14 year old girl here. Been trying to lose weight for about 1 year. Which I never thought that I'd have to do, because my activity level is so high. But, I;ve got grab-abble fat and it jingles when I run, and it's embarrassing.
Lately I've been feeling absolutely terrible. Tired all the time, lost interest in my sport and just generally lonely. I know it's a part of growing up and stuff, but...
So earlier this year I was on the calorie-counting, low-fat business. Then when I had only lost about 1 pound in 6 weeks whilst feeling fairly hungry I thought I wasn't being strict enough.
Bring in the 2 week binge. I think I gained about 8 pounds. Then I just didn't care what I ate after that. I ate junk and stuff, but I didn't binge. Heavier and heavier I got.
I heard about the paleo diet a few weeks later. At first I just disregarded it, I thought it was another faddy diet.
Then I thought about it. After I heard about it, I couldn't forget about it. So, to cut a long story short (even though this will be quite long) I'm trying to eat paleo now, whilst trying to lose weight and continue with my sport. (the season is in full flow too, but I'm just not looking forward to it. I feel awful and I'm just not enjoying it.)
So this is what I eat.
Breakfast 7:30 AM: 3 eggs scrambled with 25g of grass-fed butter and 2 slices of bacon.
Lunch 12:45 AM: a salad. Usually it's a handful of lettuce, half a carrot and some protein source, like 1 chicken breast or 1 tin of tuna, with some nuts. Maybe a piece of fruit after.
When I get home and if no one's in, I usually scavenge for "paleo foods", i.e eating butter with a spoon, some nuts or some peanut butter (not paleo, but we can't find almond butter)
Then I'll do training. I'm normally hungry after training, so I'll have dinner. Then I find that dinner isn't enough to truly satisfy me. When my mom isn't there, I'll grab a couple of biscuits, maybe some chocolate or something. Basically, it all goes out of the window at night.
Basically, I need to lose weight. I also want to get better at sport and not feel tired. But I'm just so hungry. And I can't snack on anything that isn't paleo. My mom is also fat-phobic - lean meats in the salad, lean meats and steamed veg for tea. She buys the leanest meats possible, tells me to cut the fat off my bacon and to drain it, and tells me to use 10g of butter.
So if I need more fat in my diet, I'm not sure how I'm going to do it. The only times I can get fat in is at breakfast, really.
I've thought about waiting till the end of the season then going fully paleo for 2 months to see if I lose weight. I've thought about trying to do it now. But then I couldn't exercise for long because I wouldn't be keto-adapted. And I have to go to sports, because my parents have booked hotels and everything.
I'm just not sure what to do anymore. It's stressing me out. (I know that's bad for you, too) if someone can please decipher this rambling and offer some advice, it would be greatly appreciated.
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Hey girl- I feel your pain. I went through a horrible phase like that too where I just BINGED like a crazy person on non paleo things after a whole day of eating right. I'm not too sure how I eventually got over it, but here are a few things I think helped:
First thing: are you sure you're "always hungry"? Sounds like you're an emotional eater, like me. You talked about how you would only scavenge for non paleo things if you were the only one at home...I did too! I was embarrassed that I was binging. I ate in secret. That's a HUGE warning sign!! Are you depressed? Stressed? For me, I was both. Alot of emotions were going on in my body and I didn't let them come out and I pushed them back down with food, literally. And it was a horrible cycle, I would eat more afterwards to not feel as guilty or bad. Now that I say it, it doesn't make sense. But it made sense to me, when I was emotionally vulnerable.
Think about how you feel before you eat. If you're not sure you hungry...leave the house. For a few hours. Not just a walk around the block...get outta there and away from the kitchen!! I'm serious. The kitchen is your. worst. enemy. And don't bring any money on you so you won't be tempted to buy something to eat when you're out.
When you eat, savor it. Think about how luck you are to be eating that delicious paleo meal you just prepped, all by yourself! Eating is a pleasurable activity. Enjoy it! CHEW thoroughly. Those tips will have you eating slower and you'll be more in tune with how full you actually are. Sips of water throughout a meal to slow it down even more.
Second thing: perhaps you should focus on eating healthy and nourishing yourself with good, friendly, happy food. Food is your friend when you eat paleo. I unfortunately have an autoimmune disease with many allergies so eating paleo is absolutely necessary if I want to function well. I knew this, however, back when I binged, I was always worried about losing weight too. So on top of working hard to make sure I ate only the foods I could have, I was also obsessed with losing weight. This left me SO stressed out and just really unhappy whenever I binged. I'm sure you feel the same way by binging after training.
Then one day I was like, screw it. I'm not going to give a poop about if I'm skinny or fat. I'm just going to make sure I nourish my body so I become healthy. Once I am healthy, then I will think about losing weight. And what do you know: when I let go of that, I stopped getting the urge to binge! This didn't happen overnight, but not thinking about myself in such a restricted way (I need to lose weight! So I can't eat more!) just lifted a load off my shoulders and stopped the binging. And what do you know, I lost some weight too!
