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Paleo Teen looking to actually do paleo CORRECTLY?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 12, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Ok so this might be a bit long. I'll try to sum it up lol. If you read this all I appreciate it.

OK so it started off last year when my mom suggested for me the paleo diet because I could not lose weight and thought I was eating healthy (actually no, 200 calories for breakfast then lunch, then waiting till after injured athelete program (like lifting but not that hard, tried to get the best workout in as possible) and eat 600 calories worth of good run granola, a thing of flavored greek yogurt, and a bunch of pb, and then chicken brast and roasted veggies for dinner after my workout (no cardio, just lifting w/ arms and core because broken foot/swollen discs) I was 5'7" and 150-157 pounds

So I looked up the diet and decided to try it but still eat some beans and dairy like plain greek yogurt, and have a healthy approach about it. I didn't do to much research, just the standard "no grains, no dairy, no beans, no processed food"

It was going pretty good! I got down to 120-125 pounds and was healthy and strong. I was eating 1500 calories and felt pretty good. I ate a variety of paleo foods and had 100-150 carbs a day. Kept at it...until now.

Now I'm pushing 5'8", still 5'7", 15, and 107 pounds as of last friday.

I've been restricting more and more. I got injured in two bicycle accidents and couldn't work out. I went into panic mode. I didn't want to gain weight (that was in october, I was 125ish) so I ate 1000 cals a day of just salad w/ chicken/tuna, spinach, salsa mustard, hearts of palm, and water chestnuts.

Got back to working out (30 mins hiit cardio 30-1.5 hours lifting heavy) and was scared I messed up my metabolism, so ate 1000-1300 cals a day of lettuce, chicken, salsa, tuna and guacamole and 1000> on weekends, usually around 700. I felt fine until one day my back hurt really bad, I pushed aside the pain and continued to workout until of course I made it way worse, so I couldnt workout again for a couple weeks -_-

Got back into the starve cycle of 1000 cals a day max, and could only eat breakfast and only eat before I went for a walk and the walk had to be at least 1 hour or no food at all.

Finally got the ok to start working out slowly, and felt healthy about it. Started eating a little better, 3 times a day w/ 20 mins interval cardio, not that intense. (1 minute walking, 1 min running 7.5-9 mph, any faster would've hurt my back more) and then walking incline of 15 for 5 minutes at 3.5 mph, followed my lifting either a.) leg machines or b.) bis and tris because my upper/lower back was injured. I ate about 1200-1300 calories, but had a little more variety because this was holiday time and we had some paleo holiday meal leftovers that were delicious!

FINALLY got the ok to workout again like for real. Worked back up to doing HIIT for 20-30 minutes and intense lifting for 1-1.5 hours, but scared my metabolism was screwed so ate 1300 calories a day of JUST spinach, chicken/turkey burger/tuna, salsa, guacamole, mustard, and the occasion steamed broccoli/cauliflower. Carbs at about 50-99 a day, would freak out if I went over but usually was around the 70-80 range, and the 30-50 range on weekends.

I felt fine doing this up until about 3 weeks ago. Everyday I've been feeling weak, fearing my workouts instead of looking forwards to them due to the fact I feel so weak. I tell myself it's because I need to just get into it or it's in my head, because I sit around all day and only workout about 1.5-2 hours a day and spend the rest of the day sitting on my butt for the most part. I feel like if Im sitting all day I dont need to eat, so on the weekends I only eat breakfast and dinner, and still feel guilty about it. but it ruins my weekend, especially satudays. i usually go w/ my friends but nevre eat lunch because we usually dont do anything active, and then end up feeling so weak i cant even do anything but lay there. But i am happy w/ my body and being this size, I dont want to gain and Im scared lol!

Then last monday I dont know why but I binged. Started off with a huge spaghetti squash, ate like 70% of it, then ate almost a whole thing of grapes, then 3 chicken tenderloins, cashews, blueberries....

then I was like *f it and ate a bowl of cereal, pb, half a small pumpkin bread, a banana nut muffin, crackers w/ turkey and cheese, bread w/ pb, butter, cinnamon, sugar, and jelly, lemon cracker cookeis, and then that night was like oh well i already ate bad so had a mini pizza hut pizza and a shiz load of candy.

