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Eating paleo is great during the day, but at night I can't help myself...

by (430)
Updated about 6 hours ago
Created October 26, 2012 at 7:56 PM

14 year old girl here. Been trying to lose weight for about 1 year. Which I never thought that I'd have to do, because my activity level is so high. But, I;ve got grab-abble fat and it jingles when I run, and it's embarrassing.

Lately I've been feeling absolutely terrible. Tired all the time, lost interest in my sport and just generally lonely. I know it's a part of growing up and stuff, but...

So earlier this year I was on the calorie-counting, low-fat business. Then when I had only lost about 1 pound in 6 weeks whilst feeling fairly hungry I thought I wasn't being strict enough.

Bring in the 2 week binge. I think I gained about 8 pounds. Then I just didn't care what I ate after that. I ate junk and stuff, but I didn't binge. Heavier and heavier I got.

I heard about the paleo diet a few weeks later. At first I just disregarded it, I thought it was another faddy diet.

Then I thought about it. After I heard about it, I couldn't forget about it. So, to cut a long story short (even though this will be quite long) I'm trying to eat paleo now, whilst trying to lose weight and continue with my sport. (the season is in full flow too, but I'm just not looking forward to it. I feel awful and I'm just not enjoying it.)

So this is what I eat.

Breakfast 7:30 AM: 3 eggs scrambled with 25g of grass-fed butter and 2 slices of bacon.

Lunch 12:45 AM: a salad. Usually it's a handful of lettuce, half a carrot and some protein source, like 1 chicken breast or 1 tin of tuna, with some nuts. Maybe a piece of fruit after.

When I get home and if no one's in, I usually scavenge for "paleo foods", i.e eating butter with a spoon, some nuts or some peanut butter (not paleo, but we can't find almond butter)

Then I'll do training. I'm normally hungry after training, so I'll have dinner. Then I find that dinner isn't enough to truly satisfy me. When my mom isn't there, I'll grab a couple of biscuits, maybe some chocolate or something. Basically, it all goes out of the window at night.

Basically, I need to lose weight. I also want to get better at sport and not feel tired. But I'm just so hungry. And I can't snack on anything that isn't paleo. My mom is also fat-phobic - lean meats in the salad, lean meats and steamed veg for tea. She buys the leanest meats possible, tells me to cut the fat off my bacon and to drain it, and tells me to use 10g of butter.

So if I need more fat in my diet, I'm not sure how I'm going to do it. The only times I can get fat in is at breakfast, really.

I've thought about waiting till the end of the season then going fully paleo for 2 months to see if I lose weight. I've thought about trying to do it now. But then I couldn't exercise for long because I wouldn't be keto-adapted. And I have to go to sports, because my parents have booked hotels and everything.

I'm just not sure what to do anymore. It's stressing me out. (I know that's bad for you, too) if someone can please decipher this rambling and offer some advice, it would be greatly appreciated.

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4266 · October 28, 2012 at 2:54 AM

The palm and the fist is to provide imagery. Meat is usually flat while vegetables are usually in a pile. The palm doesn't include the fingers, by the way. This is just a general way to use portion control and doesn't have to be the be-all end-all. And sorry, but 14 years old and female is a recipe for a lifetime of eating disorders, body dysmorphia and an unhealthy relationship with food. At 14 you should eat enough to support your growing, changing body.

4eb67cdd9ea0ab45ee9a8f74ce6ae66c
144 · October 27, 2012 at 4:38 PM

I also see a lack of Veggies and Fruits, not enough fiber and vitamins is a bad thing, don't forget some of them are nature's fat burners (think grapefruit).

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3979 · October 27, 2012 at 3:11 PM

"You are 14" is not an adequate explanation of why she should not diet.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349
2954 · October 27, 2012 at 1:01 PM

also tell your mom she's starving you because its true. I'm tired of parents not feeding fat to growing children and teenagers, which you desperately need.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349
2954 · October 27, 2012 at 12:58 PM

eat a better lunch. you're growing up still and will until you're 20 or so, don't eat salad for lunch.

