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Fat burning vs. Fat storing?

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  • Fat burning vs. Fat storing?



    So, I've gone completely primal a week ago and am not sure how much I should be eating to lose 5-7 lbs.


    Typically I'll eat 2-3 meals a day with snacks. An example of the breakdown is below:

    Total Calories: 1,429

    Fat: 90.6

    Carb: 64.2

    Protein: 100.5

    (my stats: 5'1, 125 lbs? I don't own a scale)


    I've also been fatigued and low on energy with my CrossFit work outs (5x a week) and I can't tell if it's because of the amount of food I'm eating or if it's just the body getting used to the fats.


    One bigger question I have is, sometimes I'll skip meals but am not sure when my body goes into fat storing mode vs. fat burning. Should skipping meals be kept to a minimum of once a week for IF? What is the balance between fat burning and fat storing?


    Overall I came from strict Zone and am loving this Primal lifestyle. I feel much more sated and am glad to have found this community!


  • #2
    1



    There is an adjustment period between your body relying mainly on dietary carbs for fuel and on fats- for me it took about a week before feeling fuzzed-out and drained turned to feeling more energetic than I had before.


    How long have you been doing CrossFit and how long have you been on the 5 a week rate? Recovery ability is a trained factor too, and new CFers don't have it yet- I find with mine that I have to slowly ramp up to a full 3-1 schedule, or else I hit the overtraining wall and get, well, fatigued and low energy. A few days off sleeping soundly generally fixes it.

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    • #3
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      Hmm, don't think it's the training since I've been CF'ing for 5 months now. I've heard that it just takes time to switch from carb burning to fat burning... will assume the fatigue is from that.

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      • #4
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        Wow! Your calories look super-low! If you've been doing strict Zone for awhile, your body should already be used to burning fat somewhat - it's not exactly a low fat diet. My gut reaction is just that you're not eating enough. You could up your protein and fat (maybe to 120g P and 100g F) and see if that helps with the fatigue.

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        • #5
          1



          Oh...is that low for 125 lbs?? I'm so used to CW saying 1200 to lose that I thought I was doing pretty good!


          I was doing strict Zone on 3 block ratios but felt I was ALWAYS hungry. Not to mention for some reason I was under the impression that fat was supposed to be minimal so my fat intake during Zone was actually only a table spoon or two of fat for B and D and maybe 15 almonds during the day.

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          • #6
            1



            Suz, I'm 125ish right now and eating about 1600/day on average, and losing weight.

            Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.

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            • #7
              1



              Thanks so much FNW! Are you trying to lose more? If so, do you plan to decrease your amount of calorie intake at some point?


              Thanks again guys. I still get confused as to when the body decides to store body fat as opposed to burn it but I guess it's a matter of experimentation.

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              • #8
                1



                I'm not counting calories, but I'm entering my foods into a nutrition tracker so I make sure I get enough protein / not too many carbs (fat falling where it may). So today, for example, I ate over 1800 calories. A few days ago I IFed because I wasn't hungry and my calories were really low.


                I'd like to lose more, but not by cutting calories (BTDT, didn't work - my metabolism slowed and I plateaued). Cutting the carbs seems to be working.

                I also am not exercising currently.


                Suz, your body will store fat when lots of insulin is present (after you eat something sweet/carby). In the absence of insulin, you'll use body fat for fuel.

                Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.

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                • #9
                  1



                  I'm also a crossfitter and it took me about 3 weeks to get used to lower carbs and higher fat. My workouts sucked, especially metcons while I was adjusting.

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                  • #10
                    1



                    Thanks again for answering my questions FNW.


                    Conan - my times currently are way below par! Good to hear that it's not just me. I'm hoping this phase will pass soon.

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                    • #11
                      1



                      This past month even though I have really amped up my weight bearing exercises i.e. squats, lunges, chest presses, I still lost two pounds. I weigh 126 now and eat between 1600-1800 calories a day.

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                      • #12
                        1



                        I think this is another one of those questions about prioritizing goals. Is your goal to improve your CrossFit performance or is your goal to lose weight? If it's the latter, then you might have to accept a bit of a drop in performance. The folks at my CrossFit gym that qualified for nationals are carrying a bit of extra body fat - probably in the 12-15% body fat range (male), and 16-20% (female). They tell me that when they cut their body fat, their performance degrades.


                        So you have to ask yourself would you rather be a firebreather with a sub 5 minute Fran or look good in a bikini. There are some people that can do both, but they are probably more of the exception than the rule.

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                        • #13
                          1



                          Conan - thanks for that insight. I'm not sure what it is... a month ago I was feeling extremely energetic and was doing awesome on my work outs while having energy throughout the day for work and errands. This was when I was doing Zone (but had very little fat incorporated into my diet).


                          Then, I went on a 2 week vacation and upon my return learned about PB which is what I've been adjusting to this past week and a half. I'm going to give it another week or two to monitor my energy levels but thanks again for everyone's insight.


                          Oh, and my personal goal is to just live a healthy, energetic life so that I can enjoy it!! And, I'd love to lose a few extra pounds but am in no rush. Just trying to figure out what will work in the long term.

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                          • #14
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                            In terms of general health you are better off on a low carb, high fat diet.

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                            • #15
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                              Yep, I definitely feel way more sated with more fats and protein!

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