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  • #16
    What about eating to add muscle?

    I have thin friends who "appear to eat a lot", but they really don't. I have heavier friends "who barely eat", but they actually eat a lot. Does that make sense? I used to "not eat hardly anything" and ignored a lot of snacks. Like we all know the lady in the office who "had a banana for breakfast and a salad for lunch" but then snacks all day on the candy bowl.

    As a sugar addict, I know I consumed large amounts of calories that never registered. Maybe my day to day was 1300 calories, but I'd have days where who knows how much sugar I consumed.

    I think we overestimate how many calories we should be eating, while underestimating how many we do eat. Metabolisms vary... I bet it is the rare modern woman that can eat 2200 calories without a very active lifestyle. And quite honestly, evolutionarily speaking, I can't understand the benefit of evolving to have high metabolisms.

    When you break it down to clean foods, 2200 calories is a LOT to eat in a day (think clean foods only- no fill of grains etc.). My breakfast- chicken sausage, 3 eggs, spinach, mushrooms, 1/2T of butter, a banana and coffee with 50 calories of coconut milk was 500 calories. That's a lot of damn food to eat and pay for.My lunch will be around 300-400 calories and dinner will be about 500 calories. It ends up being a lot of food. I can't think of a way to expand that to 2200 calories without adding in "filler".

    I dunno, while I might try and eat more if I was hungry, I would not try to eat more for the sake of raising my metabolism. It sounds like how we get fat.

    http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
    Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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    • #17
      Originally posted by PaleoMom View Post
      I'm considering a campaign of overeating to restore my metabolism like the restrictive eating recovery diets for eating disorder patients.
      I did this over the summer and it ended up being the best thing for me.


      I'm a lady in my thirties, 5'4. I've never weighed over 125lbs, but carried about an extra 10-15lbs of fat all in my lower half, which I know doesn't sound like much, but on a smaller person it looked terrible. I have a long history of binge-eating and restricting and counting calories, and could never get rid of that tummy/thigh weight. Any fat that I did lose always came off my top (shoulders/collarbone/boobs) which made me look emaciated on top and accentuated the pear-shaped extra fat on the bottom.

      For years I kept calories under 1,500, with long stretches of staying under 1,400 or 1,300 or 1,200...the more I restricted, the more resistant that fat became. It got to a point where I was seriously eating about 1,200 calories a day and could barely maintain my current weight (extra fat included) without gaining. I kept reading all these articles and posts about restricting calories, but what most people don't understand is that the more you restrict, the more your body will lower it's metabolism to compensate.

      Since life on 1,200 was miserable, I eventually got to my breaking point, I decided to give this 'over-eating' plan a try. I have to say that I was honestly really scared to do this. Months and years of being so carefully not to go over a certain threshold filled me with fears that I'd soon balloon up and then never be able to get back to my starting point. I took lots of deep breaths and gave myself lots of pep talks, because I also knew that stressing about it and being convinced of failure before even starting could mess up the whole thing and give me the results I was most afraid of.

      When I first started my 'overeating' campaign, I was aiming for a minimum of 2,000 calories a day (though if possible, closer to 2,200-2,400). At the same time i also increased my carbs and sugar (cane sugar or fructose, no HFCS) and cut back on fat. This way of eating felt really good, and the reduction in fat possibly was a factor in not gaining a lot of fat (but no way to know). I suddenly had a lot more energy, which resulted in more spontaneous movement. Instead of forcing myself to go to the gym, I was jumping with joy to take long walks outside, dance around the house while cleaning, even sprinting to stores from my car.

      I initially did gain some weight - the first few weeks, probably something like 5lbs. Then a funny thing happened. I stopped counting any calories and just ate the amount that I wanted and very slowly that extra 5lbs melted away.

      Now, I never count calories. I estimate that many days I hit at least 2,000 calories with some occasional lower calorie days when my appetite is lower. Now, I'm never restricting, counting, or caring about the volume I eat. I'm a little lighter than my starting point, my body composition is definitely better, and my mental health is much improved because I'm not obsessing over how to hit my nutritional requirements without going over a calorie threshold, or feeling deprived.

