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Reality check: Counting calories

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  • Razzzwell, you make some interesting points, and I agree with many and really respect Taubes' work. One thing he said and you said, though, has me wondering: you talk about genetic obesity in twins and so did he. Up to that point, his whole thesis seemed to be "You will only be obese if you eat too many carbs." But then it seemed he was saying some people will be obese even if they DON'T eat too many carbs.

    I just don't buy that.

    I think he's missing something, unless I'm misunderstanding his argument. I do think some people are more susceptible to having obesity (and/or compulsive carb-eating) as one of the ways they react to the unnatural level of carbs in our diets. I think that's probably due to ancestry, at least in part, with some people, perhaps those of more Northern ancestry, tolerating a lower level and being more prone to overeating carbs when many are available and becoming obese as a result. But I don't think it means you will be fat no matter what. I think it means you are the ones who will be fat if you eat an unnatural level of carbs while others will not have that as a reaction to them. (They may develop celiac disease, MS, bipolar, IBS, CFS, chronic indigestion, any number of diseases and disorders, but not be fat.)

    Am I reading you right on this point?
    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


    • Originally posted by Razzzzwell
      [B]. I am not advocating over eating. I advocate listening to your body. ...

      Moralizing obesity gets us NOWHERE fast. Please look into reputable science.
      Many many many of us have broken feedback systems. Some of them very broken. Today was the first time since I was at least 10 years old that I can recall actually feeling NOT hungry for longer than the time that I was uncomfortably full. I have never felt that sensation before. Ever. I have had many many many days where I finish an enormous meal and still feel RAVENOUS. Sometimes I just need outside limits to check what is sensible and what is real.

      I am, for all intents and purposes, "satiety blind". Just like someone is color blind, I am unable to distinguish between shades of satiety. I need external clues. Now I am doing some training that will hopefully help, but calorie counting and food journaling is an essential part of that.

      Calorie counting is a tool just like any other. There are many ways to apply it. Some apply it as "My limit is 1400" and then wont go over if they are so hungry they need to eat the house down. Some find it as a way to get in touch with hunger, with reasons for eating, with simply paying attention.

      WHO exactly is moralizing obesity here? Paleo is not, she has decided what she wants to do for her life. Calling some one closed minded and essentially implying that anyone who decides they want, for whatever reason, to lose weight is an obesity bigot is a moralizing judgment.
      MTA: because it is rare I dont have more to say

      "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - my daughter Age 7

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      • Thank you, runnergal.

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        • Originally posted by moo View Post
          Denise why are you thinking of counting calories again?

          You are seeing progress? I know you said no more weighing, counting etc ............. I personally don't think you need to resort back to that if you are seeing progress.
          oh if only I had listened. Thought about calories - and look what happened.

          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.
            Yes, this is mostly certainly the crux I believe, and one rather over-looked/ignored, especially amongst the 'caveMAN' element. As discussed all over this forum females most certainly respond differently. It's all about the oestrogen.

            PS Thanks Paleobird for reading my humour, after Scooby's reply I reread my comment assuming I must have been out in the sun too long yesterday LOL! I must find a way of holding up the 'JOKE' sign before I launch my Scottish dry sense of humour :-)

            OK 'JOKE SIGN UP' finally some sun here and three hours and about 30 miles on the mountain bikes, that must have burned some calories ... so I can eat a few more at dinner !
            Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

            Comment


            • Taubes and the twins - I read that section (several times in fact) as this - a certain genotype will have a particular way of expressing (all aspects of the human form) given a certain scenario - and here he was talking about why some people appear to eat a lot and don't get fat whilst others do. For example each genotype has a very specific set of fat gathering cells in certain areas of the body (and some have very few - the naturally skinny ones) so a family will often be seen to have 'big hips', 'big boobs', 'heavy legs' etc. However, the point he was making I think is that each genotype can express differently (the phenotype) according to the cues it gets.

