Tag Archives: calories

4 Paleo Cornerstones to Increase Your Metabolism | The Paleo Diet

Many individuals who are desperate to lose weight do not realize that they can – and should – eat lots of calories.1, 2, 3 Crash diets do not work, when it comes to long term fat loss.4, 5 In fact, they usually have the opposite effect – weight and fat gain.6, 7, 8 There are, however, some very easy tricks to incorporate into your routine to help ramp up your metabolism.

However, as a disclaimer, if you’re after a quick fix to mimic the effects of steroids or other illegal drugs, you’ll be looking at a harsh reality dead in the eyes. These drugs are dangerous, and are illegal for a reason.

Follow these simple, easy steps to hone in on the last 10% to push you over the edge and help you lose those few extra stubborn pounds!

4 Paleo Cornerstones to Increase Your Metabolism | The Paleo Diet

Mullur, Rashmi, Yan-Yun Liu, and Gregory A. Brent. “Thyroid Hormone Regulation of Metabolism.” Physiological Reviews. American Physiological Society, 1 Apr. 2014. Web. 2 June 2015.


Make sure you are eating plenty of calories. Skip the starvation diets and/or “cleanses” please. Secondly, make sure that you are including “good” calories, and leaving out “bad” ones. This means making your diet as nutrient dense as possible, which the Paleo diet will accomplish for you automatically (I told you this was easy!). Leaving out the “bad” calories can be trickier, but you simply choose between avoiding ice cream and achieving their weight loss goal, or downing a pint and keeping those extra pounds. Ultimately, the choice is yours.


Of these quality calories, protein is probably the most important.9, 10 Most of us do not eat enough protein, and the more protein we eat, the more satiated we will be and the more muscle we can build – both important cornerstones of true weight loss.11, 12 Thermogenesis requires adequate protein – as does muscle growth.13 Without protein, you will never become leaner and meaner.


The next step (which is so commonly overlooked) is indulging in lots of healthy fats.14 This means extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados and other Paleo Diet staples.


One of the biggest secrets to fat loss, is so simple, and yet so overlooked. As I’ve previously written, getting enough sleep is absolutely vital to fat loss.15 In fact, sleep deprivation will cause fat gain!16 Getting an appropriate amount of sleep may be the most unrecognized and underreported secret to fat loss – and yet so many of us struggle to achieve it.17 Why is this? Examine your lifestyle and see what you can strip away (another secret to fat loss – eliminate activities and stressors – don’t add them!)

So to review, boost your metabolism and get rid of stubborn body fat by getting enough calories (quality here is vital), eat plenty of quality proteins and fats, and get lots of high quality sleep (8-9 hours per night). These four Paleo cornerstones will ramp up your metabolism and help you lose body fat.

4 Paleo Cornerstones to Increase Your Metabolism

Mullur, Rashmi, Yan-Yun Liu, and Gregory A. Brent. “Thyroid Hormone Regulation of Metabolism.” Physiological Reviews. American Physiological Society, 1 Apr. 2014. Web. 2 June 2015.

Perhaps two more key notes should be mentioned here. The first is to avoid sugar at all costs. Sugar is your enemy when it comes to fat loss.18 1-2 servings of fruit are all you usually need, and it’s vital (if you want to lose fat) to keep your carbohydrate intake to starchier sources, like sweet potatoes.

The second key is to give it time! Weight loss does not happen overnight – it really does take patience. I have had so many clients who have given up after a week of not achieving their goal, which is truly heartbreaking. I know that if they were to simply hold on for another few weeks, they would see very good results, and stick with it.

A Paleo diet and lifestyle will provide you with all the tools you need to maximize your metabolism and lose weight.19, 20 If you have very complex metabolic or health issues to deal with, you may need to see a doctor or practitioner, but this isn’t always necessary.

Go home, get rid of all the processed and man-made foods from your house, keep exercising and sleeping, and reap the rewards of a Paleo-driven, fuel-efficient metabolism!



