I feel so lost in the world so prepare for a rant:
For 7 or so months I was a pretty strict vegan, mostly raw verging on fruitarian. My diet was literally 80% carbs and I'd been practically brainwashed into thinking that protein was pointless and that fat made you fat. In the beginning I felt absolutely fantastic and then as the months went by my health got worse and worse, my hair became about a third of its original thickness and I was so tired I'd wake up feeling like my body was aching with fatigue. I was very anaemic and was taking a lot of iron supplements towards the end in an effort to feel better.
I finally accepted that that diet wasn't for me but I wanted to stay off the grains as I knew this was definitely better for my health. I stumbled upon paleo and have been reading everything I can. I've been eating paleo for a few months now I'd say, not 100%, maybe 80% or 90%. My hair is growing back and my nails are growing long and hard and I felt fantastic.
My goal is to lose fat and be as healthy as I can; I work with a lot of models and I hope to lose a bit of fat to be thin enough to get into the industry. I'm 19, 5'9"and-a-bit and approximately 62kg... haven't weighed myself in a long time. I know it's a perfectly healthy weight and I realise I'm not fat but my body tends to store more weight on my thighs; my aim is to lose only a few kgs to get rid of that stubborn fat that I've had for as long as I can remember.
I turned to intermittent fasting and that was great, I still skip breakfast every day and break my fast at around 12 (or a bit later) and try to stop eating by 8 at night. I did lose a bit of weight but now I feel like I've been stuck on a plateau for a while now. My digestive system has been struggling too transitioning from veganism to such a carnivorous diet haha
So about a week ago I tried keto keeping to about 25g of carbs - I turned into a crazy, emotional, fatigued, temperamental mess. Crying at anything and struggling to get out of bed in the morning. Last night I caved and had a hugee carb binge, woke up feeling much more energetic. When I got home from uni I had some chicken for dinner with some coconut oil melted in, mum had baked a paleoish cake and I told myself I'd have a small slice, turned into a full blown binge of more cake, coconut cream, macadamia butter, coconut butter, peanut butter on banana, milo from the tin with a spoon and chocolate. Which in turn lead to huge guilt and purging.
I never had any eating disorder tendencies when I was younger but whenever I consciously try to lose weight and I feel like I've eaten something I shouldn't, it's like I give up entirely and just go all out on anything and everything I can find to stuff in my mouth. Then I feel like I've screwed up my efforts and a handful of times, like today, I throw up my food to try and negate my 'mistake'.
Whenever Ive tried to track calories/macros on cronometer, it always starts off great, then when I have to eat food I haven't cooked myself I feel like I've messed up because I don't know the calories etc. If I'm not losing weight then I start restricting more and things just don't go too well. So I've stopped counting to try and be a little less OCD.
END RANT. eek
My questions are:
1) What can I do to improve my digestion? I often get super bloated and constipated from paleo food
2) Without counting calories, in the absence of SAD food I really have no idea how much I should be eating, if I'm eating twice a day what would a normal sized paleo meal be for me?
3) Should I give keto another go to get rid of the stubborn fat?
4) Anything else you guys can suggest that might help me not eat too much, or too little that I binge. I'd really like this modelling thing to become a career and I want to do it as healthily as possible. I know that good nutrition is key, not starvation.
asked bykitkat (30)
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on June 11, 2013
at 11:32 AM
Not much time for a comprehensive answer, just wanted to say: forget about IF for now and get yourself a huge breakfast. Be sure you have a lot of protein, some fat and just few carbs, veggies or a little bit of starchy tubers will be fine. You have to aim to feel full when you end eating it. This will help you a lot with cravings during the rest of the day. Then if you want to fast... better try to go until dinner without having lunch or to skip dinner until the next breakfast. But honestly I'd get 3 meals per day or even 4 considering that you have been feeling bad this recently.
Also don't be so hard on yourself and take it easy, feeling bad leads to cravings and binging the more! You will see with this breakfast and by staying away from refined carbs and grains you gain immense control over your hunger.
I think keto is good but if you had such a bad experience on your first try, don't focus on this, just focus on getting real food. You come from veganism and that's a huge change, let your body some time to adapt :) I'd focus on my vegetables of choice and then keep adding the meats, etc. I think seafood and fish should come in first place before meat but just my thoughts... will depend on your preferences but ultimately seek to eat things that make you feel well.
For more food options, you could try to get some inspiration from balancedbites.com, these girls share pictures of paleo goodies and many people seem to be doing fine with their advice.
on June 15, 2013
at 03:07 AM
The number one thing that helps me deal with cravings is to get at least 30 grams of protein in me within the first 30 minutes of waking up. Maybe it's black magic, but it works so well for me.
on June 12, 2013
at 02:16 AM
Thanks for all your advice guys!
