Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey (gopintos)
Ok, I am just jumping in right in the middle, right where I am, with my current frustrations. This is spawned as the result of recently reading that a person needs to eat BMR. I have been eating under BMR for almost a year, with the exception of maybe a dozen days.
Where I am at: Weight goes up and down just enough that I think it's progress and I am happy when it goes down. But looking at my chart, no weight loss in 5 months. Actually, just before Christmas I was at a new low, but have gained about 7lbs since then, which puts me right back to where I was 5 months ago.
I contribute the gain to trying to increase calories up a little, and adding exercise back in.
Why did I increase calories? Because I felt they were too low for one thing. But also when I exercise, it makes me hungrier. Maybe I should back up. I also shifted macros. When I shifted macros, I had more energy and thus felt like exercising, which then increases appetite.
I lost most of my weight pre-primal, 50c/30f/20p But calories closer to BMR. Makes sense I guess. I was hungry alot. I made pretty good choices. But eating fairly frequently. And cardio about an hour a day. I am assuming that is what the 50% carbs does to me. I am hungry more frequently, I end up eating more over the course of the day, but I still don't have any trouble staying under BMR.
At that time, I was eating things like Thin Sandwich Wheats and legumes and Peanut Butter. I actually ADDED those things into my diet, as I thought they were good for me. Weight loss was about 10lbs per month.
When I found Primal, I actually found Kruse first like within a few days of each other, and was trying the reset thing. (I think, it has been awhile) But I was learning on my own, that the more I exercised, the hungrier I was, and it seemed easier to me to watch what I eat than to try to do an hour of cardio every day. So I was naturally cutting cardio, and not eating as much. Bad carbs were gone. So it was easy-peasy to cut carbs like the wheats and legumes as I only had maybe a serving of each per day.
So when I found primal, it was easy. Fat was 50-60%. Weight loss cut in half though to about 4-5lbs per month. Calories were dropping. Activity dropping. I hate to exercise, like a cardio DVD, so I didnt mind.
So then I was reading the higher fat threads, thinking maybe if I went higher fat, weight loss would move faster. Calories dropped even farther. I was not hungry. I was eating once or twice a day. Weight loss was slowing down. Energy was also slowing down.
I am thinking okay, give it more time, maybe I am not high enough fat. I can see on my chart that every 10% fat increase came with even slower weight loss, until it stops at about 70-80. Over about 80%, I started to gain.
By that time, I am probably 900-1000 calories under BMR. I didnt stay 80% for long when I saw the weight gain.
I did this for months on end.
So my conclusion at that time, high fat does not work for me. Now I am thinking.... I was happy that high fat kept my calories in check. I fasted daily. Sometimes 24-36 hours. I would drop a few pounds but gain them right back when I would eat. Which was like once or twice a day. Now I am wondering if that was my demise. Too few calories.
Long about October maybe, I tried the potato hack, but only for a few days at a time. Or maybe tators during the day with regular meal at night. I felt more human again. When I was high fat, I don't remember much of my day to day during that time, it was like a fog, I had no energy. I could not exercise even if I wanted, and I sure did not want to. I was afraid to eat tators before that, shoot I was afraid to eat an apple before that. But I couldnt help but think of how I use to lift heavy (20 years ago) and ate mostly tators and chicken. I had not been lifting long but I was squatting 300lbs. For a chick, I think that is pretty good? I was divorced and broke and tators and chicken were cheap.
So adding in potatoes was a good thing. My weight moved on down to it's newest low about 2 weeks before Christmas.
I had a slight gain between then and Christmas.
Then Christmas. I didnt think I did all that badly, but I went up about 5lbs in 5 days. I havent really lost the weight I gained at Christmas time. It goes up and down, up and down, just enough to keep me thinking I am making progress.
At some point, I shifted macros but still eating about 1300 calories a day, eating more 3-way, but I don't count veggies anymore. It might go down about 3lbs, but then goes up and down, up and down. I think I might be just over 1lb ahead of the game since February 1, so on a downward swing now.
The last few weeks or so, I have been trying to calorie cycle. This past week I made sure to eat UP to the low day of zig-zag. My macros are still about a 3-way split. Scale is moving down. Then the High Calorie day, the day before yesterday and it was the closest I have been to BMR in a year. Result: Scale moved up .7 which I figured it would but it is back down .2 today, which I was hoping for. (and I forgot and ate some homemade yogurt and berries before I weighed)
So anyways, at this point..... I don't know what my macros should be but I am thinking that my calories are just plain too low. When my macros include more carbs, I eat more often it seems, and I dont have a problem eating more calories over the course of the day.
