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Petite women- calorie counting?

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  • Petite women- calorie counting?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new here, and find that so many of these threads are terribly long and confusing.

    I am just under 5' tall, 135lbs. I'm eating primally, with the exception of occasional raw dairy. I'm just wondering if I should be counting calories. Its hard to know how much to each- it seems easy to eat too much EVEN while eating primally because I think my calorie requirements are much lower than, say, a 6ft tall man (like my husband, who can lose 5lbs without any effort whatsoever). Losing even 5lbs is a huge challenge for me. Any other petite women out there with some advice for me?


  • #2
    I'm 5'1" and went from 126 to 112 eating primally and not counting calories at all. Occasionally, I'd mentally tally my calories for the day and they were usually around 1800-2000. Good luck!


    • #3
      I've had a tough time knocking off the last 15lbs and I'm petite (5' 1") as well. I have tried counting, VLC, carb refeeding... Good luck! Its not easy. I'm back at 129.
      Primal since March 2011

      Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs


      • #4
        I don't know if this makes a huge difference, but this is the FIRST 15 lbs for me. I've been 158 before, but that was when I was 9months pregnant . I have settled back down around 128-135 after both my kids were born, it's just getting back down to 110-115 that is hard.

        So I suppose I'm not coming from a background of being really overweight, just trying to figure out what my calorie requirements are.


        • #5
          Jaygee- what does a typical day of eating look like for you? Have you tried the leptin reset? I've been trying to get a lot of protein in the am


          • #6
            I am 5' 1", and I maintain between 110 - 115 lbs, my highest has been about 129, and I would say I could stand to drop 5-6lbs right now (I am trying to not fret it since we are trying to get prego at the moment).

            I used to plug my food into something like every once in awhile, both to see where my calories are coming in and where my fat/carbs fall. But since my activity levels seem to go up and down, counting calories doesn't always work for me. 1300 calories when I am crossfitting is not enough, but 1300 when I am doing nothing all week is usually too high.

            Nowadays I can usually gauge if I am eating too many calories because my hunger cues are gone (as long as my carbs are under control....too many carbs and my hunger goes up no matter what I eat).

            When I start eating just because its a 'meal time', not because I am hungry, I am taking in too many calories. A few days of not eating until I am truly hungry seems to get me back in line. I will skip breakfast or lunch when I am totally not hungry. I find when I am not super active that I tend to eat breakfast/lunch around 10 am, and then dinner around 6, and that's it for the day.
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            • #7
              Thanks meadow! That's helpful. I find that I'm not always hungry for breakfast, but it helps to eat a big breakfast because i am less hungry at night. 1300 was my target when I ate carbs, and I usually kept the fat low so I could eat more carbs :-/

              It's hard to keep the cals at 1300 and eat all the bacon that people here seem to advise :-P


              • #8
                the last time I lost weight was back in June and I was doing 2-24 hour fasts a week and skipped a meal keeping calories under 900 twice a week. I was starving all the time but I was losing weight at a whopping .5lb a week. I got down to 119 briefly. Then I stopped losing even with the same restrictions.. and went up to 122. Then I had my wedding/honeymoon and ate lots of food and local fare in Hawaii and went back up to 130. That was in August. I've been unable to get back down, even with 16-18 hour fasts a day. Tried VLC for 3 months and lean gains for 3 months. The next 3 months I'm going to do more extreme calorie cycling, and more daily exercise (fast walking) in addition to the carb refeeds. damn desk job.

                Since I reached puberty I have not been below 119.
                Primal since March 2011

                Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Patchthebun View Post
                  Jaygee- what does a typical day of eating look like for you? Have you tried the leptin reset? I've been trying to get a lot of protein in the am
                  I've never tried Leptin reset, but I do tend to front-load protein at breakfast. I usually have spinach sauteed in bacon fat, 2 eggs, and some shredded chicken for breakfast. Lunch is a big salad with lots of vegetables, some walnuts or pecans, tuna or chicken, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I also have a piece of fruit, either sliced into my salad or after as a "dessert". Mid afternoon I may have a handful of almonds or some berries. Dinner is a meat of some kind, a green vegetable and a starchy vegetable. I am not low carb, because I feel like dirt when my carbs go below 100 or so. I also think a lot of it is genetic. My dad is skinny, my brother is skinny, and I seem to have a decent metabolism even at age 43.


