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  • Surprising Primal Problem - Advice Please!

    Hello to the kind and wonderful folks at MDA! The people posting on this forum are by far the nicest, most supportive group I've ever seen and I just wanted to first and foremost thank all the posters for making this such a friendly environment. My problem is this:

    Since going Primal I'm having a really, really hard time eating enough (and this has NEVER been a problem before!). I'm 5'10" and in the last two-three weeks have dropped from 135 to about 127-128. I feel great, my energy is up, my skin is clear, I'm strength training and getting stronger, but the fat is DROPPING off me faster than I can even hope to put on muscle. I've always had a more "boyish" build, so the fat on my chest is minimal and I'm not liking how gaunt and bony my chest is looking. All the bones of my sternum can be counted from across the room :/. Now, if I may, let me give you a little background so you know what I am eating and all that jazz and maybe you can help me.

    I'm a relatively new Grokette (having eliminated grains but not the added sugar until, you guessed it, around two-three weeks ago), though an old hand at eating whole foods and the WAPF ideologies. The only thing I really did to go primal was cut out sugar and carbs. I do consume dairy in the form of local raw milk (mostly just in my coffee, or sometimes I like a small cup before bed) and the occasional bit of local cheese. I found out I had celiac's and I'm not the kind of girl to half-ass something, so instead of cutting out wheat I found MDA and said goodbye to grains entirely and have felt wonderful! I don't miss sugar either and nightly square of dark chocolate and a teaspoon of honey or so in my coffee in the morning is enough. I haven't eliminated any fruit since I already ate that in moderation anyway.

    I've been monitoring what I eat so I know I'm getting enough fat and protein and to learn the right ratios and all that jazz. Well and good. But now I find that I don't wake up hungry anymore AT ALL, so I don't eat breakfast till 9-10:30 when I do start to want food. This leads me to not get hungry for lunch until 2:30-4 and even when I eat on the earlier end of that range I still haven't been wanting to eat dinner. I'm just not hungry. And everything that I've learned here seems to focus so much on listening to your body that I haven't wanted to force myself to eat dinner. Sometimes I'll have a little something if I want it, and once I sort of wanted dinner so I did eat but... it's been hard. Surprisingly so. And this is from a former if-I-don't-eat-every-three-or-four-hours-I'll-eat-your-leg-so-back-off kind of girl.

    So, folks, to sum it up, my surprising primal problem is that these foods are SO satisfying and I find myself getting full quickly and staying satiated for a very long time. My calorie intake has been consistently very low (between about 1,000-1,400) in spite of piling on gobs of fat, eating wonderful, fatty cuts of meat, (of course getting my veggies), etc. I'm down with nuts and nut butters too! And I make raw milk kefir to use in my smoothies to get some good probiotics and fat in there. My point is... I'm definitely NOT afraid of food. I don't want to gain fat weight, sure, and I'm all for having a lower body fat percentage, but the "results" of the Primal lifestyle are pretty dramatic! (And the protein/fat/carb intake has been a solid 25/60/15, with about +- 5%/day, and my fat intake is always above 50% and I've found it hard to get my carb intake above 60-70g/day and it is usually a lot lower)

    I definitely am not going away from Primal - Grok on all the way! - but how can I get more calories in me without getting nauseated? I don't want to lose body fat this fast, I truly don't have very much body fat to lose. I just want to be toned, fit, and healthy, whatever weight my body wants to be.

    **** I should mention this important fact: I do strength and resistance exercises to try and build muscle but I do have to take everything very easy. I have a connective tissue disease, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Type III, and my body is kind of... fragile. I have to take it easy and rest a lot and if I get too tired or do too much repetition I risk dislocation/injury etc. but I DO try and I have gotten stronger in the last few months of resistance exercises

    Any and all advice would be appreciated so much! And thank you for reading through the whole rant. You guys ROCK and are an inspiration to everybody around you.
    Live Clean, Love Hard. Or vice versa.


    Female! Height: 5'10.5" HW: 161 SW: 135 CW: 124 GW: Whatever number my body wants to be when I'm eating and moving well - trying to get that muscle mass up.