My perfectionist-y side gets the better of me sometimes and I just want to do everything right!
I've totally calmed down today and I'm going to take a much more lenient approach :)
Eat what I feel like (with a focus on meat, eggs and vegetables) and stop when I'm full. If I feel like stuffing my face my body obviously needs it so if that does happen I'll just try to stuff it with healthy choices haha
on June 11, 2013
at 12:48 PM
I'm going to respond to 3 and 4 for now. I absolutely agree with albert that you should give up IF for a bit to try and regain some normalcy. I think IF is a late game thing to do after your eating is already dialed. I am a huge fan of keeping things simple.
Eat breakfast. Eat when you are hungry (about every 3 hours for me because I'm really active). Every meal should be based on a solid protein source (meat, eggs or chicken). Vegetables with some fat should make up the rest. If you are having a very fatty meat, don't add any fat to the veggies. Eat starchy carbs (white rice, sweet potatoes, I'm fine with oatmeal so I have it occasionally) around intense training sessions. Have a damn cookie or some ice cream every now and again unless you have serious gut issues.
I would not recommend Keto for trying to lose the last bit of weight, at least based on my experience. I tried keto for months, and the week I added carbs back in I could finally see my lower abs. Especially if you are active or training hard, Keep some carbs in daily, with maybe a very low carb day once or twice a week.
To control your calories without counting, eat more protein. It is the most satiating nutrient. It is the hardest to overeat, your body needs large quantities to hold onto or build muscle mass, and eating dead animals is awesome. Have some coconut oil in your coffee in the morning or something, but don;t go overboard with the added fats like some people. I hate this fucking saying when regular dietitians use it, but moderation in all things (from an evolutionary perspective) is important.
The most important thing about any diet is that it is sustainable. I can easily tell you how to lose 10 pounds in a week, but where would that get you? Depleted, miserable, and primed to rebound if you slip up. Focus on good choices one meal at a time, and don't stress about food too much.
on June 11, 2013
at 04:49 PM
I was a vegan for a while before turning back to meat and eventually (very recently) turning to Paleo. The one thing I can tell you about myself, veganism and a carb heavy diet is that it severely messed with my hormones.
Not only am I now hypothyroid but also insulin and leptin resistant. MY c_reactive protien is through the roof and my body is creating antibodies against my own connective tissue.
On my first few weeks of a lower-carb paleo I had the same meltdowns that you did. I can tell you it passes. The only thing I have been able to learn with this diet is patience... your body has to catch up and trust that you are giving it healthy food otherwise it will continue to have its defenses up.
I have not lost much weight at all, though unlike you, I am very overweight at this point. But people who haven't seen me in a couple of months or a few weeks even tell me how much better I look, my skin tone, my energy all seems different.
I have been unknowingly destroying my body for years upon years.... it's going to take a few months for my body to figure out that it can lower the defenses.
Hang in there.... stay pateint... and the number one tip that I have gotten here that has helped me through: up your fat! Coconut milk, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, etc they have all really helped me get through that rough patch!
on June 14, 2013
at 08:21 PM
Hi! I'm at work so I didn't have time to read all the answers above, BUT have you heard of the Carb Nite Solution by D.H.Kiefer? He's a physicist who came up with this fat burning technique for eating. He first came out with it a few years back and from what I understand has more recently come across the whole Paleo idea and his diet is COMPLETELY doable on Paleo. Easier, if you ask me. The basic idea is go ULTRA low carb (less than 30g a day!) for 10 days. On the 10th night, you basically have a carb fest. The next morning, back on ULC for a week. Then every week you have a Carb Nite. People feel differently about this approach. My sister says this is just teasing you with carbs and it's not sustainable. The thing is, this is a power diet. You have to go off of it and onto normal Paleo after 6 months (or sooner if you've reached your fat loss goals). It sounds like you have some pretty serious goals so I'd check out the book if I were you! I did it for a week (had to stop because of an appointment I had... ew) and lost 8 pounds! I'm about to restart the program. The website I'd start at is athlete.io which is kind of all-encompassing for all kinds of body goals. There should be a link for Carb Night Solution as well. I hope this helps!!
on June 11, 2013
at 05:03 PM
Hi KitKat, your story sounds similar to mine.
As far as the Vegan thing goes, those of us who have trouble on that diet short term seem to have problems with methylation. We do very poorly without any animal foods in the diet. I wish more people knew about this, cause it's about 40 percent of the population that have these defects from what I gather.
