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Some questions and thoughts...

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  • Some questions and thoughts...

    Hello all! I've been reading this board faithfully now for a week or so. I love it!

    A little about me. I am female, age 40, about 5'1" tall, and I weigh 180 lbs. I'm a stay at home mom to four children.

    I've been eating paleo for about 1.5 weeks, so I'm still very new this. In that time (except for yesterday, Thanksgiving), I've had no grain products and no sugars (I'm not even a chocoholic, lol). All of my carbs have been from salads and other veggies. I don't drink milk, and I have only had minimal amounts of cheese or dairy. Most days, I don't consume dairy, and on the days that I do, it might be less than a quarter cup of full fat yogurt or cottage cheese. I haven't eaten much fruit, either. If I'm cutting an apple for my kids, I might eat 1/4 of an apple in a day, I had some frozen berries one day. I have been snacking on pecans, but I try not to overdo the nuts. I often put pine nuts in my salad, though.

    I have not started to "eat clean". In other words, I am still eating grocery store meat, cheese (all pasteurized dairy), etc. Dh is not big on spending the extra money (I'm going to be working on this...). I may be able to buy a side of grass fed beef in the future, and no one in my family deer hunts, so I've never had much access to venison, but maybe that could change?

    So, my thoughts and questions:

    *I like this way of eating. Without the carbs, I am so very in control of my hunger. It is awesome. I can be hungry, but it is not a big deal. I don't overeat. I've never felt this way before. I've always been hungry, and felt like I had no self control whatsoever.

    *I naturally have fallen into a pattern of eating less often. I just don't need three meals a day, for sure. I can easily eat 2 meals, and sometimes one of those is pretty small. Also, I've still been cooking for my very carb eating family, and it hasn't been hard to resist eating the stuff I've made for them (like pecan sticky buns). I've been telling them they are eating poison, lol, but this is too big of a change for them. Maybe they will gradually come around...

    *Sometimes, I think I may not be eating enough calories. Would that be a problem, even if I am eating to fullness? I probably need to add fat, and that would help. I probably get 1,000 to 1600 calories per day (maybe averaging 1200). I try to put a lot of EVOO on my salads, but I'm sure I need more good saturated fats in my diet. I'm going to get some good coconut oil soon.

    *My tastes have gotten simpler. Cheese has become too strong of a flavor almost. I have been eating less cheese, rather than more. Keep in mind that my family hates mild cheese, so we only have strong flavored cheeses like extra sharp long aged cheddar, bleu cheese, etc. They hate bland cheese, lol.

    *I have been testing my urine for ketones (my son is Type 1 diabetic, and so we always have test strips in the house). I've had large ketones every time I've tested. Even this morning, after eating some cake yesterday, I have large ketones. If I go out of ketosis, does it show up right away in your urine? Or does it happen later? It seems like I should have gone out of ketosis because of yesterday.

    *Does being in ketosis ALWAYS equal loss of fat, literally?

    *My excersise has been minimal. My paleo eating, crossfit training brother gave me a simple list of things to do, and I've done it a little (push ups, walking lunges, etc.). But really, I have not exercised much.

    *And, last, but not least, I can't tell that I've lost weight at all. I know it has only been 1.5 weeks, but I was hoping to see a small drop on the scale, and yet I've fluctuated between 179.5 and 180.5 every day. It is hard not to be impatient! I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing, though.

    Aside from being fat, I'm not one who suffered greatly from eating grains, i.e., no celiac, no IBS, no rashes, no seasonal allergies, good blood pressure, and good blood chemistry, and no Type 2 diabetes. But, as I've said before, my biggest problem with carbs is that they make me out of control hungry (and fat, I'm assuming), and so the main benefit has been my new found control in eating. But, I desperately want to lose weight, and that is biggest reason for doing this!

    Any thoughts, comments, and answers to questions are welcome!

  • #2

    All the starred items are wonderful... I am envious of your commitment to a more healthy diet... All starred items except one that starts "My exercise has been minimal..."

    My hunch is if you can unlock that one last door, a lot of fat is going to come tumbling out of the closet. Give it time, though. Go by how your clothes fit, not necessarily by what the scales say.


    • #3

      Hey there - welcome!

      1.5 weeks in and you sound like you're doing well, especially as you have your family to cater for as well.

      I'm being random here - it's the end of the day for me here in the UK, so please forgive me!

