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Eating (rather) primal, yet overweight?!

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  • Eating (rather) primal, yet overweight?!

    Hi!

    Something has been confusing me for a while now. My mother, almost 50, is eating very healthy. She does not eat pasta, rice, potatoes, any processed foods. She eats extremely little dairy and fruit. And she never eats sweets. Her dinner is always meat (a lot of fish and wild game) and veggies. I don't even know if she eats lunch, because she wakes up so late that dinner time comes along by then. She has no plan or ideology, this is just what she likes. She DOES, however, eat a couple of slices of bread for breakfast. And occasionally she juices carrots, apples etc. How can she be fat?? I mean, her fat percentage is way too high and she is truly chubby. I find it hard to believe that it's those 2 slices of bread or the occasional fruit that cause this. Or the lack of exercise? It feels almost wrong to even mention my eating plan to her, because she is already doing it, and she doesn't look all that healthy...

    Thank for any ideas,
    V

  • #2
    Well, first off, eating bread daily = most definitely NOT primal.

    Inactivity is a major culprit, as well. A metabolism slowed with age doesn't help, either.

    Also, I don't know if you live with your mother, but I feel that unless you live with the person, you can never be quite sure what they are REALLY eating. My boyfriend's mother is enormous and her lunches/dinners are always very healthy, but then I came across this gallon-sized vat of honey in her cupboard and she casually mentioned going through an entire one of those every month by putting honey in her tea and coffee - there's like 1000 calories/day right there. Then she also had a dozen of these 1000-calorie cinnamon buns in there, none of which were offered to us, so I'm pretty sure we all know who ended up eating them.

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    • #3
      Primal does not alter the laws of thermodynamics. Cal in Cal out

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Veronicat View Post
        she is truly chubby. I find it hard to believe that it's those 2 slices of bread or the occasional fruit that cause this. Or the lack of exercise?
        Probably bread is better out of the diet for most people, but whether two slices a day would cause someone to be "truly chubby" ... And "lack of exercise"? Again probably not.

        There are other things that can impact on someone's body composition, though. One you realize the "bank account" model -- calories "in" and "out", how much you eat, and how much you exercise is broken, and that you're really taking about hormonal processes, then you have ot take into account anything that can impact on those.

        Sleep is a major one. Exposure to blue light (i.e. light balanced for midday) after dark is another. Prescription medications could be another. An imbalance between omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids in the diet -- and someone could be eating fairly well and still be hugely out on that one -- is another. The list could probably be a lot longer.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BeatlesFan View Post
          Primal does not alter the laws of thermodynamics. Cal in Cal out
          And people who know absolutely zilch about thermodynamics always say that. That nonsense line has been exploded comprehensively time after time.

          In fact, here's Richard Feinman on just that:

          Two laws of thermodynamics are relevant to the systems considered in nutrition and, whereas the first law is a conservation (of energy) law, the second is a dissipation law: something (negative entropy) is lost and therefore balance is not to be expected in diet interventions. Here, we propose that a misunderstanding of the second law accounts for the controversy about the role of macronutrient effect on weight loss and we review some aspects of elementary thermodynamics.
          http://www.nutritionj.com/content/3/1/9
          Last edited by Lewis; 11-04-2012, 12:29 PM.

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          • #6
            calories do matter...

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            • #7
              I think there's unhealthy fatness and healthy fatness.

              Some people can be healthy while chubby - we forget that, especially in women, for most of human history chubbiness has been seen as a sign a woman is well fed and fertile and healthy.

              That said, you also said she doesn't look healthy - perceptions may be skewed but you know her best. You also said she sleeps in really late - that might be a sign that she's not getting good quality of sleep - which could definitely cause stress and weight gain. No exercise also could cause stress and weight gain - especially if she does eat more calories than her metabolism at rest burns.

              My Mom started primal at about 50 and now we get mistaken for sisters - I'd introduce your mom to MDA as a lifestyle rather than a diet and emphasize the moving slowly, getting sunshine, and playing parts.

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              • #8
                Any alcohol in this scenario? Again, empty calories add up.
                ----------------------------------------
                F, 48, 5'10"
                Start Date: 25-06-12 @ 161lbs
                Goal Reached: 30-09-12 @ 143lb. Now bouncing between 145lb - 149lb. I'd like less bounce and more consistency :-)

                Started Cross Fit 20.12.12 ---- Can't wait to submit my success story on the 1st anniversary of starting primal.

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                • #9
                  Are you monitoring everything she eats and living with her? She could be eating much more than you realize. Binge eaters often do so in secret.
                  F 28/5'4/100 lbs

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

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                  • #10
                    I think that there is no one size fits all plan. A year and a half ago I had a lot of weight to lose and had to constantly tweek my plan to keep the weight loss on-going. Some of the things I learned were that calories and exercise do matter. Also, my body would adapt to a particular approach and I would have to change something up, like adding in intermitten fasting. Another factor, what worked for me did not work for my daughter, who also wanted to lose weight; different body types respond differently to total daily carbs. And of course, there could be other issues at play. Could she possible have thyroid issues?

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                    • #11
                      Nobody - not even your mother - are getting fat out of thin air, so there must be some "hidden variables" into this...
                      "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                      - Schopenhauer

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                      • #12
                        When's the last time she had a physical? She is approaching or in menopause. A sift in hormones can lead to weight gain and/or a hard time losing weight. It can also negatively impact sleep. Also, as women age they have an increased chance of thyroid issues.

                        Other things to consider include:
                        1. Vitamin D levels
                        2. Iron levels including ferritin
                        3. Blood sugar

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