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Thread: PCOS vs Paleo page

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    Screamer's Avatar
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    PCOS vs Paleo

    Primal Fuel
    Hi everyone,

    So here's the story - I've been doing Paleo for a year now probably at about 95%. Initially lost some weight then it came straight back. I'm 5ft 2.5", female, 31yrs old and about 65kg. I"ve lost a bit of bulk, but definitely still some to lose, and am not losing weight any more. My partner (similar age etc) has lost quite a bit of bulk and weight, but she doesn't have PCOS. Had some improvements like regularity in my periods, and some worsening symptoms like more hairgrowth, i think because of the heavy amount of red meat and not oily fish so i try to keep that balanced too.

    So what am I doing wrong? I know I need more of the intensive exercise which i've started to get back into just this week. I cycle at least 3-4 days a week to work so that's my moving slowly exercises done. I think my portions are a problem, I think I'm over flooding my plates with vegetables but we do both have big appetites and I just don't get how to add more fat to my meals so I can keep the portions down and stop from being hungry all the time? I mean, if you have a piece of pork belly, cooked in coconut oil and some veg, how can I possibly add more fat to that? Other than eating an avocado?

    I also know I snack too much, on good paleo snacks, but still, it's hardly ever in moderation, or if it is, it's lots of small moderated bits of different things. Or i'll buy a bag of nuts and eat the whole thing in two days! Someone mentioned cut down on carb portions in my meals, but it all starts getting technical and I'm not exactly sure what i should cut down on to try and see if it makes a difference, or how much of it? Some people say 'eat more fat' others say 'eat less fat', some say 'stop eating so much' so I'm really not sure WHAT I should do.

    Would appreciate any advice, please keep it non-technical though as possible.

    Thanks everyone!

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    Well I have PCOS too and it's a pain isn't it? First off everything is dependent on you as an individual, and different things will exacerbate different symptoms. For instance for a lot of PCOSers milk will make acne and hair growth worse, for others it doesn't.

    Now I can tell you what I have found that works for me. In order to lose weight I have to keep my carbs around 100 grams. If I go to high I don't lose or I gain. If I go to low I feel like crap. I also don't eat a lot of food calorie wise, but I try to make sure everything counts. There has been some research that veggies are very good for women that have PCOS. Non starchy and the more you eat the better. I eat a lot of veggies, moderate protein, some starchy veggies or fruit and I work in a snack of dark chocolate pretty much everyday. If my calories seem low for the day I'll have a piece of good cheese or some almond or peanut butter. I don't eat nuts per se because I'll over do it and it stalls my weight loss. Also if you are into tracking macros my fat/carb/protein is usually split even 33/33/33. I do have to track my calories to watch out for calorie creep.

    With all that said you will have to experiment to see what works for you. Personally I would track what I'm eating for a week and see what I can adjust. You never know you could just be eating too much. Or maybe cut the snacks out for a week or two and see what happens.

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    Hi Screamer, well done on sticking to 95% paleo for a year and reaping some health improvements.

    I do not have PCOS so I cannot comment on that side of things, but it does seem to me that you have hit the nail on the head when you mention both exercise, and portion control, which is extra important when you are not very tall.

    I think that building some muscle by lifting weights is likely to help burn more calories and improve your body shape. So do try that.

    As for adding cheese or nuts when your calories "seem low" - I do not understand why you would want to do that. Surely the aim would be to create a deficit so that you can burn your own surplus body fat. Wait till it's gone before adding extra fat. Same goes for adding avocado and coconut oil to pork belly, that just seems like overkill to me.

    Also, if you want to work in chocolate every day (I do )then perhaps ease up on the fruit and starchy veges in the meantime. Personally I don't find that eating primal causes me to feel "hungry all the time", as long as I base all my meals round a decent serving of a high protein food such as meat, eggs, or maybe fish (which I should do more often). Eggs are my secret weapon, I eat them for breakfast and they keep me going for hours.

    Good luck with finding what will work for you.

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    Ok I have some questions, and thanks so much for both replying.

    weaverchick - you said you keep your carbs to 100grams? Is that per serving? And does that include ALL vegetables? We eat a lot of kale, cabbage, carrots, butternut squash, leeks, and especially now coming into winter we eat lots of parsnips. Are any of those really bad? Wondering if there's a list somewhere of high carb veggies... must google search!