      The most important thing about this plan is not to freak out when you gain some weight in the beginning - because you will gain. Also, for me it was imperative that I didn't let my quest to eat 'high calorie' turn into an excuse to eat garbage. I allowed myself to eat as much cane sugar or fructose as I desired, but since no HFCS was allowed, that eliminated virtually all candy, junk food, and soda (except when in Italy where they don't have HFCS). I also kept my no PUFA crap oils rule. These few rules are what prevented me from slipping back into my binge-eating patterns because I couldn't just blow through a bag of candy, I had to actually prepare my foods/beverages.

      If done right, it can be a great strategy that has positive long-term results.
      Last edited by BestBetter; 02-26-2013, 09:16 AM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
        I dunno, while I might try and eat more if I was hungry, I would not try to eat more for the sake of raising my metabolism. It sounds like how we get fat.
        It doesn't at all sound like how we get fat to me. It sounds like how we're told we get fat, but it doesn't sound at all like the way I've observed it to actually happen.

        Edited to add awesome link: http://www.caloriegate.com/i-want-to...ies-dont-count
        Last edited by RichMahogany; 02-26-2013, 08:23 AM.
        The Champagne of Beards

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        • #19
          I can't say that I am someone who has never dieted severely or who has always been thin. I have mostly always been larger than most girls even when thin for myself. And I have dieted severely so initiated that negative process long ago. And I've over-exercised, too.

          Since going primal I have pretty much eaten quite a bit more than I ever did before. A strange thing has happened in that the more I eat the more exercise I simply want to do. I do it for enjoyment, not for weight loss. And also the more I eat the less I want to overeat because I'm not sitting around counting the minutes to my next meal or feeling deprived. Sometimes I do overeat and then I don't want to eat as much for a while. Note that this doesn't work the same if I overeat on chocolate mousse or something like that. It works when I overeat on real food.

          Lately I've been strength training and this not only makes me hungrier than usual I have to consciously eat more protein to support my efforts, which means eating a lot of satiating food. There are some days I just can't eat it all. That's a strange sensation for a pig-out queen like me.

          So give it a shot. Don't force-feed yourself. Just give yourself permission.
          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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          • #20
            @BestBetter - I could have written those first paragraphs! When a person can't lost on 1,000 calories a day and is gaining on 1,200 (I'm 5'7") it is time for something very different.

            Thank you everyone for all the fantastic replies! To answer a few questions:

            Yes, I will be eating past my current hunger level. I will not be eating junk ever and no PUFA's that can be avoided, just lots of nutrient dense paleo foods, heavier on the starch to help with calories.

            I'll be continuing my Body By Science type of lifting routine. No formal cardio, but I already feel so much more energy that I think I'll find myself just naturally more active.

            This is not how people get fat. I'd like to meet a person who is 300 pounds overweight that got that way eating nutrient dense natural foods and healthy fats.

            I have already tried calorie cycling, I've been eating a low calorie but nutrient dense diet for many years already, my omega 6:3 ratio is usually 1:1, 2:1 at the highest, I've have tried every diet out there and every variation on this forum already.

            Thankfully my husband has no trouble with me gaining a bit, especially when muscle will be part of that. I'm starting to be okay with the idea myself. The more I think about my past the more I realize this plan makes a lot of sense to me. If nothing else I need a mental break from the last 24 years (I've been dieting since around age 10). I've managed to never really be overweight, my highest being 141, but have always struggled to lose 5-10 pounds. Eating anything above my lowest restrictive calorie level causes weight gain. I have never eaten this much. I think it is worth testing to see if feeding myself enough to meet my needs and heal for long enough that my body stops thinking it is temporary (and should turn it all to fat for my next diet campaign) could actually result in something different.
            PaleoMom's Diet Recovery Journal
            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread82059.html

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            • #21
              It doesn't at all sound like how we get fat to me. It sounds like how we're told we get fat, but it doesn't sound at all like the way I've observed it to actually happen.
              ? I don't know. I spend a lot of time with horses. In a barn, you may have a very fat horse that eats very little, and a thin horse that eats a ton. If I feed my fat horse more, he just gets fatter. If I feed my thin horse less, he gets thinner. There may be diagnosable issues (commonly ulcers in a thin horse, metabolic diseases in a fat one). But in a lot of cases, metabolism is genetic (you take it back to the breed). Very rare to see a fat TB, under any feeding program; very uncommon to see a thin QH unless they are being very purposefully starved.

