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  • Am I eating too little?

    Okay, I have binged on all the bad foods that we're not supposed to eat a few times over the last couple of weeks. I don't know if my calorie deficit finally caught up to me, or if it was something else. So I'm going to start with this question. First of all, I apologize in advance, but I'm going to ask you to analyze the details of my routine. I know the simple answer already: Listen to your body. The problem is that I have been fighting cravings and even addictions for a while now, and I can't trust my body. So I ask anyone who has knowledge in this kind of stuff to see if my food intake is appropriate for my activity level.

    Because I lead a busy military life (with only a microwave and micro-fridge) I eat a 7 day menu that I repeat week after week. I follow the LeanGains diet philosophy, except that I've modified the calorie cycling percentages to be better suited for faster weight loss (-30%/+10%). I'm a 23 yr old male who weighs about 160 lbs. My body fat is somewhere between 18-20%. This means my rest day calorie intake is about 1820 while my workout days are 2860. I always eat at least 180g of protein a day. Always under 50g carbs on rest days, under 50g of fat on workout days.

    I workout 3 days a week (I currently do not participate in military PT). I was following the LeanGains RPT lifting style for a few weeks, but I recently decided to start the 5/3/1 program, which I imagine will have a similar intensity, but won't be lifting to near failure every time like I was with RPT. Either way, I would follow up the big lifts with some high rep isolation work to deplete glycogen in preparation for the high carb meal to come.

    That is my current routine. Additional note: it is a rarity for me to get even 7 hours of sleep during a night.
    I also wish to add in some jogging every day (even workout days), as well as weekly sprints.

    Any opinion would be appreciated. Lately, it seems my appetite has gotten bigger and bigger, but at the same time I've put on weight from the binges, so it's not like my body needs the extra energy I've consumed. I've always found it difficult to find the ideal balance. I usually end up relying on calculators, but they're always vague when choosing an activity level. I currently set mine to moderate activity level, which is described as 3-5 days per week of moderate exercise. The next one up is 6-7 days of hard exercise. Has is ever occurred to these calculators that some people do hard exercise 3 days a week, or perhaps moderate exercise everyday? I never understood why frequency and intensity go up together.

  • #2
    It doesn't sound like you're eating enough fat, and possibly too much protein? Or if not too much protein, definitely not enough fat.
    It's 11am here and I've already had about 30g of fat.
    This is a typical day and keeps me satiated.

    Comment


    • #3
      Lack of sleep can definitely be a factor in binges, since good sleep is necessary for normal cortisol regulation. Is the 7 hours of sleep due to insomnia, or your work schedule? If you can improve your sleep, that may go a long way.

      The other questions, in terms of "listening to your body" are whether your binges start with actual hunger, and what type of food it is that you're craving. If you start binging when you're hungry, you probably should find a way to incorporate more of whatever you're craving (carbs or fat or protein) into your eating plan, in a Primal way.

      More fat ought to help with satiety, if that's the issue. Good sleep tends to help with everything.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Allenete View Post
        It doesn't sound like you're eating enough fat, and possibly too much protein? Or if not too much protein, definitely not enough fat.
        It's 11am here and I've already had about 30g of fat.
        This is a typical day and keeps me satiated.
        As I understand, protein is more satiating than fat. So how could that be the issue? Besides, my carbs are so low on rest days that even with all that protein, I still manage about 100g of fat a day. Another concern of mine is that I'm very strict with calorie counting. Therefore, it is difficult for me add fat to my diet (other than animal fat) because I would be worried that the calorie count would be off. For instance, if I were to cook some meat in coconut oil, some of that oil would fall off the meat onto the plate. Since fats are so calorie dense, I would imagine this would lead to me not meeting my daily target by a significant amount. And as I implied earlier, I could add more animal fat, but I tend to buy the leaner cuts of meat because I can only afford conventional meat and I've heard the fat of these meats is where all the industrial toxins end up.

        Originally posted by Cathartes View Post
        Lack of sleep can definitely be a factor in binges, since good sleep is necessary for normal cortisol regulation. Is the 7 hours of sleep due to insomnia, or your work schedule? If you can improve your sleep, that may go a long way.

        The other questions, in terms of "listening to your body" are whether your binges start with actual hunger, and what type of food it is that you're craving. If you start binging when you're hungry, you probably should find a way to incorporate more of whatever you're craving (carbs or fat or protein) into your eating plan, in a Primal way.