When macros are higher fat, I seem to not eat as many calories, which if I were on maintenance that would be a good thing but I am thinking it is my demise while trying to lose weight.
I can not believe I am even typing that. I think I was just figuring out that yes, I need to eat more calories. I seem to lose weight better on about 1500-1600, maybe 1400 low end. 1600 is still under BMR. But trying to eat up to 1600 when I have been 1200-1300 for so long, is a scary proposition, especially when the scale was already creeping up.
I feel more human on a 3-way. And maybe by increasing calories and exercise and adding in more carbs like fruit (I have been having an apple, serving of blueberries, and a banana daily now. I try to eat a small potato daily but I don't always cuz I am just not hungry enough in the evening which is when I usually eat it) so anyways, maybe the carb increase explains the 7lb gain and now I just need to keep on it and make sure calories stay up. I dont have any trouble doing high fat days though either. So maybe I should calorie & carb cycle?
I get what PHD is saying for weight loss, though they are normally high fat ppl. It seems to make sense to me that if I am not giving my body dietary fat, it will take the fat it needs from fat stores. So keep fat to 40% or less. (again, I lost the most weight on 20-30% fat)
I also get the HF/LC debate also. It makes sense to me too. I just don't have much energy.... but that might be because calories were just too low. Maybe if I made sure I focused on higher calorie fats....
Then I think of previous success on lower than 30% fat. 50% carbs. Maybe I need to go back to that? At least until I get the fat off. That is more CW. Just do it in a primal way.
I am otherwise in good health. At least at my last check up numbers were good, except cholesterol had gone up. At that time, thyroid was okay but that has been like last spring or early summer I think. I am wondering if I have whacked myself up somehow, being too low for too long.
I can remember when I reached my low before Christmas, I just knew I had this all figured out. My weight loss had slowed but it looked like it was moving again and I thought I knew what I needed to do. All I have learned, is that the more I learn, the more I dont know. Just when I think I know what I need to do, I realize I don't really have a clue.
It was just dumb luck that I lost almost 70lbs. It was 70 but now more like about 63. I really thought I would be done with this by now. I get the slow and steady, what's the hurry and all that jazz. But I just feel like if there is something I can do, like shift the macros or shift the calories one way or the other, that is something that is in my power to do, and that would be in my best interest to do that and get the extra weight off.
I think I would do whatever I needed to do, I just don't know what that is.
I am thinking about signing up for the email counseling Mark is offering because really I am just very confused. PHD is very good about replying to posts but I don't want to pester him either.
So I guess I thought I would pester you guys first, get some feedback and then try to figure out what to do. I would appreciate any thoughts. Really truly.
I have nothing other than HI to say!
Actually, I did want to add that I've been doing the hflc way,
AGAIN, since January 17th and feel fantastic.
Weight is back down to the potato hacks lowest, but get this:
AVERAGING 1600 CALORIES A DAY.
I say you give it a go, yanno, if you wanna... see how you feel this time,
like you said, eating ample calories. That could be the ticket until you get
used to it, THEN you can cut back.
Great to see you journaling!
Hey GF! You are so damn cheery and I love reading your posts. Your energy makes me hyperventilate ha
Originally Posted by InSearchOfAbs
I had sort of quite posting for awhile. I was just so confused. Nothing working. Then I started again cuz I thought things were working again, hopefully. Then the last couple of days I read about 03/06 imbalance, which during my HF days I wasnt eating fish. I was opting for things like steak with butter blobs. So no fish. And also no fish oil, as I thought I was reading negative stuff about that too.
So anyways.... I will just babble here cuz I don't know much about anything else.
I am in just such a weird place. It always happens that I get feeling good, then realize, hey, you aren't making any progress. Then I get all down about it. Not full out depressed or anything, just bummed. I am a great cheerleader for others, and I see their progress when they know even less than I do about nutrition, yet they are passing me. For over a year now, I have been spending hours every day devoted to learning, and I think weight loss wise I was better off not knowing anything about macros and just eating what I wanted (within reason of what I thought were good choices) and when I get to X calories, stop.
1600 a day on high fat. hmmm That is interesting.
