Day 334 (W, 111130) — I Need Some Advice

Considering a Change.  I’m slowly working toward a more Paleo / Primal lifestyle.  To do this properly, I’m educating myself about the ins and outs of these programs.  To that end, I need your help (see below).

Current Level of Understanding.  As I understand it, here are the broad differences between the four top high-protein / low-carb diets (Atkins, Slow Carb, Paleo, and Primal):

  • Atkins is all about lowering carbs.  It almost doesn’t matter how you do it or what you eat so long as you eat very few carbs.
  • The 4HB Slow Carb diet is similar to my former Atkins diet minus dairy plus beans. It includes a Free Day once per week.
  • As I understand it (without nearly enough study yet), Paleo/Primal is similar to SCD minus beans/legumes, minus artificial sweeteners, plus a little fruit and a little dairy.  No Free Days involved, but an occasional Free Meal is not absolutely prohibited.

(Yes, I know there are differences between Paleo and Primal, but I have not studied them enough yet to feel confident listing them.)

Making a List and Checking It Twice.  As soon as I can fill it out, I’m going to put up a table comparing these four programs.

I have long experience Atkins and Slow Carb and can speak knowledgeably about them.

I’ve done some work on Paleo and Primal already, but it’s all just reading, no real life application.  Have you tried Paleo or Primal for long enough to have worked out the kinks in their day-to-day routines?

I need to hear from people who have real life experience with the Paleo and Primal programs.

Taxonomy.  The categories across which I am comparing the diets (so far) include:

  • Carbs in general
  • Grains
  • Sugar
  • Sugar substitutes
  • Meat/Protein
  • Fats
  • Seed and vegetable oils
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Beans and legumes
  • Roots / tubers
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Gluten
  • Alcohol
  • Processed foods
  • Free Meal / Day
  • Supplements
  • Focus
  • Exercise

Feel free to suggest more.

System.  I’m trying to keep it simple and list each category as allowed, off-limits, encouraged, and discouraged for each program.

However, since these are complex programs that intelligent authors have taken hundreds of pages to explain completely, I know I won’t be able to reduce every cell to a simple label.

  • Some cells will have notes instead — e.g. Paleo > Meat will probably say something like “Prefers lean and grass-fed
  • Some will be modified from the simple label — e.g. 4HB Slow Carb > Alcohol will probably say something like “Allowed (red wine encouraged in moderation)”

Publishing My Results.  Once I’m happy with my chart, I’ll turn it into a blog post, complete with a downloadable PDF for easy reference.

One of the consistently “most visited” parts of this blog is my 4HB Cheat Day Cheat Sheet page.   The companion PDF is the most accessed file on the site.

Given that I’ve found some good comparison sites for various combinations of these diet names, but that I’m having a hard time finding one resource which covers ALL of them together, I expect this post / PDF will be another popular spot on NJ4NY and that it will rank pretty well in searches for different combinations of these terms.

If I use your information, or even just find it particularly helpful in creating my list, I’ll give you credit and include a link to your site in both the post and the PDF.

So what are you waiting for? 

Hit me with your best tidbits for Paleo and Primal and let’s get crackin’! 😉


Exercise. Monday’s workout was great! Today’s will be even better. =)

If I can keep this up, and get in (most of) the 14 remaining scheduled workouts for the rest of the year, I’m actually looking forward to taking my end-of-year pictures for my Year 1 Results post.  How cool is that? =)

Exercise Sets Reps Notes
1 Myotatic Crunches 2 25
2 Cat Vomit Exercises 2 20
3 Push-ups 2 50
4 Pull-ups 2 10 assisted
5 Squats 2 50
6 Dips 2 20 assisted

Review. Another strong workout.  This week is going great.  I feel wonderful and strong. =)


Plan for Week 47. Focus on the basics, John. Make it happen.

Day Fast? SCD? Run/Exer?
Sunday No No No
Monday Yes Yes Yes
Tuesday Yes Yes No
Wednesday Yes Yes Yes
Thursday Yes Yes No
Friday Yes Yes Yes
Saturday No No TBD
Red = a negative deviation | Green = a positive deviation | Blue = a note



3 responses to “Day 334 (W, 111130) — I Need Some Advice

  1. So I am gradually moving toward the Paleo/ Primal diet so currently my knowledge of them is pretty basic. From what I gather, those types of diets fit into a more comprehensive lifestyle. By this I mean that you approach all aspects of your life as if the perfect human was made 5000 years ago and in order to maximize our bodily potential we need to live a life that most reflects theirs. So the diet itself is more of a subsection of the entire lifestyle and should not be viewed completely in a vaccuum. So regarding actualy food… you should stick to foods that were readibly available to a hunter-gatherer i.e. meats, vegies, berries, nuts. Buying organic is preferred (less mutations/ modifications). I am sure you have read some books on this, but the 2 I would reccommend (if you haven’t read them) are Primal Blueprint and Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes. The second one is incredible and explains the science behind the effectiveness of a paleo or primal diet.

    Hope that helps a little…


  2. Pingback: Day 015-2 (Su, 120115) — A 4HB v Primal Conversation; Plan for Week 3-2 | New John for a New Year·

  3. Pingback: Day 339 (M, 111205) — A Comparison of 4HB Slow Carb, Atkins, Paleo, and Primal Diets | New John for a New Year·

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