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Thread: Reality check: Counting calories page 20

  1. #191
    Primalvore's Avatar
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    Primal Fuel
    Ok Erin's here to stir up the thread again.

    I do 16-8 fasts every day. And this week I've made it a goal to "aim for" 1100 calories a day (or an average of 7700 calories a week).

    I do this because as we all know, there is no way to truly be sure as to how many calories you are actually consuming, even if you use digital scales and measuring cups and TB and FitDay. Companies are allowed to be a percentage off in their calculations (what you read on nutrition labels), and 6 oz of red meat may have more fat (and thus more calories) than you assume when you log it in on FitDay. I use measuring and "calorie counting" as a subjective means, because I know that I probably consume more than what I tally every day. Having a subjective number to aim for helps me figure out what I need to tweak each week. I "aimed for" 1300 a day last week and even with eating super clean and not cheating at all gained a little fat. Well, that's probably because I actually consumed a couple hundred more calories than I assumed. For some reason, my body just seems to do really great in the percieved 900-1200 calorie range. I'm aware that I may be wrong with all of this, and that many people will think I'm "starving myself" or "sick", but I am totally comfortable with this. Any more food would make me feel physically distressed (as in give me a stomachache). Right now I'm not at a place where I want to be eating 1900 calories a day.

    There seem to be two huge factions of Primal, as we all know. The intuitive eaters and the counters. I honestly see no problem with either. When I get to maintenance, I hope to shift to more intuitive eating. I'm a freak - I like counting. It's like an experiment every week.

    I could be completely wrong here, but the OP might have been looking for validation to start taking a little more control. She has tried the intuitive thing. Maybe it would add LESS, not more, stress in her life if she tried counting and reducing her calories. If so, I strongly suggest reading the article that john_e_turner_ii posted earlier on this thread. It's mind-blowing. And if it freaks you out and makes you think people are starving themselves, check out the Before and Afters on his page. I think they're looking preeeetttty good, to be honest

    And hey, nobody says you have to regiment and count calories for the rest of your life.

    I feel like I'm going to get a lot of backlash for this

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  2. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by imasin View Post

    Personally I don't want to live life purposely eating bland food just to lose weight.
    If I could knock 10 lbs off in a month I would do it. Then I could go back to worry free flavor full living. I too, am a foodie and cooking is my creative outlet.
    Last edited by Adrianag; 03-03-2011 at 08:44 AM.

  3. #193
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    On the 1000 calories. The only time I'll ever lose is when that is my target. Yes, I count accurately (knowing it is not an exact science.. like Primalvore mentioned above.. but you do with the info you have). I don't want to have to eat 1000 cals, but that seems the way it is. I've been trying to tweak and study (probably read roughly 25 books on nutrition/weight loss/etc, Taubes included) to see if there is anyway I can get around this as being the only way I can lose.. but so far I haven't found anything. I've played for years with the numbers but so far this is it.

    Yep, I've tried for the 1600-2000 - gained.. anything over 1400 for a period of time is a gain or maintain. My family has a long history of obesity - we aren't talking big eaters either. My mom eats roughly 1800 cals and is still overweight by 75+ pounds (been with her for full days on vacation so I count her calories too ).. same goes for grandpa, great grandpa.. all the way back :P Stupid survival mechanisms!

  4. #194
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Paleobird View Post
    I'm IFing because I was told that it was the way to cure "stalled weight loss". It didn't cause the stall. The stall was already there before the IFs. Granted it is obviously not helping any and needs to be tossed of the scrap heap of stuff that sounded good on the net but didn't work IRL.
    Why does everybody assume I eat like a bird? I scarfed down 1/4 of a goose tonight plus squash, green beans, stuffing made with sausage, onions, and walnuts. And primal gravy. (recipe on request)
    That's not alot of food.

    If you like to keep your physical activity I think you should dial back the IF to 1-2 days at most or do it a la LeanGains (12 hr fast-12 hr eating window for women). If you want to keep the IF as is then you might want to dial back the physical activity. And sorry for the assumption, but when I quickly went thru this thread I think you mentioned that you sometimes don't intend to IF, you just aren't hungry some days and skip eating altogether (correct me if I'm wrong). So I assumed when you DO eat, it isn't much (and I don't think what you described for dinner was alot lol).

    And please, do share that primal gravy recipe!

    PS. out of curiousity what's your lean body mass?
    Last edited by MountainDew; 03-03-2011 at 11:27 AM.
    PB Stats:
    Started 5/10/10
    Starting Weight: 215
    Current Weight (1/25/11): 180
    Goal Weight: 160

  5. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleobird View Post
    But I thought he said the whole calories in calories out model was bogus. Now he's saying people overeat when they exercise and therefor don't create a calorie deficit? I thought he thought the whole idea of calorie deficits was a joke. Now I'm really confused.
    No, he doesn't think it's bogus. He understands it and agrees with it. I think his argument is that it's more complicated than that.
    The Inanity of Overeating

    And Tom Naughton wrote up something trying to explain what Taubes was trying to get at:
    Fat Accounts And The Laws of FiscalDynamics

    But maybe that's what happens when you take nutritional advice from a journalist.
    Now now, that's not really fair. Plenty of people here have come across doctors and nutritionists who didn't know what the hell they were talking about. You don't need to have a fancy title or degree to be educated on an issue.
    PB Stats:
    Started 5/10/10
    Starting Weight: 215
    Current Weight (1/25/11): 180
    Goal Weight: 160

  6. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by melsie View Post
    On the 1000 calories. The only time I'll ever lose is when that is my target. Yes, I count accurately (knowing it is not an exact science.. like Primalvore mentioned above.. but you do with the info you have). I don't want to have to eat 1000 cals, but that seems the way it is. I've been trying to tweak and study (probably read roughly 25 books on nutrition/weight loss/etc, Taubes included) to see if there is anyway I can get around this as being the only way I can lose.. but so far I haven't found anything. I've played for years with the numbers but so far this is it.
    Just wanted to agree that 1,000 calories or under does not equal starvation for everyone - it all depends on how big you are, what you do, how good your body is at using calories, etc.
    I could probably live on 1,000 calories a day because I'm on the small side and don't do much, but I wouldn't actively aim for it.