I remember when I first went high fat, I was like... WTH do I eat?
Then when I switched back from high fat, I was like... WTH do I eat?
And now if I switch back, I am thinking.... WTH do I eat? :P
Even adding carbs in, I am still well under Mark's curve most days. Net anyways. But still way under where I was when I was losing weight. Just so weird. But those carbs included things like that thin wheat deli things, and legumes. Easy to get the carb count up with those.
Ok, well I think I know that 1600 needs to be my minimum. Yesterday after I realized that I had been eating too few calories for over a year, I was suddenly hungry. Like I hadn't eaten in a year! :P
I am still not sure where my fat needs to be. I don't know if I need to focus on that. If I need to focus on my protein. Or focus on keeping carbs in check.....
I am thinking start with my protein. Last time I was HF, I am not so sure my protein was up high enough. It wasn't bad but could have been better. My carbs are not bad carbs. Nothing processed. I feel better with my fruit - apple, banana, blueberries. Once in awhile grapefruit & orange. Fruit mixed with yogurt or cottage cheese, it's like dessert to me.
Some will say cut fruit, cut dairy. I am sort of thinking before I do that, I should get my calories up? Those are what is giving me quite a few of my calories now, I can't imagine cutting them out. But I will if this doesnt work.
If "this" doesnt work. I am still not sure what "this" is yet. I feel good. I have more energy. I had just decided a few weeks ago, just go with it. A 3 way with calorie cycling. And I think I have lost a pound. So, so far, I know "this" is eating at least 1600 calories. And once a week even higher.
See, this is my trouble. I think I know what I need to do and feel good about it but then realize I am not gaining ground.
Ok, so you think higher fat. PHD suggest 40% for weight loss (55-65% otherwise) and I am not even doing that. So I guess I should up the fat. I was starting to think I should cut the fat even more, like the 20-30% that worked CW way of dieting.
1600 calories. I can do that.
Thank you for your input!
Last edited by gopintos; 02-22-2013 at 12:05 PM.
Might be a bit trickier than I thought. I have logged dinner, and logged an after dinner snack, and coming in at 1184. I could CO or butter things up I guess. Oh, a sweet tator w/butter would be nice for a change. I havent used butter since probably last October.
Originally Posted by gopintos
That is 1350 for 6 oz and a pat. I can surely figure out another 250 before the day is over. Maybe more sweet tator and more butter.
Oh Miss Melinda, I feel your frustration.
I was in exactly the same boat.
Nothing this time around was working.
Just eating potatoes did, but hell, at 500 calories a day, what wouldn't?
And, I must be honest, I actually did vegan for a month >hangs head in shame<.
I just couldn't get over the fact that if NAYCHOORE put food on this earth, then
WE, by golly are supposed to eat it.
So I did.
Rice and beans, fruit, corn (gasp!) and vegetables (LOTS OF POTATOES INCLUDED).
Loved every single damn bite.
For a month I did that, just as a test; a test to show everyone that
it worked and that it was healthy!
I went from 122lbs to 130 in 30 days, and while I realize most of that
could have been water bloat, I kept cals to 1200 a day (75% of the time)
and while I was sated, I gained? What? Really? Mmm, okay.
So starting January 17th I decided to go keto, but with AMPLE calories at
I've been a proponent of VLC since 1996, but then after 6mo in, something would
happen and it wasn't working. Not in the weight loss sense, but in the "just wasn't
feeling right" sense.... Hair was falling out, etc.
Now I've read on here that VLC shouldn't do that, and that it was probably the lack of
nooootrients that was doing it because of the low calories, so THIS TIME AROUND, that's
what I'm doing.
Higher fat (i'd usually do low fat low carb, i'm not used to porking down extra anything
for fat's sake), lower protein (even though I know my LBM is 92lbs (that includes my skeleton
and all that too, not just muscle, ha!) and, I'm doing Shangri-La at the same time, not only
for the appetite suppressant aspect, but to get more fat in as well. Even though it kills me
to not eat a butt-ton of protein FOR MY MUSCLES! OMG! I WEIGHT TRAIN! THEY'RE ATROPHYING!!!!
I lift heavy, but not to excess anymore, and I'm down to 2 days a week to allow ample recovery
Anyway, so far so good eating this way. I'm not cold, I feel good, the eating coconut oil is weird,
but whatever. My portions are smaller, but more caloric, and.. and.. well, I'm not saying you should
jump right in and do it, but from one old lady to another, it's working so far for me!
