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Thread: A newbie with a question about carbs (and few other things) page

  1. #1
    dm38's Avatar
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    A newbie with a question about carbs (and few other things)

    Primal Fuel
    Hi all

    Iím new here and my story Iím sure is fairly typical. Over 4 years Iíve managed to lose just over 150lbs but over the course of the last 18 months Iíve hit a major plateau despite sticking to a ridiculously strict 1200 calorie diet and weighing and reweighing, measuring and portioning everything Ė to the point that over the last 12 months I wonít even eat anything that isnít prepared by myself in case of inaccuracies but not an ounce has budged. I cycle for over 2hrs a day as part of my work commute Ė Iím usually running late so my heart rate is a steady 80%. On top of that I run marathons so I usually run at least 25 Ė 45 miles a week depending on what Iím training for and then throw in a few spin classes a week Ė I think youíre getting the picture, chronic cardio. I would ideally like to lose another 14lbs but also get ripped, toned and most importantly stronger as despite being able to run sub 4hr marathons Iím ridiculously weak and yes it is possible to run a marathon on 1200 calories without hitting the wall.

    So I read a bit about paleo and then downloaded the Primal Blueprint and last week started the diet cutting out all grains and sugar. Iíve also withdrawn from my next spring marathon and decided to do 4 to 5 strength training sessions instead Ė Iím pretty lucky that I have a gym that has classes such as animalism and warrior workouts Ė which is a lot of crawling, hoping, climbing, throwing random heaving stuff, jumps etc and then 2 to 3 HIIT sessions with some low intensity under 75% of HR cycling or jogging.

    My major concern and questions relate to nutrition and what I should be aiming for in terms of total carbs as I eat around 8 servings of vegetables/salad veg a day and usually one serving of fruit, with a little dairy and that is around 75-90grams a day and I donít know if thatís too much Ė Iíve been staying away from carb rich things like sweet potatoes, butternut, parsnips etc. Iím also sticking to around 1300 calories a day as Iím 150lb, 5ft10 woman.

    Thankfully I didnít really miss the grains last week but I would really appreciate and value any advice for a newbie esp in terms of nutrition such as total calories and maximum daily carbs for weight loss.

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    zoebird's Avatar
    zoebird is offline Senior Member
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    First, I would say you're probably under-eating considering the amount of movement that you get, so you might want to increase the number of calories that you are getting.

    Second, under "normal" PB conditions, to be in the 'fat burning' zone or whatever (or normal zone), you want to get between 50 and 100g of carbs per day, so you sound right on the money there with 75-90gs (that's what I get on average, btw -- and have been for two years, all good).

    Third, you'll need to determine your protein needs, which is 1 g of protein per lb of lean body mass. To calculate this, take your weight, subtract your body fat percentage. For example, I'm 128 lbs and, say, 19% body fat. That's subtracting 24 lbs for a total of 104 lbs lean mass. Thus, I need 104g of protein per day.

    Then, the rest is fat.

    So, with 75 g of carbs per day at 4 cals per gram, that's 300g; 104g at 4 cals is 416 cals -- thus, so far that's 716 calories. I then consume about 1500 cals a day, leaving me a remainder of 784 calories, giving me 87 g fat per day.

    And all good.

  3. #3
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    Do you maybe think that at 5'10 and 150, active (so probably a good amount of muscle) that maybe your body is done losing fat at least for a while?

    A lot of women here are trying to get ripped, most of them without a lot of success, mainly because women's bodies like to hang onto fat to make babies. What we see as excess fat is needed by our body.

    If I was you, my first step would be to get an accurate read on my body fat % and determine if I was going into too low a level.

    If so, if it was "vanity fat" in a bad area, I'd go get lipo. If I was after athletic performance, I'd throw my scale away and find a fitness trainer to acheive those goals. I'd probably also eat more good foods.

    With so much cardio and so little food, you are headed to ruining your metabolism. What happens when your body gives out and you have to cut back activity? I don't know, I'd rethink your weight goals considerably.

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    I think you are missing one of the most important parts of the Primal Blueprint lifestyle - Chill the F*** out Hun
    Sersiouly your post reads like you do everything at 1000 mph, find one of them county parks in that London and breath the less pollouted air, listen to the birds , hug the trees. Move sloooooly through the countryside, and reeeellllaaaax. You will feel better honestly.