66a7ef84ed129bba4ea2dc3aea26f67f
430 · October 27, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Thank you for that! I'm glad your binging stopped. Hopefully mine will too :D

66a7ef84ed129bba4ea2dc3aea26f67f
430 · October 27, 2012 at 7:44 AM

Wow, thank you very much :) i'll see if I can try that and I will keep you updated

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365 · October 27, 2012 at 3:20 AM

The more you DON'T focus on losing weight, the easier it becomes to just go with the flow. If you stay at the same weight after two weeks, THEN and ONLY THEN, should you start to taper down the calories. Remember, with the carb intake as high as it is... you'll have the required energy to push yourself, so don't forget that.. otherwise they will cause a glycogen spillover which then gets stored as adipose tissue (which isn't what you want). Keep me updated :)

125dfe387c83d848c2fe92de6d8bfdf0
365 · October 27, 2012 at 3:17 AM

Throwing thing about, calorie calculators give this as a rough number: BMR - 1390 (This is to support bodily function, so don't drop below this) Maintenance - 2154 Now.. don't be afraid of that number. You're an active girl so it's allowed. The All important MACROS - Protein - 140g, the extra protein staves off hunger, so don't panic. Carbs - 200g... now it may seem alot, but time them around your cycling, before and after for glycogen usage. Fats - 75g. This equates to about 2035 calories. Give it a shot for 2 weeks. Take 1 scale check before and ONLY one more 2 weeks later...

125dfe387c83d848c2fe92de6d8bfdf0
365 · October 27, 2012 at 3:10 AM

Believe it or not, I actually guess as much. For the sake of argument, lets put you at 5'4"... crap, you're nearly as tall of me... man I'm small! ANYWAY - At your age, rather than aiming to lose weight, aim to become stronger. With the cardio element of cycling, you're heart will be in FINE form. And on top of that, the resistance element is going to do WONDERS for your leg strength. Throw in some bodyweight training for your upper body and you are GOLDEN! Keep reading if you dare..

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15395 · October 27, 2012 at 2:32 AM

What's the difference in size between a palm and a fist? Arent they the same size?!

66a7ef84ed129bba4ea2dc3aea26f67f
430 · October 26, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Thank you! I'm about 5.3"-5.4" ish :)

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365 · October 26, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Ok, obviously you enjoy doing the Cadel Evans thing, so we can't tel you to cut back on that ;) In that case, you need a copious amount of carbs in order to keep your glycogen stores full(ish). The human body and mind have this deal thing that goes on... reward for obedience. So.. what we do is this. STRICT Paleo from roughly 7 - 5pm, so Protein & Fats for Breakfast, Protein and Green Veggies/Salad for Lunch and then... the fun!!! Once I get your height... we'll be able to figure stuff out a bit more :D

125dfe387c83d848c2fe92de6d8bfdf0
365 · October 26, 2012 at 8:50 PM

How tall are you?

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430 · October 26, 2012 at 8:24 PM

I'm around 148 pounds, last time I checked. We don't have scales in the house. I'm looking to lose about 10 pounds. I cycle a lot. I race bikes and I do 5 days of training per week. Occassionally I do table tennis but that isn't exactly exhausting :p so mostly just cycling.

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520cb551296ccc3f36ced59ddf9ee96b
0
164 · October 27, 2012 at 2:32 AM

Hey girl- I feel your pain. I went through a horrible phase like that too where I just BINGED like a crazy person on non paleo things after a whole day of eating right. I'm not too sure how I eventually got over it, but here are a few things I think helped:

First thing: are you sure you're "always hungry"? Sounds like you're an emotional eater, like me. You talked about how you would only scavenge for non paleo things if you were the only one at home...I did too! I was embarrassed that I was binging. I ate in secret. That's a HUGE warning sign!! Are you depressed? Stressed? For me, I was both. Alot of emotions were going on in my body and I didn't let them come out and I pushed them back down with food, literally. And it was a horrible cycle, I would eat more afterwards to not feel as guilty or bad. Now that I say it, it doesn't make sense. But it made sense to me, when I was emotionally vulnerable.