    AnnieH - I think you might be right about the weights, and exercise in general. High intensity exercise in short bursts regularly. I'm going to try to aim for doing that 3 times a week AT LEAST for the first week or two and step it up, maybe put in some weights too to burn off the extra. In regards to the pork belly meal, I just meant that I'll fry off the pork belly to get the fat crispy in coconut oil first then put it in the oven. I'm not sure generally how to 'put more fat' into my diet if that makes sense. I'm a bit confused by the 'eat more fat and calories' vs 'keep track and don't go over a certain amount' what would you say is the best thing to do there?

    Also, could you both give me an idea of a 'days eats' for you? I'd really be intrigued to hear what you eat, portions, snacks etc.

    Thanks so much both, feeling supported!

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    The roughly 100 grams is for the day. I eat all veggies. Squash and parsnips and things have more starch so a higher carb count so i just dont go crazy on them. I eat veggies or fruit with every meal but that is just my preference. You can google a glycemic index if you choose to go that route.

    Also since you arent terribly over weight you will probably have to pay more attention to diet and exercise than I would. Adding weight training might just be the thing to help you out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Annieh View Post

    As for adding cheese or nuts when your calories "seem low" - I do not understand why you would want to do that. Surely the aim would be to create a deficit so that you can burn your own surplus body fat.
    Hi annieh...I mentioned that I do this. And its not that my calories seem low its that they are low for me. For instance when I'm eating primally I dont have much of an appetite. So I dont eat that much then I get headaches and all around feel like crap. Multiply that by a few days and and its not a pretty sight Since I do track I know if Im going to come in low or not and if it looks like i might not reach 1100 or 1200 i have some cheese or nut butter. Im pretty sure that with my weight and my caloric intake at im at a deficit.

    Clear as mud lol. Now like i said i weigh more than the op so this probably wouldnt work for her.

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    Thanks weaverchick,

    The thing is, I haven't been able to get to that 'not hungry' stage really, I have such a big appetite. I think exercise might help with that.

    Could I ask you to tell me a typical meal day for you? I don't think i'm massively over weight it's just that i put on 3 stone when I found out i had PCOS and stopped partying so much and haven't been able to shift it. I'm quite muscley (under the layer of flab) so am heavier because of that as well I think. Would be interesting to hear how you feed yourself and what if you only use 100 grams a day of veggies.

    Also, how did you decide what your calorific intake should be?

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    i think you're confused about the 100 gms of veggies. she means total carbs, not 100 gms in weight.

    it may be helpful for you to track your foods for a bit. i like cronometer for this. find out what you're actually eating and then make changes. without data you're just winging it. eat plenty of animal protein because it is the most sating of the macros. round out your plate with lc veggies and you're good for now.

    no need to fear fatty cuts like pork belly, but eegads cooking it in oil is really overkill. just run it under the broiler to crisp it up.

    on other boards i have seen many women with pcos do better and eventually conceive with going lc. (dunno if you're trying?) cut the starchy veg for now and go easy on the fruit. if you can't eat moderate portions of certain foods, like nuts, stop buying them.

    i am 5'-1.5" tall, so am a shorty as well. most days i eat twice. breakfast was just 3 eggs cooked in 1T of butter. topped with 1T of taramasalata and 1/2 an avocado. that's about 500 cals. dinner will likely will be 6-8 oz ground veal with roasted cabbage, followed by some full -fat yogurt with unsweetened coca mixed in.

    you're small and sedentary. you don't need a lot of food.
    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

    Ernest Hemingway

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    good paleo snacks
    is an oxymoron to me. eat enough food at meals that you don't need to snack. just because it's paleo or primal doesn't mean you can eat however much you want.

    for now, stuff yourself with protein at each meal and see how you do in-between. you should NOT feel hungry. by going under 50 total carbs for the day, which is mark's rec for weight loss, most are in ketosis and ketosis is a natural appetite suppressant.




    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

    Ernest Hemingway

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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Oh yes sorry 100 grams of total carbs not 100 grams of veggies.

    Ok so yesterday was a pretty typical day for me and this is what I had:

    B: 2 eggs scrambled with a little bit of ghee, and 2 pcs bacon
    L: about 4-5 ounces of leftover ham with granny smith apple slices and somewhere around 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
    D: about 4 - 5 ounces pulled pork with vinegar based sauce some cole slaw and grilled potatoes with peppers and onions. Not much probably about 1/2 to 3/4 a cup.

    The amounts pretty much never vary, just the veggies and fruit. Sometimes I will replace fruits with yogurt, because i love yogurt with fruit in it.

    I pretty much always have 4-5 of meat and then from half a cup to a cup of veggies or fruit. I hardly ever add in extra fat, just what comes naturally in the meat, cheese, yogurt, eggs, and nut butters.

    This is what I have found works for me and yes its pretty boring, but I make do with what this area offers.

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