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  #1   ^
Old Fri, Mar-19-10, 09:43
JKstyle JKstyle is offline
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Posts: 12
 
Plan: Kwasniewski
Stats: 125/118/120 Female 66 inches
BF:
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Default Advice for my teen daughter?

Hi, I've been lurking here and finally want to ask for some advice for my daughter:

When my daughter was about 12 we started eating very-low-fat nearly vegetarian (previously SAD). After several years we were all doing poorly and she had poor growth (narrow body & face, no menses). This was a high-carb diet.

One year ago (age 15) we added animal fats to the high-carb diet (now a high quality "balanced" diet) and my daughter's growth exploded. She began to develop a strong skeleton, her figure filled out, she began menstruating... But she also started gaining quite a bit of weight, especially on her hips and thighs. She started getting stretch marks and jumped 4 pants sizes in a year.

January this year (3.5 months ago) due to my continued poor health and her weight gain we went low-carb with the Kwasniewski ratio. The first 6 weeks was tough adapting and getting comfortable with the ratio.

I'm having fabulous results. I had a metabolic problem and an intestinal problem, both of which are improving markedly. I shed about 5 pounds (revealing my sadly underdeveloped physique).

My daughter, however, has not lost any weight and is not feeling very well on the diet. At first she was eating 1800 c/day with about 60g protein and was still gaining weight - she has since cut back to 1600 c/day with about 45g protein.

She is still constipated frequently and feels out of sorts with a grumbling, queasy stomach much of the time.

There is a lot of stress in her life (16 y.o.) and in our lives at the moment that should ease in the coming months. She feels very unsettled and "disordered" about food, thanks to my tinkering over the years

Her age is 16, she's 6'6" tall, she weighs about 140, heavy on the hips and thighs but otherwise evenly distributed. She lifts weights and walks about 1 mile a day. The ratio she's following is 45g protein (1 : 3 : .8). Food staples are raw egg yolk, olive oil, cod liver oil, ghee, sardines, liverwurst, smoked salmon, goat cheese.

Does anyone have any insight or suggestions?!

Last edited by JKstyle : Fri, Mar-19-10 at 09:54.
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  #2   ^
Old Fri, Mar-19-10, 10:21
Lynnrea Lynnrea is offline
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Posts: 64
 
Plan: Protein Power
Stats: 210/193/175 Female 69 inches
BF:
Progress: 49%
Default

I'm sorry to hear that your daughter is going through this. It's difficult for you as well, I know.

First, you meant that she's 5'6" tall, right? Not 6'6". Depending on how she's built, 140 isn't really that heavy for someone 5'6". It may be cosmetically more than she prefers, but in my opinion it's a mistake to base diet on purely cosmetic considerations, which are way out of whack these days. The "ideal figure" is just too slender for most of us to attain. I would attempt to move her focus away from her looks and onto her health and well-being.

I'd also double-check the amount of protein she's getting. It sounds far too low. There are various ways of estimating a person's protein requirements, but the lowest I calculate for someone weighing 140 pounds is in the neighborhood of 52 grams/day. I would guess that an adolescent needs a fair amount more than that. My method of choice is Protein Power, and here is a direct quote from Michael Eades's website, specifically the page at (http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/...es-lean-mass/):

" ... letís take the so-called average person who weighs 70 kg (154 lbs) and calculate daily protein requirements based on the protocol of this study. 70 kg X 1.6 g/kg/day = 112 gm protein per day."

Good luck to both of you.
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  #3   ^
Old Fri, Mar-19-10, 10:46
JKstyle JKstyle is offline
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Posts: 12
 
Plan: Kwasniewski
Stats: 125/118/120 Female 66 inches
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynnrea
First, you meant that she's 5'6" tall, right? Not 6'6".


Yes, 5'6" !

We lowered the protein twice because she was still gaining steadily. She's on target for the Optimal Diet recommendation, though it's true that is for a mature adult and not a youth.

This is a complex issue, you're right. Most of her peers (male and female) are living on breakfast cereal, pizza, and 100-calorie cookie packs and are literally emaciated. I spent most of my life doing the same and I'm rather emaciated too. Yet it's nearly impossible not to compare oneself with others. I'm doing my best to inspire her - I say she's "robust and strong" and I'm "underdeveloped." I try to put images of healthy women in front of her. There are so few role models.

But she and I both think that she is carrying too much fat in her hips and thighs...? Her skin there is "cellulite"-looking. She looks quite a lot like the woman in the middle on this photo ("pear"):

http://i705.photobucket.com/albums/...ttomheavy-1.jpg

I thought a healthy-weight body shape would be more like this?:

http://www.hemingways.org/GIDinfo/bodycontourF.gif

Or do she and I both have skewed body-image?!

