Hi, I'm a 21 year old female, 5'2", feeling chubby (although also strong) at 130 lbs. I've been eating mostly Paleo for about 6 months. However, I have a history of binge eating and general anxiety towards food; dealing with that is a major life goal right now. I've improved but still have a tendency to overeat and crave non-Paleo foods.
My problem: Over the last year I developed patellar maltracking problems, which means my knees hurt all the time. I used to do lots of high-intensity exercise to keep myself feeling and looking good. Now I can't run, walking hurts without braces, and squats or lunges are out. I need to spend most of the time I would ordinarily devote to workouts, doing tedious physical therapy exercises instead.
I am somewhat active now doing aerial arts (silks, trapeze etc), upper-body weightlifting, Pilates, and swimming when I'm desperate for cardio (although I find that pretty boring). I'm frustrated by my limited athletic abilities, though. I want to lean out to improve my self-esteem and take some of the load off of my knees.
HOW DO I LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT THE CARDIO? I don't want to count calories. I want to find a way to eat instinctively so I get the right amount for my body while losing fat at a steady pace. My basal metabolic rate would be around 1400 kcal, FWIW. I'm eating in a college cafeteria with about two meals a day, and I tend to crave comfort food when I have to study.
Here's an article I like on 'Why Friends Don't Let Friends Do Cardio' http://everydaypaleo.com/2011/09/02/friends-dont-let-friends-do-cardio/
He's got links in there to other stuff. It's a good intro explanation.
Sorry to hear about your knees, aerials and silks sound like FUN!
So, of course I could be wrong, but I have a feeling you're not eating enough fat. I wonder if your history of anxiety towards food might be causing you to restrict your fat intake? You said you eat at least two salads a day. How much fat are you incorporating? I've done countless diets in the past, but this is the first "diet" which recommended high fat. It took me some time to wrap my head around that, but it made sense. So, when I decided to start, I went allllll the way. I cut out all dairy, grains and fruit and now my diet consists mostly of fat, and some protein, complemented by some vegetable matter. I'm not hungry! I'm almost never hungry! It's eerie. For example: I haven't eaten since 5pm yesterday and I'm still not yet hungry for breakfast today. And I did an hour of weight lifting and an hour of walking last night.
You could try making the first meal of the day rich in protein and MCT (medium chain triglycerides) such as coconut oil and MCT oil. I find that adhering to this rule really gets my brain and body going, and I never feel hungry.
Finally, I wonder if dairy might be setting you back. Whey is super insulinogenic - http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dairy-insulin/#axzz1pfVZogd4 - and if you're consuming it everyday, it could be interfering with your fat burning and perhaps triggering cravings. Low fat dairy is an especially huge culprit. If you MUST have cheese, Sisson recommends that it be only raw, full-fat, from grass-fed animals http://www.marksdailyapple.com/cheese-unhealthy/#axzz1pfVZogd4. If you can afford that, jeesh.
You could do an experiment and try a week of protein-heavy breakfasts, plentiful MCTs, and no dairy? Oh, and I forgot to mention coffee. If you have the urge to snack, black coffee or some tea can often be enough of a distraction. Also, I've been keeping a log of everything I consume, my sleep patterns, exercise, measurements, etc. Best time investment ever. It helps me recognize patterns and provides a great tool for deduction. We WILL figure this out! :)
As for cardio, is rowing out of the question, considering the knees? It's easy to incorporate HIIT on the rowing machine. ALSO, this might sound weird, but I have been known to use mostly my arms to power the elliptical - to give my knees a break (patellar dispacement). That'll get your heart going for sure and you can also do it in sprint form.
Pardon the novella. Best to you, keep us posted on your progress!
When I was in college I used the cafeteria meal plan even though I lived off-campus, because it saved a lot of time. The food was mediocre but the salad bar was pretty good, so I ate a lot, lot, lot of salad, or as Mark Sisson would put it, plenty of Big Ass Salad. I found this to be pretty satiating. It involved a lot of blue cheese dressing, ham, bacon bits and other less savory characters on the paleo scale but overall it was satiating and healthy.
As far as craving comfort food whilst studying, I think environment can be a big factor. When I actually got good at studying, it was at a giant desk (actually a closet door) in my room in complete isolation from the world, thoughts of food never entered into the equation. On the other hand, I know a guy who got through med school studying at a cafe because he would simply fall asleep when studying at home (also, he was like 5% bodyfat, damn genetic freak). If you are craving comfort food when you are studying, you probably aren't doing it correctly, or you need to study something else ;)
Go strict Paleo. Limit fruit intake, no dairy, NO CARBS. Eat high protien meals. I used to be hungry all of the time, even when I did eat large meals. Now that my meals are protien and vegetable based, I am never hungry in between meals. I never thought I could feel satisfied like this. If you cut out non-paleo foods completly, your body will stop craving them. Start with a 30 day detox-then if you need a cheat day after that-cheat but don't over do it. Also-I know if difficult at 21 but try to cut out alcohol during those 30 days as well.
