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The True Definition of Calories i.e. "Why what you believe is extremist BS"

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  • Originally posted by cori93437 View Post
    I think my issue with this, yes calories matter... but how sustainable is it to keep cutting them?
    I have much more than the 'last stubborn 35lbs' to lose.
    So when I stop losing weight completely at 1000-1200, then what? 800-900... stop losing again and go down further... 750?
    I'm 5'9" not 5'... that really doesn't sound healthy at all.

    How low can I go an not jack my already messed up metabolism up so badly that after losing the weight if I try and eat a normal maintenance amount of say 1200 cal a day... that I have real problems GAINing at that number?

    Being hungry isn't an issue for me... which is a whole other issue. I know people who have said that they envy that I'm never hungry. But living with constant nausea so that chewing and eating is often repulsive is no fun at all. Most days I only manage to maintain 1200 cal by having caloric liquids...
    I wouldn't dream of giving advice to you given your medical condition, cori. You are a VERY special snowflake.

    A question. You say that you "manage to maintain 1200". Is that because you have been told that below that there be dragons or because you don't feel right below that?

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
      I wouldn't dream of giving advice to you given your medical condition, cori. You are a VERY special snowflake.

      A question. You say that you "manage to maintain 1200". Is that because you have been told that below that there be dragons or because you don't feel right below that?
      I wasn't counting for a while... I was very tired/sleepy... and not losing any pounds at all.
      I started counting my normal daily food and realized that I was already eating considerably below 1000 per day due to food avoidance because of the nausea.
      The docs told me to try and keep it higher than that so I started adding some liquid calories on purpose to get the number up.
      I had a little more energy and shed a few lbs... generally still 1lb a week or less.

      The past couple of weeks I snacked on some fruit (mangoes are a weakness)... calories 1200-1300 per day... less fat/more sugar from the fruit... and gained a couple of pounds... so I'm pretty sure I have to be below 1200 to lose, closer to 1000. And I have a considerable amount to get rid of still.
      I know that the more I lose and the closer I get to goal the more calories I'll have to cut... it happens to pretty much everyone as far as I can tell.
      That is going to end up being a VERY low number judging from where I am now.
      It's discouraging.
      “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
      ~Friedrich Nietzsche
      And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.

      Comment


      • One pound a week is not bad at all especially when your illness prevents you from doing much exercise.

        Not to you specifically, cori, but in general I think a lot of us want to see a pound a day coming off or we start getting discouraged and flit off to the next fad in nutrition, the next quick fix cure all. Calorie counting does work but you have to stick with it.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
          One pound a week is not bad at all especially when your illness prevents you from doing much exercise.

          Not to you specifically, cori, but in general I think a lot of us want to see a pound a day coming off or we start getting discouraged and flit off to the next fad in nutrition, the next quick fix cure all. Calorie counting does work but you have to stick with it.
          30 weeks, 17 lbs total. (There were some stalls in there... non-loss weeks)
          I'm not saying it doesn't work... and not even complaining about slow, because I don't ever feel hungry and I eat tasty food.

          I just have concerns about the long term ramifications, and how low I will have to go in order to sustain weight loss due to the effect of my metabolism adjusting to lower and lower inputs over time... IOW, how messed up am I going to be at the end of it?
          “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
          ~Friedrich Nietzsche
          And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.

          Comment


          • I'm still not a fan of calorie counting. This stems mainly from my past where I've stressed myself out counting every morsel that went into my mouth. It was effective, but WAY terrible for my cortisol levels, which led to my huge weight gain of 40lbs bingeing on 3000 calories/day despite doing an hour of exercise/day.

            For the past few months, I've seen a good 5-10 lbs of fat loss of consistently eating 2500-4000 calories a day of nutritious Primal food (plus nuts). According to even the most generous calculators, I should be gaining 5-10, not losing. So I'm just going to rely on my own hormones to tell me when to eat and how much food I need, and take a day a week to fast to help with the discipline and hormones. Seems to work? Just my n=1.

            Although, as I think it was magnolia who asked, how does is the Grokette supposed to stay relatively lean? Isn't it better she has a lot more fat to sustain the babies with? Doesn't it make more sense that girls, when going Paleo, would not get lower than 20% body fat? How is it that some do?
            My chocolatey Primal journey

            Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

            Comment


            • Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
              Choco - I DID read the article you linked to. And I respond by posting my own (to clear up the confusion about what is actually being argued rather than set forth an argument of my own) with my own pertinent quote:

              From Do calories matter? - The Eating Academy | Peter Attia, M.D.

              "People like me (and others) get a bad rap from folks who lack the patience (or training, perhaps) to actually hear the entire argument through before throwing their hands in the air, waving them frantically, and screaming that we’re violating the First Law of Thermodynamics for asserting the Alternative Hypothesis (more on this below).

              Let me be as crystal clear as possible, lest anyone feel the need to accuse me of suggesting the Earth is flat. The First Law of Thermodynamics is not being violated by anything I am about to explain, including the Alternative Hypothesis.


