Tracking my calories

I have eaten Paleo for about two years now. I’m not perfect, far from it, but that is the basic structure to which my nutrition is built. I generally eat what I want and however much of it is I eat as long as it is Paleo. I cheat once or twice a week (meals, not days) and I have found that eating this way has helped me maintain my weight. I go on binges on vacations and maybe add a few pounds, but when I return to my normal Paleo way of eating the few pounds drop back off. I tend to hover around 207-212 pounds.

I have known this is a bit heavy for me, but I haven’t figured out how to lose the additional 10-15 pounds I could stand to lose. People don’t think I need to lose weight, or that’s what they tell me, but most of them haven’t seen me with my shirt off, either! They would most likely then agree that I could stand to lose a few additional pounds.

I will be one of the first to say to not listen to the scale to determine your health. Your health can be seen in other numbers. As I mentioned at the end of my entry yesterday my performance in the gym is still trending towards the good side with numerous PR’s in the past few months. I started to regularly buy medium sized golf shirts and they fit me comfortably (I remember when I could fit into a large how happy I was). My waist size is still the same, but I have started buying bigger jeans simply for the comfort of my legs. All signs point to continued health except the scale, and more importantly the fat around my mid section. My wife thinks it is loose skin from the 100+ pounds I lost in about three years, but the more I read on that the more I don’t believe that is what it is. That “loose skin” is actually a certain type of fat that is hard to lose.

Enter a blog post that Rudy from The Outlaw Way linked to last week.

First, that post is really nothing about Paleo vs non-Paleo as she writes it, it is about weighing and measuring vs eating what you want. I don’t care how you eat, but if you are religious with weighing and measuring you will see results. Eat McDonald’s all the time, but weigh and measure it and eat the correct portions and you will see results (gain, maintain or lose). No whether or not your heart likes it….that’s another story.

But what I took away from this and sort of kicked off an epiphany while brushing my teeth last week was that maybe I am not eating ENOUGH. I started to wonder what my caloric intake is. Reading that piece above I get the sense that she eats more and more calories and that sparked her metabolism and supported muscle growth. Maybe I am not eating enough calories and thus retaining fat and suppressing muscle growth.

But, much like going against the traditional food pyramid the thought of eating more is scary to me. I kicked the food pyramid in the teeth two years ago so now maybe it is time to try to eat more food and see what happens. I am just so afraid to get fat again. To wake up one day and have to buy XL shirts again. Or worse – XXXL! Which I did wear at one point in my life.

I started tracking my caloric intake last week. The first day, what I think is a typical day in my life during the week, a day in which I think ate enough, I ate about 1600 calories. 1600. I used this website to get a gauge of how many calories I should be eating. It says to maintain I need 2600 calories a day. To lose weight I need to eat 2100 and to rapidly lose weight about 1600. So I was eating 1600 calories a day or the amount needed for rapid weight loss.

The low carb (or not-so-dense) carb diet was resulting is too few calories, too. Lots of salads and lighter vegetables. Maybe I need more starchy vegetables?

I only had a few days like that and was sold that I needed to eat more. So I started to do so. I am sticking with Paleo, but so far that has meant more fruit. I am trying to eat more fat (guac, for example) to get the calories I need and will probably eat more sweet potatoes (maybe one whole potato a day or something..?).

Over the last five days I have struggled to eat 2200 calories a day – it feels like I am eating a lot. I ate just over 3000 on Saturday but that was the comp day. I have lost two pounds already, but it is early. I am going to try to continue to eat more for a few weeks at least and see what happens on the scale, in the mirror and in the gym. One thing is for certain….I am pooping more! Maybe that means I am getting enough food to turn some into waste? I have no idea – haha!

I have used my food scale more often, too. If it forces me to weigh and measure it has to be a good thing. Right?

One comment on “Tracking my calories

  1. […] few weeks ago I thought it would be a good idea to count my calories. I gave it a solid four weeks. I started this in hopes of losing a few pounds, and that […]

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