                  • #10
                    Patchthebun - How long have you been eating primally? I'm 5'5"-ish, but I have a very narrow frame, so I find that my normal weight is on the lower end of the range for my height. IMO, the most important thing for small women who may have lower calorie requirements is to eat only when you are hungry and only until you aren't hungry anymore. I have not counted any calories, but I've found it easy to drop pounds by sticking to that rule. Try skipping breakfast if you aren't hungry yet. Experiment and do what works for you!


                    • #11
                      I would count calories but have days where I regularly increase calories so as not to slow down metabolism.


                      • #12
                        Patch-I am just under 5'. I was around 160 pregnant and settled after birth of kids around 128-135lbs. Once there I went on to lose 10lbs. Once I reached that I continued another 5-8 lbs. These were the toughest. I maintained my weight at 115. I could go down sizes without change on the scale. Mostly due to my weight training.

                        I did not lose my initial weight from primal, but CW WOE. It wasn't until I hit about 125lb that I ate more towards low carb. I got down to 115lb with lots weight training and cardio. I loved my size (a very very loose size 2/0) and I looked very healthy. I maintained this weight for 5-7 yrs +. Then, fell in a rut after my favorite gym instructor left. I quit and just lost motivation. I gained just a few lbs. Then caught the gain in time to not get too out of hand. As you know, it's just plain hard to lose 1lb. And losing 3-5 is tormenting too long of a process.

                        Fast forward a few years, still low carb, but now Primal. I did lose a few pounds, and currently maintain around 110-113. But, I am not in shape like I use to be even though I'm several pounds lighter. I more of a 2/ loose 4. I know it has to due with my workout routine. I plan to lose to a goal weight of 107-108lb.

                        Calories do seem to matter for me no matter what WOE I choose. I just does for me! I fall into the 1300-1400 range of calories if I want to maintain weight and do nothing much. If I stay fairly active 5-7 days a week, I can take it up 200-300 more per day. I need to lower calories to see significant change on the scale from my maintenance level calories. I am interested in inch loss or body shape changes than scale weight.

                        I find that not eating breakfast, which is fine with me since I lack hunger in the morning until about 12-2:00 pm. I eat lunch and then eat once again in the evening. I must mention that for me there is a fine line on things that work and do not work. I can't eat exactly the same calories day in and out in calories. I respond best to change. One to two weeks of something and then take a day or meal to break outside my routine. Too little food really back fires for me....just as too much food. Too much protein does not work for me nor does less than 40 carbs a day. For me under 60- 80 works best to maintain. Losing weight I need to keep carbs under 50.

                        Primal eating keeps me satisfied with my calories, and low cal/low fat keeps me so hungry it's unbearable thinking about losing weight.

                        When I started Primal I did log food to see where I fell in my macronutrients. Now, I just tally it up mentally since I'm kinda coming off the Holiday season. I will be aggressively working on my weight loss in a day or two, then I will have to log since calories do matter for me to lose weight.
                        Last edited by Tneah; 01-03-2012, 04:18 PM.


                        • #13

                          Welcome here. The beauty of primal is just do what feels right and makes sense. Keep it simple.

                          Regarding bacon: I think bacon is abused here. This is my personal opinion. It is hard to find good, clean bacon (without nitrates and/or sugar). Plus, it is not a very good cut of pork.

                          I have bacon as a rare treat or if I'm really in the mood for it, but don't consider it a nutritious part of my diet plan.

                          I counted calories once on fitday just to get an idea. Some people said I ate way too little, but that's what feels good for me (5'3" and 113 lbs). I ate about 1200 cal for the day. Sometimes I need more, but that day I felt fine.
                          Last edited by spicegirl; 01-03-2012, 05:02 PM.


                          • #14
                            It probably helps to figure out how much protein you need. I think the general rule is something like .8 grams per pound of lean body mass. Your lean body mass is what you weigh minus your body fat. Then so long as you get that much protein, you can reduce your fat and carb calories to lose weight. Calories pretty much do matter for most of us women, certainly those of us who are older, have yo-yoed a few times or are petite. Not all women, but enough of us that we've launched a lot of threads about it.
                            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


                            • #15
                              Tneah- we sound like body doubles!

                              I have been eating cleanly for quite a while now (maybe 10 months?) but primal for about a month. It's not really been a true month though with Christmas and all... :-P