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Female Dieting and Mood Swings

Discussion in 'Dieting / Supplement Discussion' started by Tycho Brah, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Tycho Brah

    Tycho Brah You drink water, I drink anarchy Platinum Member

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    Yo.

    My girlfriend is new to the dieting game and recently decided to track her calories in an attempt to lose a few pounds. It's been about 3 weeks, and she's telling me now that she's been experiencing mood swings for a couple of days, possibly PMS-related. She's wondering if the dieting might have had something to do with the more powerful swings.

    She hasn't yet managed to track down a scale to measure her progress, so I can't say much about that (I'm also pretty observationally inept). She's trying to keep under 2000 calories daily, and usually sits somewhere between 1700-1900 per day. I know she's been keeping her protein up at the expense of her carbs and fat, so that might have something to do with it too.

    I don't understand much about women, and in assuming this extended to physiology and hormone fluctuations, I figured I could bring the question here. Let me know if any more relevant information is required. No you can't have pics.
     
  2. RawDawgBob

    RawDawgBob Like's; 100,000,000,000.69

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    I experienc emood swing when i'm cutting down so i imagine its pretty bad for the ladies too.
     
  3. Pathogenic

    Pathogenic Wo Cao Ni Ma

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    It's very normal. If she's experiencing PMS symptoms then her deficit is probably too high. Some people don't respond well to dieting in general, but a big deficit can cause it. If your girlfriend is on the tall side of average and/or on the heavier side of average then 1700-1900 might be too little calories. If not, then I'm sorry, brah, but you're gonna be in for a rough 12+ weeks.
     
  4. Tycho Brah

    Tycho Brah You drink water, I drink anarchy Platinum Member

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    So I've heard.. I've never really cut so I can't say myself.

    Dammit.

    She's little, maybe 5'4 and about 120 lbs, just under 30% bf I'd guess. A lot of calculators were recommending an even bigger deficit :eek: but I put her at 2000 to start because she's used to just eating whatever she wants lol. She's had some of the typical troubles but now that her food choices are better she says it's getting easier. I just don't want her to be emotionally unbalanced, for obvious reasons. Also she is PMSing right now, but the symptoms just seem more exaggerated than usual.

    12 weeks... I think she's shooting to maintain her lower weight indefinitely, so I sure as hell hope this shit stops happening by then :D
     
  5. Pathogenic

    Pathogenic Wo Cao Ni Ma

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    Yikes! My girlfriend has the same problem when she's dieting. She's tall for a girl, and when she first started dieting she cut her calories to 1200 and nearly ripped my head off every day. We later found out that her job at the pharmacy when combined with lifting and cardio caused her maintenance to be 3000 per day. Once we raised her calories to 2500 she was only PMSy 50% of the time. Once she got down to 19% she went straight to maintenance and my life is so much easier.

    /rant
     
  6. Mr Fingers

    Mr Fingers Orange Belt

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    I usually feel tired and my mind is quite foggy for the first few weeks of a new diet. This leads to poor performance at work and the gym, and that causes me to be in a bad mood. I have found using some sort if stimulant really helps me get through the adjusting period.
     
  7. Tycho Brah

    Tycho Brah You drink water, I drink anarchy Platinum Member

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    That's insane. Good for her for getting to 19 though (assuming that's bf and not rate of PMS activity, lol). 1200 is crazy low.

    My gf is on ritalin daily for her narcolepsy, so I would imagine that bumps up her TDEE a bit too. As a student she doesn't get much activity outside of walking and waitressing occasionally, so all that is likely going to be taken into account in the activity level part of the calculation as well.

    I'd like to see her get results sooner rather than later so that she'll be motivated to continue, so I'll try not to mess with the deficit too much for now. I checked her fat and it's low, so maybe picking up on that will help the hormones.

    On a side note I've never appreciated the intricacies of cutting until now.. getting in those macros with such a low maintenance is a shitty time. Bulking on 3500+ no longer seems like the burden it once was.
     
  8. Tycho Brah

    Tycho Brah You drink water, I drink anarchy Platinum Member

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    Whaaaaat here I thought the novelty effect of new diets was stimulating.

    Maybe I should tell her something about her toxins being cleaned out by the earthiness of her vegetable protein and see if that gives her a psychological boost.
     
  9. Pathogenic

    Pathogenic Wo Cao Ni Ma

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    Haha! If it were PMS activity then I would probably be hanging from the rafters somewhere.:eek:

    Sorry to hear about her narcolepsy. Modafinil is the best thing I've ever taken for chronic fatigue, and I know it's approved for narcolepsy treatment as well. Totally superior to ritalin imo.

    Ritalin would raise it slightly, but walking really does a number on your caloric requirements. Walking around the supermarket for an hour burns almost 250 calories for me, and I'm not exactly the Hulk. I think 2000 ish seems reasonable in her case, but definitely monitor it and adjust it up or down depending on the fat loss.

    I wish you and your lady the best of luck.

    Oh yeah, big time. When I did Lyle McDonald's Ultimate Diet 2.0, I was consuming 1200 calories per day and eating 185g protein. It was hell. I'm so glad it's over. Bulking season lasts 8 months here in New England :D
     
  10. Tycho Brah

    Tycho Brah You drink water, I drink anarchy Platinum Member

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    'ppreciate it sir. Thanks for the info.

