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Thread: The more I read, the more confused I get...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    The more I read, the more confused I get...

    Shop Now
    Maybe I should just stop reading the forum

    When I read the book and perused the website it sounded to me like counting calories was not necessary and that just eating clean would suffice.

    The more I read the more it sounds like this is a diet that suggests low calories - I've just read some of Mark's posts about his meals and diet - he routinely eats 2000 calories a day (his fitday logs show 2200-2500 if he eats ALL the food, which he says he doesn't). It seems like I read a lot of "it is NOT just about calories in vs calories out" but in both the book and online even though it never says "cut calories" his sample menus are always low calorie (1600/day for women and 2000/day for men in the book + the one Mark lists for himself). This seems to contradict the "add healthy fats liberally, eat tons of veggies" that it says other places.

    So, question 1 - how many of you found that you did in fact cut calories, intentionally or not when you began the diet?

    Which leads to question 2 - how many of you were hungry doing this?

    I ask because I'm hungry. And my calories aren't that low.

    Question 3 - Am I still maybe doing this against guidelines?

    Me: 5'2", 136 lbs, 33 years old, F. According to by Tanita scale I'm 27-28% BF. I am a pretty active person in my recreational life, I was running 30+ miles a week (I've come down) and hike frequently (12-15 miles with 2-3k elevation was normal for a weekend hike). So overall I was pretty aerobically fit. I'm built sort of stocky but don't actually have has much strength as I'd like. I'm a teacher so I'm on my feet a lot during the day but not "active".

    Here is yesterday:
    6AM - gym. 5 min warm up on TM. 9% grade, 3 mph. Then I did 1 min of 6 mph (run) and 2 min of 3.5 mph walking on and off for a total of 30 min (all at that 9% grade). Then I did 15 burpees, 2 min of abs, rest, 10 burpees, 2 min of abs. 25 walking lunges with 10 lbs, shoulder press with the weight and repeated. Then I did a few assisted pull ups and tricep pulldowns. Took me about 50 min total.

    B - 16 oz coffee with 2 tbsp of heavy cream, 4 hard boiled eggs.
    L - 3 oz mixed greens, 4 oz roasted chicken breast, 4 strips of bacon, few cherry tomatoes, little dressing made from mustard, oil and lemon juice. 1 tbsp of coconut butter.
    Sn - 3 oz broccoli raw with 2 100 cal packs of guacamole (good ingredients in it, I checked!)
    D - 2 c frozen cauliflower roasted with some olive oil, rosemary and seasoned salt (I made), tossed salad with tomato slices, cucumber slices and some shredded carrot (we ordered in) with a little of my dressing, hamburger (8 oz raw according to the menu) which I put 1 oz of sharp cheddar on. I also tried 1 oz of a raw cheese I purchased the other day.
    Dessert - 1/3 light cocunut milk (frozen) with some cinnamon and 1 tbsp of coconut butter and a cup of peppermint tea.

    Drinks: 32 oz water after the gym, 3L of seltzer during the day (working on a coke zero addiction), 16 oz coffee, 1 c tea.

    According to fitday this was 2100-2200 calories.

    Before trying PB I ate about 2500/day (a lot of crap) and was running 5 miles most days. So that was a weight maintenance intake for me.

    I wasn't "full" after dinner but stopped eating. At 6:15 AM as I type this I'm hungry and have a headache.

    I feel much better eating this way but I'd like to lose some weight too... But I was thinking I'd be able to lose weight without going really low calorie. Was I wrong?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    You are making this far too complicated. Just simply giving up all the cereals, oatmeal, breads, grains, & legumes will make a HUGE difference in your life. One woman we know had lost 75 lbs in one year by simply not eating any more bread! Otherwise her diet was unchanged.

    IMO, just focus on eating eggs, meat, chicken, fish, veggies, fruits & nuts. Don't count calories, don't count carbs, and keep it simple. The pounds & fat will slowly more or less fade away and your health will improve.

    My suggestion: Stop being a perfectionist.

    Best to you,
    Last edited by Grizz; 02-12-2011 at 04:51 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I used to count calories. I would make sure that I got no more than 2,000 calories on a non-workout day and 2,250 calories on a workout day. I did that for years and saw *some* scale weight movement, but it wasn't consistent. I yo-yo'd all over the place. I couldn't keep the fat off to save my damned life but I can gain muscle like no one else I know. I knew that low-carb types of diets were what I needed, but I could never find one that I could stick to. I found Mark and The Primal Blueprint in November of 2010 and it has totally changed everything. I started at 203lbs (after a strict low-carb diet for 2 months that sucked) and was shocked to find that I am currently am at 211. BUT, I can start to see my abs for the first time in my life and I haven't concerned myself with counting calories. I did track them for 2 weeks at the end of January to see what the macro breakdown of what I was eating and it worked out to be just under 3,000 calories per day with about 65-70% coming from fat, 25% from protein and 5-10% from carbs.
    Once I stopped worrying about the calorie content of foods and just figured out what I *wanted* (and it fit the blueprint) everything just fell into place.
    Some people probably do eat a lot less calories than they used to, I just happen to eat a lot more and that is what works for me. Not obsessing about the number is the *best* part of this for me. Takes all the stress away.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    cleveland, ohio
    here is my take on it all:

    eating a CW diet has deprived your body of what it needs. it doesn't matter if you were calorie restricting or eating at maintenance - the type of food that CW promotes does not nourish your body.

