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A few questions: nuts, counting calories

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  • A few questions: nuts, counting calories

    So I've been adjusting my diet. Here's what I've done so far:

    - added berries

    - added a few salads here and there

    - added some vegetables

    - added nuts, dropped peanuts

    - stopped drinking diet sodas (!!!)

    Unfortunately after a few weeks this has not yet resulted in much weight loss. I was hovering from 230-233 forever, now I'm hanging around 230. Here's what I ate today (and this is typical):

    breakfast - omelet w/ mushrooms, ham

    snack - nuts

    lunch - turkey, bell pepper, green beans (I think)

    dinner - turkey casserole, all low carb

    After some reading I'm probably overdoing the nuts. But other than that, do you see anything wrong with that general eating plan?

    One other thing - I was very surprised to see a section in Mark's book on caloric expenditure, BMR, macronutrients, etc. I guess for some reason I thought I was leaving all that behind for people like bodybuilders to worry about. It does seem very CW...

  • #2

    Whilst I think that counting calories is really quite overrated when it comes to body composition and fat loss, I don't think it should be neglected completely. When you've been following the PB for a while you'll learn to regulate your calories without measuring things, but it may be worth working out just how many calories you eat in a typical day. You might be surprised!


    • #3

      I'll give the same answer i just gave on another thread about feeling queasy. Too much salt, perhaps? Ham can have TONS of salt in it. What about your nuts; salted or unsalted?

      Salt, of course, can make you retain water.


      • #4

        There isn't enough information in your list to really tell what you're doing. How big are your servings? Do you track your macronutrients? It looks like you aren't eating enough fat.


        • #5

          Not to be a jerk but...

          If you are eating more than using where do you think the excess goes? It magically disapears because we have some romantic notion we are eating like a caveman?

          The book tells you how to create an environment that will allow our bodies to do what it has evolved to do.

          After you close the book you have find out where you are, how to start, where you are going, and how to get there.

          There is lots of CW that is true. Smoking is bad, Don't eat yellow snow, If you don't know the answer it's probably "Yes Dear". Stuff like that.

          Don't be a paleotard...


          • #6

            it would be useful if you log your typical daily food intake in fitday and post the results.

            If in doubt, make big steaks your main staple and "supplement" with some (mostly green) salads. Do some IFing and you should start to see a change.

            “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
            "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
            "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull


            • #7

              follow-up info:

              - have finally put an example fitness schedule on a calendar - hiking, kettlebell and throw in some sprinting somewhere...note, I have NOT yet done any of this consistently, so I expect it to have a positive effect on my caloric expenditure

              - steaks - we've been mostly carnivorous in our diet for a year or so - lots of meat, very little else. I have seven steaks in the fridge right now - our other mainstay has been hamburger (80% lean) - none of this is organic or grass-fed but we don't trim or drain excess fat

              - IF - have not added this in yet

              - chima - wasn't that part of Taubes' conclusions? Calories-in/calories-out and counting calories was irrelevant if you shifted to a low-carb diet? Perhaps I got that idea from somewhere else, but I think it was his book...

              - Fitday - I've got an account there, but haven't utilized it yet. I'll give it a whirl and report back...

              P.S. 229 this morning, 2nd time in the last two weeks to dip below 230...


              • #8

                dixonge, if you're eating so much non-grassfed animal fat, I suggest taking fish oil daily to help the O3:O6 ratio. Makes me feel a lot better about eating less than optimal meat, for sure.

                Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.


                • #9

                  Oh there is another clue.

                  Alot of the reported weight loss from brand new low carbers is water weight. You have been carnivorous for a year so you won't get that initial dip.

                  The scale fluctuation is your scale telling you to get your ass to exercise. A little tease as to what is to come! haha!

                  I still have to read Taubes' book. I can't comment. I have heard as much bad as good on it. Kinda like vegetarians and the China study.

                  Don't be a paleotard...






                  • #10

                    Watch these two 5 minute videos on weight loss. They are worth their weight in gold.




