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How much do you eat a day? I eat TOO MUCH?!

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Updated March 24, 2014 at 9:57 AM
Created March 21, 2014 at 12:10 AM

Just wondering how much you guys typically eat (more specifically those who weight train).

I am a 16 year old female, 5ft 5.5in. My weight has been fluctuating lately (I try to not weight myself though) and I think I'm around 115lbs. It is crazy because this time last year I was nearly 95lbs with an eating disorder.

I eat 100% clean, cook all the time, and workout daily. I strength train HARD in the gym 4x a week, have a lightweight plyometric leg day 1x, do power yoga 2x a week and incooperate HIIT 2x a week. I wake up at 445 AM so I can hit the gym before school... I love what I do and work hard.

I don't track macros per say but usually eat 1800-2100 calories a day. I am not "paleo" per say but I don't eat gluten and all my grains/beans are sprouted. Usually my fat is 80+g a day (trying hard to cut back), 150ishg carbs a day, and protein varies. usually at least 50g, but today is was over 100g.

Why do I eat SO MUCH? I eat more than ANY boy I know, more that my whole family combined. Does my body need it for training (I admit I have felt stronger since eating more)? Am I still trying to recovery physically from being underweight (I still have had no period for over 3 years).

I am slowly gaining weight even though I am actually eating less than what I should?

Here is what I ate today as an example:

Breakfast:

2 boiled eggs, tomato, some cucumber

Early lunch:

4oz chicken breast, small bowl roasted baby potatoes

Dinner:

2 medium bowls of sprouted bean soup (made with 1 cup sprouted beans and some veggies)

1/2 lb 99% fat free ground turkey

Snack:

Small apple

4 TBSP almond butter

a few TBSP homemade jam

Snack 2:

small sweet potato

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9
0 · March 24, 2014 at 9:57 AM

I don't think you can consider ~2000 calories/day an eating disorder...

The OP may just be hungry because of blood sugar swings from too many carbs, so spressing appetite in that instance would be just fine. Also limiting calories to achieve a specific result is perfectly valid, even if it isn't the healthiest option.

Have to really consider perspective, I was just giving an option and leaving it up to the OP to know far more about the situation than anyone here and apply the feedback in a judicious manner.

7163e886634e71777acad417e676a614
0 · March 23, 2014 at 1:24 AM

@Matt 11 @BobK @ivymcivy I know it appears as if I am obsessed/have unhealthy relationship with working out. But compared to how it used to be, I am at a very healthy state. I don't workout more than an hour, and only once a day compared to when I did more. I really DO love to workout. All I want to be is healthy and happy. Holistic health and fitness is my passion, I love seeing success stories of people getting fit/healthy and want so badly to work in this field. Working out isn't my issue. Allowing myself to eat, knowing how much to eat, and coming to terms with weight (muscle) gain is.

7163e886634e71777acad417e676a614
0 · March 23, 2014 at 1:19 AM

@BobK @Matt 11I went through over a year of therapy and have constant support from friends and family. I am ALOT better than I was. I use to over do working out and eat foods lacking in calories. I was so afraid of salt, natural sugar, and fat. Now I had educated myself on proper nutrition, in terms of I KNOW our bodies need fat, salt, and even sugars. I have body dysmorphia and still see myself as an overweight child. I have been working on this, and its why I have a hard time adapting the proper nutrition I've researched to myself.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f
0 · March 23, 2014 at 1:07 AM

THANK YOU. Impossible to have that calorie intake while eating "lots of olive oils and cooking everything in butter" unless that "everything" in 5 leaves of baby spinach. @PhaseshiftR please give us an example of this 1000 calorie day that is bulking you up.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57
0 · March 23, 2014 at 1:05 AM

With 250g (carb+protein) *4, you hit an even 1000kcal (I try to keep protein under 160g.) Depending on whether you eat 100-150g of fat that day, this bumps up to 1900-2350kcal. If you consume all of these calories in meals, you should be able to follow your hunger and everything works out. You would have to be pretty hungry to want to throw more carbs on top of that (though you would be fine up into the 150g territory, for around 2500kcal that day.)

I was saying you would want to eat more carbs than I do right now (I try to go close to 20-40g/d, though it hits 80g some days.)

