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  • Reluctantly joining the calorie counting camp...

    So here's my story, I'm about a week short of 2 months PB. In the beginning I dropped about 4 lbs of water weight very quickly. I battled a crazy bad month long carb flu in which I ate as much primal food as I wanted in order to feel better. I started at about 175 (I'm female, 5'-5", 26 yrs old) and now I'm flip flopping between 170-172. It's very frustrating, I should be down more in almost two months! And, no, my clothes don't fit that much better.

    I tracked carbs and calories in the first week and then stopped; I thought got the hang of it and could stop counting calories forever! But can't eat whatever I want within PB parameters, it seems. Now that I'm over the carb flu and have my wits about me, I'm thinking I'll have to start counting calories again to lose fat (since the beginning of the year to the start of PB in March, I was counting calories daily and lost maybe a total of 2 lbs on CW dieting).

    I've cut down on dairy, nuts, and fruit, but I'm still allowing myself some. I supplement magnesium citrate, D3, fish oil, and take a b-complex. I eat enough fat. I have about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil daily. I stopped working out during my carb flu period, but I'm now slowly incorporating walking, sprinting, and circuit training. I don't IF, and I'm not really sold on it just yet.

    I've rarely been a normal healthy weight my entire life, usually 10-30 lbs overweight, so I'm pretty sure I'm simply dealing with the short end of the metabolic stick. The only time I was ever thin, I was 16 and eating two Weight Watchers frozen meals everyday. Otherwise, I'm very healthy - no thyroid issues or anything like that. I'm just doomed to count calories in order to lose weight.

    My concern is... do I need to be eating 1200 calories a day to reach my goal?? That just makes me sad!

    From tracking for the past two days I've eaten an average of 1935 calories, 60 grams of carbs, 160 grams of fat, and 90 grams of protein (yesterday was protein skimpy I'll admit). I know I can maintain on this at least.

    I know I just need to play with my numbers to see what works. Anybody else in calorie counting prison? What should I do to figure out where I need to be? What do all of you PB calorie counters do?

    Feedback is much appreciated!

    - Camille

  • #2
    I wouldn't throw in the towel and go primal weight-watchers just yet. Check this check-list. If you pass the check list then you can go primal weight-watchers.

    -Total body nutritional sufficiency? Good that you're taking magnesium and vitamin d, but what about others like potassium that tend to be low on low carb diets? That includes iodine. A lot of people are deficient in good iodine. We'll automatically have hypothyroid if we have too little. Various toxins just make the problem worse. You say you have no thyroid issues but we can never be sure that the lack of a diagnosis means that everything is all well.

    -Total amount of omega 6 in diet? What kind of fish oil are you taking? I'm really not a fan of fish oil, simply fatty fish cooked lightly. Sometimes with fish oil all it ends up doing is causing oxidative stress or suppressing the immune system, or nothing at all. The way to improve cellular DHA status is truly to eat fatty fish.

    -Gut health? Have you considered trying as hard as you can to heal the gut? Gelatin helps and a good quality probiotic is important. Combine that with fermentable fiber like chicory root of jicama to help heal the gut and produce butyrate to improve insulin sensitivity and decrease inflammation.

    - After that, Try a higher carb intake to the tune of 25% calories as mostly starchy carbohydrate before trying a low calorie diet. It's amazing how some people respond to good primal carbs. Often it resolves cortisol issues that some people get on a very low carbohydrate diet.

    -How are exercise and sleep? How is temperament?

    If you have tried all of that, THEN maybe try less calories but I don't like that. It just ends up causing problems and misery down the road and treats the symptoms of a problem that should be taken care of anyway. You have a history of weight watchers and I would count that as a potential metabolic antagonist. Our brains loath being starved when they are already starving due to poor leptin signaling. If anything you should probably eat more food and work on health instead of making a goal as quickly as possible.
    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

    Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with Stabby but this thread also provides a lot of opinions and info on counting calories: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread24580.html

      But my first reaction is, if the thought of actively restricting yourself to eating 1200 calories a day depresses you... don't do it. You haven't been doing this for very long, I say give it some time and focus on good nutrition, exercise, sleep, and positive thinking.

