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Paleo eating questions: Food Group Ratios/Caloric Intake

Answered on February 27, 2013
Created January 30, 2013 at 2:37 AM

Hey guys, I'm a new user of paleohacks, but I've been using the site to help with my paleo adventure. I'm a 21 year old, 5'11", 163 pound male. Over the summer I read "The Paleo Solution" by Robb Wolf and I've been looking to make the leap for awhile now. Over the summer, I did crossfit for three months and I'm just getting back into again (it's been two weeks back now).

Since my return to crossfit I've been eating paleo and doing crossfit 5 times a week. The first week was pretty rough without processed carbs. I've always been a "healthy" eater, but not having my whole grain wraps/english muffins/dairy was pretty tough. I'm past that now and I don't have the foggy headed, awful feeling anymore. I'm actually feeling great as far as thinking goes! The past couple of days I've been able to focus in school a lot better and I haven't even had the craving for coffee to wake me back up!

The reason that I'm writing this post is because I'm curious if I'm eating right/enough. For the first week I didn't really grasp the concept of eating enough fat, but now I'm starting to get it. My goal for crossfit and paleo is to gain muscle and lose fat. If I could be around 170 that would be awesome. I want to be doing the right things for this to happen, but there have been days where I've felt bloated/pretty gross.

I've kept track of my eating on the MyFitnessPal app. YOUR NOT SUPPOSED TO COUNT CALORIES!!!(I've been told/read this many times haha). However, I wanted to see what the breakdown for my fat, carbs, and protein was.

Yesterday it was 14% carbs, 28% protein, and 57% fat with a total of 1488 calories.

Today it is 30% carbs, 24% protein, and 46% fat for a total of 1571 calories.

When I look at the calorie total I feel like I'm not eating enough food, but I've been feeling full everyday. Is this just my body adjusting to the paleo diet regimen? Maybe I haven't been eating enough for awhile now?!?! I've always had a slow metabolism and I've always felt that I couldn't eat as much, or what my friends were eating because it just piles on the fat (as opposed to people who can eat McDonalds everyday and not gain a pound). The thing that's ironic about that is I'm extremely active and even when I haven't been doing crossfit, I lift, run, do triathlons, etc. Maybe I just think that I have a slow metabolism and I'm depriving my body of the fuel it needs?!

Usually I eat before crossfit, but this morning I was still full, so I didn't. I really want to hit my goals and I'd like to see some progress in a month, but for that to happen I need to be doing the right things in the gym and with my eating. I know it's important to listen to your body and maybe cut some things out that don't respond well, but with the higher fat intake I'm finding it hard to find my balance (more nuts/less nuts, dairy/no dairy, etc). Any feedback is greatly appreciated. I'm extremely excited to be joining such a great group of people on paleohacks!

Day 1: Wake up 8:30 with no breakfast; Crossfit from 9:30-10:30;
Post Workout: 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1 banana, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1 scoop of 100% whey protein; Lunch(noon): 3 eggs, 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, two slices of ham (Jones brand); Snack(2:15): organic pink lady apple, 1 serving of lightly salted almonds; Snack(5:30): Egg muffin (egg, broccoli,peppers); Dinner(8:00): 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3/4 cup homemade jerk chicken, 1 yam

Day 2: Breakfast (10:30): 4 eggs cooked in coconut oil, strawberries and blackberries; Lunch (12:15): Chicken thighs, carrots; Snack (2:30): 1.5 servings of salted almonds; Snack (3:00): honey crisp apple; Crossfit from 4:30-5:30 Post-workout (5:45: 10 ounces of unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop of 100% whey protein, ?? cup of mixed berries; Dinner (8:45): Sweet Potato Casserole(homemade: ground beef/bacon/egg/sweet potato), tomato and salt

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on January 31, 2013
at 07:31 AM

Depending on how low carb you go your hunger levels may change too, I know mine did. I never really feel hungry anymore, hence I'm even more conscious about eating enough because I can clearly feel how it affects my overall energy levels and mood.

