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  1. #1
    atmetal's Avatar
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    Am I eating too little?

    Primal Fuel
    Okay, I have binged on all the bad foods that we're not supposed to eat a few times over the last couple of weeks. I don't know if my calorie deficit finally caught up to me, or if it was something else. So I'm going to start with this question. First of all, I apologize in advance, but I'm going to ask you to analyze the details of my routine. I know the simple answer already: Listen to your body. The problem is that I have been fighting cravings and even addictions for a while now, and I can't trust my body. So I ask anyone who has knowledge in this kind of stuff to see if my food intake is appropriate for my activity level.

    Because I lead a busy military life (with only a microwave and micro-fridge) I eat a 7 day menu that I repeat week after week. I follow the LeanGains diet philosophy, except that I've modified the calorie cycling percentages to be better suited for faster weight loss (-30%/+10%). I'm a 23 yr old male who weighs about 160 lbs. My body fat is somewhere between 18-20%. This means my rest day calorie intake is about 1820 while my workout days are 2860. I always eat at least 180g of protein a day. Always under 50g carbs on rest days, under 50g of fat on workout days.

    I workout 3 days a week (I currently do not participate in military PT). I was following the LeanGains RPT lifting style for a few weeks, but I recently decided to start the 5/3/1 program, which I imagine will have a similar intensity, but won't be lifting to near failure every time like I was with RPT. Either way, I would follow up the big lifts with some high rep isolation work to deplete glycogen in preparation for the high carb meal to come.

    That is my current routine. Additional note: it is a rarity for me to get even 7 hours of sleep during a night.
    I also wish to add in some jogging every day (even workout days), as well as weekly sprints.

    Any opinion would be appreciated. Lately, it seems my appetite has gotten bigger and bigger, but at the same time I've put on weight from the binges, so it's not like my body needs the extra energy I've consumed. I've always found it difficult to find the ideal balance. I usually end up relying on calculators, but they're always vague when choosing an activity level. I currently set mine to moderate activity level, which is described as 3-5 days per week of moderate exercise. The next one up is 6-7 days of hard exercise. Has is ever occurred to these calculators that some people do hard exercise 3 days a week, or perhaps moderate exercise everyday? I never understood why frequency and intensity go up together.

  2. #2
    Allenete's Avatar
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    It doesn't sound like you're eating enough fat, and possibly too much protein? Or if not too much protein, definitely not enough fat.
    It's 11am here and I've already had about 30g of fat.
    This is a typical day and keeps me satiated.

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    Lack of sleep can definitely be a factor in binges, since good sleep is necessary for normal cortisol regulation. Is the 7 hours of sleep due to insomnia, or your work schedule? If you can improve your sleep, that may go a long way.

    The other questions, in terms of "listening to your body" are whether your binges start with actual hunger, and what type of food it is that you're craving. If you start binging when you're hungry, you probably should find a way to incorporate more of whatever you're craving (carbs or fat or protein) into your eating plan, in a Primal way.

    More fat ought to help with satiety, if that's the issue. Good sleep tends to help with everything.

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    atmetal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allenete View Post
    It doesn't sound like you're eating enough fat, and possibly too much protein? Or if not too much protein, definitely not enough fat.
    It's 11am here and I've already had about 30g of fat.
    This is a typical day and keeps me satiated.
    As I understand, protein is more satiating than fat. So how could that be the issue? Besides, my carbs are so low on rest days that even with all that protein, I still manage about 100g of fat a day. Another concern of mine is that I'm very strict with calorie counting. Therefore, it is difficult for me add fat to my diet (other than animal fat) because I would be worried that the calorie count would be off. For instance, if I were to cook some meat in coconut oil, some of that oil would fall off the meat onto the plate. Since fats are so calorie dense, I would imagine this would lead to me not meeting my daily target by a significant amount. And as I implied earlier, I could add more animal fat, but I tend to buy the leaner cuts of meat because I can only afford conventional meat and I've heard the fat of these meats is where all the industrial toxins end up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cathartes View Post
    Lack of sleep can definitely be a factor in binges, since good sleep is necessary for normal cortisol regulation. Is the 7 hours of sleep due to insomnia, or your work schedule? If you can improve your sleep, that may go a long way.

    The other questions, in terms of "listening to your body" are whether your binges start with actual hunger, and what type of food it is that you're craving. If you start binging when you're hungry, you probably should find a way to incorporate more of whatever you're craving (carbs or fat or protein) into your eating plan, in a Primal way.

