Caloric deficit, we get it

Image result for 6-pack

Ever heard this? "As a rule in order to lose weight, we need to eat fewer calories than we use. This is called being in a caloric deficit. This isn't something to debate over. It is what it is. Get over it."

Here's the problem. You can eat like crap and still lose weight.

If you shift the discussion to losing body fat or having improved metabolic function,.....that's a different conversation.

Seriously, Go out and eat donuts, ice cream, and pizza every day. If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you'll lose weight.

It's a fact.

"Why is that a problem?" you ask.

It's a problem because it's a short-sighted, lazy, and potentially life-threatening mindset.

Losing weight is the most generic reason for establishing a diet. Sure, for someone who is obese, losing weight can be a life changer by itself. The risks of death significantly decrease when you're not carrying around a bunch of extra pounds. The weight itself isn't the problem though. It's just an indicator of all the other things going.

Focusing on weight loss for most people is purely an aesthetic goal. That's ok. We all want to look good. The problem is when a primarily visual, physical, characteristic becomes confused with a solution for health.

The mindset of macro counting and, using a caloric deficit to lose weight completely disregards the factors of nutrition that affect general health, chronic disease, and other conditions.

There are numerous diets out there that address weight loss as part of a larger scope of helping people heal from issues as a result of their diets. Let's talk about the big 3 that are in the news a lot right now.

In all three of these diets, you'll notice a trend. 1. People can lose body fat, without being in a caloric deficit. 2. They've helped people improve or remove symptoms from chronic conditions like:

- Sleep disorders
- Skin conditions (psoriasis)
- Irritable Bowl Syndrome
- Insulin Resistance
- Diabetes
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Autoimmune diseases
- Allergies
- Autism
- Cancer

Other benefits I've seen personally are fat loss without muscle loss, improved strength, and faster recovery and healing.

There is a lot more going on than just losing weight. These diets allow the body to function more efficiently, and in many cases heal itself from all the damage that processed foods and carbs have caused.

Paleo Diet
At its core, the Paleo diet is all about eating as cleanly as possible. There is some focus on reducing carbs, but it's more about eating whole foods, as close to natural and not processed as possible.

Paleo Diet

Image courtesy of Primal Palate –

The health benefits of the Paleo diet are a result of only ingesting things that were meant to be ingested into our bodies. Most people that I've dealt with don't follow the Paleo diet for weight loss. They do it so they can feel better every day.

Ketogenic Diet
The Ketogenic or "Keto" diet is all about turning the body into a fat burning machine. It is kind of a next level of the Paleo diet in that it is all about whole foods and cutting out anything processed. IT goes an extra step and also reduces total carb intake.

In order to improve the body's ability to burn fat, the amount of carbs ingested is significantly reduced. the absence of carbs forces the body to burn fat in what is called being in a ketogenic state.

A good amount of people do try Keto to improve their ability to lose body fat. The cool thing about this diet though is how amazing it is for improving other health factors.

People on the Keto diet see improvements in energy levels, mood, brain function, sleep, elimination of insulin resistance, and all sorts of other health benefits.  All of the benefits of Paleo plus more from the reduction of carbs and sugar.

Carnivore Diet
The Carnivore Diet is the most extreme of the three. Eat meat, and drink water. It doesn't get any more whole foods than that. Take the Paleo diet and the Keto diet and remove all carbs.

While this may seem crazy, this diet brings in an added aspect of clearing away all of the added stress and inflammation that carbs add to the body. The biggest benefit of the Carnivore diet is the improved efficiency in digesting, processing, and the utilizing energy and nutrients that we eat.

The removal of all carbs allows the body to heal itself over time. There are some amazing stories of people using this diet to reverse all sorts of conditions.

Most people turn to the Carnivore diet as a last resort when they've tried other things to heal themselves and failed.

The big secret
Caloric Deficit is always in effect REGARDLESS of what diet you choose so why do we keep talking about it? Don't get that confusing with 1. needing to be in a deficit to lose body fat. 2. Eating healthy.

You can get fat no matter what diet you choose!

If you just want to lose weight, then eat whatever the hell you want. Just don't eat too much.

If you want to be healthy, eat smart. If you make healthy choices and end up eating good portions of all three macros you may find yourself eating Paleo.

No matter what, if you just focus on losing weight and don't look at the big picture, you will not be healthy, you will not perform your best, and you will restrict your ability to function.

But hey, you'll have a 6-pack.


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