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nekopowah

Caloric deficit confusion and frustration

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So for the past 3 years I've been trying to paleo and obviously failing. So I'm at 288 now, and I am still super stupid confused on what I'm supposed to be eating. 

 

I just want something to tell me really what to eat and how much of it so I can quit with this gaining a pound every week stupidity.

 

So I'm staring at IIFYM, and it's telling me that my TDEE is 2591. They say to subtract 20% ("reckless" because I want this stupid fat off me) which gives me 2072. That does not seem right at all. About 6 months ago I tried to eat 1800 calories and I shot up to the 288 that I currently am at. So I'm at a loss.  

 

This last challenge I WAS trying to eat 1200 to 1350 which also isn't working, and so now I don't know what to do. Not eating isn't working, eating isn't working. What else is there?

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If you truly stick to about 2000 calories per day, you'll definitely lose the fat over time.  The tricky part is knowing if you're actually around that number.  Counting is a pain in the butt to do correctly.  If you're not using measuring cups and a food scale every time, then unfortunately your "counting" isn't likely to help.  When I first committed to counting as perfectly as I could, I was surprised how sneaky calories could be.  I don't do strict counting anymore because, again, it's a pain in the butt, but dedicating myself to the exercise for a few weeks was illuminating.

 

There are other approaches to help you stick with ~2000 calories per day besides strict counting.  Restriction diets like paleo try to make it harder for you to go above your calorie goal by making easy-to-overeat foods off limits.  It's important to keep in mind, though, that the other foods you're eating still have calories.  Eating too much personally hunted and farmed meat and veggies can and will make you fat, just like eating too much garlic bread will.

 

Another option is to follow the weight watchers program, which is really quite good.  The point system makes counting much easier than using food scales and measuring cups all the time.

 

At the end of the day, you're looking to get into the right ballpark and stay there over time.  Some days you'll eat more than others, but so long as over the course of weeks and months you're in a reasonable deficit, everything's a-okay.

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I have done my fitness pal for ages now, which is where I'm getting my numbers from. I am unable to be 100% precise, but I do my best. I do have a kitchen scale that I use a lot as well. 

 

What I don't get is the whole eating 2000 calories thing. That doesn't make sense. 3,500 calories = 1 pound. If I eat almost a pound a day, and my body uses 2591, that's only a small deficit of calories. How is my body going to lose fat when I'm eating so many calories? Shouldn't it be the less you eat the more your body depends on the fat that's stored? Going that high just seems like a recipe for disaster and I'm already at 288. Nobody wants me to get any higher than that.

 

Also weight watchers = never again. I tried that mess once. Won't ever do it again. I'll stick with my paleo.

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2000 calories =/= 1lb. c.3500 calories = c.1lb of FAT.

There are a few common causes of failure with weight loss. Here are some of the most common:

  • Incorrect tracking (on average people were underestimating their intake by 40% when left to their own devices)
  • Incomplete tracking ("Oh, this little chocolate doesn't count")
  • "It's paleo/clean/healthy therefore I can eat as much as I like"
  • "I'm having a cheat day, I've been good all week"
  • "But I'm low carb!"

Any or all of these could be contributing to the problem. There's also an outside possibility that you have a metabolic issue (this is very uncommon but it is possible).

 

What is your diet like? I know you've said you're paleo but what do you actually eat?

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Ok this is what I been doing since this challenge, minus my birthday and the tour I went on for a day:

 

Breakfast: nothing

Lunch: salad: 2 cups spinach, 2 boiled egg chopped up, 2 tbsp bacon bits, 1tbsp feta, 5 tomatoes, pinch of carrots and Caesar dressing

Dinner varies but its either:

pork roast from crock pot with carrots, celery, onions

baked salmon, 1 cup rice, broccoli or asparagus

stir fry chicken breast, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots (stir fry as in I just fry it on the stove in a pan)

stir fry pork, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots (same)

or

hamburgers with either no bun or a gluten free bun with sweet potato cut up and baked for "fries" with spicy mustard

or sometimes when I have the cash I get a beach club unwhich from Jimmy Johns which is turkey breast, avacado spread, cucumber, provolone, tomato and mayo wrapped up in lettuce.

 

The only thing different now is that I'm eating breakfast, which is 2 pieces of bacon, 2 eggs and 2 oz of sausage. Sometimes without the sausage if my fat content is too high for the day according to MFP.

 

For a snack I'll either have a Quest bar or the Planters cashew, almond, pecan, pistachio mix (no peanuts).