Sorry that was so long, but I hope it helped. What I'm trying to say is: be more in tune with your emotional self. It's great that you're trying to better your physical self, but your mental states are just as important and BOTH states depend on each other for a happy body!! Take care :)
Bigger breakfast. Bigger lunch. Go for 4+ eggs and two portions of your protein at lunch. Salmon is a great lunch meat too with fat that the fat phobic won't notice. Throw some extra olive oil on your salad - that often does not scare the fat phobic. Don't be afraid to eat some healthy carbs like sweet potatoes - at your activity level you need them. Don't worry about losing weight right now, concentrate on getting your energy level up.
You are 14. You should not "diet."
At each meal eat:
- a palm size portion of meat
- a fist size portion of vegetable
- a cupped hand full of starchy stuff (sweet potato)
- a thumb size amount of fat
Eat three meals a day. Get plenty of sleep and sunshine. Lift some weights, run fast, walk around. You will be fine. Some girls get puffy at age 14, especially in the face. Don't freak out too much if you are one of them. Your body needs to get used to its new hormones. It will get better.
First of all, don't stress! I wish I knew about Paleo nutrition when I was 14. You're way ahead of most of us.
Don't pressure yourself. You're going through a process that will take some time.
See if your mom will get you some coconut oil. I have some friends who refuse to let go of the low-fat nuttiness, but they accept that coconut oil "contains the saturated fat that's good for you".
With coconut oil, you can bake yourself some Paleo goodies that will help you feel like you're not depriving yourself. Some Paleo peeps don't approve of baking, but I think it's fun to have a treat now and then.
Shameless plug: http://ifcavemombakedcookies.com/
Hard-boiled eggs, sweet potatoes, and nuts are some snack ideas that will help you to feel full. Make mashed sweet potatoes and add some coconut milk--soooo good and filling.
Sounds like you're most like not eating enough. Being a teenager you're still growing. If it's alright with you, how much do you weigh, and how much are you looking to lose? Sometimes we aim to lose more than we actually need to, we set goals FAR too high and when we don't achieve the results we desire, we get depressed.. binge and then we're back to square one.
Also.. what sports are you playing? More activity = More energy.
Fill me in!!
Yes, you definitely need more fat.
Replace your lean salad lunch and dinner with rich soup! No sane mother will tell her own child that soup is unhealthy, or that salad is healthier than soup. Most parents would chew their own arm to make their children eat soup!
Golden cauliflower soup (replace the beef broth with more coconut milk if you don't have broth)
Cream of broccoli soup
Coconut milk chicken curry
Shrimp curry with onion and red peppers
Can you offer to cook two meals for week? Would your mom let you? Then you could make a big batch of soup and put it in pint-size mason jars, one jar per school-day, to eat for lunch or dinner.
More recipes: just replace ingredients as needed, for example, if it asks for vegetable oil, use butter or coconut oil, and so on.
Wow, sorry to hear of your woes. If it only goes out the window at night after a good day of paleo eating, my take is that you simply need more fat in perhaps a larger paleo dinner (and perhaps a more protein-and-fat-laden lunch).
Also, your dairy (butter) is likely inhibiting your fat loss if you're like me. Lastly, skip the peanut butter and go back to nuts, or better yet smoked fish, jerky, ceviche, fermented veggies - basically anything else more paleo. The legume-butter is likely made with vegetable oil (promoting inflammation and fat gain) and nut butters should only be treated as occasional treats (again, if you respond like I do). If you must snack, do so, but stay on the paleo bus so you don't add so much stress, from food and mental sources both.
Anyway, that's my 2p. Enjoy your paleo food and don't treat it as a limitation, but rather as way of ensuring you eat the best things for you instead of poisoning yourself slowly. Good luck!
Have you bought a copy of Dr. Briffa's Escape the Diet Trap for you and your mum to go through together? Your paleo journey will be much easier if both of you team up.
As someone who struggled with weight throughout my teenage years, I provide you with the following advice: you have found paleo, lucky you! you are way ahead of the curve. Now you need to adjust to eating a diet of whole foods that your body proccesses differently than packaged sugars and flours.
Therefore, since you are young and at crucial development eat some frickin' carbs- your body will thrive and thank you! You won't feel tired and your appetite will actually decrease and performance will go up!!
To gain muscle versus fat, opt for glucose-dense starches like sweet potato, butternut squash, just-picked bananas, berries, and zucchini.
Make sure you are getting enough carbohydrate at each meal-- I found I was eating consistently low carb just because paleo carbs aren't available in pre-packaged bags like most foods are.
Make sure you are sleeping enough- don't worry too much about your protein and fat- get a decent size in each meal and eat to satiety as long as that carb source is there too!
Try not to overthink it. Stress is the worst thing a young body needs. I am sure you are a beautiful person and with increased carbs you will feel, look, and perform better.
Best of luck! Let me know f you have additional questions!!