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New to Primal. Would love some quick advice!!!

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  • New to Primal. Would love some quick advice!!!

    Hey everyone,

    I'm not even sure how, but a couple weeks ago I stumbled across information about Primal living while randomly going through YouTube. I was looking for workout ideas or something. I stumbled on some videos by Doug McGuff which included a really long, intense lecture about how we digest foods, carbohydrates and fats in particular. It really perked my interest. While digging around for more information I noticed that Mark Sisson's name kept popping up. I ended up just buying Doug's "Body by Science" and "Mark's "PB". I was pretty blown away by the science behind all of this. I ended up reading Robb Wolf's book "Paleo Solution" after these two. The science is confusing, but I really did have an "a-ha" moment as I was reading all of this. I'm genuinely hoping that this "lifestyle" is something that changes my relationship with exercise and food.

    I'm 37, 6'3", weigh about 230 lbs. right now. I played football from the age of 7 til my last year of college. My top weight was 275 lbs. and I was pretty damn strong, but also had some beef on me. Pretty much had to in order to compete on the defensive line.

    Anyway, once I was done with ball I became obsessed with being lean. As soon as my senior year season was over I cardio'd and dieted my way all the way down to 215 lbs. I was eating 3 square meals and pretty much following the Zone diet. Then I started getting into Body for Life...and obsessing over 5 or 6 meals a day. I pretty much hovered around 220 or 225 for the better part of 15 years. There was one summer I got down to 205 lbs. and felt and (thought I) looked really good. I probably was not healthy though. Taking fat burners. Doing double-sessions. Starving myself on weekends. NEVER cheating at all. etc.

    For the last 5 years though I have been really yo-yo'ing. Between 225 and sometimes as high as 245. One winter I got up to 250. I love food. I'm Italian. My whole family culture revolves around food. And I have always been the eater in the family.

    To make a long story short though, I have gotten really tired of the yo-yo. And quite frankly I don't like how I look most of the time. I can struggle down to 225, only to put 10 lbs on quickly when holidays roll around. I have a hard time controlling my binges and my cravings. If I won a free trip right now to fly to the Carribean tomorrow, the first thing I would think to myself is "damnit, I'm not in good enough shape to go away. I'll give the trip to someone else."

    I wanna get to the point where I'm just...lean. I'm always lean. And I don't have to think about it all the time. I don't have to stress about getting my 5 meals a day in. I don't have to stress about getting to the gym 5 days a week or I'm gonna plump up. I feel like I'm swimming upstream all the time. It just can't be THIS difficult to maintain my healthy bodyweight....which I think is probably somewhere between 200 and 210 to be honest.

    For the last two weeks I have gone Primal but I'm nervous that I may not be executing properly. I have a tendency to overdo things and when I was told that I can eat fat, I started to really get after it. Here's a sample day. Let me know how I'm doing:

    1. 3 or 4 egg omelet, cooked in butter. Omelet has a half an onion and half a red pepper sauteed in olive oil. I also do 3 pieces of ham sometimes. My concern here is the amount of olive oil and butter in this meal. It's delicious, but really heavy on the fat (I think).

    2. Lunch. A really big salad with chicken or whatever is left over. I'm pretty generous with the olive oil. Not sure if I'm overdoing that part.

    3. Dinner is usually some sort of meat, veggies, and sometimes yam. I may have too much meat though at this sitting. Cause I have a tendency to want to be full. For the most part though, I think dinner is pretty good.

    My workouts have been pretty random. I have done a few of those high intensity workouts that Doug McGuff recommends, but they may not be intense enough. I have done a few sprinting workout. I have taken some walks. I don't feel like I'm killing myself exercise-wise, which is a big shift for me.

    My goal is honestly, to look good naked. I'd like to be able to be active the rest of my life. To be free from the stress of "staying" or "getting" into shape. It's been a 15 year struggle for the most part. I have thrown millions of yolks down the drain. I have tried every fad diet. I just wanna live like a normal person and have a normal relationship with food and with the gym. I already have most family members saying to me "oh boy, here he goes again!!" and showing concern over my cholesterol levels. They think I have cried wolf one too many times.

