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Reality check: Counting calories

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  • I must be one of the strange ones then. I have quite a bit to lose and I STRUGGLE for EVERY pound and have, no matter which approach I try. I am currently doing what would be considered very low calorie for my weight, low carb, medium fat, and medium protein and finally losing. It shouldn't be this hard! I have NOOOO problem gaining weight. Why is losing it, even a pound a week, so damned hard??!!

    Carrie

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    • Originally posted by carres1973 View Post
      I have NOOOO problem gaining weight. Why is losing it, even a pound a week, so damned hard??!!
      Nobody said it would be easy, just that is is doable. Keep your chin up.

      Not knowing all your particulars, these are the first questions that come to mind.
      1) Have you seen a doctor to see if there are any heath conditions (e.g. thyroid issues, IBS) which could be thwarting you?
      2) Ditto about nutritional deficiencies?
      3) Are you getting enough exercise. OK, then try a little more than "enough"?
      4) Are you really living all 10 of the PB principals, sun rest, stress, play, etc.?
      5) Are you still dealing with carb addictions, cravings, binging?

      Like I said before, this calorie counting program I'm doing is only for people who have all other physical and psychological conditions, syndromes, deficiencies, metabolic derangements etc. all taken care of and people who really have all the other aspects of PB "down cold". If you are running in ketosis on a regular basis, calorie restriction is not that hard to do. But get into ketosis FIRST, THEN think about calories.

      You can do it. Don't give up.

      Comment


      • carres1973 - could it be your definition of a reasonable pace for fat loss? I'm considering my loss effortless because I've only had to change my diet ... but it has taken a year to lose 40 pounds. That's way less than a pound a week, yet it seems effortless to me because I'm not going hungry and I'm not exercising. I'm only eating well and waiting. Based on what you said, it struck me that some could consider that a lack of success since it's not the "standard" pound/week, and so I was wondering if outlook could be part of the issue for you?
        5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
        Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
        Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
        Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
        ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***

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        • This was the post I was reading regarding what Mark eats.

          I Can’t Eat Anything! | Mark's Daily Apple

          Comment


          • Originally posted by MamaGrok View Post
            I'm considering my loss effortless because I've only had to change my diet ... but it has taken a year to lose 40 pounds. That's way less than a pound a week, yet it seems effortless to me because I'm not going hungry and I'm not exercising. I'm only eating well and waiting. some could consider that a lack of success since it's not the "standard" pound/week
            Nobody said it had to be a pound a week to be considered successful. I said that that is a sustainable pace and that is what I am trying to do. I don't think that much more than that would be sustainable, even 2 lbs/wk is pushing it IMO.

            I lost the first half of what I wanted to lose just like you. It was lovely. I wasn't in any hurry and I was also getting a lot of healing done at that time after dealing with multiple surgeries and chemo. Then comes the brick wall. I could decide to be content with an OK body or I can make an effort to have an awesome one. It's worth the effort for me.

            You might want to bookmark this thread for later when your brick wall shows up.

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            • Originally posted by moo View Post
              This was the post I was reading regarding what Mark eats.

              I Can’t Eat Anything! | Mark's Daily Apple
              Thanks, Moo. I noticed how he was talking about steamed, stir fried, or baked entrees and no added fat anywhere other than the minimum needed for cooking. He get's away with the H&H in his coffee because he already looks like a Roman God.

              Comment


              • I was referring to this:
                I must be one of the strange ones then. I have quite a bit to lose and I STRUGGLE for EVERY pound and have, no matter which approach I try. I am currently doing what would be considered very low calorie for my weight, low carb, medium fat, and medium protein and finally losing. It shouldn't be this hard! I have NOOOO problem gaining weight. Why is losing it, even a pound a week, so damned hard??!!
                which I thought was carres saying that she(?) was still in the very overweight category and had never had any kind of easy loss. Then I kept reading and saw what looked like a very different view of "a pound a week" than I have. I'd be thrilled to have a pound a week.

                I wasn't disagreeing with what you're saying *at all*. It seemed to me like the poster I was responding to was saying that averaging less than a pound a week wouldn't be good progress - I was trying to find out if that's what she was implying. Apologies for the lack of clarity, and if I misread anything carres was saying.
                Last edited by MamaGrok; 03-15-2011, 07:03 PM.
                5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
                Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
                Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
                Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
                ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***

                Comment


                • No apologies needed, Mamagrok. I just wanted to make it clear to you, carres, and anybody else reading that I never said 1lb/wk is the only definition of success.

                  As I said before, I feel a certain sense of responsibility for things that get "put out there" on this thread. I don't want someone to try to follow me down this path if it is not right for them or do it in a way that could be harmful to their health.

