Here's another answer I posted on the MDA forum.
I think of two different ways to count calories. The CW way of counting calories and the Primal way of counting calories. The big difference in the two ways is exercise. The CW way of counting calories is to use a formula to establish your caloric needs. You weigh and measure your food intake so you stay under your needs. You also do cardio to increase the number of calories you burn. But the problem is cardio increases your need for carbs. If you are doing very low carb your body will break down protein to make the carbs you need, especially bad if you are not consuming enough protein. This is the way we head off into metabolic derangement via the carb/cardio pathway. The Primal way of calorie counting is a little different. First We use the formula to get our caloric needs just like we did for the CW of calorie counting. We decide how fast we want to lose weight, like 1 lbs per week. We then consume that amount of calories. Such as, my caloric needs are 2,000 calories, I want to lose a lb a week which is 3,600 calories, or a 500 calorie a day deficet. So I eat 1,500 calories a day. I do not try to lose any calories through cardio activity. I focus instead on building muscle through lifting heavy things and sprinting. I also burn calories by doing low level activity, such as walking, cleaning the house, and work in general. I don't sit to do anything for very long. Building muscle and doing low level activities burns fat, not carbs.
Yes, for the maintaining weight you need 1 gram of protein per body weight, but for changing your body composition you will want to increase your protein consumption to something over that. If you are trying to lose fat and build muscle you need more like 1.5 grams per pound of lean body weigh, or 1 gram per pound of body weigh. It would look like this: I weigh 170 lbs. Let's say I have 12% body fat. So I have 20.4 lbs of fat and 149.6 lbs of lean mass. So I decide I want to maintain my weight of 170 lbs and I want my body fat to be at 8%. That would put me at 13.6 lbs of fat and 156.4 lbs of lean mass. I think I would need at a very minimum 157 grams of protein a day. I believe 170 grams would probably be better. It probably wouldn't hurt to eat 1.5 grams x 157 = 235.5 grams. The key to remember is this; Focus on changing your body composition through building muscle.
Seems like people really get mad when you mention calorie counting and with good reason. CW calorie counting got them into metabolic derangement and now they not only can not loose weight, but they are gaining more weigh despite eating fewer calories. The only way out of the metabolic hell is the Primal Bluebprint/Paleo Diet. But people forgot about the exercise part of the program, or they focus too much on the food/diet aspect of the Blueprint. We don't reprogram our genes by diet alone. To reprogram our genes we need to follow the whole Primal Blueprint. Read or reread Mark Sission's guide to Primal Success.
Quick rundown of Mark Sission's Primal Blueprint:
1. Eat lots of animals, insects and plants.
2. Move around a lot at a slow pace.
3. Lift heavy things.
4. Run really fast every once in a while.
5. Get lots of sleep.
7. Get some sunlight every day.
8. Avoid trauma.
9. Avoid poisonous things.
10. Use your mind.