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  1. #1
    VADogWalker's Avatar
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    Keeping lower calorie intake.... this is hard!!!

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    So I started primal in September 2012 and dropped 12-13ish pounds pretty quickly and have felt terrific. However my weight loss is at a frustrating plateau, so I decided to log my calories, fat, protein, carbs for a while to get a sense of what I'm really taking in, knowing I'm probably eating a lot more than I think.

    I'm currently hovering at 146 (5'5" female of medium build, 38 years old) and am aiming for about 137-138. Looks like I need to maintain about 1500 or so calories daily with high fat and moderate protein. The fat and protein I feel like I have no problem with, however it is really difficult to stay around that 1500 calorie point but STILL get enough fat and protein to feel satisfied.

    I own a dog walking/pet sitting company so I do some walking during the day and probably 4-5 days a week I do a Zuzka Light workout (she is BADASS). My husband was laid off in the fall and was just rehired on a new contract so joining Crossfit or a gym is not something we can afford right now. I also have 2 boys, ages 2 and 8.

    Here is a list of what I ate yesterday:

    Breakfast:
    2 eggs, 1/3 of an avocado, coffee with coconut oil, approx 360 cals, 31 grams fat, 5 carbs, 13 protein.

    Lunch: 1/2 cup brussel sprouts, 2 cups salad greens with olive oil/vinegar/dijon, a large portion of grocery store rotisserie chicken skin and all (I know, I know, not the best choice but I ran out of time), approx 1000 cals, 65 fat, 17 carbs, 77 protein

    Late afternoon Snack, 1/3 can wild salmon and about 2 spoonfuls of homemade mayo, approx 150 calories, 10 grams fat, 13 grams protein

    Dinner: a slice of "paleo meatloaf" (yum!), some mashed cauliflower and another green salad with olive oil/dijon/vinegar.

    I think I had a spoonful of coconut oil at some point during the day, too.

    So in total for the day, that comes out to probably just under 2000 calories, 130ish grams of fat, about 25 carbs and probably 130-140 grams or so of protein. And it was a struggle to stay under 2000. Today went a little better but I still found myself a LOT hungrier than I usually am. Is this typical? I feel like those first few months of primal eating I could eat whatever I wanted in whatever quantity, and now I'm just STUCK. It's 4:30 right now and I feel like I could eat a pound of bacon but I am sipping on a cup of hot water mixed with some ghee, coconut oil, lemon juice and cayenne to keep me satiated until dinner in a few hours. Will my body eventually adapt to the calorie reduction and fat loss kick in?

  2. #2
    jmsmall's Avatar
    jmsmall is offline Senior Member
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    My guess is that you are too high on protein. Most of us only need .5-1 gm at most per pound of lean body mass. The extra gets converted to glucose and fat by the liver. The glucose will stimulate the pancreas which will make insulin, which then makes you hungry. My suggestion is that you cut back on protein; you could easily cut it in half without being in any danger at all of too little protein. When I cut back on protein I get less hungry too. Focus more on carb restriction and adaptation than on calories. Also recognize that we humans don't regulate water weight very closely, so we can vary over a 3-4 pound range daily. I weigh myself every morning and graph it to make sure I don't freak out about random variations.

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    VADogWalker's Avatar
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    I was wondering about that. There's so much conflicting information about high protein vs low-moderate protein. I'm so used to grabbing an egg when I'm hungry, forgetting the high protein content. Any thoughts on some lower-protein foods that would help keep me full?

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    It looks like you are doing pretty well. You haven't been gaining weight and you are close to your target. I would think that 1500 calories would be a minimum and not your target. Probably keeping it under 2000 should be fine seeing that you are fairly active. What has made a huge difference for me is implementing Intermittent Fasting. I actually have trouble eating enough sometimes. I have read where men and women can react differently to IF but maybe something to take a look at. We are all a little different and different things might work for you and not for me. If you are constantly hungry and eating VLC then try upping your Carbs and see how you feel. Try going up to 100ish carbs for a couple weeks.

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    murf73's Avatar
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    Your diet really does look fabulous. I would try IF. And maybe when your financial situation gets better hit and gym and do weight lifting to help burn fat. Keep up the good work!

  6. #6
    Omni's Avatar
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    Not an unfamiliar story, been repeated endless times.

    Your body knows better what it needs than you do, it has reached an equilibrium and now there is work to be done before that equilibrium shifts, by trying to artificially push it by calorie restriction, your body will counter the move and end result is "Fad diet" frustration.

    That's my view, eat well, build up positive aspects in your life, reduce negative aspects, feed your body, mind & soul with the healthy elements and it will find the right balance.

    As far as hormonal imbalances and the complexity of the human body go, it's a bit like Donald Rumpsfelds quote:
    "There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know."
    It's that last one that causes well meaning actions to result in negative outcomes. this is the very failing of modern medicine, the very simplistic idea that we can add one chemical to the body to remedy a symptom and not cause imbalances, just because we don't see them doesn't mean they don't exist.

    By all means try to manage this as best you can, but if you are getting hungry and you are eating right, then best to listen to your body and be patient.

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    Cryptocode's Avatar
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    You didn't give the times during the day when you eat the 4 meals. I'd recommend spacing them regularly and dropping the snack. If necessary you could also drop one of the carbs at lunch. I do think your calories are too high. About 1200 would be good.

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    I upped my olive oil on salad and tried to make sure my protein was about the size of the palm of my hand each meal. I cook my eggs in butter or bacon grease and whip some cream into the eggs to fluff them. Sometimes I'll just take a spoonful of heavy cream as a snack. It's easy to fall for more protein but I think fat is more satisfying. Also examine yourself to see if the goal weight is based on reality or modern stick-woman advertising/propaganda. Many of us grok-dudes like women with some muscle and curves more than the sticks. For more suggestions try The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Phinney and Volek.

  9. #9
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    5'5", 51 years, female RN. Right around 129 depending on how many night shifts I've worked---it messes up my fluid balance. I eat:

    Breakfast: 1 egg, 3 eggwhites, 2 cups spinach, 3-4 mushrooms and a zucchini made into an omelette with 1 1/2 T parmesan cheese and a bit of bacon grease. Nonfat latte, no sugar

    Lunch: Salad with fish, lots of yummy greens, vinegar, a half cup or so of roasted sweet potato. More coffee.

    Dinner: Medium sized hunk of meat---steak, more fish, chicken---zucchini noodles with mushrooms and garlic and parmesan, salad if I'm still hungry and a piece of dark chocolate.

    snack: 2% greek yogurt with a bit of maple syrup or lemon juice and honey.

    I walk 3 miles a day and lift 3x week, in addition to working on my feet 12 hrs a shift 3 nights a week......

    My weight is stable.

    Quit dumping all that extra fat into your diet. It doesn't work if you are female....there is no real reason to munch on coconut oil or heavy cream. You still need to watch calories and 2000 a day isn't going to facilitate weight loss if you are female and over 30.

  10. #10
    peril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzylogic View Post
    Quit dumping all that extra fat into your diet. It doesn't work if you are female....there is no real reason to munch on coconut oil or heavy cream. You still need to watch calories and 2000 a day isn't going to facilitate weight loss if you are female and over 30.
    Spot on. You need to focus on a meal of whole foods, 2-3 times per day
    Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

    Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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