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Reality check: Counting calories

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  • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post

    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.
    I'm not sure I agree with this hypothesis. I certainly believe it's true that most obese people will initally easily achieve a caloric defecit by sufficiently restricting carbs. But I think there's a real danger of these people taking the license to eat unlimited steak, butter, eggs, whatever and use it as a means to binge-eat. Those that do that have a hard time losing weight on low carb diets for long. And far too often they seem to think that their consumption of more fat and more protein is a sign of their compliance. Appetite control is a primary benefit of a lower carb diet. But not all people eat because they are hungry. My own experience of being in a supervised program with lots of group sessions is that I can quickly tell the people for whom a pure physiological solution (lowering insulin) works and those who need some form of cognitive behavioral assistance (where counting calories and activity is useful).

    Another ancillary factor in all of this is that speed matters. Results matter, particularly when you're obese. I was 290 lbs in mid-December. The ability to lose 65 of those pounds in three months has provided me with all kinds of momentum. My plan is considerably more restrictive right now than how most people do primal. But it doesn't feel restrictive when I'm losing 3 to 4 lbs a week. Yet, I could imagine finding giving up grain to be a lot more bothersome if I was only losing a pound a week. Maybe I'll feel differently if I plateau before I lose another 30 or 35 lbs. But so far, I haven't seen a reason to start slower. My metabolism has slowed just about as much as you would expect for having a body that is between 1/4 and 1/3 smaller (I use the bodymedia armband, because I know that even if it's inaccurate, it can show my current metabolism against my metabolism 45 days ago).

    Tracking eliminates excuses and uncertainty. If you're truly limiting carbs and eating a significant caloric defecit and you're not losing weight, then we know we can look to other hormones to fix.

    Comment


    • My understanding of leptin is that it is far more a factor when trying to get into single digit bodyfat percentages than in getting from 35% bodyfat to 15%. Obese people have lots of leptin (I know people doing the Four Hour Body plan and the weekly cheat meal seems to give the obese ones far more trouble than the ones just looking to "lean out.").

      My guess is that there probably is a point where potato and rice refeeds serve a real purpose. But I guess it's after most people reach "normal" weight and are looking for further body recomposition.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
        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.
        And that is my point, just change the word calories for carbohydrates in the words that I bold in your sentence and you will realize that the same principle applies.
        Make your body receive something unexpected, it will reset with a carb load, then go low carb, other day go moderate, other go zero (0) carb, well you get the point. Then eventually you will start losing weigth again.
        All those guessing from what you wrote in your past post.
        Keep and open mind, because you will never know until you try it. I am just pointing you out to the moon, don't look at my finger
        Buena suerte pajaro paleo hehe!

        Edit: Don't fear the tubers
        Last edited by Diedelser; 03-16-2011, 01:54 PM. Reason: Tubers-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 Paleobird View Post
          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.
          I'm a female and I'm going to disagree with you on this.
          I got down to 17% BF twice, once on a steady deficit that included 100g carbs a day and once eating low carb using high carb refeeds on a bi-weekly and weekly basis.

          Outside of metabolic issues, women's body's actually crash harder in the face of lowered carbs and lowered calories for extended periods of time which can result in slowed fat loss.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by scooby View Post
            I'm not sure I agree with this hypothesis. I certainly believe it's true that most obese people will initally easily achieve a caloric defecit by sufficiently restricting carbs. But I think there's a real danger of these people taking the license to eat unlimited steak, butter, eggs, whatever and use it as a means to binge-eat. Those that do that have a hard time losing weight on low carb diets for long. And far too often they seem to think that their consumption of more fat and more protein is a sign of their compliance. Appetite control is a primary benefit of a lower carb diet. But not all people eat because they are hungry. My own experience of being in a supervised program with lots of group sessions is that I can quickly tell the people for whom a pure physiological solution (lowering insulin) works and those who need some form of cognitive behavioral assistance (where counting calories and activity is useful).