This was the first time I've binged in two years and the first time I broke the diet since started it.

Felt full but ok, crappy next morning so skipped breakfast and felt great for the next two days. Had energy, great workouts, just felt good. But I ate about 1000 cals or less to make up for my binge.

Then last weekend I tried crossfit w/ my mom and it was so fun! then we went and did some core. I ate less than 1000 cals that day. then sunday we went to the beach and walked for over an hour and I ate about 1200 cals. Tried steak for the first time in years (never liked it... my dad sucks at cooking it but my mom rocked it) I was a bit scared to eat meat... felt like it would make me gain. But I felt amazing after eating it, way better than when i eat chicken or even fish.

But then monday again I binged! And this was worse. I ate raw canned salmon, while the raw eggs were in it (planned on making salmon patties), a chicken burger, bties of my leftover steak, then went for the bad fodos again and had almost a whole box of cereal, pb, thing of greek yogurt, honey, toast w/ pb, sugar, miricle whip, honey mustard, butter (not on one piece lol 0_0) and that night part of a burger, fries, mini pizzsa, and candy. Needless to say I feel sick right now.

But its not like when people over indulge just because its yummy, it was like FOOD JUST GIMME FOOD! I mean raw canned salmon? tf? Last time I binged I felt kinda good but this made me sick and I have no idea why i did it i told myself last week was the last time.

So now you all know how messed up I am, down to the real question:

How can I do paleo correctly? I want to stop thinking about it all the time. I'm SCARED to workout because I feel weak all the time, but scared to eat because I dont want to gain weight.

What foods should I add or take away and just how to I go about it? How many calories? wtf do I do Im a 15 year old doing this on here own lol!

*tl;dr Been eating 1000-1300 (1100 or less on weekends) calories worth of spinach, chicken, salsa, guacamole, steamed veggies and turkey burger, working out 1-1.5 hours intense, sit on butt rest of day, no more than 99 carbs a day, 15, 5'7" 107 pounds (hopefully not more now....) looking on how to maintain and be healthy on paleo. *

Oh, and I havent had my period for almost 3 years since I started all the diet crap (been dieting prior to paleo, yoyo'd, was 140, got down to 115, got injured, rocketed to 157)

4debe57f81d507bcb844f10b2ef38a83

(398)

on February 16, 2013
at 05:58 AM

Well, that's encouraging. I hope you will check back in here after a while and let us know how you are working it out.

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 13, 2013
at 11:22 AM

I like the way you look at workouts! But what about on rest days? How should I eat?

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 13, 2013
at 11:21 AM

Haha it's like once I start eating then I get hungry! But during the day I just... don't! Sometimes in school but by the time I get home it's gone. Then I start eating and I'm like "damn i guess i am hungry!" lol

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 13, 2013
at 11:20 AM

I was thinking instead of being 100% paleo more 80/20 for when Im w/ friends, and instead of limiting carbs so much to feel free to eat healthy things like squash and sweet potatoes, and not fearing anything that isn't lettuce, and just trying to be healthy. I can't do taht without advice though. I dont know how much or little to eat. I dont want to over or undereat, just be healthy, but after messing up my metabolism so much I am not sure how to start! I dont want to bring disorder crap on this website just looking for good advice. Paleo helped me a lot at first, before restiction

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 13, 2013
at 11:17 AM

I would never be vegan/vegetarian. OK, should I delete my account then? No, I was doing paleo right for a while until just had a stressful time in my life, but Im good now I just need to get out of the mindset and Im ready to be healthy, Im finally sick of feeling sick from doing this wrong.

