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Maintenance for Women Q's

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  • Maintenance for Women Q's

    Hi All,
    I'd love suggestions for staying lean long-term after reducing carbs and calories to get to a slightly lower bodyfat percentage. After several years of Primal eating, I noticed that I was eating too many nuts/dried fruit/honey every day and too few veggies so I tightened up my diet and began tracking my eating to keep it in check. I seem to do better on a plan than just "free eating."

    For the last 3 months I've been carb cycling by eating low carb/higher fat for 2 days in a row followed by a higher carb day (starch or fruit w/each meal) and lean protein. All meals include 1-2 cups veggies. My Cals are 1200 on low carb days, 1500 on high carb.

    I saw the results I wanted by the end of the first week eating this way (4 meals per day in a 10-hour window).

    I lift 3 days per week and do HIIT for 20min on those days as well. The other days I rest, practice yoga, hike with the dog, and do Tabatas in the morning for 10 min (including warm up), but nothing other than walking/yoga/or rest on Sat/Sun.

    This was working great for 3 months, until this last weekend. I was so low in energy I could hardly do anything other than sit. Oddly, on Friday night I ate more white rice at sushi than I've eaten in ages. I also had a sweet potato with lunch, which I rarely do. My carbs of choice are usually berries or occasionally some potato, but not a whole one like I did that day.

    Now that I'm where I want to be, I'm wondering if my body is telling me to up the calories or carbs? I'm also wondering if I might just be very carb sensitive now? My lifting on Monday was not good and Tuesday I was exhausted. Yesterday was a low carb day for me and I was hungrier than usual and light headed. I ended up eating 3 servings of fruit later in the day and added an extra 150 Cals and felt much better.

    I'm 5'6 (female) and weigh 118-120lbs. I estimate my bodyfat at 18-19%. I'm happy here, although I recently listened to a podcast with Dr Cate Shanahan who said her method of strictly limiting carbs to 50g/day will help eliminate any cellulite and I got a little excited and dropped my morning berries on M/T, which didn't work out so well for me. I do have a tad that I'd love to lose!

    Any suggestions for maintenance, with maybe a side benefit of getting rid of a little cellulite?

    ETA: I have 1 day per week where I eat whatever I want (though I stick with Primal foods). I usually eat about 2200 Cals on this day, mostly adding maple syrup to paleo pancakes and eating Larabars or coconut milk ice cream.
    Last edited by Vanna; 07-16-2014, 09:05 AM.

  • #2
    others will definitely chime in, but it seems awfully low calorie to me. I mean, at 5'6" and 118-120, you're already thin. I suppose one could get by on such a low amount of calories if one was just laying on the couch all day, but if you are doing anything at all, especially any sort of physical activity (which you should be) then i'm guessing that you're just not eating enough


    • #3
      Yeah, I'd like to up my calories a bit (especially on lower-carb days) but not sure by how much. I like varying my calories and carbs/fat too. Just trying to figure out if I should increase ratio of high carb days per week with fewer low carb days or just increase overall calories.

      I initially thought if flip my week to make more days high carb but then I added starches and felt terrible. So now I'm thinking my lower carb days are better, with maybe adding more calories.

      It doesn't help that I've read both Cate Shanahan's book and Perfect Health Diet over the weekend. Both are obviously Primal/Paleo but offer very different views on necessary carb amounts and sources.

      Thanks for the reply.

      Sent from my iPhone using Marks Daily Apple Forum


      • #4
        a lot of people follow phd and really enjoy it.

        over the past 4 1/2 years of paleo goodness, my wife and I have run the gauntlet of different eating styles from low carb to refeeds to carb cycling to whatever else. now we've basically settled on a more of a moderate macro ratio. we discovered paleo on our never-ending quest to be healthy and not to lose weight, so we never had to deal with weight loss strategies or anything like that. overall, we sort of just eat whatever we feel like, while avoiding gluten, veggie/seed oils, soy and basically anything processed. you'll eventually find what works for you. we're both very active people with lifting, biking, hiking, kayaking, and other sports. she also runs 1/2 marathons and I box recreationally. so carbs are definitely not our enemy at all.


        • #5
          I could never be that thin and not be starving all the time. I could never eat that few of calories and not feel like death either. This is no answer to you, though. I'm sure you would never tolerate being as large as I am. I have decided big (-ish, I know I'm not FAT), strong and healthy feels better to me than skinny even though skinny is more acceptable these days.
          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.