interested in the question. January before last I weighed 215, (5'10" male, late 50's) decided to change my diet to lose weight. Last year I ate "mostly Willett" for a year, (Walter Willett, EAT, DRINK, AND BE HEALTHY) in the first five months I lost 15 lbs but settled into a plateau at 200. Last January I decided to try Robb Wolff, THE PALEO SOLUTION. I've been eating "mostly paleo" for eight months, lost another ten pounds, but seem to have hit another plateau at 190. A few days ago I started looking at Calorie Restriction, was delighted to find that everything they recommended to eat was stuff I was already eating. It apparently would not be much of a change, paleo with some portion control. Heck of a lot easier than switching to Vegan. Hard part would be weighing, measuring, and recording what I eat for a few weeks, looking up the calories and nutrients, to see what changes I would need to make. The game in CR is to get LOTS of good nutrients, Vits and Mins and Phytonutrients and Omega-3 fats and all that, with as low a calorie intake as you can get by on. Takes knowledge and skill and recordkeeping, at least in the early stages. Probably in practice it would be paleo with more emphasis on fresh fruits and veggies, smaller and measured quantities of nuts and meat/poultry/seafood. Read THE LONGEVITY DIET and THE CR WAY, you'll know as much as I do about this question.