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Increasing calories to loose weight

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  • Increasing calories to loose weight

    I know I've posted similar things already, but I think I need encouragement at this point. After being mostly primal for a month, starting in December (2009), I quickly gained 10 unwanted pounds in a month. There could be many reasons for this, I know. I thought it was due to overeating, so I kept track on FitDay and that helped.

    Since then I've maintained my weight sometimes gaining or loosing a pound or two. I'm not classified as overweight, but I've now got quite a pudgy belly, and I've had to go out and buy two now pairs of pants to be comfortable--although I'm not comfortable!

    My question is about calories: about how many should I eat in order to loose this weight? Should I increase them? I know the advice is to eat when you're hungry and stop when you're satiated, but there's a complication: I'm breastfeeding a 2 year old boy (who feeds a lot), and I don't have a very good sense of my body's cues. I've had problems to do with overeating in the past too. I would like to, and I am trying to, listen to my body, while at the same time tracking my foods on FitDay.

    I recently just did a calculation according to this website, and it says that I should be consuming over 2800 a day. I've been trying to keep them down at around 2000 in the last two weeks and I gained a pound.

    Here's some more about me:

    I'm 5'6.5
    I weigh 140 pounds
    25.5% body fat, according to my scale
    I don't eat nuts.
    2 or so weeks ago I cut out fruit.
    Yoga at least once a week.
    50 burpees a week in one go
    General bodyweight excercises 2X per week
    3 hour long walks up and down very steep hills per week
    Lifting and running around after my 2 yr old
    My FitDay numbers are around: 70% fat, 20% protein, 10% carbs
    Experimenting with raw dairy, mostly just milk in my morning coffee.
    I've been IFing breakfast a few times a week, and I really like it.

    On the one hand I really like the idea of increasing my calories, as it gives me the freedom to eat tons of tasty food (I love eating), but on the other, the idea also terrifies me since I'm bulging out of my jeans already. What if it's a mistake?

  • #2
    Primal Blueprint doesn't count calories. There's a weight loss thread and group here on the forum if you are looking to lose weight.


    • #3
      Hrmph! I have to say that I'm a little surprised by THAT response, Suzan. I've found many encouraging and helpful people on this forum. Saying that Primal Blueprint simply doesn't count calories (implying that my inquiry does not belong here) is like saying that Primal Blueprint doesn't allow for endurance running. There are plenty of people who still do endurance, and each of us is on a continuum as far as the extent to which we follow the guidelines set out by the Primal Blueprint. As for weight loss, I'm betting many (if not most) people following Primal Blueprint are trying to lose weight. I would be very grateful for advice from a large spectrum of people, not just those others who are trying to loose weight and who read the weight loss thread and are members of that particular group.

      I've read mention on this forum that some people have had success increasing their calories to loose weight. If you prefer (and if the word and information pertaining to 'calories' is repugnant), another way to put my question is: should I eat significantly more than I do now, in the order of 5 sausages, an avocado, and three tablespoons of butter more? I ask this because it was suggested to me on another website that I am in need of this much more food. I'm a little confused because I have trouble listening to my body's cues. I'm also feeling discouraged (and quite sensitive) since I have increased in size so much so fast.

      I'd like to know how increasing intake of food gives better results for some people.


      • #4
        So sorry, I didn't have time to write anything else, that's why I referred you over to the weight loss threads. No offense intended. I'm short on time today. Sorry it came out that way.


        • #5
          It's okay, Suzan! I think I do the same things sometimes, i.e., writing very short replies.;-)


          • #6
            Here's the links to the threads I mentioned:



            Hope this helps. Lots of people there would be glad to give you the info you seek.


            • #7
              well i sure hope increasing calories does not lead to weight LOSS....
              Get on my Level


              • #8
                The last few chapters in the book are about counting calories.....

                Ideally you don't need to count calories after you figure out how to listen to your body. For some it takes longer than others. I am sure breastfeeding does not help. In any case 2800 cal for a 140 lbs woman seems like a lot. Most calculators give that number for me and I am a 6'1 190lb male. I am not breastfeeding that much anymore so maybe that has something to do with it....

                Sounds hormonal, is your thyroid OK, are you pregnant again?

                Not being very helpful... haha sorry.
                Don't be a paleotard...






                • #9
                  I'm curious too. Sometimes I'm told I'm eating too little, other times too much. When I track on fitday I generally bounce around between 1200-1800 calories? I should point out that I use calories as what they are - quick, comparable, units of measurement. I also look at the fat/protein/carb beakdown to get a proper idea.