              Then you factor in the physical activity- the heavy horse may be in hard work and lean. The thin horse may be nervous and fretful. But I can't do much to make it so that the heavy horse can eat more like the thin horse; and we are controlling for behavior and environment.

              It would be really cool if you could increase your metabolism by eating more. But I don't know, I don't have much desire to eat an extra 500 calories of whole foods. Yeah, if I could increase it and eat what I do right now, plus I could add in say, 500 calories of paleo treats, I'd be all over that. But to add in a few more eggs and some veggies unless I was hungry doesn't seem worth it.

              http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
              Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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              • #22
                Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
                ? I don't know. I spend a lot of time with horses. In a barn, you may have a very fat horse that eats very little, and a thin horse that eats a ton.
                A. There's obese horses?!
                B. This goes against the theory that your horse got fat because he eats too much.

                Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
                If I feed my fat horse more, he just gets fatter.
                Is that how he got fat in the first place? You messed up and fed him too much?

                Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
                If I feed my thin horse less, he gets thinner.
                And again, did you make him that way by underfeeding him?

                Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
                There may be diagnosable issues (commonly ulcers in a thin horse, metabolic diseases in a fat one). But in a lot of cases, metabolism is genetic (you take it back to the breed). Very rare to see a fat TB, under any feeding program; very uncommon to see a thin QH unless they are being very purposefully starved.
                So the horses don't get fat because you overfeed them? Or do they? I'm failing to follow this argument.

                Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
                Then you factor in the physical activity- the heavy horse may be in hard work and lean. The thin horse may be nervous and fretful. But I can't do much to make it so that the heavy horse can eat more like the thin horse; and we are controlling for behavior and environment.
                I just learned that there even exists such a thing as an obese horse. Are they found in nature, or only in a domesticated situation? Is it because we feed them something other than a biologically appropriate diet? Or are there genetic oddities from our breeding practices? I'm still not sure how any of this supports your argument that we get fat by overeating.

                Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
                It would be really cool if you could increase your metabolism by eating more. But I don't know, I don't have much desire to eat an extra 500 calories of whole foods. Yeah, if I could increase it and eat what I do right now, plus I could add in say, 500 calories of paleo treats, I'd be all over that. But to add in a few more eggs and some veggies unless I was hungry doesn't seem worth it.
                You do increase your metabolism by eating more, the question is whether the effect is either A. enough to overcome the extra calories (nobody's claiming this is the case) or B. persistent enough to result in a net weight loss after normal eating habits have been resumed.

                I'm not a woman, and I've never been overweight. But I see a lot of stories of women on here who are eating less all day than I eat for lunch a lot of the time, and I'm a small guy. And the more they undereat, the less they seem to burn off. It's a cycle that I don't wish on any of you, and I'm glad the OP has the courage to at least try a different approach. I applaud her.
                The Champagne of Beards

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                • #23
                  As far as obese horses, some owners like to baby them, feed them things like grains (sweet feed) and oats, to horses that don't do anything to earn it. Then they just get fat. When I first got horses a decade ago, I thought as a good horse owner, I should feed it grain. My vet said, stop it. If they aren't working, they dont need it. Winter time might be the exception when they need to generate extra heat. Older horses having trouble keeping weight on might be another exception.

                  Some horses have trouble with new spring grass. They overeat, or it's just too rich and they founder. Their necks get really thick, inflammation in the hooves, and before you know it you have a lame horse. You have to take them off the pasture and dry lot them, just give them hay. And once they founder, you will probably have trouble every year from then on. So I would say yes there might be those horses in the wild, that would get fat & founder the same as a pastured horse. But, if they had the ability to roam more to other types of grasses, I don't know about that. I don't know if some spring grasses are better/worse than others.

                  Some horses, you can feed and feed and they don't gain due to parasites, due to teeth that need pulled, etc. Most of mine are geriatric now and some have a harder time keeping weight on, like my foxtrotter.

                  I have also been seeing articles, though I havent read them, but I thought it was interesting to see articles discussing the affects of grains on horses.