      Weight - it can depend on your time of the month as to how much/if you lose weight. How about your measurements - have you taken your bust/waist/hip measurements yet? Sometimes you can lose inches rather than pounds, or do both at the same time - there's no hard and fast rule. I lost a great deal of weight in the first 2 weeks and then sometimes I'd lose inches, sometimes weight. Try not to get too focussed on that though (says she, who did and is now only hitting the scales on an irregular basis).

      Yes, my tastes got simpler too. I have tried the odd one or two cakey things and to be honest, they don't taste as good now as I imagined they would!

      Calories. Hmm, you'll get lots of different opinions on this one. For me, I try to just listen to my body. Am I satiated? If yes, don't eat any more, if no, eat some more. I've given up on calorie counting because I now find it impossible to eat 'too much'. But as I say, you'll probably get loads of opinions on this!

      Ketosis - not my area!

      Exercise - give yourself time. I was exercising and then really had to tone it down after developing a ruptured disc in my back. I panicked a little that I'd get back the weight that I'd lost, but no, that hasn't happened at all. I am so pleased! There's no doubt that getting some exercise in will be good for you, but it doesn't need to be tons, if that's not your thing. If you can get a walk in every day, then that will be a great starting point.

      I do have a gluten and dairy intolerance, which is what brought me to MDA in the first place. I agree, not eating all that kind of food, especially pasta, bread, etc, has made a world of difference in my eating control. I don't wake up desperate for breakfast any more, it's fantastic.

      If you want some encouragement, today it will have been 8 weeks since I began primal eating. I'm 39. I'm female. I'm 5'3". I was 183 pounds and now I'm 154 pounds (maybe more as it's been a little while since I weighed in). I thought I was destined to be overweight for my whole life. Clearly, I was wrong.

      Enjoy the journey!


      • #4

        Listening to your body is always a good idea--except when you're trying to lose weight.

        Please keep in mind that most experts say that the average person overestimates calorie consumption significantly, so unless you're actually counting and measuring carefully, you'd be suprised how quickly those calories add up.

        If I were you, I'd try to determine exactly how many calories I am consuming by eating to satifaction. If you're also losing, that would be great, but if you're not, you'd need to lower your calories.

        No one can tell you how many calories you need to consume, although for a woman, about 1200-1400 a day is typical. Personally, I have a compromised metabolism and can't eat that many, so I know that it varies by individual.

        This is an ideal way of eating, but keep in mind that eating too much food (compared to energy expenditure) can result in no weight loss.


        • #5

          I'd recommend using fitday or thedailyplate to keep track of what you're eating - not just for calories but also for composition of those calories.

          Also, how are your clothes fitting? Are they looser in places? Some of us have found that we need belts where we didn't before, or that our T-shirts that used to fit tight now fit us like tents. I'd recommend taking measurements, as well. Weight is definitely not the sole measure of success!

          About ketosis: The word means "the biological process of turning fat into ketone bodies for use as energy." So if you're in ketosis, you're burning fat. The $64,000 question, of course, is whether it's dietary fat or stored body fat. But if you see darkness on the ketostix, by definition you're in ketosis. Don't rely too much on the ketostix, though, as they can be affected by a lot of things, including how much water you're drinking. So make sure you're drinking enough water. I tend to stall on weight loss when I don't have at least 10 glasses (80 ounces) a day, although my measurements keep shrinking and my clothes keep magically getting bigger.

          Try to stay off the scale as much as you can. Weigh yourself maybe once a month, or if you can't manage that, once a week. I've read an interesting book that talks about people who do better on low-carb having a different metabolism than people who don't, and that people who do better on low-carb tend to have a downward trend in their weight loss, but it's not a steady trend; it's more like a series of shallow hills where you go down a bit, and then up a bit and then down a bit more than the first point, and then back up a little and down again. That's been my experience with losing weight on this way of eating and living, and expecting a steady downward trend can be very frustrating and confusing because that's not what the scale will show you.

          And definitely exercise. You don't have to do a lot, just get moving in oxygen. Read Mark's book and it'll give you lots of guidance. I walk all over the place now, and I used to use a wheelchair.

          Finally, remember that some folks are here on MDA because they want to lose weight, while others are here because they used to be chronic exercisers and are trying to learn a new way of exercising, and still others are here because they want to gain overall health. I've seen some serious miscommunications in the forums here, when person A assumes that person B is there for the same reasons person A is. I've had it happen myself. I'm here to control my diabetes first; everything else is secondary. And yet I've had people tell me to work out the way they work out when I'm not interested in having a ripped body like theirs; or to keep focusing on losing weight when that's not my main goal. So take what you hear with a grain of salt and remember that there's going to be differences of opinion on why people should adopt a Primal lifestyle.