4debe57f81d507bcb844f10b2ef38a83

(398)

on February 13, 2013
at 01:02 AM

My signals are messed up in the other direction -- I'm hungry all the time. My stomach keeps growling even when I've had a full meal that should be satisfying.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on February 12, 2013
at 08:00 PM

Zombers, please seek professional help. This is not the appropriate place to be asking advice.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on February 12, 2013
at 06:41 PM

I've had one since I was 15. I'm 38. It sucks. My head is mostly on straight now, but I have to be careful. Sometimes it just feels better to not eat. I have this saying in my head, "Make a plan to nourish myself." Planning things out on cronometer helps me, bc then my eating is outside my desires, more objective.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 12, 2013
at 06:19 PM

I'd probably not recommend you follow paleo given your history with eating disorders. I think such a restrictive diet is simply more fuel on the fire.

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 12, 2013
at 06:03 PM

ive had an eating disorder since i was 13

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 12, 2013
at 06:03 PM

the thing is my hunger singnals are all messed up. ive been dieting since i was 13. like right now i want to eat more but im not hungry...

B7e1ad6bb9ab814b8e90bdad4a472d5e

(289)

on February 12, 2013
at 03:32 PM

agree with everyone here need to get some help

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on February 12, 2013
at 02:20 PM

Almost 100% of veggies have eating disorders or disordered eating.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on February 12, 2013
at 02:20 PM

I'm inclined to agree, your relationship with food is not a healthy one. Have you ever dabbled in veganism/vegetarianism in the past?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 12, 2013
at 01:10 PM

Definitely describing disorder eating as well.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 12, 2013
at 01:09 PM

107, 5'7? You're underweight by BMI. Stop starving yourself, over-exercising, etc... Get some professional help.

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 12, 2013
at 01:02 PM

I just want to be healthy again. I don't want to gain weight though. Is there a balance? Is it just in my head is 1300 calories enough?

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4 Answers

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3
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on February 12, 2013
at 05:29 PM

First, I want to say that I think you are doing AWESOME. You totally have ownership of your health and you are acquiring knowledge about how to take care of yourself. You go girl. :) Are you getting into eating disorder territory? Yes, probably ... however, I think that most of us ladies go there at some point in our life. You just have to own it and have a plan for how not to go there too often. It can be a fine line.

I would recommend a book called Perfect Health Diet. It's a bit geeky on the science stuff, but there are 2 main things to get out of it:

(1) you need to get some carbs back into your life. Stick with safe starches (potatoes, etc), stay low on the fruit. The safe starch thing can be kind of controversial in paleo circles, but with your young metabolism and workout regime, I think you need it.

(2) you need to start tracking your macronutrient ratio. I know some people think this is overkill, but you sound like the kind of person who wants and needs the nitty gritty details and the nitty gritty plan. Perfect Health Diet recommends 15% (by cal) Protein, 20% carbs, 65% fat.

I use Cronometer.com, which is a free site. When you set up a profile, if you choose Paleo it will default to the PHD ratio above. Plan out a day of food, and see where you fall, then add in enough to meet those macros. Try it for a few weeks, and tweak if you need to. As for calories ... that's a hard one. I think 1300 sounds too low. Maybe try 1700 as a starting point? It will be easy to hit if you are getting in your fat. You may even need more if you are working out heavy.

Binge eating sounds to me like (1) sanity break! and (2) need for carbs. Don't worry about it - everyone does it. Just pick back up and keep going. If you read Good Calories Bad Calories, he talks about an experiment where they kept people on a reduced calorie diet ... but had to stop the experiment bc the subjects started having nervous breakdowns. And the "reduced calorie" diet wasn't even that low - like 1700 cal, I think, for men. The cue for hunger is POWERFUL - your body will not let you starve! If you feel the need to binge, it's because you've reached that point where your biological hunger cue is absolutely going to override your willpower.

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 12, 2013
at 06:03 PM

ive had an eating disorder since i was 13

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on February 12, 2013
at 06:41 PM

I've had one since I was 15. I'm 38. It sucks. My head is mostly on straight now, but I have to be careful. Sometimes it just feels better to not eat. I have this saying in my head, "Make a plan to nourish myself." Planning things out on cronometer helps me, bc then my eating is outside my desires, more objective.

