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I'm doing it wrong!

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  • I'm doing it wrong!

    I've been Primal/Paleo for 4 months now... and I'm starting to slide.

    Not in an "eating crap" kind of way... or at least, not in a "eating SAD crap" kind of way.

    But I've gone from protein- and fat-heavy breakfasts to coconut milk smoothies with berries or pineapple, and I've gone from eating no nuts to eating a couple of handfuls a day. I've gone from minimal heavy cream (just in my coffee) to the little half-n-half containers at the coffee station at work.

    And I'm fairly sure eating a half pound of chicken salad at lunch, while made with fairly primal ingredients and extremely yummy, is not really providing me with all the calories I need (in the right ratio) every day.

    Typical day lately:
    Breakfast: Workdays, a smoothie (half can of coconut milk, cup of frozen pineapple or berries). Coffee with half-n-half when I get in the office. Weekends, half an omelette (approx 2 eggs for me and 2 for roomie who made the omelette) with cheese, 5 or six slices of bacon, around noon. Then we usually go out somewhere and I don't eat anything until around five or six...or seven.

    Lunch: chicken salad, about half a pound - includes blue cheese, walnuts, dried cranberries, chunks of granny smith apple

    Snack: (I know, I know!) A couple of squares 85% dark chocolate and usually a handful of almonds

    Dinner: On a good day, a small steak or two burgers with cheese, and some broccoli with butter. On a bad day, uh. A couple of squares of 85% dark chocolate and a handful of almonds. (I have more bad days than good lately.)

    I don't count calories, but usually the problem I have is with eating too few, not too many. I do fine keeping things low carb (for weight loss) but the more fat/protein I eat, the less hungry I am. In fact, I'm almost never actually hungry, unless I skip breakfast - then I get hungryish around 10 am, but if I don't eat fast enough (for instance if I'm in a meeting) the hunger passes and I'm good till around 3 pm.

    I exercise sometimes in the evening - nothing too strenuous - for about half an hour. My schedule is "more days than not."

    I know right now my diet is sort of deranged. I'm in a big crunch time at work, and it's just so much easier to roll out of bed and make a smoothie than roll out and make scrambled eggs and bacon. And by the time I get home I'm so mentally drained (and have so little free time left before bed) that I don't want to waste a lot of it cooking.

    But my weight loss has stalled out, and I don't think I'm getting enough fat and possibly (I can't really tell; I don't count them) not enough calories (stats in sig below). I've made great progress so far, but since I stopped making a real effort to eat what/when is good for me, the loss has slowed to a trickle. I haven't gone back to the Doritos, Coke and French Fry diet I was on before I discovered Primal, and I never will -- but I've been doing the laziest version of Primal I can get away with.

    So I'm mostly posting to say I want to rededicate myself to cleaner and more thoughtful eating, and not letting my current work-crazy lifestyle interfere with what I know I need to do to get and stay well. Does anybody else experience this kind of half-assed backslide now and then? What do you do about it?

    And if anybody has favorite very quick or make-ahead primal breakfast and dinner ideas to share, I'm all ears. Or, since we're in print, eyes o.o

  • #2
    Why aren't you counting calories? Do you know how many calories you should be eating per day?


    • #3
      Stop judging yourself and just start over tomorrow. Make a plan and stick to it. Make your meals ahead of time. maybe track your calories and macros for a week or two to make you accountable to something. If your weight loss has stalled then maybe try a carb heavy lower fat cheat day and really go crazy to spike your leptin and then go back to your plan.
      My favorite thing to do for ease of cooking is to make a huge batch of some kind of meat. like ten lbs of chicken all chopped up and then put them in individual size portion ziplocks in the freezer. i usually do 8oz. That way I can just pop them in the microwave and add some veggies or berries. Boom meal.
      hope this helps


      • #4
        No worries. Feasts and famines were a routine thing in traditional cultures. So your on a bit of an extended "famine" with reduced caloric intake....thats fine, and in the long run could even be beneficial. If you wanna get strict with yourself to attain something other than "good health" then sure, buckle down and get at it! Otherwise though I wouldn't be sweating it....

        Even if weight loss has slowed to a trickle I would think its fine....rededicate yourself and have at it.


        • #5
          You' re not eating enough that's why your fat loss stalled.


          • #6
            That way I can just pop them in the microwave and add some veggies or berries.


