ok, I informed a friend of my switch over to paleo, and he asked me what it was and I told him. He then asked about how many calories am I getting per day, I told him I don't count, but if I'd have to guess, I'd say 850. He then told me this is not healthy and I should stop asap.
I tried to inform him I'm getting enough nutrition, and high protein, low carbs, etc. But he's still resilient. What should I do to further explain that what I am doing will not lead to anorexia?
Paleo food is not unhealthy; the amount of calories you are taking in is unhealthy. You need to eat more food. I'm sure you hear that a lot. Haha. Assuming you are a woman (since your name is "Brittni" and I can't see your gender on your profile), you should not be getting any less than 1200 calories a day. Minimum. If you are active and over 4 feet tall, you should probably be getting more.
I get probably 2500 calories a day on a regular day, and that is low for me. I'm currently working on finding ways to increase my caloric-intake.
Use this to figure out how many calories you need per day. You don't have to tell us your info if you don't want to, but it's important you increase your intake if you need to.
I suggest measuring for a little while (using fit day or my net diary) just to be sure you're getting enough fat and enough protein (but not too much) and to ensure you're not getting too much carbs. Mark Sisson has a good guide here:
PROTEIN: At a minimum you need .5 grams of protein per pound of lean mass/per day on average to maintain your “structure”. If you are moderately active you need .7 or .8, and if you are an active athlete you need as much as 1 gram of protein per pound of lean mass. That’s at a minimum, but it’s on a daily average.
CARBS: 100-150 grams of carbohydrate per day is plenty to keep you out of ketosis (and ketosis is NOT a bad thing) but away from storing the excess as fat if you are the least bit active. ...if you are looking to lose body fat, keeping carbs to under 80 grams per day will help immensely in lowering insulin and taking fat out of storage.
Fill in the rest with good fats like lard, butter, coconut oil, coconut milk, olive oil (not cooked), and if you can tolerate them, nuts!
P.S. Avocados too!
I have a bit of an eating disordered past and I just hope you aren't looking for validation here. Unless you are obese and on an extremely restricted calorie diet, anything under 1000 is too low and you should be more in the 1200/1400 for weight loss and probably 1400/1600 for maintenance.
If you are happy eating what you are eating and just aren't hungry adding some nuts (high calories for little food mass) and/or cheese. When I'm just not hungry and need more calories, those do it quickly but still somewhat healthy.
First of all you are guessing, so grab cron o meter and try to get a more accurate estimate http://spaz.ca/cronometer/
If you actually are that low, that's not paleo unless you are trying to emulate starving hunter-gatherers at the end of the Toba catastrophe or something. Why are you eating so little?
Call me heretic, but I'd start doing dairy ASAP. I'm pretty sure there have been points where my calories were too low, but having cheese and milk really boosts things. Then if you don't want to keep that up, sit down and make a plan for eating more paleo foods. Sometimes it's about having them on hand. Maybe buy some stuff in bulk so that you don't have any excuse to not eat? I buy large quantities of things like coconut milk on Amazon for example.
As someone who is rarely hungry and feels satiated by a tiny amount of food, I hear you. Since going paleo my boyfriend has turned into a grandma--always telling me to "eat, eat, eat!" There are a few simple things I would suggest, all of which have made a big difference to me. To echo Dave S, add almond butter or cream cheese to your celery snack. Almond butter or full fat yogurt to your apple snack. If you are feeling more adventurous, get a liver pate that you like and eat it on celery or cucumber slices for in between meals. If you eat steamed veggies, add LOTS of butter. Make sure the evening salad is dressed well with some good fats--i make a warm bacon grease/blueberry vinaigrette dressing to drizzle on spinach and it is delicious. Eat a spoonful of coconut oil or take a shot of olive oil occasionally if you can stomach it (these make me feel really good, especially on days I can't conceive of eating more food.) Your evening meat/veggie meal could become a coconut milk based curry really easily that can be custom spiced to be pleasing to your palate. FYI-being consistent about eating more kickstarted weight loss that I wasn't even trying for...
ETA: oh! i forgot my favorite thing lately--fall soup! saute onions and garlic in fat of choice, add chicken broth/stock (i make my own from bones and scraps that i collect in a bag in the freezer), add squash or canned pumpkin (and maybe sweet potato) and spices (ginger/cinnamon/whatever) and simmer. when done puree it (a stick blender works awesome here) with heavy cream or more butter or both. i make huge batches and then reheat by the mugful as a beverage. it's a good way to add calories and nutrients without forcing yourself--kind of a savory smoothie that doesn't send your blood sugar sky high.
Contra most of the other answers here, I don't think it's possible to say that you're definitely eating too few calories and need to ensure you're intaking as many calories as your daily needs if you've got a BMI of over 30. Presumably a good number of calories are coming from stored energy, so that even if you're only consuming 850-1100 calories, a substantially higher number are coming from released body fat, as is natural if you're eating healthily.
So long as you're eating whatever amount it is that you're eating because that's all you feel like physically eating, then there's no reason to think that you're anorexic. From the average daily intake of food described it doesn't sound like you were eating 850 anyway, but if you were, presumably this would be unsustainable. The key is surely is eating until you're full, with little cause for deviating beyond this. So long as you're going to be eating so few calories, then the most important thing is making sure you can meet your requirements within those calories. On paper 80g of protein should be fine, though bear in mind that while you're losing weight your body will tend to consume it's own resources, and so you may need a slightly higher protein intake than you would normally.
N.B. If you're a past anorexic, then you might well want to be very sceptical of the idea that you naturally only want to eat a very small amount of food, but there's no reason why eating a small amount of food per se will give you anorexia. Naturally, if you're aiming to lose weight it might well be very tempting and easy to try to convince yourself that you don't want to eat, but so long as you're constantly vigilant that you're not doing that, there's no intrinsic reason why you should eat more for the sake of it. There is some argument that if you maintain a large caloric deficit over the long term then your body will compensate by 'lowering metabolism,' but if this is a perfectly voluntary result of raised body fat raising leptin, then intuitively, one might not expect this to occur.
There is a difference between an eating disorder and undereating. Some people feel full and satisfied on low calories. Their appetite adapts to chronic calorie restriction. You are not anorexic if you feel full and satisfied. Any diet is going to be "undereating" anyway. What matters is not how many calories but how much nutrition is in those calories. And that includes macronutrients, not just vitamins and minerals. It looks like you could use more fat in your diet, like nuts. If you can find a natural nut butter (peanuts as a legume aren't considered paleo though), you could add that. Just stay away from anything with hydrogenated oils. Or you could eat more meat, if you eat fish you get a lot more Omega-3's.
It pains me to see how much "anorexia" is stretched so much to apply to people who are not anorexic. Even being very thin is grounds for being accused of anorexia. Anorexia remains a psychological disorder, and I oppose diagnoses which rely on weight, appearance or unconventional eating habits. The only reason someone is anorexic is they intentionally starve themselves to become very thin. Not accidentally consuming too little calories than they may need to get enough nutrients.
PaleoJourney, I have just looked at your profile page.
At your weight, 850 calories per day is endangering your health.
Please follow a food plan with a sound scientific basis.
Dr. Richard Bernstein's recommendations are excellent, even for those who are not diabetic. His explanations for his recommendations are easy to understand and make good sense.
Here is his site:
This page at Diabetes101 has a calculator for you to figure the amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats needed to lose weight. The explanations given are good.
A very low calorie intake can damage your health permanently.
I wish you success in taking good care of yourself. You deserve to be healthy.