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Thread: Trying to Understand Caloric Intake for Weightloss and Health page

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    Trying to Understand Caloric Intake for Weightloss and Health

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    Hello,

    I've recently gotten married, and I realize that the health goals of both myself and my wife are (as I suspected anyway), completely different. If she could, she'd not exercise. She comes from a highly CW background and I have gotten into several discussion with her mother about my beliefs in nutrition, and I don't think those ever gave me positive or negative brownie points, but definitely reaffirmed their belief that I am fairly strong-willed in my beliefs. Bread, wheat, beans, sugar, as long as it's from fruit, what's the problem? It's all natural! My response of "well, arsenic is natural but you don't see me drinking it and claiming that's good for me," wasn't the wisest choice to use with both my wife and my mother-in-law.

    So far she has she has done well on going away from the CW mindset, and our eating isn't bad. Occasionally go with some chocolate here and there, but over all we keep clean. I'm lean, trying to gain back muscle and a level of fitness I haven't had for over a year. I've maintained the primal way of eating, just not so much the exercise part. I know what I need to do and it's no issue, but I am curious about what would be caloric and nutritional standards. My goals aren't to gain any size, but I'm (or was) fairly active. Sprint once a week, squats, headstand pushups against a wall, pullups, and planks three times a week. I never did them all at once, but I jumbled them together for about 30-45 minutes a day. I'm a creature of habit and when I find something I like I pretty much eat it and don't get tired of it.

    I'm looking to build a little muscle back and maintain it, but if not I'm actually extremely content with my body composition and just working on being more active like I once was.Although, I admit I've never been great at working out how much I need to eat daily to not burn myself out. I'm 23, 151lb, and 5'11. I've always had a lean/skinnier build. My wife says I was a little bigger when we first started dating, but I got sick one summer and I lost 10 lbs (of something, and I'm pretty sure a bit of it was muscle) and have been 151 ever since. Although, I've curtailed my eating habits to healthy food and not everything in sight. It was my pre Primal life.

    In the morning I eat 4-5eggs with 1-2tbs (100-200cap) of butter, so I get about 480-550 cal and 24-30g of protein in the morning. Sometimes I throw some cheese or sausage, like this morning I have about 41g of protein and 750cal for breakfast. I consider these special days.

    Lunch, I typically skip. I drink a lot of water during the rest of the day.

    Dinner: beef, pork, chicken, turkey ect. Because I skip lunch I have a bigger dinner, and if I had to guesstimate (because this morning was the first time I actually figured out how much I eat), I eat betwee 6-8oz of meat a night with vegetables (green, sometimes adding carrots), once or twice a week basimati rice, the rest of the time sweet potato. Again, I typically add 1-2tbs of butter. Just from that, I'm not even or I'm just breaking 1,400cal a a day.

    Question 1) do I need to eat more?

    Now my wife, well, she's eating breakfast, maybe half the week skipping lunch, and she says wants to lose about 20lbs. She's 23, 5'5", and 140 lbs. I was weighing myself for the first time in in months out of curiosity and she was not happy she was only 11lbs lighter than me. I'm just lean, but she took that as "I'm chubby". She's a hairdresser who is always moving and standing all day long, so she's not completely inactive.

    My question, honestly, is secondary to hers, and that's how should she go about losing 10-20lbs. She tells me of the time 4-5yrs ago when she just started college how she was 115 and skinny. She wants to try to lose weight, so I am trying to help her and be supportive. Of course, 115 was from not eating because of stress and moving constantly.

    She's got some back problems right now (a rib out of place the chiropractor and working on, so she can't do a lot of some stuff for the next few weeks), but what can we do, diet wise, to help her meet her goal? Pretty much she eats just like I do, but with the only difference being quantity. How much does she, as a woman, need to be eating? I think part of what will help is is working out and burning some of her fat reserves. She cooks, but most nights I do, so I want to be able to do what I can for her.