I found out through some genetic testing that I'm homozygous for MTHFR A1298c(not sure if I said that correctly) so I don't generate BH4 properly which helps to detoxify ammonia and is a rate limiting factor for the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, melatonin, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.
Okay what the heck does that mean? Well basically people with this defect can have a deficiency in these neurotransmitters. This makes perfect sense to me, as most of my life I've been a sugar burner, and was not a happy camper on a low carb diet. Carbohydrates help tryptophan get into the brain and produce serotonin and melatonin.
So when I'm restricting carbs I'm basically fighting my own biochemistry all the while being hard on myself and wondering what the heck is wrong with me! I'm not saying you have any of these defects, just that it's important to understand that everyone is different. A certain macro nutrient ratio may work well for a group of people but not for another.
A high fat ancestral diet can be a bit of a rabbit hole if your having trouble with digestion. It sounds like your insulin sensitive(a really good thing) so you would not have to be low carb to lose weight, in fact there is very little added benefit between low and high carb in terms of weight loss when this is the case.
I hope this helps you out some, at the very least I hope you go easy on yourself, try to see Paleo as an 80/20 thing.
on June 11, 2013
at 05:02 PM
I'll throw my 2 cents in from my own experiences (and experiences I've seen with others).
First and foremost, don't count your calories. A calorie from from a carb is different from a calorie from protein or fat, and likewise your body will either absorb or process them differently depending on what you eat. This is why Paleo is highly recommended for people because it is based on whole foods, and likewise our body's absorb and process them better.
As for what you can do to improve digestion, try eating a few tsp of sauerkraut or kimchi before a regular meal. They are both supposed to aid digestion due to their acidic content.
Fats are also your friend. They help sate the appetite, as well as, being your body's preferred energy source. It wants to burn fat, not carbs, and fat will fill you up much more than carbs ever will. Don't shy away from things like avocado/guacomole, oils, heavy cream (if you can handle dairy).
If your strictly eating whole foods, the calories will take care of themselves. You'd be hard pressed to rack up your calories unless your a ferocious carnivore lol. As a general rule of thumb, I go by the primal eating plan which essentially is exactly like Paleo with the exception that it allows dairy.
Under the primal plan it basically lists that the carb in-take from 0-50 will generally throw you into ketosis after a few days. Some people can handle this, but many can not (and it sounds like you fall into this category). It also isn't recommended for extended periods of time, plus it really is only recommended under medical supervision. 50-100 carbs has been said to be the sweet spot for weight loss. If your eating nothing but whole foods, you'll be hard pressed to ever have over 100 in a day. 100-150 is generally your maintenance zone.
Something to try though which I know has worked for many others to shed fat is to introduce both sprinting and HIIT training to weekly workouts. Sprinting is basically as it sounds.. sprint. Start off with whatever you can handle, but do it in maybe 50-100m bursts, anywhere from 5-10 sets for once a week. HIIT training, almost the same as sprinting. Sprint in short bursts, then jog, then sprint, jog etc.. Again, start off with what you can handle, but if you can get up to about 15 min non-stop 1-2x per week, your laughing. Combining those with Paleo should help shed the excess fat. This combination has done wonders for many people (including me).
One thing to note though, do not view carbs as a bad thing, our bodies need them. This is very apparent after workouts. Your muscles need an adequate supply of glycogen before workouts and especially after. Whenever you workout, I'd suggest your densest carb intake should be after your workout.
Hope this helps, I do have a tendency to go on and on. If you get anything from this.. remember this:
Paleo is a lifestyle not a weight loss vehicle. Fat loss is one of the benefits of Paleo if tailored correctly.
on June 11, 2013
at 04:31 PM
highly recommend this too: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/02/perfect-health-diet-weight-loss-version/
The Perfect Health Diet “plateau range” for carbs and protein is 600 to 1200 calories. Eating less than 600 combined carb+protein calories per day raises the specter of either protein deficiency (leading to hunger) or glucose deficiency (leading to zero-carb dangers).
So if a typical daily intake is 400 carb calories and 300 protein calories, there’s really not much room to cut protein or carbs.
Remember that the body doesn’t have a significant store of carbs; the body’s total glycogen supply amounts to about a day’s needs. Nor does it have a store of protein, apart from skeletal muscle; and you don’t want to lose your muscle.
But it does have a large store of fat – those adipose cells that you want to shrink.
So to conserve muscle and reduce fat tissue, you have to eat your normal allotment of protein and carbs while restricting fat intake. As long as there is no serious dysfunction of adipose cells, they will release fat as needed to meet the body’s fat needs. And that’s what you want – fat being moved out of adipose cells to be burned.
