Help with calories and macros?

OMADZombie
OMADZombie Posts: 15 Member
edited March 2015 in Social Groups
Hey everyone! I am brand new to Paleo and brand new to MFP (just joined today), so forgive me if I do something wrong. Ha. :)

I am 4 ft 10 inches tall, 37, female and weigh 261 pounds. Awful, I know but I am here to change that.

Every calculator for calories I come across tells me to eat 1200 cals (even MFP). I do not think I could survive on that. I'd go crazy. I know you eat a fair bit of fat too, but how much? I've read a few online blogs but none are really specific about macros.

I do have one concern, both my mother and grandmother had heart issues... and all that fat worries me, even though I've read studies and know it's not horrible. My mother was (she's gone now and so is my grandmother) a carb addict, she loved her pizza and cookies. Will I be ok following this type of diet? I cannot afford to go to a doctor right now as I have no insurance. Any advice is appreciated.

I'm a little lost and would love some help, thank you!

Replies

  • ascrit
    ascrit Posts: 776 Member
    edited March 2015
    You should consult with a registered dietitian or nutritionist. Most insurance companies cover the cost of the visit but you may need to consult with your primary care physician first.
  • Howbouto
    Howbouto Posts: 2,148 Member
    Welcome. I have dabbled in Paleo for quite some time. You are not finding an exact answer on how much because everyone is different. There are a lot of people on this board how are low carb/high fat (50 to 75% of calories from fat.) I myself tried this many times and it just did not work. I have found I respond best when I'm balanced w/ P/F/C. But that is just me.

    I would recommend starting with, It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. After you read the book, do a Whole30. And add things back slowly.

    As for fat, refined carbs are much more damaging than fat. By increasing your fat (I start every day with a tablespoon of grass fed butter in my sweet potato and a tablespoon of coconut oil in my coffee), will increase your overall cholestrol (which if your dr is up on the latest research knows that doesn't mean squat.) One of the many reasons that your cholestrol goes up, is you HDL go up (this is the good cholestrol that cleans the bad cholestrol out of your blood vessels) and the LDL changes it's type so it is less harmful. Your triglyercides go down (this is a very good thing).

    Be in store for sugar withdrawls, I have found water, exercise and tea help me the most to get through the worse of the it.

    Good luck.
  • KombuchaCat
    KombuchaCat Posts: 903 Member
    I feel best when I eat 60-75% fat, almost all saturated from coconut, grassfed butter, grassfed meats/lard/tallow/duckfat, etc with some oily fish and olive oil mixed in. It can be difficult for your body to process really good fat at first because it's not used to it. I'm not saying that percentage will be where you want to be but if you up the fat expect a little bit of digestive upset at first. You could try taking some digestive bitters to help. As for the heart issues I totally agree with Howbouto, it's the sugar and refined carbs that ultimately determine your cholesterol.
  • Akimajuktuq
    Akimajuktuq Posts: 3,055 Member
    Please do not eat 1200 calories. Even though you are small, you have a lot of weight to move around. I would guess that closer to 2000 would be more appropriate. But... consider that you only really need to manage WHAT you eat, tweak what works for you, and then calorie monitoring isn't very necessary. My health journey backfired from prolonged under eating and I was eating well over 1200 too.... but I should have been eating at least 2200 starting out (241, 5'6"), not 1600 or less. :(

    Healthy fats, from grass fed animals, coconuts, etc have NEVER been proven to cause heart disease. I've done a lot of research and women who eat more natural saturated fats tend to be healtier and live longer. Natural saturated fats are heart, brain, and everything healthy. The "fat is bad" is a big FAT LIE and it was perpetuated by corporate and political interests.

    Refined carbs, and sugar, plus unhealthy fats (like all those polyunsaturated ones like canola, soy,corn and other seed oils) are absolutely a recipe for heart disease, and every other ailment imaginable.

    I have resolved a very long list of health problems (see my story under success stories) plus add "diabetes" to the list. I didn't know I was diabetic when I first went Paleo, but I was/still am. I am only healthy if I maximize fats and minimize carbs (not everyone needs to eat that way, or forever, but for obesity that's a good place to start). Healthiest macro ranges for me are: 65-80% fat, 15-25% protein, 5-10 % carb (but NO MORE than that).

