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Old 09-09-2013, 07:55 AM   #1
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Paleo Vs. Low Carb


Is there anyone who has done both Paleo and Atkins Low Carb plans? I am curious to see if there is a difference between the two in terms of weight loss effectiveness and overall satisfaction. I know everyone is different with different tastes but I am interested in how different the two experiences are.

I have never done Paleo but the concept really intrigues me. I also love the idea of being able to eat two old favorites -- sweet potatoes and squash -- that I cannot eat now. On the other hand, low carb lets me eat dairy, which I don't eat in large quantities but do appreciate the cream in my coffee and the option of sprinkling good quality romano cheese on salads, veggies, etc. I know it is a trade off.

If anyone has any insights to share, I would be most grateful. Thank you!
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:27 AM   #2
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I am flirting with the idea of paleo too... Like to see what responses you get.

I was worried about giving up dairy too. However, I now make a latte each morning with almond milk. I have found dairy causes a lot of mucus in me... I love cheese but it also makes me crave sweets. Maybe I would be better off with paleo... ( I also love sweet potatoes !)
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:32 AM   #3
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I'm headed for Primal instead of Paleo because dairy does not seem to cause any problems for me and I really enjoy it. As soon as I'm done dropping the weight (soon!) I'm going to go for it, right now I'm researching and learning so I'm well prepped to do it right.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GailyGail View Post
Is there anyone who has done both Paleo and Atkins Low Carb plans? I am curious to see if there is a difference between the two in terms of weight loss effectiveness and overall satisfaction. I know everyone is different with different tastes but I am interested in how different the two experiences are.
I can't do paleo because it's still too high carb for me (diabetic) and cheese and cream are my last enjoyment (since I can't have the carbs) and I'm not giving them up.

My two oldest sons have been doing paleo for about 2 years now and love it. The oldest son has always been trim (actually up until about 7 years ago he was too thin), so he's doing this just as a healthier way to eat. However, occasionally he'll have something carby or cheese, like when we're visiting and we go out. Although this time I'm low carbing so we either won't go out or will go where there are better alternatives for both of us.

My middle son does paleo to maintain his weight...which he struggles with because he loves food...but paleo combined with his Crossfit works well for him because he can eat more on paleo than he could on a regular higher carb diet (and he feels better).

If I could eat the higher carbs, I'd go paleo just for the variety...even if it meant no dairy. There are days when I'd kill for fruit like raspberries.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GailyGail View Post
Is there anyone who has done both Paleo and Atkins Low Carb plans? I am curious to see if there is a difference between the two in terms of weight loss effectiveness and overall satisfaction. I know everyone is different with different tastes but I am interested in how different the two experiences are.

I have never done Paleo but the concept really intrigues me. I also love the idea of being able to eat two old favorites -- sweet potatoes and squash -- that I cannot eat now. On the other hand, low carb lets me eat dairy, which I don't eat in large quantities but do appreciate the cream in my coffee and the option of sprinkling good quality romano cheese on salads, veggies, etc. I know it is a trade off.

If anyone has any insights to share, I would be most grateful. Thank you!
Just a note to say that Primal is alot like Paleo but does allow for some dairy
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:43 AM   #6
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I haven't done Atkins in a long time, so I don't remember my weight loss numbers.

I'm 54, 5'6" and started Paleo at 181.5 lbs. In 23 days I was down to 172 lbs. I went away for a week and totally blew the plan which put me back up to 183.75. Back to Paleo for a week got me to 175.75.

The next 6 weeks I was totally off again because I was getting my daughter ready to go away for college and was very stressed. My weight ballooned to 191.5. Lots of carbs and alcohol.

Now that the stress, um, my daughter is out of the house I'm trying LC/MP/HF and in 15 days went from 191.5 to 182.25. I've sort of been bouncing up and down the same half pound for the last week so I'm giving up dairy as of today to see if that helps.

