1

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overcoming counting calories and fat consumed

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 10, 2012 at 3:36 AM

Brief background: I've always been big girl but it's hard to sell yourself 'It's just baby fat' when you are 27. Four years ago I lost over 30 kilos using Calorie King (counting calories limiting fat) I was told to only consume 20g of fat a day. I ended up developing an eating disorder as I became so focused on how much I ate that it just seemed easier not to eat at all. A friend recommended Paleo to be a year ago and I've been putting it off till now. As of Monday I've switched to paleo and so far so good. My question is has anyone else felt the guilt of not weighting their food and stressed that they are eating sometimes 30 grams of fat in one day and what did they do to overcome it

*please note I understand the reasoning behind the paleo lifestyle, I just need suggestions on how to stress less :p

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 11, 2012
at 12:15 PM

this is definitely NOT true. most ED patients are well aware of their calorie requirements, yet their internal struggle leads them to modify their behavior. please THINK before you post! it's not about her needing more calories, it's about all the tedious, obsessive work you are recommending to someone who is already overwhelmed.

34cf7065a6c94062c711eb16c0f6adc3

on May 11, 2012
at 06:28 AM

In an eating disorder you don't even know how much you should eat. Counting to eat more will help get the body in tune. I agree its not the best thing. But it has helped a friend who was in this situation. Before she would eat a little of the good foods and think this is enough and kept on starving herself. Eating to BMR helped her realize how much she really needed to eat. I know its not a popular opinion, but sometimes poison kills poison.

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 11, 2012
at 12:41 AM

-1 eating disorders are not about greed, they are usually due to emotional trauma or challenging life situations. please think before you speak to someone who is struggling.

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 11, 2012
at 12:40 AM

exactly talldog. learning to be in tune with our bodies is THE point!

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 11, 2012
at 12:39 AM

yaaay!!! how exciting! thank you for sharing!

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 11, 2012
at 12:38 AM

the perfectionist trait is present in nearly 100% of ED sufferers, in my experience. bulemia is really serious, and counselings is SO helpful! it teaches you WHY you got in the food trap in the first place. good luck!

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on May 10, 2012
at 01:46 PM

-1 Way too many numbers. Turning a healthy diet into a math problem is not the way to go.

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on May 10, 2012
at 01:45 PM

Thank you so much for your kind words. The reason I developed my disorder is a rather strange one (or so I feel) I'm a very competitive person by nature so I was always trying to lose more weight each week and I slowly started to cheat on this (by making myself throw up) In the last year or so the weight has been starting to creep back up and that's why I decided to give paleo a go as it encourages you to eat Even with paleo I have to be careful as I tend to also freak out about not doing it rightI have to know that I may stumble a couple of time :)

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 10, 2012
at 01:19 PM

this is a whole lot of counting for someone with an eating disorder... i heartily, yet respectfully, disagree with you on this being the "best starting method."

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7 Answers

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3
B9673e4701dbf7017da7d75e9a44da6d

on May 10, 2012
at 10:01 AM

As a recovered calorie counter/fat phobic that's been eating pretty strict paleo for four months, I have given up my numbers obsession.

I no longer weigh myself, count calories or pay attention to how many grams are in what.

At 30, this is the first time I have felt "freed" from my obsession with what I weigh and eat and how "fat" I am.

I don't know how much weight I've lost since going paleo, but I know that I've dropped 3-4 inches off my hips, 2 inches off my waist (maybe more now) and had to replace my wardrobe completely.

I eat what I want when I am hungry. I'm not looking for quick results, but rather long-term health and well-being.

My recommendation? If you were obsessed with calorie counting/gram counting on a SAD (standard American diet), avoid going into macro nutrient/ratio counting on paleo. It's still a number obsession if you are prone to it.

Eating paleo has forced me to listen to my body and I had never done that before. It's been a real life-changing thing for me and I hope it can be that for you too.

