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Help a newbie with diet questions?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 19, 2012 at 5:35 AM

I'm new to the paleo/primal diet, and I've been having some question about whether I'm "doing it right".

Before starting on April first, I very rarely ate breakfast, ate a lot of hamburger and fries meals and went heavy on the beer after work. I know this was high carb and gluten, but I'm also thinking it was high fat with only moderate protein. If i got hungry between meals, chips or a Cup of Noodles was the usual snack. I love beer; enough that it wasn't unusual for me to come home with six or eight new-to-me beers to try while winding down at night. I'm guessing I was in the 2500-3500 calorie per day range.

I'm now following the first 30 day diet from Paleo Solution fairly closely, with the removal of my beloved beer (well, except for a GF six-pack the first week). I have a few tequila- or gin-based drinks a night as the only "cheat".

The portions on this diet seem tiny compared to what I'm used to eating, yet I rarely find myself able to eat close to the recommended portion size from the menu. I'm hungriest in the morning, so I think I get a majority of my energy from that first meal.

A typical day for me might be: 4 hard boiled eggs, bacon or sausage, and an avocado for breakfast; a salad with 5 oz (by weight) of spring mix or spinach or romaine, chicken breast or avocado, dressed with XVOO and balsamic for lunch, and a beef and elk ragout over roasted green beans, or ground pork curry for dinner.

Most days, I'll bring a portion of the food in and only eat half of it. The first week, I was having the feeling of being really full but getting hunger pangs, but that's gone now. Recently, I'm only eating when I'm hungry, no matter when that is, but I find myself getting full very quickly.

My main worry is that I'm getting too much vegetal carbohydrates and skewing the protein/fat percentage down. I'm also a bit concerned that I might be becoming more satisfied with fewer calories, but I'm, again, skewing the balance towards the wrong side.

I'm 41, 5' 11", and about 50 lbs. overweight at 247. I've also dropped about 15 lbs. since starting, and I have no exercise routine; I'm beginning that in two weeks.

Thoughts?

EDIT: I should add that my blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides were freaking my doctor out. I'm trying this as a potential life style to fix those issues, in addition to weight, not just a "lose 50 pounds" fad.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2012
at 10:57 PM

@Blitherakt - Fat isn't a supplement. Think of mashed potatoes. Think of them made with water. Now think of them made with a big scoop of butter. Make some while slowly adding butter and use as much as you need to to make them delicious and no more. You don't need to deliberately add extra fat.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on April 19, 2012
at 09:29 PM

Ah, [here's](http://paleohacks.com/questions/55184/green-beans-vegetable-or-legume#axzz1sWXnTA6O) the thread.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on April 19, 2012
at 09:28 PM

@Sarah: I love, Love, LOVE! green beans (and lima beans, and...) and it was in the recipe in the book. I did a bit of research on them (a bunch here) and the consensus seems to be that you're eating them mostly for the pods, not the beans, and because the beans are generally tiny by comparison, the amount of anti-nutrients in the beans isn't enough to worry about it most cases.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 19, 2012
at 12:53 PM

Walking is the perfect execise to start out with. You can add other things when you feel up to it. Trigs and blood pressure should come down on a paleo diet, especially if you lose some weight. HDL will probably increase, so total cholesterol may or may not end up lower. But most of us don't worry too much about that.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 19, 2012
at 12:49 PM

Avoid most of the liquid oils, olive oil is okay. Cook with coconut oil or animal fats like ghee, tallow, lard. It's sounds like you are doing fine, just stick with it!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 19, 2012
at 12:44 PM

Most of us have gone through the phase of doubting whether this is healthy or not. It is very important to research it yourself and decide. One point is that humans have been eating roughly like this for millions of years and we survived pretty well. Beer, chips and noodles are a relatively recent dietary change. Which should we be more suspicious of? Note that humans have survived well on a wide variety of fat and carb ratios, but only recently had easy access to refined flour/sugar, vegetable oil, trans fats, HFCS, processed and fast food, and tons of weird chemical ingredients like MSG.

4d19018c899ad4e4c8a8bff5515449e1

(242)

on April 19, 2012
at 09:52 AM

Why green beans but not legume?

