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  • struggling :/

    Hello fellow Primal people,

    I'm in need of advice, wisdom, help. I feel like this eating plan is doing the opposite to me! I'm a 26 year old, small framed female. At half a week into being primal, I was at 111 lbs, 15.3% body fat. I watched what I ate, but would indulge daily in grains and some sweets. I did, at times, have intense sweet cravings. I turned primal because I wanted to gain healthy weight, provide good nutrition for my body, and heal some digestive issues- bloating, distented abdomin, etc. Im three weeks into being Primal at the moment. The first week I felt awesome, then I hit the carb flu. I had a dull headache and felt extremely tired. I then started feeling much, much better. Almost giddy like I did when I would have sweets. And then I took another turn for the worse. Within a week, I gained 1 pound (awesome!), but gained 2% body fat (what??). And, I feel lethargic again, and moody- no, its not that time. Worse yet, my stomach is getting what seems to be "huge!" I've always had a flat stomach. Why is my eating plan having an adverse effect? I've been sticking to the exercise plan, and eating all Primal. No sugar, no grains, high protein and high veggies, one to two pieces of fruit a day, and occasional dairy. I also feel like I just can't get enough food, or feel satisfied. I do not want to IF because eight years ago I had an eating disorder, and every time I go without food my body freaks out. I no longer struggle with an eating disorder at all, but I simply wanted to follow this plan to get healthier. My breakfast is usually eggs with bacon, banana/almond butter pancakes, or leftovers from the night before. Lunch is usually a big salad with a solid protien source. Dinner is usually another solid protein source with one or two veggies- done in olive oil or butter. We've been trying some primal recipes and we love them btw! I always try to get in good fats. I try not to snack, but usually end up giving in- usually nuts. I did "fitday.com" for three days and my calories were usually around 2000. Any sugggestions? My body seemed to like conventional eating and high cardio better! Help?!

  • #2
    I turned primal because I wanted to gain healthy weight
    What kind of weight? You want to bulk up? Tons of muscle?
    You are 15% body fat, that's way too low for a woman. Do you even get your period?!
    one to two pieces of fruit a day, and occasional dairy.
    Say good bye to this, if you don't want to gain body fat.
    I also feel like I just can't get enough food, or feel satisfied
    Add more fat to your diet. For example, cook your eggs in 2 or 3 tablespoons of fat. Add a ton of olive oil (and maybe balsamic vinegar) to your salad. If you think you added enough, add some more. And a little more.
    banana/almond butter pancakes,
    Say good bye to this. Now.
    a big salad with a solid protien source.
    More fat. Maybe add an avocado. Or the olive oil dressing. Or uncured nitrate free bacon. Lots of it.
    solid protein
    You've said this a few times now. What do you mean by this? What meat are you eating? Eat very fatty cuts of meat and fatty fish.
    I try not to snack, but usually end up giving in
    Yeah, you definitely need more fat. Don't fear fat. Here, drink this bacon fat milkshake.

    Start a journal here on the forums so we can see exactly what you're eating. On another post you asked about quinoa and Ezekiel bread, so that tells me you definitely have not read the Primal Blueprint. Do your homework before asking questions.

    Here's a link: www.marksdailyapple.com/gain-weight-build-muscle/
    Last edited by abstractpersona; 01-13-2012, 08:02 PM.
    My smartphone makes me about $100 per month
    Updating my journal again after a 2 year break.

    Comment


    • #3
      All I would add to abstractpersona's comments is that in my experience, starting the day at close to zero carbs helps curb my appetite throughout the day. And if you find you are hungry soon after breakfast, you are not eating enough protein/fat.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by abstractpersona View Post
        What kind of weight? You want to bulk up? Tons of muscle?
        You are 15% body fat, that's way too low for a woman. Do you even get your period?!
        Say good bye to this, if you don't want to gain body fat.
        Add more fat to your diet. For example, cook your eggs in 2 or 3 tablespoons of fat. Add a ton of olive oil (and maybe balsamic vinegar) to your salad. If you think you added enough, add some more. And a little more.
        Say good bye to this. Now.
        More fat. Maybe add an avocado. Or the olive oil dressing. Or uncured nitrate free bacon. Lots of it.
        You've said this a few times now. What do you mean by this? What meat are you eating? Eat very fatty cuts of meat and fatty fish.
        Yeah, you definitely need more fat. Don't fear fat. Here, drink this bacon fat milkshake.

