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  • Almond butter bad for fat loss?

    I began going primal in December, starting with baby steps and ramping up from there. Although I was far from fully primal at first, I had made significant cutbacks in grains and sugar.

    I lost 15 pounds in the first month, even though I was in "muscle building mode" and eating a lot. People noticed, and I had to buy smaller pants. I became more primal over the next few months, and am now pretty much completely grain/sugar/legume free.

    However, my fat loss came to a halt after the first month. I still have a lot of fat around my lower abs, maybe another 15 pounds to go. I have now switched from "muscle building mode" to "fat loss mode," and am revisiting my diet to see what changes I need to make.

    I looked through some posts on almond butter, and found that my consumption (2 jars a week) was extremely high compared to what people are recommending. So I cut out almond butter last week. I also cut out Greek yogurt (though I wasn't eating much to begin with).

    So, will cutting out almond butter make a big difference? I understand that the omega-6 content is harmful in some respects, but what specifically makes almond butter bad for fat loss?
    "Don't go in there, General, it's a trap! That's a grain chamber. It makes people like you into people like me."

  • #2
    While in general, calories are not a part of primal eating, I think if someone isn't losing or gaining or even maintaining the way that they want, they should at least glance at their caloric intake.

    1 cup of almond butter has about 1580 calories. That's about the entire daily caloric need of an inactive 135 pound woman. I don't know the figures for men.

    I don't know how big the jars are that you were eating, but I'm guessing you'd have to eat a coat closet full of brocolli to equal the same amount of calories.

    I'm not advocating counting calories here, just trying to make a point about very concentrated fats. We are machines, but we are also emotional creatures who will seek out what we love. Eating anything you want just doesn't work for everyone. If you take in more fuel than you burn, you gain; if you take in less fuel than you burn, you lose.

    As a comparison, olive oil has about the same calories as almond butter. Would you be comfortable consuming two jars a week of it?

    Others may feel differently, but I don't wrestle bears, so I count of the calories while staying primal about 90/10.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

    B*tch-lite

    Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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    • #3
      I forgot that jars come in different sizes. These are 1 pound jars - 28 tablespoons, 5,320 calories. Geez, that sounds like a lot.

      I had estimated my caloric intake at as much as 4,100 a day, while I held steady at 183 pounds. My new diet that I started last week has me eating 2,800 a day.

      I definitely agree that calories are a big part of it. I was just wondering if there was something about almond butter or nuts in general that caused fat retention, aside from the caloric content.

      It's funny that you mentioned olive oil. People at work made fun of me for drinking olive oil straight from the bottle as a snack. It was pretty disgusting. No way could I drink 2 pounds of it a week!
      "Don't go in there, General, it's a trap! That's a grain chamber. It makes people like you into people like me."

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      • #4
        It's probably a combination of things. When you're that close to your goal weight, it's not easy, no matter how you're eating.

        But the nut butters do have a lot of calories without the satiation of something like a steak. It's really easy to over indulge. Try eliminating it and see what happens.
        Durp.

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        • #5
          Hi, Rita. I recognized you from the "Funny CW Moments" thread...I've read like 400 pages out of 522.

          Yeah, come to think of it, I guess nut butters don't offer all that much satiation per calorie. Hmmm...so what causes satiation then? Maybe we could just eat pure "satiety molecules" for weight loss.

          Anyway, I'm definitely going to give it up at least for a while, and see what happens.
          "Don't go in there, General, it's a trap! That's a grain chamber. It makes people like you into people like me."

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          • #6
            Yeah, 10,000 calories a week from almond butter just doesn't sound like a great idea for weight loss. Calories matter, you know!
            If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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            • #7
              Yeah, but that's the curse of the fat ectomorph, isn't it? You can't simultaneously stuff yourself to gain muscle and starve yourself to lose fat. So far I've been stuffing myself since going primal. I'll see how a moderate amount of caloric restriction works.
              "Don't go in there, General, it's a trap! That's a grain chamber. It makes people like you into people like me."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PrimalHunter View Post
                So, will cutting out almond butter make a big difference? I understand that the omega-6 content is harmful in some respects, but what specifically makes almond butter bad for fat loss?
                "Weight loss" is controlled in 99% of cases by one thing: calories. Is almond butter bad for losing fat? Well, it is scientific fact that your body will not burn stored body fat until dietary fat has been consumed as fuel.