I'll take another look at the protein allotment. Thanks for your kind words.

Last edited by JKstyle : Fri, Mar-19-10 at 12:11. Reason: "fat distribution"
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  #4   ^
Old Fri, Mar-19-10, 12:26
mainecyn's Avatar
mainecyn mainecyn is offline
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Posts: 6,011
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 242/161/155 Female 5'6
BF:don't u ask
Progress: 93%
Location: Wyoming
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Quote:
I thought a healthy-weight body shape would be more like this?:


Really depends on what type of body shape she is. I have cousins that carry all their weight on their hips and thighs, others that are top heavy, a few that were rail thin. I remember my pear shaped cousin starving herself and trying every fad diet under the sun, pressure and belittling from her mother, only to learn that it is her body type she can't change. Because of her body shape, she wears a bigger size than i do, but she weighs LESS than i do.

You are best to keep doing what you are doing. Most "role" models for teenage and preteen women are waif girls, tiny even. They do not eat healthy. I have two daughters that eat almost nothing but refined carbs and prepackaged foods..they are rail thin wear a size small. Then my other daughter, who at only 12, is taller than i am-shes just over 5'6, and her bone structure is very very "robust" She takes after her Grandmother's side, very tall, big boned, and flat chested. She doesn't have any "role" models to compare herself to. I do not want to stress size on her, try to feed her healthy foods. I am also stressing that people come in all shapes and sizes and for some..trying to look or conform to everyone else standards, just impossible. Like trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

Good luck. I wouldn't worry given your daughters height and body shape at all.
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  #5   ^
Old Fri, Mar-19-10, 12:30
Lynnrea Lynnrea is offline
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Posts: 64
 
Plan: Protein Power
Stats: 210/193/175 Female 69 inches
BF:
Progress: 49%
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What Mainecyn said.

Regarding cellulite--I'd like to point out that upwards of 90% of women have at least some. I've had the opportunity to observe a number of elite, Olympics-track female gymnasts close up. Even on the semi-starvation diets they follow to stay tiny, some of them develop cellulite, too. And when they start to eat normally, all hell breaks loose. Remember Mary Lou Retton?

There's one other thing. I hesitate to mention it, because I don't know you or your daughter, and this is such an individual thing. I hope that you take this in the helpful spirit in which it's offered. But are you sure that you are giving your daughter a level of autonomy about her diet that's appropriate to her age? Perhaps we're a bit unusual, but at 16 my daughters would have laughed in my face if I'd presumed to calculate and then attempt to manage their protein intake. They'd have outright rejected any interventions beyond simply offering them, with little or no comment, what they need. And, after I'd gotten over my hurt pride, I wouldn't have blamed them.

Last edited by Lynnrea : Fri, Mar-19-10 at 14:10.
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  #6   ^
Old Fri, Mar-19-10, 14:53
JKstyle JKstyle is offline
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Plan: Kwasniewski
Stats: 125/118/120 Female 66 inches
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynnrea
are you sure that you are giving your daughter a level of autonomy about her diet that's appropriate to her age?


Well, this wouldn't have come around if I hadn't decided back in 2005 that I was going to get serious about healthy eating and proceeded to axe all fat and most meats from our diet. I initiated a disastrous eating plan and now I'm responsible for fixing it. She's confused about what to do - as I have been...

From low-fat-high-fiber-spinach-salad-hold-the-dressing to buttered-bacon-side-of-cream? We've both been bewildered.

I wanted to give her the ratio and let her figure it out, so I bought and installed Calculus Victus (Optimal Diet meal planning software) and she plans her own menus. She's been pretty needy about reassurance, and hasn't been entirely happy with the results of the diet, as I indicated. I think she also gets pretty discouraged and doesn't have the time to do the research, so I investigate and pass suggestions along. I try to stay out of it as much as I can.

We have a very good relationship (most of the time). Your point is a good one; trust me, it's no fun talking to a teen girl about her body.
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  #7   ^
Old Fri, Mar-19-10, 15:08
Lynnrea Lynnrea is offline
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Posts: 64
 
Plan: Protein Power
Stats: 210/193/175 Female 69 inches
BF:
Progress: 49%
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKstyle
We have a very good relationship (most of the time). Your point is a good one; trust me, it's no fun talking to a teen girl about her body.


