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Calorie Counting Revisited : Distillation and Update

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  • Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
    I'm simply guessing, based on comparison with the pics in Batty's "grokettes" thread. Methinks bf measurements are good for tracking progress, but aren't necessarily going to be accurate, in any case.
    Yes, it seems like, unless you get the immersion test, they are pretty much guestimates.

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    • Originally posted by belinda View Post
      I've found this whole discussion (yes, both sides!) quite interesting.

      Paleobird broke through her plateau by going higher protein, lower fat, low carb.

      Chocotaco broke through his with carb cycling, heavy on the starches.


      And Eelnus must go through a pound of butter a day.

      Just goes to show how very different we all are and how nothing is a given for a specific person, but it doesn't mean we can't try any or all of the above to see what works for us.
      I think a lot of it has to do with the stage of the weight loss journey one is in. Eelnus is trying to control cravings with pure fat. Cool. Whatever works. Choco is a ripped young dude looking to get even more ripped. At that body fat content, carb cycling can be very effective. I'm all past any cravings but I'm not nearly at my 80s bodybuilding level of lean and I don't really need or want to be there again. BTDT. So this works for me.

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      • Originally posted by finngirl71 View Post
        Paleo, I have to tell you that I've spent hours going through forum posts on different ideas, and yours have been, by far, the most helpful for me. I'm 40, but I have a body that loves to hang on to every precious ounce of body fat. Since jumping on here and following your "plan", I'm finally seeing the scale consistently move for the first time in 20 months.

        I have *always* been a believer in monitoring calories - it just makes sense that if you want to lose, you need to create a deficit of some kind. When I was doing 1200-1400 calories, 100g protein, under 50g of fat, I could NOT lose. I'd drop a pound, get all excited and then gain it back over the weekend (love my alcohol!!). I can't tell you how many times I've busted my ass working out, put on pants only to have them tighter than the week before, and stood in my closet and cried about my shitty body. Now I'm consistently at 1550-1700 cals, 120-160g protein, 100g fat, under 30g carbs - usually under 20 - and losing like crazy. Pounds and inches. Of course I know it won't last forever and it will take some adjustment since I'm probably 10-15lbs from goal, but it is really working. (My fat count is probably off because I have been incorporating chunks of coconut oil into my day, but that seems to be a non-issue as well.)

        Anyway, with Choco being as he is, I wanted to give you another "hey, it's working, don't question it!!" experience. Men are sooooo different in their loss. My husband can drop 3lbs overnight after a good workout and decent dinner. It's lovely that Choco's method is working for him, but weight loss is obviously not a one size fits all undertaking.

        And please, give yourself a giant hug from me!!

        Kathy
        I'm so glad it's working for you Kathy. Yes, doesn't it make you jealous sometimes how easy it seems to be for most guys?

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        • Originally posted by greek_girl View Post
          I really like and found very informative Paleobird's post. It really made me think about my fat intake and portion control. However I think ChocoTaco is right when he is saying that Paleobird is being defensive. Unless this thread belongs to her, I think anyone can post their views and methods on how to achieve their personal goals. I have tried cyclic carbing without success because I probably didn't do it correctly and more likely because I couldn't stand the thought of counting carbs on every single day. This is a forum and not a place to tell people to back off!
          There is a difference between saying, "This is what I do that works for me. It might work for you too." and saying, "You should do this". Repeatedly. Even after having been repeatedly and politely told, "No, thank you."

          Perhaps you should not be so quick to ascribe your lack of success with carb cycling to not doing it correctly. Maybe it's just not a good fit for you.

