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  1. #1
    little12's Avatar
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    How many calories do YOU eat?

    Primal Fuel
    I realize everyone is different, so let me just preface with that...

    After reading an article yesterday, it just got me thinking about some things and I wanted to put it out there. How many calories a day do you consume? (I also realize there is alot that goes into that in terms of proportion...but I'm just asking for some general idea). How do you adjust it based on your activity level? What, in your opinion or what you've found, seems to be a good number?

    The article I read stated that she firmly believed no adult should be consuming less than 1800 calories per day. Period. (no, i don't believe everything I read...It just got me wondering)

    It got me wondering because, right now, I'm sitting at about 1200-1300 a day. I've been doing PB for over 2 months and, after the first month where I wasn't tracking, have dropped a few pounds. I think I still am...slowly...but I don't weigh often. I just notice how I feel and observe in the mirror. Sadly (and yes, I know, fail) I haven't incorporated as much of the fitness part yet. I try to walk, but I don't get very much in. Nor do I get much "lift heavy things" in. My job has been nuts--life is stressfull--etc etc. Excuses, I know. Needless to say, that is my calorie number with not that much activity. When I'm hungry, I eat...if I'm not hungry, I don't. I don't really feel deprived--maybe occasionally.

    To summarize, it got me thinking...am I too low? Am I doing my body harm by eating at this level? I plan on upping things as i'm able to up activity but, as stated before, haven't yet. I don't really know what is "too low", but I know your body can adjust to things....so when I am no longer trying to lose, and looking to maintain, is my body going to freak out if I add on more calories?

    It just got me thinking and I was hoping some of you bright people might chime in

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    abc123's Avatar
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    What are your measurements? (if you don't mind me asking) Age, height & weight. That's important, if you're a 4'9", 85 lb Asian lady, that's a different caloric necessity than a 6', 165lb swimmer.

    I don't hit a specific calorie intake daily, have some high calorie days, some low calorie days. My goal is actually to run efficiently on less, stay satiated & steady cruise control metabolism. But my body does tell me if its running low on fuel, so I operate more on "feel" than technical data

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    little12's Avatar
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    I'm 32 (almost, so I'll round up), 5'-6.5" & 153 when I checked friday randomly. I've got curves and boobs (ps. boobs are heavy!!) and I plan on keeping those. My goal is probably around the 140 ish mark...but more so, just to feel better and more confident in a swim suit. A sustainable weight that doesn't force me to be at a box gym an hour 6 days a week.

    Like I said, I'd probably call myself sedentary right now. I have an office job (mucho stressful right now), I walk when I can and take the stairs (but it doesn't add up to much), play softball one night a week on a league, and that's about it. I'm one of those people right now that is going 20 miles a minute in 20 different directions--and when I chill, I JUST chill...or nap

    I digress though since my question was more on calories...

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    Quote Originally Posted by little12 View Post
    I'm 32 (almost, so I'll round up), 5'-6.5" & 153 when I checked friday randomly. I've got curves and boobs (ps. boobs are heavy!!) and I plan on keeping those. My goal is probably around the 140 ish mark...but more so, just to feel better and more confident in a swim suit. A sustainable weight that doesn't force me to be at a box gym an hour 6 days a week.

    Like I said, I'd probably call myself sedentary right now. I have an office job (mucho stressful right now), I walk when I can and take the stairs (but it doesn't add up to much), play softball one night a week on a league, and that's about it. I'm one of those people right now that is going 20 miles a minute in 20 different directions--and when I chill, I JUST chill...or nap

    I digress though since my question was more on calories...
    Very good call.

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    I'm around 2,500-2,800 a day, male, 6'-2", 175lb., fairly active (walking and bodyweight training 2-3 times/week, sprint/HIIT once/week), and found that I had been undereating (like around 1,800-2,200 a day). I found out because I had been feeling lethargic and wondered why...so I tracked calories for a few days and realized I needed more fuel, or I wasn't going to be up for the activity. My advice would be work on the stress first, and make sure you're not under eating too much, because that's another stress.

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    abc123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by little12 View Post
    I'm 32 (almost, so I'll round up), 5'-6.5" & 153 when I checked friday randomly. I've got curves and boobs (ps. boobs are heavy!!) and I plan on keeping those. My goal is probably around the 140 ish mark...but more so, just to feel better and more confident in a swim suit. A sustainable weight that doesn't force me to be at a box gym an hour 6 days a week.

    Like I said, I'd probably call myself sedentary right now. I have an office job (mucho stressful right now), I walk when I can and take the stairs (but it doesn't add up to much), play softball one night a week on a league, and that's about it. I'm one of those people right now that is going 20 miles a minute in 20 different directions--and when I chill, I JUST chill...or nap

    I digress though since my question was more on calories...
    Ha. You had me @ nap... & curves

    You sound healthy!

    Looking to drop 13 lbs & tighten up, sedentary, naturally curvy, "go go go'r".. hmmmmm..

    Calorie-wise, I can't relate to your female-ness, but I'm 32 as well & my caloric needs are going to be moot compared to your deal.

