Can't maintain weight, please help
I don't post much but I'm really struggling here and I need some help. I am having real difficulty eating enough carbs to maintain my weight. I have been primal for 3/4 months, I didn't have much weight to lose, in fact I didn't even think I needed to lose weight until I started to lean out and I saw how much better I look. I am worried about losing too much weight, I don't want to get any thinner. My appetite has shrunk a lot now, and I am finding that I can't eat enough to keep my weight up. Once I have eaten my meat (or fish) and fat I am so satiated I don't have enough room for adequate veggies. Therefore it is a battle to get my carb consumption above 60g per day, even eating sweet potatoes (which I find very filling), the odd bit of dark chocolate and eating 1 serving of fruit every day (berries most days, then the odd apple, occaisionally pear with blue cheese or banana with raw cream as a treat). Should I eat white potatoes? I am even considering eating Sally Fallon's whey soaked oatmeal, that would give me another 25g carbs a day. Right now it just seems like this lifestyle with a 100% primal food intake isn't going to work for me if I can't stop the weight loss, I'm wondering if I might be safer including some Weston A Price style items to supplement. I have read Nourishing Traditions and Eat Fat, Lose Fat, and several articles on the WAP website, I can't decide if tradional preparation is going to cut it or not. I use raw dairy too.
Before you reply, please consider that I am asking for help and I am worried, I read a lot of quite cruel, damning comments on here and I would be very grateful if you could just put yourself in my shoes. That said, any advice would be appreciated! Thanks in advance for your help!
I'm no expert, so forgive me if my advice is useless, but could you take super-green capsules daily instead of eating a large amount of veg, and instead focus on upping your fat/carbs? That way you'll still get the greens in without getting too full for the stuff you so badly. Lots of coconut oil of a spoon is also a quick way of upping the carbs. You should def focus on getting carbs too,do you feel fine or are you fatigued?
It would help to know your activity level. If you are not too active, becoming more active will build muscle and drive your body to demand more food.
Some people are fine eating consistently below 50 carbs; maybe they eat more fat than you do?
You might try reversing the order - eating carbs in the morning makes some people hungry all day, for instance.
Did you start very heavy or what were your original goals? Male or female (not to pry, but there definitely seem to be some differences in the challenges people face sometimes, based on m/f hormones or something)? Do you have any health issues? Could low appetite be from other things in your life? I know you're worried about this issue but in general are you extremely stressed, or do you sleep well, get sunshine, etc.?
Maybe post a day or two of your eating and activity, maybe fill in a few more details, and people may have lots of suggestions.
"If man made it, don't eat it." ..Jack LaLanne
"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are.
If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." ..Richard Feynman
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Thanks for the useful questions beachrat.
I'm a 27 year old female, I was about 62 kg and now I am probably 55Kg. My goal was to reshape my wobbly 'skinny fat' figure, blast off my copious cellulite, improve my so-so health which included bouts of acute anxiety, protect against disease, and feed my brain for 4 years of study. I looked ok with my clothes on and decent undies, but I was miserable naked. And I felt I was beginning to age faster. This has been reversed... even my cellulite is slowly packing up and shoving off from whence it came. Amazingly my boobs have kept their shape despite the weight loss. Despite my concerns, I have a lot to be thankful for.
Yesterday I ate... 149.3g fat (from meat, butter and coconut oil), 62g carbs (even with s.pots and choc!!), and 98.1g protein, totalling 1995 cals (according to fitday...)
Actually, for the last two weeks I really have not done any dedicated exercise due to returning from a trip, taking a second job and caring for an ill person, however normality resumes this weekend as I am leaving my full time job to go to uni as a mature student, that second job becomes a primary, part time job and my other half is mended again. A normal week's excercise consists of 3 days body weight and handweight full body exercises on a mat and a balance ball which I occasionally roar and grunt through like a little warthog, it's brilliant. For 'sprints' I jump rope as fast as I can until puffed out (or tangled) for 10 mins if I can.
I sleep well providing I am not worried about anything... big changes happening for me right now so I'll cut myself some slack. When I am working full time, time spent in the 'sun' is limited but I get out for a walk most days. I live in England and as much as I love it, I read somewhere that in this part of the world you can only get enough sunlight to produce vit D from June-Sept. Great! I do suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder undoubtably. That said, when I am at uni I will have breaks in between study sessions so I will be able to get my fill of daylight year round. I do use sunscreen though because I do not like how the sun dries out my skin, it's horrible. There, now you know me!
Do you eat nuts/nutter butter and/or potatoes? If you're losing weight (literally getting too skinny - not just a lower number on the scale) you just need more calories. They don't have to be carbs. Potatoes (especially with butter) and nuts or nut butters are pretty dense, calorie wise. Nut get a reputation for high fat, but there's a decent amount of carbs in most kinds too.
Do you feel you can't keep weight on at 2000 kcal/day, or is that day unusually high. It would seem to be enough to maintain 55kg.
I'm thinking this was a typo because my coconut oil doesn't have carbs... it does have calories though! I know coconut butter/manna has some carbs, and even fresh coconut flesh has carbs too.
Originally Posted by Glamorama
I don't have anything else to say in response, I've never encountered this problem.
Yes I assumed it was a typo too; coconut oil is a fat, not a source of carbs. Glamorama, mostly I am fine... but I do get fatigued driving home, when dinner is due. However that has only been since the eve's have been getting darker. I do take a multi-vit, fish oil and glucosamine so I think the micro-nutrients are covered, it's carbs, fibre and phytonutrients I lack from too little veg/carbs.
Grablife, I do eat nuts and nut butters, typically almonds or walnuts but only one serving a day due to the PUFA/omega 6 content. White potatoes are calorific, but not what I would call nutrient dense and they are moderately carb-y which is why I have avoided them (as per PB guidance) but I reckon I will have them more often now, good call. They never caused me any trouble before and they are bloody gorgeous cooked in beef dripping or goose fat. ARGH SUNDAY ROASTS!!
Flicking back through FitDay, which I use sporadically as a log, or just to check recipe values, just under 2000 cals per day seems to be standard for me.
When I say lose weight I think I should say lose cm's/inches because I don't actually have any scales in the house... we fell out a long time ago!
I meant to say fats.
Most people struggle for 3-4 weeks when the daylight changes from su mer to fall/winter to spring. My energy-levels have been NIL in the last 3 weeks, but seems my neuro pathways are finally on track with the daylight-changes now. I even had to nap after lunch for a while to get through!
Originally Posted by Nibbler
I've been there. So have many thin people who choose to go low carb. You can end up dangerously emaciated, or with other health issues, if you continue down this road. You're very smart to be worried. You've messed up your leptin signaling; there are many ways to do this, but it's never good!
However, my only answer is that you just have to suck it up and eat more. Force yourself to eat when you are not hungry and feel 'full'. I know it's not pleasant, but your appetite will adjust, and more carbs will keep things regular. Giving myself a variety of palatable foods to choose from each meal, rather than trying to force down great piles of *just* mashed potatoes or whatever, helps me eat more.
Eat much more starch, and fat. Maybe less meat - 70g protein per day rather than 100? 150g starch daily, minimum. I eat potatoes, sweet potatoes, white rice and corn tortillas as well as sugar from ice cream and milk chocolate.