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          • Originally posted by tfarny View Post
            On the subject of "carb refeeding" I'll add a bit - twice when I was on my big weight loss cycle, I took a trip abroad for about two weeks and lost control of primal food choices, more or less. Both times upon coming back I immediately lost several pounds - and it wasn't all water, and I kept it off - I do think there is some virtue in changing things up in general, both with food choices and exercise. The body seeks homeostasis and if you are trying to reach a new "stasis point" (fat %) then disrupting the general state of affairs may well have benefits. My suspicion is that this general principle explains part of the appeal of the "leangains" approach as well. Male, 39, was fat now skinny.
            I agree with this aspect of the idea completely. But it doesn't have to be "surprising" your body with carbs. You can change up food choices, combination, portions, time of day for eating, throw in some fasting, etc. Women's bodies are much more likely to take any carb "windfall" and store it away instead of burning it for fuel.

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            • Originally posted by Jenny View Post
              I'm starting to draw this conclusion myself, having tried the "eat more fat!" approach and found that while it seemed to help me reduce calories at first, it didn't long-term. (Sorry Geostump, for that detour!!)

              Problem for me is that I actually kinda hate meat and I'm sick of eggs. Hmm. Maybe I need to add yet more ground beef/chicken to my soup, since that seems to be where I can tolerate it. Make it an even chunkier meat stew that happens to have a soupy sauce, basically.
              The, "eat more fat" thing is valid for people just starting out and trying to get past insane carb cravings. You just can't keep doing it permanently and expect to lose weight. I just hate seeing people who start out with such enthusiasm and then drift away as it stops working thinking, "Yep, one more for the list of fad diets".
              Do you have a crock pot? Slow cooked meat is a lot more palatable. Drool.

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              • Originally posted by frances View Post
                How did you get to 125 being an ideal weight? I'm 5"5, and there's absolutely no way I could ever get down to that weight. This sort of reminds of reading 17 magazine in the early 80s. "girls who are 5 feet tall should weigh 100 pounds. Add 5 pounds for every inch over 5 feet..."
                I got it from a BMI calculator, not 17 magazine. Although if you apply the 17 magazine formula to me and then average out the numbers from about 20 different BMI calculators, it comes out to 150 either way. If you are very muscular and physically fit (as I recall you are into Muay Tai sp?), then you will be at the higher end of the range. These are just thumbnail number in order to come up with an estimate for your protein requirements. Not hard targets.

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                • Originally posted by theholla View Post
                  I've had very similar experiences with vacations (female, 29, was obese now slim). Based on what we currently know about leptin, I'm also inclined to believe that "shaking things up" once in a while can be beneficial.

                  HOWEVER...I'd also like to second the idea that what works for a 24 year old male with sub-20% BF is not necessarily going to work the same way for a post-menopausal woman, since they have entirely different hormonal profiles. Unfortunately, the majority of exercise science studies are done on young males, so the women, older people, and especially the older women are left making educated guesses and experimenting on themselves through trial and error.

                  Plus, calorie counting isn't something to be avoided at all costs, like some seem to assert. Like other systems of tracking and controlling food intake, it can be a very useful tool, assuming that you're using it correctly.
                  Exactly.

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                  • Originally posted by tfarny View Post
                    That's why I said I was male, 39, and formerly fat / out of shape - to put my experience in context. I don't count, but I did enough counting at first to get a rough idea of that side of things, and it was useful. I'm not disagreeing with anything in this thread, I'm just speaking up for the "change it up" idea - I suspect there are more mechanisms than leptin that work to maintain homeostasis of both fat % and other things.
                    Oops! I didn't mean to come off as disagreeing with you at all - just trying to add some food for thought for the ChocoTaco types. I thought providing your context was a great idea, which was why I also provided mine.
                    The Primal Holla! Eating fat. Getting lean. Being awesome.

                    You were sick, but now you're well, and there's work to do. - Kilgore Trout

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                    • Originally posted by Canarygirl View Post
                      To Paleobird and everyone else: I didn't read the original thread and one thing I haven't found in this thread is a synopsis of why higher protein consumption is critical success factor. Is it because:

                      *leads to improved satiety?
                      *required for preservation of lean body mass?
                      *reduced insulin effect and improved BS control (as compared to carbs)?
                      *all of the above?