              So, overeat (especially within an insulin resistant carb heavy diet) and twins will arrive at a very similar pattern of fat gain because they share the blueprint for where they will gain the fat. However that genotype can become a different phenotype if eating a different diet. To say, 'it's no good all my family are fat' often just reflects the fact that the family are exposed to a certain dietary environment. Remove yourself from that diet and you no longer have to follow the path of your ancestors' gene expression, you give your genes a chance to express differently. In fact there are lots of examples on the forum of members who've achieved great success and are trying to encourage family members to make the changes they have.

              As for the 'attacks' on Paleobird's theories and experiences - I think there comes a point where you have to agree to disagree. Paleobird has found a way that has allowed her to start losing the fat again after having stalled for many months. Her system is TOTALLY in line with what Mark writes (and this is afterall Marks Daily Apple Forum) in his book, what Taubes supports with umpteen studies and what Art De Vany has used successfully for 25 plus years - he has maintained his weight at 205 lbs or thereabouts and around 8-10% bodyfat since his late 40s - he's now 73 (hope that's a long enough period for you) by eating plenty of protein (lean cuts in Art's case), being mindful (but not paranoid) of fat and keeping his carbs moderate to low (just like Mark S).

              Most of the quoted and well known Paleoists are men - there is most certainly a different set of variables at work within the female body and to keep quoting back the same statements is pretty pointless. We know how our body responds to different inputs and it doesn't work the same as it does for men and not all women's work alike either. Period (joke intended here)!

              I know that my body needs to be at 50 g of carbs of less - this is how I was cured of bipolar (which was my genotype's way of dealing with a high carb diet prior to Primal) - I am an uber-fat burner - I rode 8 hours a day for 9 days from one end of the country (1,013 miles) to the other on minimum carbs but lots of fat - Eades really summed it up for me - eat as many fat calories as you are burning for maintenance.

              Yes, we are complex, yes, we have hormonal variables (men and women) through stress etc, we also have highly complex homeostatic systems and no, we can't make totally accurate assessments of what we eat and what we expend - Art talks about us working best out of energy balance - BUT we aren't wild animals any more, we don't suffer prolonged periods of calorie deficits that our genes were evolved with so we need to find some method of 'measurement'. For my money an imperfect measuring system that allows us to be mindful of what we eat - especially as many of us have lost the proper homestatic cues - is better than no system at all.

              If it doesn't work for you, don't do it. However, if you find yourself where Paleobird did and are looking for a new way of looking at the problem give it a go because

              'the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result'
              Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Razzzzwell
                The intelligent people on the forum will see that Dr. Jeffery Friedman is correct.
                Wow.
                MTA: because it is rare I dont have more to say

                "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - my daughter Age 7

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Razzzzwell
                  As far as 1,300 calories: That is awfully low. How long have you done this for? Will you be able to do this for over 5 years , let alone a decade or more of 1,300 calories?.
                  This figure as I understand it is to enable Paleobird's body to have a chance to burn the adipose stores, 2,400 cals was maintaining her pre-experiment weight, once she has achieved her goal weight/body composition/look good naked target she will be able to increase a little one would imagine but even if she didn't If you read all her comments she is feeling satisfied in terms of appetite and is enjoying the food she is eating including having space for chocolate and red wine! Not exactly a hardship. And, the alternative was sitting 30 lbs heavier than she wanted to be ...
                  Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

                  Comment


                  • Hey Raz,
                    If you don't have anything new to say (beyond citing the same sources repeatedly) or anything to contribute to the discussion other than questioning the intelligence of anyone who doesn't agree with you, I suggest you just don't post.

                    Just because you have a blog doesn't make you the ultimate arbiter of what is or is not "reputable" or who is or is not "a genius". Get over yourself.

                    Robin
                    Last edited by Paleobird; 03-17-2011, 10:15 AM.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Kelda View Post
                      If it doesn't work for you, don't do it.
                      Really, this is what it comes down to. Science is science and I don't discredit or disregard studies or the common trends in weight loss studies. But I do believe that people are unique and that different fat loss strategies are successful for different people whether it be for physiological reasons or psychological reasons.

