I know counting calories is discouraged, BUT...
...I kind of need to, at least for right now, and I was hoping to get some advice from those of you with a little more primal experience under your belts!
Here are the basics: I am a 21-year-old female, 5'5", ~135 lbs, body fat percentage somewhere in the mid-20s. I've been eating strictly Paleo for 14 days and have already lost about 7 lbs of what is probably water weight. I am not overweight by anyone's definition (except possibly my own, but that depends on which side of the bed I wake up on more than anything!) but I would still like to lose some weight. Well, lose fat, actually. I'm pretty keen on holding onto the muscle that I have.
The reason I am so attached to counting calories is that for the last few years, I have going back and forth between being a serial dieter and genuinely eating disordered. I even did a brief stint in the hospital, although I never actually got underweight to begin with. My views of what is a healthy or unhealthy portion have been skewed, and I am still learning how to tell the differences among boredom, cravings, and actual hunger.
All my doctors are aware that I am eating Paleo now, and I'm keeping them mostly in the loop with how I eat and everything, so there's no risk of me relapsing while they've all got their eyes on me. No worries there.
At first I was eating between 1400 and 1600 calories a day, with roughly 50%-70% of that as fat, 25%-40% as protein, 15%-25% as carbohydrates. Now I have bumped my calories up to around 1800-1900, as I am concerned that eating too little will actually hinder my weight loss. As of yesterday I have also decreased my carbohydrate consumption to under 40 g, for now at least.
I am doing a lot of walking - around 6 hours a week (and that's just the walking I do on my local trails, so excluding everyday activity), sometimes more. I do some pilates, squats, and knee push-ups (not strong enough for the real ones yet!) about twice a week. I also do a short, intense session on an elliptical machine every 7-10 days as my "sprint".
Obviously staying healthy is my number one goal, but I would like to lose fat as swiftly as I healthily can. Does anyone have opinions of how I am going about things? Any changes I should make? Any ways I can speed up this process?