Think about how you feel before you eat. If you're not sure you hungry...leave the house. For a few hours. Not just a walk around the block...get outta there and away from the kitchen!! I'm serious. The kitchen is your. worst. enemy. And don't bring any money on you so you won't be tempted to buy something to eat when you're out.

When you eat, savor it. Think about how luck you are to be eating that delicious paleo meal you just prepped, all by yourself! Eating is a pleasurable activity. Enjoy it! CHEW thoroughly. Those tips will have you eating slower and you'll be more in tune with how full you actually are. Sips of water throughout a meal to slow it down even more.

Second thing: perhaps you should focus on eating healthy and nourishing yourself with good, friendly, happy food. Food is your friend when you eat paleo. I unfortunately have an autoimmune disease with many allergies so eating paleo is absolutely necessary if I want to function well. I knew this, however, back when I binged, I was always worried about losing weight too. So on top of working hard to make sure I ate only the foods I could have, I was also obsessed with losing weight. This left me SO stressed out and just really unhappy whenever I binged. I'm sure you feel the same way by binging after training.

Then one day I was like, screw it. I'm not going to give a poop about if I'm skinny or fat. I'm just going to make sure I nourish my body so I become healthy. Once I am healthy, then I will think about losing weight. And what do you know: when I let go of that, I stopped getting the urge to binge! This didn't happen overnight, but not thinking about myself in such a restricted way (I need to lose weight! So I can't eat more!) just lifted a load off my shoulders and stopped the binging. And what do you know, I lost some weight too!

Sorry that was so long, but I hope it helped. What I'm trying to say is: be more in tune with your emotional self. It's great that you're trying to better your physical self, but your mental states are just as important and BOTH states depend on each other for a happy body!! Take care :)

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430 · October 27, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Thank you for that! I'm glad your binging stopped. Hopefully mine will too :D

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11581 · October 26, 2012 at 9:34 PM

Bigger breakfast. Bigger lunch. Go for 4+ eggs and two portions of your protein at lunch. Salmon is a great lunch meat too with fat that the fat phobic won't notice. Throw some extra olive oil on your salad - that often does not scare the fat phobic. Don't be afraid to eat some healthy carbs like sweet potatoes - at your activity level you need them. Don't worry about losing weight right now, concentrate on getting your energy level up.

4eb67cdd9ea0ab45ee9a8f74ce6ae66c
144 · October 27, 2012 at 4:38 PM

I also see a lack of Veggies and Fruits, not enough fiber and vitamins is a bad thing, don't forget some of them are nature's fat burners (think grapefruit).

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4266 · October 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM

You are 14. You should not "diet."

At each meal eat:

  • a palm size portion of meat
  • a fist size portion of vegetable
  • a cupped hand full of starchy stuff (sweet potato)
  • a thumb size amount of fat

Eat three meals a day. Get plenty of sleep and sunshine. Lift some weights, run fast, walk around. You will be fine. Some girls get puffy at age 14, especially in the face. Don't freak out too much if you are one of them. Your body needs to get used to its new hormones. It will get better.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7
3979 · October 27, 2012 at 3:11 PM

"You are 14" is not an adequate explanation of why she should not diet.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1
15395 · October 27, 2012 at 2:32 AM

What's the difference in size between a palm and a fist? Arent they the same size?!

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad
4266 · October 28, 2012 at 2:54 AM

The palm and the fist is to provide imagery. Meat is usually flat while vegetables are usually in a pile. The palm doesn't include the fingers, by the way. This is just a general way to use portion control and doesn't have to be the be-all end-all. And sorry, but 14 years old and female is a recipe for a lifetime of eating disorders, body dysmorphia and an unhealthy relationship with food. At 14 you should eat enough to support your growing, changing body.

Bd614f091f0625dea86bad5791471f2d
4
785 · October 26, 2012 at 8:29 PM

First of all, don't stress! I wish I knew about Paleo nutrition when I was 14. You're way ahead of most of us.

