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Thread: Couple New to Primal - One Overweight, One Not - Trouble Already! page

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    Strider87's Avatar
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    Question Couple New to Primal - One Overweight, One Not - Trouble Already!

    Primal Fuel
    Hello Everyone!

    So here's the scoop:

    I am 24 year old woman, I have always been thin, but was athletic and very active (I was a dancer) from ages 19-22. I traded in my dance shoes for an office chair a year and half ago and I am already paying the price for it (back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, leg pain). I have struggled with moderate to extreme fatigue since my early teenage years, but have only been anemic for the past couple years. I've had back problems since I was a teenager (partly due to one leg being shorter than the other), but they've definitely gotten worse with the sedentary job. I've also had some frightening leg cramps/aches that have been coming and going for the past couple months (lasting sometimes days at a time without relief - chirporactor determined it is NOT sciatic nerve damage). Because I've always been thin, if not muscular, with an extremely high metabolism, I've never bothered with watching what I eat, though I suspect it's largely responsible for my fatigue and anemia issues. I noticed my metabolism start to decline a tiny, tiny bit with the office job, but slightly adjusted my diet and it went away (maybe an extra 2 pounds).

    My boyfriend is an entirely different matter. He has a big build and would be very bulky/muscular if he tried. He hasn't been active since his early teenager years and is now the heaviest he's ever been (I don't know his exact weight but he is 5'5" and needs to lose about 30 pounds). He too has a sedentary job (even more so than mine). He's been trying, falling off the horse, and trying again over and over the past few years to become active, eat right and lose weight.

    Here's the issue: he and I are both trying the primal diet (and by diet I mean daily nutritional intake, not 'I'll eat this til I lose weight'), and while he feels full enough throughout the day, I am ABSOLUTELY STARVING. My favorite food in the world is pasta and the lack of insanely huge quantities of carbs and calories is driving me crazy. To make matters more interesting, my boyfriend is extremely weak willed and if I eat something, well then he gets to eat it too. We're both getting a similar amount of exercise (me a bit more, just because I push myself harder and sometimes do yoga which he does not).

    So what's the solution here? Do I just eat a larger quantity of food than him? Do I eat more carb rich healthy foods than him (what, by the way, would those be)? Do I just ignore the hunger in hopes the carb crash will fade? Any advice about this or any one of my aforementioned ailments is greatly appreciated! Ask me anything else you need to know; I am not shy and I am commited to living a healthy lifestyle, beating my fatigue and anemia, and not letting a sedentary job take me down!

    ~ Kelly

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    Louisa655's Avatar
    Louisa655 is offline Senior Member
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    Focus on what your individual needs are and stop being a crutch for each other.
    ----------------------------------------
    F, 48, 5'10"
    Start Date: 25-06-12 @ 161lbs
    Goal Reached: 30-09-12 @ 143lb. Now bouncing between 145lb - 149lb. I'd like less bounce and more consistency :-)

    Started Cross Fit 20.12.12 ---- Can't wait to submit my success story on the 1st anniversary of starting primal.

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    cantat's Avatar
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    Primal carbs are always a better alternative than pasta or whatever, and Primal isn't necessarily a low-carb way of eating. However, it is about burning fat instead of glycogen for energy, and if your ratio of fat to protein to carbs is off, you may not make that switch. I recommend eating something with a lot of fat when you crave carbs, to tell your body that it needs to get its energy from fat, not sugar. Ignore the cravings and eat until you're not hungry. When 60% of your calories come from fat, you get satisfied fast and it's difficult to overeat (was for me, I would start to feel nauseous).

    I bet as you guys continue eating primally, you will find that when you slip up, you will notice a huge difference in how you feel, really quickly. Be strictly primal for a few weeks, slip up, and see what happens. All the minor digestive/stomach ailments I used to have came back right away - indigestion, heartburn, gas, etc. Now I often feel like it's not even worth it because it makes me feel so crappy.
    29/F
    5'4.5
    Highest weight: 220
    Starting weight: 195
    Current weight: 179
    Goal weight: 127

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    Strider87, you just signed up in the forum 2 days ago.... how long have you two been eating this way? If you're still in your first couple of weeks it's no wonder you're starving if you're coming from a "pasta and garlic bread" menu. If you've only been at it for a short time, I'd almost recommend a very low carb (VLC) (50 grams or below, maybe less for a small frame person) intake for about 3 weeks. Might be more abrasive to your system vis a vis cravings/hunger but once your body learns a new metabolic process it's all downhill from there. Then you can add back in all the healty carbs you want (starches, sweet potatos, et c.) for your particular activity level. If you're already doing that then I'd say it probably explains your hunger issues and "this too shall pass". If you have cravings, stuff healthy fat in your face. Macadamia nuts are the biz for exactly this purpose. Once your body weens itself off the sugar/insulin rollercoaster you'll be golden. Once your boyfriend gets there, given his extra body fat stores, he'll never be hungry if he's anything like I was. I had to remind myself to eat sometimes when I first started out.
    Went Primal: 20 DEC 2011
    Starting: 6'1" 220 lbs
    Starting Energy: "bleh...."
    Current: 183 lbs @ 8.33% BF (Jackson/Pollock 4 caliper method)
    Current Energy: "WOOHOO!" See my journal HERE.