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on April 19, 2012
at 07:32 AM

After thinking about it a bit more, there's not a lot of "mainstream" support for this lifestyle. I view this as a heavy reduction in daily caloric intake and wonder: is it safe, and do I need to shift the nutrient balance given what I perceive to be abnormally low eating habits. I feel better than I have in 20 years, I'm not getting debilitating hunger spikes where I feel like I'm going to pass out, I'm looking at my ratios of veg to protein to fat, and I think I'm doubting that what I'm doing is "healthy". At the lowest level, is this experience typical, or am I doing more harm?

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on April 19, 2012
at 07:18 AM

Cool. I tend to hate fruit, so fructose isn't likely to be a problem for me. I'll supplement fat regularly while cooking with rendered duck fat or clarified butter/ghee for flavor. Any particular fat sources (besides chemical or legume) I should steer clear of? I'm still learning the unsaturated/polyunsaturated/saturated fat deal.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on April 19, 2012
at 07:15 AM

I guess it's more quantity of the vegetal stuff. I could easily eat a pound of green beans in a sitting, or at least that amount of asparagus or broccoli. I think I'm probably at the newbie "I get it, but I don't really get it" stage, and I'm second-guessing the carb load. I don't really have a good grasp of cooking for the proper balance yet, and was looking for confirmation of or guidance on "proper" starting balance.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2012
at 06:43 AM

VLC or moderate carb will have the same positive impact on BP, Cholesterol and trigs. Generally I'd say watch the fructose if you are having trig issues but hit plenty of veggies and yams plus meat. I would not be scared of Saturated fat but I would not deliberately add large amounts to your food. It will slow ya down.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2012
at 06:39 AM

It doesn't look to me like you are getting many carbs, so I can't see why you worried about getting "too much"?

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on April 19, 2012
at 05:51 AM

Thanks. I added a clarification to the original question prompted from your answer.

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1 Answers

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77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2012
at 05:41 AM

Their is no "wrong side" if the scale is moving. If your carbs are coming from veggies and you enjoy that sort of thing? Go for it. I've lost similar amounts of way on VLC and Moderate carb Paleo. (50+lbs on each)

4d19018c899ad4e4c8a8bff5515449e1

(242)

on April 19, 2012
at 09:52 AM

Why green beans but not legume?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2012
at 06:43 AM

VLC or moderate carb will have the same positive impact on BP, Cholesterol and trigs. Generally I'd say watch the fructose if you are having trig issues but hit plenty of veggies and yams plus meat. I would not be scared of Saturated fat but I would not deliberately add large amounts to your food. It will slow ya down.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 19, 2012
at 12:49 PM

Avoid most of the liquid oils, olive oil is okay. Cook with coconut oil or animal fats like ghee, tallow, lard. It's sounds like you are doing fine, just stick with it!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2012
at 10:57 PM

@Blitherakt - Fat isn't a supplement. Think of mashed potatoes. Think of them made with water. Now think of them made with a big scoop of butter. Make some while slowly adding butter and use as much as you need to to make them delicious and no more. You don't need to deliberately add extra fat.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on April 19, 2012
at 07:18 AM

Cool. I tend to hate fruit, so fructose isn't likely to be a problem for me. I'll supplement fat regularly while cooking with rendered duck fat or clarified butter/ghee for flavor. Any particular fat sources (besides chemical or legume) I should steer clear of? I'm still learning the unsaturated/polyunsaturated/saturated fat deal.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on April 19, 2012
at 05:51 AM

Thanks. I added a clarification to the original question prompted from your answer.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on April 19, 2012
at 09:28 PM

@Sarah: I love, Love, LOVE! green beans (and lima beans, and...) and it was in the recipe in the book. I did a bit of research on them (a bunch here) and the consensus seems to be that you're eating them mostly for the pods, not the beans, and because the beans are generally tiny by comparison, the amount of anti-nutrients in the beans isn't enough to worry about it most cases.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on April 19, 2012
at 09:29 PM

Ah, [here's](http://paleohacks.com/questions/55184/green-beans-vegetable-or-legume#axzz1sWXnTA6O) the thread.

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