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  • macronutrient to limit to lean out

    I'm eating clean but am not leaning out as much as I would like - especially considering I follow the PBF with some crossfit, do IF, and have given up cheat meals for lent. I already eat pretty low carb at between 50-75 grams a day and I eat a lot of protein (probably 1-2 grams per pound of lean body mass a day) and I add in fat from there. However, as I'm not leaning out but rather seem to be stuck, I'm wondering what you all think is the best macro to limit to help that process. I've read plenty of times that "you can't eat too much protein" (unless you're just eating ridiculous amounts - which I'm not) so I'm thinking I should cut back more on protein or fat. If you need me to post what I eat I will but it varies enough that I really don't want to do that if I don't have to. Just thoughts on a general approach would be appreciated. I hope I don't have to cut back on protein - I really enjoy my meat! That and I read about some of the amounts of protein people eat on this forum and I don't even come close to that so I don't see how it can be protein. The only thing I can think is that I'm misjudging the amounts of fat or carbs I'm eating but I don't think I am. Sorry, I'm rambling - probably because I'm frustrated. Thoughts? Thanks!
    Strength and Honor

  • #2
    When you get down to a certain body fat percentage, calories come into play in a big way. Then it's time for you to take a look at micronutrients and calories. Are you getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs? If you are eating clean, then you probably are, and all that's left is to eat a little bit less so that your body has a reason to use its fat stores. Obese people hang on to tons of fat for a lot of reasons but mostly, it seems, as a defense against a dearth of nutrients. That's why it's easy for them to lose heaps of weight once they fix their diets. But in the end, a calorie deficit is needed to get lean.
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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    • #3
      What are your carb sources? I would cut down carbs. See if your workouts suffer from it. I am cutting my carbs right now and so far, so good. The first few days were a little dodgy, but my energy has leveled out. I do NOT however do Crossfit, but do workout rather regularly on my own and do conditioning drills, as well as a lot of strength work. I'm not sure if or how it compares to CF.

      Read this: CrossFit On a Low Carb Paleo Diet: Mat Lalonde Reporting

      After having read all this research, I was now determined more than ever to try CrossFit on a low-carb Paleo diet. Most people would tell you this is a bad idea. After all, it is well known that free fatty acids and glucose (from liver and muscle glycogen) feed your working muscles while you train. As it turns out, glucose is especially needed during high intensity exercise because it requires less oxygen to burn than free fatty acids. The increase in glucose as fuel makes sense because, let’s face it, we need all the oxygen we can get during “Fran”. So was I worried about CrossFitting on a low-carb paleo diet? Not really. Most CF WODs are short, and not all of them are heavily dependant on glycogen. Gluconeogenesis and carbohydrate from veggies should be sufficient to hold up my glycogen stores to a reasonable level once my body adapted to my new diet. Additionally, a potential increase in intramuscular triglycerides could help me through intense bouts of exercise in the event that my glycogen stores get too low.
      I have no idea what a "Fran" is, maybe somebody can shed light on that. I'm just assuming it's a hard workout where people usually drag their asses. It seems Mat Lalonde had a good experience with this. [[Also, I vaguely recall a post by either Robb or Mat where they talk about how they crashed HARD after one workout on VLC... but I can't find it, if somebody knows of this -- and it's dated after this article -- would you mind posting it? thanks]]

      It's been roughly a week since I started, so not enough time. All I'm doing differently is not eating potatoes. I usually always eat meat and/or eggs, then some quick veggies, mostly the dark green variety, and that's it. I'm comfortable eating similar stuff day in and day out but the wonderful thing about protein is it has many faces. Fish of all delicious kinds, beef, pork, chicken, duck... shoot you'd be hard pressed to get bored I think.

      I'm going to see how I do. I'm also replacing cream with coconut milk but do still use butter, not everyday, but sometimes.
      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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      • #4
        Magnesium supplementation may help.
        Ditto on the calorie deficit.
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        • #5
          Thanks, guys - yeah I figured it was the calorie deficit thing. I do eat some nuts but I don't feel that I eat a whole lot and it's less than a handful a day - more a handful every other at most so I don't think that's too much (and they are macadamia nuts, so really low PUFA). I do have a potato once a week so maybe I'll cut that back or just eat less carbs throughout the week. Glad to not read anyone saying cut back on the protein.

          As I used to do just Crossfit, "Fran" is one of "The Girls" WOD's. They are just named after women. Fran is this:

          For time:
          21-15-9 of 95# Thrusters and Pull-ups

          Basically you do 21 Thrusters (hold weight in rack position, squat, and once up proceed immediately into a shoulder press - it's all one fluid motion) and then 21 pull-ups, then 15 of each, then 9 of each, no rest. Clock stops. My best is just under 5 minutes but you pretty much want to die. There are guys that can do it in 2. It's ridiculous.

          Alright, I'll try and just eat a little less, focusing on less carbs and maybe a little less protein. I think the key is not to over eat just because I want to make sure I get enough protein. I have this fear of under consuming protein and losing muscle to the point that I might be eating more than I need and therefore pushing my calories a little high. Thanks again!
          Strength and Honor

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          • #6
            Alright, I'll try and just eat a little less, focusing on less carbs and maybe a little less protein. I think the key is not to over eat just because I want to make sure I get enough protein. I have this fear of under consuming protein and losing muscle to the point that I might be eating more than I need and therefore pushing my calories a little high. Thanks again!
            You might find this helpful: Muscle Building 101 | The Lean Saloon
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            Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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            • #7
              you're probably eating too much protein. remember, protein as well as carbs raises insulin. fat is the only macronutrient that doesn't. And it sounds like you are on a high protein, low carb diet when you should be on a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                What are your carb sources? I would cut down carbs. See if your workouts suffer from it. I am cutting my carbs right now and so far, so good. The first few days were a little dodgy, but my energy has leveled out. I do NOT however do Crossfit, but do workout rather regularly on my own and do conditioning drills, as well as a lot of strength work. I'm not sure if or how it compares to CF.

