The Paleo diet facilitates the shedding of excess weight as it restores the ideal conditions for meal consumption that the human body was made for. A lot of persons are able to do this quite easily. They successfully get rid of whole grains in their diet and the weight just seems to “melt away” much more quickly than they can get new clothes.

On the other hand there are some persons that have difficulty getting this done or may see some progress and then not see anything else happen after a while. Needless to say that it can be rather discouraging to be making all the effort with little to no success. It does not matter whether you have just started and already frustrated or have reached your peak after having relative success, there still exist ways in which you can manipulate the Paleo diet to achieve sustainable and healthy weight loss.

Are Counting Carbohydrates or Calories?

This diet is in no way based on the counting calories as a means to losing weight. The theory of the Paleo diet is not based on making the distinction between calories that are harmful as opposed to calories that are nourishing. The point is that you will lose weight if you eat only twelve hundred calories of Doritos on a daily basis but the downside is that you will have certain nutritional deficiencies and have digestive problems that will do much more harm in the long run.

 To add to that, the weight that you lose will be regained quite quickly- with the lack of foods that are processed industrially, the over stimulation of food reward centers and an inflamed digestive system your body will have a natural setting for fat that it will strive to maintain give or take a few pounds. This is referred to as homeostasis. If you are able to adhere to the restriction of calories long enough to lose a particular amount of weight the metabolic rate will decrease to cut back on the level of energy thus cutting back on the number of calories burned to maintain the basic functions of the body.

As a result you will be hungry all the time and the body will resort to getting energy from whatever you consume. On the other hand if you eat too much the opposite will occur. The body has a set weight that it wants to maintain and can do so through certain processes.

A man known as Paul Jaminet has a hypothesis that the body places even more importance on the maintenance of lean tissue health. According to him lean tissue makes use of the nervous system as opposed to using a hormone like leptin to send signals to the brain. This makes it even harder for scientists to measure. The whole point is that if the body is not getting all the nutrients that it needs it will get it elsewhere using the same methods that it would use when the level of fat is low-it will trigger an increase in appetite and get all the energy from food consumed. As the bodies aim is to maintain lean tissues mass and weight, a diet low in calories which does not have the necessary nutrients will start a “fight” between two biological settings. This is a battle that many lose.

Fortunately, it is a battle that can be avoided. Yes it may be true the main requirement of weight loss is some deficit in energy which requires more calories to be burned versus what is consumed. The main problem with this is that the consumption of calories really does not matter. It is not the best way to create that deficit as it does not take into account the ways in which various foods are processed. Scientists tend to test the caloric content if food through the use of bomb calorimeters which is not similar to the process involved in human digestion.
 A pop tart and a steak might have the same number of calories but that is where the similarity ends. It makes the focus on the quality of food and nutrients much easier and is a more effective way to get the deficit need to promote weight loss.

The three macronutrients required are fat, carbohydrates and protein and though they are all important, excess carbohydrates poses a problem for obesity as it is closely linked to the consumption of processed food items that are low in nutrients. A diet that is based on large amounts of carbohydrates (refined) will promote weight gain as it affects the balance of two important hormones, leptin and insulin.

The role that insulin plays in the metabolism is to convert the carbohydrates to glycogen which is then stored in the muscles as fuel that can be used later on. Through the consistent increase in the consumption of carbohydrates the body will develop a resistance to insulin. The muscles will be filled to capacity with glycogen and begin to resist the insulin.

       As a result more insulin will be produced by the pancreas and the muscles will just resists even more. Having glucose in the bloodstream is potentially toxic and as there is nowhere else for it to be stored it will be stored as fat.

The resistance to insulin caused by a diet high in carbohydrates will also cause an imbalance in another important hormone known as leptin which is responsible for regulation the homeostatic process. Leptin is a made by body fat so the more fat you have the higher the levels of leptin and this triggers weight loss and the less fat you have the opposite occurs.

The inflammation that occurs with insulin resistance disrupts the natural balance by triggering leptin resistance. In this case the level of fat triggers an increase in the production of leptin and the brain is not sent any messages. To make the situation worse, a diet based on processed foods will trigger a decrease in the sensitivity of the brain to leptin, causing an increase in ones appetite and as such the intake of nutrients.

As the brain is not receiving any signals to stop this increase in consumption, you will continue to eat. The body will make more leptin to make the signal stronger. The only thing is that the only way to do this is for the level of fat to increase in the body. As such the natural setting for weight will increase as more fat will be required by the body to lower the levels of leptin, increase the metabolism to send the signal to the brain while decreasing the appetite.

This entire situation is compounded by overstimulation caused by the consumption of industrially processed foods. The higher levels of leptin cut down on the food reward to trigger weight loss. Leptin resistance causes the opposite effect. The toxins consumed (high fructose corn syrup, seed oils and gluten) which cause inflammation also adds to leptin resistance. You will also develop other problems with your metabolism which can lead to chronic illnesses like diabetes.

A basic version of the Paleo diet can always be modified for the purposes of weight loss in the same way that it can be adjusted for diabetes, GERD or IBS among other medical issues. Before this process of experimentation begins ensure that the fundamentals are set. If you are an individual that cheats, it might be best to commit to an option that will help you get rid of some of your not so good eating habits. The great thing is that if you are following a strict Paleo diet and are not making any progress you can make tweaks to the diet to suit your particular situation.