            • #7
              Whats wrong with reheating food in a microwave? Convenience isn't primal? Is there an actual reason behind the comment or just random guffawing.


              • #8
                Stackingplates - the calorie thing. I've never counted them since going primal because I've never needed to. I subtracted all food with ingredients I couldn't point to on a farm or in a grocery store; cut out all grains and almost all sugar (except the occasional fruit); and paid more attention to the quality of the food that was left over. And I lost gobs of weight, without ever thinking about calories. I think it's just that I've started short-changing myself on that front - the lack of hunger has led to me not paying any attention to getting enough food. All the calculators say at my height, weight, gender, and activity level, I should be eating around 2400 calories a day to create a deficit that would lead to around 1-2 lbs fat loss a week. I've probably been getting about half of that for the past several weeks.

                Neckhammer - thanks! It helps to say "out loud" what I plan to do. Keeps me honest. I don't want to end up worrying too much about absolute numbers, but I do think it's time for me to get back to primal basics. I think a little of the old "fewer calories is always better" mentality creeps back in when I stress out. Instead of going back to my old dorito habit of stress-eating, I think now I may be stress-not-eating. So I'm just going to try to be more mindful of the things that are good for me, and eating enough of them.

                ErikJ - I'm a little nervous about the carb-up day, but I understand the idea behind it; just hard to break what's been a good pattern for me up till now. I'll probably try that this weekend and see how it goes. And you're right - I'm not beating myself up, or don't mean to be - just reminding myself of what's important. And I'm also going to try your cooking-up-a-batch-of-meat trick. Thanks!

                Cayla29s - agreed!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by merryish View Post
                  Stackingplates - the calorie thing. I've never counted them since going primal because I've never needed to. I subtracted all food with ingredients I couldn't point to on a farm or in a grocery store; cut out all grains and almost all sugar (except the occasional fruit); and paid more attention to the quality of the food that was left over. And I lost gobs of weight, without ever thinking about calories.
                  When you are getting started on your weight loss journey, it is very important to get a fundamental baseline of daily micro and macro nutritional needs as well as caloric intake. You should always learn how to log calories until you get to a point where it becomes second nature and detailed tracking may no longer be needed. If you get a firm handle on your energy needs then you don't have to become so obsessive about food choices as long as you are meeting your caloric and micro/macro nutritional needs.


                  • #10
                    Errr, I think you eat primal? No? Please somebody explain to me why OP's day is not primal?
                    I'd just cut the chocolate and nuts for weight loss.....


                    • #11
                      I know- it's so hard to stall out. Miserable. And it can take weeks and weeks. It does seem like you are moving away from what you know to be good and into a comfort zone of "occasionals" every day. You know what you gotta do! It probably has more to do with the sugars than the lack of calories. Frozen pineapple: crack. Also, my quick read of your weekday menu looks like 2000 calories- and that's assuming 1/4 of a Lindt bar and 40 almonds, walnuts and dried cranberries totaling half a cup, the cheese, pineapple- I could go on here. It might be that you are right at that maintenance calorie place and over on your sugars and carbs.



                      • #12
                        Something that worked for me was the eat the same thing every day... for two months. That way I only had to count calories once, and knew exactly what to buy and could prepare it mindlessly. Once I firmly decided: *this* is what I eat, it was so much easier to stick to it. In fact I'm thinking of going back to it.
                        5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.


                        • #13
                          If your under eating calories and weight loss has stalled then there are only a few possible reasons. 1 you are actually eating more calories then you thought. 2 You are gaining strength or 3 your body has reached a level of homeostasis and has down regulated leptin levels to allow you to survive on the calories you are currently consuming. If its the third, then you need to do a day of higher carbs to boost leptin levels and allow your body to return to normal fat burning ability. Granted this is a somewhat simplified view of it but in my own experience it has done wonders not just for my body composition but for my mental health as well. Dieting sucks, sometimes you need a break.


                          • #14
                            So agree need to once in a while totally eat what ever your heart desires. no guilt just go back to what makes you feel better. After a pig out day you feel so sick you cant wait......


                            • #15
                              Too much fruit and dark chocolate, it's still sugar. Keep the nuts in they will keep you full, don't worry about calories, get more veggies in there for lunch, and consider fasting ( I fast everyday 8 hours during sleep and 8 in the morning) and I only eat fruit after a workout or about twice a week. I get plenty of vitamins from my daily multi pill, and Grok didn't have fruit all the time.