OK so I guess it is time to start counting my calories :( I have been fighting this issue for quite some time now. I have counted calories in the past and it was not pretty -- got tooooo obesssed with it-- totally stressed out!! Anyway -- I just started eating Paleo(ish) for the past month (tomorrow will be 1 month). I figure I would lean into this lifestyle. Prev diet was NO red meat but lots of chicken/turkey/egg whites and moderate good fats (coconut olive macadamia avo)--lots of veggies and no bread or pasta. But I started having carb binges-- i wd eat a whole loaf of bread and then continue to eat other CRAP!. Plus I was having digestive issues -- get REALLY bloated from eating salads. Long story short--decided to Test out Paleo for the next 3 months. I have been eating mostly low carb-- GF bison or beef, ghee, coconut milk, coconut oil and raw cream & raw butter + some broccoli spinach zucch (lower carb veggies--once/2x a day). I have since given up the cream and will eventually give up the ghee & butter once I have used up the supply i have (can't quite just throw it out --cost waayyyy to much $$$). I have actually gained weight and am feeling bloated and yucky. Just not strong (oh BTW i work out alot -- 1.5 - 3 hours a day --lift/spin/hot yoga). So now that I am entering month #2 I have decided it is time to ...COUNT CALORIES ARGH!!!! Before Paleo, I am guessing my calories were around 1800-2000+, with this new lifestyle-- where shd my range be? Higher/lower? Oh I am 40 y/o female 5 foot 2 aprrox 125ish lb ( i REFUSE to get on a scale until I feel better). Looking to get down to my pre-paleo body and weight of 110. P.S. One good thing about this new lifestyle --i dont crave sweets or breads. When I do I just have somthing fatty and it goes away. Sorry for my ignorance and long post
First, working out that much is going to require calories to give you energy to do the workout, and get through the day.
Why 110? Just because you like the number? Have you considered that you could LOOK SMALLER at 125 with more muscle than you could at 110? You can get to 110, but Paleo isn't going to do it.
Give Paleo more time and concentrate on the content and quality of what you eat, rather than calories. I can hear breathlessness in what you write...something that tells me you are placing too much emphasis on what the scale says rather than what you TRULY see in the mirror.
So, you work out 1.5 - 3 hours per day? And you are worked up about getting your BMI from 23 (normal) to 20 (normal)? Binging... food obsession... It's difficult to infer much from an online posting, but you might consider getting evaluated for an eating disorder.
I think many would argue you that if you eat Paleo you shouldn't NEED to count calories. Let your hunger be your guide. If you're hungry, then eat, if not, don't. 3 hrs of exercise on any given day is quite a lot.. maybe it isn't necessary. In my experience, proper nutrition = proper weight, exercise = fitness level.
Things you might want to focus on
If you're not getting the results you want, it's definitely time to track your food, but not for calories.
Try logging your food for a week (fitday.com, My fitness pal), and look at your carb, fat, and protein numbers. Worrying too much about calories will just get in the way. You may find you're not eating enough protein, especially at your exercise level.
Also, why so much exercise? I've found that once I went Paleo and had the food down, I can go to the gym less (3-4 days for 1 hr, instead of 5-6 days for 1.5-2 hrs), since I'm eating right and exercising better.
Last thing - never too much veggies. They help fill you up and they have the vitamins and nutrients you need, especially with so much exercise.
How much water are you drinking? I differ from a lot of Paleo people in believing that calories do count. I think you should keep a very detailed log for about a week or 2 so you know how many cals, fat, carbs etc. You can't tweek what you don't know.
Also I've found that I lose weight if I don't exercize as much. Doing CF 5-6 times a week was enough to keep my cortisol levels high...if I go back to 3 times a week, I drop fat instantly.
Everyone else has answered well, but I'd like to emphasize NOT to count calories, but concentrate on your sleep and let your body recover! Sounds like you're working out WAY too much! You probably have some serious cortisol issues going on which will inhibit weight loss.
Try going to sleep before 1030pm and sleep in a PITCH DARK room. Also, sleep until you wake up, i.e. ditch the alarm clock!
Take some time off for your body, maybe do some LIGHT workouts like walking, hiking, or light lifting.
I must agree with Cheryl. If you are doing that much exercise you need the extra calories. I am not one for counting. I personally just eat lots! Try and get away from focusing on the scale, going paleo will help with body comp, but not always with weight. If you are lifting daily, you may simply be replacing body fat with muscle, not that you would really have much excess at 125 lbs. I recently found that the best thing for weight loss was to take time off from the gym. I do crossfit 5 times a week usually with a dedicated lifting routine and I have been trying to lose a few pounds and I was stalled. I took a week and only did 2 light workouts to give my body some recovery time and lost 5 pounds that week. Try givin your body a break! Good luck.
I think you are working out too much. You should listen to Gary Taubes, he is the author of the book, "Good Calories, Bad Calories." Here is one of his talks. A video titled: "Big Fat Lies," http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4362041487661765149#
I really liked his book and this video. Explains a lot.
I can't find my copy of Sisson's Primal Blueprint. But he definitely recommends calorie counting as part of his weight loss recommendations that also includes sufficient but not excess protein and low carbs of course. He gives a formula to figure it all out. I think even a caveman would have overeaten in the face of modern abundance. Add to that, most of us grew up thinking fat was bad. Given a license to eat all that yummy fat can easily lead to overindulgence. So yes, I think calorie counting in the paleo context can be helpful for many people. I'm not trying to lose weight, and I have been eating lowcarb/paleo for four years now. However, occasionally the weight creeps up and I have to consciously reign myself in.
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