I'm 26, female, I currently weigh 198 and I want to lose about 40 pounds. On standard american "diet" I was eating anywhere from 1500 - 1800 calories daily (or trying to, but mostly overeating it) and losing weight (if at all) only because I was working out as much as possible.
Since the paleo diet is heavily based in meat and fat instead of carbs (and veggies have low carbs but very very few calories) I'm coming up across an issue that I have a hard time dealing with.
My calorie count is going to be tremendous with all this fat, but I won't be eating that much food.
Because I'm attempting to lose weight, I don't plan on eating starchy veg at all, so no potatoes, beans, peanuts, sugars - and I'm sort of borderline unsure what to do about dairy (such as cream, etc). Aiming for under 50g carbs, but there's no guidelines anywhere for calories (and since most diet websites assume you're getting a lot of grains, etc, I feel that the "recommended calories" on there are not going to be correct with the amount of fat that I'm eating)
I've been doing almond milk / protien powder for breakfast this week but I'm planning on eating eggs & avocado for breakfast and adding coconut oil in there more often. Sardines or chicken & veggies for lunch, most likely some form of meat for dinner (lamb, chicken, pork, beef roast). But I'm already topping 1500 calories... I can't fathom I'd LOSE WEIGHT eating 2000+ calories daily.
Suggestions? Solutions for this mental block? Help?
My experience, really simplified: I could eat at 1500-1800 calories a day, eat mostly carbs and yep, I'd gain weight. I could eat up to 2500-2900 calories of fat, meat, and vegetables, though, and lose weight. Not my exact experience because I don't always track, but based on when I have tracked, it goes something like that.
And no, it doesn't violate any laws of thermodynamics. Number one, I'm not a closed system. Number two, I'm not a bomb calorimeter.
Number three, fat loss (not just weight loss) is hormonally driven. Insulin's a hormone. If you keep it elevated all the time, you won't lose much fat. If you eat in a way that allows your insulin levels to fluctuate in a healthy way, you do lose fat.
sherpamelissa's got a good point. Try changing one thing at a time and see how it plays out in your body. Self-experimentation can be fun and it'll probably shock your body a lot less.
But I think you'll find that with carbs dropped far enough and fat going high enough, you'll be able to attain satiety and the pounds will still drop off. The really fun part will be when you realize you can exercise for fun and don't have to be on the treadmill 5 hours a day--and the weight's still coming off.
Some people can lose weight on 2000 calories a day, some can't. I'm not sure why you feel like your calories need to be that high?
I eat roughly 1200/1500 calories per day with 50% of my calories from fat 25/30% from protein and 15/20% from carbs. I try to keep my carbs around 75 grams and honestly, the rest just kind of falls in to place.
Upping my fat and calories was a bit of a mental block for me when I moved from losing weight to maintaining weight. I just tracked everything and took it slowly. I went from 1200 calories to 1300 for a month and lost just a little bit more weight so I raised it to 1400/1500 and stayed pretty steady. I just slowly transitioned carbs choices to fat choices as I worked on my calories and ratios.
It doesn't need to be FAST. Take it slow, track what you are doing so you know what is working and not working. Don't try a bunch of different protocols at once.
I know the standard Paleo practice is to not count calories, and I certainly don't, but I think some people go too far with that.
I eat 2-3 meals/day, often with a couple tablespoons of coconut oil late in the evening. My basic rule is to eat if I'm hungry, don't eat when I'm not. There are days I eat a lot and days I eat very little.
Even on the days I eat a lot, though, I am still conscience of the calories I eat even though I don't count them. I've gotten use to not "topping off the tank," of not eating until I'm stuffed. I've learned that there is nothing wrong with being a wee bit hungry for part of my day. If I took "eat as much as you want" literally I would not lose weight. I'm especially conscience of liquid calories (i.e. - a bit of heavy cream now and then) as my body doesn't seem to recognize them much.
Eating Paleo makes me much more sated than the SAD used to; I largely eat what I want but without being stupid about it.
