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  • Total Daily Calories

    I'm sure this question has been asked hundreds of times, but I'm really intrigued about how many calories 'average primal folks' (I know theres no way to define 'average') are consuming!

    I don't really count calories, but, as I used to count them almost religiously, the idea stays in my mind and, according to popular wisdom, I'm way too inclined to underconsume!

    I'm on two meals a day usually (suits me best), about 400-800 cals each, with lots of veg, some leanish meat/eggs (sometimes a snack of fruit, dark chocolate or nuts in the afternoon/ evening and maybe a cream coffee), but, when I do tally it up, I usually have around 1200 cals a day, I never really go over 1600, never binge like I did a few years ago. I'm 23, male, 70kg, 180cm, fairly active (not too many heavy workouts, I walk, run, play, swim, climb trees, stay active at least a few hours a day).

    I suppose my question is: would you recommend upping the calories for the sake of general health? Or is anyone else in a similar situation?

    Thanks for having the patience to read such an over-asked question, but I couldn't find any good threads on the matter!

  • #2
    Originally posted by ChaiKe View Post
    I usually have around 1200 cals a day, I never really go over 1600, never binge like I did a few years ago. I'm 23, male, 70kg, 180cm, fairly active
    I don't see how someone your size, weight and age can maintain on 1200 kcals - unless, of course, you have successfully managed to wreck your metabolism from low calorie dieting. You're either undereating or underreporting. I hope it's the latter.
    Yeah, my grammar sucks. Deal with it!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Kharnath View Post
      I don't see how someone your size, weight and age can maintain on 1200 kcals - unless, of course, you have successfully managed to wreck your metabolism from low calorie dieting. You're either undereating or underreporting. I hope it's the latter.
      I would agree. 1200 seems low. I guess it really depends on what you're defining as "fairly active" however. Personally, I'm a tad taller and lighter than you and I find that I have to get about 1400 at minimum to keep up, and I'm keeping my exercise really light at the moment.

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      • #4
        Agreed. That doesn't sound like nearly enough calories for a 23 yo male!
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        • #5
          For the metrically challenged Yanks this is a 5'10", 154 lb 23 year old male only eating 1200 calories a day??????

          Are you sure you're really counting everything including cooking oils, salad dressings, etc? As, Kharnath said, either undereating or underreporting is going on here.

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          • #6
            I'm a 20 year old male, 180cm, 70kg, who only walks half an hour a day and 3 weight sessions a week (far less than you). I eat about 3000 calories. You should probably be eating at least 2000-2300
            http://thepaleopremise.blogspot.com

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            • #7
              I was listening to Super Human Radio and they were interviewing Richard Simmons and he stated that he maintains on 1600 calories.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sue View Post
                I was listening to Super Human Radio and they were interviewing Richard Simmons and he stated that he maintains on 1600 calories.
                But he's pretty short as I recall.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                  But he's pretty short as I recall.
                  Yeh he is. I think some people just need to constantly watch calories.

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                  • #10
                    1200 is very low. I'm 31, female, 5'4, 68 kg, and I'm losing weight on 1600-2000 cals daily.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the feedback!

                      I've maybe wrecked my metabolism through 'low calorie dieting' at various stages, I had eating disorders as a teenager, had a major back injury a couple of years ago, which meant I was doing next to nothing all day, so my eating habits have never been stable.

                      But now I'm exercising moderately, I just try and listen to my body's signals, I'll sometimes (once, maybe twice a week) have an extra 600/700 cals of nuts, full-fat dairy or fattier chunks of meat, which I enjoy occasionally but don't crave. If I really wanted to, and you wise primal forum-readers recommend it, I could add some more calories without upsetting my bodies natural balance, but I feel like I'm eating quite a lot already, it just doesn't seem so when I actually add it up!

                      I know some people like the idea of eating 1000+ cals in one sitting, I've done it, but it doesn't quite feel primal, and two meals a day suits me better than three.

                      As for cooking oils etc., I don't bother with olive oil, except with tinned fish, 250g of lard or butter (about 2200 cals) will last me over a week, making that about 200 cals a day, which I counted into my previous estimate. I could get more rigorous, I'd maybe discover I'm closer to 1400 a day.

                      Also, I seem to remember Mark saying he didn't eat many calories on a regular day, but he doesn't count them rigorously either.

                      As I say, I'm feeling healthy, can overly low calories lead to any other health complaints? Anything I should watch out for? Thanks for your advice!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ChaiKe View Post
                        Thanks for the feedback!

                        I've maybe wrecked my metabolism through 'low calorie dieting' at various stages, I had eating disorders as a teenager, had a major back injury a couple of years ago, which meant I was doing next to nothing all day, so my eating habits have never been stable.

                        But now I'm exercising moderately, I just try and listen to my body's signals, I'll sometimes (once, maybe twice a week) have an extra 600/700 cals of nuts, full-fat dairy or fattier chunks of meat, which I enjoy occasionally but don't crave. If I really wanted to, and you wise primal forum-readers recommend it, I could add some more calories without upsetting my bodies natural balance, but I feel like I'm eating quite a lot already, it just doesn't seem so when I actually add it up!

                        I know some people like the idea of eating 1000+ cals in one sitting, I've done it, but it doesn't quite feel primal, and two meals a day suits me better than three.

                        As for cooking oils etc., I don't bother with olive oil, except with tinned fish, 250g of lard or butter (about 2200 cals) will last me over a week, making that about 200 cals a day, which I counted into my previous estimate. I could get more rigorous, I'd maybe discover I'm closer to 1400 a day.

                        Also, I seem to remember Mark saying he didn't eat many calories on a regular day, but he doesn't count them rigorously either.

                        As I say, I'm feeling healthy, can overly low calories lead to any other health complaints? Anything I should watch out for? Thanks for your advice!
                        It kind of sounds like you are using "primal" as an excuse to continue with your eating disorder.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jimhensen View Post
                          It kind of sounds like you are using "primal" as an excuse to continue with your eating disorder.
                          Really?! I'm not 100% cured, I admit that, but I'm in one of the healthiest states I've been in for a few years, no compulsive eating/ exercising/ binging/ calorie counting/ distorted body image. I like to think that the inspiration/ principles of primal/ paleo helped me with that.

                          Or maybe I haven't found the 'true root' of my disorder, so I'm just using primal as an excuse for eating a low calorie diet, instead of whatever a normal person, without a history of eating disorders, would be doing.

                          If that is the case, then I apologise for turning the forum into 'bulemics anonymous'!

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                          • #14
                            Always a good discussion here. I don't count calories, fat grams, etc etc.

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                            • #15
                              i don't really pay attention to calories anymore....
                              I just make sure I get the right amount of protein and fats in my daily intake.
                              Carbs are actually kept at a minimal just because of the food selections already.

                              If you get the right amount of protein, fats, carbs (grams) in your diet..you'll hit the calories needed.
                              Primal (2013)
                              Locavore (locally grown foods when possible)
                              Training consists of Muay Thai, BJJ, weight training, and mountain biking

                              Would like to be in good shape by my 36th Birthday (07-07-2013)

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