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    DreamHealth's Avatar
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    Fearful newbie with ?'s Before I start...again

    Hi Everyone,
    I am a fan of this website, and been a long time lurker. I know plenty about nutrition and fitness, conventional and not. I am a firm believer that fat is good. My problem is in not being able to stay away from grains and carbs for long enough periods, even though I know I feel better when I don't eat grains/sugar.
    Long story short- I feel like crap. I don't need to lose weight, but I could stand to get leaner and stronger. I am tired of the constant cravings, the lethargy, the mind-fuzz, racing thoughts etc. brought on by sugar and carbs. I want to feel good. I'm hitting rock bottom. I need help. I struggle with depression, anxiety, and bulimia (in and out-and I don't know if bulimia causes depression or my anxiety and depression cause me to seek relief from food. Chicken/egg question but I am more able to control the eating disorder these days).

    My question relates to protein. ONe of the reasons I stopped living the primal lifestyle when I tried a couple years ago was because I was losing my mind with the numbers. I never quite got to the point where I was able to feel strong, or have enough energy even when I was working out grok style (not overdoing it, no chronic cardio) ANd..I gained weight and started feeling flabby despite a 1500-1700 calorie diet. It seems like to really do primal right, one has to become a counter-not just overall calories, but protein as well- because too much protein turns to glucose. Back then when I gained weight, even though my carbs were under 50, I was told it may be too much protein. I was maintaining 60-70% fat intake. I may not be exact on the numbers, but I just remember it always being a matter of such a delicate balance. Constantly checking calories, protein/fat content. Not just being able to go to the recipes section and eating a meal from there. After a while, the uncertainty, and the counting was driving me nuts. I stopped doing primal, went back to lean meats, some fat, still minimal carbs, and at least lost the flabby feeling and got my firmness back. But I feel crappy nevertheless in a different way.

    Seriously...It's not supposed to be that difficult is it?? I get the book tomorrow-will there be an explanation of this in there? I see people on the forums saying "don't count calories", but yet it seems many people do. It almost seems like you have to.

    Can ya'll give me some pointers and advice on starting right? Right now I'm just fearful.

    THank you so much

    PS: I'm 41, 5'7'' and 132 pounds

  2. #2
    Drumroll's Avatar
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    A good goal to shoot for is one gram per pound of LEAN body weight (so it's probably less than 132 grams for you unless you have 0% body fat) of bodyweight per day for maitinance of muscle mass. Shoot for this if not trying to gain. You can go just a little lower to balance it out if you still think you're converting too much to glucose.

    You need a little more than 1 gram per pound for building muscle. You can shoot for 1.5 gams per pound of lean mass when shooting for a bit of gain, some may go as high as 2 grams depending on the intensity of their workouts.

    If trying to gain, I'd start with 1.5 grams per pound of lean mass, and if that doesn't seem to be doing it, raise the amount a little.

    Be aware though, that you need to be consuming more calories than your maitinance level in order to "bulk up" which is essential to gaining strength. You can't simply displace some of your other calories with more protein and expect it to still work. You have to eat more protein as well as in general, more calories overall to see any gains (or at least readily noticable ones).
    Last edited by Drumroll; 09-20-2012 at 12:48 PM.

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    Danielle5690's Avatar
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    Some people need to count calories to get to a particular goal, but many people don't need to. It's pretty individual. I counted calories on my low-fat, whole-grain diet (before I discovered this site) and it got me nowhere. I don't count or measure anything now, and I got to my weight goal and I feel terrific.

    You're right, it shouldn't be that complicated. First, eliminate SAD foods. Once you do that and really stick to it, you're most of the way there. You will have cravings. Stay away from the bad stuff. Keep it out of your house. You're probably addicted to it, as most of us were at one time.

    You said you want to feel better. So make that your priority. Don't worry about your weight, which isn't that high anyway. Put your health first and the rest will follow. That means starting out by just eating simple, clean, healthy food (good fats, good proteins, and tons of veggies with some fruit... even a bit of dairy if you tolerate it well). Don't count anything.

