[QUOTE=What and how we should eat is likely uniform. But we will all have different caloric needs. I'm not sure just eating more will impact that.[/QUOTE]
I agree with this, my theory on the overeating thing is that by allowing yourself to eat freely, you stop stressing over the food, your daily caloric needs don't neccessarily change, but your hunger signals normalize, you listen to your body and it stops lying to you, and you will end up eating the correct amount of calories FOR YOU, because your signalling is normal again. Call it starvation mode, orthorexia, leptin signaling, take your pic, but I believe we would all be better off listening to our bodies. Breaking out of the micromanaging your intake cycle can be liberating, in so many ways.
I realize some people have binging poblems, past disorders, and things of this nature. I won't pretend to know how to get those people to a place where they can relax, enjoy their food, and simply eat without freaking out about every bite. But I believe that once you get there your body knows how many calories and what macros and what items it needs, and it will tell you, and everything will balance out.
I wish anyone trying eat this way a good luck! That's the ideal way to eat! Unfortunately, it never worked for me. I start eating to appetite, I end up with 1800-2000 cals a day, and that's experiencing hunger and stuff, and end up gaining fat. At ~1500-1700 cals level I maintain and it involves serious deprivation and in the end leads to sleepless nights and inability to function. I managed to lose and kindda hold pre-preg weight that way for a few years, and it became unbearable. Now I am eating to appetite and gaining. So far about 10 lbs, and about 20 lbs less than I was 'stable' at after pregnancy when I started to lose weight, but since the weight gain shows no signs of slowing down, I might end up back at the border-line overweight state as after preg. I have gained between 1 and 2 sizes in clothes (from size 2-4 to size 6-8 depending on the brand). It is not fun, and I do not look good at this weight.
I try to eat well, though I stopped worrying about macros and I am happy with my fitness regimen.
Can't contribute on horses, but there is always gazzillion people telling me how I need to eat more and exercise less, and how it will magically make me lose fat that is now trapped because of starvation mode, but every time I tried, the same things happen: I gain fat. Not muscle, fat. I have never seen loss of inches at weight gain either.
[QUOTE=magnolia1973;1109670]I get the whole what you feed matters thing. But bottom line, horses doing the same amount of work do not all have the same caloric needs.[/quote]
Who ever said they did? Or how is that otherwise relevant to the question of whether metabolic changes occur in response to an increased quantity of whole, nutritious food?
[QUOTE=magnolia1973;1109670]They may on a hay based diet stop overeating and fall (or increase)to the correct weight, but they won't all eat the same. My horse would be skin and bones if you fed her 3 flakes of hay a day. She gets about 6 a day plus pasture, plus a small amount of feed. But yes, there are horses in my barn that could eat 3-6 flakes of hay a day with no feed and be in good weight. To me, that is a sign that horses all have different metabolisms.[/quote]
The question isn't whether 2 horses have different metabolisms, but whether 1 human has a metabolism that responds to stimuli, or whether BMR is a fixed, dumb, unchangeable force of nature. I submit that a teenager going through a growth spurt, a pregnant woman, or a person in a prison camp as proof that metabolism adjusts to outside stimuli. Clearly you don't think food availability is a stimulus that such a sophisticated mechanism as the human metabolism adjusts to. I think that's folly.
[QUOTE=magnolia1973;1109670]People have varying caloric needs from very little to very high. It's based on age, genetics, and activity, and to a degree, food quality. I don't think we can change that equation very much. It's worth the experiment, but if it takes you 1200 calories to maintain on whole foods, I am not sold on the idea that eating 2000 calories of whole foods will also allow you to maintain.[/QUOTE]
I think you could almost say that anyone who weighs more than 80 pounds that's maintaining/gaining weight on 1000-1200 calories a day has a broken metabolism by definition. That's not me being critical, and that's not to say that there aren't exceptions on the outer fringes of the bell curve, (not to mention people who are on certain medications, etc...) but 1200 kCal just plain isn't a lot of food.
Am I certain that a better supply of healthy, nutritious food can remedy it in every case? Of course not. But 2000-2500 calories a day isn't exactly the intake of a bodybuilder on a dirty bulk. If you have a broken metabolism due to some type of starvation (whether overt caloric restriction or just nutrient starvation from eating SAD) over years and years, it's not entirely silly to posit that consistently feeding your body a normal/moderately high amount of nutritious food might help get it up and running at normal speed again after a while.
[QUOTE]it's not entirely silly to posit that consistently feeding your body a normal/moderately high amount of nutritious food might help get it up and running at normal speed again after a while. [/QUOTE]
I guess, but for example, yoyo dieting never works. (ie, you starve, start eating again and gain back the weight). Now granted, you go from eating poor quality food to eating more poor quality food.
I will be curious to see how this turns out. I think if it works for the OP, she can get rich and write a book for middle aged women.