    But, I don't think 1,300 calorie days are going to kill you. I've found the cleaner I eat, the less calories I pack in. 1,300 calories of steak & veggies will run my body pretty strong for most of the day. 1,300 calories of bread, sweets, etc will leave me starving & malnourished quickly.

    If I were you: I MAY, focus on the discipline of eating clean. If you're new to primal, your body will be shocked by the nutritional density of simply consuming whole foods. So stay disciplined for @ least another month-6 weeks just making sure when you do eat, you eat REAL food. Micro-managing your caloric needs will come after your body resets to absorbing whole foods & nutrients.

    Also, if you're that stressed, (& looking to drop some lbs) I'd make some resistance training a new priority. Something to tone up your body, something athletic as often as you can get it. Will help with that mental stress too!

    Most importantly, imo, I would learn to listen to my body. I think most people on SAD eat, just to eat. Its like a robotic move of just feeling good jamming food in their mouth. If you're not hungry, don't eat. If you're hungry, then eat. Really get organic with this thing, that's what I love about primal. Its more than what to eat & what not to eat & how much to eat. Its about connecting with your body & mastering your personal scenario & needs.

    Listen to your body, & when you eat, eat clean meat, fruits, veggies & (& some starch if you like). Your body will adjust accordingly & find its home. Don't be surprised if your body settles @ home around 145lb! the curves & boobs are a good thing!
    Last edited by abc123; 09-05-2013 at 11:30 AM.

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    little12's Avatar
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    I agree---when I started eating cleaner, I found myself just naturally eating less. I don't want to pack in more calories just because I think I should have more. I just didn't want to set myself up for having issues later by not eating enough...

    I do need to add more "lift heavy things" into my week. I'm sure it would help me feel better and probably less lethargic...it's just hard to convince myself of that before 6am OR after I get home from a mentally exhausting day. haha I know that is my area I need to work on though. For sure.

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    Just as a general rule, I think that anyone who makes blanket statements about an entire population most likely doesn't know much. A slender, five foot tall, fairly sedentary woman with small bones should eat 1800 calories a day because some one wrote it? Not likely.

    I eat between 1000 and 2000 calories a day. Cronometer says my average is (depending on the week) about 1500-1600. Five foot five, 140 lbs plus or minus six pounds. Not that active. I take a decent walk five days a week. When I think of it, I lift stuff (I don't think of it that often). When I need to cut weight (eg., at the 146 mark because that's dangerously close to 150), I have found the most success at less than or equal to 1200 calories per day with one or two days per week at higher calories (like 1600, not a gazillion ).

    I take everything I read with a grain of salt. From Mark, from forums, from other experts. Mostly because none of them has lived in my body and I have.

    If you're concerned about RDAs or whatever they're called now, here's an article that shows you a couple of low caloric ways to get them depending on omnivore, vegetarian, and vegan eating: Five a day: The truth - it's a third to half way down the page under the heading, "Is there a five-a-day that would be worthwhile?" The article isn't about calories or weight loss, and it's not primal, but I thought that section might be relevant.

    Find what works for you. Were you ever at your "ideal" weight as an adult? What were you doing and eating then? Can you replicate it now within whatever new parameters you've set for yourself? IOW, if yes, but you used to eat 2000 calories per day and take ten hours of jazz dance per week, and now you don't dance, you'd have to make adjustments. Or if you used to be slimmer on pizza and beer, you might have to change that up because you don't eat grains anymore. (Or maybe even say screw Primal and go back to pizza and beer.)

    Good luck!
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

    B*tch-lite

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    I would say, yes, you do not eat enough. With the right foods (you'll need to do some n=1 on the basic primal diet) and the right exercise (weights, slow moving and a little HIIT), you can probably get yourself to a place where you can eat more food which will supply enough nutrients for the healthiest you that you can be.

    In the past the only way I could reach or maintain the weight/size I am now was with extreme dieting combined with extreme exercising. Otherwise I was always gaining incrementally.

    I have never been one to measure my calories, but I am at a place where I can eat 3 solid meals a day (or sometimes 2 solid meals and one snack-sized meal) and maintain my weight/size. I've been weight/size-stable for almost 3 years on primal. I would estimate my calories per day are well over 2000. I'm 5'3" tall. The last time I weighed myself I was 137 (but wearing the same clothes and measuring the same at the waist as when I weighed 130 a year ago, thanks to weight lifting).

    This is what I look like. Nothing to write home about, but not obese. I'm the woman in the picture.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 215 x 3

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    Over memorial day weekend I was eating 5000+ calories a day I would bet, and not all of it primal. Stuffing myself every day. Gained about 8lbs at the post meal weigh monday. I did one 30 hour fast and one 16 hour fast since then and I'm now 3lbs lighter than I was last friday. So total weight loss 11lbs in 3-4 days. Were did it go? Some was water weight and bloat, probably a bit of inflammation, and the rest was burned up by to my awesomeness . I am a fat burning beast after all.

    This is where the high calorie refeeds help once in a while to break plateaus. Sometimes you just gotta hit the reset button. Of course I've been eating relatively high calorie for a few months now, so I'm not in the same boat as a chronic undereater. Not even close.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 09-05-2013 at 01:48 PM.

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