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Are counting calories CW?

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  • Are counting calories CW?

    I am pretty new to eating primal-have only been doing it for about a month. I am trying to get healthier. The reason I decided to change my lifestyle to a primal one is because I am on antidepressant medication I would like to get off of, I have horrible energy levels, and if I do not eat every two hours I get very shaky. Also, I have about 10 pounds to lose which means I'd love to get rid of excess body fat. In the past, I lost weight by counting calories. I would use CW and eat mostly whole grains, with a little fat and protein. Since I made the change to eating primal, I have still counted calories, carbs, fat, protein but I mostly focus on keeping my carbs under 100g a day. I get about 50-60% calories from fat and about 30% protein.

    I've noticed that despite eating the same macronutrient ratios, some days I am more hungry and some days I am less. For example, yesterday I was not too hungry. I ate about 1300 calories and was satisfied with that. Today, I am very hungry and have had about 1800 calories. Since I've spent so long eating the SAD, I know I am too obsessed with calories. So, as a complete noob, I'm wondering if calories are really necessary to pay attention when losing weight? I do not eat grains, and eat very minimal dairy(only butter a couple times a week). I also do not eat nuts. I eat mostly fatty meats, coconut, and non-starchy vegetables. Sometimes a couple of strawberries.

    Sorry if this is a long winded post. But from what I can see, there are a lot of very knowledgeable individuals on this forum. If anyone could tell me whether counting calories or carbs is more important when trying to reduce excess body fat, I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you! Also, I am a 19 year old female who is about 135 pounds currently. While I am not exactly "overweight", I still am borderline overweight. Whether overweight or not, I definitely have some body fat too lose.

  • #2
    Given your current age and weight I would concentrate on just eating primal approved foods to satiety...then stop, and don't eat again till your hungry. Keep it that simple. Go ahead and weigh yourself after about a month of that to see where you are if you want. Consider modifications after that if your not feeling absolutely great about where you are.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the quick reply. I've been doing what you say, and it's been working out well. For the most part, I eat less calories than I did when I ate the SAD. But I guess I am still concerned with those days that I am extra hungry for no apparent reason, even though my activity level has stayed the same.

      Once again thanks for the reply.

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      • #4
        Here's my theory. Before on the SAD with all those wholegrains (funny how my wholegrains often weren't so whole) and sugar, I was hungry all the time. When I went on primal my hunger changed. I could go without lunch. I lost all my excess weight. Now it's been long enough to start to see a difference. When I get hungry, I'm HONGRY and I eat like I've killed a buffalo. And when I'm not hungry, I eat a lot less. It's like those grains and industrial vegetable oils aren't poisoning me anymore and my hunger is more real. Before, my hunger was more like coming down off a drug and needing another fix.

        In other words, I wouldn't worry about eating less on one day and more on another. It's probably way more natural. If you can even eat less on that non-hungry day, in other words, try an intermittent fast, that'll even be better.
        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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        • #5
          SBHIKES- that is the same way I was while on the SAD. I was always hungry... I would always have to take food with me. I am starting to experiment with intermittent fasting. I'm not able to fast for 24 hours or even 12 hours like a lot of people, but I am starting off with skipping a meal when I'm not hungry. I'm trying to get away from the notion that I HAVE to eat 3 meals a day. If I'm not hungry, then there's no need for it, like you say. Thank you for the response! And assuming that is you in your profile picture, that's awesome that you got rid of the body fat you wanted to get rid of! That gives me hope!

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          • #6
            It's pretty variable. I've done my fair amount of calorie counting but I think a better way around it is just being calorie conscious and monitor you're progress closely. ie, using a spoonful of cottage cheese instead of a chunk of butter and adding more low calorie vegetables and maybe some leaner meats.
            The last few pounds is the hardest to lose so you may have to be more diligent and start tracking calories if your weight plateau's.

