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AM I really too thin??? Need your advise badly!!

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  • AM I really too thin??? Need your advise badly!!

    Dear All,

    I'm into my 5 week of primal and feeling great. I hear from my family and friends (workout buddies and others) that I'm too thin.

    My stats now:

    49 yrs old
    5'6"
    122-123 lbs
    Body fat is at 19%
    small frame

    My work out
    5-6 days a week - bodyweight + crossfit

    Calorie intake:
    around 1300-1500 when I used to count them (about 5 weeks ago) - I eat 5 times a day
    Using the primal cookbook and have made almost every recipe - very yummy by the way
    I'm still losing weight - consistently .44 lbs a week

    My goals

    120 lbs (not for any particular reason other than I like this number)
    body fat at 12-15%
    looking like a fitness model Jennifer Lee Nicole or any of the women on cutandhacked.com - which means muscle mass with beautiful definition

    My questions for you:

    1) is this really too thin for my frame (I thought that 120 would be good at least according to the charts I've seen)?
    2) My calorie intake seems to be perfect for me - but all the weight calculators state calorie levels that I could never eat in a day - at least on the primal diet. How much credence do these calculators have?
    3) Can I meet my physical goals continuing like this? (I'm getting some tiny biceps and my abs are starting to peek through...

  • #2
    Most people have a skewed perception these days. As long as you honestly feel good - high energy, strong and you are still getting your period, then don't worry about it. Just be sure to follow your hunger and don't restrict calories. This will help you trade fat for muscle.

    Comment


    • #3
      A few concerns here:

      * your workout buddies say you are too thin - These are people with whom you should have similar goals
      * five meals a day is not primal - should be no more than 3, preferably 2
      * heavy workouts 5-6 days per week may be overdoing it - when can your muscles recover

      Your current approach may lead you to you current body image goals but you need to think about long term health. This approach is pro-inflammatory
      Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

      Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

      Comment


      • #4
        I think people are freaked out by people with low body fat %'s.... the damnedest thing is we basically worship celebrities and think of them as icons of beauty that are probably smaller and have lower body fat %'s than you do right now. Your goal sounds hard to me.... all of those fitness models work really hard, but if you put in the effort and do it in a healthy manner, nothing wrong with it.

        If you are starving and feel like crap all the time, maybe reconsider your approach.

        But yeah... fat has gotten to be the norm. I realized I now wear a size smaller than the average american woman.... and my body fat % indicates me being overweight. In your day to day, especially older woman, a degree of overweight is the norm. The problem isn't you....

        http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
        Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

        Comment


        • #5
          Different people are comfortable at different levels of body fat and activity level - if you are honestly happy, feel good, are eating when you're hungry and enough so you're not hungry any more, not getting sick frequently and sleeping well, then you're fine. (As to the above poster who said something about getting a period regularly - at 49, that's not a given, I wouldn't worry about it. Also, many women drop body fat after menopause, and that seems pretty normal. Past childbearing age you don't need the extra 5-6% to ensure a healthy baby and milk supply. I don't know if that's where the OP is biologically right now, but it's a possibility.)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by peril View Post
            A few concerns here:

            * your workout buddies say you are too thin - These are people with whom you should have similar goals
            * five meals a day is not primal - should be no more than 3, preferably 2
            * heavy workouts 5-6 days per week may be overdoing it - when can your muscles recover

            Your current approach may lead you to you current body image goals but you need to think about long term health. This approach is pro-inflammatory
            Couldn't agree more. You may not be "too thin" (what ever that means) right now but you will not be healthy and fit in the long run if you continue losing weight and pushing yourself this hard.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by peril View Post
              A few concerns here:

              * your workout buddies say you are too thin - These are people with whom you should have similar goals
              * five meals a day is not primal - should be no more than 3, preferably 2
              * heavy workouts 5-6 days per week may be overdoing it - when can your muscles recover

              Your current approach may lead you to you current body image goals but you need to think about long term health. This approach is pro-inflammatory
              Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
              Couldn't agree more. You may not be "too thin" (what ever that means) right now but you will not be healthy and fit in the long run if you continue losing weight and pushing yourself this hard.
              +1

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by cmg View Post
                body fat at 12-15%
                That would be crazy. Something more like 15 to 20% would be normal for a woman, maybe even a little more. Sure, the accumulation of abdominal fat is associated with the health problems:

                Abdominal fat and what to do about it - Harvard Health Publications

                But subcutaneous fat, which is not the same thing, is not as such a bad thing, and being too thin is not associated with positive health outcomes. For example, infertility is associated with both overweight and underweight. Just right, is right, and more (in any particular direction) is not always best.

                Here's what a woman, living a healthy outdoor life in a pre-industrial civilization and not hag-ridden by pictures of Vogue models, looks like -- one of John White's paintings of Virginia Indians of the 16th century:



                IOW, you're all right at present, but if you manage to keep going the same way it's not a good thing.