2
Fc767764de3390b36ee6007bbe628bb3

on February 12, 2013
at 03:40 PM

Zomber, reading this made me a bit sad. I agree that your relationship with food is not healthy. But, that does not mean you cannot improve and get to a place where you are healthy and happy. I was vegetarian for a long time and felt wonderful. I am 5 feet and weighed 105lbs. Since going on Paleo, I have gained weight, my body is changing drastically and honestly, at first, I was terrified to see myself with an hourglass figure (and still am sometimes). But, I keep telling myself that I am beautiful and I also talk a lot with my friends and family members about how I feel. Having that support system has been instrumental for me, because often times, we are the only ones who see ourselves as "fat." Everyone else sees us as perfect. I suggest you talk to your mom or a close friend about how this is making you feel.

Also, continue to work out and try not to count the calories. You seem to be fairly young and do not need that stress of calorie counting. Just try to be make healthy decisions when you eat, try to keep your meals balanced. You can use a food journal to write what you've been eating down. I have also done this and it gave me a perfect visual of what I was eating (we sometimes forget how much/how little we eat) and the areas I needed to improve (i.e.cutting back on the 3-4 whole fruits I was having a day).

Lastly, don't be too hard on yourself for the binge eating. Ok, it happened,it's not the end of the world. Just pick yourself up and continue. Beating yourself over it is not going to change anything, but how you move forward, will.

Good luck and kudos to you for reaching out.

1
4debe57f81d507bcb844f10b2ef38a83

(398)

on February 12, 2013
at 05:48 PM

Zomber, the fact that you are not menstruating is definitely a warning that between the low calories you are putting in, and the high demands you are putting on your body, you are just not getting enough to eat. "Ideal weight" for your height is somewhere between 120 and about 160, depending on your frame. My problem with the "ideal weight charts" put out by insurance companies is that I think they are on the low side! Women can be very healthy carrying more. The fact that you felt GOOD after your binge is also a clue. Your body wants more nutrition.

Breast development, some padding around the hips, and menstruation are all normal and healthy for young women. If your body image is that 107 is about right or too much, then I agree that you might be living in eating-disorder territory.

You might try this approach: Stop counting altogether. Don't weigh and measure. Don't count either carbs OR calories. Continue to keep the non-paleo foods out of your diet, but otherwise eat what you want, in lots of variety.

Learn to listen to your body's hunger signals. Eat when you are hungry. Eat slowly, chew your food, enjoy it. Stop eating when you think you have had enough and wait 20 minutes for your body to catch up with what you just ate. If you are still hungry, it's ok to eat some more.

4debe57f81d507bcb844f10b2ef38a83

(398)

on February 13, 2013
at 01:02 AM

My signals are messed up in the other direction -- I'm hungry all the time. My stomach keeps growling even when I've had a full meal that should be satisfying.

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 12, 2013
at 06:03 PM

the thing is my hunger singnals are all messed up. ive been dieting since i was 13. like right now i want to eat more but im not hungry...

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 13, 2013
at 11:21 AM

Haha it's like once I start eating then I get hungry! But during the day I just... don't! Sometimes in school but by the time I get home it's gone. Then I start eating and I'm like "damn i guess i am hungry!" lol

4debe57f81d507bcb844f10b2ef38a83

(398)

on February 16, 2013
at 05:58 AM

Well, that's encouraging. I hope you will check back in here after a while and let us know how you are working it out.

0
A0c49f398499246c623e6527e9dd5ca2

(548)

on February 12, 2013
at 07:50 PM

Stop to care about your calories!

You have leaned out, you are healthy, so listen to your body! He'll tell you when he has had enough. You won't gain weight just because you stop working out for a few weeks while maintaining your calorie levels.

As long as you eat the right food, don't worry about the amount of calories your eating! Think about all the nutritious, fabulous nutrients you just consumed!

And if you don't feel the drive to workout, don't workout. Don't force yourself to look at the workouts as an permission to eat more on that day. That's CW, hence non-sense!

Eat the right food! Eat to satiation! Listen to your body!

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 13, 2013
at 11:22 AM

I like the way you look at workouts! But what about on rest days? How should I eat?

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