Monday, September 24, 2012

Today's Stats, and Fat

Today I went to the gym for my strength training workout. I pushed it harder than ever. I did not have time to swim today, but I will bike for 10 minutes this evening.

Foodwise I feel like I ate too many carbs. I feel lousy when I eat them; I guess part of me still wants to eat the way I used to eat (for example, I had tuna for lunch and wanted crackers with it. So I had wheat thins, rather than the Ritz I used to eat, but still it made me feel like crap.) Lesson learned and I skipped the bun for my sloppy Joe dinner and had it over salad. I'll get myself an English cucumber and slice that up to eat with tuna instead next time.

Food stats:
1544 calories
154 g carbs
97 g protein
65 g fat (38% of calories)

I am happy with the calories and protein. I'd like to get the carbs down closer to 100, which I think is doable. I have mixed feelings about the fat percentage. I used to try and stay under 30% until I did some reading on Paleo and Primal eating and realised the benefits of healthy fat. I was eating 40-50% of calories from fat since then, mostly from nuts, seeds, avocado, healthy oils, eggs, and free range meats. I dunno. I like the satisfaction that comes from eating more fat. But having been raised in the low-fat generation, it feels a little *guilty* sometimes! I think I will aim for 30-40% for now and see how that feels.

Tonight I feel kind of icky, with a slight headache and stomach ache. I know why. When I count calories it is like THAT structure takes the place of other guidelines in my head. I see a food and instead of deciding to eat it based on health, or carbs, or protein, I think "hey I can fit that into my calorie budget!" and eat it. So I ate more processed food and grains today than usual (like a protein wafer bar, those crackers, and a homemade oatmeal muffin). And it did *fit* but I feel bad from it.

I do think I have hidden insulin issues. I'm not sure if these are symptoms but when I eat anything carby without a balance of protein and fat, I feel a total crash and shakiness later. I get headachy and irritable. I feel SO MUCH better when I eat high protein and low carb. So I do tend to eat that way, simply because I like feeling good. I have to focus on that and not *just* the numbers as I am prone to do when counting calories.

There have been some *awesome* comments on the last couple of posts. If you haven't read them, you really should. It makes you think. I really believe there is an ideal way for each of us to eat. Notice I said *each* of us... not *all* of us. That's what makes this hard. We are all different, and even things that worked in the past for someone might not work for the same person right now. Figuring out the puzzle is interesting, and worth it. I am going to piece this together for the sake of my health and sanity.


timothy said...

at 154 carbs i'd be sooo bloated and comatose that 5 days carbs for me! lol glad you're figuring out your routine instead of just counting calories mayhaps you should do like i used to and need to again and log healthy vs non-healthy in your food journal it was definately an eye-opener! i'm gonna do it again too mayhaps that;s the missing thing i need to see whats what too!

Tiffany Campiotti said...

I agree that there's a good fit for each of us, it just takes a lot of tweaking to find the sweet spot.
Personally I like my macro breakdown to be around 40/35/25 (protein/fat/carbs.
Good luck finding your "zone" :)

deezer said...

Well done Lynn, you're deffo getting there!

Have you thought about splitting the fats, to animal / bad fats and healthy fats, that way you can aim to have say5% of calories from bad fats and the balance from good fats - it might make things a little clearer.

I'm so impressed with your commitment to not one, but two gyms!

Karen in SC said...

Wow! I didn't realize a Paleo diet was so full of fat! And you've been following this plan and not lost? Hello?

From what I've read, people who do have success following that way of eating must keep carbs very very low.

Personally, I don't think carbs are the enemy. At the beginning of the year, my doctor challenged me to follow Dr. Ornish's low-fat vegetarian plan. I also found Dr Esseltyn's book. Since I wanted to lower my cholesterol and triglycerides, that is the plan I chose for my body. I've lost 15 pounds and lowered total cholesterol from 190 to 160.

I try to keep my fat percentage at 5-10% and use fiber to get that full feeling.

Beth@WeightMaven said...

Are you familiar with Marc David's books? E.g., the Slow Down Diet? He doesn't promote any specific way of eating, but he does talk a lot about how "you, the eater" is a key component of health, digestion, and weight. It's mindfulness, but with an interesting spin (IMO).

It might be something worth considering adding to your approach. It can be hard to lose if you're telling your body one thing but if stress, cortisol, etc are telling it something else!

Karen said...

Getting grain free and almost all processed sugar free ended a 40 (out of 46 year ) weight problem for me.

As I understand it , it can take 2 days -2 weeks to recover from eating even 1 serving of wheat product, if you are wheat sensitive.

Going grain free is a great start. I hope you can eliminate them,since you had indicated a high level of inflammation in the past.

Stay grain free. Feeling better is key to recovery and long term success. The cravings diminish or can be managed better after you are off the grains longer.