So your calorie-restricted weight loss diet will be just as nourishing as your regular diet. Only the source of the nourishing fats – adipose cells instead of food – will be different.
Diets low in choline strongly promote obesity. Therefore, anyone seeking to lose weight should be sure to eat a choline-rich diet.
The easiest way to do that is to eat 3 eggs a day and a ¼ pound beef liver once a week.
In addition, I would recommend that every person on a weight-loss diet take our full supplement regimen: a daily multivitamin, D, K2, C, magnesium, copper, chromium, iodine, and selenium. Also, I would suggest taking our optional B vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and choline (note the exclusion of niacin and folic acid).
More information of use for you there....don't lose weight just for your runway walk though...
on June 11, 2013
at 04:06 PM
Having a huge breakfast helps ALOT! also, keep on eating everything you need to before 8pm . Your metabolism slows itself after that time usually. IF you need to cheat, get yourself a gluten free rice bread slice or a Siggis icelandic non fat yogurt cup. It's not paleo but defiantely works when you want to eat the whole cake. Ive been there alot.
on June 11, 2013
at 01:56 PM
Hi Kitkat, do you have some money to spare? I would recommend getting a copy of the GAPS diet book.
GAPS stands for gut and psychology syndrome. There is a really strong relationship between your gut and your brain - a lot of serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters are generated in your gut. Thus it should be no surprise that what you eat affects how you feel. Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride explains it a lot better than me in her book.
Basically, I wouldn't be surprised that you are binging - your body is starving, even if you're eating a ton of food at certain times, and you have probably been starving since your vegan/fruitarian time.
Going paleo full force might not be the best thing, and you're right, you do need to work on your digestion. You may or may not have a good balance of bacteria in your gut. That will make it hard for you to lose weight no matter how hard you try. You may also be inbalanced in hormones like ghrelin and leptin. These are produced in disordered amounts by anorexics, or people who have been doing disordered eating like fruitarian, vegan diets. It's still possible to do disordered eating on paleo. Don't forget that. this isn't a cure-all diet for your problems. What paleo probably helps most people do is learn about how their food choices affect their weight, mind, body, soul, sleep and all the other things that make you human and well functioning.
I would strongly advise you to do the following:
find a place where you can find either good quality chicken bones, beef bones, or pork bones and boil them in water with a little salt, bay leaf, carrot and onion.
If it's too fatty for you (depends on the kind of bones you get), skim it
Add salt to taste and drink the broth. When you get hungry, eat some meat from the broth and the boiled carrots. Broth has a lot of good things for your body - nourishing protein, gelatin, glutamine -the list goes on and on and on.
I promise, your digestion will change a lot. You will get better. but keep in mind, it will take time. Don't focus on losing weight, just focus on getting better digestion. You can get to a healthy weight and your digestion will be better but it's going to take time and you have to forgive yourself for whatever foods you have eaten before, and for your body shape and size. Don't worry about IF, don't worry about keto, don't worry about being a model just yet.
Please, please, please, go see a GAPS practioner.
I promise you, it will at least help your digestion, your skin, and your brain.
Don't do this on your own, it can be hard and you can get obsessed.
Also, for some other food for thought, please see the movie Picture Me and read this article:
I was working for Air France Magazine, and my agency calls me and says, "One of our girls had an allergic reaction midway through a shoot and had to go." They told me she'd gotten hair in her eyes while they were cutting her bangs. They said, "Get down there!" It was really weird when I got there. So they do my hair and makeup. Then the photographer was shooting, and he's using a UV flash, and it burned the first six layers of the whites of my eyes. Six cell layers. It even burned the assistant's arm.
After the shoot is finished, I'm rushed to the hospital and the other model was already there being treated for burns. For three hours, I worked on that shoot while the girl who went before me was being treated in the hospital. They knew what had happened to her, and they still had me work.
or read this one: http://nymag.com/thecut/2009/06/new_documentary_explores_rampa.html
Sara Ziff began modeling at the age of 14 in New York. At her third casting, in the East Village, models went in to see the photographer one by one. When it was her turn, the photographer said he needed to see her without her shirt. Then he said it was still hard for him to imagine her for the story, so he asked her to take her pants off, too. Nervous, just 14 years old, and eager to succeed in her new profession, she obliged.
I think it ends with the photographer asking her for a hand job...
Just realize that no one is going to want to take as good of care of you as YOU. NO ONE ELSE. Make yourself a priority and pleasing yourself a priority. ask yourself in 10 years, would that future me, looking down on me, be proud of the way I handled this obstacle?
I'm sure you are a beautiful girl with a beautiful height and good health, just not GREAT. you want to be glowing and being healthy will help you do that.