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I ony get 824 calories per day?

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  • I ony get 824 calories per day?

    I am a 5'3" female, 54 years old, and have been eating low carb for about 15 months. I just got back from the doctor, where I had my body composition done on a DEXA machine, the most accurate way of having it done. Due to a recent illness, inactivity and then surgery, and then complications, my body fat has gone up to 40.1%.

    Last summer:

    weight - 141.6 pounds
    body fat - 49.8 pounds (35.2%)
    lean mass - 91.8 pounds (64.8%)

    Now:

    weight - 139 pounds
    body fat - 55.7 pounds (40.1%)
    lean mass - 83.3 pounds (59.9%)

    So, since last summer, I have gained 5.9 pounds of fat and I have lost 8.5 pounds of muscle.

    So far, I am still recovering from my surgery, and cannot get back to the gym or do much else besides slow walking. I hope to be able to start again soon. In the meantime, I need to know how much to eat to not gain any more fat.

    According to The Primal Blueprint book, I need to eat 0.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass, because I am inactive right now. That only comes out to 42 grams of protein per day. If I eat more than 20 grams of carbs, I gain weight, so I have to keep carbs low. And if I add enough fat so that I am eating around 70% of my calories from fat, this is what my breakdown will look like:

    824 calories
    64g fat (70%)
    42g protein (20%) (83.3 pounds LBM x 0.5)
    20g carbs (10%)

    This is an incredibly small amount of food!

    For the past few weeks, I have been eating this, and although I initially lost a few pounds, I am now starting to creep back up again:

    1400 calories
    109g fat (70%)
    75g protein (21%) (83.3 pounds LBM x 1.1)
    30g carbs (9%)

    Anyone have any insight into this? It can't be that I have to only eat 824 calories to maintain my weight, can it?
    Rebecca

    Right click here to watch me lose 22.5 pounds of body fat and gain 5.5 pounds of muscle in only 5 months right before your eyes in this cool morphing video!

    Click the banner below to visit my blog:

    sigpic

    Feb 2009 - 158 pounds - 43.6% body fat
    Aug 2013 - 138 pounds - 34.3% body fat
    So far, lost 19.8 pounds of body fat and gained 1.8 pounds of lean mass
    Goal - 136 pounds - 30% body fat
    Still need to lose 6.4 more pounds of body fat and gain 4.2 more pounds of lean mass

  • #2
    Wow, that does sound like way to few calories. I would suggest IFing but still making sure that you eat as much or more than you have been in a smaller window of time.
    http://www.facebook.com/daemonized

    Comment


    • #3
      Why limit yourself to 70% fat? The way I understand it, once you account for the amount of carbs and protein you want to eat, you should then fill up the rest of your diet with fat until you're satisfied. I'd imagine on 824 calories, even good primal ones, you'd be hungry all the time.

      Maybe just decrease the overall calories slightly from what you've been doing. Or even stick with 1400, and decrease protein and carbs like you planned, but add in more fat. I realize it would be hard to eat that much fat and keep the protein so low... I don't really have any advice. =/ I just don't think 824 seems reasonable for anyone.
      "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

      I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.

      Comment


      • #4
        I am only eating 2 meals per day now. I eat around 600 calories for breakfast, a snack of 100 calories (nuts) at noon, and then 700 calories at dinner.
        Rebecca

        Right click here to watch me lose 22.5 pounds of body fat and gain 5.5 pounds of muscle in only 5 months right before your eyes in this cool morphing video!

        Click the banner below to visit my blog:

        sigpic

        Feb 2009 - 158 pounds - 43.6% body fat
        Aug 2013 - 138 pounds - 34.3% body fat
        So far, lost 19.8 pounds of body fat and gained 1.8 pounds of lean mass
        Goal - 136 pounds - 30% body fat
        Still need to lose 6.4 more pounds of body fat and gain 4.2 more pounds of lean mass

        Comment


        • #5
          the book recommends .7-1 gram protein per lbm, as opposed to .5

          Comment


          • #6
            Hmmm... I'm a little confused about how you're going about figuring that out!

            My ratios tend towards 65% fat, 25% protein and 10%carbs... however depending on WHAT I'm eating, my calories can range dramatically. If my carbs are all veggies in salad, it could be super low calorie wise, if I have a sweet potato it's going to be more. Same for fat. I mean add 1 TBSP of coconut oil which adds fat and nothing else and that's an extra 125 calories right there. Some olive oil salad dressing and a some avocado... well, there's a good amount of calories going on.

