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    Desmonema's Avatar
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    Opinions needed!!!

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    First of all: HI there, I am a newbie here and also fairly new to primal/paleo eating!
    My story first so you get the picture: I have had an eating disorder (anorexia) in my early twenties (I am 30 now) and have successfully recovered from it; but since then I always was very concious about my body and my weight. That means all the past years I was still kind of looking at the amount of food I take in and so on, but nothing too restrictive. Until last year I decided to get rid of some body fat and get more fit and wanted to do it the healthy way... so I went out there running nearly every day (yes the chronic cardio thingy.. didn't know it any better at that time) and followed a high protein, mostly very low carb and very low fat diet. On this regimen I lost those few pounds I wanted to loose and reduced my bodyfat to about 23%... but it was an awful lot of exercise and despite NOT eating much more in the beginning of this year, I gained a bit of the weight back. So I started to educate myself a little and found out that I should eat very close to my daily caloric needs to reduce bodyfat (when already being quite lean)... To my surprise I learned that I ( 5'4'', then about 126 lbs) should eat much more than the about 1000 to 1200 cals that I had been taking in. So far so good. I didn't want to do anything unhealthy to my body again and in my search for what to do I found the Primal Blueprint. So I first started eating primal/paleo-ish with increased cals (that was about the end of April). I changed my exercise to mostly interval training bodyweight exercises (about 30 minutes each morning) and only some running occasionally; so about 6 days of exercising a week. I slowly increased my cals from about 1500 to now about 1900 to 2000 a day (now). The problem is now: I have gained quite a bit of weight and bodyfat! Tiny love handles are back and a bit of belly fat (not much, but visible). I do eat maximum 100 grams of carbs a day (and only veggies and at most one serving of fruit), a lot of protein and healthy fats. No dairy and no grains at all, no cheating whatsoever and not even alcohol.
    What do you guys think now: is my body gaining weight and fat because it didn't get enough calories for quite a while before or am I now gaining weight because it's simply too many calories a day?? Btw: I am sleeping at least 7 to 8 hours a day (very dark) and sometimes even manage to wake up with the first light an before my alarm clock goes off. Since last week I additionally walk home from work wearing my VibramFiveFingers (about an hour leisurely) and I do one long hike each weekend to prepare for an upcoming hiking trip to Sweden in August.
    So what the heck is wrong with me?? Am I too impatient and wait until my body finally believes me that it gets everything it needs? Or do I simply eat too many calories?
    I hope someone has good advice, I am so far not really convinced this is working.... even though I love all the food I get to eat and I feel really good... I would just love to improve my body composition and show off all those muscles!!
    Thanks in advance,
    D

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    jfreaksho's Avatar
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    Have you considered that you might have an unrealistic expectation of what a healthy body looks like?

    Healthy bodyfat for women is somewhere around 20%. Less than 15% is very difficult to achieve. Use a tape measure and an online calculator to figure out what your bodyfat is, post that here, and you can get some better advice.

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    Desmonema's Avatar
    Desmonema is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfreaksho View Post
    Have you considered that you might have an unrealistic expectation of what a healthy body looks like?

    Healthy bodyfat for women is somewhere around 20%. Less than 15% is very difficult to achieve. Use a tape measure and an online calculator to figure out what your bodyfat is, post that here, and you can get some better advice.
    I think I do not have the wrong expectations... I am at about 25 % of bodyfat and I would already be happy with those 20% that you mentioned! I used bodyfat calipers and a bodyfat scale to determine it. I am 5'4'' and currently 136 lbs, and I don't care about the weight, as long as the shape improves and also the fitting of my clothes.
    Some more advice now??
    Thank you!!!!

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    Credodisi's Avatar
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    Why don't you try decreasing your caleries a bit? Nothing drastic, but just up your vegetable intake and slightly lower whatever else you are eating?

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    if you're eating much starchy veg, i'd eliminate that and focus on leafy greens. cut down to 1700-1800 cals and see what happens.

    you're not a big girl. 2000 may simply be too much.
    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

    Ernest Hemingway

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    if you want my opinion, make your post shorter and more focused.

    in one sentence you should be able to tell me of your problem, and in one sentence i can give you a solution.

    report back.

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    amberlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Return of Dado View Post
    if you want my opinion, make your post shorter and more focused.

    in one sentence you should be able to tell me of your problem, and in one sentence i can give you a solution.

    report back.
    LOL. Oh the effort it must have taken to write that instead of read a bit longer!! But paragraphs would be nice.

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    Desmonema's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noodletoy View Post
    if you're eating much starchy veg, i'd eliminate that and focus on leafy greens. cut down to 1700-1800 cals and see what happens.

    you're not a big girl. 2000 may simply be too much.
    You may be right with that... I should probably hold out the way it is for two more weeks and then cut back a slight little bit. I don't want my body to think it's not getting everything it needs. Never again I want to do that...
    BUT all the calculators and even Mark's calculations from his book say that I would need more than 2000 a day to just maintain my weight...

    Oh and: I do not eat starchy veg, or only very rarely (and if I do only directly after my workouts). Carbs per day are at most at 100g sometimes, usually below 80 and if I have fruit, then only one serving per day and during the morning or early afternoon.
    Last edited by Desmonema; 07-09-2012 at 03:07 AM.

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    Nigel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desmonema View Post
    To my surprise I learned that I ( 5'4'', then about 126 lbs) should eat much more than the about 1000 to 1200 cals that I had been taking in.

    I slowly increased my cals from about 1500 to now about 1900 to 2000 a day (now). The problem is now: I have gained quite a bit of weight and bodyfat!
    If it were me, I would cut some calories and see how I got on. I count calories on the understanding that it is just an indicator. By choosing what I eat, I am finding that I can lose 1-2lbs a week without getting overly hungry and having treats within my plan. We are all different and one person's ideal food intake will be bloating for some and starving for others. At 5' 11" according to different web sites, I should need 2200 to 2400 calories a day to maintain weight. That's a difference of 200! 500 less per day to lose 1lb a week is say 1700. I am finding I can find satisfying foods that provide about 1400 calories a day without too much trouble. My lowest day was 1300 calories and that included a piece of dark chocolate.

    Experiment and find what you are happiest with is my advice.
    Why use a sledge hammer to crack a nut when a steam roller is even more effective, and, is fun to drive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amberlee View Post
    LOL. Oh the effort it must have taken to write that instead of read a bit longer!! But paragraphs would be nice.
    you assume everyone deserves to be read

    but you read me, so you give me this consideration

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