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  • Frustrated

    I moved to the primal diet in August, and this week I had my first bod pod and physical assessment since that time. I've been averaging 60-65% fat, 20-30% protein and ~10% carbs.

    In that time I've only lost ~3 pounds fat, and gained no lean body mass at all. This wasn't as good as my last bod pod and assessment in early September just after I changed from a CW low-fat diet. My trainer doesn't believe what I've told him about my diet as I should be further along if I have been sticking to those macros - though he still doesn't think that is enough protein for the work I am doing. I HAVE been sticking with those macros with NO cheating and I don't blame him for not believing me.

    So I am taking his advice and tossing the counting thing out the window. I am going to reverse my macro mix to protein/fat/carbs instead of fat/protein/carbs. I am not going back to a low fat diet, but I did lower my protein intake significantly when I "went primal" - and I think he is right about that being the problem. I certainly won't be adding grains or dairy and will stick with good quality animal and plants!
    Last edited by Catrin; 12-01-2012, 07:31 AM.

  • #2
    I had the same problem. I think the missing piece of the puzzle for me was this part:

    0-50 grams per day: Ketosis and I.F. (Intermittent Fasting) zone. Excellent catalyst for rapid fat loss through I.F. Not recommended for prolonged periods (except in medically supervised programs for obese or Type 2 diabetics) due to unnecessary deprivation of plant foods.

    Read more: The Primal Blueprint Diagrams | Mark's Daily Apple
    I should have mixed it up some, a "carb refeed" I guess. I was just doing it for too long of periods at a time, I think.

    So it wasn't until I read this for like the 6th time, that it finally sunk in. (and then later re-reading some of Mark's advice and some of the posts here, were saying the same thing. Just not sinking in)
    Perfect Health Diet: Weight Loss Version | Perfect Health Diet

    So I have switched my macros around, mostly to a 3 way split, but no more than 40% fat. It is working for now. I do go lower carbs on some days, like earlier this week I thought it would help me get my Thanksgiving water off, and it did.

    But from CW dieting to primal, or 30% fat to 60% fat, the weight loss cut in half. BUT... I was full and more satisfied, and no longer going to bed hungry every.single.night. And I was learning lots of valuable information. But the higher the fat, the slower the weight loss, and then a gain around 85%. So it might not work so well for me to lose the weight, but it is nice to know that I can eat that way and not gain so it will be good to know for maintenance

    And it didnt really seem to matter where my calories were. In fact perhaps they might have been chronically too low. I still dont know how I feel about that science yet. Some ppl fast for long term and still lose weight, so I dont know. But just seems like when most of my calories come from fat, however many calories that might be, when they come from fat, my weight loss slows to stops.

    Mostly the only thing I had to do to hit these macros, was to cut out the extra fat. Not avoiding fat in meat, etc but the extra fat - Like the butter on top of the steak. I also added in starchy carbs. I just don't eat them with butter and sour cream or cream cheese.
    Last edited by gopintos; 12-01-2012, 07:04 AM.
    65lbs gone and counting!!

    Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

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    • #3
      Very helpful to hear your experience AND your reminder. Frankly, I've not noted a change in satiation with high fat or high protein. I've felt equally satiated between those two. I started upping my carbs recently to between 60-75 grams but that may not have been quite enough - or perhaps I simply need to increase it a bit on workout days and lower it on rest days. I wasn't hungry when on the CW approach - but my protein intake was quite high.

      It is going to be challenging to NOT count - I've been tracking every bite for the last 3.5 years, but my trainer has proved time and time again that he knows his stuff and he works with quite a large number of women athletes - some of which are elite - so I would be remiss in not following his advice.

      Right now I am far more concerned about changing my body composition rather than the number on the scale. Loosing weight is far easier than gaining lean muscle at any age - but I am a 53 year old post-menopausal woman who also doesn't have a thyroid - which doesn't help. I will try this for the next 3 months and see what the bod-pod reveals then It is certainly a better measure than the caliper approach, though of course there isn't a perfect measure of body composition - but the bod pod is pretty darn good.

      In the end I don't care about being "Primal" or "Paleo", I need to eat right for MY body. I've learned a lot since August and I certainly will not return to a CW diet. I will say that I no longer feel like I am "at war" with my food, I enjoy meals and cooking again. In the end, I just want to eat healthfully - and this is a heck of a lot closer than the CW approach.
      Last edited by Catrin; 12-01-2012, 07:33 AM.

