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Going Primal (LA's Journal)

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  • Going Primal (LA's Journal)

    Hello All! I hope that this journal will help me stay consistent with my diet and my training goals. Any advice would be great...I am trying to become competitive as a grappler (BJJ and submission wrestling) again.


    Height - 5'4

    Weight - 125

    BF% - 17%

    Age - 25


    I started on the zone diet two years ago and had great success. I dropped 10lbs and my BF went down 4%. The zone taught me what to eat - protein became essential for every meal and I found myself not missing bread, pasta, potatoes and rice.

    About 4 months ago I started training harder...I competed in several sprint triathlons, began boxing again and upped my weightlifting. The zone was simply not allowing me to eat enough calories (between 1000 and 1200 a day). So, after a good bit of research, I decided to try Tom Venuto's BFFM.

    The BFFM diet forced me to up my caloric intake by upping my carbs and protein while reducing my fat intake. I dropped another 3lbs and 2%BF...but I was hungry...REALLY HUNGRY!.

    And up to last week, that was the story...lots of snacking, several moments of panic from hunger and plenty of calorie counting.

    I want to go very primal and have experimented this past week...not to the best results. I find myself still trying to eat every few hours (BFFM) and am still attached to the idea of the ratio (a la the zone diet). Yesterday and today I kept trying to get the ratios correct in fitday (60%F 30%P 10%C) and found myself just adding more and more foods to try to get the ratio perfect.


    Make gains in the gym (lift more, box faster, roll harder)

    Properly fuel my body

    Control my hunger

    Try IF and/or carnivore days


    Breaking the calorie-counting habit

    Ending my fear of too many fats/too little carbs

  • #2

    Day 1

    B (10:30am - later than usual, but wasn't hungry):

    3 eggs

    .5 cup sauteed onions and peppers

    .5 cup sauteed spinach

    1 tbsp coconut oil

    1 cup mixed berries

    coffee w/.25 cup 2% milk

    L (12:45pm)

    4oz spicy almond butter chicken wraps (recipe from site)

    .5 avocado

    1 cup roasted eggplant and fennel (leftovers)

    **definitely could have gone without the eggplant...

    S (4:30pm)

    1oz beef jerky

    1 small apple w/2 tbsp walnut butter

    Post-Workout Protein (6:45pm)

    .5 scoop Gold Standard PP

    D (9:30pm)

    4oz pot roast

    spinach salad w/tomatoes, avocado, balsamic vinegar dressing


    40mins moderate cycling (commute to work)

    Weightlifting/Plyometric workout (5 tabatas - approx 30 minutes)

    1.5 hours Kali (not strenuous, but swinging sticks is definitely primal)

    I was planning on cooking spaghetti squash for dinner, but didn't feel like the carbs. My ratios look good, but I plan to reduce my carbs. Looking at the calorie count is scary...

    Daily Totals:

    P: 127.7

    C: 81.7

    F: 155.4

    Calories: 2163


    • #3

      Woke up today with a noticeably flatter belly! Felt a little weak during my run, but I plan to 'fat load' before my next attempt.

      Day 2:

      B (8:45am):

      Large shake w/30g Protein Powder, .25cup coconut milk and water

      5 large strawberries cut in half and topped w/walnut butter

      L (12:45am):

      4oz pot roast (leftover) in lettuce wraps w/2 tbsp avocado

      1 cup spaghetti squash mixed w/.25 cup sun-dried tomatoes and homemade pesto (made w/pecans)

      S (4:15pm):

      1oz beef jerky

      1 plum and .25 cup blueberries mixed with coconut cereal*

      *I made this the other day out of almond meal, pumpkin, coconut milk and desiccated coconut trying to make muffins. They were too crumbly, so I turned it into 'cereal' instead. It is high in fat w/just a little carb.


      I am going to the gym around 5:30pm to teach boxing/grappling and then straight to see a movie. I am going to attempt to IF until tomorrow morning, but am bringing some pecans just in case.


      Ran 6 miles this morning (1/2 marathon training, over in two weeks!)

      Boxing/Grappling 1-2 hours this evening ( not super strenuous)


      P: 99.5

      C: 62.1

      F: 101.2

      Calories: 1508

      Wish me luck on my attempt to IF tonight!


      • #4

        Well, the attempt to IF was certainly interesting...

        I made it through the movie with only water while my husband ate almost all of my almonds plus apples, grapefruit and some protein powder. I felt fine, but after the flick our friends wanted to walk next door to Dave and Busters for drinks/games. I immediately thought that I would want a drink, so I crammed 12 almonds down and went inside. The strange part was, I wasn't even hungry...I just felt like I needed something in my stomach to keep me in control.

        Once we went inside, everyone had a couple of beers, but I just drank water...and that was okay. Surprisingly, I wasn't hungry and when I woke up this morning at 7:30am, that ravenous feeling still had not started.

