View Poll Results: up calories? to what?

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Thread: Am i eating too LITTLE? page 3

  1. #21
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    I think there is a level of calorie intake for women that constitutes something not quite at famine or anorexic levels but is still a deficit and if you spend a long period of time at this level the body adapts to it very well. The body slows whatever processes down that it can to preserve fat. You probably also slow yourself down, doing less activity, doing whatever activities you do do at a reduced or less effective level, choose activities that your body has adapted so well to that they aren't even exercise anymore. Your body probably also refuses to grow any new muscle so you'll just spin your wheels at anything you do try to do to improve your body composition.

    You can decrease calories to anorexic levels (remember, anorexics don't eat 1000 calories a day, they eat more like 500 or less) or you can increase it a little so that the body will stop slowing things down. It's like a sweet spot. You have to have the energy to be active or your only other choice is actual starvation.

    Anyway, for anybody trying to lose weight, it's a good idea to ask yourself once in a while if what you are doing is working for you. Catrin had to ask herself that and so she tried something that seemed radical and it worked. Just because it doesn't make sense doesn't mean it didn't work.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Heaviest squat: 180 x 2. Heaviest Deadlift: 230 x 2

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catrin View Post
    This is my experience exactly. It may not make sense on paper, but it happens. I also argued with my doctor and sports nutritionist over this as it didn't make sense to me either. I won't argue with those here who say it isn't possible, but it does happen. My doctor thinks that women are far more prone to this process than men.
    Your body, while smart, is not some machine that automatically senses your reduced intake. While there are a variety of factors, the one you are likely thinking of leptin, which, in a simplistic sense, tells your body how much "available" energy it has.

    Unless you are <10% BF, it is not so easy to deplete leptin. The starvation mode myth came from an actual starvation study, which involved people eating at 50% of their BMR for months at a time.

    Not to mention, weight loss is not fat loss. Think about it this way - just taking 25g creatine for a few days can easily bloat you 3-5lb. Daily fluctuations can easily span that range too.

    I'd also mention that people forget that your BMR also decreases as you lose weigh. Someone who is 6 feet and 275lb has a different BMR if they get down to 200lb. It's a common mistake to forget that your caloric deficit was based on your initial weight/BMR, and not your current one.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumroll View Post
    Eat too little? Then your body will say "this is not enough energy and I need to store it all as fat so I can use it when I really need it, who knows when I will get more of it!"
    Hmmm, let's assume this really happened, that the body stored all incoming food (proteins, carbs and fat) and converted it into stored body fat. And also let us assume that the energy spent on a given day was 2000 kcal and the food eaten was 1000 kcal that was all stored as body fat, because the body would keep it "so I can use it when I really need it". But from where did the body take the energy to burn the 2000 kcal then, this energy must be taken from somewhere?

  4. #24
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    Dude I'm a foot shorter than you and weigh 1/2 as much, and *I* can maintain at 1500 cals/day.

    You need at least one more generous serving of fatty meat, preferably beef.
    5'0" female, 43 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Current weight: skinny-fat 106.5 lbs because of sugar cheating.

    MY PRIMAL: I (try to) follow by-the-book primal as advocated by Mark Sisson, except for whey powder and a bit of cream. I aim for 80-90 g carb/day and advocate a two-month strict adjustment for newbies. But everybody is different and other need to tweak Primal to their own needs.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbag View Post
    It doesen't make sense, and it is'nt true either, because if so were the case, then we had to add food to lose weight instead of reducing the food intake, which would be more than absurd! But if eating less food make you move less around or train less intense, well that may be possible after all! On the other hand if the body burn energy equivalent to 2000 kcal and you only ingest food equivalent to 1000 kcal, then the difference of 1000 kcal must be taken from energy stored in the body, there is no way to bypass that...
    You take the first law of thermodynamics too literally. The body has ways to decrease expenditure if you start eating less or compel you to increase intake if you increase expenditure. The body is not a machine; it is a living organism with its own regulatory mechanisms. People CAN and DO stall from eating too little food because the body compensates. When they eat more, they can spontaneously and unconsciously increase expenditure - and the body can find it safe enough to utilize body fat stores as a source of energy again. The science may not be bulletproof yet, but the circumstantial evidence that this actually happens is quite compelling, makes logical sense, and does not violate the laws of physics.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJW2 View Post
    You take the first law of thermodynamics too literally. The body has ways to decrease expenditure if you start eating less or compel you to increase intake if you increase expenditure. The body is not a machine; it is a living organism with its own regulatory mechanisms. People CAN and DO stall from eating too little food because the body compensates. When they eat more, they can spontaneously and unconsciously increase expenditure - and the body can find it safe enough to utilize body fat stores as a source of energy again. The science may not be bulletproof yet, but the circumstantial evidence that this actually happens is quite compelling, makes logical sense, and does not violate the laws of physics.
    Yes, people stall on diets, happens all the time, but WHY do they stall? Following your train of thought, and doing a thought experiment: Let's say we put a "stalled" person on a waterfast or maximum one cup of broccoli per day for a month! Would this person still be stalled? Of course not, and if so he would either be cheating us, or it would be the greatest miracle since a certain person converted water into wine some two tousand years ago!