  • #2
    Maybe add a handful of raw macadamias or pecans to your daily intake?
    F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

    **1st place sparring, AAU TKD regional qualifier, 2/15/15 - It's damn good to hit like a girl!**

    **First-ever 5K race 11/28/13: 37 minutes, 18+ seconds, no stopping**

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    • #3
      JackieKessler - thanks for the suggestion! I have tried adding in more nuts, but it feels like it makes me even less inclined to eat a third meal, even when the daily calories are hovering around or under 1,100. The second day I didn't want to eat dinner I made myself eat a handful of pecans and I felt kind of nauseous. Maybe in smaller quantities...I'll give it a shot, thanks!
      Live Clean, Love Hard. Or vice versa.


      Female! Height: 5'10.5" HW: 161 SW: 135 CW: 124 GW: Whatever number my body wants to be when I'm eating and moving well - trying to get that muscle mass up.

      Comment


      • #4
        What about adding coconut milk to your smoothies? They say it's too easy to drink calories, so maybe you can sneak more in that way without feeling bad.
        "Wait! I'll fix it!"
        "Problems always disappear in the presence of a technician."
        "If you can't improvise, what are you doing out in the field?"

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        • #5
          Hmm. Do you IF? If you haven't fasted, maybe try going for a day without eating, since it sounds like you're not that hungry anyway? Perhaps that will make you hungrier when it's time to eat. Just a thought!
          F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

          **1st place sparring, AAU TKD regional qualifier, 2/15/15 - It's damn good to hit like a girl!**

          **First-ever 5K race 11/28/13: 37 minutes, 18+ seconds, no stopping**

          Comment


          • #6
            Blackbird - adding coconut milk is a great idea. I've been so excited with my recently purchased kefir grains that I haven't even thought about using anything else for my smoothies (and I haven't yet experimented with coconut milk kefir, so maybe that would be good too!)

            JackieKessler - ooo everything I read here is pointing me to IF Because I have always been a frequent eater (I *used* to get hunger headaches) IF kind of scared me. I tried to use IF to justify to myself that the skipped meals were OK (going from eating at 3pm one day and not again till breakfast around 9-10 the next)... maybe the secret is that I need to do it longer and then the fasting would be more occasional?

            And thoughts are good! They're more than welcome, and extremely appreciated! Thank you
            Live Clean, Love Hard. Or vice versa.


            Female! Height: 5'10.5" HW: 161 SW: 135 CW: 124 GW: Whatever number my body wants to be when I'm eating and moving well - trying to get that muscle mass up.

            Comment


            • #7
              I would say to count your total carb intake for a few days and see where you fall. You can 'feel great' while still not intaking enough carbs to be at a healthy weight and the health issues will show up later.

              My situation is a little different from yours in that I'm pregnant and need to actively gain weight (especially b/c my body burns it off like nobody's business when breastfeeding - I need a cushion to start with!). I found that I have to take in 150+ carbs (all primal and no grains in my eating) per day in order to be able to gain weight. This fits right into MDA carb chart that shows where you gain/maintain/lose weight. I do that through dried fruit/fresh fruit, sweet potatoes, extra fat through avocados and coconut, etc... But I had to be intentional.

              It's normal when you change a dietary habit that you have to tweak it a bit to find the best fit for your body and I would say to look at your carbs as you are likely going into ketosis which is for weight-loss not weight-maintenance AFAIU.
              Teacher and Homeschooler
              One husband of 9 years,
              Two kids (6 & 3)
              Pregnant with #3, due this summer

              Going primal resolved my anxiety symptoms!!!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by KKDMB View Post
                I definitely am not going away from Primal - Grok on all the way! - but how can I get more calories in me without getting nauseated? I don't want to lose body fat this fast, I truly don't have very much body fat to lose. I just want to be toned, fit, and healthy, whatever weight my body wants to be.
                Maybe eat more fat? Cream, butter and lard are our fats of choice.
                Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

                Griff's cholesterol primer
                5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
                Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
                TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
                bloodorchid is always right

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                • #9
                  CrossFit Football Omelet!

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                  • #10
                    FrankieG - CONGRATS on dc#3!! You have some lucky babies to have such a rockin' Primal mama I have been monitoring the carbs and struggle to get the number above 100g. Some days it is as low as 35g, and others I make it up to aaalmost 100. But you're right, that might be a huge factor - especially since my body has always had a ton of carbs to feed it before. I have a sweet potato roasting in the oven as we speak! Thanks!

                    Magicmerl - thanks for the advice! On top of that sweet potato in the oven will be a nice hunk o' butter, and I've slathered everything in lard (which I rendered myself....mmmmm fatback cracklin's! I'll become a Southerner yet...), butter, coconut oil, and olive oil for the non-cooked stuff like salad greens. I even licked my plate after lunch Maybe I do need more! It's just hard, because fat and protein are filling and it's impossible to overeat without getting queasy (for me).