        More fat ought to help with satiety, if that's the issue. Good sleep tends to help with everything.
        Even 7 hours is not normal, more like 6 hours. And it is due to both insomnia, work schedule, and a roommate who turns in later than me yet wakes up earlier than me. Welcome to the military.

        I'm not sure what you're getting at regarding binges being due to actual hunger. But I will say that I am usually not that hungry, I'm just tired and stressed and bored of dieting.

        Again, same question as above, how can fat be the problem when I'm not exactly eating low fat and protein is supposedly more satiating?

        Comment


        • #5
          Your macro-nutrient break down is fine for what you're trying to do. However, -30 is probably too high of a deficit. You need to play with the percentages to find what works best for you. Up your rest day to -20 and see if that helps. Also, bringing the carbs down a bit on work days helped me a lot. The recommended amount of carbs is out of my league.

          Play around with it. You'll know when you find the right break down of calroies and macros.

          5/3/1 is quite a bit less strenuous than RPT, so that may help as well.

          Comment


          • #6
            "As I understand, protein is more satiating than fat. " NO. Fat is more satiating, by far.

            This is a HFLC site = High Fats, Low Carbs. We have a different philosphy. Do read our book "The Primal Blueprint". People new to this WOE do have a hard time at first, lack of sugar results in 'carb-flu'. After that the binging disappears in a month or 2. Yes, we learn to 'listen to our bodies', but our bodies are pretty confused at first. It usually takes at least 2 months or so before you can trust your bodies messages.

            Use a nutrition tracker, paleotrack.com is easy and has many advantages for our way of eating.

            The higher your Fats, proportionally, the more weight you'll loose. Listen to Jimmy Moore Nutritional Ketosis Lecture On The 2012 Low Carb Down Under Tour - YouTube. I'm not suggesting you go into Ketoses. You need more information than I can put in one comment here.

            Look into Cross-Fit: What is CrossFit? - YouTube or other HIIT. Mark's pages here are excellent.
            Last edited by Cryptocode; 04-23-2013, 08:35 PM.
            "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

            Comment


            • #7
              You mention that your binges are from being 'tired and stressed and bored of dieting' rather than actual hunger AND that is the classic binge issue. Any type of perceived 'restriction' will usually result in a binge. For example, I've lost weight after a lifetime of morbid obesity, but I am a small woman who must eat very low calories to maintain. My body and I are perfectly happy eating at this level, BUT if I start comparing myself to others and wishing I could eat more, I begin to feel like bingeing--because I've created a deprivation mentality in my mind.

              There's a formula (which I don't know exactly) that suggests when tempted to binge, ask yourself if you are thirsty, tired, angry,or bored--and then recognize that food isn't a solution to any of these things.

              However, I've read a couple of books by former binge eaters, and they all note the fact that often we want to binge for the simple pleasure it provides.

              So it all depends on how you want to live. Do NOT try to 'listen to your body,' because the voice that's encouraging you to binge is your own. The only way to prevent a binge is to silence that voice.

              Comment


              • #8
                for what you are doing, you are not eating enough.

                i'm not a leangains expert, but i'd say -30% is too drastic.

                and you "lead a millitary life" so that would lead me to believe that you are in decent shape. and you weigh 160lbs, but your goal is weight loss. are you 5'2"? we're obviously talking a few vanity lbs, right?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by atmetal View Post
                  Because I lead a busy military life (with only a microwave and micro-fridge)
                  Never mind the calories. What is the food in this 7-day menu that doesn't use a stove burner, oven, or freezer?
                  Can you even cook an egg?
                  5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bingeing is a broad term.

                    There is bingeing on good foods. "I was so hungry I ate a chicken, 3 sweet potatoes, a can of tuna and a salad". That probably is a result of not eating enough good foods. If you say, drink a can of coconut milk, maybe you aren't getting enough fat, if you ate a chicken, maybe it's protein, 3 sweet potatoes, maybe you need more carbs.

                    Then there is bingeing on crappy foods because there is no good food around. IE, I was hungry, out of chicken and ended up eating a pizza. That's easy to fix- always have good foods around.

                    Then there is just full on I ate a pizza even though I had half a chicken. That's probably dietary boredom. Maybe add in a cheat meal once a week.

                    Then you have "I ate a bag of Snickers", that would be sugar addiction. Try a Whole 30.