                      Is there anything I'm missing in this list about why increased protein is so effective?
                      It's not so much "eat more protein" as it is "make sure that the fat and protein balance out". If you are eating a lot of fat, you will get to a satiety point sooner which can be helpful as mentioned above when first starting out to control cravings. If you continue eating too fat heavy, your body will be missing out on all of the wonderful nutrients in the other food you could be consuming while staying at the same calorie level. It's also way too easy to go way overboard on calories while eating fatty things.

                      In my n=1 experience, protein satiety is just as satisfying and just as long lasting. But it has the additional benefit of improving my workout capabilities and recovery times. BTW, I didn't change anything about carbs. I have always kept them<50. I just moved some from the fat to the protein side. My macros are now about 45% each of fat and protein with 10% carb. When I was stalled it was about 35%p 55%f 10%c. Plus I curtailed overall calories from about 2400 to 1400. But I'm not at all hungry.

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                      • Originally posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
                        The heaviest carb meals are supposed to follow post-workout. If you're not weight training, you can still carb cycle. You should just cut the carbs. Instead of shooting for 250-300g of carbs, shoot for 150g. That way, it's still a spike that'll boost leptin and insulin levels. The reason why carb cycling works is because it promotes insulin and leptin sensitivity. Yes, eating high carb regularly will make you insulin resistant. However, eating low carb for long periods of time will as well. Your body loses the ability to efficiently process the carbs. That's why carb cycling works. When you pair low carb with that regular boost of starch, you're still in an overall low carb state, but that starch boost keeps your body familiar with processing the carbs and keeps leptin levels from bottoming out, preventing the plateau effect. Eating starch here and there will help your insulin sensitivity. You just can't eat it every day. Every day starch is a no-no IMO, but incorporating it for a few meals a week keeps the body on its toes.
                        I have started going to CrossFit Oakland | Elite Fitness for Every Body 3 days a week and started incorporating some sweet potato post WoD. On Work Out Days I go at 7 AM and have lunch at noon. (Is that too long to wait post work out?) I've been making a stew with grass fed beef, beef stock from Bi-Rite, carrots and sweet potato then have a big steak and greens for dinner. On non work out days, I have one meal a day usually fish and veggies and go for a one hour walk prior to dinner. Sundays I have a big sweet potato and maybe some cheese, my only "cheat". So I guess I'm using both of y'all techniques of reducing calories and carb cycling. My weight hasn't changed, still at 160-162, but my pants are getting looser. I will not rest until I get rid of the last vestige of the dreaded Man Boobs!
                        Apathy is tyranny's greatest ally.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Canarygirl View Post
                          Finngirl71, this is so interesting. Did you increase your daily calories and protein consumption because you used Paleobird's posted methodology (to use BMR to determine calorie homeostasis...protein grms based on estimated lean body mass...desired daily calorie deficit, etc.)? Because you made a significant change in what you were doing. Anyway it is so cool how well it's working for you. I wonder if a big part of the reason that it's working better is because your calories were too low for you at 1200-1400 per day, causing your body to go into conservation mode--perceived starvation and all that. What do you think is the reason it's working so much better?

                          To Paleobird and everyone else: I didn't read the original thread and one thing I haven't found in this thread is a synopsis of why higher protein consumption is critical success factor. Is it because:

                          *leads to improved satiety?
                          *required for preservation of lean body mass?
                          *reduced insulin effect and improved BS control (as compared to carbs)?
                          *all of the above?

                          Is there anything I'm missing in this list about why increased protein is so effective?
                          Hi Canary,

                          I kind of used the BMR+activity formula, but it was an afterthought! The LBM/grams of protein was what I started with, and the rest kind of fell into place. I just knew from months of struggle that *something* was off, and that I should be losing steadily with what I ate vs my workout. One genius I was seeing ("doc" at a holistic center) suggested that since I wasn't losing at the 1200 intake I should drop to 800 calories. WTF, right. I'm 5'8, big frame, work out hard 2-4x per week, and at the time was 166lbs.