    That's a great macro range for disordered metabolism, obesity, depression, cancer prevention, heart health, et al.
  • SteamClutch
    SteamClutch Posts: 443 Member
    Welcome Zombie, the heavier someone is, the more calories it takes to maintain regular functions, so get your good fats and learn to cook with them, hunger has never really been an issue with me unless I had too much starch that day (which can cause hunger pangs). Listen to the above posts and pick up a paleo book to assist you with the precise methods, some were mentioned, both are good, when you are ready do a whole30.
  • OMADZombie
    OMADZombie Posts: 15 Member
    Please do not eat 1200 calories. Even though you are small, you have a lot of weight to move around. I would guess that closer to 2000 would be more appropriate. But... consider that you only really need to manage WHAT you eat, tweak what works for you, and then calorie monitoring isn't very necessary. My health journey backfired from prolonged under eating and I was eating well over 1200 too.... but I should have been eating at least 2200 starting out (241, 5'6"), not 1600 or less. :(

    Healthy fats, from grass fed animals, coconuts, etc have NEVER been proven to cause heart disease. I've done a lot of research and women who eat more natural saturated fats tend to be healtier and live longer. Natural saturated fats are heart, brain, and everything healthy. The "fat is bad" is a big FAT LIE and it was perpetuated by corporate and political interests.

    Refined carbs, and sugar, plus unhealthy fats (like all those polyunsaturated ones like canola, soy,corn and other seed oils) are absolutely a recipe for heart disease, and every other ailment imaginable.

    I have resolved a very long list of health problems (see my story under success stories) plus add "diabetes" to the list. I didn't know I was diabetic when I first went Paleo, but I was/still am. I am only healthy if I maximize fats and minimize carbs (not everyone needs to eat that way, or forever, but for obesity that's a good place to start). Healthiest macro ranges for me are: 65-80% fat, 15-25% protein, 5-10 % carb (but NO MORE than that).

    That's a great macro range for disordered metabolism, obesity, depression, cancer prevention, heart health, et al.

    Wow! Thank you so much and I'm so happy that you've gotten better. :)

  • homesweeths
    homesweeths Posts: 794 Member
    PaleoZombie, to help deal with your fears of fat, maybe watch a few movies like Fat Head.

    Sugar, the Bitter Truth


    Fat Chance, Fructose 2.0


    I know I found them helpful.
  • homesweeths
    homesweeths Posts: 794 Member
    Please do not eat 1200 calories. Even though you are small, you have a lot of weight to move around. I would guess that closer to 2000 would be more appropriate. But... consider that you only really need to manage WHAT you eat, tweak what works for you, and then calorie monitoring isn't very necessary. My health journey backfired from prolonged under eating and I was eating well over 1200 too.... but I should have been eating at least 2200 starting out (241, 5'6"), not 1600 or less. :(

    Healthy fats, from grass fed animals, coconuts, etc have NEVER been proven to cause heart disease. I've done a lot of research and women who eat more natural saturated fats tend to be healtier and live longer. Natural saturated fats are heart, brain, and everything healthy. The "fat is bad" is a big FAT LIE and it was perpetuated by corporate and political interests.

    Refined carbs, and sugar, plus unhealthy fats (like all those polyunsaturated ones like canola, soy,corn and other seed oils) are absolutely a recipe for heart disease, and every other ailment imaginable.

    I have resolved a very long list of health problems (see my story under success stories) plus add "diabetes" to the list. I didn't know I was diabetic when I first went Paleo, but I was/still am. I am only healthy if I maximize fats and minimize carbs (not everyone needs to eat that way, or forever, but for obesity that's a good place to start). Healthiest macro ranges for me are: 65-80% fat, 15-25% protein, 5-10 % carb (but NO MORE than that).

    That's a great macro range for disordered metabolism, obesity, depression, cancer prevention, heart health, et al.

    I have found this advice to be very sound. Yes, it doesn't work for everyone (see comment above where commenter says a balanced approach worked best for her). Some people can't function on very low carbs. Some people have to go very low (below 30g daily) to go into ketosis, or fat-burning mode. For me, I find I go into ketosis somewhere between 50-80g daily, oddly enough. I have a very small range, though -- if I go above 100g two days in a row, the carb cravings start to kick in again. So long as I average between 50g and 80g a day (with one or two 100-150g days in a week's time), I'm good.

    I also seem to do best when I set my fat to 60% or more. Of course, I'm talking "good" fats -- the saturated fats conventional science will caution you against. Coconut oil, avocados, eggs from free-range chickens, lard from pastured pigs, butter or ghee (from grassfed cows, when I can get it), and a little olive oil on salads. All those supposedly healthy polyunsaturated fats are actually poison to your body and contribute to metabolic disorders and weight gain, from what I've read.