        Start a journal here on the forums so we can see exactly what you're eating. On another post you asked about quinoa and Ezekiel bread, so that tells me you definitely have not read the Primal Blueprint. Do your homework before asking questions.

        Here's a link: www.marksdailyapple.com/gain-weight-build-muscle/
        1. yes, i get my period. its not too low because 16-18% is MY norm- when i'm eating what i want, and everything functions well, thank you.
        2. i do cook in fat. butter, coconut oil, olive oil. and yes, there's avocado on my salad.
        3. why not banana/almond butter pancakes? they're in the primal recipe book. no fruit whatsoever?
        4. solid cut of meat= tbone steak, salmon, chicken breast, brisket. i eat as much fat as i can- still trying to get used to eating the fact. my stomach isn't keen on all of it.
        5. thank you for the advice. i'll continue adding fat. when i did the fitday, i had 50-60% fat.
        6. i did preface that question with, "this may be silly"- i am doing my homework, forgive me if in the first days of being primal i'm not perfect and still getting everything through my mind.
        7. thank you.

        Comment


        • #5
          mmm, i actually find the opposite is true for me. when i eat the primal banana/almond butter pancakes, i feel more satisfied than when i eat eggs and bacon- at least initially. i'll keep experimenting with this. thanks!

          Comment


          • #6
            You still haven't told us how you want to gain weight.
            You want to GAIN muscle, LOSE fat, correct?

            If I am right, then:
            3. why not banana/almond butter pancakes? they're in the primal recipe book. no fruit whatsoever?
            Yes, no bananas and no "fake pancakes, fake muffins, fake anything".
            when i eat the primal banana/almond butter pancakes, i feel more satisfied than when i eat eggs and bacon- at least initially.
            "Initially" is not good enough. Pancakes and bananas -> means insulin -> means you'll get fat.
            Eat eggs and meat for breakfast, give it a few weeks, and you'll be OK.

            Also, have you read the book? NOT the recipe book. The Primal Blueprint. It should be available for free at your library.
            It has answers to everything that you asked.
            My smartphone makes me about $100 per month
            Updating my journal again after a 2 year break.

            Comment


            • #7
              How are you measuring your bodyfat? I would guess that it isn't very accurate, and it will likely vary from day to day, or even within the day.

              Also, if you are underweight, why are you stressing about gaining a percent or two of fat? Isn't that the goal?

              Finally, eat more fat if you can't stop snacking.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi healthyendomorph, welcome aboard

                @Abstract what you wrote comes across as a bit harsh (can't say if that was the intention or no)

                But Abstract does have some points, get hold of the primal blueprint and read it, then read it again
                Follow the plan as written in the book for at least a couple of months before trying any of the tweaks people often talk about on here.

                What I'd add is that it can take the body a while to adjust to any major changes to the diet and at only 3 weeks lots of people are feeling the affects of carb withdrawals, changes to their digestive patterns due to increases in veggies (especially lots of leafy greens) and fat, etc. It can take a month or two for everything to settle down and get into synch.

                For some people switching to high fat or high veggie can cause changes to/issues with the timing, size and consistency of their bowel movements. This can cause food to take longer to pass through (with veggies, especially lots of leafy greens like kale, also the opposite with fat) until the gut adjusts, which can cause a bloating affect.

                You shouldn't be feeling hungry all the time if you are eating enough good food. It may not be that you are actually hungry, but part of your withdrawals from processed carbs and your body is craving for them. When your hungry between have a meal and if you are still hungry, or get hungry between meals, Try eating more veggies and see if that helps. If you find you still feel hungry it's most likely carb cravings.