                    I've read on the forum that some people take the transition to the high levels of dietary fat kind of hard and have stomach issues for a while and I'm wondering if the "queasy" type feeling I get might just be a transition process that needs to be powered through... nothing bacon can't help, right?

                    Thanks for your advice! I'll play around with the carb intake and try to get it higher, and I'll see if I can fit *more* delicious fat on that food
                    Live Clean, Love Hard. Or vice versa.


                    Female! Height: 5'10.5" HW: 161 SW: 135 CW: 124 GW: Whatever number my body wants to be when I'm eating and moving well - trying to get that muscle mass up.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      HOLY MOTHER THAT IS AN OMELET! I like it! Granted, I can't quite eat that much, but it is an excellent start! I'm thinking that a 2/3 or 3/4 version of that for breakfast would be a great, nutrient dense meal... and I'm making that tomorrow morning. I'm pulling bacon out of my freezer RIGHT NOW for that because it looks amazing. I'm thinking if I can eat whole meals that look more like this, I'll still want to eat twice a day like I am now and the calorie intake will be much more normalized.

                      Thank you!
                      Live Clean, Love Hard. Or vice versa.


                      Female! Height: 5'10.5" HW: 161 SW: 135 CW: 124 GW: Whatever number my body wants to be when I'm eating and moving well - trying to get that muscle mass up.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Why don't you just make the mistakes that others have made? Make coconut or almond flour pancakes and other primal substitute baked goods. Eat lots of cheese and nuts, too. These things seem to pack on the pounds for most people.
                        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                        • #13
                          Can I say that I'm actually blushing to have sbhikes responding to my question? I'm more of a forum stalker than poster, and you always give kind, thoughtful advice, lady sbhikes.

                          I'm down with pancakes once in a while, but I would rather not indulge on the substitute baked goods too often... or at least just yet. I'm a huge bake-a-holic and with only a few weeks off my sugar binges, I'm looking to get the extra calories from more of the 80 than the 20... cheese and nuts, though, I shall add Thank you!
                          Live Clean, Love Hard. Or vice versa.


                          Female! Height: 5'10.5" HW: 161 SW: 135 CW: 124 GW: Whatever number my body wants to be when I'm eating and moving well - trying to get that muscle mass up.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KKDMB View Post
                            FrankieG - CONGRATS on dc#3!! You have some lucky babies to have such a rockin' Primal mama I have been monitoring the carbs and struggle to get the number above 100g. Some days it is as low as 35g, and others I make it up to aaalmost 100. But you're right, that might be a huge factor - especially since my body has always had a ton of carbs to feed it before. I have a sweet potato roasting in the oven as we speak! Thanks!
                            FWIW, you can get in the extra carbs without having to do the baked goods - do you eat dark chocolate regularly? What about berries and other fruit? Lara Bars? (Those will give you an extra 30g of carbs which can boost you up to weight maintenance). If you drop below 100g of carbs a day you will likely lose weight which it sounds like you can't afford to do. It might be worth looking around the kitchen and making a list of 'high carb food' to have some of each day. Unsweetened applesauce, bananas, dried figs (pair any of those with fat/protein). But just doing fat and protein is neglecting an entire food group (carbs) and will lead to weight loss.

                            You can make things with nuts and coconut to help too - there are some good recipes in Primal Quick & Easy (mark sisson's cookbook) like the nutballs (process dates/macadamia nuts/walnuts in a food processor wtih melted coconut oil, stir in coconut and blueberries, roll in shredded coconut and freeze until you want to eat them).
                            Teacher and Homeschooler
                            One husband of 9 years,
                            Two kids (6 & 3)
                            Pregnant with #3, due this summer

                            Going primal resolved my anxiety symptoms!!!

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                            • #15
                              It sounds like all you need to do is gain more muscle. Don't eat more than you feel you need to, eat when you're hungry. Also definitely incorporate some IFing.

                              I don't recommend you do anything that is at odds with healthy habits, simply to improve your esthetics. Workout, by all means, but don't go crazy with huge amounts of carbs and protein shakes just to make yourself look better. And remember not to over work your body: Work hard, rest harder.
                              Last edited by Bosnic; 05-30-2012, 08:08 PM.

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