I recently posted an article: Do Calories matter ... discussing this issue with regard to Low-Carb eating. Here is a Paleo expert's recently stated viewpoint on whether or not Calories matter.
Low Carb and Paleo: My Thoughts Part 1
By Rob Wolf
Slowly I realized, both by experimentation and by really looking at the literature: CALORIES MATTERED MORE THAN CARBS FOR BODY-COMP.
I have to say this was a pretty big shake-up for me. I’d assumed one could eat as much fat as one desired and STILL get leaner. As I mentioned above, when I first started eating Low Carb, or more specifically, cyclic low carb (CLC) I was leaner than ever in my life. I know based on blood work and fat deposition that I had insulin resistance while vegan, and CLC helped with this immensely, but it was my new-found energy and activity level that drove my leanness, not an inability to store fat in the absence of significant insulin.
I think this is one of the most damaging messages that comes out of the Low Carb camp to this day, I was duped by this, so I’m not going to do what a lot of other recovered Low Carb writers do and make folks out to be idiots for still believing this…but, it is time to face facts. In every damn study it is clear that for fat loss we’d like adequate protein, and a calorie restriction scenario. Low Carb is fantastic for this in that one typically feels satisfied on high protein, moderate fat, loads of veggies. If one is insulin resistant, this approach can be nothing short of miraculous. HOWEVER! If one manages to cram enough cheese, olive oil and grass-fed butter down the pie-hole, this is in fact, a “mass gain” diet.
Low Carb is fantastic for the insulin resistant individual, as it addresses both glycemic load and satiety. But if one manages to bypass normal satiety mechanisms, or if one can find some combinations of highly palatable, but low-carb foods, it’s still a ticket to Fat Camp.
The insistence on the part of the Low Carb community in adhering to the “no insulin, no fat gain” dogma ends up discrediting the real therapeutic benefit of Low Carb and hurts us all. The insulin resistant, crack-addicted individual really benefits from Low Carb, I cannot say that sufficiently, and the ease with which people lose weight (fat) on these programs is remarkable, but insulin control takes a backseat to calorie reduction via highly satiating foods. This whole situation further damages the ability to push ketosis as a therapeutic treatment for everything from cancer to neurodegenerative disease. It’s a tool folks, not an end-all-be-all.”
ROBB WOLF is a former research biochemist and is regarded as one of the world's leading experts in Paleolithic nutrition. He authored the best-selling book: The Paleo Solution (2010). Other books by him are: Practical Paleo (2012); Paleo Slow Cooking (2012); Paleo Comfort Foods (2011); Everyday Paleo (2011).
Wolf is a former California State Powerlifting Champion (565Lb Squat, 345lb Bench, 565lb Dead Lift) and a 6-0 amateur kickboxer. He coaches athletes at the highest levels of competition and consults with Olympians and world champions in MMA, motocross, rowing and triathlon.
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