                  I'm going to try and look into oestrogen effects on insulin, if any info is publically available. I know that's the area I'm messed up in!


                  • #10
                    Many people with a significant amount of weight to lose (we're talking 100 pounds or more) can experience weight loss eating many more calories worth of real food than they were previously eating of junk. That is probably the body's reaction to the shift over to healthy foods that it was meant to consume. More importantly, it has enough good dietary fats coming in that it perceives less of a reason to hold onto its reserves, and metabolism rises to deal with the excess calories. That's my understanding; it could be way off. I know I was losing weight even though I was eating 120 grams of almonds 7 days a week.

                    But there seems to be a zone of fat storage that isn't particularly unhealthy, say up to about 20 or 30 pounds above a body fat percentage of 8-10% for men and 15-20% for women, where it becomes much harder to lose the weight. These are the vanity pounds. In the wild, such an excess is not particularly burdensome if you are strong, and is a treasure trove of energy for when times get tough. So it's harder to "convince" the body to get rid of it. Here is where simulating "tough times" through calorie restriction and intermittent fasting really help.

                    From what you've written it seems as though you're exercising enough and doing your IFs and cutting fruit and all that good stuff, so it's kind of perplexing to me. My only suggestion would be to cut the dairy, as well, since that has got me on the right track again, and do longer but more infrequent IFs, say a full 24 hours just once a week.

                    However, having said that, you are breastfeeding, and so you may be dealing with other evolutionary mechanisms in place to help keep a mother able to feed her infant. The hormones you are making now may be favoring fat retention for this reason. But I'm just speculating, here.
                    Last edited by Grumpycakes; 04-02-2010, 11:39 AM.
                    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!


                    • #11
                      I kind of get sad when I read a post like yours.

                      You are 5'6 1/2" tall.

                      You weigh 140 lbs. and you are breastfeeding.

                      You are exercising quite well-----nice long distance base, bodyweight exercises, a high-intensity session (burpees).

                      Your body is producing a very high fat nourishment for your baby----human breast milk is almost 50% fat by calories! It takes about 500 calories a day to produce enough milk for a fully nursing infant. (Somewhat less for a child eating other foods).

                      Based upon what you've said, it seems to me that you are looking to lose a few vanity pounds, or change the shape of your body. Is this your first baby? There is stress, sleep deprivation, the job of making milk-----all these things make it hard to lose weight.

                      Honestly, I would relax about it, keep doing what you are doing, and give your body LOTS of time. Having a baby is a VERY BIG PRIMAL DEAL.



                      • #12
                        i agree with you wannabegirl 100%...i didnt read the breastfeeding part... in all seriousness... do not try and diet until you are SURE you are providing nutrition and good fat to your baby!!!!!! i am sad now as well. to begin with 140 on an almost 5'7 body is GOOD WEIGHT, and your working out....AND YOU JUST HAD a baby... relax... eat and feed your baby, maybe even lay off the IF and exercising
                        Get on my Level


                        • #13
                          I don't know anything about breastfeeding so I could be quite wrong here, but I could imagine that if your body is needing to find nourishment for your baby then if you cut calories it will just try even hard to keep hold of what fat you've got. I would aim for a maintenance level and then when you wean the lad you will have a better picture of what your body needs just for YOUR needs (unless you pop another sprog of course!!)
                          My website:


                          • #14
                            Thanks guys, I appreciate the support. It's true that there is the vanity factor. It's also the comfort level issue. I gained the weight really fast, so none of my clothes fit. On the one hand, I'm fine with how heavy I am suddenly, but on the other, I worry that I'll gain another 10 pounds and then another and another, you know? 10 pounds is a lot, but I can adjust. I'm also finding it surprising for this to occur whilst mostly following Primal Blue Print guidelines. And then there's the idea that I ought to eat more than I am.

                            I am weighting for thyroid test results. I got some back already, which indicate a low T3 level, of I think 3. But that might just be from breastfeeding. The doctor said this rise could have been from an illness (flu) I had in January, which could have temporarily affected my thyroid.

                            Anyhoo, thanks again. I'm pretty good at being patient. [I do however somewhat dread seeing my mother in a couple months who always comments on my weight, as she is what I consider borderline anorexic, and then there's my sister who is the same hight, is breastfeeding also, eating high carb, low fat, who complains to me when her weight goes above 125 pounds.] Really, though, I've been this weight before with a positive self-image, so I can draw from that experience. Curvy me is back! Until further notice! :0-)


                            • #15
                              get you mom on primal blueprint like me... it does wonders for the mental aspect
                              Get on my Level