                    • #11

                      Fat loss, fat gain, muscle wasting, muscle building, bone density moving one way or the other, these are all hormonally driven events. Eating Paleo/Primal (zero grains, zero veggie oils, no sugar) will set you up for success in building utilizing stored fat, retaining (or growing) muscle, and building bone structure. You need to give your body the materials, building blocks and energy to do what it needs. You need to limit the bad things taken in as well!

                      Then sleep, fasting/feasting, relaxation, stress, resistance training, low low level activity all come into play in this hormonal cascade! It really is that complicated of a system, but Paleo/Primal living makes it easy to get going the way you want it to go!

                      And, yes, calories do matter, but in the context of that hormonal background! It is so much more than the number on the scale! I've had a wild ride, going from 240 to 155 (more or less a low carb, CW based program I stumbled into, calorie counting, fastidious measuring, etc), but after stumbling into Paleo nutrition, I've put on functional muscle mass and now reside at a happy 175-180 any given time. At my lowest weight, I was gaunt, thin, cold and weak, I'd burned off a LOT of muscle with the hormonal signals I was giving my body.

                      So re-read Primal Blueprint, re-read GCBC and put the diet, the exercise, the relaxation all together to work for you! You may spend weeks, months running a diary, using Fitday ( or others), tracking, measuring and having a great time with the data. It can be fun and informative! I did it for quite some time, it solidified my knowledge and cleared up some issues for me.

                      And eventually you may put away the scale, quit using the measuring cups and let dust gather on the bathroom scale.


                      • #12

                        FlyNavyWife - I am taking a fish oil supplement and restarted my vitamins, although they are generic multivitamin, and I'd rather eat more fish if possible

                        chima - In looking back at previously logged weight losses I found that our first time on Atkins I went from around 225 or so to 199. I never added exercise and obviously didn't stop at the 'maintenance' level on the way back up.

                        Acmebike - very well put, thanks!

                        Vick - good stuff!


                        • #13

                          Yesterday's calorie numbers:

                          Protein 207

                          Fat 162

                          Carb 33

                          Calories is 2621

                          Based on the book 'Korg' sample I should be targeting 2243.

                          I'm guessing 2600 calories is a good maintenance level at my current weight. Good news is I can drop 800 calories by cutting out the nuts. I've been using those as my main yesterday the wife had made a turkey version of king ranch casserole using low-carb tortillas. Take two of those out, I'm down to my goal.


                          • #14

                            You need to run a caloric deficit to lose weight efficiently... you can lose some just going Primal but eventually you will reach a point where a lifestyle change is in order.

                            For example, logging all the food I ate on Dec. 9th and then taking into account the calories burned through lifestyle and activities, I am running a caloric deficit of 1,000 calories. A pound of fat has 3,000 calories, so I lose 1/3rd a pound per day if I eat and exercise correctly. At this rate, I will lose the last ten pounds of body fat I have to get to 7% in one month.

                            You should first determine your BMR and then begin cutting back on food to get a deficit. Intermittent fasting is very useful for this. You shouldn't worry about nuts; I eat a bunch of almonds and almond butter every day and I am still losing. Begin exercising regularly, throw in a few intense sessions mixed with low-level activities such as hiking or walking, eat lots of protein (try and figure out your lean body mass, and eat one gram of protein per pound as a rough guideline) and fat, and you should be good.


                            • #15


                              Taubes was dead wrong and dozen of "controlled" studies prove him wrong. Not even the most ardent low-carb believers think that you can lose weight eating whatever you want as long as carbohydrates are low. At most they acknowledge a thermic effect creating a "metabolic advantage" of at most 100 calories.

                              The insulin model of fat gain is 50 years old and doesn't make any sense. Lypogenesis is high after eating for the fact itself that you ate. Insulin is not necessary to store body fat. And insulin alone can't cause storage is there's nothing to store. Eating fat by itself has the same effect on fat cell metabolism than eating foods that raise insulin like carbs or proteins.

                              Fat storage and fat burning are two ongoing processes and what matters is the balance between the two at the end of your day. To create a positive balance you need more food, insulin alone can't change that balance.