        I plan to experiment in another week with a real IF day. Until then, I am going to make coconut pancakes and bison sausage for breakfast


        • #5

          Hi LA - welcome to PB and the best of luck to you!

          I'm 19 days into my 30 day challenge and started off similar to you in that I was obsessing a bit on ratios/calories etc.

          I have also tried the Zone and BFFM and found both to be an improvement on a normal diet but found that the Zone left me weak and that BFFM was only really effective with super amounts of steady state cardio, and a religious zeal for weighing food!

          With regards the Zone/BFFM - I think people get results because they are a definite improvement on the normal diet: the Zone, because it is relatively moderate on carbs and really low on calories, and BFFM because of the whole small meals thing and the effect this can have on your metabolism (plus loads of cardio). They only seem to take people so far though.

          In terms of the Zone ratios - I think they're bullcrap. Crossfit guys are almost evangelical in their support for the Zone... except none of them do the Zone.

          They all double/triple/quadruple fat blocks (so its not low cal anymore), half or quarter carb blocks (so now its low carb) - many of them have success but very few share the same ratios as eachother, and NONE of them are doing the ratios as set forward by the Zone. In fact, to a man/woman, they are all doing a moderate protein, high fat, low carb diet - AKA PB. Plus, they are generally all eating "paleo" foods.

          One of the recommended readings on here, is Gary Taubes "Good Calories, Bad Calories" (also known as "The Diet Delusion") and I can't recommend it enough. It will frighten you with the shaky "science" diet info has been built upon and give you a great understanding of why fat is not going to make you fat (unless you eat it with sugar).

          My only suggestion (and I'm a complete novice at this so feel free to ignore!) is to totally disregard ratios. Completely.

          Your body needs "x" amount of carbs to do what you want it to do (see the carb curve in the blog, you'll find your own sweet spot in there - mine is nearer 10-15g per day for best fat loss, no dip in strength performance at that low level either)... if you need more calories to fuel your day (you'll know because you're hungry), then eat more calories in the form of protein and fat.

          Extra carbs will just have an hormonal response.

          I upped my calories from circa 1800 to 2000-2300 because, while I felt great, I was finding myself feeling hungry towards the end of the day. The result was 2lb lost in a few days, having been stuck for 3-4 days. Calories in vs calories out is not even close to being important when you eat like this. I'm actually now just eating whatever I eat and looking at the end of the day and am naturally falling into this sort of calorie range... the day after a heavy weight session I sometimes get hungrier though. I just have an extra couple eggs or a bigger bit of steak.

          Its primal in EVERY way - not just the food choices, but this whole hippy idea of "listening to your body". It's great, after a week or so your body will tell you what to eat, and it won't be pizza.

          Hope some of this is useful/interesting - whatever you do, read Taubes!


          • #6

            Thanks so much for the feedback Welshcaveman! I looked at your log and am so excited to hear about your journey. It is a great feeling when you begin to see results, even if they are small at first.

            Thanks for the suggested readings. I have been meaning to pick up the Taubes text and will look around my LBS for a copy.

            I think you are right about the zone. I am no crossfiter and I actually did the zone with all the correct portions and ratios. It worked...but the calories were not enough. Luckily, it curbed me of my junky cravings, so pizza and bread do not really tempt me, although ice cream and beer remain an issue

            I am going to follow your suggestion of not worrying about ratios. I have been making myself snack on fats instead of carbs (used to eat an apple and some cheese when I was hungry) and I feel much better. The proof will be at the end of this 30 days.

            Keep me updated on your progress. It is great to have a buddy!


            • #7

              Day 3:

              I decided not to do fitday today...mildly liberating

              B (9:30am):

              Bison sausages

              coffee w/2% milk

              Coconut flour scones w/fresh berries(used a recipe for coconut pancakes, but they came out too thick. These were really husband loved them)

              L (2:30pm):

              Leftover pot roast

              large salad (spinach, tomatoes, avocado, balsamic dressing)

              1/2 cup spaghetti squash w/sundried tomatoes and pesto*

              D (8:30pm):

              chicken breast in lettuce wraps

              1/2 cup spaghetti squash w/sundried tomatoes and pesto


              Went out and had 4 Gin and Tonics...yikes

              *I made this spaghetti squash combo for lunch yesterday, but I couldn't eat the whole thing. Normally I would have stuffed it all down, but I listened to my body and stopped. Small victories folks, small victories!


              Rest Day!


              • #8

                You're welcome!

                I wish I had the cooking skills to make those sorts of recipes. I'm going more primal than I'd probably like... light fire, throw meat on! The most technical thing I make is my omlette every morning and I'm not kidding!