I hear you. I've posted elsewhere about my own tribulations with my daughters, who are, like me, prone to obesity. Unlike me, they haven't yet grasped the usefulness of the low-carb way of eating. As a child, I watched several family members grapple with obesity and its physical and social complications, and I have plenty of my own issues about it. So sometimes it's hard for me to know when to step back and let them learn as they seem to need to do. I don't claim to have found the magical solution.

At the moment, my health and weight are pretty much under control, and the dear girls choose to regard me as a genetic freak--they definitely don't take after me, you see! Evidently they think I was born without the potato chip-craving gene!
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  #8   ^
Old Fri, Mar-19-10, 16:03
JKstyle JKstyle is offline
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Posts: 12
 
Plan: Kwasniewski
Stats: 125/118/120 Female 66 inches
BF:
Progress:
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mainecyn
tall, big boned, and flat chested


That does describe the change in her physique quite well. In looking again at the "pear" body image, I would say that my daughter actually has broader shoulders and more substantial arms than the model... but her hips do seem to be somewhat disproportionately large (for our current mindset, anyway).

Her face in particular has changed so much that people who haven't seen her in awhile do a double-take. Her inspirations have been the photos in Weston Price's and Pottinger's books. She had braces on her teeth and felt her nose was prominent, but now she has wide cheekbones, a solid jaw, and her face is beautifully proportioned. Last time I gave her a facial I was amazed at how solid and broad her skull has become. I think if she hadn't noticed these changes herself she would never have stuck with the nourishing food we are now eating.

I appreciate all these comments, and welcome any others!

Last edited by JKstyle : Fri, Mar-19-10 at 16:09.
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  #9   ^
Old Fri, Mar-19-10, 18:36
avocado's Avatar
avocado avocado is offline
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Posts: 445
 
Plan: loosely PB
Stats: 197/135/000 Female 5'7"
BF:
Progress: 31%
Location: California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKstyle
That does describe the change in her physique quite well. In looking again at the "pear" body image, I would say that my daughter actually has broader shoulders and more substantial arms than the model... but her hips do seem to be somewhat disproportionately large (for our current mindset, anyway).



I may be misreading what you're saying, but I think that is a huge problem. Her body type is her body type. There is no *should* involved. I think labelling it as wrong and trying to change it will not only fail, but cause unnecessary pain, perhaps lasting body image problems. Carrying more weight in one's lower body is a very common, feminine body type, and is generally considered more healthful than carrying it in the middle.

I think the fact that this body type developed when you changed her diet may be coincidental, given her age - she's at the age where those features develop. If anything, perhaps better nutrition just allowed her body to do what it was meant to do, rather than causing her shape to change.

I empathize with trying to help a teenage girl with food and body image, I really do. It's tough in this day and age.
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  #10   ^
Old Fri, Mar-19-10, 20:35
JKstyle JKstyle is offline
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Posts: 12
 
Plan: Kwasniewski
Stats: 125/118/120 Female 66 inches
BF:
Progress:
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You're not misreading me. It seems from the responses that she and I both have an idea what she should look like as she matured that doesn't fit what is happening. Because she seemed to have disproportionally heavy hips and thighs according to our current mindset, we both assumed that she needed to lose some weight.

We've been playing both angles - both attempting to effect some weight loss (8 pounds, maybe?) and also accept the reality of her curvaceous figure even though it doesn't fit with our preconception.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avocado
better nutrition just allowed her body to do what it was meant to do


That's my thought on the matter, for the most part... I was just surprised, and dismayed, yes, at the weight gain and didn't want to ignore the situation until she'd gained *too much* (whatever that is)

I clearly need to address the body image issue.
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  #11   ^
Old Fri, Mar-19-10, 21:27
jschwab jschwab is offline
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Posts: 5,562
 
Plan: Atkins72/Paleo/NoGrain/IF
Stats: 285/253/200 Female 5 feet 5.5 inches
BF:
Progress: 38%
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It's hard especially since presumably her dad is not a woman where you could tell where her body type might be coming from, eh ? I just wanted to add to the discussion that it is widely accepted that being a a pear is usually a good indication of a heart-protective body type, so even if aesthetically it looks out of sync with current ideas about what women should look like, healthwise cellulite and being a pear are just dandy. I kind of wonder if she needs more protein, not less - 45g seems a little low - and less fat than maybe is good for you? I just am thinking of this because people who are sensitive to carbs often develop a "wheat belly" and narrow hips. She might not need low carb as much as you do given her body type?
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  #12   ^
Old Fri, Mar-19-10, 22:52
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honeypie honeypie is offline
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Posts: 6,506
 
Plan: Cycling VLC with LC
Stats: -/-/134 Female 5'10
BF:
Progress: 56%
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The Calculus Victus software was shown not to give the same results as Dr. K's original formula. If I recall correctly, it was developed by a fan,... but is not based on anything from Dr K's books or teachings.