    eating this way does. however, now you're dealing with a body that has been deprived of what it needs for a very long time. so its going to want it. and you will eat it. but, because of the CW crap that has been embedded into our brains, it seems to be an alarming amount of food. so you worry.

    i think that too many people jump right in with the calorie restriction and not so much the healing aspect. you have spent years bombarding your body with not the right food and its done its damage. you need to give your body time to fix itself. this may, for some people, mean eating a crap ton of PB food.

    however, given enough time, once your body is getting enough of what it needs, it will regulate itself. this may be 3 weeks in, or 3 months in. what you think your body needs and what your body knows it needs are two different things, and your body will always prevail no matter how much you restrict.

    my suggestion: skip the calorie tracking for now and just eat PB and focus on getting your body running properly. i know this is INCREDIBLY tough because of the fear CW has instilled in us, but this WOE does work. once your body is getting enough, you will realize that one day, you ARE eating less. make sure you are eating when you are actually hungry, and not because you have subconsciously instilled a pavlovian response to 'eating times' as dictated by CW. just do not develop a fear of food. as long as you're eating PB, you're doing right by your body.

    HANDS OFF MY BACON :: my primal journal

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    I started eating much less on this WOE. Slowly my food intake has creeped up as I have gotten thinner, but I have never gained fat. Look at it this way: an 8 egg omelet for breakfast, a large leafy green salad for dinner and 1 lb of meat is a huge amount of food for a day, but it's under 2000 calories. Leastways if fitday is correct. I would advise eating 2-3 meals a day until you are full if you are trying to lose weight, snacks have a way of not adding overall satiety.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Columbia, SC
    Follow the PB...forget counting calories...and you will see the results.

    I did.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    New York
    If you read the PB carefully, he makes clear that to lose weight you must have a caloric deficit (see the chapter contrasting the numbers for the modern day and Paleolithic couples). The issue is that normally cutting calories is difficult because of feeling hungry, associated with insulin surges. Eating fat prevents the insulin surges and allows you to cut calories less painfully.

    The anecdotes provided by people here who have lost lots of weight without watching calories require an important caveat. If you are very overweight, it is much easier to generate a caloric deficit just by eating healthily, since the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight is much larger. For someone of basically normal weight, who just wants to lose 10-15 lbs, a normal number of calories provided by just eating clean may very well not be sufficient to generate a deficit, since the margin of error is much smaller. For those people, watching calories probably will be necessary until new habits have been formed.

    As an example, imagine that normal clean eating (without watching calories) is about 2000 calories per day. For a person who is big enough that his maintenance caloric requirement is 2500, eating without watching calories will still allow him to lose weight since he's generating a 500 calorie deficit just by eating clean. In contrast, a small person whose maintenance caloric requirement is 2000 will not lose weight with this diet. She needs to get down to 1500 in order to see results...eating clean won't be enough.

    I'm in the second camp, except that my maintenance caloric requirement is 1500. I couldn't understand why I was eating primal and not losing until I realized that I was eating a full day's worth of calories just in nuts every day. Cut the calories, and the weight came off. The fat kept me from feeling the hunger, but I would have never understood what the problem was until I charted my intake.

    PS. The other issue is that insulin is necessary for fat production, so if you keep your insulin on even keel the efficiency with which you produce fat goes down, and ketosis will keep you burning fat instead of other sources of fuel. But the more basic point is that you won't burn anything of your own stores unless you create a deficit, ketosis nor not. It's just basic physiology.
    Last edited by Svidrigailoff; 02-12-2011 at 07:35 AM.

  8. #8
    Lori, I'm the same as you. It's incredibly easy to overthink the process. But what batty says is correct. Just have faith in the process (read the success stories on the blog!) and let your body heal. I'm about 7 weeks into PB and I haven't lost a drastic amount of weight yet, but my body IS changing. My waist is down by several inches, I'm starting to smile more and have more energy, I'm just feeling confident that this is the right thing to do. I try to weigh myself every 2 weeks just to keep an eye on things and the scale is coming down a bit. I think your day of food looks pretty good, so keep going.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Personally, I started losing weight and gaining muscle right away and didn't really do a ton of counting and whatnot. It just works. Don't get paralysis by analysis, and remember that calorie tracking etc. is time you could better spend sleeping and playing. We've all done it at some point, but it's not really necessary long term.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    London U.K
    Shop Now
    I agree with batty. The more messed up you are/were from CW food the less I would worry about counting calories, and just focus of getting HEALTHY first. Eat real nourishing food and the rest will follow. You can get to your natural weight eating sensibly without calorie tracking.

    If you are otherwise healthy and want to lose those last few pounds for whatever reason then calorie counting can help.
    "My mom made two dishes: Take it or Leave it." -- Stephen Wright, comedian

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