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Advice? Setting MFP and what percentages to use??

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  • Advice? Setting MFP and what percentages to use??

    Hi All,

    I was doing primal for about 2 years back in 2012-2014 give or take. However, life. It's not an excuse, but it happened. Anyway, our first child is now 16 months old and I def did not eat how I should have for the first year of his life. I was working full time, but still breastfeeding and pumping for all his milk needs. Early on I discovered that I was one of those few whose body didn't burn calories like crazy with breastfeeding. Mixed that with typical post partum anxiety, and my diet just wavered. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't good for me. Needless to say, I have at least 20 pounds that i'd like to get off my body so I can finally start feeling like myself again. My main question is how to figure out the amounts in MyFitnessPal that I should be using while I'm trying to lose. (Once I started eating better, I stopped gaining, so that's good...but I need to figure out how to lose now). I have the basic version of MFP and not the premium you can buy. This is my current setup---I welcome any thoughts or questions. ESPECIALLY from those who have had success, might be similar, and working mammas.

    Weight: 188lb
    Calories 1500
    Carbs: 10% or 38g
    Fat: 65% or 108g
    Protein: 25% or 94g

    I figured out protein based on the low end of Mark's 0.7 - 1 thoughts. I based it off the lean body mass that a few different web calculators gave me with some measurements---they all told me roughly 130lbs.

    For carbs, I went low. My thinking was that having the goal that low would help me not try to justify my way into eating chips and salsa, lol. I try to fill all that carb allowance with veggies, although i'm discovering random carbs in weird things. Anyway, I digress.

    Fat was essentially what was leftover.

    So far, and i'm really just starting the tracking, I try to make sure i'm hitting the protein mark. The carb is a limit. The fat is kind of the extra because I struggle finding things that have that but not lots of protein. I'm still re-learning. I haven't hit that 1500 calories in the days since i've started this, and the deficit has come in the fat category.

    For working out, I'm in a boxing club which I go to once a week. It's an hour of fairly intense variation of up and down. I'd compare it to the up and down energy exertion of crossfit probably, only boxing instead of big weights. Other than that, I try to walk...chase my toddler around...and use a mini elleptical (sp?). Those don't add up to alot just do to time available for such things. I'm working on making more time, but those of you with young kids that work full time know what i'm talking about. It's hard. Anyway, i'd rather be realistic when setting up the MFP! If I can figure out more workouts, particularly getting back to lifting, then I'll adjust it then.

    That was long, but i'm hoping some people will have some advice! This forum really helped me alot years ago, so i'm hoping you guys can come thru again!

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Hi there!

    Congrats on the little on first off! I'm mainly responding to give you some general support. Personally I have never advocated the precise measurement of calories or macros to achieve body recomposition goals. I think its very important that a new mother replenish her personal stores with high quality primal foods. I don't think you need to concentrate so hard on the amount as long as the choice of food types is correct. Especially at this stage of the game. I'd just focus on quality for 30-60 days then re-evaluate if you need a micromanaging approach. Best wishes!

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    • #3
      Hi there. I just did a Whole30 finishing at the end of January. During that time, I used the .7 - 1 ratio for protein and I found that 20% protein, 20% carbs and 60% fat worked really, really well for me. I could normally stay within all of my goals and come close to the limits on all of them so I didn't have to struggle to get my fat or protein. Generally this allowed me about 1/2 c. of starchy vegetable, a piece of fruit and the rest in regular vegetables and misc.

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      • #4
        I, as some might have observed, am the antithesis of Neckhammer on this recording issue. Otherwise, his advices are generally very good. Sure, some people do fine without measuring, or use some sort of other measuring like "palm sized." (Whose palm?) I've been on this site off and on for eight years, and I'm always amazed at the number of people inquiring what's wrong without even knowing their LBM. Numerous studies have shown people consistently underestimate what they are eating. Scales and cups keep you honest.

        I've found that eating 60-65% fats leave me feeling hungry a lot of the time. Low satiety. High protein, around 1 gm per pound of LBM works a lot better for me. Plus the added benefit of the digestion of protein negates 20-25% of what you ate! Free calories, as it were.

        I have no particular suggestions for your program, but I think you have thought things out very well!

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        • #5
          I agree with OnTheBayou. Fat doesn't provide me any satiety and tends to be so appealing that I want more.

          I find that it helps a lot to focus on which foods keep my hunger under control rather than worrying about macros. I use a measuring cup and a kitchen scale to keep myself honest about portion sizes. I've also found that I can't eat until I'm full, because I can leave the table feeling hungry and feel full or even over-full ten minutes later.

          I also like James Fell's formula, "eat good food, not amazing food." Fatty, salty, high flavor food just makes me want to eat more, so I save those kinds of goodies for very occasional treats. I keep food that's too appealing out of the house. Since we eat out once or twice per week, I keep reminding myself that every restaurant meal is not a special occasion that needs a blow-out meal.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JBean View Post
            I agree with OnTheBayou. Fat doesn't provide me any satiety and tends to be so appealing that I want more.