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 11, 2012
at 12:39 AM

yaaay!!! how exciting! thank you for sharing!

best answer

1
31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 10, 2012
at 01:24 PM

hey julia! first of all, how amazingly brave of you to start paleo after the challenges you've faced! you are amazing!

the biggest challenge here i think is searching your heart out for why you are so terrified of food... is your weight something that's been an emotional battle for you? history of bullying or abuse? sometimes it helps to sort out why we are fighting so hard to protect ourselves through our food choices and why we attach so rigidly to our "eating rules."

i know it's hard, but you really can't manage your weight without dealing with your inner demons first. my suggestion is to pursue emotional healing and relief first, and then you can deal with weight and food choices. the truth is? no food is evil, we just learn how to make better choices when our heart is healed and in the right place. good luck!!!

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on May 10, 2012
at 01:45 PM

Thank you so much for your kind words. The reason I developed my disorder is a rather strange one (or so I feel) I'm a very competitive person by nature so I was always trying to lose more weight each week and I slowly started to cheat on this (by making myself throw up) In the last year or so the weight has been starting to creep back up and that's why I decided to give paleo a go as it encourages you to eat Even with paleo I have to be careful as I tend to also freak out about not doing it rightI have to know that I may stumble a couple of time :)

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 11, 2012
at 12:38 AM

the perfectionist trait is present in nearly 100% of ED sufferers, in my experience. bulemia is really serious, and counselings is SO helpful! it teaches you WHY you got in the food trap in the first place. good luck!

best answer

1
11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on May 10, 2012
at 02:26 PM

Don't try to be perfect out of the gate. You're trying to turn around a lifetime of not only bad eating habits, but clear your head of years of societal misinformation/brainwashing about what is the proper way to eat and the proper way to lose weight.

Make the next month a "getting your feet wet" period. Quit worrying about the numbers, quit worrying about not knowing everything, and quit worrying a screwing up. Do these two things:

(1) Eat KISS style.

  • Eat a variety of fresh meats (beef, fowl, pork, fish, shellfish, eggs, etc...)
  • Eat a variety of fresh vegetables
  • Eat a variety of fresh fruit
  • Use a variety of natural fats (butter, coconut oil, olive oil, etc...)
  • Use a variety of cooking methods (stir fry, boiling, crock pot, grilling, etc...)

Dont' worry about caloires, don't worry about nutrients, don't worry about your weight, don't worry about getting the perfect combination of foods; just eat when you're hungry. If you aren't hungry, don't eat.

(2) Educate yourself on WHY paleo works.

  • Read Taubes' Why We Get Fat. You'll understand why low carb works, and why high carb puts wight on people.

  • Read Kendrick's The Great Cholesterol Con. It will help you understand that the conventional wisdom about fats and health is just wrong, and how it came about. It will help you overcome your fear of fats.

  • Read Enig's Know Your Fats. This is a more technical book. It gives a description of just about every dietary fat. The more you know about fats, the less you will fear natural fats (and the more you will fear man-made fats). Mary Enig is, literally, THE person that blew the whistle on trans-fats. She knows her fats, and doesn't buckle to pressure to tow a particular line.

After a month (when you've educated yourself and have a feel for paleo food), then you can reevaluate and decide what changes you want to make (this would be the time to get one of the paleo books like Sisson's Primal Blueprint). Do that for a month, then reevaluate again. Grow into paleo. Think of it as a process.

1
Cecf4784e29cc053e9eb667c1322e397

on May 10, 2012
at 04:54 AM

I have similar issues with eating fat. All my life it has been drilled into any thoughts on food choice that fat is E.V.I.L. and probably the worst thing you could put in your mouth. What I find to be a huge help when faced with eating the fats I know I need for health is to consciously think of what would someone such as Robb Wolf or Mark Sisson say if they were standing there... it sounds completely mental but it works! Focusing on the logic of it rather than the emotional knee-jerk puts it back into perspective, for me at least. It is as if the intelligent part of my brain is giving permission to the childhood part that has always been told "No." I came to the Paleo mindset on my own and am still going it alone in a family of four. I have found that, while they are not (yet) willing to join me, they still love me and support my choice to achieve better health :^) and when I find myself staring at a spoonful of coconut oil and battling the inner voices, they will remind me of all the nutrition reasons I should put that on my vegetables. In a weird way it works. Until the next time :^) As they say, baby steps...

