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  • Am I eating enough?

    I'm on my 3rd week of Paleo and my undiagnosed digestive issues have already improved so much, so I'm certainly in this for the long haul!

    I'm actually wondering if I am eating enough? The reason I question this is because I've had my RMR/HR zones tested before and the results said I had an RMR of 1876, then while figuring in a lightly active life style (desk job) it bumps up my total daily burned calories to about 2440. I've been eating between 1300-2000 calories (most days its towards the lower end of the range, with maybe one really high day each week) but the thing is, I don't find myself hungry! I'm just eating when I'm hungry and keeping it Paleo while limiting my carbs to the 50-100 range. I am 5'3" 190 and certainly trying to lose weight but that wasn't the purpose of starting paleo, just a happy side effect.

    Example Daily Food Intake...(tracked with SparkPeople iPhone app)

    Breakfast (306 calories)
    EAS 100% whey protein shake made with TraderJoes unsweetened coconut milk beverage 30 blueberries, bunch of spinach, 5g NutraSea Fish Oil

    Cup of coffee w/cream & sprinkle of table sugar

    Lunch (520 calories)
    Big salad with spring mix, little bit of blue cheese, balsamic vinegar + virgin olive oil for dressing,
    mini turkey meatloaf that I make in single servings

    Dinner (543 Calories)
    4oz mint lamb kebob
    4oz beef kebob
    bunch of asparagus with butter (15 smaller sprigs)
    approx 3-4oz baked yams with butter

    I also drink 1-3 14oz mugs of jasmine green tea through the day and a fair amount of water.

    Sometimes I'll have a snack between breakfast & lunch of a hardboiled egg and/or carrots, maybe jerky. But usually I'm fine between lunch & dinner.

    Should I be concerned with making sure I keep up with eating AT LEAST what my RMR is? Or do I just keep listening to my body and eat when I'm hungry and understand that some days it might not be much and other days (with heavy exertion/workouts) will be higher?

    Thanks in advance!

    ~Cori

  • #2
    Eat according to appetite.
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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    • #3
      The calories aren't all that important. All calories aren't created equal.
      Fighting Primal - A Savage Performance and Recovery Blog for Primal Combat Athletes

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      • #4
        If it weren't for trying to track the carbs, and figuring out what might be my bad/trigger foods, I wouldn't be tracking and have noticed the calorie deficit at all. Thanks guys. I'll keep going based on what my body is saying and not the numbers.

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        • #5
          When I switched over to Primal, I was operating at a pretty nasty caloric deficit. I cut out all grains and so forth, continued to eat veggies(always did) and cut way back on the fruit (from 2-3 servings a day to 2-3 servings a week) and was still eating a lot of lean sources of meat (because that's what I had always done -- holdover from CW) I actually did an "informal" calorie count and then compared it to some of the calculations in the PB and according to all that I was running at about a 1000 cal/day deficit.

          I started buying cans of coconut milk and never looked back. Soon, I found a good local place to buy fresh eggs and started eating 4/5 a day. We bought a 1/4 grass fed cow and then try to make do with leaner cuts of "conventional" meats to try to stay from possible baddies in the fat from those animals. Still, with chicken I started buying 1/2 boneless skinless thighs and 1/2 boneless skinless breasts instead of all breasts -- little more fat content in thighs. Yes, it's "conventional" chicken, but I haven't found a good source yet there.

          After the first of the year, moved onto Bulletproof Coffee and started using KerryGold butter in a lot of stuff, too. I don't really worry about calories anymore, but it was a good thing to look at b/c it got me into eating a wider variety of the Primal food spectrum and I'm a lot happier now than I was before.

          Bear in mind that the "calculations" in the PB are just "ball park" figures and that there's a ton of factors that can change what your caloric intake needs to be to accomplish what you want to accomplish. Just get your diet as clean as possible, give your body time to switch over from being a sugar burner to a fat burner, then "listen to your body" and make small adjustments and see what the results are.
          Re-focusing on the Primal Lifestyle in 2012!

          Starting: 221.0lb, 29.5% BF (1/9/2012)
          Latest: 208.9, 26.1% BF (3/19/2012)

          http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread35679.html

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tim_1522 View Post
            When I switched over to Primal, I was operating at a pretty nasty caloric deficit. I cut out all grains and so forth, continued to eat veggies(always did) and cut way back on the fruit (from 2-3 servings a day to 2-3 servings a week) and was still eating a lot of lean sources of meat (because that's what I had always done -- holdover from CW) I actually did an "informal" calorie count and then compared it to some of the calculations in the PB and according to all that I was running at about a 1000 cal/day deficit.

