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fairly new lc-er: am i getting enough calories?

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  • fairly new lc-er: am i getting enough calories?

    Hello - I've been on a low-carb WOE since 24 February 2011 and have been losing weight at the rate of 1 lb a week. (I'm 5 foot six inches tall, female, aged 46 and in reasonably good health as far as I know. I started off at 158 lbs and am down to 146. I am moderately active.)
    I am asking this question because someone on another forum got me really worried that I am not getting enough calories (or carbs) and might be stressing my adrenals and thyroid by following this WOE. This person was strongly encouraging me to add some starchy vegetables to my diet, or even grains, which I am not eating these days.
    I am eating an average of 1500 calories/day, with my average ratios as follows: fat 70%, protein 25%, carbs 5%.
    The only carbs I eat are from non-starchy vegetables, cheese and 1 oz. nuts/day.
    I am feeling pretty well and have plenty of energy, although very occasionally my legs seem weak when I'm going up stairs, and my sleep is not as refreshing as I would wish. I have vivid dreams which wake me up early and I also get foot/leg cramps at night, although these aren't as bad as when I started. (I am taking extra magnesium in the hope that this will help.)
    Please can someone tell me if what I am doing is safe or not?
    I must add (very important!) that I am never hungry on this WOE, which makes me think my body does NOT feel it is starving.

  • #2
    Re: fairly new lc-er: am i getting enough calories?

    Welcome Sounds like you are doing great, so don't let anyone tell you you're not!

    Probably the only downside of this way of life is ignorant people telling you things ... silly things ... like your kidneys are going to explode ... you know ... stuff like that!

    Listen to your body and let the results speak for themselves. Ok?

    What sort of magnesium are you taking and how much?

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    • #3
      Re: fairly new lc-er: am i getting enough calories?

      Thank you, Malcolm.
      I have been taking various forms of magnesium, according to the label 400 mg/day, but was told by someone on the other forum that this didn't mean my body was getting 400 mg. So I've started taking chelated magnesium, Doctor's Choice (I think it's called), 4 tablets a day (which according to the label, equals 800 mg). I'm assuming I'm not OD-ing as I don't have any problems with loose bowels, which I've been told is a sign you're getting too much.
      I'm very grateful for your reassurance that I'm not damaging my body.
      BTW when I asked the alarmist on the other forum what her evidence was that my WOE was dangerous, she couldn't come up with any! The only evidence I could find of low-calorie low-carb diets causing metabolic rates to drop is at 800 calories a day, and I'm eating almost double that amount.
      I gather this 'adrenal burnout' thing is a bit controversial anyway.
      And surely the whole point of low-carbing is to get our bodies to start using the fuel they're already carrying around!

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      • #4
        Re: fairly new lc-er: am i getting enough calories?

        Originally posted by elima View Post
        Thank you, Malcolm.
        I have been taking various forms of magnesium, according to the label 400 mg/day, but was told by someone on the other forum that this didn't mean my body was getting 400 mg. So I've started taking chelated magnesium, Doctor's Choice (I think it's called), 4 tablets a day (which according to the label, equals 800 mg). I'm assuming I'm not OD-ing as I don't have any problems with loose bowels, which I've been told is a sign you're getting too much.
        Sounds ok. Other forms like oxides and carbonates tend to be poorly absorbed so yes, your body gets less (well they had to be right on something!) and some brands don't show the amount of 'elemental' magnesium you are getting (which is a lot less than the compound it comes packed with). A chelated form is the best, and unlikely to cause symtoms at these low doses - although again poorer forms might (milk of magnesia used to be a treatment for constipation, but it was more the irritation caused by the type (magnesium oxide ... which is what marble is made of!) rather than the magnesium itself that made it 'work'

        I'm very grateful for your reassurance that I'm not damaging my body.
        BTW when I asked the alarmist on the other forum what her evidence was that my WOE was dangerous, she couldn't come up with any!
        Always a good sign that someone doesn't know what they are talking about!

