Humm, I don't know how well your plan will work. If you force yourself to eat more than your burning you will gain weight. If you need to gain weight, well then, this is a good thing :) If you are just looking to challenge your metabolism a bit perhaps you should consider "cycling" your calories with higher and lower days. One day 1200, one day 2000 ect.
I think what you need to learn to do to make this work is to eat like a thin person, in other words, not eat if you are not hungry, stop eating when you are no longer hungry, and recognize what it is you are hungry for. Becoming in touch with your hunger will make everything easier.
Its a good idea, the biggest challange will be not freaking out once you start gaining fat. It will take awhile to fix and you have to be patient and dedicated. A bit of advice..
Keep polyunsaturated fat as low as possible. Keep protein on the lower side and get moat of your calories from carbs first and fat secondary, keep them both pretty high. All this will help with thyroid and adrenals. Make sure to get as nutritious as possible, bath your body in nutrients. I recommend juicing in between meals. Get as much sleep as possible, 8-10 quality hours a night. Try to reduce stress from ever aspect of life. Get lots of sun and barefoot time, play a lot, dont do an exercise you hate. Always eat to appetite, whenever you are hungry.
[QUOTE=PaleoMom;1107581]I'm considering a campaign of overeating to restore my metabolism like the restrictive eating recovery diets for eating disorder patients.
I'm curious about women who have never tried to lower calories or over exercise and have spent their lives eating as much as they felt like and have maintained a nice lean body doing so. Anyone?
I'm certainly sick of dieting. It has only ever made me fatter. It is starting to make more and more sense to me that overeating at first (to restore what my body has been needing and to repair the damage) and then afterward eating to hunger (still of nice good paleo foods) would result in a weight gain at first but then when my body gets the message that the food is going to continue coming, the fat will go away and extra calories after that are just burned off as heat (and energy for me!).
If the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result, then I would be insane to continue trying to lose weight based on calories, food choices and macronutrient ratios.
So has anyone else given this a good long try? Are you someone that has never felt the need to diet because you have always been lean yet have eaten all that you have wanted to?
I'll be aiming for a minimum of 2400 calories a day.[/QUOTE]
A courageous choice. I think it does make sense, and I wish you great success.
[QUOTE=eKatherine;1107798]I think what you need to learn to do to make this work is to eat like a thin person, in other words, not eat if you are not hungry, stop eating when you are no longer hungry, and recognize what it is you are hungry for. Becoming in touch with your hunger will make everything easier.[/QUOTE]
I agree with this. I lost 20lbs (but looks like more) last year without counting calories and exercising as I could fit it in. I am much less hungry eating primal so I no longer feel the need to snack constantly. Did a 17hr fast this weekend without much of a thought because we were out of eggs. I don't think you need to overeat, just switch to nutrient dense foods and don't restrict calories. I bet you'll find yourself losing after your body heals itself.
What about eating to add muscle?
I have thin friends who "appear to eat a lot", but they really don't. I have heavier friends "who barely eat", but they actually eat a lot. Does that make sense? I used to "not eat hardly anything" and ignored a lot of snacks. Like we all know the lady in the office who "had a banana for breakfast and a salad for lunch" but then snacks all day on the candy bowl.
As a sugar addict, I know I consumed large amounts of calories that never registered. Maybe my day to day was 1300 calories, but I'd have days where who knows how much sugar I consumed.
I think we overestimate how many calories we should be eating, while underestimating how many we do eat. Metabolisms vary... I bet it is the rare modern woman that can eat 2200 calories without a very active lifestyle. And quite honestly, evolutionarily speaking, I can't understand the benefit of evolving to have high metabolisms.
When you break it down to clean foods, 2200 calories is a LOT to eat in a day (think clean foods only- no fill of grains etc.). My breakfast- chicken sausage, 3 eggs, spinach, mushrooms, 1/2T of butter, a banana and coffee with 50 calories of coconut milk was 500 calories. That's a lot of damn food to eat and pay for.My lunch will be around 300-400 calories and dinner will be about 500 calories. It ends up being a lot of food. I can't think of a way to expand that to 2200 calories without adding in "filler".
I dunno, while I might try and eat more if I was hungry, I would not try to eat more for the sake of raising my metabolism. It sounds like how we get fat.
[QUOTE=PaleoMom;1107581]I'm considering a campaign of overeating to restore my metabolism like the restrictive eating recovery diets for eating disorder patients. [/QUOTE]
I did this over the summer and it ended up being the best thing for me.
I'm a lady in my thirties, 5'4. I've never weighed over 125lbs, but carried about an extra 10-15lbs of fat all in my lower half, which I know doesn't sound like much, but on a smaller person it looked terrible. I have a long history of binge-eating and restricting and counting calories, and could never get rid of that tummy/thigh weight. Any fat that I did lose always came off my top (shoulders/collarbone/boobs) which made me look emaciated on top and accentuated the pear-shaped extra fat on the bottom.
For years I kept calories under 1,500, with long stretches of staying under 1,400 or 1,300 or 1,200...the more I restricted, the more resistant that fat became. It got to a point where I was seriously eating about 1,200 calories a day and could barely maintain my current weight (extra fat included) without gaining. I kept reading all these articles and posts about restricting calories, but what most people don't understand is that the more you restrict, the more your body will lower it's metabolism to compensate.