              Key concept #3 – current dogma
              Conventional wisdom, perhaps better referred to as Current Dogma, says that you gain weight because you eat more than you expend. This is almost true! To be 100% true, it would read: when you gain weight, it is the case that you have necessarily eaten more than you expended. Do you see the difference? It’s subtle but very important — arguably more important than any other sentence I will write. The first statement says over-eating caused you to get fat. The second one says if you got fat, you overate, but the possibility remains that another factor led to you to overeat.

              If you believe Current Dogma, of course you’ll believe that “calories count” and that counting them (and minimizing them) is the only way to lose weight."
              Thank you for posting this RichMahogany. What a GOLDMINE that blog is!
              42 yo female; 5'8"
              Oct 2009: 205 lbs
              Dec 2010: 167 lbs
              Current weight: 158 lbs (first time under 160 in 17 years!!!)
              Goal weight: 145 lbs

              Comment


              • Originally posted by sakura_girl View Post
                I'm still not a fan of calorie counting. This stems mainly from my past where I've stressed myself out counting every morsel that went into my mouth. It was effective, but WAY terrible for my cortisol levels, which led to my huge weight gain of 40lbs bingeing on 3000 calories/day despite doing an hour of exercise/day.

                For the past few months, I've seen a good 5-10 lbs of fat loss of consistently eating 2500-4000 calories a day of nutritious Primal food (plus nuts). According to even the most generous calculators, I should be gaining 5-10, not losing. So I'm just going to rely on my own hormones to tell me when to eat and how much food I need, and take a day a week to fast to help with the discipline and hormones. Seems to work? Just my n=1.

                Although, as I think it was magnolia who asked, how does is the Grokette supposed to stay relatively lean? Isn't it better she has a lot more fat to sustain the babies with? Doesn't it make more sense that girls, when going Paleo, would not get lower than 20% body fat? How is it that some do?
                But you're very active and do some heavy weightlifting IIRC. Evidently that amount of calories is what you need. You are another example at the other end of the spectrum of how useless the official calorie charts can be.

                Having been a bodybuilder for a while back in my 20's at 15%bf it is my opinion that 20% for women is the edge of what you can do with a sustainable normal diet, as opposed to a "cutting" regimen getting ready for a show.

                I do not miss the days of pounding down endless fat free cottage cheese and egg white omelets.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Leida View Post

                  Calorie counting in my case has one effect that I do not like: a tendency to eat in an ‘itemized way’.

                  The calorie count is far easier when you eat a boiled egg or a package something (a can of tuna; a scoop of whey).

                  Complex dishes with multiple ingredients (unless it’s a frozen dinner) are hard to estimate.

                  Counts are also very easily thrown off by the Fat Variable, which is how much fat is on this steak vs that steak and how much coconut oil got consumed when you fried your egg whites. How full that tbsp of almond butter was.
                  This is one of the resons I stopped counting calories; because I find that if I'm focusing on eating really healthy foods, as in meats from the farmer's market, bone broth that I made myself, etc...there really is no way to measure accurately. So I end up having the debate, "Do I want to cook up that pastured oxtail (calorie and micronutrient count unknown) or should I eat a can of sardines (which has the nutrtional info clearly labeled)?"

                  If I want to be a calorienazi, which petite women need to be, then I'd have to go with the packaged food, because it's measurable. But the grass-finished farmers market stuff is so much healthier, maybe I should just suck it up and put on some fat in the name of health?

                  Counting was leading me to eat in an itemized way, too, and I don't think that ultimately that is a healthy way to approach eating. So I made a choice to stop counting and just focus on eating what I considered to be small but adequate portions of healthy food. While this may be good for my health, it's only led to increased fat gain. Pretty disheartening.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                    But you're very active and do some heavy weightlifting IIRC. Evidently that amount of calories is what you need. You are another example at the other end of the spectrum of how useless the official calorie charts can be.

                    Having been a bodybuilder for a while back in my 20's at 15%bf it is my opinion that 20% for women is the edge of what you can do with a sustainable normal diet, as opposed to a "cutting" regimen getting ready for a show.

                    I do not miss the days of pounding down endless fat free cottage cheese and egg white omelets.
                    That's the thing. I'm not "very active." I have reduced my intense activity to 2x/week lifting for 1 hr, and maybe a sprint/week. My mileage walked is probably around 15/week, which is pretty much my only other means of consistent exercise. Sometimes I ride my bike short distances when I feel like it; <1 hr. Shouldn't I be eating around 2,500 for maintenance?
                    My chocolatey Primal journey

