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Should I eat less, or more?

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  • Should I eat less, or more?

    These past few months with PB have been very interesting and enlightening in many ways, but I'm still completely in the dark about how I'm actually going to lose fat on it!

    Background: I'm 35, female, I'm hypothyroid but on meds (although I think they need to be increased). I lift heavy 3x/week, do HiiT once or twice a week, walk, etc. I sleep 7-8 hours a night, although it's not always completely restful. I started the PB journey already doing all of the above. I was at 143 and 25.75% body fat. I also had my metabolism tested and my RMR is 1182 cal/day (about 15% lower than average). After starting PB in February, I dropped my carbs down (usually around 30g/day and never more than 50) and immediately lost 5 pounds. That's where I've been ever since.

    I haven't had my BF measured again, but out of all the body measurements I've taken, only my hips have gone down and by less than an inch.

    The weird thing is that, no matter what I eat, my weight only fluctuates by a pound. I've gone a month at 1400-1600 calories/day with no change. I've gone a month of 2000+ cal/day with no change. I IF occasionally, but had a bad reaction trying to do more than 2, 16-hour fasts per week. I've also had 2 weeks in there where I ate total SAD crap and then some with no change. Very weird.

    I'd like to get down to about 20% body fat. I got down to about 22% last year by doing Power 90 and eating 1200-1600 calories/day, then started working out more vigorously (P90X) and eating more calories and immediately gained weight and fat and haven't been able to get it off.

    Long story short, my metabolism is already screwed up and I don't want to screw it up further, but I just can't seem to find the right way to actually drop the fat.

    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Your body seems to have a very strict fat set point.
    You might want to use carb/calorie cycling. Read the recent articles by Mark on Leptin.

    It is helpful to eat a lower calorie VLC diet during the week, and then up the calories and carbs during the weekend (possibly only one day).
    The carb up day increases the leptin levels, and helps in weight loss during the week.

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    • #3
      I'm not a medical doctor, and know nothing about hypothyroid so take this with a grain of salt..... But I would venture to guess that the medication may have something to do with your problems loosing weight. It may be overriding anything else you do. I think the root question would be why your thyroid is not functioning properly in the first place. It may be possible that eating primally, your body could heal itself and correct this problem. Then again, maybe not.

      There has been some talk about coconut oil helping people with your condition. here's a link to some info, and I'm sure you could do some further research.
      http://www.coconutdiet.com/thyroid_health.htm

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      • #4
        I'm hypothyroid but also post-menopausal, so I have two metabolic 'slows.' My only suggestion is lowering calories and carbs. Why not drop to 20g of carbs a day? What I did was experiment with how many calories it would take to lose a pound a week, and that's the level I eat at. It's much lower than many people, but being hypothyroid means that you have a compromised metabolism, and you need to consider that. My endo agrees with me about how low I have to keep my calories. It's tough, but that's the way it is.

        Nothing you eat, primally or not, will 'heal' your thyroid if you're truly hypo. You need the replacement hormones in Rx meds, and the medication does not limit weight loss. In fact, unless you're optimized medically, you will have problems losing. The key is your T3 level. Be sure to get a FreeT3 test, along with Free T4 (many doctors only test T4) because it's the T3 that really regulates our metabolism. Your T3 should be 2/3 to 3/4 of the lab range.

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        • #5
          Emmie, can I ask about how many calories per day you eat? In my calculations, I would need to eat 1000-1200 per day to actually lose fat at this point, but I'm afraid it will just slow my metabolism down further.

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          • #6
            Do you consume enough iodine?
            .`.><((((> .`.><((((>.`.><((((>.`.><(( ((>
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            • #7
              I have the same question coming from a very different background. I'm 25, 5'8" and about 150 pounds. I'd say I've lost 10 pounds or so eating primal since new years, with a lot of fat loss and some muscle gain. I've been frustrated that I haven't gained more muscle, and wonder if it's due to a lack of sufficient eating, as I have been lifting heavy things. I ran into someone my height yesterday but with arms 2x-3x wider than mine, and who looked more than 20 pounds of muscle heavier. How much more would someone like that have to eat to sustain it? Considering the relatively negligable amount of calories in veggies, are we talking 3 pounds of meat a day? I get so much less hunger eating primally that I would really have to forcefeed myself to eat that much, but it's frustrating for me not to be gaining much even 6 months into this.

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              • #8
                Dr. Harris at Panu on how to lose weight:
                If you have a broken metabolism, with stubborn residual insulin resistance (liver, not adipocytes), or your leptin receptors are screwed up by WGA from wheat and your satiety switch is broken, or any of a number of theoretical metabolic derangements from years of eating the standard american diet, you may have trouble losing weight without going VLC (say 5-10% carbs) and you might indeed gain weight if you eat excess protein beyond your needs.

                The extra insulin response to excess dietary protein may simply drive more fat storage. I would not expect this in most people, but it may happen in some.

                What to do?

                If you can't lose weight and you need to, you must cut carbs until you have ketones in your urine. Ketones in your blood is ketosis. Ketones in your urine is ketonuria. Ketonuria is proof of ketosis. GNG (gluconeogenesis) and ketosis is the sure way to prove your insulin levels are low as you can get them.

                Then, as dietary fat has the least effect on serum insulin, and dietary protein has a small but measurable effect, eat only the minimum necessary protein (.8 -1 g/Kg/d) and the rest as fat.