I'm not on any meds, and i haven't been exercising. I am enjoying eating clean, no packaged foods of any kind. I limit my fruit to one serving of strawberries because they're pretty high in carbs, and have them most days. I have no cravings for carbs anymore, which is nice.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:56 AM   #7
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Been interested in paleo too but scared of letting my dairy go.. Also of craving caused by fruit... Will look into primal now. So many woe these days it makes my head spin
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:14 AM   #8
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I used to do primal (paleo + dairy) but to lose weight I would need to do low carb primal, and that's too restrictive for me right now. So I am doing conventional low carb. I hope to get back to primal, or closer to it, when I am at goal. We'll see, as I'm not sure I will ever be able to add back in naturally sweetened things like fruit in any quantity, so I may not every get to the point where I am eating completely primal.

I actually find it strange that sweet potatoes are now considered paleo. When I started a number of years ago (before it was very popular) it seemed that nearly all tubers were considered Neolithic foods. I think the paleo gurus have softened their stance quite a bit in the past couple of years. I do think plenty of people eat squash on conventional low carb though? Not sure why you couldn't fit it into a regular low carb plan at the appropriate time and amounts.
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:22 AM   #9
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Some paleo plans acknowledge that you may still have to eat low carb because your metabolism is not able to tolerate the starch of sweet potato or the sugar in fruit. With mine, and since I have autoimmune issues dairy is out, as well as grains of course. I eat a very little bit of sweet potato on occasion and a small amount of fruit; otherwise my blood sugar goes a bit too high and also I start gaining weight.

What I like about paleo is the emphasis on fresh, organic, natural and unprocessed food.Grass fed beef, no hormones, antibiotics, nitrates and things like that. As little as possible out of a package. When I stopped dairy I lost my last 15 or so lbs after a stall that was about a year long. Too much cheese I guess, and Atkins bars, Carbsmart bars, low carb treats with sugar subs. And I got to add back in some carbs, but mostly just more veggies. I can eat some squash, even pumpkin, carrots a nice variety but limited.
Plenty of salad and I eat some nuts.

I never went as low in carbs as Atkins. I did Bernstein, 30 g a day. It's definitely worth experimenting with, and lots of people do keep dairy in some forms.
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:23 AM   #10
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Paleo is like a cleaner version of low carb. You don't have to eat fruits or starchier veg that you don't do well with.

I would say I do more paleo because I eat very little dairy, almost no processed foods, and am focused on food quality. I cook most of my meals and don't eat fast food or prepared meals. I pay attention to and avoid plastics and things like antibiotics/hormones in meat. I don't use AS or other junky low carb products and stick mostly to veg, meat, eggs, fish, and water. I do eat fruits in season.

This is the best way for me- I feel really good, my skin is clear, I can maintain my weight, and I know what true hunger is. I think it's the best for both weight maintenance and health.
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:30 AM   #11
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Lots of people do paleo and low carb by not eating starchy veg like sweet potato and limiting their fruit to a few berries. The only other real difference is dairy and many paleo people will consume small amounts of grass fed/ non processed dairy.

The big distinction for me is the food quality. To try to eat organic and free range/grass fed as much as possible. The rest is really low carb compared to a standard conventional diet.
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:41 AM   #12
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Just a note on squashes (someone please correct me if I am wrong!)
Summer squashes are low carb, but winter squashes (butternut for example) are higher carb.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:36 PM   #13
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Yes Bella, that is right.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:37 PM   #14
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Lots of people do paleo and low carb by not eating starchy veg like sweet potato and limiting their fruit to a few berries. The only other real difference is dairy and many paleo people will consume small amounts of grass fed/ non processed dairy.

The big distinction for me is the food quality. To try to eat organic and free range/grass fed as much as possible. The rest is really low carb compared to a standard conventional diet.
Translation = raw!
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:44 PM   #15
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Both Primal and Paleo are mainly 'philosophies' of eating rather than strictly weight loss oriented as Atkins. If you read Mark Sisson's website, you'll see that many Primal adherents are not interested in weight loss but eat that way for overall health.

