Sometimes simple is better, so here goes: I have looked at your nutrition tracker to get an idea of "what" you are including in your primal diet. Looks like you are including some dairy (cheese and half and half), as well as beans, potatoes. So based on this info. I would suggest that you maintain your current protein and fat sources and up the carbs (using healthy carb containing foods); here are some suggestions:
--lowfat milk, lowfat yogurt (since it looks like you are using dairy products) --a variety of different fruits --starchy veggies: potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, lima beans, sweet peas --beans, lentils, legumes (since it looks like your are using beans)
A couple of servings of any of these will have you right in your calorie range. It will also provide a little more carbs so you have better energy stores (glycogen) for your exercise workouts. You may find that you feel better and have better energy throughout the day.
How does this sound? Would this work? Becky Your SP Registered Dietitian
Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 6/20/2014 (08:00)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
6/18/14 3:35 P
" I'm generally not hungry between meals, so I'm not sure if snacks are the way to go, more in that I maybe need to try to get extra calories in to my meals, if that's even possible LOL"
Of course it's possible! If I could manage to get to 2000 calories a day and maintain for a month on little other than eggs, tuna, nuts, sweet potatoes, and green salads, you can for sure manage 1200 with a more varied diet! :)
Seriously, it is merely a matter of reconditioning your stomach to eat a little bit more at a time. If increasing portion size is the way you want to go, just do it slowly, to the tune of 100-200 daily calories per week, and you won't even notice the change.
[Edit: Absolutely everybody who needs to increase calories again to reach maintenance after a long period of weight loss has to face this issue -- it needs to be done and it's not insurmountable.
Honestly, even without the difficulties presented by a restricted diet and lack of access to many easy-calorie foods, lots of people still deal with this issue. We eat 1500 calories a day of junk food, take that out, and think that what's left is a normal amount of food. Sometimes we get lucky and it is. But just as often we've been far undereating on the good stuff all along, and the actual volumes necessary to maintain weight with healthy food (or even just to lose slowly) come as a shock. "How can anyone eat all that and not wind up fat as a house?" But that's reality.]
It looks like all the food you eat is fine, just that you do not eat enough.
How is weight loss going? If you are losing quickly, then you can eat more carbs, just eat bigger portions. However, if you are barely losing, then you do not want to eat more carbs, or weight loss will cease. So that is your first thing to consider. At 20 % carbs, if you eat 1400 calories, that would be 70 grams a day, instead of 45-55 that you seem to be sticking to right now. If you can lose a few lbs. a week at this level, or fast enough that you are satisfied, then just go up to 70 grams a day.
The other consideration is fat/protein. The other 80 % ( 44 fat/ 36 protein ? ). That is pretty high in protein, which isn't a problem if you like eating that much protein, but at 36 %, that would be 126 grams, and you need to decide if you want to eat that much, or can.
Last of all is fat. People tend to overlook what a LCHF diet is. low carb, HIGH FAT. On a low carb diet, 20 % carbs is pretty high, and so is 36 % protein ( on any diet ). Still the 70 grams is fine if you can lose at that level. I think 126 grams ( 36 % of 1400 ) of protein will be a little harder. So what is left is 44 % fat, which most people consider quite a high percentage. The truth is though that " most people " are following low fat, not LCHF. As part of a low carb diet, you have to realize that as you cut carbs for fuel, your body uses fat as fuel by burning it, and producing ketones. So by cutting carbs, and trying to keep fat low, you are limiting your only 2 sources of fuel.
I tend to stick to 25-30 % most days for protein, because once you eat enough protein to maintain muscle, you are just wasting it. You won't use excess protein. It can be converted into glucose in an emergency, but it is rare, and not a reliable source of fuel.
That leaves you fat, and carbs, and once you subtract out the protein, you have X amount of fat, and carbs. This is where decisions are made. If protein is 30 % for me, I have 70 % left, so if I go 10 % carbs, then that is 60 % fat ( not unusual in a LCHF diet ). If you decide to stay at 45 % fat though, you would need to up carbs to 25 %, or 87.5 grams.
So this decision is based on how many carbs you can eat, and still lose weight. If 55 is as high as you can go, then you would need to make up the calories in fat %, but if you can lose at 80-90 grams a day, you can maintain your 45 % fat.
A lot of people try to do a LCHF diet, while still being afraid of fat, and so they up protein. This is a mistake. You should eat the same amount of protein, start with higher fat. and as you up carbs, cut fat.
