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Primal Dan is going for it

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  • Primal Dan is going for it

    I need some help because this isn't working, so here goes...

    I've been overweight my entire adult life. In my twenties I could out exercise my diet but when I stopped my weight would creep back up. My reality check was seeing pictures of myself from Christmas 2009. My face was so pudgy and round I couldn't believe it. I dug out my scale, blew the dust off, and found I was 210lbs. At my height of 5' 7'' that's a BMI of 33, which I was shocked to find is rated as obese. Me, obese? I was active, I didn't eat junk food, I cooked most of my meals, what the hell? It was time to do something. I set a goal - to reach a normal BMI of 24.

    I started with a general "eat less food" diet, then added exercise, and the weight started coming off. I dropped about 10 lbs by April before stalling for two months, so I started counting calories and eating about 1600 cal / day. That was good for 1 lb per week for the rest of the year. I discovered MDA around August, made a few adjustments (increased calories to 2k, went 90% primal) that made life easier, and by 2011 I was 40 lbs lighter. Best of all I had retained nearly all of my lean muscle mass, 37lbs of that 40 was lost fat.

    Feb of 2011 I got a promotion and fell off the wagon. I stopped counting calories and logging my weight. I continued to eat 90% primal but my weight loss stalled, and despite repeated efforts over the last 9 months I haven't been able to make any real progress. This has been extremely frustrating. I've been exercising 5 times a week for the last three months (but not counting calories) and my weight just won't budge. So I'm starting this thread to say where I am, what I need to do, and to keep myself accountable.

    Male, 5' 7", 33y, est 15% BF
    Current weight: 176 lbs
    Highest weight: 210 lbs
    Goal weight: 153 lbs

    I have 23 lbs to loose and I plan on doing it by eating 90% primal, logging all my food, keeping carbs under 100g/day, and keeping overall calories under 2000 per day. Wish me luck.

  • #2
    Day 1 - Ate only 1100 calories today, with 43% fat, 37% protein and 20% carbs. I know this is too low and I plan to bump it up to 1400 cal tomorrow.


    • #3
      Day 2 - Slept well and had a good day with lots of protein. Diet was all primal other than milk in my coffee, and the meat I ate was not organic or pastured. Had sausage, steak, and chicken vegetable stir fry.

      Calories: 1560
      F: 53g, 30%
      P: 190g, 50%
      C: 80g, 20%

      For exercise I ran 2 miles, just after work but before dinner. Seems like my runs go better on an empty stomach.


      • #4
        Wow, just wow. You should be so proud of yourself - for how far you've come, and for making a plan to stick with it through the end.

        I don't know if I could eat so little every day, though (thinking averages, not individual days) - do you feel hungry? I'm new to the lifestyle and haven't gone hungry yet, but I'm probably eating closer to 1800 calories per day. I weigh more than you, but I'm a Grokette. Perhaps I will find that's too much after a while?
        My True Primal Story


        • #5
          Hello SweetPickles. Thanks for the words of encouragement. I definitely feel hungry, but I think I can handle it. I've done a 36 hour fast before so a little calorie restriction is relatively bearable. 1800 is probably too little rather than too much depending on how active you are.

          Day 3 - Slept OK. Went to bed late and woke up early for a morning conference call. Barely managed to pack my breakfast and lunch before I was out the door. Decided to go to the gym during my lunch hour and get a quick intense workout in. Did some body weight stuff and a few heavy lifts. Overall felt great.

          Calories: 1200
          F: 46g, 34%
          P: 129g, 43%
          C: 68g, 23%

          I know that is way too little. I made soup for dinner using pastured organic oxtail, carrots, onions, cabbage, and turnips. It was tasty but there sure wasn't much meat on that oxtail. Lots of carbs today from all the veggies in the soup.


          • #6
            You're already a success Dan! Can't wait to hear about your progress! :-)
            Visit my blog Primal Homeskillet. And eat it too.


            • #7
              Thanks Katie.

              Day 4 - Slept barely over 5 hours and was up early for another meeting. Ate a decent breakfast but worked through lunch so overall calories were too low again. Dinner was simple, just a 14oz filet of wild sockeye salmon grilled medium rare.

              Calories: 1500
              F: 83g, 51%
              P: 158g, 43%
              C: 20g, 6%

              No exercise today. Feeling pretty run down at this point so taking a rest day.


              • #8
                I think I'll do daily updates for the first week then slow down.

                Day 5 - OK sleep, 8 hours in bed and woke up a few times. Ate only two meals today, breakfast and dinner. Treated myself to a cab and dark chocolate truffles after dinner.

                Calories: 1800
                F: 83g, 42%
                P: 126g, 28%
                C: 80g, 18%
                Alcohol: 12%

                As expected, the weight is coming off fast in the first week. Woke up at 168lbs.