Don't pressure yourself. You're going through a process that will take some time.

See if your mom will get you some coconut oil. I have some friends who refuse to let go of the low-fat nuttiness, but they accept that coconut oil "contains the saturated fat that's good for you".

With coconut oil, you can bake yourself some Paleo goodies that will help you feel like you're not depriving yourself. Some Paleo peeps don't approve of baking, but I think it's fun to have a treat now and then.

Shameless plug: http://ifcavemombakedcookies.com/

Hard-boiled eggs, sweet potatoes, and nuts are some snack ideas that will help you to feel full. Make mashed sweet potatoes and add some coconut milk--soooo good and filling.

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365 · October 26, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Sounds like you're most like not eating enough. Being a teenager you're still growing. If it's alright with you, how much do you weigh, and how much are you looking to lose? Sometimes we aim to lose more than we actually need to, we set goals FAR too high and when we don't achieve the results we desire, we get depressed.. binge and then we're back to square one.

Also.. what sports are you playing? More activity = More energy.

Fill me in!!

~ Cricket

125dfe387c83d848c2fe92de6d8bfdf0
365 · October 26, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Ok, obviously you enjoy doing the Cadel Evans thing, so we can't tel you to cut back on that ;) In that case, you need a copious amount of carbs in order to keep your glycogen stores full(ish). The human body and mind have this deal thing that goes on... reward for obedience. So.. what we do is this. STRICT Paleo from roughly 7 - 5pm, so Protein & Fats for Breakfast, Protein and Green Veggies/Salad for Lunch and then... the fun!!! Once I get your height... we'll be able to figure stuff out a bit more :D

66a7ef84ed129bba4ea2dc3aea26f67f
430 · October 26, 2012 at 8:24 PM

I'm around 148 pounds, last time I checked. We don't have scales in the house. I'm looking to lose about 10 pounds. I cycle a lot. I race bikes and I do 5 days of training per week. Occassionally I do table tennis but that isn't exactly exhausting :p so mostly just cycling.

125dfe387c83d848c2fe92de6d8bfdf0
365 · October 27, 2012 at 3:10 AM

Believe it or not, I actually guess as much. For the sake of argument, lets put you at 5'4"... crap, you're nearly as tall of me... man I'm small! ANYWAY - At your age, rather than aiming to lose weight, aim to become stronger. With the cardio element of cycling, you're heart will be in FINE form. And on top of that, the resistance element is going to do WONDERS for your leg strength. Throw in some bodyweight training for your upper body and you are GOLDEN! Keep reading if you dare..

125dfe387c83d848c2fe92de6d8bfdf0
365 · October 27, 2012 at 3:17 AM

Throwing thing about, calorie calculators give this as a rough number: BMR - 1390 (This is to support bodily function, so don't drop below this) Maintenance - 2154 Now.. don't be afraid of that number. You're an active girl so it's allowed. The All important MACROS - Protein - 140g, the extra protein staves off hunger, so don't panic. Carbs - 200g... now it may seem alot, but time them around your cycling, before and after for glycogen usage. Fats - 75g. This equates to about 2035 calories. Give it a shot for 2 weeks. Take 1 scale check before and ONLY one more 2 weeks later...

66a7ef84ed129bba4ea2dc3aea26f67f
430 · October 27, 2012 at 7:44 AM

Wow, thank you very much :) i'll see if I can try that and I will keep you updated

125dfe387c83d848c2fe92de6d8bfdf0
365 · October 26, 2012 at 8:50 PM

How tall are you?

66a7ef84ed129bba4ea2dc3aea26f67f
430 · October 26, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Thank you! I'm about 5.3"-5.4" ish :)

125dfe387c83d848c2fe92de6d8bfdf0
365 · October 27, 2012 at 3:20 AM

The more you DON'T focus on losing weight, the easier it becomes to just go with the flow. If you stay at the same weight after two weeks, THEN and ONLY THEN, should you start to taper down the calories. Remember, with the carb intake as high as it is... you'll have the required energy to push yourself, so don't forget that.. otherwise they will cause a glycogen spillover which then gets stored as adipose tissue (which isn't what you want). Keep me updated :)

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349
1
2954 · October 27, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Yes, you definitely need more fat.

