I've been doing paleo for about 7-8 months now, and somehow I am finding it hard to get in calories. I am female, 5'8'', around 140 lbs, and have gotten fairly lean, but am looking to lose the last bit of belly fat. I work out 5-6 days a week, and have a physical outdoors job, and lately haven't been packing enough to eat. I eat roughly 1600-1800 calories a day, and eating much more makes me feel stuffed because I consume so many vegetables, so I have started eating more fruit for calories. But how many servings should I have if I'm trying to cut couple pounds of belly fat?
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Eat as much fruit as you want. If it gives you blood sugar issues or terrible digestive problems then go easy on it. Fruit is not magically going to make you fat. Some people here, not all, are afraid of fruit because it converts to fat, but they have no problem pouring fat and oils on everything. Dietary fat doesn't need to be converted and is much easier to store as fat than carbohydrate.
Note, I am not advocating you go crazy on fruit. Just don't worry about, I think it's pretty hard to eat enough fruit to make any significant difference in weight regulation.
Look into the FODMAP theory to see which salad things have the most bloat. Maybe you don't need to lose weight, just watch which salad items you're eating. If you're eating huge salads, this can be a problem all by itself.
When trying to lose weight just avoid all fruit. The general paleo principles are more of a framework for a healthy lifestyle than a prescription to get shredded...
Exercise targeting belly fat, maybe planks, maybe long distance running. Eat fruit for hunger that results from that. Earn the fruit.
First of all: just STOP thinking about calories. If you want to lose fat, just follow the basics principles of the paleodiet and STOP eating fruits and potatoes until get rid of this belly fat. Doesn't matter how much calories you are eating but WHAT you are eating.
1600-1800 daily calories on top of 5-6 days of exercising per week, combined with a physical outdoors job seems pretty low. If I run that through a calculator, 1700 calories is about what you would be looking like with zero exercise and a desk job, with 6 days of exercise and an active lifestyle bumping you up around 2430 calories needed to maintain.
An extra 400-600 fruit calories from olives / avocados / coconut, perhaps. I don't particularly see eating more fruit of the fructose / sugar-based variety as a better strategy to getting more calories in than eating veg / meat / nuts -- A strawberry is around 4 calories, where you can fit 30 of them onto one tablespoon of fat drizzled over veg (or 180 of them if you do two salads with 3 tablespoons each.)
Increasing your caloric intake and losing body fat seems like a bit of a contradiction. Maybe some targeted core strengthening exercises with a weighted vest would help to lean out the belly area.