    It makes me so mad, that my parents were *so* health conscious (not that they were health conscious, but that they were led astray by the voices of "experts"). They bought margarine instead of butter, used polyunsaturated oils in cooking, ate lean meat, lots of grains and veggies... and suffered for it, and didn't know what they were doing wrong. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack, cancer... I really hope I can beat the family medical history with this paleo approach.
  • punchgut
    punchgut Posts: 210 Member
    Hey everyone! I am brand new to Paleo and brand new to MFP (just joined today), so forgive me if I do something wrong. Ha. :)

    I am 4 ft 10 inches tall, 37, female and weigh 261 pounds. Awful, I know but I am here to change that.

    Every calculator for calories I come across tells me to eat 1200 cals (even MFP). I do not think I could survive on that. I'd go crazy. I know you eat a fair bit of fat too, but how much? I've read a few online blogs but none are really specific about macros.

    I do have one concern, both my mother and grandmother had heart issues... and all that fat worries me, even though I've read studies and know it's not horrible. My mother was (she's gone now and so is my grandmother) a carb addict, she loved her pizza and cookies. Will I be ok following this type of diet? I cannot afford to go to a doctor right now as I have no insurance. Any advice is appreciated.

    I'm a little lost and would love some help, thank you!


    First, outside of a genetic issue, eating fat will not cause heart disease. I've posted things on this before, but here is the short version. De novo lipogenesis, the liver converting sugars into fat, is the enemy. There are two things that force the liver into this state: 1) a high carbohydrate diet. 2) alcohol. When you put the liver into a state of de novo lipogenesis, your blood serum levels of triglycerides will be in a permanently elevated state, serum LDL will be likewise elevated and HDL will be reduced. You're in a state of improper lipid metabolism. To reverse this, reduce your carbohydrate intake and increase your fat intake. To increase HDL, eat more saturated fats in order of small, medium and then large chain fatty acids. Coconut oil is a medium chain saturated fatty acid. You get small chain saturated fats (SFA's) from eating vegetable high in soluble fiber, which feeds your gut microbiome and they will convert it into SFA's.

    MFP tells every girl to eat 1200 cals., please don't. That number of calories is what is needed for maintaining life in a comma patient.

    Figure out your TDEE. http://scoobysworkshop.com/calorie-calculator/

    Here's where I will differ from other here. You need to count your calories religiously. You're over weight by quiet a bit, and need to keep track of things for a while until you get a feel for things. Use the TDEE to determine your caloric load for eating. I'm not a CICO person but there is a point at which they matter. It is important to note that as you lose weight you need to recalculate the TDEE. A lighter smaller frame takes less energy than a larger one to operate at a basic level.

    Also, everyone starts out a diet with a lot of energy. Please realize, you are not looking for a diet. You are making a lifestyle change. You have to change in order to be successful. Also, the weight not magically disappear. It took a long time to get where you are, it will take time to reverse it. The thing is you'll feel so much better. Spend the time.

    Everyone wants to go crazy with exercise, initially. You will be better served going for long walks and learning how to do body weight squats properly. Work on that for a while while you lose some weight. Protect the joints first, then worry about getting into an exercise program.

    Staci from nerdfitness helping you with squats.
  • punchgut
    punchgut Posts: 210 Member
    Also, look into a lifting program. Start light and build weights slowly. Body weight for things first and then move progressively. In other words, look into a progressive weight lifting program but learn form first, and load slowly. Do not be concerned with bulking.

    http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2011/07/21/meet-staci-your-new-powerlifting-super-hero/
  • Akimajuktuq
    Akimajuktuq Posts: 3,055 Member
    ^agreed that calories DO matter to an extent but the tendency with most women is to keep track and then drastically under-eat. That's what we've learned all of our lives and it certainly didn't prevent obesity either. Calorie obsession IS something that is detrimental for most of us and it's very worthwhile to overcome it imo. It's very heart-breaking for me to see so many "Paleo" gals still stuck in the CICO belief eating 1200 calories and focused on rapid weight loss instead of long term ideal health.

    A strict Paleo diet will prevent over-eating as long as people tailor to their own needs. For instance, people like me need to limit carbs/sugar. I also avoid treats, nuts, starchy veggies for the most part. I was diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder, but strangely, it doesn't exist when I'm Paleo.

  • cindytw
    cindytw Posts: 1,027 Member
    I have done all different ways since starting to try different diets years ago and now what I have decided to try is to LOG, to maintain my nutrient levels and macros, but to not look at the calories really. If I am starving one day and need 3000 calories, then so be it. But I am trying to maintain a lower carb, higher fat, higher protein level. My macros are 10-15% carb, 65-70% fat and 20% protein. If I minimize carbs, I do find I am less hungry to begin with.

    The other key to my approach is to really work on my fitness. Some say it doesn't matter for weight loss, but for me it does, a LOT, based on past personal experiences.