Protein calculation on the Dr K plan does not have decreasing rungs, and is easily calculated like this:

height (converted to cm) - 100 = protein foundation in grams

It can then be adjusted +/- 10%, if, when, or however needed.

5ft 6 is 167 cm, so your daughter's daily intake of protein would be 67. I would DEFINITELY add the +10%, being that she is a growing teen, working hard at school and needing optimal brain function, and so on.

Do you have Dr K's books at all? I know they can only be ordered from Poland; but the Optimal Diet site, once again, was developed by a fan.

Also, the correct ratios for weightloss on Dr K's plan are as follows:

0.3-0.5Carbs : 1Protein : 1.5Fat

It only goes up to the 2x Fat ratio and higher for health during maintenance, for example.

Lastly, I wonder if you're not putting too much emphasis on your daughter's body shape/8lbs? I ask only because, of all plans, Dr K is probably one of the very slowest to lose on. Furthermore, at 16,... your daughter still has several more years of growth and development ahead of her. You may be surprised that she becomes leaner once again later after her development isn't at the height of a proverbial battleground, that a teenager's body often is - for a multitude of different reasons.

I think at 16, if you encourage her to eat whole, unprocessed foods, and encourage consistent meal times and reasonable portion sizes, - this will already be all the you have to do to set her up for a successful and healthy attitude and foundation, from which she will then be able to successfully manage her own health, for the rest of her life.

In other words, particularly during such formative years; ensuring she understands the value of whole, natural, and unprocessed foods from a nutritional standpoint... WILL be worth it's weight in gold, compared to calorie counting for instance, or switching between various plans and tweaking, tweaking, tweaking them all (as we might be inclined to do ourselves when we are say, much older and already well out of our teens)

And finally; she is also at the right age to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle - which for many people, teens included, is the key to getting the last few pounds off. Does she already do this? I wouldn't encourage a teen to try and spend robotic time in the gym; but is she involved in absolutely as many sporting activities at school as she can be, for example? Because this is definitely what should be the case, at this age.

Ultimately, the weight loss ratios on Dr K's plan DO mean it is a low calorie plan; and perhaps if she is only looking to lose a few pounds, she might be happier to increase her activity level and be "allowed" to keep the extra calories.

As an active, growing, busy teenager who needs to really be excelling at so many different things at this stage in her life, she needs calories from fuel. 45g of protein is completely off (by a whopping 35%), and the fat is 3x what it should be - for a loss.

Good luck with everything & all the best!!

Last edited by honeypie : Fri, Mar-19-10 at 22:59.
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  #13   ^
Old Fri, Mar-19-10, 23:23
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Seejay Seejay is offline
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Posts: 3,025
 
Plan: Optimal Diet
Stats: 00/00/00 Female 62 inches
BF:
Progress: 8%
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Hi, I agree with the others on the protein. I'm a Kwasniewski fan myself and I use Fitday for reality checks. That has American food.

Body shape - can you identify family members she resembles? I appreciate she can still grow but a lot of girls have reached their adult height at 16. From here on the added weight is in bone mass and increasingly dense muscle (just like the guys). This increases through the 20s.

Can you measure inches as well as pounds? When you do both you get a better picture of lean body mass.

What do her meals look like?

Just some thoughts -

Her protein range is 60 -75 g per day. 45g could be slowing her down by sending signals to the body to conserve energy because not enough is coming in. As a teen I would encourage her to have the upper range too.

Her carb range would be 30 - 50. Yes, 50. I have the book and he says different things about carbs in different places. He says in one place for example, that 50 is okay for most people. Particularly if she gets wonky energy at the lower carb levels. If she's doing sports and things, she could go up to 50 a day and stay healthy. (that is net carbs)

Is she getting carbs from starchy veg? This is not a sweet plan.

And finally, yes, for weight loss, her fat range would be about 100g - 150 g a day.

The other thing is meal timing and composition:
A good breakfast with at least 1/3 the day's protein.
No snacks.
Have enough at dinner so she can not eat between dinner and breakfast. This is the old fashioned poor man's intermittent fasting.