      Comment


      • #4
        Camille, I would keep the protein and carb the same and cut the fat down to 100g.
        60g carbs - 240 cals
        90g protein - 360 cals
        100g fat - 900 cals
        TOTAL 1,500 cals
        See what happens when you do that for a week.

        Comment


        • #5
          Calories only seem to matter to me if I'm not in ketosis, when I'm in ketosis the weight falls off me. You don't need to be in ketosis to lose weight, but it seems to help some people enormously. I know if I ate even a small amount of fruit I wouldn't be in ketosis any more. Please try other things before you cut down your calorie intake - such as cutting OUT fruit and dairy. If you have fructose issues even a small amount of berries would be enough to stall weight loss.

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't agree with most of the responses at all. Your diet is balanced enough and things should have changed by now, assuming a normal metabolism, which may not be the case.

            When I read your post, my first thought was thyroid/metabolism, and too much food! Just because a doc says your thyroid numbers are good, it doesn't mean it's true. Many, many people have symptoms and slow metabolism even though docs say numbers are good. The reason is the tests are not good enough.

            You should be able to get to any weight you want the way you are eating now, unless metabolism is slow, which means just eat less. Not everyone can consume that many calories and lose at the same time. (I'm in this group too, i would get huge on 2,000 calories)

            Not everyone agrees, and many people with normal metabolism just don't get it. They keep saying "don't count calories, eat the bacon, you will be fine and weight will fall off," but won't! Some of us just need to eat less.

            Comment


            • #7
              I got to my lowest by cutting out anything that wasn't meat/veggies. I would allow myself some small amount of coconut bark in the evening made with coconut butter, almond butter, and dark cocoa powder...but not the kind made with fruit. I cut out dairy completely and fruit basically. It was going well too until my cycle showed up lol. So I'm working on fixing that slip up every month to see how I progress.

              I just posted a response on another post that talks about fruit and if you don't need it to restore your glycogen levels it goes immediately for fat storage. So I think it's an important one to cut out until you reach goal weight. As for the dairy, it has caused so many bloating problems for me not to mention digestive problems. Substitute coconut milk if you have to have something and just nix the cheese/sour cream/cream cheese/yogurt/etc. all together. Butter doesn't count, though. It isn't "real" dairy.

              Comment


              • #8
                I agree with Goldensparrow. When people post all these 'why am I not losing weight' threads, I can spot the culprit immediately. A lot of people can't do fruit or dairy, it's as simple as that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DFH View Post
                  Not everyone agrees, and many people with normal metabolism just don't get it. They keep saying "don't count calories, eat the bacon, you will be fine and weight will fall off," but won't! Some of us just need to eat less.
                  I don't have a normal metabolism and I think that's dangerous advice. Ultimately it will come down to being in a caloric deficit, but I don't think it is healthy to actively restrict yourself if you go into it feeling like it will make you miserable, like the OP does... that just leads to more misery and binging later on, especially when coming from a long dieting history like Camille seems to be (and especially being a young woman). I think your food intake may regulate itself and naturally decrease now that you've just come out of the carb flu. But why don't you post what you eat in a sample day?

                  Intermittent Fasting may be a way of achieving caloric restriction that doesn't feel like you're restricting yourself. FWIW, the ladies on the "Reality Check: Counting Calories" thread came to the conclusion that eating more protein and less fat seemed to be the key for them.