Choose wisely. I know you know that wheat /grain sensitive. I treat it like an allergy. Consider triscuts/ritz to be in the same class of foods as shellfish. Makes choosing them 100% off limits. See where it takes you.
Karen P

Margaret said...

Do you check fasting blood sugar in the morning, Lyn? That might be worth knowing as you search to restart weight loss as opposed to maintenance.

Anonymous said...

i know you probably think it won't work or it isn't your thing, but i have tried so many programs (even vegan) and now i am doing online weight watchers and it's wonderful. i am not cutting huge kinds of food out of my diet. i can eat like a busy mom needs to (fast food and concession stands). And i do not feel crappy in the least. i have lost 32 pounds since January. Which is a bit slow, but nothing else was working for me. i was starting to feel hopeless. But i looked back on my "history" and realized this has worked for me in the past and i am going to stick with what works. GOOD LUCK! Keep doing girl!

Lyn said...


good idea. I will try that today.


I will check it out on amazon. They often have "first chapter free" for kindle.


yeah, I have been a hard head about the grains and keep trying to let them back in, but I know I am better off without them.


I haven't checked my blood sugar in the morning my did have fasting labs done (in the morning) which were normal.

Deniz said...

Go Lyn! Whatever it takes to find 'your' own personal 'best way' to eat which will give you the results you need has got to be the way to go. This is also what we're doing for my lovely hubby (who is Type 2 diabetic), and the new to us, low-carb business which is helping him is doing me no harm either :-)

I'm a firm believer that a 'one size fits all' approach, in dietary needs as well as a lot of other stuff, is several kinds of BS. Hmmm, could be because I've always hated being folded up and stuffed into a nice neat category of someone else's choosing!

I also applaud your making the statement that "even things that worked in the past for someone might not work for the same person right now". That makes such a lot of sense to me, just from my own experiences and it isn't something I've ever read much about - and we do change as we get older, for all sorts of reasons.

I would, too, love to hear more from Heidi - she sounds like she has a lot of useful information we could all learn from. So... if you are out there reading Lyn's blog, Heidi... help please!

Taryl said...

My opinion is that yor carbs are quite high and fat is quite low. Paleo or not, fat has the LEAST metabolic impact on insulin levels and thus, on cellular fat storage. It is satiating and cues leptin release as well, leading to you generally eating less. One of those nice points they explain on the "Perfect Health Diet" is that almost all creatures run on fatty acids primarily, it is just how their digestive systems and diets complement one another and break the nutrients down to GET to that fatty acid cocktail that is the difference. We are neither carnivore nor ruminant and a strategy meant for either isn't ideal for humans, but a diet moderately high in protein, high in fat and nutrients, with vegetables and fruit as sides to the main course, is metabolically easy to handle a nutritionally sound for weightloss and health.

I do get the fat phobia, and it has taken me about a year of toying with fat during my maintenance periods to realize that 60-70 percent of my calories coming from fat is actually an excellent thing and I lose weight and feel the best like that. Seeing is believing, in that case, but fortunately the evidence for therapeutic ketogenic diets and ketosis for weight loss has mounted at an incredible rate the past decade, and now isn't nearly as 'outside' as it was for years. I'm proof it works and is comfortable, and I'm not the only one ;)

Margaret said...

Hmm, as someone who has fought insulin resistance since I had gestational diabetes 15 years ago, it doesn't really sound like you have it, Lyn (which is good news.)

Are you familiar with Volumetric's? Meta studies say that it is the most successful plan for keeping weight off long term. (I am not an ad, I got the book out of my local library and returned it when I finished reading it.) I bring it up because everyone I know who does ultra low carb - unless he or she has insulin resistance and it is the only choice - just gains it weight right back. Seems like you are looking for something more long term.

Beth said...

I have to respond to Anonymous at 7:16am: A busy mom does not have to eat at concessions or fast food! Weight Watchers may "allow" those foods but they are not the best option, certainly not if you are trying to lose weight.

Anonymous said...

I think perhaps one of the best ways to determine if you have insulin resistance (just from looking at myself and how I used to feel when I was thin and healthy, versus now that I am obese and insulin resistant) is the following:

Ask yourself, if you have to skip a meal or eat much later than normal, do you feel sluggish? temperamental? angry? anxious? like you don't have the energy to do what you want/need to do until you get something to eat?

People with healthy metabolisms (again, think of yourself when you were a healthy thin child), can switch over to body fat usage at those points in time and have it be no big deal. They will notice they are hungry, but again, it does not at all impact their activities or how they emotionally feel.

I would argue that if you are getting those not enough energy feelings (if you get them, you know what I am talking about) after missing your meal or snack, that your insulin levels MUST be elevated. Elevated insulin levels prevent the body fat from leaving the fat cells and circulating through the blood for energy. Why else would you feel lethargic/low energy other than not having available energy to use?