    "Paleo? Try it, but be wary of the cult mentality that comes with it. Paleovangelists are everywhere and a bit scary."

  5. #5
    Lewis's Avatar
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    Some magnesium might help the cramps. Difficult to know what all the factors are with that kind of thing. IIRC Jack Kruse says this also tends to be related to DHA. Long & short of it with a balanced & adequate mineral intake & some seafood (for the DHA) they may go away. Unfortunately low carb paleo often seems to cause cramps, so if you ALREADY have that problem you might want to keep an eye on how you're responding in that regard.
    Last edited by Lewis; 08-16-2012 at 10:01 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Strider87's Avatar
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    Thanks, all!

    cantat - eating more fat in leiu of carbs sounds like a great way to go. If I eat fat in the form of meat (red meat particularly) that may help with my anemia as well. I've struggled with addressing the anemia as regular iron supplements work but give me horrible stomach pain and the 'gentle' iron supplements don't work at all. As far as slipping up, I am very interested to see how that goes. I started a thread about cheat days in the nutrition forum, and was very encouraged to hear some say that they didn't like to cheat because it made them physically feel bad so they just 'cheat' by splurging on expensive primal food (tenderloin, porterhouse, etc.).

    BONZ - we have been on the primal diet for about a week now. I know that's not very long at all, but given that I am thin and have fatigue issues already, I was worried that I wasn't getting enough calories or nutrional intake and was actually doing damage to my body given that I was hungry all the time. I will definitely be sticking this out without giving in to the carb crash. I think your absolutely right about it taking a while a for the carb crash/cravings to leave my body. What kind of starches besides sweet potatoes are healthy?

    Lewis - Thanks for the info about the magnesium! I definitely need to start taking vitamins again. In your opinion, are multi-vitamins enough magnesium, or should I be taking more on top of that?

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    BONZ's Avatar
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    Here's a decent list of options. Any number of non-grain, non-legume plant life will work. Of course, the occasional fruit is great. Shoot for fruits with a low glycemic index and high in anti-oxidant counts like berries.
    Went Primal: 20 DEC 2011
    Starting: 6'1" 220 lbs
    Starting Energy: "bleh...."
    Current: 183 lbs @ 8.33% BF (Jackson/Pollock 4 caliper method)
    Current Energy: "WOOHOO!" See my journal HERE.

    "Paleo? Try it, but be wary of the cult mentality that comes with it. Paleovangelists are everywhere and a bit scary."

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    cantat's Avatar
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    I train jiu jitsu 3-4 days a week and muay thai once a week, so I'm fairly active, and I don't worry about fruit. When I'm consistently primal, my weight loss is good, no matter how much fruit I'm eating. Just an FYI for when you finally get on track; people who are really active can get away with/need more carbs! But I don't crave grain carbs, typically. Thankfully!
    29/F
    5'4.5
    Highest weight: 220
    Starting weight: 195
    Current weight: 179
    Goal weight: 127

  9. #9
    Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strider87 View Post
    Lewis - Thanks for the info about the magnesium! I definitely need to start taking vitamins again. In your opinion, are multi-vitamins enough magnesium, or should I be taking more on top of that?
    Current thinking in Paleo circles seems to be that supplementation should be minimal and targeted. Too much of something you don't need can even be counter-productive. Much more on that here:

    Amazon.com: The Paleo Answer: 7 Days to Lose Weight, Feel Great, Stay Young (9781118016084): Loren Cordain: Books

    When you also consider that not everything in a supplement may be in bio-available form, not everything even in a form in which it occurs in nature ... then it becomes clear there can be downsides to taking something.

    And then there's the quality question. AFAIK 90% of the vitamin C sold in the U.S. originates in China. It's going to be cheap, but that's a country where people have a cavalier attitude to quality control -- and even safety:

    Malt-O-Meal maker sues over tainted ingredient | StarTribune.com

    If you test low in something, then you may need to supplement for that. Otherwise, the money's probably better spent on better food.

    The supplements there is very little controversy about are vitamin D3 (if you don't get out enough in the sun) preferably as drops and fish oil (if you don't eat much coldwater oily fish). Or the naturally fermented cod-liver oil from Green Pastures should cover both bases.

    Test your D levels to be sure what's going on.


    I mention the magnesium, because you mentioned cramps and it's needed for muscle relaxation. Besides:

    The low-carb diet doesn’t really cause a massive depletion of magnesium like it does with the sodium and potassium (the next electrolyte on the list), but ... even people who don’t seem to have health problems can often be magnesium deficient because most people don’t get enough.
    The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D. Tips & tricks for starting (or restarting) low-carb Pt II

    It seems magnesium tends to be depleted in soil, owing to current farming methods, so it may be worth taking a little, specially if you're getting leg cramps.

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