                  Comment


                  • Paleobird;

                    I'm curious. You've been in ketosis for quite a while, so are well into the zone for efficient burning of stored fat. You've increased protein while reducing fat, and are currently feeling satisfied and filled on 1200-1300 cal daily. I don't think you were tracking macros before, but what did your total calorie intake and macros look like before you made these changes?
                    My musings

                    The old stuff

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                    • Originally posted by Greensprout View Post
                      Paleobird;

                      I'm curious. You've been in ketosis for quite a while, so are well into the zone for efficient burning of stored fat. You've increased protein while reducing fat, and are currently feeling satisfied and filled on 1200-1300 cal daily. I don't think you were tracking macros before, but what did your total calorie intake and macros look like before you made these changes?
                      Yeah, I'm at that point Eades describes where the body can either burn stored fat or dietary fat but it will choose dietary fat first. Before I made these changes, I wasn't tracking but reverse engineering it from what I am hitting now I can guess-timate. I was probably eating about 2400 cal/day with maybe a 30/15/55 ratio of protein/carb/fat. Now its 1400ish with ratios of 40/15/45. So I just moved some from the fat column to the protein and curtailed the overall quantity.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                        I was probably eating about 2400 cal/day with maybe a 30/15/55 ratio of protein/carb/fat.
                        Which was clearly the perfect balance for maintaining your earlier weight!

                        I think it's interesting that many of us have read 'good calories bad calories' and all thoroughly understand and decry carb calories and yet find it more difficult to see fat calories as an area for audit - which is actually truly ironic given most of us arriving here had to undo all our years of hating fat calories! Moderation in all things as my grandmother used to say, and my brother (who likes a bottle or two of red) adds, and moderation in moderation too!

                        At the end of the day it does matter where the calories come from and as far as I can see even rough tracking needs to be incorporated at least some of the time. Both you and I were eating according to our appetite and broadly PB principles and not getting the desired effect.

                        Mark tracks, he uses Fitday (although I think he's swtiched to Livestrong more recently), he also states that he has a very highly refined ability to know when he is just satiated in order to stop eating. I think the fact he states it that way implies that many of us are not as fortunate!

                        And I think you'll find his wife is a fish eater (former lifelong vegetarian of vegetarian parents - she also uses protein powder and tracks her macros regularly). His son is the confirmed vegetarian (but also has the protein powder) and I think his daughter is an omnivore like Mark (but I could be wrong there and don't have my PB with me to check!).
                        Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Kelda View Post
                          Which was clearly the perfect balance for maintaining your earlier weight!

                          I think it's interesting that many of us have read 'good calories bad calories' and all thoroughly understand and decry carb calories and yet find it more difficult to see fat calories as an area for audit - which is actually truly ironic given most of us arriving here had to undo all our years of hating fat calories! Moderation in all things as my grandmother used to say, and my brother (who likes a bottle or two of red) adds, and moderation in moderation too!

                          I'm not sure that's really true. Moderation in all things would lead most people to carb levels that would impede fat loss. And moderation of fat calories is likely not necessary for people trying to mantain weight (if we subscribe to Taubes' hypothesis). I'd also argue that the concept of moderation loses a bit of meaning when the caloric requirements for weight loss and for weight maintenance are so significantly different.

                          At this point, there definitely appears to be a split in authority among low carb advocates concerning the need and desirability of counting calories. Part of that is because there are really multiple issues at stake that are context sensitive. I find a lot of the arguments against calorie tracking for obese participants looking to lose significant weight ignore the proper context.

                          For instance, the inherent inaccuracy of calorie counting matters little if your plan restricts calories significantly below your basal rate. It really doesn't matter that I may be 200 calories off for the day if I'm aiming for a 1000 calorie defecit. I'll still lose. Similarly, arguments that I may slow down my body's metabolism may not be accurate providing I am consuming enough protein. Finally, calorie restriction can help obese patients break their relationship to food somewhat, so that when they eat primally without restriction, they are less prone to binges.

                          Those same arguments, however, make much more sense when discussing how to maintain your proper weight. Because that very same inaccuracy could cause 20 lbs of weight gain a year if maintaining my weight were a matter of maintaining energy balance. I realize we're just beginning to gain headway in the national conversation about preventing obesity, but I think the next step is acknowledging that the the needs of weight loss may differ from the needs of maintaining a healthy bodyweight. I'm a little surprised to see resistance to the idea because everyone seems to agree that the goal of weight loss is to shift your body into burning fuel from your adipose cells. Which is not really the goal of someone who is already 8% bodyfat.

                          Comment


                          • All the situations you are facing with weigth lost, wrote in your first post, can correlate to the hormone Leptin.
                            That is what usually happend when you follow a food intake pattern. For cultural and social reasons most people (I was one) tends to have this way of eating even when not counting or counting calories.

