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Fruit, Calories, Sugar, and Fat Loss??!?!

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  • Fruit, Calories, Sugar, and Fat Loss??!?!

    I know this topic has been discussed in some shape or form over many, many posts, but I have a very specific question regarding fruit.

    The more I read on here and from other similiar blogs it seems as if calories, at the end of the day, really does matter...a lot. I have read some posts from people who are trying to lose weight (fat) and have apparently stumbled due to possibly over-indulging on nuts and/or fruit and maybe even cheese or something.

    Here's my question: is it the fruit and nuts which are the problem or the overall daily caloric intake???

    For example, according to a quick online calorie requirement indicator I can eat 700 calories, 3 times a day, in order to be well below my maintenance calorie intake. I have to admit, I'm 228 lbs and 700 calories isn't that easy to eat. It seems like a piece of fruit at every meal would be possible if eating sensibly and still be well within that calorie range. For breakfast I just had 4 eggs, a leftover sausage from last night, half a red-pepper, and an apple. I think that gets me to about 700 calories. It would have been a lot when I was trying to spread my meals out over 5 meals, but doesn't seem like so much given my far fewer feedings and occasional fasts.

    Is there more to it than that??? Is it the insulin response that I should be worried about? I'm only 2 weeks into this thing so I have no idea what to expect from my body. It bothers me a bit that I'm scared to eat an apple here and there. For example I had two apples yesterday: one for breakfast and one for dinner. And just to be clear, I really do wanna lose fat. It's my number one goal in doing this. The health is great, but it's the fat loss that I'm trying to achieve.

    On a sort of related topic, since I have your attention. Has anyone seen the types of meals that the Leangains guys eat after their workouts? I don't get why they are gorging themselves on so many calories just because they waited an extra few hours to start their eating schedule. They all seem to still be getting in 3 meals. How are they able to eat such massive amounts of food. I'm pretty sure that I saw pizza in there somewhere?!?! At least that's what it appears like to me?!?!

    Thanks for everyone's help!!

  • #2
    Hey Spinman! First off, congratulations on starting your journey towards better health! As I'm sure you'll come to realize, the Primal diet has many different categories of followers. The common theme is avoidance of toxic food; however, many people on the diet find they do well/lose more weight with carbs while others find a low carb, low fruit, no nuts diet works best for them. Seeing as you're just starting and you have 30+ lbs to lose, I wouldn't fret over these small details. While I wouldn't recommend eating more than 2 or 3 servings of fruit or nuts a day, eliminating these foods will become more important further along your weight loss when you're looking to lose the last 10-15 lbs. So, for now, GOAL: Avoid non-primal foods like the plague; eat foods that are considered primal without worrying too much about the macronutrient breakdown. If you find you are having a hard time losing weight (or you don't feel optimal), then you can start looking at playing with your macros.

    You also asked about calories. 2100 calories for a man your size is rather low, but its definitely not too low if you aren't doing super intense exercise on a regular basis. My view on calories is the following: Yes, they matter. Some people believe that you can eat upwards of 3-4k calories while still losing weight as long as the majority of calories come from fat. In my experience, (yes I tried this) you won't gain much weight BUT you will probably not feel that great and you most likely won't lose weight. However, everyone is different and many people have had weight loss success on high-calorie diets as long as they're high-fat as well. I think you're plan of 2100 calories/day will get you the fastest results.

    The Leangains guy knows how to manipulate his body and he definitely is some sort of fitness genius. However, as you noticed Leangains dieters do not follow a paleo/primal diet (but it can be modified to be paleo/primal). The reason they can eat so much after workouts is because the diet is based around hormonal manipulation and muscle glycogen depletion. Also, keep in mind, a lot of "leangainers" end up gaining lean muscle but not losing too much fat which is probably a result of the amount of food they end up eating. Its a great program but it depends on your goals and should really only be done at an already low bf%. And yeah, sometimes they eat whole pizzas hahaha. Well, I hope this helped!

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    • #3
      Probably about 3 people on the entire forum are qualified to answer your question.
      You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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      • #4
        I think you just need to try and see what works. Track what you eat on fitday or something. You may think its the apple keeping you from losing weight, when the reality is that oopsie, the 1/2 cup of coconut milk in your coffee is 250 extra calories. I think nuts are a problem for many people not because they eat 10 nuts and it messes with insulin, but because they ate a 500 calorie snack that they thought was 100 calories.