            I started buying cans of coconut milk and never looked back. Soon, I found a good local place to buy fresh eggs and started eating 4/5 a day. We bought a 1/4 grass fed cow and then try to make do with leaner cuts of "conventional" meats to try to stay from possible baddies in the fat from those animals. Still, with chicken I started buying 1/2 boneless skinless thighs and 1/2 boneless skinless breasts instead of all breasts -- little more fat content in thighs. Yes, it's "conventional" chicken, but I haven't found a good source yet there.

            After the first of the year, moved onto Bulletproof Coffee and started using KerryGold butter in a lot of stuff, too. I don't really worry about calories anymore, but it was a good thing to look at b/c it got me into eating a wider variety of the Primal food spectrum and I'm a lot happier now than I was before.

            Bear in mind that the "calculations" in the PB are just "ball park" figures and that there's a ton of factors that can change what your caloric intake needs to be to accomplish what you want to accomplish. Just get your diet as clean as possible, give your body time to switch over from being a sugar burner to a fat burner, then "listen to your body" and make small adjustments and see what the results are.
            I'm not sure I understand though. What is a 1000 calorie per day deficit? How did you calculate how many you actually need in the first place?
            Fighting Primal - A Savage Performance and Recovery Blog for Primal Combat Athletes

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            • #7
              Originally posted by iroc8210 View Post
              If it weren't for trying to track the carbs, and figuring out what might be my bad/trigger foods, I wouldn't be tracking and have noticed the calorie deficit at all. Thanks guys. I'll keep going based on what my body is saying and not the numbers.
              Who said you were calorie deficient?
              Fighting Primal - A Savage Performance and Recovery Blog for Primal Combat Athletes

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              • #8
                Remember that every pound of fat you lose is ~3500 calories that your body is doing something with.

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                • #9
                  I'm not sure why you're worried about calorie deficit if you're trying to lose weight? As jfreaksho says, you need a 3500 calorie deficit (or 500cal per day deficit) to lose 1lb a week. On average. If you feel full, with plenty of energy, and eating mostly Primal foods then don't sweat on the numbers, just keep at it. Your diet looks fine, I'd steer clear of the likes of Bulletproof Coffee whilst your starting out, seems unnecessary at best. Good call on the Jasmine green tea, I'm a big fan. Stick with what you're doing and the weight will come off naturally, as well as your other problems clearing up.
                  Sounds like you're doing great, congrats!
                  My Journal: Englishman In Oz, Skinny to Muscle in a Primal Way

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                  • #10
                    The calories in vs calories out "law" is bogus. The only thing that's relevant is the quality of calories.
                    Fighting Primal - A Savage Performance and Recovery Blog for Primal Combat Athletes

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kevingeary View Post
                      The calories in vs calories out "law" is bogus. The only thing that's relevant is the quality of calories.
                      I disagree, and believe this kind of thinking attributes to the many people on these forums asking why they're not losing weight on the PB. Calories from different sources affect the body in different ways, sure, but calories in v calories out still works. By your logic, no-one would ever lose weight using CW, and they do, lots and lots of people do. Are they the healthiest specimens? Not necessarily, but when we're talking purely weight loss the amount of calories matters. I'm not talking from a scientific/medical background, this is mine and countless others experience.
                      My Journal: Englishman In Oz, Skinny to Muscle in a Primal Way

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Englishman in Oz View Post
                        I disagree, and believe this kind of thinking attributes to the many people on these forums asking why they're not losing weight on the PB. Calories from different sources affect the body in different ways, sure, but calories in v calories out still works. By your logic, no-one would ever lose weight using CW, and they do, lots and lots of people do. Are they the healthiest specimens? Not necessarily, but when we're talking purely weight loss the amount of calories matters. I'm not talking from a scientific/medical background, this is mine and countless others experience.
                        They do lose weight on CW diets, and then they gain it back. Lol. Caloric deficit diets are impossible to maintain. By definition, you live in a constant state of semi starvation.
                        Fighting Primal - A Savage Performance and Recovery Blog for Primal Combat Athletes

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kevingeary View Post
                          They do lose weight on CW diets, and then they gain it back. Lol. Caloric deficit diets are impossible to maintain. By definition, you live in a constant state of semi starvation.
                          Ah, I see where you're coming from now. Yes I agree calorie deficit can't be maintained for ever. But I think to lose weight it works fine, then if you increase your fats & protein and even carbs to maintenance level you can keep the weight off. I personally eat between 50-100g of carbs daily, and am intentionally gaining weight through excess calories from fat and protein. I believe this is working because I'm eating more calories than I'm burning. When I've reached my ideal weight, I'll probably up the carbs slightly and reduce fat and protein slightly to reach a maintenance level of calories. I think your points are valid, but I don't gain weight until I hit a certain caloric surplus, and I don't lose weight unless I'm on a deficit. So quality of calories and total intake matters in my view.
                          My Journal: Englishman In Oz, Skinny to Muscle in a Primal Way

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                          • #14
                            The veggies probably only give you a few calories and don't really count towards your total. The net calories after digestion etc is probably neutral-ish. I'm a believer in quality over quantity, but calories do count!!! People generally lose their appetite going primal/low carb for a while but listen to your body.