                            Best solution ====> Cyclical Food Intake (Fasting, Feeding, Overfeeding, in a ramdom pattern).

                            That happens naturally when you live in the wild! or in the case of us living in moderm society, when your metabolism is in check and you know or have an idea about the way foods work. (something Mark is good at)

                            So in summary my advice is try to force the cyclical pattern at first, until your body and behavior adapts to this pattern.

                            Best explanation you can find about this is in this post (if you don't mind the scientific read):
                            Calorie Partitioning: Part 2 | BodyRecomposition - The Home of Lyle McDonald

                            With Primal I went from 187 pounds (lot of belly fat) to 145 (lean and weak). Now I am at 160 and gaining lean muscle mass. I don't count calories now but at first I did it, because I simple have not idea about food, so I needed to learn.
                            Of course my change didn't happen from night to day (I have more that 1 year Primal) and in my way I faced this and more challenges, so I keeped reading, testing, learning and asking until I got the results I wanted.

                            Consistency is the key and Trust your instincts, they always right.
                            So trust the proccess, keep learning and feel free to ask.
                            When you know better, you do better!

                            Edit: Also don't fear the Carbohydrates, I have some replies about this issue around here, so feel free to look for my olders replies
                            Last edited by Diedelser; 03-16-2011, 12:34 PM. Reason: Carb-Phobia
                            Rephrasing the famous Socrates quote: "All I know is that I know nothing" and about that fact, I am still not so sure.

                            Greetings! from Jorge from Venezuela.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by scooby View Post
                              I'm not sure that's really true. Moderation in all things would lead most people to carb levels that would impede fat loss. And moderation of fat calories is likely not necessary for people trying to mantain weight (if we subscribe to Taubes' hypothesis). I'd also argue that the concept of moderation loses a bit of meaning when the caloric requirements for weight loss and for weight maintenance are so significantly different.

                              For instance, the inherent inaccuracy of calorie counting matters little if your plan restricts calories significantly below your basal rate. Similarly, arguments that I may slow down my body's metabolism may not be accurate providing I am consuming enough protein. Finally, calorie restriction can help obese patients break their relationship to food somewhat, so that when they eat primally without restriction, they are less prone to binges.

                              I think the next step is acknowledging that the the needs of weight loss may differ from the needs of maintaining a healthy bodyweight. I'm a little surprised to see resistance to the idea because everyone seems to agree that the goal of weight loss is to shift your body into burning fuel from your adipose cells.
                              I really don't think Kelda was advocating eating more carbs. she was just having fun with the moderation in moderation joke.

                              You're right that weight maintenance and weight loss are two very different things. I was maintaining just fine. But not losing.

                              I agree that, even if we are off by a few calories, being aware of and in control of what we are consuming is beneficial. And yes PROTEIN!

                              Some people are not yet ready, emotionally and/or physically to deal with calorie tracking. People who are way overweight and whose diets are very SAD do lose weight just by switching to PB on the "don't weigh or measure anything, just eat bacon and be happy" plan because it is miles better than where they started. Their weight loss will stall at some point. That's when they need to come back and re-read this thread. In the interim, however, between going PB and stalling, they get a chance to do a lot of healing and I'm all for that. Metabolic disorders get sorted out, unhealthy mental relationships with food calm down. They generally get themselves to a healthier place. I can understand the resistance of people to calorie tracking when they are still trying to find that physically and/or mentally healthy connection to food. Many people come here from years of frustrating CW diets that just tried white knuckle willpower portion restriction without the GCBC understanding that you have to get the carbs out first in order to have fat burning possible.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Diedelser View Post
                                All the situations you are facing with weigth lost, wrote in your first post, can correlate to the hormone Leptin.
                                That is what usually happend when you follow a food intake pattern. For cultural and social reasons most people (I was one) tends to have this way of eating even when not counting or counting calories.

                                With Primal I went from 187 pounds (lot of belly fat) to 145 (lean and weak). Now I am at 160 and gaining lean muscle mass. I don't count calories now but at first I did it, because I simple have not idea about food, so I needed to learn.

                                Edit: Also don't fear the Carbohydrates, I have some replies about this issue around here, so feel free to look for my olders replies
                                Hola Jorge, Bienvenidos.
                                First of all, congratulations on your success. Great results.
                                I completely agree with you about cyclical food intake. If you eat on a predictable schedule your body "expects" a certain number of calories at a certain time. Keeping your body guessing a bit is helpful. I skip meals whenever I feel like it and then have a big meal sometimes.

                                I have to disagree with you about the carbs however. I think this is something that may be a male/female difference. It seems like female bodies are fat storage machines. It is much easier for men to get lean while not really restricting their carbs that much than it is for women.

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