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57
0 · March 23, 2014 at 12:58 AM

Ah, cool. In that case, it does come out right around 2000 kcal =]. For someone as active as you are, I think you have a meal or so extra's worth of wiggle room depending on hunger. 100g of protein/d seems fine to me. I would time the carbs after your exercise with a meal.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
0 · March 23, 2014 at 12:57 AM

Bullshit you eat that little. Seriously, measure your food.

7163e886634e71777acad417e676a614
0 · March 23, 2014 at 12:49 AM

Also, you say I need more carbs for my age and activity... I have spoken to some fitness professionals who have advised me to greatly increase my carb intake, and that I might in fact be experiencing a "fluffy" look because I don't have enough carbs. Yet, I have read a lot about how moderate/high carb diets don't pair well with high fat diets.

Seriously. I train so hard, and eat so health. I love what I do. I just don't want to ruin my results because of inadequate (too much OR too less) nutrition/calories/macros.

7163e886634e71777acad417e676a614
0 · March 23, 2014 at 12:47 AM

I track my food intake and usually its over 100g. I saute all my veggies in coconut oil, roast my potatoes/veggies in olive oil, and eat lots of avocado. I also have 2-4 TBSP almond butter a day. I eat TONS of fats... I also love my carbs too, however. I don't know if it is bad to eat fruit daily, but usually I have a small apple daily. I also love sweet potatoes/winter squash and roast these most days, and I also enjoy sprouted grains/legumes (Chris Kresser did a post recently explaining how legumes could in fact be Paleo). You don't find 120g fat too much for a girl my size?

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc
0 · March 23, 2014 at 12:21 AM

@natiann123 your waist to heigth ratio (if you're measuring your waist correctly) is what it is. I backed into your numbers and there nothing wrong with a waist to height of ~43%. Your BF number appears high because you're light...you appear to be lacking muscle.

Of course a model that consists of height, weight, waist, age & gender is pretty coarse but it's better than BMI. Also at 16, you're probably outside the range of the data set that was used to develop the model.

You have experiment with what works for you... Just don't starve yourself.

7163e886634e71777acad417e676a614
0 · March 22, 2014 at 9:49 PM

@BobK I never trust online calculators... entering my numbers, it puts my BF% at 27. It also puts my Waist to Height ratio at a really high percent. :(

7163e886634e71777acad417e676a614
0 · March 22, 2014 at 9:43 PM

@wtfgod Chris Kresser actually did an article recently discussing how legumes technically could be Paleo. Also, I sprout all my legumes and grains, greatly reducing the lectins and phytic acid in them. I don't have digestion issues that are caused from this, so I really don't see a reason to not eat legumes and non gluten grains.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc
0 · March 22, 2014 at 7:35 PM

@Matt 11 makes some good point. I'm worried that you've susbtituted an exercise disorder for eating disorder. And that your eating disorder is not really under control.

I'm seeing continuing signs of obsessive behavior.

>>>>Usually my fat is 80+g a day (trying hard to cut back), <<< Why?

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc
0 · March 22, 2014 at 7:23 PM

Important safety tip.....

C4deaa6bb01626b4569e8992890381ab
0 · March 22, 2014 at 5:38 PM

The only thing that isnt "paleo" is the bean soup. I agree with you on increasing the fat but why the gung-ho paleo? It's this kind of "my way or the highway" attitude that makes people look at us like we are aliens. She's fried a lot bigger fish than eating legumes of late.. give her a break.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
0 · March 22, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Did you get help for the eating disorder? Because your "obcession" here could be a relapse. Also PH is not for minors… we really shouldn't be giving you any advice.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
0 · March 22, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Don't encourage disordered eaters to suppress their appetitie.

7163e886634e71777acad417e676a614
0 · March 21, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Thank you for the response!

I love to train. I am not an "athlete" but I want a career in holistic health and fitness. I would like to eventually become certified in personal training as a side job (I already work out with some teachers at my school who want to get in shape).

I have no problem training. I just feel like I eat all the time, and eat way too much? I always want food! But I have gained weight since lifting heavier in January. I was maintaining around 108lbs working out at home, then I started lifting heavier and my weight (and eating) and increased. I hope its muscle!