I am carb sensitive, so I see my WOE as primarily low carb [20g day], and that is much lower than Primal eating recommends. But, like nolcjunk, I eat quality whole foods, and when I discovered Primal, I realized that my WOE with grass-fed beef and bison and wild caught fish and organic veggies is totally consonant with its principles.

I eat no dairy by choice, and I use no sweeteners at all. Eating simple, whole foods seems to suit me best. I have tried to eliminate all processed foods--and I'm probably about 98% there.
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Old 09-09-2013, 02:37 PM   #16
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Sweet potatoes and squash are rung 8 in Atkins OWL.
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:14 PM   #17
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If I were to pick an eating plan, ANY eating plan, based on health alone, I'd probably choose paleo. But for me, I am too attached to my dairy foods, not to mention the outrageous cost of all that grass fed no-hormone, no antibiotic beef and organic vegetables by the truckload. So for me, I just do the best I can with Atkins.

If you can afford the cost and you really like berries and tubers and don't care much for dairy, then it is the perfect WOE. I can't find much fault with it's principles or nutrition.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:15 AM   #18
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I've basically done both. I actually just started a new thread about it. Here's what I posted:

Quote:
About four years ago I started eating low-carb (well moderate low-carb) and was able to drop from 146 to 122 in about 6 months. I didn't do a specific plan, I just read lots of information on LCF and took what I thought I could stick with long-term and turned it into my own plan. I was easily maintaining when I discovered paleo and decided to switch to it. Despite thinking that paleo was a perfect fit, paleo ended up being a bit of an issue.

There were many times where if there wasn't paleo food available or there wasn't any paleo food that I was in the mood for, I just wouldn't eat. My calories started to drop lower and lower as I was restricting more and more food and my thyroid ended up crashing. At one point I thought my thyroid crashed due to low-carb, but it ended up being because I had an active lifestyle and super low calories and my poor body just couldn't keep up. Soon after the crash, I discovered Paleo treats. Paleo treats at times led to non-Paleo treats.

Eventually, I moved into cycles of severely restricting followed by crazy indulgences. Throughout this cycle (and the thyroid crashing), I've managed to go back up to 142, so I've gained 20 pounds back. I want to transition back to low-carb and try to drop the paleo mindset.

Here's where I need some help. I can't do dairy b/c I'm allergic. Due to Paleo, I can't tolerate gluten or artificial sweeteners anymore because they make me very sick to my stomach. I have my old menus, but they don't fit as well anymore because of the gluten/artificial sweetener thing, so I'm needing some example menus to get me back on track. I hate that I'm here again.

I'm thankful to Paleo because honestly, I don't think the artificial sweeteners or the gluten are good for us, so I was able to get those out of my system. As for me adding in the paleo treats and other sugar back in, that was my fault, not paleo. Sugar and I just don't mix. The sooner I realize that, the better
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:31 PM   #19
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Everything I have read on paleo sites or heard on paleo podcasts is that a paleo diet is not for losing weight, it is a healthy way of eating. When they are attempting to lose weight, they cut out the carbs. So in essence, it is a low carb diet, in which you find the balance of carbs you can eat to maintain your current weight, or adjust it to where you want.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:59 PM   #20
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Paleo is not so much a diet as a template. The template's framework is no grains, no dairy, no artificial ingredients and sweeteners, no transfats and no industrial seed and nut oils. Eat the "cleanest" you can--grass fed and pastured meat, fowl, eggs, wild caught fish, organic vegetables and fruit. Good fats--meaning saturated animal fats, olive oil and coconut oil--are important in the daily diet. The template is neither high nor low carb, you can choose to make it either. You can eat what you want, as much as you want, within the template.

I follow a more primal template in that I eat dairy, but otherwise try to eat as "cleanly" as possible and keep my carbs very low (30 g/day or less). The Paleo/primal part is about health. It would not work for me for weight loss without also doing low carb because I have a high degree of insulin resistance. Some people (seems to be common for younger, more athletic people) do lose significant amounts of weight on Paleo alone, without seeming to reduce their carbs, but they are probably eating far fewer carbs than they did on SAD, just by virtue of the fact that grains are off the table. And to be true to the paleo template, one should not be eating a lot of fruit, because ripe fruit was available to our ancestors infrequently and not as sweet as our fruit today.