I split my carbs up like this:
not much at breakfast
2/3 at lunch
1/3 at dinner

For some reason it feels good to have my heavier meal in the middle of the day.
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  #14   ^
Old Sat, Mar-20-10, 03:49
JKstyle JKstyle is offline
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Posts: 12
 
Plan: Kwasniewski
Stats: 125/118/120 Female 66 inches
BF:
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OK, more protein... But she was still gaining weight when she was eating more... Nevertheless, it's obviously most important to meet one's energy & health needs... I'll talk to her about increasing the protein.

I have Homo Optimus; Optimal Nutrition is on the way. We use Calculus Victus for ratio calculation, not for the gram recommendations, which in the software are incorrect. In terms of the weight loss ratio vs maintenance ratio, I gave her the maintenance ratio because I hoped the switch to low-carb would be enough on its own to correct any weight and metabolic issues. That's what happened to me - I lost dumpiness in the amount of about 6 pounds even though I was underweight to begin with... (Now I hope to gain muscle and bone mass.)

The tweaking is completely undesirable; I just want to get on with life! However, my daughter and I both want to learn how to nourish ourselves for a lifetime. I'm finally very comfortable with my diet, but she is not, yet... It seems my comfort zone is not working for her - totally fine and to be expected - but I'm out of ideas! Good advice here.

I've been encouraging her to be active. We walk daily and have no TV. She lifts and rides horses, but we could probably all use some more cardio. Her school work sometimes ties her to a desk for another 3 hours after sitting all day at school I'll keep this in my sights as well.

YES! We are both eating twice a day only. That was a big improvement in the comfort with the diet. Our only carb-y foods are oranges and 1 daily slice of Ezekiel bread as a ghee-vehicle. I checked a few of my daughter's menus and she's eating about 45g protein, 140g fat, and 35g carbs daily, about 1600 calories daily.

I will suggest that she check her BMI for another point of view.

Thanks for the info on the pear shape. She'll be happy to hear that!
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  #15   ^
Old Sat, Mar-20-10, 08:02
honeypie's Avatar
honeypie honeypie is offline
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Posts: 6,506
 
Plan: Cycling VLC with LC
Stats: -/-/134 Female 5'10
BF:
Progress: 56%
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JKstyle, it sounds like you're both really on the path to health and your daughter is lucky to have a mom like you behind her, who will really support her and help her find the tools she needs.

But what do you mean when you say you use calculus invictus to calculate the ratios? You mean in the same way you would use a calculator I assume?

In any case however, 35C : 45P : 140F is a ratio of .77 : 1: 3.5

This IS why she is not losing. If she is not losing on the standard JK ratio, he recommends that the ratios should be 0.3-0.5C : 1P: 1.5F. for best results.

The protein you have +10/-10% leeway with; but in percentage terms, the ratios you are currently giving her mean that:

- her carbs are potentially as much 50% higher than they should be (if they were kept at the most conservative end of the ratio range Dr K gives for weight loss
- her protein is still 45% lower than it should be
- and her fat is 133% higher than it should be, if you were once again, to go by the most conservative end of Dr K's recommended ratio range. (This would be based on the premise that sticking to the conservative end of his range on Carbs and Fat is what he reccommends people do if they 1) have a lot to lose, or 2) are not seeing results. Clearly, your daughter does not fall into the first category; but this again illustrates the point that even Dr K himself would only ever tweak Carb and Fat numbers downwards in order to encourage weight loss in any difficult cases, and never the protein number; due to the fact it is already calculated to reflect the ideal amount we should be eating for our ideal size - at our current and respective heights.


It is far more obvious from a mathematical standpoint and just by looking at the percentage over and under, that according to the ratios you are currently using, her numbers are actually completely out of anything that would even be the Dr K ratio ballpark.

However; please note that the percentages calculated above are based on the protein amount you are currently giving her; not on what it should be, for her height. In other words, the Fat and Carb numbers on this plan ALWAYS change in relation to what the amount of protein being eaten is, and not vice versa. So you would never be able to just raise the protein for example. Because all of the numbers would change according to how that protein amount changes, due to the sheer fact that it is a ratio relationship between the three.

If you change Protein AND Fat AND Carbs to what they should be (in order to reflect Dr. K's reccommened ratios for weight loss), she will see a loss. (And please bear in mind that these are in fact, Dr K's true ratios for best fat loss, and not some kind of manipulation by me.)

Raising her protein alone will not help her start losing. If you want to use Dr. K ratios for weight loss, you have to actually use the ratios he gives for weight loss. Which means you need to adjust and completely correct all three.

Best of luck to you! I am wishing you both much success from now on, and a great weekend!

honey

Last edited by honeypie : Sat, Mar-20-10 at 09:47.
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