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                      • You know, i lost weight quicker when i just cut the junk and watched my portions, basically reducing carbs by reducing the starchy part. However, i compared my old measurements with weight and my composition def seems to be changing, i'm slightly smaller around the hips and waist at a higher weight. I think i could still lose 10 lbs of fat but it's taking so much more thought and work on this WOE. i think primal is excellent for maintaining, and i can relax a bit more once i get to my goal, but dude, it's hard to get there. I used to be such a sick weakling so this is ultimately more gratifying.
                        Strong is the new skinny
                        28 yrs, 5'8.5"
                        started primal 1/23/11 @ 143 lbs, couldn't do a knee pushup
                        3/13/11 138 lbs, 30 knee pushups, yeah!

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                        • Razzz, I think certainly that there is a homeostasis that means the typical person will either be very lean, lean, or slightly less than lean, if surrounded by the ideal environment, dietary and otherwise, and that genes determine that. I think that it means that someone in the last category will likely have an extremely difficult time moving into another category *and staying there* for a long period of time.

                          But I do NOT think it means that someone who is currently obese can't get into any of the three categories. The obese are that way because something went wrong - not because their genes say that "have to" be that way, but b/c their genes responded to the inappropriate environment with that particular form of disease/disorder. Otherwise, we'd see obese elephants and zebras and cheetahs in the wild. I also do not think it means that someone who started in the very lean category and moves out because of poor diet can't move back in.

                          Leanness at any given time is just a snapshot. What I weigh now doesn't mean I was always meant to be there. It means I moved there over time through a variety of very unnatural dietary situations, and will eventually move back to whatever my genetic homeostasis is, which is likely in the second or third category, not the "very lean." And there, I think you have a point. I doubt I can become "very lean" without an extreme amount of work (exercise and calorie reduction) and doubt further that I can maintain that without eating less and exercising more than I care to expend the energy doing. I don't mind a natural level of calorie intake and expenditure, but being superfit isn't worth it enough *to me* to undergo the amount of intense effort I suspect it would take to try to reach and maintain it.

                          So it seems to me that the truth is neither "you're fat and always will be" nor "everyone can become very fit and stay that way easily," but somewhere in between. And I appreciate those sharing their experiences publicly so we can all learn from them where that balance may lie for various individuals.
                          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


                          • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                            I'll send you the pictures in 20 years.
                            I'll take one now and in 20 years. I'm a fan of pictures of success (translation - hot women)

                            This thread has been interesting (the parts I have kept up with - sadly not all 47 pages). I do not count calories, but I know I eat far less now calorie-wise than I did pre-primal. I just do not feel hungry. I eat good, healthful, tasty food and do not need to 'fill up' on junk. My GF is the opposite. She worries about calories, and hell, more power to her. I know as I drop more weight I may have to start tracking it myself. I'm just enjoying not having to do so at the moment.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by canio6 View Post
                              I'll take one now and in 20 years. I'm a fan of pictures of success (translation - hot women)

                              This thread has been interesting (the parts I have kept up with - sadly not all 47 pages). I do not count calories, but I know I eat far less now calorie-wise than I did pre-primal. I just do not feel hungry. I eat good, healthful, tasty food and do not need to 'fill up' on junk. My GF is the opposite. She worries about calories, and hell, more power to her. I know as I drop more weight I may have to start tracking it myself. I'm just enjoying not having to do so at the moment.
                              I was doing better on the losing end when I wasn't tracking. When I started to count things, I think that's when the losing stopped and somehow I had a 10 pound weight gain. I think women are unconsciously ingrained with a need to track due to things like Weight Watchers and the such. Just my humble opinion.
                              Georgette

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by geostump View Post
                                I was doing better on the losing end when I wasn't tracking. When I started to count things, I think that's when the losing stopped and somehow I had a 10 pound weight gain. I think women are unconsciously ingrained with a need to track due to things like Weight Watchers and the such. Just my humble opinion.

                                That could be, but if you were tracking how do you account for the gained weight? My GF tracks because of the 'calories in - calories out' idea that is ingrained.

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