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

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                    • #11
                      Some people react to IF in this way unable to handle stress of the fasting window. Try the big breakfast approach instead, and see if you feel more comfortable with starting your day full and not creating the stress of "I can only have coffee till 2 pm".
                      If the eating connected to boredom and fatigue etc, I recommend Susan Albers' books "50 Ways to Soothe Yourself without Food' and "But i deserve this Chocolate'. She is highly practical and no BS about what pushes you to over-eat and binge and how to deal with it.
                      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                      When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                      • #12
                        Magnolia, you your post says perfectly what I was trying to say.

                        Atmetal, If it's stress related binging, it is possible that in part that you're not eating enough. However, there are larger, probably more important, factors contributing to the binges. Clearly, you're under some stress, and a good deal of that, you can't change, because it's your job. Other than addressing your stress where you can, and if you can, are there changes you can make to what you're eating while trying to lean out that would be things you enjoy and look forward to eating, so you won't feel deprived?

                        It might be helpful for the people responding if you mention what you're eating when 'binging'-- a slice of bread, or half a pizza, a bowl of ice cream, or a half-gallon--just to get an idea of what's going on.


                        My overall comment, for what it's worth, is: it seems to me that you have said that your binges are largely due to stress and a feeling of being sick of dieting. So if this is the issue, the question is: what can be changed so that you can have a better outcome? (We can give you advice up to your ears, but it can only work if it fits into your life and work)
                        Last edited by Cathartes; 04-24-2013, 07:03 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cryptocode View Post
                          This is a HFLC site = High Fats, Low Carbs. We have a different philosphy. Do read our book "The Primal Blueprint". People new to this WOE do have a hard time at first, lack of sugar results in 'carb-flu'. After that the binging disappears in a month or 2. Yes, we learn to 'listen to our bodies', but our bodies are pretty confused at first. It usually takes at least 2 months or so before you can trust your bodies messages.

                          Use a nutrition tracker, paleotrack.com is easy and has many advantages for our way of eating.

                          The higher your Fats, proportionally, the more weight you'll loose. Listen to Jimmy Moore Nutritional Ketosis Lecture On The 2012 Low Carb Down Under Tour - YouTube. I'm not suggesting you go into Ketoses. You need more information than I can put in one comment here.

                          Look into Cross-Fit: What is CrossFit? - YouTube or other HIIT. Mark's pages here are excellent.
                          I don't appreciate the zealotry of your response. You're defending this lifestyle like a religion. You even have the typical arrogance of a Crossfitter. I'm not going to waste my time trying to backlash against everything you said, but at the very least, do some more objective research. When considering standalone macronutrients, protein is more satiating than fat. I word it like that because I recently read that optimum satiety is achieved by mixing macronutrients (something I don't really do). By the way, don't be so eager to talk down to me. You obviously relish the perceived fact that I'm new to this diet so you can start spouting off you're self-proclaimed expertise. Little did you know that I've been following the Primal Blueprint for 2 years.

                          Originally posted by not on the rug View Post
                          but i'd say -30% is too drastic.

                          and you "lead a millitary life" so that would lead me to believe that you are in decent shape. and you weigh 160lbs, but your goal is weight loss. are you 5'2"? we're obviously talking a few vanity lbs, right?
                          This isn't the first time I've been told this. So I'm going to up rest days to -25% and make workout days -5%, maybe including one weekly overfeed. This should make my calorie intake 1955/2477. This seems fine considering that the only form of exercise I do is heavy lifting 3 times a week. I've done a couple 5/3/1 workouts instead of RPT, and it does seem less stressful. I was hoping to get in some low level cardio, only because my PT test clearly shows that strength training alone doesn't help my run time. From what I understand about low level cardio, I shouldn't have to adjust my calorie intake up, right?

                          And yes, I'm just as surprised as you are regarding my weight. I was once 158 lbs and I still looked like I was no better than 18% body fat. One may think that means that I'm not carrying a lot of muscle, but that can't be true either since I'm not weak. Still, at 5' 7", that was the truth of the situation. Makes me really depressed with how hard I have to grind away every lb and still look this fat. And worse still is that the 18% estimate is a best case scenario.

