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Reconciling my low-calorie ways

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  • Reconciling my low-calorie ways

    Hello. I've just begun my primal journey, having recently read "Why We Get Fat" and the resources available through MDA. I have been your typical carb-heavy eater, with weight problems all my life. About 6 years ago, at the age of 25, I'd reached my highest weight ever. I committed myself to a low-cal (1200/day) diet and rigorous exercise routine, and lost 65lbs. I managed to continue this "lifestyle" for years and lost weight again very quickly after my first baby in 2008. However, after having my second baby last year, I have struggled to lose the pregnancy weight. After being on a I resumed a 1200-calorie diet after I stopped breastfeeding in October, but in 3 months lost only 8 pounds even with a 5-day-a-week workout regimen.

    With a lot of frustration mounting (and 20lbs left to reach my goal), my husband recommended I read "Why We Get Fat." I have to say that I was a real skeptic, having chided him for a while over his transition to a low-carb lifestyle. And, I'm almost ashamed to admit, I have a PhD in Genetics and yet have always just blindly believed everything we're told about calories-in/calories-out, fat, carbs, etc.... Well, as you can guess, I'm now a convert. The primal lifestyle makes so much more biological sense to me. That said, here's my difficulty: while slowly reducing my carb intake over the past couple of weeks (I'm now keeping below 100g/day) and lowering the intensity of my exercise, I can't quite seem to let go of the idea that if I consume more than 1200 calories a day I'm going to gain weight back. HELP ME!! At least I'm not in a state of constant hunger as I had been for months (thank you, protein), but I don't think I'm quite where I should be.

    Have any of you experienced this psychological discord?? How do you get past it?


  • #2
    Welcome to primal! All I can tell you is to keep reading the posts here and giving the blueprint a chance. Read the success stories. I didn't really have any qualms personally. I had to do low carb for diabetes and I had done well with Atkins in the past. So it all made sense. Hopefully others will chime in with their experience.
    Ancestral Health Info

    I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

    Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.


    • #3
      Consider yourself a 30 day experiment. Try it for 30 days. If you put on weight then revert to what you were doing
      Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

      Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine


      • #4
        I agree with above, try it without counting calories and listen to your body in regards of hunger cues.

        Although I don't have weight to loose just some toning up I have been on the low fat bandwagon, working out 6 days a week for years and constantly feeling tired and every 3 months always getting the flu. I to was a skeptic and at times if I think about what I'm putting in my mouth I get scared thinking about the amount of calories and fat, but most of the time I just go with it, I don't count calories, eat when I am hungry only and love the fact I have all this wonderful food to choose from, rather than the boring low fat stuff I used to eat. Eventually it becomes second nature and you won't give it a second thought anymore. I am sleeping better, no more colds and my headaches have improved and I haven't gained any weight living this lifestyle![SIGPIC]


        • #5
          I will add one caveat: make sure you can really truly recognize the difference between eating habits and only eating when you're hungry -- when your body needs fuel.

          If you are certain you are only eating when you need food, and you stop when satiated, then only eating primal when you are hungry will self-regulate your caloric intake. If you are still snacking numerous times throughout the day, your stomach is never completely empty, and you crave XYZ pretty regularly -- I'm not sure you're ready to let go.

          I'd suggest not worrying too much about carb levels - make sure you're getting enough healthy, minimally processed fats and proteins, and add veggie carbs wherever your tastes lead. You'll over-carb some days (e.g. if you try brussels sprouts sauteed in bacon grease, you might have a 'lost weekend', heh heh), but it all evens out.
          "If man made it, don't eat it." ..Jack LaLanne
          "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are.
          If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." ..Richard Feynman

          beachrat's new primal journal


          • #6
            Thanks for the suggestions and encouragement everyone. I was surprised to find that yesterday I only took in about 1000 calories, because I was just not starving all day! In fact, I think I may have even been able to get by without eating dinner, so today I'm going to try listening to the cues a bit more.

            One other issue that I'm realizing is that my "plan" to ease in to the primal lifestyle so that it might be psychologically easier-- as in, still allowing myself a little chocolate and peanut butter or splenda in a cup of coffee-- may not be allowing me to "cure" my sweet tooth. The more I read the more it seems I just need to do a full transition and then eventually when I'm no longer craving those kinds of things I may be able to introduce them occasionally. Am I making too much of this? I'm sure there isn't really one right way, but I don't want to set myself up for failure from the beginning.


            • #7
              sarahz- I'm so glad to hear that you feel so healthy! That will be a nice side effect.