    I guess my main reason for posting though is that I haven't lost much weight in the last two weeks. I would have thought that I would have lost 10 lbs. overnight cutting out the morning english muffin, the sugary yogurt, the bread in my sandwhiches at lunch, and all the pasta and rice I would normally eat at dinner. Shocked actually. I cut down to basically 3 meals a day (from 5) and cut out a fair amount of starches. You would think I would feel like crap, be starving, and also lose a ton of weight. I haven't experienced any of it. In fact, the transition was rather seamless. It was almost like I was relieved to be eating a regular egg again or tasting butter again.

    Any advice would really be helpful...on the diet side and on the exercise side. I'm considering going back to my normal 5 day a week gym routine cause I'm nervous that I'm just going to look "soft". My overall goal is to get down to 200 lbs. I know the number shouldn't matter but for me it's a strong indicator. I guess I should just say that I would like my bodyfat down to the single-digits. That would be spectactular.

  • #2
    It looks like what you're eating is pretty good. Don't worry about the fat as long as the fat you're eating is good, and it looks like you're fine there.

    Sometimes it just takes a bit to catch up while your body heals. I know I dropped a few pounds right away, then it seemed like nothing was happening for weeks. But my boyfriend could tell I was leaning up even though the scale wasn't moving. You could try either using a measuring tape once a week or so, taking pictures (the ever popular "cell phone in the bathroom mirror" shot - eHarmony flashbacks, ack!) or just not stressing over it for a while and waiting for your body to shift focus from healing the damage to getting leaner and stronger.

    Make sure you're getting plenty of good sleep and keeping the stress levels low.


    • #3
      Have you downloaded Mark's Primal Blueprint fitness (link on right) and watched the link vidoes? You may find this helpful.
      F 58 / 170cms / SW 131.5 kgs / Current 112.4/ GW 65
      following Primal Lifestyle and swimming my way to health

      My Primal Blog / Photo Blog / RedBubble shop / My Calendars / My Facebook


      • #4
        Definitely take some measurements- neck, chest, waist, hips, biceps, and thighs are all good ones- and monitor that. In conjunction with your weight you will know far more about what is going on as your body changes than your scale could possibly tell you. Weighing 200 pounds with 15% bodyfat is not as good as 210 pounds with 10%.

        The research (Body by Science, McGuff and Little) seems to indicate that it can take weeks to really start losing muscle, so don't worry about getting soft. Eat good food. Walk a lot. Lift heavy things. Sprint once in a while. Get outside in the sun. Let your body heal.


        • #5
          Thanks for the info. I have to be honest, for the last 3 or 4 days I have felt like complete CRAP. Can't sleep. Head hurts. Mind racing. A little constipated. Really bloated. I look and feel softer than I have in a long time. What's going on in my body?? I feel hungover. Are these withdrawal symptoms or am I malnourished or something???


          • #6
            You might check out "Fathead, The Movie" which skews toward rebutting "Supersize Me" or the lecture version of the same basic information "Big Fat Fiasco" speech here in 5 parts. Fat Head Video of the “Big Fat Fiasco” Speech for which Naughton has coined the term science for (non-scientist) smart people. I find him entertaining and informative.
            Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Spinman View Post
              Thanks for the info. I have to be honest, for the last 3 or 4 days I have felt like complete CRAP. Can't sleep. Head hurts. Mind racing. A little constipated. Really bloated. I look and feel softer than I have in a long time. What's going on in my body?? I feel hungover. Are these withdrawal symptoms or am I malnourished or something???

              I am pretty sure what you are experiencing is called the carb flu. Just do what you are doing. This crappy part can take from days to weeks to get over, but then it gets much better.


              • #8
                IvyBlue...I just watched this lecture. Absolutely mind-blowing!! I just forwarded it to everyone I know, including my cousin who is a family doctor who has been telling my dad for years how wonderful Lipitor is!!!


                • #9
                  Yup, I think it's probably carb flu too. But that's (believe it or not) a good thing because it means you're sticking to it. Carb flu usually lasts 2 or 3 weeks, so things could clear up any day now.


                  • #10

                    Get the Dr. to watch this and ask if he actually understands the research that leads to his recommendations.
                    Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.