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  • New guy with questions


    I've been lurking for quite a while and have been enjoying all the great info here. I'm in the middle of reading PB so apologies if my questions are answered later in the book.

    I gather that folks are not big fans of counting calories and carbs and focus more on getting solid nutrition and a correct balance of fat/protein/carbs. However, I believe that there's a window where calories do matter: too many not good, too little also not good.

    As I understand it my BMR is the minimum intake I need to have so my body won't go into starvation mode. According to several calculators I have a BMR of about 1900 kcal. Fitday says that my daily expenditure is about 3200 kcal which includes BMR, daily activity and exercise. My ratios have been 65%/30%/5% for fat/protein/carbs over the last few weeks.

    So my question is should I create a deficit below my daily expenditure or my BMR? I've been eating about 2400 kcal/day and have not seen the scale move or any changes in body measurement for several weeks. I'm not getting hung up on the scale as I feel better, but changing my body composition is also a big goal.

    I was running for about 30 minutes/day 5 days a week and have since changed to longer, slower walks. I'll soon be starting the SimpleFit routine as well.

    Thanks for any advice.

  • #2
    Iron Uvula, if I may ask, do you have an idea where you stand in terms of body composition at this point? Where are you and where would you like to be generally as a result of Primal?

    I've never counted calories since going Primal. I traded out the "bad" foods over five years ago and determined that I would choose only the most healthful Paleo foods and eat as much in terms of quantities as I felt like. In about seven months I lost 35 lbs of excess body fat, and at 6'2" my weight has remained at about 170 lbs thereafter and for the last five years or so 'til now. It seems that if I make sure I have lots of really good nutritious primal food at hand and eat exactly as much as I feel like, while exercising reasonably, my body automatically finds and stays at its ideal weight and composition without any calorie counting and without hunger. The hard part is ensuring lots and lots of good Paleo food on hand so that major "cheating" is does not result from hunger and cravings.

    Using an Omron body composition monitor, body fat is about 11%, skeletal muscle about 41%.

    If you would like to lose weight, be aware that on Primal, you may initially gain more muscle than you lose fat, so you may not see the initial net weight loss that you expected as soon as you would like.

    As your GI tract heals from being off wheat and gluten products, you may find that you need less and less quantity of food over time because of better absorption. A good minimum of supplements helps also, minimizing cravings, 2000 IU Vitamin D, magnesium, Omega 3 Fish Oil.

    My diet is not consciously any different now, maintaining my weight, than it was when I was losing 5 lbs a month. It all seemed automatic.
    Last edited by Paleo Man; 07-13-2010, 09:36 PM.


    • #3
      Hi Paleo Man,

      I'm male, 5'10" and about 250#. I've always been fairly muscular but not where I'd like to be. I've had online BMI calculators put me anywhere from 31% to 39% BMI. I have a Tanita scale that measures body comp and depending upon the time of the day and how dry my feet are it also has a wide reported range. I'd like to be < 20% BMI.

      Several years ago I did Atkins and had spectacular results. Then other life things intervened and I back slid. However I've continued to operate with the lower carb mindset especially when it came to refined grains and sugars. However now I'm trying to follow PB and I think I'm well above the 80% at least w.r.t. nutrition. In fact I don't really see much difference between how I'm eating on PB vs. how I was eating before. The main difference is that now I've dumped all grains and legumes where previously I was allowing for some whole grains and most legumes.

      I'd like to avoid counting calories, but it would be helpful to use that as a loose metric.



      • #4
        Iron, I've tended toward more of a Loren Cordain Paleo approach, using grassfed beef and bison, seafood, lots and lots of vegetables, greens, fruit, nuts. No dairy or wheat at all. In addition to keeping a plentiful supply of good food available, I've been especially focused on nutritional content, macro and micro nutrients, and supplements where indicated. I suspect that nutrient deficiencies pull us hard in wrong directions as the body cries out for more food in an effort to remedy the deficiencies. So I try to minimize deficiencies by intentionally maximizing nutritional content, assuming that my body knows what to do from there. I think this is a key to long term success, which is the only kind that counts. Anyone can lose weight, but keeping body composition ideal in the long term, for years, is very rare. Paleo/Primal works very well for the long term.

        I'm not much into weights, more into hiking and backcountry adventures and backpacking. I suspect that my calculated caloric intake, if I counted, would be way less than what I theoretically should need for my activities. But if that were true, I should weigh nothing by now instead of maintaining my weight. So I am not sure what to make of the figures for caloric needs.

        Needless to say, it is easier to do the backcountry things that I like to do without carrying the extra 35 lbs of fat that I had six years ago. It was mostly around my middle, waist size dropped from 37" to 31", sport jacket size stayed the same at size 42. With Paleo/Primal and the right food, your body seems to compose itself to suit your physical activities and needs. If you are into weights, I'm sure it will adapt really well to that.
        Last edited by Paleo Man; 07-14-2010, 08:46 AM.