                    Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by sakura_girl View Post
                      That's the thing. I'm not "very active." I have reduced my intense activity to 2x/week lifting for 1 hr, and maybe a sprint/week. My mileage walked is probably around 15/week, which is pretty much my only other means of consistent exercise. Sometimes I ride my bike short distances when I feel like it; <1 hr. Shouldn't I be eating around 2,500 for maintenance?
                      Like I said, the charts telling you what you "should" be doing are worthless. You seem to have found a good level that works for you. I would love to be able to eat that much but I can't.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                        Like I said, the charts telling you what you "should" be doing are worthless. You seem to have found a good level that works for you. I would love to be able to eat that much but I can't.
                        I just don't believe eating so little can be healthy in the long term, especially for those who wish to lose a lot of weight and have to go prolonged periods of eating <1,000 calories to do it. I feel like eating few calories is a band-aid to some other issue that needs to be addressed, if one wanted to achieve fat loss.
                        My chocolatey Primal journey

                        Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
                          This is one of the resons I stopped counting calories; because I find that if I'm focusing on eating really healthy foods, as in meats from the farmer's market, bone broth that I made myself, etc...there really is no way to measure accurately. So I end up having the debate, "Do I want to cook up that pastured oxtail (calorie and micronutrient count unknown) or should I eat a can of sardines (which has the nutrtional info clearly labeled)?"

                          If I want to be a calorienazi, which petite women need to be, then I'd have to go with the packaged food, because it's measurable. But the grass-finished farmers market stuff is so much healthier, maybe I should just suck it up and put on some fat in the name of health?

                          Counting was leading me to eat in an itemized way, too, and I don't think that ultimately that is a healthy way to approach eating. So I made a choice to stop counting and just focus on eating what I considered to be small but adequate portions of healthy food. While this may be good for my health, it's only led to increased fat gain. Pretty disheartening.
                          I'm sorry but I think this is a cop out. Sure it is easier if there is a label to read but there is nutrition info about everything on the web including grass fed meats and oxtail (I found livestrong.com has a good data base). Also there are programs like the SparkRecipes section of SparkPeople which help you calculate all the ingredients in say a stew and then divide that by portion sizes that you choose.

                          Yes, it's a little more work but it's doable.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
                            If I want to be a calorienazi, which petite women need to be, then I'd have to go with the packaged food, because it's measurable. But the grass-finished farmers market stuff is so much healthier, maybe I should just suck it up and put on some fat in the name of health?
                            OK so this is something that's bothering me: as petite women we need less energy (all else being equal), so why wouldn't our desire to intake match that? I was led to a similar question by the posts from magnolia, et al. If someone really has a slower metabolism, i.e. they need fewer calories, why doesn't she feel good eating that small amount of calories? I suppose the former could be social pressure to eat a certain amount, but anyway I'm genuinely confused that the body could be sustained by an amount that feels unnatural to eat and makes you miserable. I mean it's just lousy that we can get out of whack in that way.

                            I lost weight in high school and stayed that way by being fat-phobic. That's the easiest way to reduce your calories. I even felt totally satiated. I love that I'm not literally afraid to eat fat anymore, but I do know that I eat too much now. For a while in college I would run at least 50 miles a week (felt bad doing less than 8 a day, would run like 16 on a saturday). I wasn't primal then, but I remember thinking to myself "What the hell would happen to my weight if I didn't run this much?" I'd have more interesting results to share if my loss of exercise obsession hadn't coincided with a year of emotional eating, so, too many variables.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by sakura_girl View Post
                              I just don't believe eating so little can be healthy in the long term, especially for those who wish to lose a lot of weight and have to go prolonged periods of eating <1,000 calories to do it. I feel like eating few calories is a band-aid to some other issue that needs to be addressed, if one wanted to achieve fat loss.
                              Well, I ate 98/2 perfectly primal for five months and gained weight. Then I started counting and lost 35 lbs in five months. It wasn't a band aid. It was a means to an end.

                              Also, I lost 30lbs before going Primal just by going general low carb with no calorie counting. The first pounds seem to come off easier than the last ones.

                              Comment


                              • So after reading and posting on this thread, the answer that is appearing is that I must have lower calorie needs than I am calculating for. And like many others have posted-- it's super depressing to think about eating less, when I'm already battling hunger and white knuckling through it and calorie counting like a mad scientist.
                                So I should eat less, and less? My family already thinks I barely eat. I get more and more obsessed about it and become anorexic? Is that where this is headed?

                                Well the last few weeks I've been trying something different: no calorie counters and no weighing. Try to listen to body and not stress about it. Eat real food. I haven't weighed but I can tell from my clothes that I'm increasing a bit. But it's been a nice break from the constant roller coaster of feeling good because I've stayed well under my calories, and then disappointment at seeing zero change in the scale, day after day, week after week.

                                I've been reading at the smarter science of slim after he had a guest post on MDA the latest article talks about that continually cutting calories down and down is counterproductive. Ep.5 - Eating Less Doesn&#039;t Cause Long-Term Fat Loss (Side Effects of Starvation) - The Smarter Science of Slim with Jonathan Bailor and Carrie Brown

                                Like other have said, If my metabolism is already slow, do I want to damage it further?

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