                  Dairy may have to go completely because it causes inflammation in many people, keeping them from losing weight. But if you want to eat some fruit I would suggest tracking and just not eating too much of it, everyone has different thresholds for what takes them out of ketosis.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have stalled out too, and we are both started around the same time. I think that happens when you don't have much to lose. Your body may have decided to setpoint here, which means you may well have to change things to lose, since that is your goal. Rather than calorie count, drop fruit or dairy entirely, or other things that are more extreme, can you just keep a closer eye on what you are eating and your fullness cues. Maintaining is easy on this way of eating, but I would not be surprised if losing (for some of us) takes a little extra attention. I have logged an average day's calories, and I know my average calories are enough to lose slowly, but I do not actively count every day. In the long run it should come off, or I should build muscle and lose fat - really, I don't care that much which.

                    I am feeling a little impatient, but really, if the lbs are going to stay off permanently, does it matter that much if it happens this week or in 3 months or so?
                    Karin

                    A joyful heart is good medicine

                    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot

                    Mmmmm. Real food is good.

                    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread29685.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I do think it's mostly the calories. I'm a 215 lb guy, and my basal metabolism is somewhere around 2700/day. My wife, who is about 10 lbs heavier than the OP is around 2200 calories before workouts or whatever. Which tells me that that the OP is eating on a pace to lose weight fairly slowly, particularly if her body is defending a set point or if she's underestimating in her reporting (not consciously, but due to the inherent inaccuracies in the process).

                      The ratios may very well be great for health. But they're not necessarily optimal for losing weight. Those are different goals. I take what Stabby says with a grain of salt, but I also think its natural for people to want to be at a weight they feel good at. Only the OP can decide whether she can handle more calorie restriction. I handled 1200 calories for several months. I found if I had high ratio of protein to carbs, hunger (in the physiological sense) wasn't an issue. Obviously, that doesn't address emotional eating, but I was surprised by how much of what I thought was emotional eating behavior had some physiological basis that changed when I wasn't eating wheat. Which is to say, the calorie restriction my be easier eating primally than it was on weight watcher's.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Camile
                        you've gotten some good info here... from my experience I didn't really start seeing the weight drop off me until almost 3mths in. and I actually gained weight the first month or so. give your body time to adjust to burning its chosen fuel. focus on health not weight. I'm one of *those* people that doesn't loose weight in ketosis. I stall out. some times I'm in ketosis for a couple of days, and when I add good starchy carbs back into my diet - I begin loosing weight again! Right now I've kinda plateaued...so what am I doing? I'm not changing anything b/c I know my body is trying to figure out what to do next, and when its ready to let go of more weight It will disappear.

                        Ditch your scale -and replace that with taking measurements 1x/month. If you just have to get on the scale - do it on the day you take your measurements. It takes a while to gain weight, and it takes a while to loose it.

                        One thing I don't see is what does your daily exercise consist of? Are you moving slowly on a regular basis? If so what are you doing and how often? If your running - are you keeping your heart rate at a lower level (well below max for your age?) for me that's 130bpm - so in my neighborhood when I go for a run - I have to make sure I walk the hills, b/c the hills push my ht rt to 170bpm. ARe you LTH? if so what are you doing? the 5 essential movements or are you really lifting heavy things? Are you doing 1 sprint or HIIT session/week? If so what are you doing and how often? Sprinting can be key for turning on the fat burning switch - but you don't want to do too much.
                        The most depraved type of human being is the man without a purpose. ~ Ayn Rand
                        What's your purpose? Mine is Optimal Health.

                        Converted to PB November 2010
                        SW 190lb
                        Leptin Reset Redux (1Sep 2011) SW 170lbs
                        25 Sep 2011 160lbs
                        1 Dec 2011 158lbs!
                        GW ~135lbs
                        5'3"
                        Mother of 2, and wife to a kick ass husband...trying to contain chaos and havoc on a daily basis

                        My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread40609.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you can get your caloric intake down to 1400-1600 (I'm 5'4 and 165 lbs and this is my avg. intake) and get enough activity to burn off 300-400 calories per day, you could potentially drop about a pound a week.

