Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey (gopintos)
Ok, I am just jumping in right in the middle, right where I am, with my current frustrations. This is spawned as the result of recently reading that a person needs to eat BMR. I have been eating under BMR for almost a year, with the exception of maybe a dozen days.
Where I am at: Weight goes up and down just enough that I think it's progress and I am happy when it goes down. But looking at my chart, no weight loss in 5 months. Actually, just before Christmas I was at a new low, but have gained about 7lbs since then, which puts me right back to where I was 5 months ago.
I contribute the gain to trying to increase calories up a little, and adding exercise back in.
Why did I increase calories? Because I felt they were too low for one thing. But also when I exercise, it makes me hungrier. Maybe I should back up. I also shifted macros. When I shifted macros, I had more energy and thus felt like exercising, which then increases appetite.
I lost most of my weight pre-primal, 50c/30f/20p But calories closer to BMR. Makes sense I guess. I was hungry alot. I made pretty good choices. But eating fairly frequently. And cardio about an hour a day. I am assuming that is what the 50% carbs does to me. I am hungry more frequently, I end up eating more over the course of the day, but I still don't have any trouble staying under BMR.
At that time, I was eating things like Thin Sandwich Wheats and legumes and Peanut Butter. I actually ADDED those things into my diet, as I thought they were good for me. Weight loss was about 10lbs per month.
When I found Primal, I actually found Kruse first like within a few days of each other, and was trying the reset thing. (I think, it has been awhile) But I was learning on my own, that the more I exercised, the hungrier I was, and it seemed easier to me to watch what I eat than to try to do an hour of cardio every day. So I was naturally cutting cardio, and not eating as much. Bad carbs were gone. So it was easy-peasy to cut carbs like the wheats and legumes as I only had maybe a serving of each per day.
So when I found primal, it was easy. Fat was 50-60%. Weight loss cut in half though to about 4-5lbs per month. Calories were dropping. Activity dropping. I hate to exercise, like a cardio DVD, so I didnt mind.
So then I was reading the higher fat threads, thinking maybe if I went higher fat, weight loss would move faster. Calories dropped even farther. I was not hungry. I was eating once or twice a day. Weight loss was slowing down. Energy was also slowing down.
I am thinking okay, give it more time, maybe I am not high enough fat. I can see on my chart that every 10% fat increase came with even slower weight loss, until it stops at about 70-80. Over about 80%, I started to gain.
By that time, I am probably 900-1000 calories under BMR. I didnt stay 80% for long when I saw the weight gain.
I did this for months on end.
So my conclusion at that time, high fat does not work for me. Now I am thinking.... I was happy that high fat kept my calories in check. I fasted daily. Sometimes 24-36 hours. I would drop a few pounds but gain them right back when I would eat. Which was like once or twice a day. Now I am wondering if that was my demise. Too few calories.
Long about October maybe, I tried the potato hack, but only for a few days at a time. Or maybe tators during the day with regular meal at night. I felt more human again. When I was high fat, I don't remember much of my day to day during that time, it was like a fog, I had no energy. I could not exercise even if I wanted, and I sure did not want to. I was afraid to eat tators before that, shoot I was afraid to eat an apple before that. But I couldnt help but think of how I use to lift heavy (20 years ago) and ate mostly tators and chicken. I had not been lifting long but I was squatting 300lbs. For a chick, I think that is pretty good? I was divorced and broke and tators and chicken were cheap.
So adding in potatoes was a good thing. My weight moved on down to it's newest low about 2 weeks before Christmas.
I had a slight gain between then and Christmas.
Then Christmas. I didnt think I did all that badly, but I went up about 5lbs in 5 days. I havent really lost the weight I gained at Christmas time. It goes up and down, up and down, just enough to keep me thinking I am making progress.
At some point, I shifted macros but still eating about 1300 calories a day, eating more 3-way, but I don't count veggies anymore. It might go down about 3lbs, but then goes up and down, up and down. I think I might be just over 1lb ahead of the game since February 1, so on a downward swing now.
The last few weeks or so, I have been trying to calorie cycle. This past week I made sure to eat UP to the low day of zig-zag. My macros are still about a 3-way split. Scale is moving down. Then the High Calorie day, the day before yesterday and it was the closest I have been to BMR in a year. Result: Scale moved up .7 which I figured it would but it is back down .2 today, which I was hoping for. (and I forgot and ate some homemade yogurt and berries before I weighed)
So anyways, at this point..... I don't know what my macros should be but I am thinking that my calories are just plain too low. When my macros include more carbs, I eat more often it seems, and I dont have a problem eating more calories over the course of the day.
When macros are higher fat, I seem to not eat as many calories, which if I were on maintenance that would be a good thing but I am thinking it is my demise while trying to lose weight.
I can not believe I am even typing that. I think I was just figuring out that yes, I need to eat more calories. I seem to lose weight better on about 1500-1600, maybe 1400 low end. 1600 is still under BMR. But trying to eat up to 1600 when I have been 1200-1300 for so long, is a scary proposition, especially when the scale was already creeping up.
I feel more human on a 3-way. And maybe by increasing calories and exercise and adding in more carbs like fruit (I have been having an apple, serving of blueberries, and a banana daily now. I try to eat a small potato daily but I don't always cuz I am just not hungry enough in the evening which is when I usually eat it) so anyways, maybe the carb increase explains the 7lb gain and now I just need to keep on it and make sure calories stay up. I dont have any trouble doing high fat days though either. So maybe I should calorie & carb cycle?
I get what PHD is saying for weight loss, though they are normally high fat ppl. It seems to make sense to me that if I am not giving my body dietary fat, it will take the fat it needs from fat stores. So keep fat to 40% or less. (again, I lost the most weight on 20-30% fat)
I also get the HF/LC debate also. It makes sense to me too. I just don't have much energy.... but that might be because calories were just too low. Maybe if I made sure I focused on higher calorie fats....
Then I think of previous success on lower than 30% fat. 50% carbs. Maybe I need to go back to that? At least until I get the fat off. That is more CW. Just do it in a primal way.
I am otherwise in good health. At least at my last check up numbers were good, except cholesterol had gone up. At that time, thyroid was okay but that has been like last spring or early summer I think. I am wondering if I have whacked myself up somehow, being too low for too long.
I can remember when I reached my low before Christmas, I just knew I had this all figured out. My weight loss had slowed but it looked like it was moving again and I thought I knew what I needed to do. All I have learned, is that the more I learn, the more I dont know. Just when I think I know what I need to do, I realize I don't really have a clue.
It was just dumb luck that I lost almost 70lbs. It was 70 but now more like about 63. I really thought I would be done with this by now. I get the slow and steady, what's the hurry and all that jazz. But I just feel like if there is something I can do, like shift the macros or shift the calories one way or the other, that is something that is in my power to do, and that would be in my best interest to do that and get the extra weight off.
I think I would do whatever I needed to do, I just don't know what that is.
I am thinking about signing up for the email counseling Mark is offering because really I am just very confused. PHD is very good about replying to posts but I don't want to pester him either.
So I guess I thought I would pester you guys first, get some feedback and then try to figure out what to do. I would appreciate any thoughts. Really truly.