[QUOTE=Leida;1109713]I try to eat well, though I stopped worrying about macros and I am happy with my fitness regimen. [/QUOTE]
Sometimes I think it isn't the macros that's the problem, sometimes I think it is the micros and we are deficient on this or that, and I think our bodies are "hungry" until we finally feed it whatever it is it is lacking. JMO. And I also think that after we finally start feeding it adequately, it is like, wth is that? I want more! And then at some point it finally levels off. But again, jmo, nothing scientific or big scientific words.
Oh, on the horse topic, DH sent me a cute cartoon, 50 Shades of Hay. I guess I could insert it here and wait a week for it to be approved.
[QUOTE=magnolia1973;1109749]I guess, but for example, yoyo dieting never works. (ie, you starve, start eating again and gain back the weight).[/quote]
You think this is an argument [I]against[/I] the OP's plan. I think it's an argument [I]for[/I].
[QUOTE=magnolia1973;1109749]Now granted, you go from eating poor quality food to eating more poor quality food.[/quote]
Now it sounds like you agree with the premise, that your body isn't going to shed its energy stores while being malnourished. That's the point. A lifetime (or at least adulthood) of (at least periods of) intentional undernourishment has resulted in epigenetic changes resulting in a slower metabolism. Further calorie restriction isn't the way to correct that. Eating an appropriate amount in hopes that the issue can be reversed makes a heck of a lot more sense.
[QUOTE=magnolia1973;1109749]I will be curious to see how this turns out. I think if it works for the OP, she can get rich and write a book for middle aged women.[/QUOTE]
I'm curious too, but I have far higher hopes than I think you do.
[QUOTE=gopintos;1109754]Sometimes I think it isn't the macros that's the problem, sometimes I think it is the micros and we are deficient on this or that, and I think our bodies are "hungry" until we finally feed it whatever it is it is lacking. JMO. And I also think that after we finally start feeding it adequately, it is like, wth is that? I want more! And then at some point it finally levels off. But again, jmo, nothing scientific or big scientific words.[/QUOTE]
Awesome point. Agree 100%.
Interesting thread, I'd love to hear how the OP goes with this, say, a few months down the track when her body has had time to respond. I've had similar troubles - eating nothing just to maintain, gaining on 1500 cal - mine was a thyroid condition, and now that I am finally medicated properly the weight is *slowly* shifting, but i am still on 1300 cal per day. At the moment I don't want to change the first thing in 2 years that has worked, but once I get back down to a happy weight I would like to try this approach - so that I don't have to struggle to maintain my weight the rest of my life. The idea of 'natural' eating - i.e. eating when hungry, eating enough so that I am satiated, then not eating again til I am hungry - the ultimate fantasy!
Thank you all for the support. This thread has been very nourishing for me.
The point of this is definitely to saturate myself with nutrients. One thing that moved me towards thinking this way was to look at the nutrient levels on chronometer when logging in my foods. It is just impossible to maintain a caloric deficit and meet all the RDA's. Even more frustrating is knowing those are low and I should be getting even more than that. The idea here is to eat more nutrients than I need to maintain so there is extra for repair of damage from chronically being low. When that healing is complete, my metabolism should go up, body temperature will come up. My body will have healed what it needed to, enough time will have passed to send the message that the surplus of nutrition is going to continue and then the fat is free to come off, as it will be seen as unneeded.
I believe the reason I have gained in the past while still eating low is that after going super low calories it lowers the metabolism and anything extra is quickly used to store fat for the constant famine that comes and goes. Leida commented about trying 1800-2000 calories and gaining. My thought at this time is that that was still not enough. The body needs extra and it needs it consistently to start sending a different message. I also think the fat gain won't stop until the body has healed and been sent a new message - this is not a temporary surplus, rather, this is the new norm. Then the fat should come back off.
Obviously this is still theory/hope. I'll keep posting progress as time goes on. This morning I had a temperature increase for the first time. 97.6 went up to 97.8. I decided not to weigh myself this morning but did notice a 1 cm. increase in the waist.
[quote]Sometimes I think it isn't the macros that's the problem, sometimes I think it is the micros and we are deficient on this or that, and I think our bodies are "hungry" until we finally feed it whatever it is it is lacking. JMO. And I also think that after we finally start feeding it adequately, it is like, wth is that? I want more! And then at some point it finally levels off. But again, jmo, nothing scientific or big scientific words.[/quote]
This is actually one of mechanisms of causing hunger, the forage for a specific nutrient. I am starting to think that in this regards Primal and paleo diets may actually be of disservice to people who had diets not based on processed foods, because of the elimination pattern that may kick out a food that did not harm but satisfied specific needs for a micronutrient.
For one thing I wonder because I moved from a continent to another continent and some food staples are not available here if I am missing something I ate routinely, like kefir, buckwheat, black currants for example (or something like that), heck maybe even rye?
Another hunger mechanism that Paleo Primal may trigger is elimination of food a person has a liking for but won't it.
All and all, I am starting to be more and more inclined that restrictions should be treated with extreme caution!