                Above all just relax and enjoy the good food
                If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

                Originally posted by tfarny
                If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'd say up the carbs and see how you feel. Add some tubers in there.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Agree that maybe you could add a little bit of good carbs especially if you are trying to gain weight. From my perusal of these threads, it seems that women generally seem to do better with a bit more carbs in their diet and a little less fat. Maybe add a little bit of sweet potato and squash to your meals. The link below might help you figure out the target carb range for you. Also take note of the primal exercise recommended- Mark says you could do five hours or more of low impact cardio at 65%-75% of heart rate max so if your body does better with cardio exercise, you could try to do so within the recommended range. How to Succeed with the Primal Blueprint | Mark's Daily Apple

                    I think it takes time for your body to adjust to so many changes. At the three week mark your body is still going through a lot of adjustments and those symptoms could be symptoms of a "healing crisis." However, don't be afraid to tweak and experiment to see what works for you. Some people may be adamant about the added fat, added protein, etc and preach to you like a religious zealot, but you need to do what feels right for you. Above all else, listen to your body- it knows what it needs better than anyone else on this forum. You may want to check out this free ebook Fuck Calories :: stumptuous.com. It cracked me up but I think she makes a lot of sense.

                    Good luck and I hope you find your sweet spot soon.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just follow the basic plan for a couple of months, don't go ultra low-carb unless you have a specific reason. If you weigh 110 lb and your bodyfat went up by2%, that means you gained more than 2 lb of fat within a few days - nearly impossible. That would be a good month of serious fat gains, since you'd gain about a pound of lean mass along with it even without exercising.
                      What are your goals and why are you measuring your bodyfat all the time? Diet sounds ok more or less. Some of the people here are awfully strict, if you're at a healthy weight you probably don't need to be that strict. Lots of nuts (almond flour) is one of the flaws in "primal / paleo" thinking though. Those suckers are not good for you in any kind of quantities. Still, if you feel you need snacks, your meals are probably a bit too small.
                      Last edited by tfarny; 01-14-2012, 02:54 PM.
                      If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I remember Dr. Eades saying something about this. He said it was common to feel great for after the first few weeks and then falter. He blames it on a magnesium deficiency. Does anyone remember this?
                        5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by oxide View Post
                          I remember Dr. Eades saying something about this. He said it was common to feel great for after the first few weeks and then falter. He blames it on a magnesium deficiency. Does anyone remember this?
                          Forget about that but as I recall it was something to do with losing all your bodies minerals as you switched over (due to frequent urination)
                          A steak a day keeps the doctor away

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hiya, I'm in a similar boat as you- trying to gain healthy weight and strength without having extra fat reserves to burn off while my body adjusts.

                            I've only been 95%+ Primal for a few weeks, but have been reading TONS here and, especially in stories like ours, it seems to take a while to figure out what works best for You. I totally agree with those that say give it time, do your best to be 100% for a month or so until you discover how different foods make you feel.

                            For me personally, I'm tackling food first and slowly starting exercising as my energy gets better. The first week I was RAVENOUS, no real carb flu but hungry all.the.time even though I was getting 100g+ of fat and protein. I was definitely worried that my budget wasn't going to be able to keep me Primal! It's soooooo much better now and I am noticing solid cues and patterns-- I like number watching, myself, but it's been much more helpful to track how I FEEL.

                            Funnily enough, my go to comfort carbs in the past were quinoa dishes and bread Today was actually the first time I've *craved* and I totally kept dreaming of Ezekiel cinnamon raisin toast with butter

                            Keep learning and asking questions, use our opinions as a starting point, and you'll figure it out!
                            In 2012 I will find JOY, feel ALIVE, be CONSCIOUSLY CONNECTED to my World and my People, and become HEALTHY!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I was going to mention that phase after you start feeling pretty good and then feel worse. Dr. Eades says it's when you've lost that excess water weight and with it a bunch of potassium. He suggests potassium, magnesium and sodium (as extra salt on your food). It happened to me. I was on a hike and my body was all puffed up. I had edema in my wrists and legs. My veins were bulging. I felt like I was going to die. My arms were cramping up so much it seemed like they were going to curl up. After that I had to find out why this diet was killing me and that's when I read Protein Power and so I went and got the supplements and felt better right away. The pain from the cramping took a little more time to go away. I don't know if the OP has this problem or not, but it's possible. It seems odd that losing a lot of water weight would make you puff up, but that's what it did to me.
                              Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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