I want to ignore the cafeteria eating and focus on your snacking options These are my thoughts on study time
Paleo Snacking- Presuming that your dorms were like ours and you do not have access to ovens...
1- Don't bring it in the room if you can't help yourself around it. That includes are paleo favorites like almond butter etc 2- Assuming you can use mini fridges you can stock up on the paleo favorites of veggies, but also don't forget our friends nuts, avocados, etc that are a bit fatty and can feel like comfort snacks 3- Find a resource for paleo/primal mixes (they are all over the internet) and jerky. 4- canned tuna.... mix with a primal mayo, hot sauce, mustard. Short of the eggs for the mayo none of that needs to be refrigeration either 5- they aren't exactly tastiest but you can make a lot of egg dishes in the microwave. They come out a bit rubbery and fluffish but it will work in a pinch with some frozen spinach and salsa 6- Dried Dates, sunflower seeds, 100 cocoa bars (baking isle) if you can control your consumption to 1 or 2 servings a day ...enough said
keep eating carbs girl...just make sure you are balancing your diet properly. also know that sometimes those last 5-10 pounds we are all so set on loosing are the difference between being happy and fertile and infertile and anxious
Try and get to the point where you eat a solid three meals a day with no snacks.
This starts with a big breakfast low in carbs to keep you full until lunch. Then for lunch something similar. Finally for dinner have your carbs there... This should help with the snacking. You might need a snack between lunch and dinner when you start out... Getting to three solid meals is key to not binging. From there get plenty of sleep.
how great to make a goal of dealing with your disordered past! that is such a great investment in yourself. may i suggest counseling/therapy, if you haven't gone already? it helped me tremendously. outsiders can give you perspective that we can't see ourselves because life becomes normal to us.
also, being an observer of myself helped. asking myself what i really wanted when i craved something and being ok with the answer, no matter how crazy (doritos, cuddles, marshmellow fluff, sex, sleep) helped immensely. after all, a craving is just an impulse, and an answer is not sealing my fate. i'm simply informing myself of what is going on in my head and body, and helping myself see what i need. asking myself why i wanted ice cream so much, what would i solve by binging, or why i did binge is HUGE.
binging is not the problem, it's the symptom. asking myself what the PROBLEM is and then remedying it fixes the need to binge to cope because i've taken away the motivator. for example, if i need social contact, binging won't help that, but prolong it. instead, i need to reach out and call someone! that solves the problem, so no need to binge! does that make sense?
if you already know all this, i apologize, but sometimes i think those of us with disordered pasts/present struggles can beat ourselves up so much we miss the easy, accessible answers. if you've done counseling/self-exploration, maybe try a support group? i usually find that EDs don't just go away... they may go into remission when your circumstances change but unless YOU change, they will always be under the surface. dealing with it with others help (therapy or a group) can help change your thought process and heal the need to cope with food.
finally, you go girl for dealing with this and being honest. that's the start of healing! look up posts by nance and maybe read her blog, she is so, so honest and helpful for those of us with... issues :) you can do this!
Try looking into a ketogenic diet. From my understanding if you don't eat more than 30-50g of carbs a day you will put your body into ketosis, where your liver breaks down fat into ketones. Your cells (most of them) use these ketones for energy instead of glucose.
There are some negative side effects when you are first transitioning into it, but when you are in ketosis you will have a severely reduced appetite. People often have to remind themselves to eat.
Do NOT forget to eat LOTS of fat when doing this, though. Try having bacon or eggs for breakfast, cooked in coconut oil, and just eat a tablespoon of coconut oil for good measure. If you are OK with dairy then buy some heavy whipping cream (no sugar or protein left). I absolutely adore coffee with heavy whipping cream and some stevia drops.
Also, don't skimp out on leafy greens. They will practically be the only plant foods you can eat a lot of, and you will need that fiber to avoid one of the side-effects of the diet: constipation.
Berries, especially wild berries, are low in sugars and high in fiber. That reminds me: fiber is NOT a carb to us even though it is listed in that section. You can subtract any fiber-related carbs from the listed amount. The only wild berries I've seen near me are blueberries, and they're quite affordable (frozen of course).
I've only done this once for maybe a week, but I worried about losing too much weight (I'm 22 y.o at 5'6" 120 lbs, don't really want to reduce my fat). You will see a few pounds come off even in the first few days due to water loss from burning up those stored carbo(hydrates).
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