                At the moment, IMO you're doing far too much exercise. You need rest and repair time as much as exercise. Three sessions per week with suitable rest in between would be healthier. But you can add in plenty of low-level activity. That's certainly good:

                The Health Benefits of Moderate Exercise | Mark's Daily Apple

                I'd say the amount that you're eating is a little crazy, too. I don't know how you manage on so little with your level of activity; and my concern, if I were you, would be that if I kept on like that something would eventually break. AFAIK, the current RDA for average calorific intake for a woman is 2000 kcal, and that's based on an average (i.e. not particularly strenuous) level of exercise.

                Apart from anything else, on 1300 to 1500 kcal it would be difficult to take in anything like the quantity of micronutrients that would generally be recommended. Not suggesting that people obsess over tools like fitday, but if you plugged your meals into fitday, would you be getting anywhere near the RDAs for vitamin B12, folate, iron, etc., etc.? My guess would be no.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks very much for all of your comments. I am mainly looking to tone up - lots of loose ab skin. I've already lost the bulk of weight I wanted (I'm down from 158 with body fat at 31%). My work out schedule doesn't seem to be too hard - somedays I do have some sore muscles but I'll consider it more closely after your comments.

                  I've been past childbearing since 41 (I just didn't know it back then).

                  Gosh, only eating 2-3 times a day....I've gotten into the habit of my 5 meals a day and love it (or maybe I should say 3 meals with 2 snacks)...hmmm, another thing to reconsider. Is eating only 2-3 times a day better than 5? I thought that it helped stabilize blood suger and helped with not overeating?

                  I also forgot to mention that I actually have too much energy - since going primal, I'm on, on, on! I feel really positive and my body pretty much works as it should - that is, in reference to what I felt before. I'm actually not hungry with primal but sometimes get worried that my fat intake is too high (although this is my favorite part!)

                  I'm going to check into what peril said above about "pro-inflammatory". don't know too much about that or it's signs.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    WOW! just say Lewis' post. I'll need to digest that for a bit...thanks so much.
                    Dang, it seems to be so hard to have the body I want and also the level of health I want!!! But of course, health first

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It depends on your bone structure and frame. I have a small, narrow frame and look fine even around 100, but I see plenty of women with bigger frames who look rather bony and emaciated at CW weight recommendations.
                      F 28/5'4/100 lbs

                      "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Eating five times a day is conventional wisdom.

                        Eating twice a day (especially within a 6 to 8 hour time frame) means that you have a long period each day where you are not asking your body to produce insulin.
                        Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy? | Mark's Daily Apple
                        The Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting | Mark's Daily Apple

                        Fitting 2000 calories (I eat less because I am a whole lot less active than you are) into two meals is luxurious, fulfilling, and satiating.
                        Female, age 51, 5' 9"
                        SW - 183 (Jan 22, 2012), CW - 159, GW - healthy.

                        Met my 2012 goals by losing 24 pounds.
                        2013 goals are to get fit and strong!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am same height but 10 lbs heavier than that. Body fat around 21.5% currently but I would guess I am more a medium body frame. I still have plenty of booty and plenty of leg fat to lose, still a bit too jiggly for my taste, I've gone tone under there and I am anxious to show it! My goal is exactly where you are % wise and I don't think it is unrealistic or would be too thin.

                          I think people get freaked out when someone loses that much weight. It's a bit of a shock to the system. Ever had a guy you know shave a beard or a mustache after sporting it a long time? I liken it to that. Folks will get used to you. Congrats.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cmg View Post

                            Gosh, only eating 2-3 times a day....I've gotten into the habit of my 5 meals a day and love it (or maybe I should say 3 meals with 2 snacks)...hmmm, another thing to reconsider. Is eating only 2-3 times a day better than 5? I thought that it helped stabilize blood suger and helped with not overeating?
                            "Stabilize(d) blood sugar" is another word for "constantly elevated". Your body won't burn fat until a few hours after eating. If you keep cramming food in your face, you'll never switch to a fat-burning mode.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jfreaksho View Post
                              "Stabilize(d) blood sugar" is another word for "constantly elevated". Your body won't burn fat until a few hours after eating. If you keep cramming food in your face, you'll never switch to a fat-burning mode.
                              Please enlighten me: If I eat 750 calories twice in ten hours, totalling 1500 calories, and burn 2000 calories that day, then I have presumably mobilized 500 calories, presumably mainly from my fat stores, correct?

                              So if instead I eat 300 calories every two hours for ten hours, totalling 1500 calories, and burn 2000 calories that day, you are saying that my body has thus managed to create the missing 500 calories ex nihilo, leaving my fat stores miraculously untouched? And that this miracle of thermodynamics is all due to the frequency with which I stuff my face?
                              Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

                              My Primal Journal

                              Comment

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