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  • Keeping lower calorie intake.... this is hard!!!

    So I started primal in September 2012 and dropped 12-13ish pounds pretty quickly and have felt terrific. However my weight loss is at a frustrating plateau, so I decided to log my calories, fat, protein, carbs for a while to get a sense of what I'm really taking in, knowing I'm probably eating a lot more than I think.

    I'm currently hovering at 146 (5'5" female of medium build, 38 years old) and am aiming for about 137-138. Looks like I need to maintain about 1500 or so calories daily with high fat and moderate protein. The fat and protein I feel like I have no problem with, however it is really difficult to stay around that 1500 calorie point but STILL get enough fat and protein to feel satisfied.

    I own a dog walking/pet sitting company so I do some walking during the day and probably 4-5 days a week I do a Zuzka Light workout (she is BADASS). My husband was laid off in the fall and was just rehired on a new contract so joining Crossfit or a gym is not something we can afford right now. I also have 2 boys, ages 2 and 8.

    Here is a list of what I ate yesterday:

    Breakfast:
    2 eggs, 1/3 of an avocado, coffee with coconut oil, approx 360 cals, 31 grams fat, 5 carbs, 13 protein.

    Lunch: 1/2 cup brussel sprouts, 2 cups salad greens with olive oil/vinegar/dijon, a large portion of grocery store rotisserie chicken skin and all (I know, I know, not the best choice but I ran out of time), approx 1000 cals, 65 fat, 17 carbs, 77 protein

    Late afternoon Snack, 1/3 can wild salmon and about 2 spoonfuls of homemade mayo, approx 150 calories, 10 grams fat, 13 grams protein

    Dinner: a slice of "paleo meatloaf" (yum!), some mashed cauliflower and another green salad with olive oil/dijon/vinegar.

    I think I had a spoonful of coconut oil at some point during the day, too.

    So in total for the day, that comes out to probably just under 2000 calories, 130ish grams of fat, about 25 carbs and probably 130-140 grams or so of protein. And it was a struggle to stay under 2000. Today went a little better but I still found myself a LOT hungrier than I usually am. Is this typical? I feel like those first few months of primal eating I could eat whatever I wanted in whatever quantity, and now I'm just STUCK. It's 4:30 right now and I feel like I could eat a pound of bacon but I am sipping on a cup of hot water mixed with some ghee, coconut oil, lemon juice and cayenne to keep me satiated until dinner in a few hours. Will my body eventually adapt to the calorie reduction and fat loss kick in?

  • #2
    My guess is that you are too high on protein. Most of us only need .5-1 gm at most per pound of lean body mass. The extra gets converted to glucose and fat by the liver. The glucose will stimulate the pancreas which will make insulin, which then makes you hungry. My suggestion is that you cut back on protein; you could easily cut it in half without being in any danger at all of too little protein. When I cut back on protein I get less hungry too. Focus more on carb restriction and adaptation than on calories. Also recognize that we humans don't regulate water weight very closely, so we can vary over a 3-4 pound range daily. I weigh myself every morning and graph it to make sure I don't freak out about random variations.
    10/2/12: 169 lbs, 37"waist
    Now: low 150's, 33" waist
    Blog: http://paleopathologist.com/

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    • #3
      I was wondering about that. There's so much conflicting information about high protein vs low-moderate protein. I'm so used to grabbing an egg when I'm hungry, forgetting the high protein content. Any thoughts on some lower-protein foods that would help keep me full?

      Comment


      • #4
        It looks like you are doing pretty well. You haven't been gaining weight and you are close to your target. I would think that 1500 calories would be a minimum and not your target. Probably keeping it under 2000 should be fine seeing that you are fairly active. What has made a huge difference for me is implementing Intermittent Fasting. I actually have trouble eating enough sometimes. I have read where men and women can react differently to IF but maybe something to take a look at. We are all a little different and different things might work for you and not for me. If you are constantly hungry and eating VLC then try upping your Carbs and see how you feel. Try going up to 100ish carbs for a couple weeks.
        Some of you may die, but that is a risk I'm willing to take.

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        • #5
          Your diet really does look fabulous. I would try IF. And maybe when your financial situation gets better hit and gym and do weight lifting to help burn fat. Keep up the good work!

          Comment


          • #6
            Not an unfamiliar story, been repeated endless times.