        The only evidence I could find of low-calorie low-carb diets causing metabolic rates to drop is at 800 calories a day, and I'm eating almost double that amount.
        I gather this 'adrenal burnout' thing is a bit controversial anyway.
        And surely the whole point of low-carbing is to get our bodies to start using the fuel they're already carrying around!
        Yes. 1500 calories is not what anyone would call ultra low calorie, so you are doing fine.

        You might try some potassium as well (chelated again). It does help some people in the early adaptation phase of low carb when some electrolytes are temporarily depleted.

        The sleep issues you describe are also not uncommon but again should settle down and leave you with the nice problem of what to do with the extra energy this way of life brings.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: fairly new lc-er: am i getting enough calories?

          In the PPLP, it states to take a tsp of sugar, which will give you about 5 grams of carbs, right before bed and that will help you sleep a bit more soundly. They also recommend sublingual melatonin.

          @ Malcolm, I have so potassium gluconate. I don't know if it's chelated (I'm not at home where the bottle is). Should I just trash it & buy some chelated potassium?

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          • #6
            Re: fairly new lc-er: am i getting enough calories?

            Hi Trina, I'm not Malcolm but potassium gluconate is a chelated form, so don't throw it away.

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            • #7
              Re: fairly new lc-er: am i getting enough calories?

              Originally posted by elima View Post
              I am eating an average of 1500 calories/day, with my average ratios as follows: fat 70%, protein 25%, carbs 5%.
              The only carbs I eat are from non-starchy vegetables, cheese and 1 oz. nuts/day.
              That sounds good to me, Elima! Dr. Mike once advised not to let calories drop below 750-800 a day, so you're well within that range. Your ratios look fine.

              I'm not an expert on adrenal fatigue, but sugar and refined carbohydrates are the main cause. Unrefreshing sleep can come from many sources; pain and snoring are both common causes. Background noises (like traffic outside) and too much light in the room don't help either.

              I take melatonin sometimes and I actually get vivid dreams when I do. There's a theory that it's the brain getting caught up with repairs.

              Welcome to the board.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: fairly new lc-er: am i getting enough calories?

                Thank you so much, everyone, for welcoming me to the forum and for your replies to my email.
                I will stick with my current WOE until I have good reason to change things. (If I start losing weight too fast, or find myself getting hungry or weak, I will increase the calories, probably by adding more fat.)
                I'm very glad I joined this forum!

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                • #9
                  Re: fairly new lc-er: am i getting enough calories?

                  As far as damaging your body, the effects of carbs are quite damaging (especially grains and other refined carbs). You are not damaging your body, contrary to what followers of conventional wisdom may say.
                  Overtraining and starvation will cause adrenal fatigue over time, and from what I have read, you are not in danger from either of those.
                  Other sources of information that you may enjoy reading are Mark Sisson's "Primal Blueprint", and Rob Wolfe's "Paleo Solution". These books parallel this way of eating and also contain great practical advice that works so well with PPLP...

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                  • #10
                    Re: fairly new lc-er: am i getting enough calories?

                    Originally posted by gitfiddle View Post
                    Hi Trina, I'm not Malcolm but potassium gluconate is a chelated form, so don't throw it away.

                    Thank you Ma'am, as usual.

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                    • #11
                      I have a question in the opposite direction. How many calories should I stay under? I know we don't necessarily count calories but if you take in more than you burn you won't lose wait, correct!

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                      • #12
                        Sorry, I didn't see this until just now! The short answer is yes, if you burn more than you take in your body will store it. That said, Dr. Mike points out that the changes that take place as your metabolism heals and your insulin resistance falls will increase calorie burning rate to where the old rules won't apply. He said in his first Protein Power edition to be sure to eat all your meals and snacks, even if you're not particularly hungry and don't allow your intake to get much below 1,000 calories a day.

                        You can find this advice in the book if you still have it. (I had to look it up myself! )

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