    Once you have your health on track, and you start feeling better, then you can tweak things to get the most out of your weight and fitness goals.

    That's just my opinion. I hope it helps.

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    listen... you don't need to count calories, though you certainly can. it may not be healthy at all in your case. you certainly don't need to count protein! or carbs, either. this sounds like a case of low carb gone off the rails... too much protein converting to glucose? come on now. your body will make the glucose it needs if you don't eat it (why not just eat it? nevermind, separate question), but you're perfectly able to dispose of excess protein without your body converting it to glucose. gluconeogenesis doesn't just happen automatically, in proportion to your protein intake. no.

    another thing. i feel for you - you need to see a psychologist for help with the eating disorder. trying out new diets will not tackle the issue. low carb becomes it's own mythos, and can feed the beast. actually, any structured diet can. therapy will be key in your situation.

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    Danielle5690's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakey View Post
    another thing. i feel for you - you need to see a psychologist for help with the eating disorder. trying out new diets will not tackle the issue. low carb becomes it's own mythos, and can feed the beast. actually, any structured diet can. therapy will be key in your situation.
    Oh yeah, and definitely this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakey View Post
    another thing. i feel for you - you need to see a psychologist for help with the eating disorder. trying out new diets will not tackle the issue. low carb becomes it's own mythos, and can feed the beast. actually, any structured diet can. therapy will be key in your situation.
    So very true. Any healthy eating lifestyle can turn into orthorexia if one overdoes it.
    F 28/5'4/100 lbs

    "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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    ^ What jakey said.

    ...and yes, eating this way is not supposed to be stressful. Some days I eat more protein, some less, some days more fat (like a whole shitload) and other days less, same with carbs - and it all evens out over time. It's not supposed to be complicated, but easy to do and delicious.
    Female, age 51, 5' 9"
    SW - 183 (Jan 22, 2012), CW - 159, GW - healthy.

    Met my 2012 goals by losing 24 pounds.
    2013 goals are to get fit and strong!

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    Have you tried fasting also?

    This was the reason i stopped obsessing about food. I learnt that although it is important what fuel I put in my body it wasn't worth thinking about 24 hours a day. Winning this battle after my first 24 hour fast was a significant step for me!

    Also try to enjoy the cooking and make it part of your routine. Trying new recipes and new foods has been really exciting for me on Paleo and foods I always dismissed as unhealthy are suddenly on the menu.

    One other thing. Do you think Grok worried about counting calories?

    Eat whole foods often and you will be laughing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danielle5690 View Post
    Some people need to count calories to get to a particular goal, but many people don't need to. It's pretty individual. I counted calories on my low-fat, whole-grain diet (before I discovered this site) and it got me nowhere. I don't count or measure anything now, and I got to my weight goal and I feel terrific.
    Good Point Danielle Thanks.I guess I feel like I never count calories anymore, but that's because with years of practice at eating a certain way I just know intuitively what's what. Eating primally will eventually become the same I guess-minus the constant white-knuckling to avoid sugar.

    I do eat healthy-nothing processed, gluten-free, lots of veggies and lean protein. Except when I succumb to a binge-which is sometimes 3 times a month, sometimes 3 a day. I'm all over the place. haha. No wonder I could never truly achieve the effects I wanted from primal, huh? After 15 years of counseling, therapy, the works...I've done a lot of work and progressed in the last year. I truly am beginning to believe that I have a serious problem with sugar and just need to avoid it. Period. 12 steps for sugar addiction. If I don't eat it I don't crave it. If I don't crave it, I don't eventually succumb to the all out binge.

    THanks for your support

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    DreamHealth's Avatar
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    I'll definitely consider that Adam So you know what it's like to obsess over food too? LOL. I'm so tired of waiting for the next meal. And you're right...imagining Grok counting calories is actually pretty funny Thank you for the chuckle

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