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New "caveman", how much is too much?

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  • New "caveman", how much is too much?

    Hey folks,

    Been trolling for awhile, first time posting. Little history first. My wife and I started taking our health more seriously about 2 years ago now, and started P90X. We followed the nutrition guide and workout regimen and got great results. I, however, was always ravenously hungry. I stuck with it, but then ended up needing back surgery (at 27 years old no less). Being down for awhile, I fell back on old habits. When I was finally feeling well enough to take things seriously again, I was really disappointed that I made all these changes and progress and just let it slip away. It was terribly easy to do. I started taking matters into my own hands again, slowly as I continued to heal, and started to look into more options. I remembered seeing Mark Sisson at the end of my P90X videos, and had previously dipped my toes into the research, but never considered it an option until post-surgery. I finally went and purchased The Primal Blueprint, read it, and things started clicking. I keep reading and learning, trying to figure things out for me. My wife and I both seem to be doing great.

    So my question is this: How much is too much when it comes to healthy fats? Coming off caloric restrictions, grains, sugars, etc is a pretty big change for us both. I'm embracing it, and seeing how things work for me. My wife is more cautious, and I want to help ease her fears. I, however, am still a noob. I know a lot of things depend on your own body, but I was curious if anyone could shed some light and tips on this for me. I'm sure it's been addressed before, so I apologize if I'm beating a dead, delicious cow. Thanks in advance guys


  • #2
    There isn't really such a thing as "too much"... healthy fats don't suddenly become detrimental when you cross over some arbitrary threshold of 100g or something like that. Natural fat is a perfectly healthy and viable source of sustenance. So are carbohydrates, too. Neither are inherently superior to the other, and how much of each is optimal to consume really depends on your personal context. Some people have had amazing results going low carb for a while. Some people, like me, find that upping my carbohydrate intake considerably has improved my well being dramatically. The only reason fat would ever become "too much" is if you're just eating too many calories and you want to lose weight. 30g of fat a day, sometimes, is perfectly fine. There's nothing wrong with moderating fat intake somewhat.

    Just starting out, I'd say focus on the fundamentals. Eat primal approved foods and don't worry too much about macros... just eyeball a plate and have a a nice portion of protein, vegetables, and a carbohydrate if you wish. I'd recommend eating more carbohydrates and primal approved starch on workout days, assuming you don't have major health or blood sugar issues. GO for the 80/20 approach and tinker the specifics when you decide to take on a more specific end goal.

    I've been diddling in the PB for 3 years now, and I've finally pulled the trigger and eliminated gluten containing grains entirely from my diet and I've noticed a big difference in just 3 weeks. No more hating my life taking a dump, ect. I'd really recommend giving that a try. Some people, honestly, do perfectly fine eating cereal grains and dairy, though. I thought I was one of them for a long time, but I might not be.
    Last edited by primal pete; 12-13-2012, 11:43 AM.


    • #3
      We've cut out all grains and refined/processed sugars. We also haven't been really regulating, just eating what we need to. I keep integrating more fats into our meals to help with that full feeling that I never got before. At first it was scary, as it goes against conventional wisdom, and I think that's where my wife is mentally. She keeps asking if we should be eating like we are (mostly when I'm cooking with bacon grease, adding avacado, adding butter). It's just the transition and going against conventional wisdom part that gives us a scare. Mmm...bacon.


      • #4
        You don't want to get into the habit of eating to excess, and fat is very energy dense. Your food doesn't need to be swimming in fat.

        So I'd start with lots of fat, then slowly over several days, reduce it until you start to feel a tiny bit hungry just before the next meal.

        Then stop there.
        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


        • #5
          You're going to have to figure it out for yourself.

          For me, I do well around 45% of calories from fat, but others here do 60 or even 70%. Who am I to say what works or doesn't for someone else?

          You'll figure it out.


          • #6
            Originally posted by magicmerl View Post
            You don't want to get into the habit of eating to excess, and fat is very energy dense. Your food doesn't need to be swimming in fat.

            So I'd start with lots of fat, then slowly over several days, reduce it until you start to feel a tiny bit hungry just before the next meal.

            Then stop there.
            Or you can alternatively titrate in the opposite direction. But I agree, I didn't particularly like having my food swimming in fat either. Also, for me it's very easy to overeat fat just as much as carbohydrates. Having a solid protein with each meal as well as fibrous vegetation will help being nice a full for a long time without feeling like you swallowed a rock for dinner.


            • #7
              I don't think there's a thing as too much, but primal is not an excuse to eat all the fat you want and needlessly smother your food with fat either. You will gain weight if you overdo it, so just experiment with what works for you.
              F 28/5'4/100 lbs

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


              • #8
                And that's pretty much what I figured. We'll keep experimenting and adapting.


                • #9
                  Over time, I have figured out what has NOT worked for me in the Primal realm for weight loss--fruit (in excess), dairy, winter squash, sweet potatoes, squashes. Clearly, my physical activity does not need so many carbs.

                  I have also figured that my weight-loss stalls when I dont eat enough vegetables.

                  I put my energy in limiting some things and putting my attention into some things.

                  Do I stress about Fat? Na. Thats the best part about Primal.

                  Of course, if you have your food intentionally flooding in butter and lard at every single meal, all month long....thats might become a problem.