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Does PB take some time to kick-in...should I wait to IF?

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  • Does PB take some time to kick-in...should I wait to IF?

    Hey Primals,
    I've been following PBF and Mark's paleo type diet pretty well for a month now. I compete in bike racing during the summer so I am already fit but seem to put on ~ ten lbs every winter. I go from about 9% BF to ~14 %. The last few years I have experimented with various programs to avoid this (10 lbs is significant in bike racing). I have been successful with the chronic cardio approach or P90X. But what I like about PB is that it not only makes sense from a biochemical and genetic aspect, but it allows you to lead a reasonable life. I love to compete, but I don't need to be working out like a madman all year long.

    Anyway, I'm noticing in the first month my weight and BF seem to be trending upwards rather than downwards. I was wondering if it takes awhile for the "genes" to turn on. I've also done a couple IFs. Should I wait until my body is more "in tune" with the primal way before IF? I've also heard that "fasting puts your body into starvation mode and causes you to store fat" Or is that just more CW bunk? I must say that the nuts and dairy are something I may need to cut out. I mean...I'm not pigging out on them or anything, but...

    Also, ever heard that we are genetically programmed to gain fat in the winter? I do live in a cold region. (or is that more CW BS)

  • #2
    Re: fasting and starvation mode, check out Martin Berkhan's article on the Top 10 Fasting Myths (#4 specific to your question).

    It shouldn't take all that long for your body to switch over to burning fat. It's odd you're BF is going up, though. What kinds of foods are you eating and when? Are you moving frequently at a slow pace? Perhaps as importantly, have you been sleeping well and for a solid 6-8 hours a night?

    If you're looking for faster results, dropping dairy and nuts will definitely help. Give it a shot for 2 weeks and see how you feel and what happens. It makes a difference for me.
    August 2010: 207 lb, 37" waist, 25+% BF | Currently: 177 lb, 33" waist, ~15% BF

    I have a new site up and will soon be blogging at The Wayward Mind. (My journal is semi-retired at this point)


    • #3

      read that.

      HANDS OFF MY BACON :: my primal journal


      • #4
        What are you eating? What are you doing?

        iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


        • #5
          Well I usually have eggs or a whey protein shake in the morning. Then a huge salad with some sort of meat in it for lunch. If I get hungry in the afternoon I have almonds, cheese, dried apricots or almond/peanut butter (this may be one problem.) Then dinner is usually something out of the MDA free cookbook. I think I've been quite good about eliminating the grains. Patrick may have something regarding the "moving slowly frequently". I work behind a desk all day so the move slowly frequently is not so frequent. Plus, it is dark before and after work. My previous winter fitness methods had me putting in an hour each day of either strength or cardio training then more on the weekend. Now an example would be more like a two hr cross country ski on the weekend then the three to four short intense PBF workouts during the week. Definitely way lower volume...but that is what I'm hoping will work. I decided to dedicate some of that workout time to preparing healthy meals. Since 80% of body composition is from your diet right?


          • #6
            This is just my personal experience: I find that in the first 2-4 weeks of eating more primally, I still have a bit of a blood sugar roller coaster. In fact, it's even a little worse because I don't reload with a spike before it falls again. So when I tried to IF early on, I got way too hungry and ended up feeling like I needed a carby snack, just to think straight. Totally counterproductive.

            I prefer to let IFs happen naturally, at least at first. Maybe if you wake up and you don't feel hungry, skip breakfast, but have good food ready for when you do get hungry, since your body is still adjusting to a new way of fueling itself.

            I also work mostly behind a desk these days (I'm an experimental physicist, but I'm in the paper-writing and thesis-writing phase of my PhD), and I find that just getting up for short breaks frequently helps me feel more productive when I'm at my desk. I'm "lucky" that my lab is 3 flights of stairs away from my office, so I get up and go downstairs to check on my equipment, or to chat with my labmates, and then back upstairs to continue working, maybe a half a dozen times a day. And the days I take the bus, I have to walk to and from the stop. So, even though I'm not moving slowly over an unbroken hour, I'm still moving frequently. I think "move slowly frequently" is more about not being a lump than about actual workouts. I like the way Al Kavadlo puts it -- walking is not a workout, it's just motion.