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      • #4
        Are you lifting heavy weights, doing squats and deadlifts with barbells, that sort of thing? That will change your body comp. I'm pretty convinced that nothing else will. You have to actually stress your body, tell it it MUST make more muscle OR ELSE and the only way to do that is to put weight on the bar, lift it, come back a few days later, put MORE weight on the bar and lift it, lather rinse repeat (and back off once in a while if you over do it). It works on a hormonal level. You can listen to your appetite, eat more protein and ignore precise macro ratios, too.

        I'm a 47 yo female with no uterus, too. Took me a while to figure out this stuff is for old ladies, not just young guys.
        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
          Are you lifting heavy weights, doing squats and deadlifts with barbells, that sort of thing? That will change your body comp. I'm pretty convinced that nothing else will. You have to actually stress your body, tell it it MUST make more muscle OR ELSE and the only way to do that is to put weight on the bar, lift it, come back a few days later, put MORE weight on the bar and lift it, lather rinse repeat (and back off once in a while if you over do it). It works on a hormonal level. You can listen to your appetite, eat more protein and ignore precise macro ratios, too.

          I'm a 47 yo female with no uterus, too. Took me a while to figure out this stuff is for old ladies, not just young guys.
          Yes, I do all of that and more - which doesn't make sense why I am not gaining lean muscle mass as I WAS on the CW low-fat diet - and I train more intensely now than then. It has to be diet, the exercise/weight is there and then some...
          Last edited by Catrin; 12-01-2012, 10:40 AM.

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          • #6
            Maybe it's the "more" that you are doing. Perhaps you are stressing yourself out too much. And maybe eating by more fat you are eating too many calories.
            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
              Maybe it's the "more" that you are doing. Perhaps you are stressing yourself out too much. And maybe eating by more fat you are eating too many calories.
              I am tracking all of the above to the n-th degree, indeed I might be getting too few calories, but I still lost 3 pounds of fat so I don't think I am over-eating. I won't be backing off the exercise, just need to tweak the diet I think. Of course I can only guesstimate the fat content of meat and bone broth, so it is entirely possible that I've been getting more fat than I knew. Backing off a bit from the fat and going back to my old protein targets should, hopefully, take care of this.
              Last edited by Catrin; 12-01-2012, 02:58 PM.

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              • #8
                If you are a 53 year old women with no tyroid, the last thing you should do is try a ketogenic diet. Its also ridiculous to get most of your calories from protein. At 53 and being a women you dont not need much in the way of protein. Protein is for growth, you are not growing, the amount of muscle you can put on is very minimal. What you do need to do is optimize your metabolism and your macros will not accomplish this.

                Do you have your thyroid medication optimized? That is, are you still struggling with hypo issues or are you dialed in or your meds?
                Last edited by Zach; 12-01-2012, 03:35 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Catrin View Post
                  I am tracking all of the above to the n-th degree, indeed I might be getting too few calories, but I still lost 3 pounds of fat so I don't think I am over-eating. I won't be backing off the exercise, just need to tweak the diet I think. Of course I can only guesstimate the fat content of meat and bone broth, so it is entirely possible that I've been getting more fat than I knew. Backing off a bit from the fat and going back to my old protein targets should, hopefully, take care of this.
                  Oh I see. Lots and lots of people have told me that doing too much exercise can make your body composition worse. I have had a really hard time believing this myself, but so many people have told me so that it might just be true. They all say to quit all the steady-state cardio (running, biking etc). Instead, lift heavy weights with real barbells 3x/week and do 5-7 minutes of conditioning stuff 2-3 times a week immediately afterward. The conditioning stuff is to pick 3 or 4 exercises (kettlebell snatches, pushups, planks, lunges, whatever) and do them 10 times each one after the other with no rest. Do about 3-4 rounds of them until you're ready to die or 5 minutes have gone by.

                  I've been doing the weights for about 6 weeks or so and these conditioning finisher things for only about 2 weeks.

                  I think I see a tiny bit of improvement, at least from the weights. I don't see any miraculous "turning on" of my metabolism as I've been told these finisher things will do. I haven't been doing it long enough to know for sure plus I never use one of those fancy scales or get caliper measurements or anything. It might be worth a shot to try it, though.

                  Don't believe the "low carb killz your thyroid" madness. It's a myth. It no more kills your thyroid than having reduced insulin on your low carb diet indicates you've killed your pancreas.
                  Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                    kettlebell snatches
                    Oh geesh, so THAT is what ppl are talking about when they talk about their snatches! I thought I took a wrong turn down Porn Parkway or something.

                    ok, sorry, please resume
                    65lbs gone and counting!!