        A lot of people have different bodies and needs and reactions. For me, when I was eating 60-70% fat, my weightloss stopped and I felt like hell. I now eat 50% fat, 30% protein and 20% carbs - works great. Tracking helped me figure that out.

        I will say that when I read that someone can't lose weight because of fruit, but doesn't know how many calories that they actually eat, and have vague meal plans that include "a few spoons of coconut oil" or "a handful of nuts", that I kind of roll my eyes. They may be eating 1000 calories a day OR maybe they are eating 3000.....

        Fruit can make you want to eat more, but I do good with about a serving a day. I can eat sweet potatoes etc. with no issue, and even small amounts of sugar.... however, for some people, this doesn't work for them. If I ate their bullet proof coffee and porterhouse steak, I'd be entirely without energy.

        http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
        Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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        • #5
          Start out by getting the hang of eating real, primal foods. Once you've got that handled and see if that is having some effect for you. Once you've got that down, then if you're not seeing any changes, you can start thinking about macros, fruit intake, dairy, nuts, and so on. But really, it's too easy to overthink this stuff, especially when you're starting off and just trying to get the feel for eating this way. Just by switching to primal foods, you'll find you eat a lot less sugars and a lot more fat and protein, and you'll likely find it's hard to overeat if you stick to real food and three meals a day (as it sounds like you're already discovering).

          Seriously, this forum creates panic for new people. I actually sort of wish I had just done primal without the forum in the beginning because I would have avoided my whole VLC detour that made me stall and feel like crap, but I kept trying to make it work because reading here made me think I had to keep cutting carbs back further and further if I wasn't seeing progress. Letting go of all that counting and fussing and shifting to more intuitive, paleo eating has been the best thing I could have done. I wish I'd tried it sooner.

          Speaking of which, there's some kiwi in the fruit bowl that needs to be cut up and eaten. Nom nom nom.
          “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

          Owly's Journal

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          • #6
            Thanks everybody! Really sound advice! I'm gonna just roll with the punches for now. I enjoy my apples, so I'm going to continue to eat them. I guess Rome wasn't built in a day. I'll figure it out more as I go along.

            I have to confess though that last night I had a really hard time sleeping and I felt like my heart was beating out of my chest. I hadn't had any caffeine or sugar so I have no idea what that was all about. It felt like I had drank a cup of coffee right before bedtime. Anyone else feel this way. And today I have had a more empty feeling in my stomach. Perhaps because of the lack of sleep or perhaps cause maybe I have hit some sort of wall? I was used to having grains at pretty much every meal and now I have had none. At first I didn't seem to notice it but the last couple days my body has felt a little off.

            Anyone else out there get this a couple weeks in?

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            • #7
              Sounds like you experienced Keto, where you very low carb that day? or did you just not eat a lot?
              Primal since March 2011

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

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              • #8
                Calories are slightly more useful for measure food than grams, but the idea that you "need" some amount of calories to lose or gain weight is not really true.

                This study pretty much puts a nail in the calorie coffin: Why Even Resolute Dieters Often Fail - NYTimes.com | The Bulletproof Executive . Quoting:
                "It turns out that a long-used rule of weight loss — reduce 3,500 calories (or burn an extra 3,500) to lose one pound of body fat — is incorrect and can ultimately doom determined dieters." - Dr. Kevin D. Hall and his colleagues at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. In the analysis, I write a lot about where calories actually go - 50% of your calories are not used by exercise. And we know fat people use fewer calories than thin people, even though they are carrying more mass around.

                You can also read about one of the many studies that covers composition of food vs calories here It In the study, protein intake changed how nutrients were partitioned in the body. Eating more or less protein directly changed the way nutrients were stored, supporting the notion that it is not all about calories.

                But most damning of all is that I should weigh 616 lbs if calories mattered "a lot" after my 4000-4500 calories per day diet for 2 years with no exercise. Instead, I ended up looking like the photo in this post: Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting | The Bulletproof Executive (keep in mind that I weighed 300 lbs and was obese for half my life...)

                Avoiding toxins is key. Ranchers use mycotoxins (mold derived) to make cows gain more weight on less food. Those same things work on you. That's why I control for them as much as possible in the biochemistry-derived Bulletproof Diet, which coincidentally is paleo compliant, but is designed to get adequate macro and micronutrients while avoiding a broader range of toxins.

