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Too few calories / not hungry?

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  • Too few calories / not hungry?

    Hey guys,

    I've been eating primal for just shy of a month now, and tracking everything I eat at I'm 30, female, 5'3" and currently 250 lbs (down from 263 already!), but obviously still have a lot of fat to lose.

    In the past, the only way I've achieved steady weight loss (CW-style) was by carefully tracking my eating and aiming for 1500 cal/day. This was always *very* difficult to maintain for more than a month or two, since I'd frequently be hungry.

    Well now that I'm eating primal, I don't have the hunger problem anymore. In fact, I've pretty much been eating to satiety all the time, and I've only been averaging 1400 cal/day according to my tracking.

    That's not too low, is it?

    I get my slow movement from commuting to work (and the store, etc) by bicycle. Work is 2 miles one way, and overall I probably put about 25-26 miles a week on my bike. I get my sprints on the bike ride home a couple times a week (drop into a lower gear and pedal like hell). Haven't really started lifting heavy things yet, but I'm hoping to get myself a sledgehammer this weekend and start shovelglove.

    A typical day for me, foodwise:

    bacon, two fried eggs, and some sort of vegetable (usually kale or asparagus) fried in bacon drippings or butter

    BAS: whole cucumber, whole bell pepper, stalk or two of celery, handful of grape tomatoes, couple handfuls of some sort of spring mix, 2 oz feta, 2 tbl olive oil, 2 tbl braggs raw cider vinegar
    Some sort of meat, usually leftovers from a dinner, like steak or roast chicken, sometimes canned wild red salmon

    Varies, but generally some sort of meat and vegetable, sometimes some more bacon (I don't have a grill, so I generally sear steak in the bacon drippings and finish under the broiler).

    I haven't weaned down my caffeine addiction yet (baby steps!), so I generally also have an iced americano with some half and half when I get to work. Black coffee on the weekends. If I get hungry for a snack, I'll have a hardboiled egg, or a mini babybel cheese, or a handful of almonds, or I make 'chocolates' with coconut oil and cocoa powder and a touch of raw honey, and either mix in some chopped pecans or spoonful of a nut butter, and I'll have one for dessert when I'm in the mood for something decadent.

    Um, so anyway, so far things are going quite well, but I'm worried about my calorie intake. Is 1400 cal/day too low? It's not exact, that's my average over the month. Some days I'll be hungrier and eat more like 1600-1700, some days I've eaten as few as 800. Is there a 'too low' if you aren't hungry for more?

  • #2
    I'd cut the carbs if your looking to drop body fat..and fire more fat in to add up the calories...only eat when your hungry and eat enough until your felling full. As for your calories remember if you want to drop fat it's less than your eating in a day... As they call a defect. For adding you eat more. But the carbs can cause problems with this... Have a look At marks carb guidelines on the site.

    Drop the babybell cheese or even diary all together cause I find this slowed my weight loss down. Babybell is processed like mad...


    • #3
      Yeah, I'm not really eating that many carbs. My average for the past month is 64g/day. And that includes the cake and ice cream I ate on my birthday last week. (64g net carbs, 80g if you include the fiber, since I know Mark does)

      The babybel is more of a 'oh crap I'm hungry at work and they don't stock primal-friendly snacks at the office' food. I maybe eat one or two a week at most.

      And I'm definitely dropping body fat! My only concern is if I should be eating more!


      • #4
        If you're not hungry all the time and you are losing still, then I don't see a reason that you should change anything. Make sure you're getting enough protein to support the shovel glove workouts and that you get enough fat and carbs to keep your energy levels up. If your energy levels drop though, then I would add more calories of course.


        • #5
          Your diet looks awesome to me, and if you're feeling good and losing steadily, I'd say stay the course! Contrats!
          Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm!

          Latest post: Stop Being Stupid


          • #6
            I find my calorie totals are quite low as well, but I eat as much as I want to eat. I don't feel hungry and when I do eat I eat as much as I want. If you are getting results, and feel well, go for it! Good job on the initial weight loss!


            • #7
              One of my barometers is how much Carrie Sisson eats - 2000 kcal per day on average and she is *incredibly* active. I'm a teensy tinsy 5' 1/2", not anywhere near as active as she stands to reason that I need far less cals. And I do. 1400 is about right for me and not difficult while eating primally. I also IF at least weekly and sometimes more.

              iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


              • #8
                Don't worry about calories. If you're eating Primal and you're not hungry, and you're losing weight - keep doing what you're doing. If you find yourself feeling hungry, increase the good fats.


                • #9
                  Looks good to me too. I'm also morbidly obese and losing it fast with low calories and minimal appetite. If you are not feeling particularly hungry there is a decent way to take advantage of that, burn body fat faster, and actually have a good appetite come meal time. Intermittent fast. Skip the meal you desire least and see how it goes. I think you're doing great regardless.


                  • #10
                    Thanks guys. This makes me feel a lot better. I mean, everything seemed to be going okay, but I just sorta needed an outside opinion, cause I didn't want to worry about slowing my metabolism down or anything. Energy level is a tough measure for me to pinpoint, because I have fibromyalgia.

                    I'll just keep doing what I'm doing then! Got some ribeye on sale on the way home from work...gonna be a tasty weekend.


                    • #11
                      Keep doing what you're doing.
                      I am in the same boat. My calories range from 800 up to 1700. But I've really found that when I increase my activity, my intake increases within 24 I get really hungry. Shrug.

                      Eat when hungry. Stop when no longer hungry.
                      Even if you fall flat on your face, at least you're moving forward!


                      • #12
                        Ditto for me...since switching over I'm not as hungry and don't have the cravings..I can barely get up to 1300 calories. But I still have a good amount of energy.


                        • #13

                          Not that you asked for specific advice, but I'd ignore the fact that your office doesn't stock good food. Duh, does any office? Mine sure doesn't. And most of us spend a lot of time at work. If we don't protect ourselves from the bad stuff at work, that can be a huge bug in the primal system!

                          You gotta stock it yourself! Since I don't know what your situation is:

                          *If you have a fridge (and eat dairy): yogurt, BAS, primal dinner leftovers, celery, anything really

                          *If you have a drawer: nuts, sardines, coconut chips, canned wild fish, nut butter, Lara bar, dark low-sugar chocolate, (healthy not sugar-laden) trail mix

                          *If just a purse/bag: nuts, coconut chips, Lara bar

                          I used to make up small plastic bags of not too many nuts (when I was eating CW) for snacks so I wouldn't eat 300 almonds and think that was a "good" snack. Now that I'm eating primal all the time, I don't have that problem. But those little (half-sandwich-size) snack bags are really handy in planning ahead for portion control.
                          "If man made it, don't eat it." ..Jack LaLanne
                          "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are.
                          If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." ..Richard Feynman

                          beachrat's new primal journal