                          At 1400-1600 calories per day, I don't feel that I'm in calorie counting prison at all.
                          Breakfast: 2 slices bacon, 2 eggs scrambled in butter
                          Lunch: big ass salad, 1/2 avocado, balsamic vinegar/EVOO dressing, 4-6 oz protein
                          Afternoon nibbles: 1/2 apple sliced with 1 tbsp almond butter
                          Dinner: 4-6 oz protein, 1/2 sweet potato, veggies of some sort
                          Dessert: frozen berries (1/2 cup with 1/4 cup coconut milk, cream, or plain yogurt with a drizzle of honey)

                          On Fitday, this comes out to almost exactly 1600 calories (tried to insert the image but I don't know how!) If I have the avocado, the apple, and the berries, this comes out to around 70g of carbs. I might decide to not have the sweet potato and have extra veggies, but I'll decide that dependent on how hungry I am tonight. Macro breakdown is something like 60% fat, 23% protein, 17% carbs.

                          I walk/sprint 20 min at lunch, do some bodyweight exercises (squats and wall pushups) and exercise bike for 20 min while watching tv.

                          Hardly an onerous eating plan or exercise schedule, and I'm dropping about a pound a week. It would be nice if it went faster, but I'm down 22 lbs this year and I think I can keep it up. You can too
                          Last edited by belinda; 04-27-2011, 08:05 AM.
                          Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!
                          http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread17722.html

                          F/49/5'4"
                          Jan. 1, 2011: 186.6 lbs PBSW Mar. 1, 2011: 175.8 lbs
                          CW: 146.8 lbs
                          GW 140 lbs
                          A proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I really wish people would give their bodies a chance. Two months is not enough time if you're not starting from a place of perfect health. If you eat clean for 6 months - I mean no grain, no sugar, and decent omega balance - for six months with zero results, then it may be time to start tweaking. And like others have said, cutting dairy, fruit, and nuts should be the first tweak.
                            Yes some folks may need to count calories, but severe calorie restriction is almost NEVER going to work.

                            Good luck.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Stabby View Post
                              I wouldn't throw in the towel and go primal weight-watchers just yet. Check this check-list. If you pass the check list then you can go primal weight-watchers.

                              -Total body nutritional sufficiency? Good that you're taking magnesium and vitamin d, but what about others like potassium that tend to be low on low carb diets? That includes iodine. A lot of people are deficient in good iodine. We'll automatically have hypothyroid if we have too little. Various toxins just make the problem worse. You say you have no thyroid issues but we can never be sure that the lack of a diagnosis means that everything is all well.

                              -Total amount of omega 6 in diet? What kind of fish oil are you taking? I'm really not a fan of fish oil, simply fatty fish cooked lightly. Sometimes with fish oil all it ends up doing is causing oxidative stress or suppressing the immune system, or nothing at all. The way to improve cellular DHA status is truly to eat fatty fish.

                              -Gut health? Have you considered trying as hard as you can to heal the gut? Gelatin helps and a good quality probiotic is important. Combine that with fermentable fiber like chicory root of jicama to help heal the gut and produce butyrate to improve insulin sensitivity and decrease inflammation.

                              - After that, Try a higher carb intake to the tune of 25% calories as mostly starchy carbohydrate before trying a low calorie diet. It's amazing how some people respond to good primal carbs. Often it resolves cortisol issues that some people get on a very low carbohydrate diet.

                              -How are exercise and sleep? How is temperament?

                              If you have tried all of that, THEN maybe try less calories but I don't like that. It just ends up causing problems and misery down the road and treats the symptoms of a problem that should be taken care of anyway. You have a history of weight watchers and I would count that as a potential metabolic antagonist. Our brains loath being starved when they are already starving due to poor leptin signaling. If anything you should probably eat more food and work on health instead of making a goal as quickly as possible.
                              this should be a sticky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                              Get on my Level
                              http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

                              Comment

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