            Maybe try tracking your actual meals for a few days. Try keeping your protien in the range you want (between .5 and 1 g/pound of lean body mass), your carbs where you want, and then adding in fats to fill in the balance. Then see where your calories are actually falling.

            Edited to add: some women find that .5/lbm works better for weight loss, some do great at 1. That's all experimentation on what works personally for you...
            sigpic "Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

            Comment


            • #7
              page 87:

              At a minimum you need 0.5 grams of protein per pound of lean mass per day to maintain your "structure" and healthy body composition. If you are even moderately active, you need closer to 0.7 grams...
              And right now, I am not even "moderately" active.
              Rebecca

              Right click here to watch me lose 22.5 pounds of body fat and gain 5.5 pounds of muscle in only 5 months right before your eyes in this cool morphing video!

              Click the banner below to visit my blog:

              sigpic

              Feb 2009 - 158 pounds - 43.6% body fat
              Aug 2013 - 138 pounds - 34.3% body fat
              So far, lost 19.8 pounds of body fat and gained 1.8 pounds of lean mass
              Goal - 136 pounds - 30% body fat
              Still need to lose 6.4 more pounds of body fat and gain 4.2 more pounds of lean mass

              Comment


              • #8
                That does seem like you are not eating enough. This is only speculation, but it looks like you were beginning to do well when you added more food, and then you gained some weight back...that may be due to an increase in muscle mass?

                My natural instinct would be to eat more food. It seems like your body is an efficient storing device (because of the low calorie) and even with extreme calorie restriction (regardless of the percentages) you are most likely to store because of the low calorie content. I would be interested to see what would happen if you were taking in more food, maybe your metabolism is slow because of the lower calorie count.

                More importantly, you have lost weight but in doing that, you lost lean body tissue as well. When we limit food, our body can use its own muscle mass as fuel and thus decreasing lean body tissue - losing "weight" but eventually decreasing health. If it were me, I would eat more food to improve metabolism but like I said, only speculation.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Minxxa View Post
                  Hmmm... I'm a little confused about how you're going about figuring that out!

                  Maybe try tracking your actual meals for a few days. Try keeping your protien in the range you want (between .5 and 1 g/pound of lean body mass), your carbs where you want, and then adding in fats to fill in the balance. Then see where your calories are actually falling.

                  Edited to add: some women find that .5/lbm works better for weight loss, some do great at 1. That's all experimentation on what works personally for you...
                  I track my food every day on Fitday. The numbers I gave for my 1400 calorie menu are correct. I'm not sure why you are wondering about them.
                  Rebecca

                  Right click here to watch me lose 22.5 pounds of body fat and gain 5.5 pounds of muscle in only 5 months right before your eyes in this cool morphing video!

                  Click the banner below to visit my blog:

                  sigpic

                  Feb 2009 - 158 pounds - 43.6% body fat
                  Aug 2013 - 138 pounds - 34.3% body fat
                  So far, lost 19.8 pounds of body fat and gained 1.8 pounds of lean mass
                  Goal - 136 pounds - 30% body fat
                  Still need to lose 6.4 more pounds of body fat and gain 4.2 more pounds of lean mass

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RSL View Post
                    page 87:



                    And right now, I am not even "moderately" active.
                    Slow walking is activity, no? And why just eat the minimum amount required to sustain your bodily functions?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kmacphee View Post
                      That does seem like you are not eating enough. This is only speculation, but it looks like you were beginning to do well when you added more food, and then you gained some weight back...that may be due to an increase in muscle mass?

                      My natural instinct would be to eat more food. It seems like your body is an efficient storing device (because of the low calorie) and even with extreme calorie restriction (regardless of the percentages) you are most likely to store because of the low calorie content. I would be interested to see what would happen if you were taking in more food, maybe your metabolism is slow because of the lower calorie count.

                      More importantly, you have lost weight but in doing that, you lost lean body tissue as well. When we limit food, our body can use its own muscle mass as fuel and thus decreasing lean body tissue - losing "weight" but eventually decreasing health. If it were me, I would eat more food to improve metabolism but like I said, only speculation.
                      Thanks, kmcphee, but maybe you didn't notice in the original post that I said I have been losing muscle and gaining fat. I have tried eating more, and I gain weight. I have tried eating less, and I gain weight. I'm at my wits end...
                      Rebecca

                      Right click here to watch me lose 22.5 pounds of body fat and gain 5.5 pounds of muscle in only 5 months right before your eyes in this cool morphing video!