                Read this: CrossFit On a Low Carb Paleo Diet: Mat Lalonde Reporting



                I have no idea what a "Fran" is, maybe somebody can shed light on that. I'm just assuming it's a hard workout where people usually drag their asses. It seems Mat Lalonde had a good experience with this. [[Also, I vaguely recall a post by either Robb or Mat where they talk about how they crashed HARD after one workout on VLC... but I can't find it, if somebody knows of this -- and it's dated after this article -- would you mind posting it? thanks]]

                It's been roughly a week since I started, so not enough time. All I'm doing differently is not eating potatoes. I usually always eat meat and/or eggs, then some quick veggies, mostly the dark green variety, and that's it. I'm comfortable eating similar stuff day in and day out but the wonderful thing about protein is it has many faces. Fish of all delicious kinds, beef, pork, chicken, duck... shoot you'd be hard pressed to get bored I think.

                I'm going to see how I do. I'm also replacing cream with coconut milk but do still use butter, not everyday, but sometimes.
                Mat Lalonde said this turned out really, really badly. He had a podcast with robb wolf where he discussed it, and he said how foolish it was in retrospect.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by chuckarie View Post
                  you're probably eating too much protein. remember, protein as well as carbs raises insulin. fat is the only macronutrient that doesn't. And it sounds like you are on a high protein, low carb diet when you should be on a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet.
                  I agree with this too.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by chuckarie View Post
                    you're probably eating too much protein. remember, protein as well as carbs raises insulin. fat is the only macronutrient that doesn't. And it sounds like you are on a high protein, low carb diet when you should be on a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet.
                    Yeah - that's what I've been thinking. I just like large amounts of meat so damn much... I think I just need to stop worrying about not eating enough protein and losing muscle (that's for that link to the lean saloon, dragonfly) and rather just focus on stopping when I'm no longer hungry. Right now, I'm definitely in a "when in doubt, eat more protein" mode and that's probably not the best. Thanks again!
                    Strength and Honor

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by grokka View Post
                      Mat Lalonde said this turned out really, really badly. He had a podcast with robb wolf where he discussed it, and he said how foolish it was in retrospect.
                      I'll have to look that up for sure, not like I really need an excuse to return to sweet potatoes though. Surprised they wouldn't update the article since it's still live.

                      I'm weary of going high fat, moderate protein, low carb, mostly becuase fat is easy (for me) to overdo while protein seems more self-limiting.
                      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ransom View Post
                        However, as I'm not leaning out but rather seem to be stuck, I'm wondering what you all think is the best macro to limit to help that process. I've read plenty of times that "you can't eat too much protein" (unless you're just eating ridiculous amounts - which I'm not) so I'm thinking I should cut back more on protein or fat.
                        Limit saturated fats. And, really know how to listen to your body. Make sure you're eating for nourishment and not for fun.
                        Last edited by js290; 04-03-2011, 02:41 PM.

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                        • #13
                          "Make sure you eat for nourishment and not for fun" - eating is a social thing nothing wrong with eating for fun once in a while!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by chuckarie View Post
                            you're probably eating too much protein. remember, protein as well as carbs raises insulin. fat is the only macronutrient that doesn't. And it sounds like you are on a high protein, low carb diet when you should be on a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet.
                            Excess Protein and Fat Storage - Q&A | BodyRecomposition - The Home of Lyle McDonald

                            I found a study suggesting that consumption of protein also causes an Insulin spike, is this true? - Paleo Hacks.com

                            One thing you can see in the newer study is that while the insulin effects of high-protein foods are somewhat higher than you would expect (but in most cases still not as high as carbohydrate), the blood glucose levels are still pretty low. So if the greater danger to the body is in the blood sugar spike, then you can rest assured that that is not going to happen to the same degree with protein.

                            In fact, you might wonder why there is any rise in blood sugar at all. You might even wonder why there isn't a crash in blood sugar after the consumption of protein without any carbohydrate, since the release of insulin in response to the protein would shut down the liver's release of glucose without there being any incoming glucose to take its place. Well, this doesn't happen, thanks to insulin's "partner," glucagon, which tells the liver to keep the glucose coming.

                            So what is the insulin doing when you eat that protein? Remember that insulin is anabolic, broadly speaking; it builds things up, and we can thank it for that. In this case it's sending off those amino acids into the muscles where they are needed.

                            Insulin Index | Mark's Daily Apple
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                            HANDS OFF MY BACON :: my primal journal

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for the articles, Batty. What I pulled way from that is high protein is not going to cause fat storage - however, over-consuming anything (even protein) beyond your body's energy needs means too many calories which can at least affect leanness (even when you don't gain weight, as in my case). Thanks!

                              Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                              I'm weary of going high fat, moderate protein, low carb, mostly becuase fat is easy (for me) to overdo while protein seems more self-limiting.
                              I'm usually pretty good about not going crazy with fat. However, I can definitely overdo the protein and that combined with the fat I eat is probably knocking out my calorie deficit.

                              Originally posted by js290 View Post
                              Limit saturated fats.
                              Wait, what? I thought saturated was the main fat source Mark says to eat. Are you saying to eat saturated but don't go crazy (makes sense - excess calories) or are you saying focus on PUFA and MUFA (doesn't make sense)?
                              Strength and Honor

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