Saturday, October 13, 2012

Eating Too Much, Eating Too Little

I love getting comments and hearing people's opinions on what I am doing. I often get new perspective when I read what other people 'see' on my blog. It's also interesting because, as I have noted before, people's suggestions and thoughts are sometimes polar opposites. It ranges from "you are eating way too much, cut your calories/fat/carbs" to "you are not eating enough, increase your calories/protein/fat" all in the same day! I would drive myself crazy if I tried to follow every suggestion, so I just put all the info into my knowledge bank along with the personal knowledge I have of myself and my body, and I tweak my plan as needed in order to get results.

But results may be things other than weight loss, sometimes. Weight loss IS the main goal, but alongside that is the goal of better health. I wanted to *feel* better, have more energy, get rid of the headaches and the general crappy feeling... and I think I have met that goal as of right now. Another goal was to get off the carbohydrate crazy train of wanting cake and chips and bread, giving in 'just a little bit', and then giving in a LOT and ending up feeling awful and seeing the scale go up. It is HARD to get off the sugar/grains, at least for me. I knew it was possible because I did it when I was on Medifast and I felt pretty good. The cravings and hunger went away for the most part. But I never had great energy on that plan. Now, my cravings are mostly gone, I feel satisfied, and my energy and mood is very good. The main difference between Medifast and how I am eating now is that the amount of fat I eat now is much higher and the carbs are significantly lower. But eating this way I do *not* have the physical cravings for sugar. Oh, my brain goes there sometimes and wants it, but not that often. Yesterday at a birthday party I turned down cake and ice cream *even though* I had kept my carbs low so that if I really wanted a few bites of ice cream, I could have it. But I didn't want it. And now that I feel so much better, I really don't *want* sweets and junk and bread and other things that will get my carbs too high and make me feel lousy again. Make sense?

Anyway, I am 99% sure from my own past history that I am not eating too few calories at 1200-1300. I am sure the answer here is not to *increase* calories, because I did that from March of this year until last month and look where it got me. I was eating more calories, which at first brought me a 15 pound gain and then months and months of maintaining, even when I went grain free. I think my body is just super adept at adjusting its burn rate based on what I eat. Otherwise, how on earth could I eat 3000-5000 calories a day for so long and maintain at 278? I should have been 400 pounds the way I was eating. And yet I can eat 1000 calories a day on Medifast and generally only lost 7 pounds a month. My body is good at adjusting, that's for sure.

Anyway, I'm taking it slow, staying in this range until I see if it gets me some weight loss, and staying focused on keeping my carbs low, staying grain free, improving the quality of my fats and protein, and sticking with the strength training. I'm also focused on healing my feet. I have been taking too many NSAIDS for way too long for my arthritis, bursitis, and plantar fasciitis (hey that rhymes!) and decided to get off them. I was already taking turmeric and last week added a good quality wild salmon oil twice a day for inflammation. It is really helping, along with staying off my feet to let them heal. My arthritis pain is also nearly gone, so I think this is going to work for me.

Dinner tonight is going to be a homemade butternut squash soup. The squash, onion, and garlic are all locally grown... I got them from the Farmer's Market. I love this soup; I use this recipe which is simple and fantastic. The only thing I may adjust is the addition of fat free half and half at the end of the recipe. I think I will use a smaller amount of real half and half instead. I know butternut squash is not exactly low in carbs, so I will use the recipe calculator to decide how much soup I can have without putting my carbs too high. I will probably have some chicken breast with it.

Enjoy your weekend!


timothy said...

i am thrilled you're feeling better and healing, especially since you're doing it in what i consider a healthy way! xoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

It's a huge deal to get rid of sugar addiction. It can take months even years in my case. Stick with your current plan Lynn. You are the strongest woman I know of. I want to be in your shoes one day as I am 282 pounds right now so I was in your old shoes and would do anything to be where you are now. Thank you for the inspiration. Don't get discouurage.

Fair said...

I would say there is NO WAY you are eating too little. You'd be surprised at what the body can handle, and how much fuel is really needed.

Many people are trained to believe/hold really tightly onto the beliefs that we need so much more than necessary, or that you will go into "starvation mode." Nope.

If you were eating under 1,000 calories, I'd say that's too low unless you're just hanging out in bed all day. 1,200? No way too low, unless your an Olympic athlete that is pushing your body to the limit every single day.