                    Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

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                    • #11
                      Losing 3lbs of fat without losing any LBM in a post-menopausal woman with no thyroid isn't too shabby.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Zach View Post
                        If you are a 53 year old women with no tyroid, the last thing you should do is try a ketogenic diet. Its also ridiculous to get most of your calories from protein. At 53 and being a women you dont not need much in the way of protein. Protein is for growth, you are not growing, the amount of muscle you can put on is very minimal. What you do need to do is optimize your metabolism and your macros will not accomplish this.

                        Do you have your thyroid medication optimized? That is, are you still struggling with hypo issues or are you dialed in or your meds?
                        The high protein diet has worked well for me over the last 3 years, the change came when I replaced protein with fat for my main source of calories. I am going back to what works - still no grains or dairy though. BTW, I know women older than I who are ripped - and they started older than I am. My thryoid levels are fine, they get checked pretty regularly - and they are getting checked again next month (good question).

                        Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                        Oh I see. Lots and lots of people have told me that doing too much exercise can make your body composition worse. I have had a really hard time believing this myself, but so many people have told me so that it might just be true. They all say to quit all the steady-state cardio (running, biking etc). Instead, lift heavy weights with real barbells 3x/week and do 5-7 minutes of conditioning stuff 2-3 times a week immediately afterward. The conditioning stuff is to pick 3 or 4 exercises (kettlebell snatches, pushups, planks, lunges, whatever) and do them 10 times each one after the other with no rest. Do about 3-4 rounds of them until you're ready to die or 5 minutes have gone by.

                        I've been doing the weights for about 6 weeks or so and these conditioning finisher things for only about 2 weeks.

                        I think I see a tiny bit of improvement, at least from the weights. I don't see any miraculous "turning on" of my metabolism as I've been told these finisher things will do. I haven't been doing it long enough to know for sure plus I never use one of those fancy scales or get caliper measurements or anything. It might be worth a shot to try it, though.

                        Don't believe the "low carb killz your thyroid" madness. It's a myth. It no more kills your thyroid than having reduced insulin on your low carb diet indicates you've killed your pancreas.
                        I think that each of our bodies are different and different things will work for each of us. There is no cookie cutter approach, though general rules apply like avoid grains, focus on good quality animals and plants, etc. I think Zach is right that a ketogenic diet isn't working for me, but I had to try it. I am not going to change my diet all that much, just enough.

                        I am a cyclist, both road and mountain biker (which isn't changing), and I do high intensity and lifting centered small group training (which isn't changing). I love both activities, and believe me, I feel it when I pull back too much, and I know the warning signs of doing too much. I think that metcon work is important - and periodic sprints, or rowing, or bike sprints are good for us. Not every day, but I think it is important to do them.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vb66 View Post
                          Losing 3lbs of fat without losing any LBM in a post-menopausal woman with no thyroid isn't too shabby.
                          Thanks, I was so focusing on not gaining any lean muscle mass that I didn't think about this.

                          Sbhikes, it sounds like you do great! Another frustrating thing for me is that I can leg-press 475 pounds, but I can't press a 22 pound kettlebell with both arms. With one, but not the other. We are working on that - it is an issue with both strength and mobility issues in one of my shoulders. I know my age and gender are working against me with over-the head lifting, but I am determined to whip this problem.

                          I know that my lower body will always be stronger than my upper, and I am fine with that. I love deadlifting, leg presses, kettlebell swings, anything lower body but I want to be able to do a respectable over-head squat and push-presses. That will come with time, patience, and a lot of work. I don't care if I don't get ripped, I just need to develop more strength to carry into my next stage of life.

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                          • #14
                            I don't think I'd be able to do a 22lb kettlebell press with one arm. I've never actually touched a kettlebell. I do barbell presses and so far I've made it up to 50lbs, 3 reps of 5. I squatted 100lbs with a barbell on my back. I'm trying to fix my body composition, too. I think it's just slower when you're older.
                            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                              I don't think I'd be able to do a 22lb kettlebell press with one arm. I've never actually touched a kettlebell. I do barbell presses and so far I've made it up to 50lbs, 3 reps of 5. I squatted 100lbs with a barbell on my back. I'm trying to fix my body composition, too. I think it's just slower when you're older.
                              One arm can do it with a 22 lb kettlebell, the other arm needs help with it. I love kettlebells, our trainer mixes things up though. We do kettlebells, other times we do barbell presses, push presses, etc. We really need to increase my strength though before I can do an overhead squat safely, so we are really focusing on my upper body. Yes, it is slower when we are older, I just get frustrated with myself. I need to not compare myself with others but it is hard not to do that in a small group environment.

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