Okay, dissertation over. Just wanted to say that I FULLY FEEL YOU!
p.s. i'm dropping cals this week to see if I can get any
extra poundage off, but in the last month I went from 130
to 122/121 and am sticking here at 1600cals, even with training
two times a week and walking upwards of 10mi a day (mostly
p.s.s. edited to add, that "old lady" comment was not
meant as a slight, it was said in humor... cuz we ain't
old, but our hormones and metabolisms might feel that way!
Last edited by InSearchOfAbs; 02-22-2013 at 05:41 PM.
I thought I felt something... :P
Originally Posted by InSearchOfAbs
and on the old lady comment, you don't have to explain, I know you are old...mwahahahaha
Ok, my fat came in at 39% but I did hit 1600 calories. yeah me!
Thank you for taking the time to dissertationize for me. I really do appreciate it.
Being in around the same boat as you, I want to read every word of your experiment. So this is the first journal i've subscribed to. I really get your frustration. I have shed a boatload (over 100 pounds) doing low carb for decades and keeping calories at around 1000 a day while walking at least a 5k daily. I leveled off around 143 a year ago. I was eating primal without the commitment to no grains but ate them rarely because I'd gain weight. Over the holidays I traveled a lot, got a new desk job, ate flor and sugar to the tune of around 7 pounds. Got on the plane 1/1/13 with a commitment to eat Primal. Read the book and started reading this forum.
I'm back down to 146 and occasionally see 145 but can't seem to get below. Calories are around 1000-1300. At 5'4" maybe I need more calories too. Scarey proposition. I tend to eat higher fat now and during the week throw in 1/2T of MCT oil for appetite suppression and cleansing. I'm clueless how to get back to 143 and then beyond into the 130's so I will keep reading, eating primal and trusting the process.
Originally Posted by calee
OH hi!!!!! I know, so frustrating. The frustrating part to me, is just thinking that all this time, I thought I was doing good keeping calories in check, when in fact all this time they might have been too low. arrggghh
I have been using this calculator. Maybe the zig zag approach might help you also.
Calorie Calculator - Daily Caloric Needs
When I first started zig-zag, I was still doing low calories. My high days were still only up to what should have been low calories. I just could not wrap my head around more calories. But I knew one thing, to shake things up, I could not go lower calories. So rather than just following the guidelines of which days were low and high, I have actually started following the calories it is telling me also.
So yes I did gain initially I am hoping I am over the hump now
Last edited by gopintos; 02-25-2013 at 07:40 AM.
[QUOTE=gopintos;1106720]OH hi!!!!! I know, so frustrating. The frustrating part to me, is just thinking that all this time, I thought I was doing good keeping calories in check, when in fact all this time they might have been too low. arrggghh
I have been using this calculator. Maybe the zig zag approach might help you also.
Calorie Calculator - Daily Caloric Needs
I've looked at the zig zag in the past. I'll have another look. I think I naturally zig zag but my range is 900-1500. 1500 happens a couple times a month or when I have more decaf with heavy cream I can see close to 1400. I'm so amazed at how different/or/same we can be. I'm in the difficult loser club but I'm not throwing in the towel until I see the 130 something's.
I know everyone is dying for an update. I have such a massive following (julie) so much so that I couldn't even find my journal buried on page 4. haha
OK, so anyways, I have continued to increase my calories. I have stayed off the scale for a few days.
I have been zigging and zagging. Macros still about a 3 way split.
I have been trying to stay close to 1600. One day I was close to BMR, it was a medium day on my zig-zag. But then the next day, yesterday, came it at just under 1300 again. I think because I tried to work in more fat, with some CO in my coffee. When I was doing that while HFLC, my calories always came in low but I thought I could stay on top of it. And I was hungry last night and could have used a snack, however I didnt know what I should eat, so I didnt eat anything.
So, I am a little hungry now but havent taken the time to fix anything yet.
Okay so I weighed. On 2/5 - I had gone back up for a total of 9.2lbs since my low on 12/13. To recap, I have been trying to bump up calories, and I added in exercise. Exercise makes me hungrier. So I was hoping the gain was due to that. Most of February was stuck around the 7lb gain.
So since 2/5, I am down 3.4.
Since I started this journal, I am down 1.5! yeah me!
Last edited by gopintos; 02-25-2013 at 08:47 AM.