Replace your lean salad lunch and dinner with rich soup! No sane mother will tell her own child that soup is unhealthy, or that salad is healthier than soup. Most parents would chew their own arm to make their children eat soup!

Golden cauliflower soup (replace the beef broth with more coconut milk if you don't have broth)
http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2012/10/24/golden-cauliflower-soup/

Cream of broccoli soup
http://nomnompaleo.com/post/2345953636/curried-cream-of-broccoli-soup

Tomato soup
http://nomnompaleo.com/post/2825821540/quick-cream-of-tomato-soup
http://paleodietlifestyle.com/cream-of-tomato-basil-soup/

Coconut milk chicken curry
http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/chicken_curry_in_a_hurry/

Squash soup
http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/curried_squash_soup/

Shrimp curry with onion and red peppers
http://paleodietlifestyle.com/curried-shrimps-and-spinach/

Can you offer to cook two meals for week? Would your mom let you? Then you could make a big batch of soup and put it in pint-size mason jars, one jar per school-day, to eat for lunch or dinner.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ball-12-Count-Wide-Mouth-Pint-Jars-with-Lids-and-Bands/21290193

More recipes: just replace ingredients as needed, for example, if it asks for vegetable oil, use butter or coconut oil, and so on.
http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/soup_and_stew/

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145 · October 26, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Wow, sorry to hear of your woes. If it only goes out the window at night after a good day of paleo eating, my take is that you simply need more fat in perhaps a larger paleo dinner (and perhaps a more protein-and-fat-laden lunch).

Also, your dairy (butter) is likely inhibiting your fat loss if you're like me. Lastly, skip the peanut butter and go back to nuts, or better yet smoked fish, jerky, ceviche, fermented veggies - basically anything else more paleo. The legume-butter is likely made with vegetable oil (promoting inflammation and fat gain) and nut butters should only be treated as occasional treats (again, if you respond like I do). If you must snack, do so, but stay on the paleo bus so you don't add so much stress, from food and mental sources both.

Anyway, that's my 2p. Enjoy your paleo food and don't treat it as a limitation, but rather as way of ensuring you eat the best things for you instead of poisoning yourself slowly. Good luck!

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3
0
2353 · October 27, 2012 at 9:35 PM

ebrady,

Have you bought a copy of Dr. Briffa's Escape the Diet Trap for you and your mum to go through together? Your paleo journey will be much easier if both of you team up.

93eea7754e6e94b6085dbabbb48c0bb7
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1670 · October 27, 2012 at 1:18 AM

As someone who struggled with weight throughout my teenage years, I provide you with the following advice: you have found paleo, lucky you! you are way ahead of the curve. Now you need to adjust to eating a diet of whole foods that your body proccesses differently than packaged sugars and flours.

Therefore, since you are young and at crucial development eat some frickin' carbs- your body will thrive and thank you! You won't feel tired and your appetite will actually decrease and performance will go up!!

To gain muscle versus fat, opt for glucose-dense starches like sweet potato, butternut squash, just-picked bananas, berries, and zucchini.

Make sure you are getting enough carbohydrate at each meal-- I found I was eating consistently low carb just because paleo carbs aren't available in pre-packaged bags like most foods are.

Make sure you are sleeping enough- don't worry too much about your protein and fat- get a decent size in each meal and eat to satiety as long as that carb source is there too!

Try not to overthink it. Stress is the worst thing a young body needs. I am sure you are a beautiful person and with increased carbs you will feel, look, and perform better.

Best of luck! Let me know f you have additional questions!!

86c545241ea4dd8294a9bd0214d3cef1
-1
-2 · October 27, 2012 at 12:17 AM

Try looking into:

Both from DangerouslyHardcore.com

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