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            • #7
              I would concentrate on just eating primal approved foods to satiety

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Theresa92 View Post
                SBHIKES- that is the same way I was while on the SAD. I was always hungry... I would always have to take food with me. I am starting to experiment with intermittent fasting. I'm not able to fast for 24 hours or even 12 hours like a lot of people, but I am starting off with skipping a meal when I'm not hungry. I'm trying to get away from the notion that I HAVE to eat 3 meals a day. If I'm not hungry, then there's no need for it, like you say. Thank you for the response! And assuming that is you in your profile picture, that's awesome that you got rid of the body fat you wanted to get rid of! That gives me hope!
                Yes that is me in my avatar. I wish I could get another 10lbs off but it won't come off. I'll probably have to do way more fasting to get it off. Oh well. At least I'm not suffering like I was. I used to pre-eat. You know, like when you think you are going to be somewhere that has no access to food for a while, you eat a little extra in advance. Sheesh. That's what alcoholics do.
                Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                • #9
                  Thank you for the advice everyone! I appreciate it! And SBHIKES-you look GREAT in your picture... I am the same weight as you, and I don't look like that! That's awesome and very motivating And I used to do the same thing.... and now that I think about it.... pre-eating probably just confused my body even more than it was already confused with all the grains and processed wheat I was eating. I'm looking forward to living a better lifestyle than that finally.

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                  • #10
                    I strongly dislike counting calories & agree with all that's already been said- eat the right foods to satiety & eat less if you aren't hungry- don't stress too much.

                    However if you don't lose weight you might have to count or tweak something but you can deal with that later once you get the hang of being primal.
                    Just to keep in mind-
                    17 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight | Mark's Daily Apple

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                    • #11
                      I am guilty of still counting. Just can't get away from it. I find that I usually am too low in calories so it helps me with some of my choices. Helps me to also see at glance if I need to try to get more protein, etc. Then when I see stalls in my fat loss, I can go back and see what I did differently. And I am new to primal so I am not sure yet how all foods affect me. Some people say that this food or that food halts their progress and so I try to watch for things like that even though it seems difficult to pinpoint it sometimes, especially when the affects might be days/weeks later.

                      I totally agree that eating the more frequent smaller meals, I ate all the time and was always hungry. It was a struggle to keep calories down in my range. It was exhausting to think about and prepare food constantly. Once I went primal, and once I got a handle on my carbs and reined in the snacking, 3 meals was plenty, now 2 meals are plenty and I have even done a one meal is plenty, just this week. That is why I struggle with getting enough calories most days. Discovering butter, ghee, & coconut oil really helped.
                      65lbs gone and counting!!

                      Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

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                      • #12
                        Well I think counting calories is conventional wisdom and misguided. It is normal for a nineteen year old woman to have a great range of food needs, and anyway I don't think calories are very effective for explaining nutrition. (Ok for measuring bomb strength and boiler output, though.)

                        Controversial point coming up:
                        I notice quote a lot of young women 16-24 go through periods of depression. I think this is probably for good evolutionary reasons. I think it is to stop them getting stuck in a rut with whatever they are doing in life up until then and to provoke them to change things so as they end up getting out there and so be more likely to meet a suitable man, and especially meet a greater variety of men. I think this tendency for depressive periods is exacerbated by eating low animal fat diets, but at root it is a natural response. I think that a better doing-things-differently strategy is to do something fun like go backpacking across South America, or a go work on kibbutz, or whatever, but anything that involves being away from the grind and getting out into the world and having fun while keeping a sharp lookout for suitable blokes according to the usual scale of how good his scruffy beard looks and whether he attempts to play the guitar badly.

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                        • #13
                          I am not really for counting calories but tracking what you eat is useful when you are not reaching your goals i find.

                          The calories in most of the food trackers are wrong anyway. They underestimate what is in food and overestimate the amount of calories you burn exercising.
                          2010 - 5,11 and 101KG

                          2012 - 5,11 and 77KG

                          Train hard, eat well and love life

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