          Best of luck!

          Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

          Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is:

          Ditch the scale!:

          My Success Story:


          • #6

            Oh, thank you so much for all of your thoughtful answers!!

            No, my clothes feel the same, so that is why I'm pretty sure my weight has been consistent, but then, again, it has only been 1.5 weeks. So, I'm for sure going to give my body some time to adjust to the new way of eating.

            As for counting calories, I lost weight before by counting calories (of course I gained it all back, and then some), so I usually have a pretty good idea of how many actual calories I've consumed, since I've done it before. I'm not measuring right now, because I can't find my measuring tape! But, I can measure with string and use a ruler (but that is annoying!).

            I can start plugging in my foods in fit day, too, but I was hoping I wouldn't have to, lol. Maybe I'll do it once every few days, just to get an idea of my eating trends (and the composition).

            I'll work on exercising more, too. My weak point, for sure. My brother suggested the strength exercises, but said I shouldn't try sprinting until I feel stronger. I told him that I couldn't imagine sprinting just yet, because I would for sure end up smashing my face into the ground, lol.


            • #7

              Strength exercises are better than sprinting right now. You want to build muscle because you'll burn more glucose that way, as well as having better insulin uptake. It's also easier to do strength exercises.

              I recommend this video, which DaveFish sent me in snailmail back in the summer:

              Good luck!

              Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

              Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is:

              Ditch the scale!:

              My Success Story:


              • #8

                Best thing you can do for yourself is to stay off that scale. It's a derailer, for sure. Your weight loss will happen. It IS already happening.

                1.5 weeks is too soon to see any major changes. Wait until your skin starts glowing and your sex drive goes through the roof.


                • #9

                  Certainly give it more time - it may be that you lose a whole chunk of fat/water weight, then level out, and so on. Like already said - starts and stops.

                  Also "sprinting" doesn't necessarily mean SPRINTing - just anything that has the same effect. So for me, my sprint is mroe of a fast jog. For someone really out of condition, fast uphill walking could do it.

                  Try just everyday stuff - walking to the shops, carrying the shopping home.....


                  • #10

                    I agree with Griff... someone sent me a post that stated: "One pound of body fat holds 3500 calories. One hour on the treadmill/bicycle burns just 500 calories." Not a very good return on investment. Add to that the fact that some of those calories come from lost muscle tissue (look at marathon runners) and you might even say you're working against yourself. Muscle is a voracious fat burner. Build and tone your muscles and they will get hungry... very hungry.

                    Push-ups, pull-ups, squats: Work the large muscle groups and they will gobble up the fat. Aerobic exercise is not BAD, per se, but be sure to work in some anaerobic by sprinting or cranking on the treadmill/bike


                    • #11

                      Ketosis no doubt does not mean you are losing weight. The fact that you are eating so little should cause weight loss though. It might be a good idea to bump up your calories because that seems quite low. Nuts, adding olive oil to veggies and salads, and cooking in butter or ghee is a good way to do it.


                      • #12

                        I threw in your numbers into a calorie calculator, and this is what I got:


                        1960 Calories/day

                        Fat Loss:

                        1568 Calories/day

                        Extreme Fat Loss:

                        1440 Calories/day


                        • #13

                          a week and a half is awesome! I really began feeling great at my 3 week mark. We are all different and it depends on how quickly we rid ourselves of the garbage. I seems to me that the more I don't eat sweets/crap the less I crave them, so god forbid I have a peice of body screams for it for days!

                          So, welcome to PB, there are so many great peeps here and so much info to absorb that you won't be bored and you won't be alone through this process.

                          Primal Since 10/2009


                          • #14

                            Thanks again, everyone!! Your comments have been helpful and encouraging!


                            • #15

                              These are all great suggestions and I want to add just one tiny thing do what works best for you. Tweak things as you go until you find what does what you want. As someone said earlier, try to not count calories. I have actually heard that calories don't mean a thing because the way they figure out calories is by burning a food to see how much it takes to raise the thermometer by a degree. Our digestion system is far more complex than that, so to me it doesn't make that much sense to follow the calorie count. You may want to watch these series of videos (equaling around an hour). He says a lot of things that are in line with Mark, but also brings up some other things (like calories) that aren't. But it is another source and you can take what you like from it.

                              So congratulations on what sounds to be a great start on living primal! Keep up the good work, you're sure to become healthier!