                          I think I look close to this guy (who is not me):
                          http://forum.bodybuilding.com/attach...3&d=1278642574
                          http://forum.bodybuilding.com/attach...3&d=1278642355

                          Originally posted by oxide View Post
                          Never mind the calories. What is the food in this 7-day menu that doesn't use a stove burner, oven, or freezer?
                          Can you even cook an egg?
                          Actually, the fridge has a tiny freezer. I also bought a 1.3 ft3 freezer that fits in my closet. As for the food, I microwave meat and fish, adding no fat, but do add seasoning. I use Nordicware tools to cook eggs, rice, quinoa, and grits for the workout days. Sweet potatoes are also microwaveable. I flavor the rice, grits, and potatoes with honey instead of butter, again, to keep the carbs high and fat low on workout days. I buy frozen vegetables, some of them steamers (designed for microwaves). I also eat food that don't require cooking, like nuts, Kerrygold cheese, and yogurt. The 7 day system I've made has made things so much easier because with lots of practice, I have it down. Having time for only one grocery trip a week, I know exactly how much of everything I need to buy for the week. There's no experimenting with microwave cooking techniques because I've already troubleshooted everything with this food. It saves a lot of time, and believe me, I need it. Not only am I cooking all this, but I have to clean up after it too. In the meantime, the Navy assumes I'm not doing any of this and simply eating at the chow hall. The only thing tricky about this is the 2 avocados I eat per week, which always vary in ripening time.

                          Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
                          Then there is just full on I ate a pizza even though I had half a chicken. That's probably dietary boredom. Maybe add in a cheat meal once a week.

                          Then you have "I ate a bag of Snickers", that would be sugar addiction. Try a Whole 30.
                          Right there...you found it. Though I'm too ashamed to actually list what I ate. I will say that each time, I estimated an excess of 2000-3000 calories more than the food I already had eaten. I recently read an MDA article about sugar cravings being linked to fat. And you aren't the first to suggest that I may not get enough fat. While I still believe that protein is more satiating, I am open to the possibility (even though I don't understand it) that I need to eat more of a mixture of macronutrients for optimum satiety. So just how much fat should I be getting? I'm already eating about 100g on rest days. This is thanks due to the extreme low carb condition of rest days. For instance, one day is split like this: 102g fat, 14g carbs, 190g protein. Even if I were to decrease the protein to the recommended minimum for dieters (1g/lb body weight), I would only be able to up the fat by 13g if keeping the calories the same.

                          Originally posted by Leida View Post
                          Some people react to IF in this way unable to handle stress of the fasting window. Try the big breakfast approach instead, and see if you feel more comfortable with starting your day full and not creating the stress of "I can only have coffee till 2 pm".
                          Interesting you say this because I remember I time when I would start the day with 9 eggs and at least 6 slices of bacon. I could go almost the entire day without hunger. Now though, it's not really an option. Skipping breakfast is most convenient with regards to my schedule. I wake up early enough as it is and I'm not a morning person. Besides, while I now the path to health and fitness doesn't require the LeanGains method, I understand how it works hormonally and believe it is a good system. Eating breakfast and fasting through the day until I'm presumably hungry late at night would not result in a 16 hour fast window as prescribed by LeanGains.

                          Originally posted by Cathartes View Post
                          It might be helpful for the people responding if you mention what you're eating when 'binging'-- a slice of bread, or half a pizza, a bowl of ice cream, or a half-gallon--just to get an idea of what's going on.

                          My overall comment, for what it's worth, is: it seems to me that you have said that your binges are largely due to stress and a feeling of being sick of dieting. So if this is the issue, the question is: what can be changed so that you can have a better outcome? (We can give you advice up to your ears, but it can only work if it fits into your life and work)
                          Again, I'm too ashamed to list actual items, but it was all junk. I think one of roots of the "cravings" might be the food's association with the past. I guess this would make it, by definition, comfort food. Having been away from home for a while I can see this as a possibility. And back when I was actually losing weight, I was able to look past this. At one point I was at 158 lbs at 5' 7". For a male, I should be closing in on leanness at this point, but the mirror said I was far from it.

                          However, I think it would help if I could CONVENIENTLY incorporate more variety than my 7 day menu allows. But because I rely on calorie counting instead of my untrustworthy body signals, I wouldn't be able to handle all the measurements I need to take. I also wish I could include tasty cuts of meat, but because the only meat I can afford is conventional from the commissary (which for some strange reason sells only USDA Choice), I buy only the lean cuts to avoid the toxins of factory farming that the animal's body flushes into fat cells.

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