                5% carbs should guarantee GNG and ketonuria. (This will mean almost no vegetables and no sugary salad dressings, etc. Your food must be naked except for healthy fats)

                15 -10% protein (drop it as you adapt)

                80-85% fat

                This, by the way, is ridiculously easy to achieve if you use butter and cream, but a bit impractical otherwise.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mdlaw View Post
                  I have the same question coming from a very different background. I'm 25, 5'8" and about 150 pounds. I'd say I've lost 10 pounds or so eating primal since new years, with a lot of fat loss and some muscle gain. I've been frustrated that I haven't gained more muscle, and wonder if it's due to a lack of sufficient eating, as I have been lifting heavy things. I ran into someone my height yesterday but with arms 2x-3x wider than mine, and who looked more than 20 pounds of muscle heavier. How much more would someone like that have to eat to sustain it? Considering the relatively negligable amount of calories in veggies, are we talking 3 pounds of meat a day? I get so much less hunger eating primally that I would really have to forcefeed myself to eat that much, but it's frustrating for me not to be gaining much even 6 months into this.
                  well you cant gain muscle without adequate food, esp protein, and if your body thinks it is not going to get enough food it will take it at the expense of your muscles making your not gain muscle and turn it into fat... i say people should ALWAYS be eating to hunger and satiety. if a ground beef bowl does not look appetizing then you are simply not hungry... i use that b/c cheese and yogurt always looks good but a bowl of plain ground beef only sounds good when i AM hungry
                  Get on my Level
                  http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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                  • #10
                    Low protein + gluconeogenesis + ketosis = muscle loss.
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                    • #11
                      I don't see why there can't be more protein. 70% fat, 25% protein, 5% carbs as long as none of the carbs are fruit, little of the fat is omega 6 and there is still adequate nutrition seems like it would work well enough. Essentially that's like beef, butter, coconut, fish, veggies, a little olive oil or avocado, and probably supplements. I'll give it to Dr. Harris that more fat is better but I don't see why 25% protein would be such a problem.
                      Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

                      Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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                      • #12
                        Stabby, rphlslv, sure protein can be kicked up a bit but Dr. Harris is addressing folks with what he calls a broken metabolism. What's right for you two is not what he is addressing. He does that elsewhere.

                        This is like jump starting a car with a dead battery. It's going to need to run on that jump (fat) for a good while before the battery is functioning again. Bad analogy, but think of the battery as insulin/leptin sensitivity or whatever is preventing fat loss. Dr. Harris is trying to force that into functioning again, charging it with fat as fuel. Muscle loss through gluconeogenesis is minor (I sense paranoia in the fitness world every time I read about it). Any loss is so quickly and easily replaced I think the suggested Harris numbers are worth exploring for all the stalls, plateaus and stubborn fat retainers who post around here.

                        Fwiw, for what very little it's worth, I water fasted for 7 days in February, lost 18 pounds in one week, and my calf measurement grew by 1/2 an inch (7 mile daily hikes), my forearm and biceps stayed the same. I have posted a link to one of the original fitness gurus in this country who water fasted for 7 days, took ten mile daily hikes, and ended up ripped and strong from the ordeal. Muscle loss is minor. I've even read somewhere... um, hard to explain, but the used muscle tissue has a "memory" function and is easily recovered when compared to building brand new muscle where none was lost. The newly recovered tissue, healthier than that which the liver borrowed.


                        No protein for 7 days and the results rphlslv seems to be seeking.


                        Bernarr MacFadden -- the father of physical culture

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                        • #13
                          All these responses and nobody yet has said. "I don't know if you should eat more or less, but you should more or less eat" I tried to resist the temptation of posting that as a response but I seem to have failed.
                          http://www.facebook.com/daemonized

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                          • #14
                            I don't know if you should eat more or less, but you should more or less eat. See?
                            http://www.facebook.com/daemonized

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Grol View Post
                              Stabby, rphlslv, sure protein can be kicked up a bit but Dr. Harris is addressing folks with what he calls a broken metabolism. What's right for you two is not what he is addressing. He does that elsewhere.

                              This is like jump starting a car with a dead battery. It's going to need to run on that jump (fat) for a good while before the battery is functioning again. Bad analogy, but think of the battery as insulin/leptin sensitivity or whatever is preventing fat loss. Dr. Harris is trying to force that into functioning again, charging it with fat as fuel. Muscle loss through gluconeogenesis is minor (I sense paranoia in the fitness world every time I read about it). Any loss is so quickly and easily replaced I think the suggested Harris numbers are worth exploring for all the stalls, plateaus and stubborn fat retainers who post around here.

                              Fwiw, for what very little it's worth, I water fasted for 7 days in February, lost 18 pounds in one week, and my calf measurement grew by 1/2 an inch (7 mile daily hikes), my forearm and biceps stayed the same. I have posted a link to one of the original fitness gurus in this country who water fasted for 7 days, took ten mile daily hikes, and ended up ripped and strong from the ordeal. Muscle loss is minor. I've even read somewhere... um, hard to explain, but the used muscle tissue has a "memory" function and is easily recovered when compared to building brand new muscle where none was lost. The newly recovered tissue, healthier than that which the liver borrowed.


                              No protein for 7 days and the results rphlslv seems to be seeking.


                              Bernarr MacFadden -- the father of physical culture
                              Is muscle memory really real? Because I'm having trouble regaining the strength I lost while recovering from a broken foot.

                              And that 7 day fasting is really interesting. But I wonder what happened after he started eating again.. hahaha.
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