[1] Purnell JQ. Obesity: Calories or content: what is the best weight-loss diet?. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2009;5(8):419-20.

[2] Finer N. Low-calorie diets and sustained weight loss. Obes Res. 2001;9 Suppl 4:290S-294S.

[3] Kowalski LM, Bujko J. [Evaluation of biological and clinical potential of paleolithic diet]. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2012;63(1):9-15.

[4] Kline GA, Pedersen SD. Errors in patient perception of caloric deficit required for weight loss–observations from the Diet Plate Trial. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2010;12(5):455-7.

[5] Kelley DE, Wing R, Buonocore C, Sturis J, Polonsky K, Fitzsimmons M. Relative effects of calorie restriction and weight loss in noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1993;77(5):1287-93.

[6] Shah M, Miller DS, Geissler CA. Lower metabolic rates of post-obese versus lean women: Thermogenesis, basal metabolic rate and genetics. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1988 Sep;42(9):741-52.

[7] Bray GA: Effect of caloric restriction on energy expenditure in obese patients. Lancet 1969; 2:397-398

[8] Keys, Ancel. The Biology of Human Starvation: Volume I. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1950. Print.

[9] Westerterp-plantenga MS, Lemmens SG, Westerterp KR. Dietary protein – its role in satiety, energetics, weight loss and health. Br J Nutr. 2012;108 Suppl 2:S105-12.

[10] Brehm BJ, D’alessio DA. Benefits of high-protein weight loss diets: enough evidence for practice?. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2008;15(5):416-21.

[11] Westerterp-plantenga MS, Nieuwenhuizen A, Tomé D, Soenen S, Westerterp KR. Dietary protein, weight loss, and weight maintenance. Annu Rev Nutr. 2009;29:21-41.

[12] Clifton PM, Keogh JB, Noakes M. Long-term effects of a high-protein weight-loss diet. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87(1):23-9.

[13] Acheson KJ, Blondel-lubrano A, Oguey-araymon S, et al. Protein choices targeting thermogenesis and metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;93(3):525-34.

[14] Brehm BJ, Seeley RJ, Daniels SR, D’alessio DA. A randomized trial comparing a very low carbohydrate diet and a calorie-restricted low fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003;88(4):1617-23.

[15] Available at: //thepaleodiet.com/sleep-loss-making-fat/. Accessed May 30, 2015.

[16] Spivey A. Lose sleep, gain weight: another piece of the obesity puzzle. Environ Health Perspect. 2010;118(1):A28-33.

[17] Durmer JS, Dinges DF. Neurocognitive consequences of sleep deprivation. Semin Neurol. 2005;25(1):117-29.

[18] Kuo LE, Czarnecka M, Kitlinska JB, Tilan JU, Kvetnanský R, Zukowska Z. Chronic stress, combined with a high-fat/high-sugar diet, shifts sympathetic signaling toward neuropeptide Y and leads to obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008;1148:232-7.

[19] Boers I, Muskiet FA, Berkelaar E, et al. Favourable effects of consuming a Palaeolithic-type diet on characteristics of the metabolic syndrome: a randomized controlled pilot-study. Lipids Health Dis. 2014;13:160.

[20] Masharani U, Sherchan P, Schloetter M, et al. Metabolic and physiologic effects from consuming a hunter-gatherer (Paleolithic)-type diet in type 2 diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015;

Stop Counting Calories, Start Assessing Quality | The Paleo Diet

In the new paper soon-to-be published by Public Health Nutrition, a Cambridge University Press journal, doctors Sean Lucan and James DiNicolantonio question prevailing ideas on obesity and weight gain, with respect to calorie counting, while arguing for a more qualitative, rather than quantitative, approach to nutrition.1 Dr. Lucan is a practicing family physician and researcher whose work focuses on urban food environments and how they influence dietary behavior. Dr. DiNicolantonio is a cardiovascular research scientist at St. Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute. We caught up with Dr. DiNicolantonio to discuss his new paper and ask his views on calories, food quality, the Paleo Diet, and more.

