My girlfriend is trying the 30 day Paleo challange. She says she doesn't really like meat that much and so has a hard time consuming enough food to feel full. She is supplementing with coconut milk but is worried it might make her gain weight as she is not super low carb (she is Asian and can't fathom giving up rice, although she has cut it back.) How low does one have to keep carbs so that they can consume fat and not get fat? I'm thinking she can just up her fat intake to replace her lower protein intake but not if the carbs arnt under a certain level.
I should add that I think she may have a dairy allergy so that option is out.
When you are biologically dependent on carbs, that is what your body will crave when it needs fuel. But if your body is more adapted to protein and fat, then that is what you will crave when you need fuel. Cravings are very depedent on diet.
If I were you, I would suggest she cut back on rice simply because rice is nutritionally deficient. It's empty calories. Why eat a food that has a lot of calories but no nutrients? That is not a diet food at all! Instead, eat nutrient dense foods. IMO, no need to force feed fat. Eat the amount of fat you crave but no need to eat more. The body does not require hoards of fat to be healthy. It only requires decent amounts. Many find that eating low carb helps weight loss, but I think it is possible if you are force feeding fat merely in the name of health, that you can manage to eat more calories than is ideal for you. Many people find their bodies do not allow overfeeding, but for some, it's possible if you eat really calorie dense foods. So eat some fat but eating tons has not been shown to be good for everyone. For those who have severe allergy/gut probs, they often find fat to be the least allergenic, but if those are not your issues, I am not yet convinced that you need to eat tons of fat for health. But if you are worried about calories, remember htat plenty of research shows it is easier and less craving inducing to maintain an overall lower caloric intake when eating fat and protein than when eating carbs. Carbs tend to increase hunger and overall caloric intake. So it's actually easier to keep overall caloric intake down when avoiding carbs.
The main concern is to eat foods that are healthy for you. Minimize nutritionally empty foods like rice. Avoid nutritionally empty calorie dense foods that are known to cause illness, like wheat, bread, sugar, crappy processed foods, etc. You can still eat healthier carbs like sweet potatoes. Cuttin up bits of meat into a stir fry is a good way to get a variety of healthy foods along with good taste. Eat whole healthy foods is the main point. You don't have to eat tons of fat or meat or entirely give up rice to do that. IMO, also it is much easier to be satisfied on less calories when the food you eat is nutritionally dense and your body is getting all the nutrition it needs, instead of loading up on empty calories from rice which contributes very little to your nutrition needs.
You and your girlfriend still seem to be under the mistaken impression that dietary fat causes you to become fat. It does not make you fat.
I am Asian and I haven't had rice in nearly a year. I grew up on rice and getting rid of it or minimizing it is no big deal if you increase your fat intake. I'm sure she is just skittish because rice is such a traditional staple amongst certain groups of Asians (not all Asians, by the way, and there is some controversy about the amount actually eaten and how long rice has been a staple) and she may be addicted to starch on some level. I have to lie to my mother and tell her I eat tons of rice!
Either way, I would like to point out again that dietary fat does not make you fat. Increased carbohydrate consumption does not cause dietary fat make you fat. Increased carbohydrate consumption alone can make you fat. Decreasing dietary fat can make you fat (because of the probably increase in carbohydrates to compensate).
This is a simplification but you get the idea.
I have to say when I started paleo I was a big time pasta girl, I also "hated" red meat and hardly ate it. So I did my strict 30 with chicken, eggs, all types of fish and seafood. My husband ate steaks and such and finally I gave in and he cooked me a steak...I LOVED it and I started craving red meat. Now (been doing paleo since May) I eat red meat all the time and still love seafood, fish, and eggs but could care less about chicken.
I hope she gives it a real chance. I love paleo! Good luck
"has a hard time consuming enough food to feel full"
She's probably not getting enough protein. Eating protein causes satiety. Eat more meat, fish and/or eggs. Meat quality makes a difference. Go for grassfed beef and lamb if possible. I find supermarket pork and chicken not very appetizing. For fish, I recommend Alaska red (sockeye) salmon either canned or frozen. It has the best taste and a good amount of omega 3s. For eggs, I like hard boiling them and throwing away the egg whites because I find the egg whites hard on my stomach.
If she has to eat rice, then limit it to white rice and no more than 8 oz/day cooked.
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