            Another ancillary factor in all of this is that speed matters. Results matter, particularly when you're obese. I was 290 lbs in mid-December. The ability to lose 65 of those pounds in three months has provided me with all kinds of momentum. My plan is considerably more restrictive right now than how most people do primal. But it doesn't feel restrictive when I'm losing 3 to 4 lbs a week. Yet, I could imagine finding giving up grain to be a lot more bothersome if I was only losing a pound a week. Maybe I'll feel differently if I plateau before I lose another 30 or 35 lbs. But so far, I haven't seen a reason to start slower. My metabolism has slowed just about as much as you would expect for having a body that is between 1/4 and 1/3 smaller (I use the bodymedia armband, because I know that even if it's inaccurate, it can show my current metabolism against my metabolism 45 days ago).

            Tracking eliminates excuses and uncertainty. If you're truly limiting carbs and eating a significant caloric defecit and you're not losing weight, then we know we can look to other hormones to fix.
            First of all Scooby, congrats are in order. Well done. For you I don't think that hypothesis applies either. That is because you seem to be approaching your weight loss in a very cognitive, logical way and it's working for you. I feel the same way that you do in that tracking eliminates excuses an uncertainty. For many people however, even the idea of tracking is enough to start a panic reaction. For you and me, tracking actually relieves stress because it gives us more info and info=power/control=results. To others tracking is a source of stress.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by scooby View Post
              My understanding of leptin is that it is far more a factor when trying to get into single digit bodyfat percentages than in getting from 35% bodyfat to 15%. Obese people have lots of leptin (I know people doing the Four Hour Body plan and the weekly cheat meal seems to give the obese ones far more trouble than the ones just looking to "lean out.").

              My guess is that there probably is a point where potato and rice refeeds serve a real purpose. But I guess it's after most people reach "normal" weight and are looking for further body recomposition.
              exactly. Jorge, quierido, mira aqui ^^^^

              Comment


              • Replies to Raz's post

                "Obesity is hellishly complex". As a science yes, in my case no. I am healthy, I just eat too much but I can change that. It's called free will.

                "Please do some proper research." Please don't assume that an opinion different from yours=ignorance. I have done the research.

                "One of the top obesity researchers in the world Dr. Jeffery Friedman, says we have no more control over our weight than weighing about 10 pounds or so less . " Well, if he says so then we should all just go back to eating our bacon and not worry about it.

                "Wild animals manage their weight just fine even in abundance." We are not wild animals. We eat for reasons other than hunger and therefor we need to control that eating consciously.

                "The useless nostrums WON'T help people like Manuel Uribe. He has fat cell disregulation." I don't. I'm perfectly healthy. This is irrelevant.

                "I have scientific literature that make you lose your assumptions." And I have 7 less pounds on my rear.

                "Stigmatizing the obese and and moralizing obesity is NOT defendable." NEVER FOR ONE SECOND DID I DO THIS. I HAVE BEEN THERE. I was obese. Now I'm just 23 pounds heavier than I would like to be. I know it is possible to change.
                Last edited by Paleobird; 03-16-2011, 04:43 PM.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by NDF View Post
                  I'm a female and I'm going to disagree with you on this.
                  I got down to 17% BF twice, once on a steady deficit that included 100g carbs a day and once eating low carb using high carb refeeds on a bi-weekly and weekly basis.

                  Outside of metabolic issues, women's body's actually crash harder in the face of lowered carbs and lowered calories for extended periods of time which can result in slowed fat loss.
                  I'm sure there's a lot of variation by individual even within one gender. What works for you might not for me and vice versa. I can feel that my body hummms along wonderfully at <50g carbs a day. I think the "crash " you are talking about can be avoided if you make sure to consume enough protein. But, this is an experiment in progress. If it doesn't work, maybe I'll go get some sweet potatoes.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                    exactly. Jorge, quierido, mira aqui ^^^^
                    That is right, my bad, just noticed you started loosing weigth again, so now you are in the rigth path, keep it up!

                    And with an advantage since you know what to do when your weigth loss stalls again.