            Your body knows better what it needs than you do, it has reached an equilibrium and now there is work to be done before that equilibrium shifts, by trying to artificially push it by calorie restriction, your body will counter the move and end result is "Fad diet" frustration.

            That's my view, eat well, build up positive aspects in your life, reduce negative aspects, feed your body, mind & soul with the healthy elements and it will find the right balance.

            As far as hormonal imbalances and the complexity of the human body go, it's a bit like Donald Rumpsfelds quote:
            "There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know."
            It's that last one that causes well meaning actions to result in negative outcomes. this is the very failing of modern medicine, the very simplistic idea that we can add one chemical to the body to remedy a symptom and not cause imbalances, just because we don't see them doesn't mean they don't exist.

            By all means try to manage this as best you can, but if you are getting hungry and you are eating right, then best to listen to your body and be patient.
            "There are no short cuts to enlightenment, the journey is the destination, you have to walk this path alone"

            Comment


            • #7
              You didn't give the times during the day when you eat the 4 meals. I'd recommend spacing them regularly and dropping the snack. If necessary you could also drop one of the carbs at lunch. I do think your calories are too high. About 1200 would be good.
              "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

              Comment


              • #8
                I upped my olive oil on salad and tried to make sure my protein was about the size of the palm of my hand each meal. I cook my eggs in butter or bacon grease and whip some cream into the eggs to fluff them. Sometimes I'll just take a spoonful of heavy cream as a snack. It's easy to fall for more protein but I think fat is more satisfying. Also examine yourself to see if the goal weight is based on reality or modern stick-woman advertising/propaganda. Many of us grok-dudes like women with some muscle and curves more than the sticks. For more suggestions try The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Phinney and Volek.
                10/2/12: 169 lbs, 37"waist
                Now: low 150's, 33" waist
                Blog: http://paleopathologist.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  5'5", 51 years, female RN. Right around 129 depending on how many night shifts I've worked---it messes up my fluid balance. I eat:

                  Breakfast: 1 egg, 3 eggwhites, 2 cups spinach, 3-4 mushrooms and a zucchini made into an omelette with 1 1/2 T parmesan cheese and a bit of bacon grease. Nonfat latte, no sugar

                  Lunch: Salad with fish, lots of yummy greens, vinegar, a half cup or so of roasted sweet potato. More coffee.

                  Dinner: Medium sized hunk of meat---steak, more fish, chicken---zucchini noodles with mushrooms and garlic and parmesan, salad if I'm still hungry and a piece of dark chocolate.

                  snack: 2% greek yogurt with a bit of maple syrup or lemon juice and honey.

                  I walk 3 miles a day and lift 3x week, in addition to working on my feet 12 hrs a shift 3 nights a week......

                  My weight is stable.

                  Quit dumping all that extra fat into your diet. It doesn't work if you are female....there is no real reason to munch on coconut oil or heavy cream. You still need to watch calories and 2000 a day isn't going to facilitate weight loss if you are female and over 30.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fuzzylogic View Post
                    Quit dumping all that extra fat into your diet. It doesn't work if you are female....there is no real reason to munch on coconut oil or heavy cream. You still need to watch calories and 2000 a day isn't going to facilitate weight loss if you are female and over 30.
                    Spot on. You need to focus on a meal of whole foods, 2-3 times per day
                    Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

                    Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Omni View Post
                      Not an unfamiliar story, been repeated endless times.

                      Your body knows better what it needs than you do, it has reached an equilibrium and now there is work to be done before that equilibrium shifts, by trying to artificially push it by calorie restriction, your body will counter the move and end result is "Fad diet" frustration.



                      That's my view, eat well, build up positive aspects in your life, reduce negative aspects, feed your body, mind & soul with the healthy elements and it will find the right balance.

                      As far as hormonal imbalances and the complexity of the human body go, it's a bit like Donald Rumpsfelds quote:

                      It's that last one that causes well meaning actions to result in negative outcomes. this is the very failing of modern medicine, the very simplistic idea that we can add one chemical to the body to remedy a symptom and not cause imbalances, just because we don't see them doesn't mean they don't exist.

                      By all means try to manage this as best you can, but if you are getting hungry and you are eating right, then best to listen to your body and be patient.
                      This is brilliant advice! The calories-in-calories-out folks have convinced us all that losing fat is something that we can do if we have enough willpower/control. But our fat tissue is a highly regulated endocrine organ that's in many ways acting of its own accord, much like a fetus or our other organs in our bodies.