    Also what Zoebird and Magnolia1973 said is right on the money.
    You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tribal Rob View Post
    I think you are missing one of the most important parts of the Primal Blueprint lifestyle - Chill the F*** out Hun
    Sersiouly your post reads like you do everything at 1000 mph, find one of them county parks in that London and breath the less pollouted air, listen to the birds , hug the trees. Move sloooooly through the countryside, and reeeellllaaaax. You will feel better honestly.

    Also what Zoebird and Magnolia1973 said is right on the money.
    *Cracking up*

    In all honesty, it's hard to remember to move slow and relax and breathe, even for those who don't go Primal. Life today is so freaking rush rush rush around that somehow moving slowly is considered a flaw, and it shouldn't.

    I can't help the OP much, but if there is a follow up the Primal Blueprint book called "Chill the F*** out Hun", I'd love to write the forward

  6. #6
    dm38's Avatar
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    Thanks Zoebird this is all very useful. Yes my two goals for the next few weeks is to increase the number of calories I eat by a couple of hundred and mainly from fat so a few more nuts and avocado/ oily fish etc. I’ve felt quite sluggish during the first week but I’m sure it’s normal with such a big change.

    I guess the rest is just patience while my body adapts to the new diet and workout regime – and of course burning fat instead of sugar. I’m not going to jump on the scale for a few weeks as I don’t want to risk being despondent when it’s very early days!

    For the record one of the reason why I’ve decided to go primal is to slow down as I mentioned in the post I’ve withdrawn from my next marathon, cut down on the cycling and focusing on shorter stuff and more strength based workouts. I’m not going to completely stop doing any form of physical activity as I actually love it. Four years ago I weighed 300lbs, I had to lose weight and don’t regret and won’t apologise for the way I’ve done it as frankly I hadn’t heard about Primal back then. I went about losing weight the conventional way with a calorie restricted diet and exercise and at the time felt it was healthy as it didn’t involve any fad diets or weight loss surgery. I would rather be where I am now (even if it was ridiculously intense and even if I’ve made mistakes along the way like most people do – unless everyone’s perfect?) than still be 300lb or 400lbs as the reality of the issue is that I would have probably gained more weight in the four years.

    Everyone has a primal beginning and a starting point and no I won’t cry crocodile tears if I fail to lose the weight I want to in the next few weeks as a.) I’m pretty patient and b.) Losing weight was about a lifestyle change c.) Going primal is for many reasons not just weight loss – specifically digestive issues etc and part of my lifestyle change which includes acknowledging where I have gone wrong in the past.
    Last edited by dm38; 11-26-2012 at 08:47 AM.

  7. #7
    magnolia1973's Avatar
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    Don't worry about losing weight. Focus on body composition and eating really well.

    If you were working out that hard on that low of calories for so long, you may well gain a few pounds as you re-nourish yourself. Don't worry about carbs, just eat the foods on the list. Just follow the plan and give it time to work. I'm going to bet if you lift weights and eat right, that in 6 months, you will be 2 or 3 dress sizes smaller and 10 lbs heavier.

    I finally added in the Cross Fit to eating primal and have watched the scale go up a bit, while I have lost a dress size. Think of it as gaining muscle and losing fat.

    And you will find people that get strict on carbs, and that is fine, but most people don't need to even think about it. When you eliminate grains and processed sugar, you pretty much lower your carbs without taking any action.

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    AlanC's Avatar
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    Well in bodybuilding it's a well-known thing that after extended periods of low-carb, sometimes you give things a good kick-start by adding carbs back in again for awhile.

    Not sure if there's anything on this site but Google 'leptin refeed'


    AC

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    dm38's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanC View Post
    Well in bodybuilding it's a well-known thing that after extended periods of low-carb, sometimes you give things a good kick-start by adding carbs back in again for awhile.

    Not sure if there's anything on this site but Google 'leptin refeed'


    AC
    Thanks this is really interesting after a bit of googling. It is a fair point Ė my mum always maintained that a good fish Ďn chips dinner boosted her weight loss efforts Ė Iím assuming itís the chips and batter rather than the actual fish that was the boost :P.

    After such a huge weight loss and the longer time frame itís taken maybe maintaining for a while is the best route esp as I have a pretty healthy BMI now of 22ish and it really is just the last 10-15 cosmetic lbs Ė which may be less once I give strength training a chance and run and cycle less.

    I have found the second week of primal much easier in terms of energy levels so Iím assuming it only gets better. So far I havenít missed the grains and have no sugar cravings :-)

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