You are what you eat, right? So I've been primal for about a week now and have already noticed some perks, like more energy, and less blood sugar emergencies. During the first few days, I felt like I slimmed down a little in the waist - probably water weight from cutting out grains entirely. But since then, I actually feel like I'm regaining girth around my waist and now I'm concerned I'm doing it wrong or something. Maybe it's just paranoia, but, if anyone has time to review my diet, I would appreciate it. I don't want to lose motivation wondering if what I'm doing will work. If I even had some idea of how long I should wait to remeasure expecting a good result, that would help a lot.
So, here's where I'm at right now: I'm female, 27, 5'4" in height, with 40" hips, a 32" waist, and 28" around the widest part of my thigh. I don't know what I weigh, but maybe around 155 lbs? So I'm only a little overweight, I guess, but I feel horrible about myself and I desparately want to lose, or at least shrink, the roll on my belly as soon as possible so I can stop feeling like a gross failure. Long term, I want to slim and tone my thighs, back/core, and upper arms, but if I can wear jeans and fitted t-shirts without feeling embarrassed, those loftier goals can take as long as they take.
Right now I'm using LiveStrong's DailyPlate to track calories and get more familiar with the macronutrient breakdowns of foods that I eat. I've been hovering around 1350-1400 *net*, which is a little more than the 1302 the calorie calculator estimates I should eat to lose 1 lb/wk, but a decent amount less than 1802, the estimate for how much I'd need to maintain my weight. I say net because I plugged in a sedentary lifestyle, but I've been keeping track of my activity, too. I walk at least a mile a day, sometimes 3 or 4, I'm doing sprints once a week, and lifting lightly (trying not to overdo it; it's been awhile) 2-3 days a week.
I've kept my carbs under 100g, usually around 60g but once in awhile it jumps up to 90 (can't entirely resist peaches in the summer). Because I estimate my BMI to around 26%, I think my protein needs are around 90g a day, which I've been meeting on average, some days more than others. Obviously the rest comes from fat, and a little from alcohol. I've been eating about 80% primal I think, mostly good protein sources (antibiotic and hormone free eggs, meats), lots of veggies and a small amount of fruit. I do cheat a bit with coffee, heavy cream, and a glass or two of red wine every day, and as a rare treat, dark chocolate or soft fancy cheese.
I know I can keep this up, and hopefully will add more and more lifting and moving at various speeds, because it really doesn't feel much different than the moderately "healthy" diet I had before that was high in grains and fruit juices (omg...feeling pretty dumb about that). So yay for sustainability, but is it enough that I will lose weight? How soon should I expect noticable results? If it's slow, how can I best speed it up, by dropping carbs or dropping calories? Or am I not eating *enough*? I don't feel deprived at all but sometimes I do think I could eat a little more. Buuuut....thinking "I could eat a little more" got me here in the first place. =/
Thanks for any responses.
“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.” -- Joseph Campbell
It's only been a week! Jeez, relax! You have to fix things first. Eat when you feel hungry. Nourish your body with wholesome, real food. Lots of good fats and protein. Watch what happens!
Congrats on the commitment, keep us posted!
If you're on the right place on Mark's Carbohydrate Curve—and with the figures you gave you are—then you should gradually lose. Quite likely a couple of pounds per week and without feeling hungry.I know I can keep this up, and hopefully will add more and more lifting and moving at various speeds, because it really doesn't feel much different than the moderately "healthy" diet I had before that was high in grains and fruit juices (omg...feeling pretty dumb about that). So yay for sustainability, but is it enough that I will lose weight? How soon should I expect noticable results? If it's slow, how can I best speed it up, by dropping carbs or dropping calories?
What you eat is not the only thing that plays into it, however. You have to remember the problem is basically hormonal, and there are lots of things that can affect that. You also need to be sleeping properly, and preferably in a total darkness—blackout curtains, even tape over lights on clocks, radios, etc.:
Amazon.com: Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival (9780671038687): T. S. Wiley, Bent Formby: Books
Reminds me, Lights Out recommends 200mg a day of R-alpha lipoic acid and 200mg a day of evening primrose oil to help reset insulin sensitivity. (But reiterates that it doesn't help unless you both get the sleep in the dark and lay off the carbs.)
Your stress levels should be low, too, so avoid overtrain, don't worry about things, and take some time to relax. Actually doing something like meditation or Tai Chi—moving meditation—would be worthwhile.
"I need to eat a skinny girl."
This can be taken so many ways...
ErikaE - It is good that you are so gung-ho about tracking everything, but sometimes you just need to let that shit go and listen to your body rather than focus on the minutiae. It can be overwhelming and cause stress that actually messes with your hormones and stops your body from burning fat. You have to stress a lot about it for it to happen, but you seem to be heading that way. Take it slowly and realize that it takes some time. Hang in there and don't give up.
People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.
Just starting out, you might want to watch things like coffee, alcohol, and cheese. Even dark chocolate might be suspect especially if its not over 85% cacao. The key thing is to jumpstart your weight loss if thats your goal, and then once you got it going, slowly add things back in to a) watch their impact on you and b) so you can determine rules on when you do and don't have them (cheats).
It is good that you are so gung-ho about tracking everything, but sometimes you just need to let that shit go and listen to your body rather than focus on the minutiae. 
Please refer to mark's context of calories and the calorie myth explained here:
Diet Plan » The Calorie Myth: Explained
When we try to limit our bodies to a set number of calories every day week after week our body becomes accustomed to that amount of calories.
Best advice I can give you is eat till you are no longer hungry, afterwords if you ate Primal you should be feeling great all day without crashing.
I would advice you to eat less than 50grams of carbohydrates a day, yes 150 is a good number a lot better than most already eat on the SAD diet.
But 1 16oz bag of spinach = 3 to 5 net carbohydrates.
5 pickles = 5 net carbohydrates.
1/2 cup of berries = 9 net carbohydrates.
1/2 cup of almonds = 7 net carbohydrates.
That's 26 net carbohydrates.... see how easy it is to keep below 50 without worrying about food consumption? There also many other primal foods listed that are low in carbohydrates that you can eat plenty of.