                      Click the banner below to visit my blog:

                      sigpic

                      Feb 2009 - 158 pounds - 43.6% body fat
                      Aug 2013 - 138 pounds - 34.3% body fat
                      So far, lost 19.8 pounds of body fat and gained 1.8 pounds of lean mass
                      Goal - 136 pounds - 30% body fat
                      Still need to lose 6.4 more pounds of body fat and gain 4.2 more pounds of lean mass

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lmyers04 View Post
                        the book recommends .7-1 gram protein per lbm, as opposed to .5
                        Well, .5 is mentioned as the amount needed to prevent muscle wasting while inactive as RSL is, I believe. Could be wrong.

                        RSL - definitely less than 1000 cals a day is too few. Starving yourself is NOT the way to lose weight. Cut all grains, processed crap, dairy, and limit yourself to 1 serving of fruit a day (because of the sugars). Eating more than the .5g/lb of protein isn't likely going to make you gain weight unless you go overboard with it, so don't worry about sticking so low (.7 would be fine, for instance).

                        Honestly at <140lbs you are not that overweight! What it sounds like you want to (and should) focus on is converting body fat to lean mass. This is hard to do without exercise, but what I would suggest is doing any exercise you can! You're limited by recovering from surgery but I would think you can find some activities to perform. Anything helps, since being totally inactive is definitely a recipe for muscle loss.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My personal opinion is that you shouldn't restrict your calories that far, otherwise your metabolism will dial down even more. Just from my own trial and error, I would probably up the protein closer to .6 or even .7; have your carbs in the form of lots (LOTS) of low carb veggies, like cooked greens, tomatoes, broccoli; cooked in coconut oil, butter, or bacon fat and dial down the nuts and dairy. I think the fat can go above 70%, but not in terms of just eating high fat items, but working fat into a meal, like a veggie heavy stir-fry with small amounts of meat.

                          If your recovery is going well, I would recommend small amounts of exercise that does not provoke injury, perhaps arm weights or swimming pool based.

                          Good luck.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by hbeck View Post
                            Well, .5 is mentioned as the amount needed to prevent muscle wasting while inactive as RSL is, I believe. Could be wrong.

                            RSL - definitely less than 1000 cals a day is too few. Starving yourself is NOT the way to lose weight. Cut all grains, processed crap, dairy, and limit yourself to 1 serving of fruit a day (because of the sugars). Eating more than the .5g/lb of protein isn't likely going to make you gain weight unless you go overboard with it, so don't worry about sticking so low (.7 would be fine, for instance).

                            Honestly at <140lbs you are not that overweight! What it sounds like you want to (and should) focus on is converting body fat to lean mass. This is hard to do without exercise, but what I would suggest is doing any exercise you can! You're limited by recovering from surgery but I would think you can find some activities to perform. Anything helps, since being totally inactive is definitely a recipe for muscle loss.
                            I am only 5'3" tall. Even just according to the scale, I am 14 pounds overweight. In order to get to a good body composition, I need to gain 14 pounds of muscle and lose 28 pounds of fat. No small undertaking!
                            Rebecca

                            Right click here to watch me lose 22.5 pounds of body fat and gain 5.5 pounds of muscle in only 5 months right before your eyes in this cool morphing video!

                            Click the banner below to visit my blog:

                            sigpic

                            Feb 2009 - 158 pounds - 43.6% body fat
                            Aug 2013 - 138 pounds - 34.3% body fat
                            So far, lost 19.8 pounds of body fat and gained 1.8 pounds of lean mass
                            Goal - 136 pounds - 30% body fat
                            Still need to lose 6.4 more pounds of body fat and gain 4.2 more pounds of lean mass

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RSL View Post
                              I am only 5'3" tall. Even just according to the scale, I am 14 pounds overweight. In order to get to a good body composition, I need to gain 14 pounds of muscle and lose 28 pounds of fat. No small undertaking!
                              14 lbs is not a lot. I would focus a lot more on your 40% BF number than the 14lbs the scale says.

                              Little more protein, really cut your carbs to only include good veggies and small amounts of fruit, and GET ACTIVE! Doesn't matter what you do, just do something to move and build muscle.

                              Comment

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