                    Cheers!
                    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 Diedelser View Post
                      That is right, my bad, just noticed you started loosing weigth again, so now you are in the rigth path, keep it up!
                      And with an advantage since you know what to do when your weigth loss stalls again.
                      Cheers!
                      If I ever want to get to looking like a fitness model (like the abs in your avatar picture) then maybe the carb re-feeds would be good. Right now, I just want to get to a size 8 jeans. Are those really your abs? Just curious............
                      Thanks for the encouragement.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                        If I ever want to get to looking like a fitness model (like the abs in your avatar picture) then maybe the carb re-feeds would be good. Right now, I just want to get to a size 8 jeans. Are those really your abs? Just curious............
                        Thanks for the encouragement.
                        Yeah it's me!
                        The avatar picture was taken in August 2010, around 150 pounds. But that picture doesn't make me honor

                        You are doing great so keep it up! Best wishes!
                        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 Paleobird View Post
                          I'm sure there's a lot of variation by individual even within one gender. What works for you might not for me and vice versa. I can feel that my body hummms along wonderfully at <50g carbs a day. I think the "crash " you are talking about can be avoided if you make sure to consume enough protein. But, this is an experiment in progress. If it doesn't work, maybe I'll go get some sweet potatoes.
                          Sadly no. The hormones that crash in women as a result of reduced carbs and caloric deficits can not be avoided by keeping protein high. It's total calories and carbs that effect the system.

                          I wish you luck in your journey.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Razzzzwell
                            You don't have as much "free will" as you might think .
                            Keep in mind this guy is a genius pioneering obesity researcher, much smarter than these Internet diet gurus who rail on Taubes.

                            Basic biological drives win out long term. The drive to eat is the same as breathing. You can only hold your breath for so long.

                            Dr. Friedman is among the best of the best in obesity research.

                            That said , I wish you MUCH success. if you maintain the lost body fat for 20 years, you should be studied by science. I like success stories.
                            So, I guess we should all just give up and accept being fat because weight loss is SO hard and it's SO "complex" and you need to be a genius to even begin to understand it. Like I said before, a cop out. Intellectualized cop out.

                            And as far as the drive to eat winning out. Doesn't happen when you aren't hungry. Like Me. Humming along in ketosis at 1300-1400 cal/day and not feeling deprived at all. I'm not holding my breath, I'm just putting down the fork.

                            Thanks a bunch for the sideways "encouragement" with the dig that you don't believe I can sustain success. I'll send you the pictures in 20 years.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Diedelser View Post
                              Yeah it's me!
                              The avatar picture was taken in August 2010, around 150 pounds. But that picture doesn't make me honor
                              Jorge, what can I say. You have just given a lady old enough to be your mother some delightful fantasies.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                                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.
                                Just an anecdote for your data gathering - I always like it when I get people's stories to test my theories. If you don't, happily ignore, lol.

                                20 years SAD.
                                10 years CW healthy (started gaining about 6 yrs in after spending several years on near constant antibiotics), seriously exercising and seriously counting calories.
                                2 years on WPF/Traditional Foods eating, dramatically increasing fat, nearly eliminating grains but still battling sugar and often losing (no calorie restriction).
                                1 year doing the same, but increasing protein and winning against sugar. Had almost no sugar and only half a serving of properly prepared grains per day over that year. Didn't lose a thing.
                                1 year primal. The only thing I changed was to remove the half serving of grain and limit fruit to berries. I started losing and lost 40 pounds in a year, averaging less than a pound a week but really, it was in fits and starts - 3 weeks on, 4 weeks off (which sometimes corresponded to vacations and other primal difficulties and sometimes had no relation to a change in diet). I've toyed with having and not having potatoes, fruit, honey, dairy, & starchy veggies, but none of that affected the pace. I've lost 40 and have 10 to go to get to where I was before the gain began nearly 10 years ago. No food restriction (although eliminating grains and sugar naturally lowers my appetite) and almost no exercise. I've increased fat intake even more and have kept protein steady at about 100gm/day over 3 meals. I hate inputting stuff into the calorie trackers b/c almost nothing I eat can be entered as is from their databases. I have no idea where my calories are at right now. I do eat all cuts of the animal and add lots and lots of fat to my veggies and sauces.

                                Does that show anything? Maybe not. The loss did start with only one change: eliminating the tiniest amt of grain & sweet fruits. I keep expecting a big, hard to beat plateau, but have been graced not to have hit one yet, although I'm certainly reading the varying POVs in this thread with interest should I hit one in the home stretch.

                                The protein was KEY to ending the sugar battle. I do know that.

                                I appreciate all the info everyone's sharing.
                                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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