I've never been into counting calories as there are so many more important factors (ie- carb count, quality of food, etc) and I lost 50 lbs a couple years ago just by eating under 20 grams of carbs a day. Since switching from low-carb to paleo, I don't really count carbs anymore and certainly not calories. I just made a fitday account though, and see that today I ate about 2400 calories (I work out a moderate amount) and had 38 grams of carbs (mostly from 1 1/2 sweet potatoes). While this is just one day and probably not the most typical day for me, should I be paying more attention to calories in general? I realized I used like 1200 calories worth of just butter and olive oil to cook my food in!!
You may need to lower calories, but not by lowering calories.
Huh? The point is, the number of calories you eat is a symptom of the hormonal stuff that's going on in your body, far more than it's a cause. If your body wants X calories for the things it thinks it needs to do, and you lower your intake below that point without addressing the reasons it's asking for X, you'll simply be starving yourself. Your body might respond by burning stored fat, but it might also respond by lowering metabolism, making you tired and lethargic, burning muscle mass, etc. It doesn't just happily jump to burning fat when the food stops coming in, especially if you're obese (signalling that your body is in fat storage mode for some reason), and the fat cells themselves have something to say about it too.
So you have to address the cause of your "overeating." Why did your body start saying, "Hey, I'd like to store some fat today. Go get a donut." Address that, and then if your body needs fewer calories once it's gotten healthy and stopped trying to store extra fat, you'll naturally eat fewer.
Overeating (to the extent that there is such a thing) should be seen as a symptom, like a cough or a runny nose. You don't fix them by refusing to open your mouth and plugging your nose closed a couple hours a day. You address the illness, and the symptom goes away.
Instead of counting calories, Intermittent Fast - it's a good way to "restrict" calories without actually counting. You obviously won't get the same amount of calories if you had eaten the whole day...
I agree with Aaron B. above ^. Too many people are still stuck on the concept of food, calories etc. There is so much more. Gut health, hormones, sleep, etc.. these all play a far more critical role than calories.
You need a solid foundation before you can start building.
Most overweight people lose fat on paleo without counting calories, grams, blocks, points, or anything else. If you are losing weight and improving body composition, then stick with your current regimen.
If not, then don't worry about calories. Consider going with very few carbs for awhile. Consider exercise in short bursts at very high intensity 2-3 times a week. Consider intermittent fasting. Try those for awhile. If that still isn't doing it (sometimes the last 10-20 lbs. are stubborn) then you may need to actively reduce calories.
Because I'd never counted calories before going primal I decided to use fitday to enlighten myself....and it was truly enlightening! From this day forward I have been plugging my food intake into fitday because without it I was over eating and also eating the wrong qualities. I really had no idea, I thought I was spot on.
If you think are eating balanced then the best way to prove it to yourself is plug in your intake and see for yourself. Doesnt hurt to confirm it. Once you know for sure you shouldnt have to worry about it.
You didn't mention what your goals are. Are you trying to lose more weight? Is what you are doing working right now, or are you stalled out? Are you eating to satiety? Are you exercising? Why are you eating 1.5 yams and 1200 calories of olive oil is like 20 tablespoons-- what are you using it for? I think posting what you typically eat and your typical exercise routine for us to help you with is more meaningful than calories.
Hello Danielle! I think Sabrina has a good point about the oil and butter. I think that we should use only very little of each to do cooking. i know that vegetables need fat to give us all their nutrition, but you don't need much for that. but, i am in the same boat. i try to lose weight, but right now i am not counting calories because i cannot deal with the stress of it. i just try to be reasonable with my portions and i try to get the best cuts of meat or if i am bying hamburger meat i am going for only 7 percent fat. i know that many people here believe that you can eat a very high amount of fat and be all right, and that is fine of course! everyone should do what they feel is best for them, but I am one of those paleo people that is more focused on getting nice, lean meat and tons of veggies and some fruit....:)
This is one of the major benefits of the Paleo Lifestyle. No counting, keeping track, or measuring....unless cooking specific recipes. If you are trying to lose weight then curb your output, not your input(but be reasonable). Don't be absurd about the amount of fruit you eat, and make sure you actually follow the diet.
The only thing about your post that really is shocking is the amount of butter you are using. Maybe consider buying fattier meats?? The addition of butter to the meal in order to add flavor or keep the recipe from "drying out" could be solved by eating meat with more fat. Trust me the fat and the gristle of a steak is a delicacy and you should eat it like it is.
Make sure you are pushing yourself to a breaking point during workouts, and that you really are at a breaking point. Not the ...oh my gosh I"m sweating.... I need Gatorade, and some kashi. You will sleep much better and you will find the fat falling off.
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