                Two tablespoons of almond butter contains 200 calories. Similarly, 3.2 pounds of lettuce contains 200 calories.

                So the question is, how easy is it for you to eat two tablespoons of almond butter? And how easy is it for you to eat 3.2 pounds of lettuce? Chances are, it's super easy to overconsume almond butter, but you'd never be able to eat that much leafy greens.

                You lost weight cutting out grains for two reasons: you lost a lot of water weight from decreased carbohydrate consumption (that was probably 50% of your weight loss and it wasn't "real weight"), and the other half was you are consuming less foods that promote poor satiety and are super easy to overeat (grains) for foods that are much more difficult to overeat and keep you full for many hours (meats, eggs, fruits and vegetables).

                I'd strongly recommend avoiding nuts for fat loss. They are super calorically dense, very easy to overeat, they don't keep me very full and they have poor quality fats and proteins. Are they delicious? Yes, but if you're not going to carefully monitor your consumption, they should be limited. If you want to lose fat more efficiently, eat less calorically dense foods such as vegetables and leaner meats. I personally have great success with things like london broil, pork loin, 1% Friendship brand cottage cheese and eggs. They are very filling, high in top quality protein, difficult to overeat and very nutritious. I can maintain a caloric deficit without "feeling" like I'm taking in a deficit. Nut butters send me way over very fast.
                Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                • #9
                  Have you ever watched a video of primates eating nuts in the wild? They work their little arses off for a long time just to split open one nut! Even with all that effort, it is still calorically worth it for them.

                  So nuts are primal, but only in quantities that we could have obtained. No way, no how you could a whole jars worth of almond butter if you were doing it the old fashioned way
                  Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

                  http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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                  • #10
                    almond butter with apples was totally my downfall for awhile---too easy to over-consume!
                    Check out my blog on nature and nurture!
                    http://thewoodsygal.com/

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                    • #11
                      I was buying top-quality, organic almond butter--but I've had to stop buying it, as I have learned that it's too dangerous for me to keep in the house. It's much too easy to consume far too much.

                      I find raw, unsalted nuts far easier to control--my basic 'portion' is 5 walnut halves or 10 almonds. But the nuts don't 'call my name,' as the almond butter does, and I can keep them stored in the fridge or freezer for a long time without any tendency to overeat. In fact, I indulge in nuts rarely, usually just if I'm having an evening glass of wine (since I don't eat any dairy, so wine and cheese is out).

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                      • #12
                        When I have to have a snack because I didn't eat enough at mealtime, org walnut butter is so great on org apple slices, trick is just put 2 TBS on plate w/apple, then put the jar way in back of fridge. Another delish snack is org celery w/walnut butter and a little bit of Eden's apple butter. As a kid, my mom would fix us toast with apple butter and 2 slices of bacon on top.

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                        • #13
                          I think we all probably underestimate how little a Tablespoon of almond butter equates to! YUM
                          Check out my blog on nature and nurture!
                          http://thewoodsygal.com/

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                          • #14
                            2 Jars is a lot of almond butter to eat in a week. Maybe if you enjoy almond butter, eat 1 jar a month.

                            I restrict calories to lose weight and like to ask myself why I eat certain things. If I truly enjoy something- chocolate, sugar and cream in my coffee, I find a way to limit it, but enjoy it. If I can't come up with a good reason to eat it, (I like it, it's good for me, I need the nutrition) then I eliminate it. If you eat almond butter for no reason, hell yeah, eliminate it. But if not, just find a way to eat a lot less of it.

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

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                            • #15
                              i cannot control myself around almond butter. once it's open, i am at it with a spoon and the jar will be gone in a few days. i don't buy it anymore.

                              nuts as a snack? well, i've stopped snacking, lol, and really is an ounce of nuts all that sating? not for me anyway. i use them chopped up as garnish on a salad or some sauteed veggies once or twice per week, that's it.

                              as mentioned upthread there are way better foods you could be consuming for 5000+ kcals per week.
                              As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                              Ernest Hemingway

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