                  Anyways........ I had started to type a reply to this thread a half a dozen times, but then decided I didnt have much to contribute. But in the last few months, I have shifted macros around and trying to eat more calories. I did have a gain, though I am fairly certain it could not have been new fat, but now I think (hope) I am on the losing side of things now. I increased calories/carbs/energy so I feel like doing more activity now and I have been working out again. More activity also makes me more hungry. But I am okay with that. I feel much better.

                  I was reading to eat your BMR and I have been hundreds and hundreds, sometimes closer to 1000 under that, for the last year. I have also started calorie cycling. Which is sort of a built in carb cycle also.
                  65lbs gone and counting!!

                  Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

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                  • #24
                    My cats are the same way. Every one of them would be too heavy given demand feeding. A couple of them could bloat up like beach balls. Now each gets a measured portion based on how much that cat can eat to maintain its girlish figure. The biggest cat and the smallest cat get the same (smallest) portion size, while others get more. I'm not counting the hyperthyroid twins, who eat a lot.

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                    • #25
                      Im sure there is no naturally obese wild horse. Horses get fat just like us, not enough exercise, not the right diet, takin in chemicals from food and water sources.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                        Sometimes I do overeat and then I don't want to eat as much for a while. Note that this doesn't work the same if I overeat on chocolate mousse or something like that. It works when I overeat on real food.
                        Thanks for this insight, I've had the same experience. Once I realised this, I stopped worrying about the possibility of eating too much, and began to trust myself to balance it out later. As long as it's all primal it does seem to work.
                        Annie Ups the Ante
                        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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                        • #27
                          I've done it. Average 3000 calories in the summer with either 1-2 hours of walking or a heavy lifting day for exercise.
                          My chocolatey Primal journey

                          Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by eKatherine View Post
                            My cats are the same way. Every one of them would be too heavy given demand feeding. A couple of them could bloat up like beach balls. Now each gets a measured portion based on how much that cat can eat to maintain its girlish figure. The biggest cat and the smallest cat get the same (smallest) portion size, while others get more. I'm not counting the hyperthyroid twins, who eat a lot.
                            My dogs, they have food out all the time. And one is fixed, and normally fixed dogs get lazy and fat (I think probably due to grain based dog food) but anyways, it is weird they have food out all the time and hardly touch it but then one day they eat a ton. It's like days on end it's full, then the next time I look, almost empty.

                            But we live in the country, so when they go outside, they like to go exploring. When I go out on the horse for a couple of hours, they go with me on foot. But the little chihuahua, I end up packing her. And when I go for my walks, they go with me and they go off exploring and come back to check up on me once in awhile.

                            So they stay fairly active. They eat when hungry and get enough play time in. The fixed cats I have seen (and most fixed city house dogs too).... just get fat fat fat. When we had outside cats and food out 24/7, they stayed lean. (they were not fixed)

                            This is way off topic... but................. my little chihuahua, long-hair, has had bad allergies - resulting in hair loss on her hind end and legs. I am sure it was the corn in the dog food. So I switched that but even before that, I started giving them more table scraps. Which I quit before, cuz it made them sick (processed, breads, leftover McDs, etc) but now with good foods and meats, I give them the scraps and she is doing so much better. I also give her a bowl of whey most daily, that I drained off my homemade yogurt. Sometimes I give them some of my bone broth. And when I have salmon and eggs, that is one of her favorites. And now her hair has almost all grown back in
                            65lbs gone and counting!!

                            Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

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                            • #29
                              My point was that horses have varied metabolisms that generally follow genetics. So a Thoroughbred will have a higher metabolism then a Quarter Horse. You average QH is not fat due to the wrong type of food, or a ruined metabolism from yoyo dieting. They just require less calories than your average TB and are being overfed. The only solution is more work or less food.

                              If I give the QH more food, he just gets fatter. His metabolism doesn't adjust.

                              This also holds true if you just have a bunch of horses in a pasture and are not feeding them.

                              http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                              Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Zach View Post
                                Im sure there is no naturally obese wild horse. Horses get fat just like us, not enough exercise, not the right diet, takin in chemicals from food and water sources.
                                What is not natural for any creature, including humans, is to be surrounded with high caloric density ready-to-eat food. That's why our domestic animals get obese. Predators such as canids and felines in the wild normally rest until they get hungry, hunt down and kill something, eat it, and rest again until hungry.

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