                • #9
                  Day 6 - Good sleep, great diet. Grass fed ground beef for breakfast, wild sockeye salmon and left over chicken vegetable stir fry for lunch, strip steak and sweet potatoes for dinner. I went for a run early afternoon and now am about to go lift heavy things in my garage. Feeling good.

                  Calories: 1950
                  F: 88g, 41%
                  P: 205g, 42%
                  C: 51g, 10%
                  Alcohol: 7% (wine)


                  • #10
                    I like seeing how this unfolds in detail. And 8 pounds already! Wow!
                    My True Primal Story


                    • #11
                      In insulin resistance, the cells are starving for sugar that is sitting right outside the doorway in the bloodstream waiting to be let in, and often you will crave sweets. You may crave something sugary throughout most of day, and usually right after a workout or a low carbohydrate meal. You may be irritable and moody from the roller coaster blood sugar levels hitting more highs and lows than most Internet stocks of early 2000. Over time, your muscles may start to spasm or cramp up. You may also experience what some physicians describe as “restless leg syndrome” and other sleep problems related to blood sugar dis-regulation. Insomnia and waking up frequently are very common too.

                      Found this when I followed the "connective tissue repairs itself" link in today's Weekend Link Love. Wow, that is me. Let's see...
                      1. I crave carby things all the time.
                      2. On low carb days I'm irritable, especially when I'm around people who are eating those carby things I crave.
                      3. My calves spasm like it's going out of style. I get these little random twitches, sometimes as many as 5 or 6 per second, usually when I'm resting after a run or going to bed. A few minutes on a foam roller helps.
                      4. I wake up several times a night and sometimes have difficulty falling back asleep.
                      5. I sometimes get severe muscle cramps that wake me in the middle of the night, usually in my calves or hamstrings. This only happens once every few months but damn is it painful.

                      Time to do some more research. My first guess is elevated cortisol from stress at work, lack of sleep, and lots of exercise.
                      Last edited by primal-dan; 10-30-2011, 01:34 PM.


                      • #12
                        Day 7 - Big food day. Only 80% primal and a load of calories. I'll let the numbers speak for themselves.

                        Calories: 3370
                        F: 193g, 53%
                        P: 199g, 24%
                        C: 190g, 23%

                        Yeah, you read that... 190g of carbs, and 42g of it was suger. My wife baked a chocolate cake today and I ate one quarter of it. Fortunately the rest of the cake was paleo - coconut flower, 100% dark chocolate, heavy cream, butter, almonds, walnuts, eggs, and peaches. It was spectacularly good, and along with a glass of whole milk accounted for 1230 calories and 97g of carbs. That was after a 1200 calorie dinner. I am stuffed. Really considering doing an IF on Monday.
                        Last edited by primal-dan; 10-30-2011, 11:36 PM.


                        • #13
                          Day 8 - Didn't do an IF but limited myself to two meals, didn't eat any more cake, and didn't have any Halloween candy. That last one was easier than I thought. I figured if I'm going to deprive myself of yesterday's paleo-ish cake, no way would I try a snickers bar or tootsie roll.

                          Calories: 1350
                          F: 72g, 48%
                          P: 130g, 39%
                          C: 44g, 13%

                          I've been reading and have decided to ratchet down the pace of my runs, to keep my heart rate under 150bpm. My pace is going to suffer, but if it helps with my sleep it will be worth it. Plan is to do 5 miles at this slower pace tomorrow.


                          • #14
                            Day 9 - I'm settling into eating only twice a day, breakfast and dinner. I thought I was on target for calories, but it turns out my big ass salad that weighed in at 400g only had 80 calories in it. If anyone is wondering what I'm eating, here it is.

                            Breakfast: 4 oz new york steak, tall latte (11oz milk), paleo-ish chocolate cake
                            Dinner: 6 oz chicken breast, 6 oz wild sockeye salmon, big bowl of salad with raw spinach, bean sprouts, radishes, cucumbers, turnips, and sesame ginger dressing

                            Calories: 1400
                            F: 65g, 41%
                            P: 151g, 43%
                            C: 56g, 16%

                            I ran 5 miles just before dinner at a very slow pace with an average HR of only 141 bpm. It was weird not pushing it but overall felt good. The last time I ran this distance my average HR was 160 bpm. Plan for tomorrow is to squat heavy and eat lots of salmon.
                            Last edited by primal-dan; 11-01-2011, 08:39 PM.


                            • #15
                              Day 10 - Made an effort to eat more today. Took in nearly 1k calories for breakfast and bumped the vegetable mass to 650g during dinner. Ate 13oz worth of salmon :-)

                              Calories: 1750
                              F: 95g, 48%
                              P: 163g, 36%
                              C: 71g, 16%

                              For exercise I did 3 sets each of pull-ups, standing push presses, and squats. Weight is back down to pre-Sunday-cake-binge levels.

                              I'm now within half a pound of my lowest weigh-in on record for 2011, which is also my lowest weight as an adult. Please oh please let this be the time I break through this plateau.