                          Anyway, I found the original monster thread from Paleobird and some of it clicked for me. Reading about the people who were in the 2000 cal range and losing made me think maybe I needed to up mine, at least temporarily. Adding the fat was the hard part... I'll tell you, I was super wigged out by that! But seeing now that it was the major change I made and for the first time I'm actually seeing a body change... I'm not scared anymore. I know as I inch closer to my goal body I will probably have to do some adjustment, but I'm good with that.

                          Certainly I'm no expert, but my input to your question... I'd go with "all of the above". I have found that with my current ratios I have no desire to eat bad food, I don't get the wild BS swings to where I'm sweating and weak, and if I have the right breakfast I'm good for hours.

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                          • Originally posted by KestrelSF View Post
                            I have started going to CrossFit Oakland | Elite Fitness for Every Body 3 days a week and started incorporating some sweet potato post WoD. On Work Out Days I go at 7 AM and have lunch at noon. (Is that too long to wait post work out?) I've been making a stew with grass fed beef, beef stock from Bi-Rite, carrots and sweet potato then have a big steak and greens for dinner. On non work out days, I have one meal a day usually fish and veggies and go for a one hour walk prior to dinner. Sundays I have a big sweet potato and maybe some cheese, my only "cheat". So I guess I'm using both of y'all techniques of reducing calories and carb cycling. My weight hasn't changed, still at 160-162, but my pants are getting looser. I will not rest until I get rid of the last vestige of the dreaded Man Boobs!
                            Sweet potatoes, carrots, and cheese. Also, I don't know about your Bi-Rite brand, but I have yet to find a packaged beef stock, even in health food stores, that didn't have some kind of "cane juice" or other sneaky sweetener added. If your's doesn't, cool. I'm just saying read the fine print.

                            Forgive my bluntness Kestrel but you are, from your avatar pic, a few years older than Choco, no? Also, if you still have the vestiges of m'oobs, you are not at the ripped BF levels you would like to have and that youngsters like him seem to find effortlessly.

                            It would be an interesting experiment to really curtail the carbs in your diet for at least 2-3 weeks letting your body get keto adapted and then cut back on the overall calories a bit while keeping the protein plentiful. Crossfit is a really good butt wuppin workout. You need protein to recover form that and build muscle.

                            I'm glad you are seeing results in the waistband. That's the first place I saw it too.

                            You are your own lab rat. Have fun experimenting.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                              S
                              It would be an interesting experiment to really curtail the carbs in your diet for at least 2-3 weeks letting your body get keto adapted and then cut back on the overall calories a bit while keeping the protein plentiful.
                              Been there, done that, dear. I was 320 pounds when I started so I'd say I've A- come a long way and B- know about as much as anyone here about how to do it. I wouldn't be making a newb mistake like getting beef stock with sugar in it. I know the butcher and have already grilled him. And if you think eating a carrot is that shocking, I suggest you read: The Carrot Train to Crazytown/ The cheese, I won't argue with ya.

                              Not to be mean, but you can come down really condescending paleo, and it is really off-putting. This has been a great thread, but the attitude often distracts from it.
                              Last edited by KestrelSF; 05-05-2011, 12:44 PM.
                              Apathy is tyranny's greatest ally.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by KestrelSF View Post
                                So I guess I'm using both of y'all techniques of reducing calories and carb cycling. My weight hasn't changed, still at 160-162, but my pants are getting looser. I will not rest until I get rid of the last vestige of the dreaded Man Boobs!
                                Keep us/me posted on your progress as I`m going to use both approaches as well. I know I`m female and probably older (46) but I still want to give it a go. As far as waiting too long post workout they say to have your meals/snacks within an hour when your body is most primed to receive the nutrients....or is that just C.W?
                                "Anxiety is a sign of spiritual insecurity"
                                www.beachbodycoach.com/fatbusters

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