    More fat ought to help with satiety, if that's the issue. Good sleep tends to help with everything.
    Even 7 hours is not normal, more like 6 hours. And it is due to both insomnia, work schedule, and a roommate who turns in later than me yet wakes up earlier than me. Welcome to the military.

    I'm not sure what you're getting at regarding binges being due to actual hunger. But I will say that I am usually not that hungry, I'm just tired and stressed and bored of dieting.

    Again, same question as above, how can fat be the problem when I'm not exactly eating low fat and protein is supposedly more satiating?

  5. #5
    deepglades's Avatar
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    Your macro-nutrient break down is fine for what you're trying to do. However, -30 is probably too high of a deficit. You need to play with the percentages to find what works best for you. Up your rest day to -20 and see if that helps. Also, bringing the carbs down a bit on work days helped me a lot. The recommended amount of carbs is out of my league.

    Play around with it. You'll know when you find the right break down of calroies and macros.

    5/3/1 is quite a bit less strenuous than RPT, so that may help as well.

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    "As I understand, protein is more satiating than fat. " NO. Fat is more satiating, by far.

    This is a HFLC site = High Fats, Low Carbs. We have a different philosphy. Do read our book "The Primal Blueprint". People new to this WOE do have a hard time at first, lack of sugar results in 'carb-flu'. After that the binging disappears in a month or 2. Yes, we learn to 'listen to our bodies', but our bodies are pretty confused at first. It usually takes at least 2 months or so before you can trust your bodies messages.

    Use a nutrition tracker, paleotrack.com is easy and has many advantages for our way of eating.

    The higher your Fats, proportionally, the more weight you'll loose. Listen to Jimmy Moore Nutritional Ketosis Lecture On The 2012 Low Carb Down Under Tour - YouTube. I'm not suggesting you go into Ketoses. You need more information than I can put in one comment here.

    Look into Cross-Fit: What is CrossFit? - YouTube or other HIIT. Mark's pages here are excellent.
    Last edited by Cryptocode; 04-23-2013 at 09:35 PM.

  7. #7
    emmie's Avatar
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    You mention that your binges are from being 'tired and stressed and bored of dieting' rather than actual hunger AND that is the classic binge issue. Any type of perceived 'restriction' will usually result in a binge. For example, I've lost weight after a lifetime of morbid obesity, but I am a small woman who must eat very low calories to maintain. My body and I are perfectly happy eating at this level, BUT if I start comparing myself to others and wishing I could eat more, I begin to feel like bingeing--because I've created a deprivation mentality in my mind.

    There's a formula (which I don't know exactly) that suggests when tempted to binge, ask yourself if you are thirsty, tired, angry,or bored--and then recognize that food isn't a solution to any of these things.

    However, I've read a couple of books by former binge eaters, and they all note the fact that often we want to binge for the simple pleasure it provides.

    So it all depends on how you want to live. Do NOT try to 'listen to your body,' because the voice that's encouraging you to binge is your own. The only way to prevent a binge is to silence that voice.

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    for what you are doing, you are not eating enough.

    i'm not a leangains expert, but i'd say -30% is too drastic.

    and you "lead a millitary life" so that would lead me to believe that you are in decent shape. and you weigh 160lbs, but your goal is weight loss. are you 5'2"? we're obviously talking a few vanity lbs, right?

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    oxide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atmetal View Post
    Because I lead a busy military life (with only a microwave and micro-fridge)
    Never mind the calories. What is the food in this 7-day menu that doesn't use a stove burner, oven, or freezer?
    Can you even cook an egg?
    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.

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    Bingeing is a broad term.

    There is bingeing on good foods. "I was so hungry I ate a chicken, 3 sweet potatoes, a can of tuna and a salad". That probably is a result of not eating enough good foods. If you say, drink a can of coconut milk, maybe you aren't getting enough fat, if you ate a chicken, maybe it's protein, 3 sweet potatoes, maybe you need more carbs.

    Then there is bingeing on crappy foods because there is no good food around. IE, I was hungry, out of chicken and ended up eating a pizza. That's easy to fix- always have good foods around.

    Then there is just full on I ate a pizza even though I had half a chicken. That's probably dietary boredom. Maybe add in a cheat meal once a week.

    Then you have "I ate a bag of Snickers", that would be sugar addiction. Try a Whole 30.

    http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
    Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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