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Severe calorie deficiency!

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  • Severe calorie deficiency!

    I'm sure this isn't new to some of you but I thought I would post my experience and get feedback from those who might like to share.

    I went Primal about a month ago, and was shocked to loose 15 pounds in two weeks... Awsome, I thought. This is going to be super easy! Sure, I went through the "carb flu" and a serious rebellion due to a severe addiction to sugar, but I was able to tough those out. Then came the real problem... total lack of energy... all the time.

    Now for the rest of the story: I am 48, have been atheletic all my life, and ex-military. Even before I went primal I was often complemented for how healthy I looked for my age. But the truth is I had slowly gained 40 pounds from my enlistment weight at age 22 of 158 lbs, to a high of 197 two months ago. I was a shell of my former self from an atheletic standpoint and would run short of breath on even a short staricase. I knew I was going to be in real trouble soon. Which is how I ended up here.

    My previous metabolism, activity level, and a genetic bias toward burning hot (super high metabolic rate), allowed for an obscene amount of caloric consumption with only slow negative effects. Read; a month ago I would consume anywhere between 2800 and 3600 calories a day! Every day I would drink over a thousand calories just in Mountian Dew and Gator Aid. But even good (meaning lucky) genes can only carry you so far.

    Once I hit my energy wall on a Primal diet, I was a bit confused. I thought I was supposed to have "energy to burn" since I was now burning the highly efficient fat stores and fat from my diet. I did not. So I sat down with a micro-nutrient calculator and ran the numbers. HOLY COW.... I wasn't eating enough cow! My carbs were averaging 85g per day, and my fat intake was at least 45% of my total caloric intake, but I was only getting 1600-1800 calories a day!

    Now for some people, 1800 calories is plenty. Apparently, I need a lot more.

    1) What is the best form for these additional calories to be in? Should I just increase all three forms (protien, fat, carbs) equally? Or, should I increase primarily fat and keep the carbs below 100g till I hit my body composition goals?

    2) any suggestions on how to do this without going bankrupt.... Years ago, when someone would ask me why I joined the army I always told them, "Cause they gave me a meal ticked for the mess hall." At the time I ate over 4000 calories per day!

    3) Is it possible I am misinterpreting the cause of my total lack of physical energy?

  • #2
    1. If you are trying to lose weight and gain muscle, definitely increase protein and fats and not carbs. You might need awhile before finding the right macronutrient ratio that works for you.

    2. You don't need to be rich to eat healthfully. Of course, strive for organic and free-range when you can afford it, but if you can't, remember that even non-organically grown vegetables and meats are better for you than a frozen dinner with 60 ingredients. There are also cheap sources of proteins/fats too. Just pure butter if you only need to add fat, chicken, eggs, cheaper sources of protein.

    3. It does sound like you're not eating enough. 1800 cal is very little for someone your size. I and other women on this board can probably eat that much and maintain and I'm roughly half your starting weight. Definitely increase the proteins/fats. You might want to start supplementation after you analyze your diet to see if you're at a nutritional deficiency for certain vitamins and minerals.
    F 28/5'4/100 lbs

    "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."