  7. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    This.

    Then how about taking some diet advice from a doctor?
    This is the article (that profdjj posted originally) that made the most sense to me:
    The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D. Ľ Low-carb and calories
    From that article:
    "On a low-carb diet your body burns fat for energy. But it doesnít care where this fat comes from; it can come from the diet or it can come from the fat cells or it can come from both. If you are consuming enough fat to meet all your bodyís requirements, your body wonít go after the fat in the fat cells no matter how severely you restrict your carbs. You will burn dietary fat only and no body fat. And you wonít lose weight. Itís that simple.

    It has been shown countless times that when people go on low-carb diets they spontaneously reduce their caloric intake. Most foods available on low-carbohydrate diets are satiating and those following these diets get full quickly. They just donít eat that many calories. In most studies of low-carb diets people drop their caloric intake down to the 1500-1700 kcal range and are quite satisfied. At that level of caloric intake, they need a fair amount of their own body fat to make up the difference between their dietary intake and the 2400-2600 kcal (or more) that they burn every day. As they consume this body fat, they lose weight.

    Once people settle in to low-carb diets ....a different aspect of eating kicks in: eating for fun instead of simply for nourishment. And people eat because it is an enjoyable endeavor, a hedonistic endeavor even. People want a food because it appeals to them hedonistically, and they read this urge to eat as hunger, which it usually isnít."

    This is describing me to the proverbial T.

  8. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrianag View Post
    If I could knock 10 lbs off in a month I would do it. Then I could go back to worry free flavor full living. I too, am a foodie and cooking is my creative outlet.
    I'd worry about losing that much weight that quickly (I'm overweight but not obese anymore) and then gaining it back... maybe that's a very CW worry that has no basis, but either way, I don't have that much willpower haha.

  9. #199
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    I'm 235 lbs. I started on 1000-1200 calorie plan at 290. If the data I'm tracking is to be believed, I'm creating a caloric defecit of over 2000 calories a day. And sure enough, I lose 3-4 lbs a week.

    Now because of the way the program is structured, I'm taking in less than 100g of carbs. My insulin is regulated. I have the proper "hormonal milieu." I just think that the proper hormonal milieu is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for weight loss.

    If I understand Taubes correctly, the hypothesis is that without the proper hormonal milieu, fat cannot be stored, so you can't gain fat. This is how it works for Type 1 diabetics (I'm a little unclear whether the hypothesis posits that the excess calories consumed in this scenario are passed through excretion or whether the metabolism just speeds up.

    In order to lose fat (not necessarily weight, but fat), then, you would need the proper hormonal milieu to not store fat. But you would also need some reason to burn stored bodyfat. This also requires the proper hormonal balance (more glucagon, less insulin), but that's not sufficient to make the body prefer fuel stored in adipose cells to fuel consumed in the diet. I do think you need a caloric defecit and that larger caloric defecits will burn more stored fat providing (and this is a big caveat) that the calorie restriction does not cause a change in your underlying basal metabolism. Research suggests that adequate protein and avoiding overtraining protects against that. But the upshot is that losing fat, as opposed to preventing storing fat, requires one additional necessary condition.

    I think it's exciting that we're finally getting the type of tools to be able to take this all into account. One benefit of wearing the BodyMedia armband is that I can do N=1 tests on some common advice. Do sprint workouts increase my basal rate for a 12 hours or so afterwards? Yes. Does moving slowly? Only if I do it for over 2 1/1 hours or so. Does lifting? Not at the intensity I'm doing it, apparently. Steady state cardio? Not really. And based on that type of n=1 research, I have found that the occassional higher calorie day appears to goose weight loss. But not if I do it every day. I view a higher calorie day the same way I view a day off from exercising. Just a step to make sure my cortisol levels don't go out of whack, but nothing that overrides my essential caloric defecit goal. Maybe all of this can be counter-productive for the obsessive, but I find it useful to have as much data as possible about what's going on in my body.

  10. #200
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    Hey Robin
    I'm right there with you. I didn't lose a pound (and if we are going for fat loss...that didn't happen either) when I weighed/measured this month. I held steady, but I didn't drop.
    I've held steady for almost two months now. I have been Primal for 4 months, so that is half of the time I have been primal. There was the first weight/fat loss and then nothing. If you find something that kicks it for you, let me know! I'll do the same.
    On a low-carb diet your body burns fat for energy. But it doesn’t care where this fat comes from; it can come from the diet or it can come from the fat cells or it can come from both.
    This makes me wonder if cutting a little of the fat and focusing more on the protein would help. I know that when I am hungry, I reach for the fat first because I know it will make me feel fuller, faster. Time to experiment.

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