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                • #9
                  Here's what I did: I tried a mini-fast from lunch this past Saturday to Sunday breakfast. That may have thrown me off. Yesterday I ate pretty low carb and got a pretty decent lift in. I think I'm all over the place right now! Haha

                  Last night I couldn't sleep....woke up craving carbs. Then I read on this forum that other people who have lost sleep also craved carbs. Very interesting!! In my next life I'm gonna be one of those naturally skinny people. ;o)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Spinman View Post
                    Here's what I did: I tried a mini-fast from lunch this past Saturday to Sunday breakfast. That may have thrown me off. Yesterday I ate pretty low carb and got a pretty decent lift in. I think I'm all over the place right now! Haha

                    Last night I couldn't sleep....woke up craving carbs. Then I read on this forum that other people who have lost sleep also craved carbs. Very interesting!! In my next life I'm gonna be one of those naturally skinny people. ;o)
                    Yes those symtpoms were caused from Keto.. you fasted, then low carb lifting, (depleted glyogen stores) ..for sure. I wouldnt be surprised if you felt dizzy either. I wouldnt fast after lifting IMO, nor would I eat low carb after lifting...that is the time to up your carbs.

                    But if you were one of those naturally skinny people then you would probably have lived your life eating SAD and destroying your health, so count it as a blessing in disguise.
                    Primal since March 2011

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

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                    • #11
                      Thank you so much activia. I think you totally nailed it. I was dizzy and my heart was pounding out of my chest. It's weird, I have never noticed what an impact food can have on you. I have always just eaten the same and that was that. Interesting to be sort of reconnecting with my own inner signals. I almost feel hungover today.

                      FYI: I went to P.F. Changs for lunch today and had spare ribs and lettuce wraps....both with a lot of sugar. I just snapped. I think I need to really make sure that I'm giving my body what it needs.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Spinman View Post
                        Thank you so much activia. I think you totally nailed it. I was dizzy and my heart was pounding out of my chest. It's weird, I have never noticed what an impact food can have on you. I have always just eaten the same and that was that. Interesting to be sort of reconnecting with my own inner signals. I almost feel hungover today.

                        FYI: I went to P.F. Changs for lunch today and had spare ribs and lettuce wraps....both with a lot of sugar. I just snapped. I think I need to really make sure that I'm giving my body what it needs.
                        I've felt it myself. I'll get the racy heart thing if I do a 24hr fast but its not too bad I actually get a surge of energy afterwards and feel really warm. That is kinda cool...then I know I'm in Keto. Dizziness means its time to break the fast in my opinion and eat an awesome primal meal. No reason for you to go this crazy if you are just staring out! Take it easy your body has some adjusting to do.

                        Also I had a real rough time with low carb flu. I could hardly stay awake and had the worst cravings especially when I exercised that day. I've also felt depressed if I exercise and go low carb or fast... and be craving carbs super fast then I"ll sugar binge on like..ehh raisins and feel fine. I haven't had these problems since I upped my carbs (I go with white rice, but sweet potatoes has also worked) after heavy lifting. I do lower fat in this PO meal. Bad Sugar cravings usually mean you need glucouse, so go for a banana or sweet potato next time.

                        Good luck and Grok on! Listen to your body and stay away from posioness things
                        Primal since March 2011

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

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bulletproofexec View Post
                          Calories are slightly more useful for measure food than grams, but the idea that you "need" some amount of calories to lose or gain weight is not really true.
                          People should take at least two years of college level Physics and Thermodynamics before trying to count any calories. Otherwise, you're simply not qualified enough to count calories. Might as well pray to Jebus.

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                          • #14
                            You know what's weird....I was in a HORRIBLE mood today. Depressed, questioning the direction of my life, etc. Definitely atypical for me. Your feedback explains A LOT. Thank u so much!

                            Last quick question. I'm due for a lift tomorrow. What type of carbs do you recommend pre- and post-workout? I'll probably do sweet potato after...but what do u think about before?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bulletproofexec View Post
                              Avoiding toxins is key. Ranchers use mycotoxins (mold derived) to make cows gain more weight on less food. Those same things work on you. That's why I control for them as much as possible in the biochemistry-derived Bulletproof Diet, which coincidentally is paleo compliant, but is designed to get adequate macro and micronutrients while avoiding a broader range of toxins.
                              Dave, I think this is the hardest for any one person to do without having to shell out $$$$ for the sake of optimizing the way their bodies work. Most people have to go back to calorie counting because they are definitely going to be exposed to toxins one way or another, and can't dedicate $1000 in supplements to fix the small things that are slightly hindering their metabolisms.
                              My chocolatey Primal journey

                              Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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