To me, combining paleo/primal and low carb is the best of both worlds. I'm appalled at what some people who are low carbing consider to be "food" and that they have no thought to the implications to their long term health (soy, artificial sweeteners, highly processed products, and industrially processed nut and seed oils). Meanwhile, my health has improved 1000% on primal, I feel so much better, and I'm proud of what I put in my mouth, not ashamed. My grandmother would recognize everything I eat (except perhaps coconut oil which they didn't have in Romania!).
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:11 PM   #21
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Janknitz said: "To me, combining paleo/primal and low carb is the best of both worlds. I'm appalled at what some people who are low carbing consider to be "food" and that they have no thought to the implications to their long term health (soy, artificial sweeteners, highly processed products, and industrially processed nut and seed oils). Meanwhile, my health has improved 1000% on primal, I feel so much better, and I'm proud of what I put in my mouth, not ashamed. My grandmother would recognize everything I eat (except perhaps coconut oil which they didn't have in Romania!)."

That's pretty much what I do...I don't care what it is called, it is just how I eat. I've done Atkins many times and was never able to stick to it because I still had cravings and would eventually go off plan and regain whatever weight I had lost (usually about 30 lbs).

I had to eliminate ALL processed foods and grains to get my cravings under control and to start to heal and feel better. Atkins was dangerous for me because I could justify eating low-carb junk food and it always eventually led me back to eating SAD.

I eat as naturally as I can and we made buying really good food a priority, to the point where we cut down on other things (i.e., no cable TV, no eating out, cheap vacations). Since I started eating this way, I've lost about 100 lbs. and have kept it off for almost a year now. I eat good dairy--lots of cream without additives--raw when we can find it. Lots of locally raised meats we buy at the farmer's market. Organic veggies, mostly kale because I love it. We raise tomatoes and blackberries at the moment, so I have that for fruit about once a week. Good fats make up the bulk of my diet...butter, coconut oil.

I had to discover what my body needed, even if it meant NOT following a plan. I started this time on Atkins but quickly abandoned it because I could tell after a couple of months that it just wasn't working for me...no weight loss, severe cravings, hard time sticking to plan. Then I tried a more strict Paleo approach (without dairy and with some tubers). Still didn't work and my blood sugar kept spiking way too high (I'm a T2). Eventually discovered more ketogenic eating and my body loved it. No grains, no starches. Only carbs come from dairy, green veggies, and my weekly small fruit serving. I very rarely use any artificial sweetener, and when I do, it is a teeny tiny amount.

That's just my experience. Losing weight has become increasingly more difficult as I've gotten older, so that definitely colors my opinion. However, I just wish I knew then what I've learned now about how to find what was healthy for MY body! I think that's the key. We're all different and to strictly follow a plan without listening to your body may be doing it a disservice unless the plan really works for you. What does your body really need feel GOOD?
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:31 AM   #22
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Thank you for the wonderful post Weezy
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:48 AM   #23
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Now that the stress, um, my daughter is out of the house


Oh I can so relate. I love my youngest son (21 yo), but I'm so looking forward to him finally moving out. Although he's planning on moving to Oregon (from Michigan) so I don't know how I'll like having him that far away.
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:29 PM   #24
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Been interested in paleo too but scared of letting my dairy go.. Also of craving caused by fruit... Will look into primal now. So many woe these days it makes my head spin
Two years ago when I sat down to do a grocery list for the week and more than half our menus items called for cheese I decided we needed to go dairy free for a while. Scared me to death we would have some kind of withdrawal or something. Didn't happen we went nearly six months without and then gradually added some back in. In those two years we have only added back minimal cheese eating it maybe once a week. Hey, down from like 5 times and yes, we did drop some weight.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:22 AM   #25
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Thank you for this thread. It was a good reminder that my problem isn't paleo, it's sugar. Operation No Sugar starts today (wish me luck).
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