                • #9

                  Day 4:

                  B (7:30am):

                  protein shake with 2% milk, 1 scoop chocolate pp, 1 tbsp peanut butter (bad, I know)

                  3 strawberries w/coconut cereal

                  coffee with 2% milk

                  L (11:30am)

                  large spinach salad w/grilled chicken breast, cashews and olive oil vinaigrette

                  1 cup of coffee with half and half

                  2nd L (5:30pm - went to a really late lunch w/the husband and friends after playing around the REI store for a couple of hours)

                  Went to a local Mexican restaurant and ordered a beef burrito and a beer (looked so nice) I removed the flour tortilla and just ate the meat inside with the salad, guacamole and sour cream.

                  D (10:00pm)

                  spicy ground beef in lettuce wraps

                  small apple w/almond butter


                  Another rest day!

                  I just went to the grocery store and bought a ton of primal food for the week. This is the 5th g-store we have tried in Denver and it is awesome. now we just need to find a good butcher...

                  Tomorrow begins a new week with more extensive goals:

                  1. keep carbs under 75g

                  2. eat when I am hungry, not just because it is 'meal time'

                  3. no dairy


                  • #10

                    Day 5

                    B (9:30am):

                    3 eggs, 2oz spicy ground beef, 1 portabella mushroom, 1 cup of spinach sauteed in 1 tbsp coconut oil

                    coffee w/.25 cup coconut milk

                    S (12:00pm):

                    1/4 cup almonds

                    L (2:30pm):

                    4oz spicy ground beef

                    4 cherry tomatoes


                    half a large peach w/coconut cereal

                    D (9:00pm):

                    4oz chicken breast sauteed in coconut oil w/sriracha and 1 tbsp almond butter on top of a spinach salad w/tomatoes

                    1 small apple w/almond butter


                    45min bike ride (commute)

                    1.25 hours boxing/weightlifting


                    F: 130g

                    C: 65g

                    P: 112g

                    Calories: 1819


                    • #11

                      Day 6

                      Body Stats

                      Weight: 122 (down 3 lbs)

                      Body Fat: 16.9%

                      LBM: 101.4

                      Measure by body fat with a handheld device. I know it is probably not accurate, but I use it to keep up with my status, not necessarily a perfect measurement.


                      • #12

                        Day 6

                        B (8:00am):

                        Protein shake (1 cup coconut milk drink, 1 scoop PP, raspberries)

                        Coffee w/coconut milk drink

                        L (12:00):

                        4oz chicken breast mixed w/sriracha & walnut butter in lettuce wraps

                        5 cherry tomatoes & 1/8cup sun-dried tomatoes sauteed w/1 cup spaghetti squash

                        coffee w/coconut milk drink

                        S (3:00pm):

                        1/4cup almonds

                        S (4:45pm):

                        2oz chicken breast w/almond butter and sriracha

                        D (9:45pm):

                        Coconut curry soup w/chicken breast and sweet potatoes

                        Stats (without dinner...don't really know the measurements on the soup)

                        F: 77g

                        C: 47

                        P: 88g

                        I imagine I ate more than 75g carbs today although I tried not to eat too many potatoes in my soup


                        45min bike ride (moderate commute)

                        45min grappling/weightlifting

                        1.5hour Kali


                        • #13

                          Day 7:

                          B (10:30am):

                          4 eggs cooked in coconut oil w/mushrooms, peppers and onions, plus 1/2 avocado

                          4 strawberries, 1/4cup blueberries

                          coffee w/coconut milk drink

                          L (2:30pm):

                          leftover coconut chicken soup (no sweet potatoes)

                          apple with almond butter (a lot of almond butter)

                          1/2 scoop pp w/coconut milk drink

                          D (9:15pm):

                          beef meatballs w/homemade tomato sauce

                          chocolate covered almonds (major cheat)

                          Didn't calculate daily totals


                          4 mile am run

                          45 min bike commute

                          25 mins weightlifting


                          • #14

                            Hi LA - well done on the loss so far: as you know it's mainly water early on (although one school of thought is that this is a good thing as fat cells are comprised heavily of water... either way the fat cell gets smaller).

                            Having said that, being pretty light anyway you're probably not carrying much water and can count on most subsequent weight loss to be the wobbly stuff?

                            What sort of weight lifting is it that you're doing?


                            • #15

                              Thanks WCM! You are right, I don't have too much water weight, but I also find that I fluctuate 2-3lbs depending on the day. I am not too worried about losing weight, although I would like to see my 4-pack a little more visible.

                              Most of my weightlifting stuff comes from Ross Enamait and Gym Jones, both of whom do a lot of cool weightlifting techniques based on martial arts. I teach boxing and grappling, so we try to add some plyometrics/weightlifting into the classes to improve everyone's cardio and recovery time.

                              I am also training for a half-marathon right now, but luckily it is next weekend. I signed up for it a while back and now I am ready to be done with it. Running is not really my thing...sprinting, yes, but long-distance running, no.

                              I know you lift a lot...what are you workouts like?