                            Not sure if RMR calculators are all that accurate unless you do BOD-POD or something similar. I'm 5"8 around 145lbs and apparently need around 2500 calories a day with my exercise........ They are just a guideline. Going less than 1500 seems low to me, especially if you are exercising (which hopefully you are). Calorie cycling could be beneficial but I'm always weary about dropping calories too low because it's not easy to get an adequately nutritious diet when cutting back on the food!
                            "My mom made two dishes: Take it or Leave it." -- Stephen Wright, comedian

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kevingeary View Post
                              Who said you were calorie deficient?
                              Based on having my RMR tested with the New Leaf Metabolic system, my RMR was 1876. After given my results of this test I was told that you never want to drop below your RMR or else your metabolism will start dipping into that 'starvation mode'. So based in their information, to lose 2lbs/wk I should have a 1000 calorie deficit (from my adjusted RMR for lifestyle of 2440) and -500 calories should come from exercise and -500 calories should come from diet (this way my caloric intake never dropped below RMR) I, personally found it really hard to eat that much food, especially when you're eating clean. So after being told to never drop below 1876 consumed calories/day, I was a little concerned to see I was only averaging 1300-1600 consumed calories/day.


                              Originally posted by Englishman in Oz View Post
                              I'm not sure why you're worried about calorie deficit if you're trying to lose weight? As jfreaksho says, you need a 3500 calorie deficit (or 500cal per day deficit) to lose 1lb a week. On average. If you feel full, with plenty of energy, and eating mostly Primal foods then don't sweat on the numbers, just keep at it. Your diet looks fine, I'd steer clear of the likes of Bulletproof Coffee whilst your starting out, seems unnecessary at best. Good call on the Jasmine green tea, I'm a big fan. Stick with what you're doing and the weight will come off naturally, as well as your other problems clearing up.
                              Sounds like you're doing great, congrats!
                              Thanks...I know they say to give it a full 30days before even looking at a scale...but I can't help to weigh once a week lol...lost a few lbs so far, so its encouraging to finally feel better and be losing much needed weight and increasing muscle after trying so many other things. I just want to make sure I'm going about this all properly.

                              Originally posted by muaythaimike View Post
                              Not sure if RMR calculators are all that accurate unless you do BOD-POD or something similar. I'm 5"8 around 145lbs and apparently need around 2500 calories a day with my exercise........ They are just a guideline. Going less than 1500 seems low to me, especially if you are exercising (which hopefully you are). Calorie cycling could be beneficial but I'm always weary about dropping calories too low because it's not easy to get an adequately nutritious diet when cutting back on the food!
                              As I explained above, I had the New Leaf Metabolic Testing system done. Its more or less a breath analysis...ride a bike at different intensities with a mask on your face hooked up to some fancy machine. Then is prints out some fancy charts & graphs including a recommended workout schedule for 10weeks. Its focus is to keep you between zones 1-3 for fat burning & building your aerobic base. I did most of this on my trainer this winter because of the weather. I also tried to do 2 days of some kind of body weight/P90 type exercising but that didn't always happen. Now I'm following the Grok Workout plan (squats/push ups/planks/pull-ups) 2 days/week, still doing the spinning in zones 1-3 and I try to "play" quite a bit. Most people are impressed with my abilities/strength/endurance based on my size, which is what made it even more frustrating not being able to lose lbs and be the person I used to be. Hopefully my new lifestyle will pull everything together and I'll have a much happier, healthier & more fit body.

                              Oh, and I did have a hard time eating 2000 calories when eating good, clean foods. I'm learning to try to add more good fats into the mix. For example, yesterday's meal I posted in my OP was 1370 calories broken down into 66g carbs, 69g fat, 121g protein. The day before that was 1364 calories- 83 carbs (caved with some 70% dark chocolate), 70g fat, 102g protein. I'd add more nuts and seeds but I'm currently experiencing some itchy skin/rash so I cut them out for a few weeks to see if they're the culprit, but thats a WHOLE 'nother story there.

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