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10 Answers

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98
0
5640 · March 24, 2014 at 2:04 AM

this doesn't sound like that much food. how is this more than your whole family eats?? are they cats??haha your breakfast+ lunch + snack is one meal for me.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f
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1197 · March 23, 2014 at 1:03 AM

If you were in treatment for disordered eating last year, you need to understand that you are STILL ACTIVE IN YOUR DISORDER. Even though you are gaining, the way you think about food is eat/guilt/purge (via exercise). Do you have a counselor or are you cobbling together your own recovery process? Cut out all of that exercise for a few months - be healthy. Take long walks, play a sport - anything but this merciless gym schedule that only serves to make you obsess over your body more. You need to get your own head straight before you council anyone else on nutrition and fitness. You are young and I know you have goals, but those goals are also a part of your disordered thinking about food. Food is good - eating food is great, and you can eat without exercising to pay a penance. I'll bet anything you can't even imagine eating without exercising to "balance the numbers". Please give yourself a chance to step outside of that world - you are still growing and you can damage your body even further. You may be gaining because of a rebound from all the restriction you put yourself through to get to 95 pounds. Step off the rollercoaster and get healthy. THEN come back to the hardcore fitness and see if you still feel the same way. Best of luck, my heart is with you!

54eb85f12ef6e51dd9705a4a01cb0f84
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0 · March 22, 2014 at 11:24 PM

I have about 800-1000 calories a day. Sometimes around 1200. I maintain a perfect weight and am getting more buff working out. I eat a lot of fats. Lots of olive oils and cook everything with butter

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
0 · March 23, 2014 at 12:57 AM

Bullshit you eat that little. Seriously, measure your food.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57
0
1005 · March 22, 2014 at 10:10 PM

To me, this doesn't sound like a whole lot of food? If you're underage, you would need more calories for growing and such. Also, if you train you would want more calories for energy and recovery (especially if you train hard, which you say you do.. and also if you train often, which you say you do.)

If breakfast is 2 eggs + tomato + cucumber (no fat?) then that's 78*2+22+8=186. If this is 1/3 of your meals, it's not making up close to the 700 calories you could be eating every 4 or 5 hours.

Next comes lunch at 4oz of chicken and a small bowl of baby potatoes. (No fat? small bowl? only 4oz?) This is maybe 400 or 500 calories, again, not 2000/3.

Dinner includes fat free turkey? (no fat??) This sounds like another 500 calories at the most.

As far as I can tell, you're not eating even 1200 calories in your meals some days or much fat. I'd ditch the sugar snacks.

Lately, I'm hitting closer to 1600-1800 calories on average in vlc keto. I think I could / should be eating more. I try to have at least 2 tablespoons of fat with every meal. Usually if I'm going to do eggs, it'll be 4 eggs and a tablespoon or two of coconut oil with some berries or something (or 3 and 5 strips of bacon cooked in butter.) Dinner for me might be a couple zucchinis or mixed veggies cooked in a tablespoon or so of butter + olive oil + seasonings, a big salad with carrots/bell peppers/beets/whatever sounds good (plus a couple tablespoons of olive oil + balsamic on top), 6-8oz of grass-fed meat / wild fish (another tablespoon of ghee or so), I also do a small amount of white rice + seaweed daily (maybe 25g carb worth.) I might snack on a few oz of cheese and dark chocolate and some nuts / seeds. You would probably want to eat more carbs than this as an active growing teenager.

7163e886634e71777acad417e676a614
0 · March 23, 2014 at 12:49 AM

Also, you say I need more carbs for my age and activity... I have spoken to some fitness professionals who have advised me to greatly increase my carb intake, and that I might in fact be experiencing a "fluffy" look because I don't have enough carbs. Yet, I have read a lot about how moderate/high carb diets don't pair well with high fat diets.

Seriously. I train so hard, and eat so health. I love what I do. I just don't want to ruin my results because of inadequate (too much OR too less) nutrition/calories/macros.

7163e886634e71777acad417e676a614
0 · March 23, 2014 at 12:47 AM

I track my food intake and usually its over 100g. I saute all my veggies in coconut oil, roast my potatoes/veggies in olive oil, and eat lots of avocado. I also have 2-4 TBSP almond butter a day. I eat TONS of fats... I also love my carbs too, however. I don't know if it is bad to eat fruit daily, but usually I have a small apple daily. I also love sweet potatoes/winter squash and roast these most days, and I also enjoy sprouted grains/legumes (Chris Kresser did a post recently explaining how legumes could in fact be Paleo). You don't find 120g fat too much for a girl my size?