Many of us have the assumption that because a person is fat, they have lots of energy available to use at all times. The fact that so many of us feel lethargic/tired/cold routinely argues that the energy in those fat cells is not actually available for use. So, you have to ask yourself, "Ok. If I am feeling that way, what is going on in my body at that point in time, to prevent my body from having plenty of energy from my 100 lbs of fat in my body?" (That's me, BTW)

If you think about it in that context, you would think an obese person would have tons of energy. They have all this fat on their body that should be able to provide them with tons of energy despite missing a meal at any time of the day or night.

Those of us with chronic high insulin levels will know it, because when we miss a meal, we feel bad - low energy, foggy headed, frustrated, like we need to stop NOW and eat something, so we can function.

I didn't always used to feel this way. I remember years ago, missing a meal and it not being a big deal at all. I might have noticed I was hungry, but it didn't feel like it in any way prevented me from working physically hard, or concentrating. Now, it can be almost disabling and my husband doesn't understand why I am impatient or whatever.

There HAS to be a reason an obese person will feel so low energy when missing a meal. If you are a person who feels this way (it can almost be a panicky feeling), you have to ask yourself, why you aren't able to function easily from your fat cells when you have gone without a meal?

High insulin.

You can pretty much self-diagnose yourself based on these symptoms, in my opinion.

Many obese people probably don't experience these feelings and will think this what I am saying is all hogwash. If you feel like this though... you know what I am talking about.

Anyway - it has become much worse as I've become older (and fatter!).

The longer I eat low carb, the less I feel this way when I miss a meal. (Which I take to mean, my insulin levels are coming down and I am better able to access my fat cells for energy when I miss a meal).

It seems that a lot of us will attribute all of this to getting older, but I believe it is all more of a function of having very poor access to your body's energy stores (fat cells).

It is unfortunate that there are not better, easier, more accessible blood tests to find out what is going on in our bodies with clear explanations and information that goes along with the blood test results (that I have never received from my doctor BTW) that explains what you are looking at and what it means. My experience with blood tests is that my doctor gets them back from the lab and then say's either good or not good and I am as much in the dark as I was before I had the blood tests.


Vickie said...

Please put all three percentages (carbs, fat, protein) so you can see ratios. Fat should be the lowest percentage even if it healthy fats. Carbs and protein should be closer to each other, carbs is often a little higher.

You read my mind with cucumbers - that is good food holder in place of crackers. Lettuce (raw) works in place of bread for something's. Sometimes lightly steamed cabbage fits better with food (if it is hot).

Lyn said...


I absolutely feel that way. A near panic if I go too long without eating. Inability to think or get anything done until I get something to eat. It is not just hunger, it is a fog of sorts and a very driven feeling to EAT NOW.

I also noticed today that although it was 84 degrees, I was wearing a winter sweater over my shirt and felt barely warm enough. I need to find a thermometer and check my temps as you suggested. Thanks!

Susan said...

Lyn,,you have got to check out Dr. Bob Marshal..He has radio archives on his site that have a huge amount of information on everything with the body and why things are not working the way they should. I would highly recommend you listen or give him a call to see what you can do to help yourself..

Anonymous said...


It's funny. We gain the weight over a span of years and these symptoms all creep up on us over time and we forget what it felt like to have a healthy metabolism with good hormonal function.

I spent ~13 years on Depo Provera and didn't realize until after I came off it and switched to a low dose birth control pill, how horrible (angry, jealous, bitchy) it consistently made me feel. I just had this impression that those feelings were who I was. It wasn't until I changed my hormones that I realized how strongly they affected my emotions/personality.

I think high insulin can be like that. It makes you feel cold, lethargic, low energy, always hungry... but I attributed those feelings for many years to my being lazy, piggy without self control... You start to think that those things are who YOU are instead of results of your physiological state.

It's been so many years that I've been overweight/obese, that it's sometimes hard to remember how much energy I used to have (whether I ate 1 hour or 15 hours prior).

What I do know, is that a healthy 37 year old does not have the lethargy for life that I do. (Like a full day of work and fixing dinner is too much and that going to the grocery store in addition, would be 1 thing too many and I don't want to go... because I am T-I-R-E-D.

I hope you will take your temperature consistently for about a week and report the results. It could be one more piece of your puzzle.


Anonymous said...

Not accessing fat stores turns the whole obesity theory of calories in/ calories out on its head. Its not that calories dont matter, its just when we stop being able to access our fatty acids for energy, we crave more and more food. We get fat because of a broken metabolism, not because we're lazy gluttons with no discipline. Gary Taubes has it right! Find your individual way to heal the metabolism and food will naturally make you sick to your stomach if you over eat , just like the majically thin folks who leave half the food on thier plates at resturants to be thrown away, Majik,