  2. #2
    Damiana's Avatar
    Damiana is offline Senior Member
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    Yes, you need to eat more. You're eating what your wife should be eating, calorically. I'd say aim for 2000+ a day and do more lifting if you want to change your body comp from a healthy slim size to a stronger, more ripped one. It'll be trickier for your wife to lose weight without exercising, but just continue doing what you guys have already done, but eat less. I'm 5'4 and at my heaviest at 126, I was eating at least 1500 and losing, but I was very active. I think your wife may need to drop to 1000 cals a day if she is inactive.
    F 28/5'4/100 lbs

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

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    Thank you, I appreciate it! How would you say go for it? The first thing I thought about would be go with more carbs, because I have to be careful not to eat too little because if I don't think about it, I tend to go way below the sweet spot for carbs. Once i pick up the exercise, I definitely think either eating a little more sweet potato and adding in a banana or apple a day would help with the energy. Do you have any suggestions about how I could talk to her about going lower until she starts exercising? She was shocked that I said she should be eating around 1400.

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    sbhikes's Avatar
    sbhikes is offline Senior Member
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    You eat 6-8oz of meat. That's not very much. I'd eat more of that rather than more fruit and yams, although you could certainly do both.

    I wouldn't talk to your wife about her weight at all. That's a subject that husbands should just not delve into.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

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    JoanieL is offline Senior Member
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    I've alway found it very hard to stay thin when I live with a man. Men can eat so much that it kind of freaks me out. Single and I eat correctly; paired, I eat what he eats, then get fat. For me, the perfect man who wanted me thin would eat what I eat and then get his extra calories when I wasn't around. I know that sounds unreasonable but the females on the planet aren't the only ones who need to make sacrifices to a relationship.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoanieL View Post
    For me, the perfect man who wanted me thin would eat what I eat and then get his extra calories when I wasn't around. I know that sounds unreasonable but the females on the planet aren't the only ones who need to make sacrifices to a relationship.

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    sbhikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoanieL View Post
    I've alway found it very hard to stay thin when I live with a man. Men can eat so much that it kind of freaks me out. Single and I eat correctly; paired, I eat what he eats, then get fat. For me, the perfect man who wanted me thin would eat what I eat and then get his extra calories when I wasn't around. I know that sounds unreasonable but the females on the planet aren't the only ones who need to make sacrifices to a relationship.
    I totally relate. On the other hand, I get a lot of flack from my man because I regularly eat more than him. But I'm the only one who has lost any weight and kept it off this year.

    At this point in my journey I actually understand calories less than I ever have in my entire life. I eat more than ever and look and feel better than ever.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

  8. #8
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    If she could bring herself to do a few squats and pressups, she might build some muscle, and burn some calories. Then she might find that she is eating about the right amount to lose fat and inches.

  9. #9
    Damiana's Avatar
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    There's no single way to gain, really, although I think a lot of people have had successes with high fat, then protein, and carb-loading once a week. Your natural tendency to go low carb will help you stay in ketosis and lean out, should you choose that route. Sprint a few times a week, but at the gym, focus on lifting rather on cardio.
    F 28/5'4/100 lbs

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

  10. #10
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    magnolia1973 is offline Senior Member
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    She probably needs to eat less which means things like measuring butter, etc. Calories still matter and when you need to be eating 1200-1400 calories a day to lose things like "some cheese" or "1-2 tablespoons of butter" can end up adding on calories that make a difference that you absorb while her calorie deficit gets thrown off.

    At 5'5 140 and inactive she sounds like a lot of women here that struggle to lose the weight. Not that overweight and not able to add muscle. Many of those women end up needing to eat a lot less and still need to measure, track to keep portions in line.

    I was in that camp, and ended up starting Cross Fit after a month of doing a strict Whole 30. Since ending Whole 30 I've been lax on eating, scale has been stable and clothes are getting looser. Maybe she should try a Whole 30 (really hard to overeat on Whole 30) while she can't work out, then when her back is better, really step up the working out and relax the diet a bit?

    http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
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