I have a history of disordered eating, and "eating til satisfied" is not something my body recognizes really. So I try to balance food logging on fitday.com and eating intuitively. It is not easy to eat without strict guidelines, I will binge and freak-out. I'm still healing that mentally. So I have my own guidelines with ranges so I don't feel too regimented. I eat between 75-100g of fat, 30-65g of carbs from veg and some fruit, and 100-125g of protein. This is 1200-1600 calories, and I'm usually at the high-end of it.
I have about 60lbs to lose and am losing 1-2 pounds per week. I walk 2-4 times a week for about 40 minutes on my lunchbreak. I do squats and modified push-ups and planks 1-2 times a week at home in front of the teevee. I take a water aerobics class once a week.
I think you should be open to finding what works for you. It's great to have other people's advice and experience, but ultimately your body is unique and your mental blocks are unique and you're going to have to experiment to find the right system for you.
I'm feeling a bit like a broken record, and hope no one is getting too tired of hearing this, but my view is that you don't need to purposely limit calories on low carb. I have lost over 40 lbs by eating unlimited quantities of fatty meat. True enough, right now I'm barely losing, and I'm still about 10 lbs above my ideal. But I'm eating 3000 calories a day as a 5'6 female at about 135 lbs.
i really think you should spend some time reading about exactly what the paleo diet is before you attempt it for a significant fat loss.
why we get fat by gary taubes primal blueprint by mark sisson paleo solution by robb wolf.
read marksdailyapple blog, and especially start at his primal 101 section. read robb wolfs blog, and especially the FAQ section. eat meat, fat, eggs and vegetables. before you put anything in your mouth, ask yourself if someone would have had access to it ten thousand years ago. dont think about fat, carbs or protein at first. just STOP EATING SUGAR AND GRAINS AND VEGETABLE OILS. dont eat anything with an ingredients list. its really very, very simple but it sounds like you should really familiarize yourself with the basic principles behind the diet and lifestyle before you do it.
As many have said, different things work for different people. The only way I have successfully lost weight is through counting calories. If I don't write down what I eat, then I have a bad tendency to assume that an extra handful of almonds doesn't matter...even if it happens several times a day. Once I see that those almonds add up quickly, I find myself less likely to snack. It's that snacking impulse that gets me, whether I'm eating a relatively high-carb vegetarian diet (which I did for a long time) or a low-carb paleocentric diet.
I use mynetdiary.com, and I highly recommend it. I've used it for 5 months and gone from 170# to 135#. You put in your current weight, your goal weight, and the time by which you want to achieve that goal, and it will tell you how many calories you need to eat. You enter your exercise (however much you get), and that allows you to monitor whether you can exceed your recommended food intake for the day.
Although it seems to be true that hormones have a big influence over weight loss, I still believe the calories in - calories out approach has merit. Many people argue that they feel so full on a paleo diet that they naturally regulate the calories in part, but you may not be one of those people. I know my impulse to snack is not hunger-driven, so no amount of fat or protein will save me if I don't keep myself accountable for the total calories.
Good luck with your weight loss goals - I know what a challenge it can be.
i know i'm late to the game here oranges, but i have followed your posts on ph long before i was a member. forgive me if this is offbase, but they have always alarmed me a bit. like melissa and sj, i come from a disordered background and the things that you post always remind me of the things i said/thought at my worst. have you been to the doctor any time recently, or a psychologist? as much as i hate to say it, i think getting off ph and stopping the obsession with nutrition hacks and weight and counting would definitely behoove you. i have found those who are obsessed with losing weight, "being blobs," and having anxiety over what they eat usually have other, bigger life issues going on that cause major stress/anxiety/fear and they would be better suited addressing the bigger problems first, and food falls into place after that.
good luck! we are all rooting for you here.
I have lost 18 lbs since January 1st with eating paleo and doing Crossfit between 3-5 times per week. I don't count calories but I focus mainly on eating a protein and veggie combination with every meal. I usually eat 3 meals and 2 snacks a day and I still allow myself a cheat day on Saturday, which actually means I eat 2 meals of whatever I want and keep my breakfast routine of eggs and a protein. It really seems to be working for me...I hope you have as much success.
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