E80f3fa5e5f778036620f8b017f6a394

(5)

on January 30, 2013
at 10:10 PM

Hemming, I really appreciate the response! I felt bad because my post was so long, but thanks for taking the time to read it. It's good to hear that other people go through the same type of phase as I did (although it would be great if it never happened) and I appreciate your insight on the caloric intake. Today I trained pretty hard and I've been a lot more hungry throughout the day, so I think it's just going to be a day by day thing. Thanks again for your answer and best of luck to you as well!

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Daee038b2da136bc8e817e3889c746c5

(139)

on February 27, 2013
at 02:35 PM

I definitely think you're eating too few calories, especially since you want to gain mass. I eat paleo with low Carb high fat and I also have the trouble of consuming to few calories since I feel so full all the time, but for me it sometimes help to up the protein a bit.

oh and I eat in the following ratios: 5E% carbs (or below), 65-80E% fat and the rest protein. staying somewhere between 1900-2500. On 2200 calories I still lose weight and I'm weight stable around 2400. I Guess it all comes down to activity level.

(also I'm female, 5'9" / 140 lbs)

keep a track of your weight and if necessary up your calories.

btw, I really don't find the whey being very paleo. I would eat meat and eggs as a protein source instead. but people might disagree with me there. ;)

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32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on February 13, 2013
at 12:43 PM

I would also recommend tracking for a while, just to get a feel for proportions. If you up your fat, your calories will go up fairly easily.

If you use the site Cronometer.com, their profile for Paleo defaults to the macro ratios from the Perfect Health Diet of 15% (by cal) protein, 20% carbs, 65% fat.

It can be hard to get up to that ratio - think lots of veggies cooked in healthy fats.

0
Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on January 30, 2013
at 08:33 AM

It sounds like you're on the right track. I experienced the same 'problem' as you in the beginning, despite doing regular exercise of various kinds I had a low calorie intake because I thought I was eating enough fat. This got me into a prolonged period of feeling lethargic, having anxiety attacks and muscle cramps. Not until I started weighing all my food did I realise how much I actually needed to eat.

My point is that after I started weighing my food I increased my fat intake (I use a spreadsheet to calculate 'backwards' to make sure I get enough) and reduced my protein and carb intake. This made all the difference to me! Today my energy levels (mental and physical) are higher than ever, I never have cravings for anything 'non-paleo' and my various skin issues have disappeared. You should definitely also remember to supplement with especially sodium but probably also potassium and magnesium (at least in the beginning, sodium you should continue to supplement with).

You can go on a low food intake for a while but at some point you'll feel pain - at least I did. The process I went through I hope no one will experience which is exactly why anyone cutting carbs/starting to eat paleo/whatever should be very aware of the changes which happen in the body.

Again, this is just my 2 cents. I'm not saying you should be eating a lot more (or less). But given your goal of going to 170lbs I would say you need to eat more. I eat around 2000 - 2800 kcal/day depending on activity level and I weigh less than you and haven't gained any weight with that intake.

I hope I answered some of your questions. There is no magic formula - you have to see what works for you (which I believe is also one of Robb's ideas although I haven't read his book). I can also recommend reading Phinney & Volek's The Art And Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance' it addresses some of your thoughts.

Good luck!

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on January 31, 2013
at 07:31 AM

Depending on how low carb you go your hunger levels may change too, I know mine did. I never really feel hungry anymore, hence I'm even more conscious about eating enough because I can clearly feel how it affects my overall energy levels and mood.

E80f3fa5e5f778036620f8b017f6a394

(5)

on January 30, 2013
at 10:10 PM

Hemming, I really appreciate the response! I felt bad because my post was so long, but thanks for taking the time to read it. It's good to hear that other people go through the same type of phase as I did (although it would be great if it never happened) and I appreciate your insight on the caloric intake. Today I trained pretty hard and I've been a lot more hungry throughout the day, so I think it's just going to be a day by day thing. Thanks again for your answer and best of luck to you as well!

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