Sunday, June 30, 2013

Calorie Restriction

I have thoughts about calorie restriction.  I have no scientific basis for this.  I could probably scour the internet and find studies that back up my ideas, of course, but I'm not really interested in that.  I also don't believe this is true for everyone, but I'm certain it's true for me.

I don't think calorie restriction is safe or healthy, for me at the very least.  Maybe I'm wrong, I don't know.  It's mostly an intuitive thing.  I mean, I know I could probably drop some weight by restricting calories again.  I bet it would be really easy to stick to 1300 calories on a low carb diet.  But I fear what that would do to my health.

I'm 28 years old, 5'7, and 185 pounds.  I don't track my calories every day, but once in a while I do, and on those days, they're about 2000 calories.  If I was older, maybe post menopausal, I probably would have to be lower calorie simply because my hormones and metabolism wouldn't be the same as they are now.

I have a long history of malnutrition (eating a high carb, vegetarian diet, and making myself really sick with it).  I know my body is still recovering from that, and I feel like calorie restriction would only hold my body back from healing itself.  A healing body needs more nutrients and calories.  Mine needs more protein.  You wouldn't believe the muscle I've put on without lifting weights.

I'm also trying to conceive a baby right now.  A woman's reproductive system needs to know that her body is well fed, that the baby will be well fed, or it's not going to cooperate. Chad and I have been trying for 13 months, with the only glimmer of hope being a possible early miscarriage (a chemical pregnancy) six months ago.  I don't think we're going to conceive until my body has finished healing itself, and it's not going to get any better if I restrict calories.  I also think Chad's body needs to continue to heal, too.  He was pretty unhealthy before we started, and his body has changed dramatically since going low carb.  He's leaner, more muscular, happier, and more energetic than he used to be, but I'm sure he still has a ways to go.

And besides, what do calories have to do with it?  I think if you have a very deranged metabolism, yes, calories matter.  But I lost weight as soon as I switched from a high-carb, 1600 calorie, vegetarian diet to a low-carb, 2000 calorie, meaty diet.  And so did Chad.

So for now, I'm going to continue eating a lot of calories.  I'm not concerned about losing more weight.  Yes, at 185 pounds, that makes me overweight.  As a matter of fact, my BMI is 29 or so, which makes me almost obese.  But you know what?  I managed to lose 90 pounds (I used to be 275).  I have so much loose skin that I wouldn't be surprised that about 15-20 of those "overweight" pounds are actually extra skin.  Not to mention the fact that I come from a family of big-boned women, with big feet, wide hips, broad shoulders, and large hands.  Of course I'm going to weigh more than someone with naturally petite bones (such as my husband).  And despite the fact I've been gaining lots of muscle (I can actually see the difference), I haven't gained any weight.  So that tells me I'm trading in fat for muscle. 

And I'm healthy, much healthier than I was as a low-calorie, high-carb vegetarian.  Isn't that more important than weight?

1 comment:

  1. To lose 90 lbs and keep it off is amazing - if whatever you are eating keeps you maintained at that and you are happy then you are are a great weight! You also do need more calories than me for example. I eat only whole foods, low carb etc but can't lose weight on 1200 calories a day.