7163e886634e71777acad417e676a614
0
0 · March 22, 2014 at 9:40 PM

@BobK I was wanting to cut back on my fat because from research I have done, high fat and moderate-high carb doesn't pair well? I LOVE my fats. I love coconut oil, nut butters, avocado, olives, olive oil, even greek yogurt when my stomach can handle the dairy. But I also love sweet potatoes, sprouted non gluten grains and legumes, and vegetables. I don't think I can eat 100g or more a day in fat and not gain weight if I still eat my carbs. Thoughts?

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc
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675 · March 22, 2014 at 7:26 PM

@natiann123 You may think you're eating a lot but you're not considering your workout levels, you're not. And your comment "I eat more than ANY boy I know, more that my whole family combined.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc
0
675 · March 22, 2014 at 7:26 PM

@natiann123

You may think you're eating a lot but you're not, especialy considering your workout levels.

And your comment

"I eat more than ANY boy I know, more that my whole family combined."

Sounds link hyperbole to me. At your age I was easily eating 2 to 3x what you're eating. Are all the boys you know "wanna be" hipsters w/o an ounce of muscle?

5' 5" & 115 lbs is not exactly 'overweight"

take a look at this site & run you numbers. http://home.fuse.net/clymer/bmi/

7163e886634e71777acad417e676a614
0 · March 22, 2014 at 9:49 PM

@BobK I never trust online calculators... entering my numbers, it puts my BF% at 27. It also puts my Waist to Height ratio at a really high percent. :(

006f2e9b763058ff2332681c206563e4
0
242 · March 22, 2014 at 4:58 PM

wait, what? So you're asking on a paleo board and expecting to get help that's non-paleo? Well sorry, ditch all that fat-free crap, up your fat intake to at least 50%, get rid of legumes/beans etc. I think 2000 kcal are okay if you're doing alot of sports.

C4deaa6bb01626b4569e8992890381ab
0 · March 22, 2014 at 5:38 PM

The only thing that isnt "paleo" is the bean soup. I agree with you on increasing the fat but why the gung-ho paleo? It's this kind of "my way or the highway" attitude that makes people look at us like we are aliens. She's fried a lot bigger fish than eating legumes of late.. give her a break.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9
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255 · March 21, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Doubt this is fully healthy, but you could try drinking tea. It supresses appetite in me. I imagine other hot beverages could also do the trick. Also have to keep in mind, it's not about weight or how much you eat, it's really about body composition. I also doubt the fact that no one you know eats more than 18-2100 calories per day. Maybe you're thinking frequency rather than quantity/calorie amount. ^^

Note: Tea does contain oxalic acid? Can inhibit absorption of certain nutrients.

7163e886634e71777acad417e676a614
0 · March 22, 2014 at 9:43 PM

@wtfgod Chris Kresser actually did an article recently discussing how legumes technically could be Paleo. Also, I sprout all my legumes and grains, greatly reducing the lectins and phytic acid in them. I don't have digestion issues that are caused from this, so I really don't see a reason to not eat legumes and non gluten grains.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
0 · March 22, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Don't encourage disordered eaters to suppress their appetitie.

C4deaa6bb01626b4569e8992890381ab
0
915 · March 21, 2014 at 12:37 AM

Firstly..Congratulations on getting on top of your eating disorder. From your question it doesn't seem like the food is the problem, you aren't eating too much. I think you are overtraining ... unless you are an elite athlete you don't need to be doing that amount of training. What are you aiming for? if it is general health then maybe cut back a little. Strength train hard 2 x a week & 2-3 x hiit a week & some low level stuff (walking, swimming etc) .. this is plenty to keep you healthy aesthetically & hormonally. As a side note, If you are doing true plyometrics then try to cut waaay back on the frequency (maybe monthly) .. it's very hard on your connective tissue & takes a lot more than a week to sufficiently recover. You have obviously come a long way & i hope i've not put you off training, you have done an awesome job so far, just ease back a bit. As for eating too much...your hunger is dictated by your training, train less & you will eat less. Hope this helps.

7163e886634e71777acad417e676a614
0 · March 21, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Thank you for the response!

I love to train. I am not an "athlete" but I want a career in holistic health and fitness. I would like to eventually become certified in personal training as a side job (I already work out with some teachers at my school who want to get in shape).

I have no problem training. I just feel like I eat all the time, and eat way too much? I always want food! But I have gained weight since lifting heavier in January. I was maintaining around 108lbs working out at home, then I started lifting heavier and my weight (and eating) and increased. I hope its muscle!

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