            • #7
              Yikes Batty..that article is kinda scary. But, it could explain my winter weight gain. However I don't think her advice is too Primal friendly. She advises the endurance athlete to eat lots of carbohydrate...even after their season is over!! But, I think some of the theory may be true.

              Seems if I keep the grains out and keep carbs around 100 or lower sooner or later this PB approach has gotta work.


              • #8
                Originally posted by DPB67 View Post
                Well I usually have eggs or a whey protein shake in the morning.
                Eggs ... good. Whey protein, not so much, as it is insulinogenic by a different mechanism than elevating blood sugar levels. Insulin shuts down fat release from adipose tissue, so every morning that you get up and have a whey protein shake you are putting an end to your natural fat burning processes that you initiated by effectively fasting while you were sleeping.

                Originally posted by DPB67 View Post
                Then a huge salad with some sort of meat in it for lunch.
                No complaints about this. Good stuff, you might want to increase the amount of meat in there?

                Originally posted by DPB67 View Post
                If I get hungry in the afternoon I have almonds, cheese, dried apricots or almond/peanut butter (this may be one problem.) ... Since 80% of body composition is from your diet right?
                Getting hungry in the afternoon is a warning signal. Whatever you ate was either 1) insufficient to sustain your energy needs or 2) was deposited in adipose tissue. For most people, #1 is not a problem unless you eat like an anorexic girl on her first date. If it is #2 that is causing you to get hungry, then you need to evaluate the composition of your meal. Something in there is elevating insulin and causing you to go into storage mode rather than having nutrients systemically available.

                Nuts have quite a bit of carbohydrate content, along with the fat. I would look at your almonds and almond / peanut butter choices with a highly suspicious eye. Dried apricots are pure sugar, just as all dried fruit are. By eliminating the water content of fruit what you are doing is increasing the relative concentration of sugar per unit weight ( for example 100g of the raw fruit has approx. 10g of carbohydrates whereas 100g of dried fruit has 2x the amount ).

                In general, I would steer clear of fruit, dried or otherwise. Keep in mind that a plant's fruiting bodies are where the end products of photosynthesis are stored. Photosynthesis transforms sunlight into carbohydrates, which ultimately collect in the highest concentrations in the fruit ( this also includes tomatoes, onions, as well as what people traditionally consider "fruit" ) Avocados, while fruit, store energy in the form of fat so they are an exception to this principle.

                As an aside, I will throw out the fact that dairy gets a bum rap, for the most part. Milk is highly insulinogenic due to the whey protein content as I mentioned above. However, once you remove the whey, with all due respect to Little Miss Muffet, you are left with an altogether different animal.

                Cheese making expressly removes the whey fraction of milk using the curds exclusively, which makes cheese an excellent choice for a nutrient dense food. Ironically, that staple of the traditional diet, cottage cheese, is not made this whey ( see what I did there? ) which makes it much more insulinogenic and therefore unsuitable for those trying to limit adipose tissue mass. At the other end of the spectrum, Gruyere cheese is almost pure protein and fat.

                Lastly, you really do need to give intermittent fasting a go. I am a strong believer in the process, and I've posted a bunch about my experiences in several threads here.

                Good luck.

                My blog :

                Interested in Intermittent Fasting? This might help: part 1, part 2, part 3.


                • #9
                  I'm in my first week of PB, and have done a couple of IFs. Both have been body-led. I have been trying to listen to what my body wants. It's easier to make sure you have a substantial dinner, then not eat anything until the next day. That gives you at least a 12 hour head start.

                  And I agree with what PK said. Ditch the whey protein shake and dried fruits, limit nut consumption.
                  --Trish (Bork)
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