    And yea, lifetime slow-bulk for the wheel-spinning win.
     
  11. Seriously-Dead

    Seriously-Dead wubbalubbadubdub

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    Lowering caloric intake will negatively impact the stress axis, and likely increase estrogenic activity. PMS is generally understood as an imbalance between estrogen/progresterone, and lowering caloric intake below baseline will often aggravate this problem.

    Women in general respond well to nutrient dense food (think organ meats, eggs, and dairy). Ensuring healthy thyroid activity (seriously, every woman should be getting her thyroid levels checked - hypothyroidism is one of the most common disorders, effects upwards of 15-30% of women), adequate nutrient intake, and adequate cholesterol intake (precursor to progesterone) will go a long ways to helping her through the dieting process.

    Is your girlfriend on the pill too? Because that will make the PMS worse to boot. My girlfriend is on it, luckily she has a really easy going disposition, but her problems manifest differently - her hands and feet get ice cold and her appetite goes to shit particularly during the first half of her cycle when estrogen levels are high.

    If your girlfriend is ever curious enough, see if she can get her doctor to order some tests. TSH/T3/T4 for thyroid, estradiol/progesterone for estrogen dominance (PMS), and cholesterol (TC/LDL/HDL). Getting those numbers can make things clearer, if that's an option.
     
  12. usheer

    usheer White Belt

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    Physical workouts and exercises are the core things to do if we want to eliminate our physical and health problems.Ritalin would raise it slightly, but walking really does a number on your caloric requirements. Walking around the supermarket for an hour burns almost 250 calories for me.Des Moines Boxing
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  13. Cayenne

    Cayenne Green Belt

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    Moods swings have a lot more to do with nutritional deficiencies than hormones. Look for foods that she might be neglecting to eat ever since she started her diet.
     
  14. Tycho Brah

    Tycho Brah You drink water, I drink anarchy Platinum Member

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    Thanks SD, was hoping you'd comment here. She is on the pill and also has as pleasant disposition. Most of the time I can't even tell her thing is happening, unless she mentions a specific kind of discomfort.

    Do women respond well to nutrient dense foods because of gender-specific thyroid activity or for other reasons? She loves milk and cheese but her consumption has pretty much dropped off since dieting; she's trying to avoid calorie dense foods so that she can consume more volume. She also hates feeling hungry throughout the day.

    I might discuss the tests with her casually.. I'm afraid that if I mention anything that sounds remotely medical to her she'll get freaked out and abandon dieting altogether, so I'm handling the situation carefully (speaking of which, ever try to give your gf a bf estimate? lol).
     
  15. Tycho Brah

    Tycho Brah You drink water, I drink anarchy Platinum Member

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    Pathogenic said almost the exact same thing actually.

    Hmm, milk and cheese are big ones. I think carbs in general have been significantly lower as well. I know she's getting more fruits and veggies in now and she's happy about that. Perhaps I should suggest a vitamin?
     
  16. Pathogenic

    Pathogenic Wo Cao Ni Ma

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    Woah, is it really that high?
     
  17. Seriously-Dead

    Seriously-Dead wubbalubbadubdub

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    For some reason or another, hypothyroidism is way more present in women - and some people think it's due to the anti-thyroid effects of estrogen. Nutrient dense foods, and calorically dense foods, promote thyroid activity in both sexes (thyroid stimulating hormone is stimulated in direct proportion to feeding quantity and consistency, and the effects of thyroid are amplified by sufficient micronutrient intake). Women in general seem to be much more sensitive to fluctuations in nutrient content and timing compared to men, and in general do not handle physiological stress as well as men (probably due to differences in testosterone/estrogen). So there is noticeable sex specific thyroid behavior.

    If she loves milk and cheese, I would find a way to fit that into her diet. Those are the type of foods to include. Keep in mind that promoting thyroid function increases caloric expenditure, so when the thyroid is functioning properly, it allows a person to increase their caloric intake (and their micronutrient intake as well). I think the approach of stimulating thyroid is more ideal (and tolerable) for many female dieters, as opposed to just restricting calories. Matt Stone recently released a book called "Eat for Heat" that discusses these concepts and how to apply them to weight loss. I haven't read the book yet, but I have read his other writings and I really like his approach to nutrition, and I think it applies well to many women.

    I wouldn't bring up the tests for now if that's the case. Just pay attention and see if she complains about her extremities being cold, as this is a good sign of thyroid function. If she starts getting curious, just push her in that direction.

    My gf is very lean naturally, so there's never been a reason to get bf% tested. Thank god, I imagine that would be a tough conversation!
     
  18. Seriously-Dead

    Seriously-Dead wubbalubbadubdub

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    It depends, the data varies a lot depending on ethnicity, sex, age, health status, measurement techniques, subclinical vs. clinical, etc. Values range anywhere from 4-30% depending on the analysis. Currently TSH, which is the "gold-standard" for thyroid activity, is actually a very poor predictor so I don't put too much emphasis on the outcome. My sister, and a friend of mine, both suffer from chronically cold extremities, but have completely normal TSH - yet eating a large meal cures them of cold extremities, indicating that it's a nutrient sensing and/or thyroid problem. Diagnostic techniques for thyroid are quite poor as it is, so the population numbers aren't really trustworthy anyway.
     

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