Since life on 1,200 was miserable, I eventually got to my breaking point, I decided to give this 'over-eating' plan a try. I have to say that I was honestly really scared to do this. Months and years of being so carefully not to go over a certain threshold filled me with fears that I'd soon balloon up and then never be able to get back to my starting point. I took lots of deep breaths and gave myself lots of pep talks, because I also knew that stressing about it and being convinced of failure before even starting could mess up the whole thing and give me the results I was most afraid of.
When I first started my 'overeating' campaign, I was aiming for a minimum of 2,000 calories a day (though if possible, closer to 2,200-2,400). At the same time i also increased my carbs and sugar (cane sugar or fructose, no HFCS) and cut back on fat. This way of eating felt really good, and the reduction in fat possibly was a factor in not gaining a lot of fat (but no way to know). I suddenly had a lot more energy, which resulted in more spontaneous movement. Instead of forcing myself to go to the gym, I was jumping with joy to take long walks outside, dance around the house while cleaning, even sprinting to stores from my car.
I initially did gain some weight - the first few weeks, probably something like 5lbs. Then a funny thing happened. I stopped counting any calories and just ate the amount that I wanted and very slowly that extra 5lbs melted away.
Now, I never count calories. I estimate that many days I hit at least 2,000 calories with some occasional lower calorie days when my appetite is lower. Now, I'm never restricting, counting, or caring about the volume I eat. I'm a little lighter than my starting point, my body composition is definitely better, and my mental health is much improved because I'm not obsessing over how to hit my nutritional requirements without going over a calorie threshold, or feeling deprived.
The most important thing about this plan is not to freak out when you gain some weight in the beginning - because you will gain. Also, for me it was imperative that I didn't let my quest to eat 'high calorie' turn into an excuse to eat garbage. I allowed myself to eat as much cane sugar or fructose as I desired, but since no HFCS was allowed, that eliminated virtually all candy, junk food, and soda (except when in Italy where they don't have HFCS). I also kept my no PUFA crap oils rule. These few rules are what prevented me from slipping back into my binge-eating patterns because I couldn't just blow through a bag of candy, I had to actually prepare my foods/beverages.
If done right, it can be a great strategy that has positive long-term results.
I dunno, while I might try and eat more if I was hungry, I would not try to eat more for the sake of raising my metabolism. It sounds like how we get fat.[/QUOTE]
It doesn't at all sound like how we get fat to me. It sounds like how we're [I]told [/I]we get fat, but it doesn't sound at all like the way I've observed it to actually happen.
Edited to add awesome link: [url]http://www.caloriegate.com/i-want-to-know-why-calories-dont-count[/url]
I can't say that I am someone who has never dieted severely or who has always been thin. I have mostly always been larger than most girls even when thin for myself. And I have dieted severely so initiated that negative process long ago. And I've over-exercised, too.
Since going primal I have pretty much eaten quite a bit more than I ever did before. A strange thing has happened in that the more I eat the more exercise I simply want to do. I do it for enjoyment, not for weight loss. And also the more I eat the less I want to overeat because I'm not sitting around counting the minutes to my next meal or feeling deprived. Sometimes I do overeat and then I don't want to eat as much for a while. Note that this doesn't work the same if I overeat on chocolate mousse or something like that. It works when I overeat on real food.
Lately I've been strength training and this not only makes me hungrier than usual I have to consciously eat more protein to support my efforts, which means eating a lot of satiating food. There are some days I just can't eat it all. That's a strange sensation for a pig-out queen like me.
So give it a shot. Don't force-feed yourself. Just give yourself permission.
@BestBetter - I could have written those first paragraphs! When a person can't lost on 1,000 calories a day and is gaining on 1,200 (I'm 5'7") it is time for something very different.
Thank you everyone for all the fantastic replies! To answer a few questions:
Yes, I will be eating past my current hunger level. I will not be eating junk ever and no PUFA's that can be avoided, just lots of nutrient dense paleo foods, heavier on the starch to help with calories.
I'll be continuing my Body By Science type of lifting routine. No formal cardio, but I already feel so much more energy that I think I'll find myself just naturally more active.
This is not how people get fat. I'd like to meet a person who is 300 pounds overweight that got that way eating nutrient dense natural foods and healthy fats.
I have already tried calorie cycling, I've been eating a low calorie but nutrient dense diet for many years already, my omega 6:3 ratio is usually 1:1, 2:1 at the highest, I've have tried every diet out there and every variation on this forum already.
Thankfully my husband has no trouble with me gaining a bit, especially when muscle will be part of that. I'm starting to be okay with the idea myself. The more I think about my past the more I realize this plan makes a lot of sense to me. If nothing else I need a mental break from the last 24 years (I've been dieting since around age 10). I've managed to never really be overweight, my highest being 141, but have always struggled to lose 5-10 pounds. Eating anything above my lowest restrictive calorie level causes weight gain. I have never eaten this much. I think it is worth testing to see if feeding myself enough to meet my needs and heal for long enough that my body stops thinking it is temporary (and should turn it all to fat for my next diet campaign) could actually result in something different.