People are afraid of being hungry but it's completely normal to feel hunger-if you NEVER feel hungry, you're eating too much!

Anonymous said...

Do you not see what is going on? You were eating 5000 calories, then you eat 1200 calories. This is why people get fat and stay fat. You are going from starving yourself to overeating. Do you see the area that is missing? Eating around 1800-2000 calories a day, like most normal weight people. Why is this SO confusing? you are making it so complicated.

Lyn said...


I think you missed a few years of my blog. I was eating 1800 at the beginning and gradually cut back to 1500 as I lost weight. I've been eating 1600-1800 (est) per day for almost 2 years now. What that got me is a 40 pound gain.

People who have been morbidly obese usually cannot eat "like normal weight people" and lose the weight, at least not at the level you are talking about. If I ate 2000 calories a day, I would be 250+ pounds in very short order.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog when I was searching something for Medifast. I have been trying to lose weight for 4 yrs and I need something restrictive like Medifast to make it happen. I have had 3 friends all do Medifast and love it. I have gone back and read most of your blog over the past week that dates back to the start of your Medifast journey. My question is....if you could go back, would you do it again? Is it a plan that you would recommend?? Just curious :)

Lyn said...


yes, I would do it again. But I would do some things differently to prevent the weight gain:

1) never take that first "cheat" bite. Just stay on plan 100% all the way to goal.

2) I would have done Transition very differently. I would have NOT added grains back in. I would have been very careful adding in dairy, and would have kept the fruit low as well instead of adding 2 servings/day every day.

3) I would have kept counting carbs and keeping them under 100 permanently. Maybe in time with experience I would not need to count carbs every day, but I think keeping them under 100 would have definitely kept me from regaining.

Anonymous said...

I think the ONLY way you could gain weight while eating 1600-1800 calories is that you went from starving on Medifast to eating normally. IMO the only way to heal is to eat a normal amount of calories that you will continue to subsist on for the rest of your life--which of course will take longer.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering of you are still taking the chromium, and if so, do uou think it is helping?

Lyn said...


I was supervised by my doctor while I was on Medifast, including blood draws to check my nutritional status. My blood tests were awesome with no markers for nutritional deficiency. Don't worry, I was far from 'starving.' And as I said before, I had to cut calories to 1500 in order to lose weight pre-Medifast, as I gained on 1800... so I guess Medifast can't be the scapegoat here.

Margaret said...

You know what I found kind of interesting while I was reading the other day in a history of food journal - the calories recommended for women each day was 900 to 1000 in the 1940s. It was only when Congress made food manufacturers label nutritional information on processed foods that the "recommended" amount was increased... and increased... and increased.

I don't eat 900 a day and am in no way suggesting it. It's just an interesting factoid.

Anonymous said...

When I went to a dietitian/trainer for a weight loss diet she suggested that I have one cheat day a week (to eat anything I want but not to gorge myself - still eating small frequent meals) to raise my metabolism. I don't totally remember why but something about my body could go into a starvation mode if I didn't and adjust to living on less calories.

Lyn said...


I have taken the chromium a few times (and forgot a few) so I'm not sure.

timothy said...

with low carb just that 1 slice of cake with put the kaybosh on a week let alone a whole day. i suggest allowing mayhaps some extra nuts or berries if you're feelin deprived, but what those who dont do dont know is how very satiated you feel once the carbs are lowered. keep doin what you're doin , oh and that 1800 calories is what you need to maintain weight we all know that, i probabaly eat that much or more and lose, mayhaps i'll start counting calories too just to prove a point! yep gonna do that! lol

MargieAnne said...

It sounds as though you have found a satisfactory place regarding your food right now.

You have been on an extraordinary journey learning what works for you and documenting it for others.

I applaud you.

And more so because I know you are continuing to study and learn and put into practice a plan for health knowing that what you eat and your exercise are part of being at a healthy weight.

I'm glad I found your Blog, quite some time ago, because your persistence encourages me.


Anonymous said...

Margaret, I completely agree with you. Calories have been puffed up over the recent years. Prior to the 1994 mandating of the Nutrition Facts on food 1200-1400 calories was considered normal maintenance for women. Then suddenly it went way up. Because food manufacturers knew their food was just too high in calories and they lobbied to make the over all recommended calorie count higher so people would still buy their food. And while some people can eat 1600 and lose, 34% of the American public is obese and 60% are either overweight or obese. So I am guessing it isn't that we are eating too little.