            I find that it helps a lot to focus on which foods keep my hunger under control rather than worrying about macros. I use a measuring cup and a kitchen scale to keep myself honest about portion sizes. I've also found that I can't eat until I'm full, because I can leave the table feeling hungry and feel full or even over-full ten minutes later.

            I also like James Fell's formula, "eat good food, not amazing food." Fatty, salty, high flavor food just makes me want to eat more, so I save those kinds of goodies for very occasional treats. I keep food that's too appealing out of the house. Since we eat out once or twice per week, I keep reminding myself that every restaurant meal is not a special occasion that needs a blow-out meal.
            Originally posted by JBean View Post
            I agree with OnTheBayou. Fat doesn't provide me any satiety and tends to be so appealing that I want more.

            I find that it helps a lot to focus on which foods keep my hunger under control rather than worrying about macros. I use a measuring cup and a kitchen scale to keep myself honest about portion sizes. I've also found that I can't eat until I'm full, because I can leave the table feeling hungry and feel full or even over-full ten minutes later.

            I also like James Fell's formula, "eat good food, not amazing food." Fatty, salty, high flavor food just makes me want to eat more, so I save those kinds of goodies for very occasional treats. I keep food that's too appealing out of the house. Since we eat out once or twice per week, I keep reminding myself that every restaurant meal is not a special occasion that needs a blow-out meal.
            Agree! The easiest way to avoid the worst foods, in terms of weight loss, is to not have them in the house to begin with. My grocery store has a huge bulk food aisle. I will sample a few cashews, or those satanic peanut butter pretzels for some treats.

            Portion control is important, so you don't "just a bit more." I buy small apples and small potatoes, for instance.

            I'd consider 95% of my food to be "real." When I eat something junky, I have no guilt.

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            • #7
              I'm not necessarily against counting, however I would prefer an adlibitum diet focused on food types first. I don't count, don't limit portions, and don't avoid good tasting foods. I do avoid nonprimal items and prepackaged "paleo approved" items. Real food wins. Some carb restriction....yes, but not much lately.

              In many cases I really don't care if someone counts or not in the start. Generally I prefer they don't, and just focus on feel. In this case though I'm a bit more adamant that she doesn't count at the start. Instead focus on real quality food items for a significant time. Growing a baby is a resource draining endeavor. No need to stress right away. Choose nutrient dense foods and relax for a while....do the exercise....feel well and happy. Give it a few months or even a year before you even consider micromanaging macros and calories. The weight will gradually recede...after a while you can reevaluate based off what will likely be a healthier and higher BMR.

              Again, I'm being specific for a relatively new mother who needs replenishment. For Jbean and OTB....do what's working for you of course!
              Last edited by Neckhammer; 02-26-2017, 07:06 PM.

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              • #8
                This has ALL been very helpful!!!!! It's amazing to me how much knowledge I lost in terms of how I used to eat. It really is a case of "if you don't use it, you lose it".

                I think focusing on real food and trying to figure out (again) what makes me feel good and full is going to be crucial. I have only loosely been using MFP thus far, more as a check for myself in terms of some things and seeing how far off my preconceptions are from reality. Portions and the "just a little more" do tend to be issues for me, so I think teaching myself some of those things again at some point will be beneficial. AND knowing what I can add or do differently so that I don't feel hungry. I don't want this way of eating to be something I'm doing temporarily...I want this to be, generally speaking, just how I eat. Things might be restricted or tweaked temporarily until I get back to how I want to feel, but I want maintenance mode to equal "this is how I eat". And hopefully the next child I have won't turn me off all meat for 6 months like the last pregnancy did! Ha!

                With all that said, I'm down to 183 currently and am starting to notice things a little looser. I'd like to keep that going, if not amp it up a bit more....but what I don't want is for food to stress me out. I've been in that camp and I don't like it. I have enough anxiety, in general, that I deal with. I HATE feeling anxiety about food. Hate. So finding that balance of things I feel good about, but that also keep me on track with the weight and size i'm trying to lose is important. I tend to get very frustrated with my own body when I feel like I'm not in control...or when something should be working, but isn't. So when I'm losing weight and it stalls, I get frustrated. Big time. The hardest part for me is figuring out then how to un-stall. Or what I did wrong.

                My friend is eating "keto", but not what I would call real food. She's lost 30 pounds since Jan 1...but the group that she follows "Low carb and losing it original group" is pretty hardcore on fat. But not fat from good forms necessarily (as in there are a ton of "low carb cheesecake" recipes on there). She tried to turn me on to it, and I follow it...but I take alot of issue with attacking foods that I know are still healthy and GOOD for our bodies (like apples), while telling people to look for "sugar free" options because carbs. But then again, they are all convinced that they should be staying "keto" forever...and I'm not so sure that sounds like a smart plan. I digress-but my point was that that kind of "yes and no" attitude is what causes my anxiety.

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