                      The goal for all of us is fat tissue health, not minimal fat tissue It's a long term proposition!

                      One of the reasons why Mark and other smart people stress "real food" and good exercise, etc, is that fixing your diet and these other environmental factors can repair (perhaps!) the damage done to this organ (the fat tissue), much like alcoholics can fix their livers (or at least stop damaging them) by laying off on the vodka.

                      To quote Gary Taubes quoting Bob Kaplan:

                      "There is nothing magical about restricting carbohydrates, rather it’s closer to the kind of diet that we’ve been eating and are presumably genetically adapted to eat, and any loss of weight and water, any beneficial effects on serum lipids are just a correction rather than an improvement in health.

                      Benefits v. Correction:

                      A restricted-carbohydrate diet doesn’t make you lose weight; it corrects your weight."
                      _______

                      The Black Box: A New Way of Thinking About Fat Loss

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Omni View Post
                        Not an unfamiliar story, been repeated endless times.

                        Your body knows better what it needs than you do, it has reached an equilibrium and now there is work to be done before that equilibrium shifts, by trying to artificially push it by calorie restriction, your body will counter the move and end result is "Fad diet" frustration.



                        That's my view, eat well, build up positive aspects in your life, reduce negative aspects, feed your body, mind & soul with the healthy elements and it will find the right balance.

                        As far as hormonal imbalances and the complexity of the human body go, it's a bit like Donald Rumpsfelds quote:

                        It's that last one that causes well meaning actions to result in negative outcomes. this is the very failing of modern medicine, the very simplistic idea that we can add one chemical to the body to remedy a symptom and not cause imbalances, just because we don't see them doesn't mean they don't exist.

                        By all means try to manage this as best you can, but if you are getting hungry and you are eating right, then best to listen to your body and be patient.
                        This is brilliant advice! The calories-in-calories-out folks have convinced us all that losing fat is something that we can do if we have enough willpower/control. But our fat tissue is a highly regulated endocrine organ that's in many ways acting of its own accord, much like a fetus or our other organs in our bodies.

                        The goal for all of us is fat tissue health, not minimal fat tissue It's a long term proposition!

                        One of the reasons why Mark and other smart people stress "real food" and good exercise, etc, is that fixing your diet and these other environmental factors can repair (perhaps!) the damage done to this organ (the fat tissue), much like alcoholics can fix their livers (or at least stop damaging them) by laying off on the vodka.

                        To quote Gary Taubes quoting Bob Kaplan:

                        "There is nothing magical about restricting carbohydrates, rather it’s closer to the kind of diet that we’ve been eating and are presumably genetically adapted to eat, and any loss of weight and water, any beneficial effects on serum lipids are just a correction rather than an improvement in health.

                        Benefits v. Correction:

                        A restricted-carbohydrate diet doesn’t make you lose weight; it corrects your weight."
                        _______

                        The Black Box: A New Way of Thinking About Fat Loss

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You should probably drop the coconut oil in your coffee and the random spoon of coconut oil during the day too if you're trying to reduce the calories.
                          F 28/5'4/100 lbs

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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cryptocode View Post
                            You didn't give the times during the day when you eat the 4 meals. I'd recommend spacing them regularly and dropping the snack. If necessary you could also drop one of the carbs at lunch. I do think your calories are too high. About 1200 would be good.
                            OP: Do not drop your calories to 1200, this is a recipe for disaster. Your diet looks great, your activity level is better than most, keep up the good work. Keeping the calories under 2000 is a great idea, 1500 is probably too low with your activity level. The changes will come. Do you lift weights?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Three things: intermittent fasting (16-18hours) a few days a week, reduce fat and increase carbs for better satiety (potato instead of extra coconut oil or extra fish), and to increase a deficit, try to add another hour of activity each day.

                              I disagree with the notion that a female over 30 cannot lose weight on 2000 calories/day. I've known many women over 30, myself included, who can lose or maintain on 2000-2500/day depending on activity level, etc. don't fall into the low-cal myth. Modify what you're working with. Not everyone has to be very low cal.
                              | My (food) Blog | Follow me on Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter |

                              “It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” - Samuel Adams

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