    But, if more food makes dieters more active and more able to spend energy in the gym or whatever, then of course this changes the energy balance. This I have mentioned in my postings above. So, it is possible to eat more and overcome a weight loss plateau - IF - that makes you spend more energy in everyday living and/or training, so that the expenditure of energy becomes MORE than the ingestion of energy from the food intake. No disagreement upon that!

    And yes, science IS bulletproof upon those principles; you cannot add food to your diet and overcome a stall, without also going into an energy deficit in some way, thatís the only way that we can spend energy stored in our bodies. To lose weight the body MUST take inn less energy from food than it uses on its activities thats how the world works...

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbag View Post
    Yes, people stall on diets, happens all the time, but WHY do they stall? Following your train of thought, and doing a thought experiment: Let's say we put a "stalled" person on a waterfast or maximum one cup of broccoli per day for a month! Would this person still be stalled? Of course not, and if so he would either be cheating us, or it would be the greatest miracle since a certain person converted water into wine some two tousand years ago!

    But, if more food makes dieters more active and more able to spend energy in the gym or whatever, then of course this changes the energy balance. This I have mentioned in my postings above. So, it is possible to eat more and overcome a weight loss plateau - IF - that makes you spend more energy in everyday living and/or training, so that the expenditure of energy becomes MORE than the ingestion of energy from the food intake. No disagreement upon that!

    And yes, science IS bulletproof upon those principles; you cannot add food to your diet and overcome a stall, without also going into an energy deficit in some way, thatís the only way that we can spend energy stored in our bodies. To lose weight the body MUST take inn less energy from food than it uses on its activities thats how the world works...
    I think we sort of agree. Sorry if I missed the totality of your point. I am saying that eating more food can overcome a stall because the body then compels us to expend more energy. I'm not arguing the truth of the 1st law of thermodynamics. And I am just saying it can be a good strategy for some to eat more food to counter the body's down-regulation of energy expenditure in reaction to the decreased caloric intake. Of course that improvement is predicated on the coincident increase in energy expenditure.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catrin View Post
    In my experience, eating too few calories leads to stalled weight loss. I WAS averaging 1200-1400 calories (5'3, ~135 at the time), very active, solid weight plateau for well over a year. A sports nutritionist convinced to me increase my caloric intake by more than 50% and the pounds started falling off again. It happens. My diet was as clean as possible at the time (as clean a CW low-fat diet can be) and the only thing I changed was my daily calorie intake.
    I had a similar experience. I'm a woman in my early 30s. When i decreased my calories to be consistently in the 1200-1400 range (after gaining fat from eating high fat/low carb and wanting to get rid of it), I did not lose any weight; my body lowered my metabolism to reduce my energy expenditure, instead. I forced myself to continue being active (weights, long walks, etc...) but I could never produce a deficit. My body temperature was ridiculously low, my pulse and BP were so low that my husband was getting seriously concerned. My body was slowly shutting down rather than burn off the extra fat I had.

    Fast forward a year. I've been on a quest to raise my metabolism and thyroid...my pulse and BP are a little better (higher) now, my body temp is slowly but steadily increasing, and I can eat significantly higher calorie levels without gaining fat (I'm probably closer to 2,000/day now) and I'm eating a high carb diet at that. So now I'm eating high carb, higher calorie, and excercising significantly less while either maintaining my weight or losing slightly (I can lose if I step up the excercise now but since I've only got a few extra lbs of fat, it's not my priority).

    Calories in = calories out is real, but the calories out part is an ever-changing unseen process that we can't directly measure. I can measure out in grams how much protein or how many calories I'm consuming, but there's no way to know how much energy my body is saving by stopping or reducing 'nonessential' processes like hair growth, immune function, etc...

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbag View Post
    Hmmm, let's assume this really happened, that the body stored all incoming food (proteins, carbs and fat) and converted it into stored body fat. And also let us assume that the energy spent on a given day was 2000 kcal and the food eaten was 1000 kcal that was all stored as body fat, because the body would keep it "so I can use it when I really need it". But from where did the body take the energy to burn the 2000 kcal then, this energy must be taken from somewhere?
    The body is capable of downregulating metabolic functions in order to conserve energy that it can then put into storing as fat because it doesn't know when it will next get energy. Increase the amount you eat, the body can reupregulate these functions, and things return to somewhat of a state of normality.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumroll View Post
    The body is capable of downregulating metabolic functions in order to conserve energy that it can then put into storing as fat because it doesn't know when it will next get energy.
    If lack of food the body must get energy from some where to cover its demands, but you seem to imply that the body in a energy deficit convert incoming food to fat for storage? This seem very awkward when the body anyway is in demand of energy, so my question above is where do the body take its energy from when incoming food is stored as fat because the body feel treatened that there will not be enough food?

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