1
34cf7065a6c94062c711eb16c0f6adc3

on May 10, 2012
at 04:28 AM

Don't get suckered into believing that calories do not matter. They do. But you shouldn't count them, because it is impossible to accurately know how much calories were absorbed by your digestive system.

You should try to eat something that helps you eat less. Low carb paleo is an excellent method. But it may not work for you. So don't think of it as a panacea. Yes paleo is important, but it is not the only low toxin high nutrition diet and glucose is not a toxin, however much you may here of it.

First is to get healthy. Eat a low toxin high nutrition diet, which is paleo. That itself will cause you to lose weight. I actually started to lose weight when I started to eat full meals. Otherwise I was snacking too much. Starvation is opposite of health.

Once you start to feel good, then you can try to get on with reducing weight not before.

The best starting method is to eat around 80gms of carbs and 70gms of protein. Normally glucose requirement is fixed by brain and neurons, so 80gms is sufficient. Protein should be at least around 1.5gms/Kg of lean body weight, that is minus fat. Rest will be fat. Also keep carbs+protein:fat at 1:2. So if your energy requirement is 2400kcal, then 800kcal will be carbs+protein. Note fiber is counted as fat not carbs. If you don't want to go higher in carbs you can go higher in proteins, to match the limit. Ofcourse all numbers are approximate.

The 2400kcal in the example is your basal matabolic rate, which you can calculate from http://exrx.net/Calculators/CalRequire.html.

You may think eating this much will cause you to gain weight, but believe me you will be surprised.

Once you have upped your diet to your expected BMR, then you can reduce your caloric consumption to around 500kcal not more, with one cheat day, where you eat an excess of 500kcal. The reduction should be in fat, and increase on the cheat day should be carbs.

On the other hand you can try leangains. But I would say start leangains when you have achieved basic level, ie you are eating to your BMR.

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 11, 2012
at 12:40 AM

exactly talldog. learning to be in tune with our bodies is THE point!

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on May 10, 2012
at 01:46 PM

-1 Way too many numbers. Turning a healthy diet into a math problem is not the way to go.

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 10, 2012
at 01:19 PM

this is a whole lot of counting for someone with an eating disorder... i heartily, yet respectfully, disagree with you on this being the "best starting method."

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 11, 2012
at 12:15 PM

this is definitely NOT true. most ED patients are well aware of their calorie requirements, yet their internal struggle leads them to modify their behavior. please THINK before you post! it's not about her needing more calories, it's about all the tedious, obsessive work you are recommending to someone who is already overwhelmed.

34cf7065a6c94062c711eb16c0f6adc3

on May 11, 2012
at 06:28 AM

In an eating disorder you don't even know how much you should eat. Counting to eat more will help get the body in tune. I agree its not the best thing. But it has helped a friend who was in this situation. Before she would eat a little of the good foods and think this is enough and kept on starving herself. Eating to BMR helped her realize how much she really needed to eat. I know its not a popular opinion, but sometimes poison kills poison.

1
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on May 10, 2012
at 04:03 AM

I was a bit fat phobic as well when i started. Don't stress over it & don't feel that you need to jump straight in to a high fat diet.

Just slowly ramp things up (increasing fat intake), your mind will follow as you start to accept that fat (good fat) is okay.

Plus if you introduce your new diet slowly, you body (digestion) will have an easier time adjusting to new foods & the change to macronutrient percentages.

good luck

0
01adafcb4dd4147c6af543f61eee60a8

on May 10, 2012
at 09:37 AM

Paleo doesn't mean you can eat as much as you want,calories still matter. Just limit your greed and cut the snacks and your good to go.

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 11, 2012
at 12:41 AM

-1 eating disorders are not about greed, they are usually due to emotional trauma or challenging life situations. please think before you speak to someone who is struggling.

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