So if you are losing fine at 20/36/44, and think you can eat 126 grams of protein, and are reluctant to increase fat, try maintaining that ratio, and just increase to 1400. See what happens. I do have to wonder though, if your fear of fat is holding you back from quicker weight loss, and also why you are doing a high fat diet, if you want to limit fat. You can't limit fat, and carbs at the same time. It is one or the other. Straddling the fence just limits your success, but some people do quite well on moderate carb. moderate fat, high protein.
If you are one of those people, just maintain your ratios, and eat bigger portions. Why change what isn't broken? I think you will find however that since appetite is diminished, your best hope for adding calories is fat, or carbs. I doubt that you want to eat more meat/protein. So either eat more fruits and veggies, and up carbs some, or add some healthy fats, or a combo of the two most likely.
Start by setting protein. Pick a percentage. then pick how many carbs you can eat, and the rest is fat. This may be high in your opinion at first, but is why you then increase carbs as you go along. You may eat 50 % fat at first, but then increase to 30 % carbs, and drop to 40 % fat over time, eating at a level that makes you more comfortable. So if the fat is something you wish to lower/maintain, then increase the carbs, not the protein. That is high enough, and as long as you are losing, there is nothing wrong with carbs, especially the ones eaten on a Paleo type of lifestyle.
Thanks for the replies. I think I'm actually doing more Primal than Paleo, I kind of go back and forth between the two. That said, I do consume dairy and beans.
I'm generally not hungry between meals, so I'm not sure if snacks are the way to go, more in that I maybe need to try to get extra calories in to my meals, if that's even possible LOL
I do love me some beef jerky, but I haven't found any yet that doesn't have added sugar.
Keep the ideas coming, love it!
6/18/14 10:45 A
Well, I'm not quite sure. What she said was: " I'm already eating a fairly high fat diet, so I'd love some suggestions of how to squeeze in another 200-300 calories so that I can at least hit my minimum range."
Anyway - I guess that's why I prefaced mine by saying I don't do primal. I should have been more specific. I don't know much about it, lol.
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
6/18/14 10:37 A
Correct me if I'm wrong but it seemed like the OP was trying to increase calories without increasing fats any further -- that would leave out things like nuts.
Paleo does not allow dairy or legumes, so far as I understand it.
6/18/14 10:22 A
I don't do Primal - and it's so funny, when you said you went full Primal I pictured you as a cavewoman!! ha ha ha
Anyway - A nice handful of nuts is easily 200-300 calories, beef jerky, cheese, a smoothie (can you have dairy?) hummus and celery, etc.
You know who is good at this? Russel. I think his user name is Russell_40 (??).
6/18/14 9:52 A
Depending on your style of paleo or primal I would suggest looking at something that is a little more dense: so maybe some beans or chickpeas if you are eating them, maybe some sweet potatoes If you are short of proteins you could add in a protein powder, or some egg whites. Nuts are good, but they will increase your fats. Fruit is always a good source of natural carbs.
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
6/18/14 8:52 A
I'm a big fan of starchy vegetables for such purposes. You say you're currently fairly high on fat, so I'm expecting that means you have room for more carbs. Adding 1-2 servings a day should get you close to what you need. If you like white potatoes, those are fine, but also sweet potatoes, rutabagas, parsnips, winter squashes, true yams if you can find them -- there's a whole world of options.
Fruit is another option that doesn't increase fats.
Increase portion size of lean meats if that gets a big low; heck, increase portion size of everything. :) If you do it slowly, it's easier than you think.
Hunger cues, I'm coming to believe, are rather situational -- they adapt to whatever you are doing currently. So if you are too low on calories consistently, you will also eventually find your appetite to decrease. Once you get your calories up a little bit your hunger will also reset to that new normal.
I never thought I'd have to ask this question, but here I am. I have been loosely following a Primal/Paleo diet off and on since March, but last week went full Primal completely cutting processed carbs, sugar, and artificial sweetener. I've been eating to satiety and trying to listen to my hunger cues. At the end of the day, I've been logging my food to make sure that I'm staying within my calorie range recommended by Spark. The problem? I'm eating way below what I should be, like, less than 1000 calories some days. I'm already eating a fairly high fat diet, so I'd love some suggestions of how to squeeze in another 200-300 calories so that I can at least hit my minimum range. Thanks.