In their paper, the doctors observed that most public health initiatives addressing obesity approach the problem arithmetically. In other words, make a balance sheet, add calories in, deduct calories out, and whenever there’s a deficit, weight loss should occur. This approach can also be summarized as “eat less, move more.” Research shows, however, that caloric intake and caloric expenditure are coupled, and thus consuming fewer calories “will necessarily result in a compensatory drive to reduce calories expended.”2 People who cut calories often fail to lose weight because they get tired and hungry, and this hunger drives them toward higher-calorie foods. Maintaining caloric deficit, the doctors argue, “is practically and biologically implausible.”

So what makes us gain weight? Is a calorie a calorie? In other words, do 100 calories of salmon have the same physiological impact as 100 calories of sugar or 100 calories of bread? In fact, different foods have substantially different effects on key hormones related to satiety, food consumption, weight maintenance, and body composition, particularly ghrelin (an appetite-stimulating hormone) and leptin (an appetite-suppressing hormone). Long-term overconsumption of refined and rapidly absorbable carbohydrates, the doctors explain, may promote leptin resistance, a condition they characterize as “a neurohormonal drive to ‘eat more’ and ‘move less.’”

We asked if sugar, in all its guises, is driving the obesity epidemic. “Refined/rapidly absorbable carbohydrates as well as added sugars (sucrose, also known as table sugar, and high fructose corn syrup) as well as free sugars, honey, 100% fruit juice, and syrups (agave syrup for example) are the primary drivers of obesity,” said DiNicolantonio.

Many people are surprised to learn that fruit juice is so metabolically destructive. Dr. DiNicolantonio refers to fruit juice as “soda without the buzz,” echoing Dr. Loren Cordain’s claims that fruit juice is “liquid candy” following the report fruit smoothies were equally as unhealthy as soda beverages. “Fruit juice actually has a higher fructose to glucose ratio than most sodas,” said DiNicolantino. “The rapidly absorbable sugar that is provided outweighs any small benefit provided from vitamins and minerals supplied in fruit juice.”

We also asked Dr. DiNicolantonio for his thoughts on the Paleo Diet. He observed that there are “good” and “bad” interpretations of Paleo. The bad interpretations, or more accurately, misinterpretations, would be those including highly processed animal foods or otherwise inferior quality animal products. “Then there is good/healthy Paleo,” he explained, “which is someone who is consuming animal products from animals set to pasture and never grain finished.”

In his paper, DiNicolantonio argues that with respect to calories, quality is far more important than quantity. He feels the same way about Paleo—quality predominates. “In essence, you can eat animal foods and be healthy, or you can eat them and be unhealthy. It depends on how the animal is bred and fed, as well as how the person is cooking the animal products.”

So if you’re trying to lose weight, quantitative strategies like caloric restriction probably won’t help. The Paleo Diet, on the other hand, is a scientifically vetted, evolutionary approach to health and wellness, including reduced body weight. The Paleo Diet works because it’s fundamentally a qualitative strategy, focusing on nutrient and ingredient quality rather than quantity consumed.

Christopher James Clark, B.B.A.

Nutritional Grail

Christopher James Clark | The Paleo Diet TeamChristopher James Clark, B.B.A. is an award-winning writer, consultant, and chef with specialized knowledge in nutritional science and healing cuisine. He has a Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan and formerly worked as a revenue management analyst for a Fortune 100 company. For the past decade-plus, he has been designing menus, recipes, and food concepts for restaurants and spas, coaching private clients, teaching cooking workshops worldwide, and managing the kitchen for a renowned Greek yoga resort. Clark is the author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning book, Nutritional Grail.


[1] Lucan, S and DiNicolantonio, J. (Embargo: November 24, 2014). How calorie-focused thinking about obesity and related diseases may mislead and harm public health. Public Health Nutrition. doi:10.1017/S1368980014002559

[2] Ibid.

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