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Thread: Do I need more calories??

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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Do I need more calories??

    Hello Primal friends! I'm brand new to the scene. I started eating Primally on Tuesday of last week, so I'm on day 6. I'm also a brand new meat eater - I've been vegetarian for 17 years and vegan for the last 5. I'm extremely knowledgeable about macro nutrients as far as NON-meat food goes, but since I don't have a clue as to meat, I used Livestrong's Daily Plate to track my calories for the last 2 days. The first day I clocked 997 cals, and the second day (trying reeeeally hard to EAT) I got in 1180. Yesterday's nutrient breakdown was 55% fat, and 22.5% for both carbs and protein (the banana got me). I'm definitely going for weight LOSS - I'm female, 27, 5'4, and 190 lbs. I wasn't at all hungry yesterday after about 900 cals, but I tried to make myself eat because I don't want to deprive my body of what it needs. So does anyone have any advice? Should I take a shot of coconut oil once in a while (lol...but seriously)? Is it ok to have that much of a calorie deficit? I'd like to be able to "listen to my body," but I find that I'm slow to actually recognize physical indicators. Anyway, sorry for the mass of info, I just want to be as successful as possible, and any advice people have would be wonderful! Thanks, everybody!

  2. #2
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    Can you give an example of your meals and portion sizes...calories seem low.
    Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
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  3. #3
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    Sure - thanks for the reply!


    Cod - 6ish oz
    Spinach - 1 cup
    Olive Oil - 1/2 Tbsp



    Lettuce - 3? cups
    Onion - 1 Tbsp
    Cucumber - 1/2 cup sliced
    Avocado - 1/2
    Pepper - 1/2 cup
    Smoked Whitefish - 2-3 oz
    Olive Oil - 1/2 tbsp



    Bacon - 2 slices
    Kale - 1 cup
    Garlic - 1 clove
    Lemon Juice - 1 Tbsp
    Green Beans - 1 1/2 cups
    Olive Oil - 1/2 - 1 Tbsp



    Banana - 1 med
    Hazelnuts - less than 1/4 cup


    2 Eggs
    1/2 Tbsp Coconut Oil


    Those are divided up into "meals." I tried tracking calories w/ livestrong and also by hand using nutritiondata.self.com and while they weren't exact, the difference wasn't big enough to be real noticeable. Honestly, after each of those meals I felt completely stuffed and wasn't interested in eating more.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moll View Post
    Sure - thanks for the reply!


    Cod - 6ish oz
    Spinach - 1 cup
    Olive Oil - 1/2 Tbsp



    Lettuce - 3? cups
    Onion - 1 Tbsp
    Cucumber - 1/2 cup sliced
    Avocado - 1/2
    Pepper - 1/2 cup
    Smoked Whitefish - 2-3 oz
    Olive Oil - 1/2 tbsp



    Bacon - 2 slices
    Kale - 1 cup
    Garlic - 1 clove
    Lemon Juice - 1 Tbsp
    Green Beans - 1 1/2 cups
    Olive Oil - 1/2 - 1 Tbsp



    Banana - 1 med
    Hazelnuts - less than 1/4 cup


    2 Eggs
    1/2 Tbsp Coconut Oil


    Those are divided up into "meals." I tried tracking calories w/ livestrong and also by hand using nutritiondata.self.com and while they weren't exact, the difference wasn't big enough to be real noticeable. Honestly, after each of those meals I felt completely stuffed and wasn't interested in eating more.
    You might be able to get more calories in if you eat meatier meat. Have a steak. Have some ground beef. Have a portion of pork butt roast or pork belly. Since you like fish, switch to salmon with the skin on.

    If you want more fat, rather than choking down plain coconut oil (ew), make some fatty treats. Liver pate is awesome. Pesto makes everything taste better. I put it on thin slices of cheese. Yum!! I've also made coconut manna, cocoa and chopped macadamias into little balls. I store those in the freezer. They're pretty good. Not very sweet. Maybe they'd be better with some dates or honey, but I kind of like them unsweetened. Another treat is to blend a few slices of frozen banana, a few frozen strawberries and some coconut milk. Just like ice cream.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    You might be able to get more calories in if you eat meatier meat. Have a steak. Have some ground beef. Have a portion of pork butt roast or pork belly. Since you like fish, switch to salmon with the skin on.

    If you want more fat, rather than choking down plain coconut oil (ew), make some fatty treats. Liver pate is awesome. Pesto makes everything taste better. I put it on thin slices of cheese. Yum!! I've also made coconut manna, cocoa and chopped macadamias into little balls. I store those in the freezer. They're pretty good. Not very sweet. Maybe they'd be better with some dates or honey, but I kind of like them unsweetened. Another treat is to blend a few slices of frozen banana, a few frozen strawberries and some coconut milk. Just like ice cream.

    I'm working on getting beef...the reason I went vegan in the first place is the cruelty in the meat/dairy industry - so in order to keep my sanity, I'm only getting meat from local farms that I can verify are humane. But I placed an order that I'm picking up this Saturday so beef and bacon are coming. I think it'll be awhile (if ever) before I can do organs...I've always been the squeamish type. But I LOVE the coconut milk ice cream idea! I'm going to have to try that, the sooner the better!

  6. #6
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    If you're not hungry and you're not feeling any other symptoms such as lightheadedness, fatigue, etc., then I'd say that your physical indicators are not that far off and listening to your body in this instance is okay. 1200 calories is a decent amount to shoot for in your case for weight loss (I'm a believer in the calories in<calories out model) and you're not that far off. You may find yourself getting hungrier as your body becomes more used to animal products again and that's not a bad thing, either. You're only six days into a pretty massive paradigm shift and so your body needs to adjust to that a little bit more, I'm thinking. You're on the right track to my way of thinking.

  7. #7
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    Thanks, RobinNM!

    I feel basically energetic physically - but I do feel a little tired/fuzzy at times and I'm not sure whether this is a result of not getting enough calories, or just typical carb flu. I'm indeed aiming for around 1200 calories - my reason for counting for a couple days was to see if I was generally in range of that. I guess it won't hurt to keep doing what I'm doing for a couple weeks, and if these potential carb flu symptoms don't let up, I'll try eating more. Hopefully you're right about getting gradually hungrier! This is the strangest "diet" phenomenon I've ever experienced lol - less food AND less hunger.

  8. #8
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    Just keep an eye on your weight. I find that when I don't eat enough calories I actually gain weight. I have to be sure I am full pretty much all day, as weird as that sounds.

  9. #9
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    Unless you're doing a fast (and there are lots of reasons you might), then I'd recommend eating close to maintenance level. Of course, I have no idea what yours is. But if you stick to near that level, then you can easily make a slight deficit through exercise. And when you do that, the pounds will come off (if that is your goal).

    On the other hand, if for some reason, you cannot exercise to create the deficit, then you can take your maintenance level and subtract about 200 calories and shoot for that. I would not, however, go much below that. You want to be eating enough to maintain a healthy thyroid. You won't have much weightloss if your thyroid is unhealthy and not able to produce the necessary hormones.

    A note of caution though... You should have a day every once in a while where you consume significantly more calories than you normally would. A long term calorie deficit can be very hard on the body and it will appreciate a day to "recover" from the stress of such a deficit.

  10. #10
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    Thanks, you guys. I need to work out my maintenance level again - I think it's changed. And yes, what I DON'T want is to gain weight. I guess if I can start losing, my calorie needs will go down and I won't have to worry about eating more than I actually want! Thanks for the recovery tip, Drumroll!

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