 

I can't do dark chocolate anymore as it upsets my stomach so I have discovered an almond, cranberry, raisin, pistachio mix that satisfies the cravings and maybe once or twice a week I have a glass of wine. Mix as in the fruit/nuts are thrown in a bag and mixed up together, I don't add sugar the cranberries are sweet enough as it is.

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Sorry for the slow reply, I only just saw your answer.

 

I'm not sure what to suggest from here. Easing up on the bacon and sausage might help. Much though we love it, it's pretty calorie-dense with comparatively low protein.

 

How much of the nut and fruit mix do you eat?

 

How much Caesar dressing is on your lunch?

 

Do you measure your portions for dinner?

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Calorie math has never worked for me. We aren't Bunsen burners reducing food to ash.

I started AltShift 9 weeks ago and have been getting results from that. Slow, but better than everything last year putting fat on me. It was where I ended up after my Oh God someone just tell me what to do moment at one of the paleo weightlifting coaches I follow on Twitter.

Sent from my XT1049 using Tapatalk

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Calorie math has never worked for me. We aren't Bunsen burners reducing food to ash.

I started AltShift 9 weeks ago and have been getting results from that. Slow, but better than everything last year putting fat on me. It was where I ended up after my Oh God someone just tell me what to do moment at one of the paleo weightlifting coaches I follow on Twitter.

Umm... Actually, when it comes down to it, we are. There are hormonal reactions involved but that doesn't stop the fact that it is basically calories in vs calories out. It's just that sometimes people struggle to grasp the numbers involved.

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Ok this is what I been doing since this challenge, minus my birthday and the tour I went on for a day:

 

Breakfast: nothing

Lunch: salad: 2 cups spinach, 2 boiled egg chopped up, 2 tbsp bacon bits, 1tbsp feta, 5 tomatoes, pinch of carrots and Caesar dressing

Dinner varies but its either:

pork roast from crock pot with carrots, celery, onions

baked salmon, 1 cup rice, broccoli or asparagus

stir fry chicken breast, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots (stir fry as in I just fry it on the stove in a pan)

stir fry pork, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots (same)

or

hamburgers with either no bun or a gluten free bun with sweet potato cut up and baked for "fries" with spicy mustard

or sometimes when I have the cash I get a beach club unwhich from Jimmy Johns which is turkey breast, avacado spread, cucumber, provolone, tomato and mayo wrapped up in lettuce.

 

The only thing different now is that I'm eating breakfast, which is 2 pieces of bacon, 2 eggs and 2 oz of sausage. Sometimes without the sausage if my fat content is too high for the day according to MFP.

 

For a snack I'll either have a Quest bar or the Planters cashew, almond, pecan, pistachio mix (no peanuts).

 

I can't do dark chocolate anymore as it upsets my stomach so I have discovered an almond, cranberry, raisin, pistachio mix that satisfies the cravings and maybe once or twice a week I have a glass of wine. Mix as in the fruit/nuts are thrown in a bag and mixed up together, I don't add sugar the cranberries are sweet enough as it is.

 

Other than the wine you didn't mention beverages. You aren't slamming a bunch of glasses of milk or juice or some such with every meal are you? Those calories add up pretty quickly.

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Only thing I would add is to focus including veg into your snacks rather than dried fruit and nuts.  they are so calorie dense, I find I have to really over eat nuts to feel sated and this pushes calories up.  Or have say 3 or 4 nuts along side a large portion of carrots, celery or similar. this way you can reduce your calories whilst still getting your snack fix.  Fresh fruit would also be better than raisins due to more water spreading calories further.

 

At the end of the day,  eat less calories than you burn and you will lose weight (what ever you eat)  You are either over estimating the calories you burn (im currently 220lb and sit at a desk all day, looking to lose 1lb per week) myfitnesspal gives me a target of 1500 calories per day, everyone is different but people always over estimate how much activity it requires to burn off calories.

 

The best news is you are and have been clean eating for a good amount of time, you just need to change those foods that are providing too many calories for lower calorie alternatives.

 

Paleo is not a weight loss diet, it is a diet based on making our bodies healthier by recognising the human bodies inability to process certain foods which in some people can cause ill health.  those foods (farmed grains in general) are also high in calories so Paleo can be easier to lower your calorie intake, but it isn't a given. 

 

Also look to increase your fluid intake, this helps keep you feeling fuller for longer and also helps your body operate better.  You could always make veg stock if you want something savoury to drink with meals.  

 

My mindset (which works for me, but maybe not for others) is to eat as much as I want of Veg so I feel full, only adding small amounts of other things to give flavour, interest and make sure I get suitable needs protein, fats etc.  

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