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Calories, VLC, Night cravings, and Amenorrhea

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 29, 2012 at 5:01 PM

So I know that this information does exist somewhere, although I had tried to search and of course my question is rather particular to me so I did not find anything that quite answered it. So here it goes:

I am 5'7", currently weight 151, have been paleo for three years with some PSMF thrown in twice but never a return to grains. I have been completely sugar free (ALL kinds) for over a year and just recently started recording what I ate into myfitnesspal again after a year hiatus. I have had a bear of a time trying to keep weight off- I am finally at a relatively comfortable spot although I would like to lean out more but I am feeling less parenoid about it now that I am counting and weighing myself once a week again. I have tried VLC without counting before and ended up getting fat- I have tertiary hypothyroidism and a very damaged metabolism from years of LF dieitng and over exercising. I have also tried the leptin reset...got fat. Not muscle, fat. I also have a lack of a period from all this up and down and disordered eating/exercising which I am hoping the fat from VLC will help reset my hormones since I have been avoiding it for quite some time a) because I only lost on a PSMF and b) because my two other VLC attempts without counting just got me fat. I have tried higher carbs: from around 75-130g and I don't have any more energy, less actually, and I never feel satisfied.

So, I bike about 5x a week from 60-90 min moderately- i.e. I live in an area with lots of bike trails so I bike everywhere I go not necessarily road biking for competition but not lazy either, I do a kettleball routine 2-3x a week for 20-30 min, and soon hopefully to be paddleboarding, swimming 2x a week, and yoga. I am currently aiming for 1400 calories with c: 5-7%, P: 25%, F: 65-70% with protein being 100g average (less than i had been but i believe I was comsuming too much before). i am bit parenoid about raising them because i do want to get leaner.

My problem is I am still getting night cravings for fats like coconut butter/coconut oil with cocoa and stevia and frequently I am literally hungry at night but then it si too late to eat. I have compulsive eating tendencies so I am really trying to solve that as well at the moment which is where logging really helps me be accountable. I would like some feedback on my calories and ratios- especially any women who have solved amenorrhea issues. I should also note that I have not achieved a normal cycle on higher carbs (of ALL ranges here- I used to be a carbo-loading competitive swimmer) either so i do not believe that carbs are what is standing in my way to regainging fertility- i have had this issue since I started getting my period at age 12.

Any help would be appreciated!

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 02, 2012
at 06:34 PM

Oops...answered too fast for my own good. Yes, *replace* some of the cardio with weights. (Don't add it in ON TOP of all the biking, swimming, etc.) And only a few times a week. Be good to your body...let her rest and recover!

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 02, 2012
at 06:32 PM

Half agree, half disagree. 1400 calories doesn't sound like anywhere near enough for your activity level. Don't be afraid to eat more food, but I wouldn't necessarily add weight lifting. You might actually do better to do LESS activity for a bit and just let your body relax a little. We tend to think we need to do more, more, more, for fat loss when in fact our bodies are screaming at us to just lay off for a while. Counterintuitive, but you might find the weight comes off a little easier when you're not pushing so hard. You do *not* want to unintentionally push yourself into adrenal fatigue.

Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on April 29, 2012
at 09:20 PM

would 1800 be more accurate? I have been through the whole "starvaton mode" issue with a past nutritionist- seriously nothing worked except PSMF so i am pretty cautious with calories.

Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on April 29, 2012
at 09:16 PM

Amusing about the reset...I pretty much found out the hard way that low carb does not equate to fat gorging at least for me especially with compulsive eating issues. I have been checked out by docs more times than i can count: I have lupus and am hypo and being treated for both. I am a mesomorph so medium build and definitely not 22% BF- despite lifting VERY heavy for over 10 years I lost lean mass.

22fcea5ec4415ff2238c663324aca40f

(556)

on April 29, 2012
at 06:18 PM

Oh yeah there has been some posts lately about unrealistic goals for women and how unhealthfully skinny most women's idea of thin is, which I must agree with. I'm not sure what you're goals are but keep them realistic for a women.

22fcea5ec4415ff2238c663324aca40f

(556)

on April 29, 2012
at 06:13 PM

It seems like you're letting something as simple as eating stress you out which is only working against you. Do not over think things. Don't focus on percentages of macronutrients and focus on eating good clean foods. Eat till you are full when you eat. I can name off several days this week I've eaten almost as many calories in one meal as you eat in a day.

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3 Answers

3
B23318c968ac589b87131d5b489d6e16

(1294)

on April 29, 2012
at 05:53 PM

I am sure more people will chime in here, but I can say for myself that 1400 calories with that much exercise would not be enough. I would be craving fats too! You can have lack of periods and be holding on to weight/gaining easily if you don't eat enough. It may be that your ratios are okay but you need to increase everything. Also, as a woman in my fertile years I have realized that pre-pregnancy may not be the best time to go for my skinniest.

Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on April 29, 2012
at 09:20 PM

would 1800 be more accurate? I have been through the whole "starvaton mode" issue with a past nutritionist- seriously nothing worked except PSMF so i am pretty cautious with calories.

2
9a79669d9c0b3bbd5ca66938ffa54727

on April 29, 2012
at 06:03 PM

Wow, that doesn't seem like enough calories with the amount of exercising you're doing. I would add more food and lighten up on the cardio, replace it with some heavy lifting a couple times a week. In my case, too much cardio and/or not enough food causes me to hold on to weight.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 02, 2012
at 06:32 PM

Half agree, half disagree. 1400 calories doesn't sound like anywhere near enough for your activity level. Don't be afraid to eat more food, but I wouldn't necessarily add weight lifting. You might actually do better to do LESS activity for a bit and just let your body relax a little. We tend to think we need to do more, more, more, for fat loss when in fact our bodies are screaming at us to just lay off for a while. Counterintuitive, but you might find the weight comes off a little easier when you're not pushing so hard. You do *not* want to unintentionally push yourself into adrenal fatigue.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 02, 2012
at 06:34 PM

Oops...answered too fast for my own good. Yes, *replace* some of the cardio with weights. (Don't add it in ON TOP of all the biking, swimming, etc.) And only a few times a week. Be good to your body...let her rest and recover!

0
80890193d74240cab6dda920665bfb6c

(1528)

on April 29, 2012
at 06:19 PM

The dirty little secret of the leptin reset is that for every 3 women who lost weight, 9 gained and stopped, as was obvious at the start of the so-called Monster Thread. Then those few for whom it worked were the only ones still on it, and they claimed a 100% success rate. Interesting how that works, right? :) Let me offer you some tough love here in accord with the other replies. 1400 cals is too low. You say you were "fat" but don't tell us your BMI or bodyfat %. Most women have the most regular periods at around 20-22% bodyfat. Are you there, or are you below?

If you have a normal body fat and are eating enough cals (which you aren't now), your period should resume in about 3 months. If it doesn't, you need to see a doctor. You may have PCOS or other hormone problems that need to be addressed.

Dr. Michael Fox of Florida has used a diet with ratios like yours to restore cycles to women in his clinic - so it can work. I would still advise you to get a medical checkup first to rule out serious issues.

Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on April 29, 2012
at 09:16 PM

Amusing about the reset...I pretty much found out the hard way that low carb does not equate to fat gorging at least for me especially with compulsive eating issues. I have been checked out by docs more times than i can count: I have lupus and am hypo and being treated for both. I am a mesomorph so medium build and definitely not 22% BF- despite lifting VERY heavy for over 10 years I lost lean mass.

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